Crowdsourcing a little here.

Crowdsourcing a little here.

Crowdsourcing a little here… suppose you were playing a DW where everyone was from a small, somewhat isolated village in a “points of light” sort of setting.  No major civilizations nearby, just a couple towns a few day’s journey away and lots of dangerous wilderness.  Adventures would largely involve dealing with threats to the town & its people, so every PC should be tied to the village somehow.  Elves and dwarves and halflings etc might exist but are distant and foreign.

How would you change the classes to reflect this? One obvious way is to replace Race moves with some sort of Background move.  But what else would you change?  (I have ideas, but I want to hear from others.)

Also: any thoughts on handling “town advancements?” Like, ways to encourange & track & reward improvements the PCs make to the town or its surroundings? 


18 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing a little here.”

  1. First, I’d write up every character from the village (there won’t be that many, right?), perhaps putting them on cards I can show the players.

    Then, I’d make a list of “village bonds” that the players pick from alongside their class bonds. Their class bonds must be allocated to another member of the party, while the “village bonds” are for NPCS in the village.

    Stuff like:

    _____ is my younger sibling, they need my protection from this harsh world.

    I was raised by _____, I trust their judgement.

    _____ has always looked down on me.

    Since there would be few villagers, hopefully there would be some fun overlap between the player’s bonds. One player might hate the village elder, one might owe him their life, another might be his student, another still might be his daughter!

  2. You might look at Jason Lutes “Funnel” adventure if you can get hold of it. He tries the DCC trick of having the PC start with multiple village characters each and then kills kills most of them off. It was part of his Kick starter adventure I think.

  3. More thoughts!

    Every player has been entrusted with something old and sacred to the village, with a long and well known history.

    That sword the fighter has? The very best sword anyone has seen, once held by the last great fighter the village had, decades ago.

    The spell book the wizard learned everything they know from? No one in the village has ever laid eyes on another, that spell book is, as far as they know, the spell book.

    And so on.

    The village is relying on these guys, whether loved or loathed, there is no one better skilled and certainly no one has any better gear.

  4. Mark Tygart the Funnel is cool, but not quite what I’m looking for. I’m assuming the PCs are heroes–or potential heroes–at the start.  Like when you choose to be the fighter, you are the fighter. Or at least, you’re the best fighter in the village, possibly the region.

    Tony Ferron I’m picturing a village of around 300 (so maybe more of a town), so statting everyone up might not work.  But I definitely like the idea of bonds with NPC villagers. What would they do?  (I definitely like the “everyone’s got something old and/or important” angle.)

  5. Even more thoughts!

    The only way I can think of handling town advancements is with a tick box/count down system.

    You have a steading all written up, then next to each thing on either side, put four boxes, like this:

    [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] Poor [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] 

    When they aid/save/pour wealth into a town, mark on the right side. When they fail it, mark on the left side. When you fill a side up add the next rating, so Dirt if they mess up, Moderate if they do good.

    Besides that, just make useful stuff pop up. Shops, roads, better rations (when you save a farm or something), new hirelings (hirelings get more skills the bigger the steading, right?) and other helpful things.

  6. Ah, okay, it’ll still work more or less.

    I don’t think the bonds will need to do much beyond give the players something to care about. If you say to a player “goblins are ravaging the southern market!” and they know their “childhood friend, Dan the Cabbage Salesman” is on the line, they might be more likely to head off into the fray. Even if they don’t care that much, the villager they have a bond with are theirs, right? How dare those goblins try to kill him!

    Plus, in the fiction, they might have simple uses like offering food and shelter, perhaps even a mundane item if they’re lucky.

    They’re just a way to ad-lib an ongoing story.

    They could grant a player +1 to Aid or Interfere rolls if they’re present and the bond is a positive one, I guess.

  7. I would look to Saga of the Icelanders and Beyond the Wall for inspiration.

    you could roll up characters as per Beyond the Wall, and maybe for “zero level” the player only gets half of the starting skills that they would normally get for choosing a class. Once they mark off five advancements they would get the other skills and be a first level character.

    Saga has one of the best community building mechanics there is.

  8. You might like to look at actual peasant life in the middle ages. William Manchester points out in “World Lit Only by Fire” most peasants never left their villages. If they did they could easily get lost and die. The village wouldn’t have to be isolated just part of a real fief. We don’t play this type of society typically. Tolkein is dark ages\late roman (except the shire) and S&S was inspired by the ancient world and Old West.

  9. You could write some Village moves and use the villager bonds for them. Things such as When you’re standing for the village or When you’re asking for supplies

  10. Have PC bonds with NPCs (villagers) then threaten the villagers.

    Change the XP rewards:  ‘When you stand in defence of your steading’, earn xp.

    Choose a class or two that the player’s have chosen and outlaw them for something they haven’t (but might have) done… Wizards are the cause of all misfortune, therefore they must be ‘named and shamed’. Barbarians have caused the monsters to encroach on our lands, thus all barbaric invaders are to be captured and enslaved. That sort of thing.

  11. Michael, yes I have! Though I’m sort of leaning towards something more like the Hardhold wants & bounties.  Quite possibly with Tony Ferron’s idea of +/- “tick marks” for Population, Wealth, and maybe Defenses.

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