How deadly is your Dungeon World?

How deadly is your Dungeon World?

How deadly is your Dungeon World?

Do your PCs usually survive to level 10?

Are they regularly injured and battle scarred? Is loss of limb a common condition?

In summary, I would like to gather some info on how dangerous your DW game is to the PCs and opinions on how deadly it should be.

I’ll start (I am GM): the PCs in my group are now approaching the higher levels of 6+, without ever being in real danger (read: high risk of dying) for the most part. The Barbarian once took his Last Breath, but that was mostly accidental by charging into a pack of spiders without trying to defy the danger.

I feel like DW is supposed to feel and be far more deadly than I currently portray it. Players should be afraid of missing a roll and not heading into battle straight on and rolling recklessly without fear.

11 thoughts on “How deadly is your Dungeon World?”

  1. Yeah, it’s really a personal style thing. Or you could vary from campaign to campaign. I’ve only ever killed one PC, but some people have been very lucky with their Last Breath rolls. I’m particular one reckless elf ranger who’s met Death three times, but never crossed the Black Gate.

  2. None of the PC died in our sessions but many of them took their last breath. Some should have died, if you consider what they had to endure after their last breath :s especially the Mage who immolated himself with a misspelled fireball. He looked like Niki Lauda and the Death ordered him not to approach or deal with fire anymore.

  3. I haven’t killed any PCs yet (I’ve only ran 4 sessions). I have gotten close… (: Yeah, I think dungeon world should be deadly, but you also want your characters to reach levels 5+. I think battle scarring is an epic way to demonstrate this, as it fictionally inhibits them, but your players might get upset.

  4. I wiped half of a party once when a Mage, Cleric and Witchhunter decided to go into a dungeon without first waiting for the Thief, Ranger, and Knight…

    They got in over their head and instead of turning back pushed forward, then a series of 6- rolls spelled their dooms.

    If you play a more realistic game, any EOA game is quite deadly.

  5. I believe the threat of “real” story danger significantly adds to the intensity of a game. I think when players are reckless in a way not true to their character’s abilities, there should be a good chance they will die.

    For example, I expect a barbarian to be reckless in combat and live  — that is part of their character.  I do not expect a wizard to rush into the middle of a large combat situation recklessly fighting with their dagger and survive (without help from others).

  6. For my longest-running group: one death in about a dozen sessions, and it was our only Last Breath roll.  Had a number of nail-biting situations with PCs at <5 hp.  No permanent maiming.

  7. I’ve had many occasion where, after the fact, players tell me they were one hit from last breath. I’ve also had MANY occasions where I’ll look sternly at them and say “you realize that failing this roll means you are likely to die?” and then they ALWAYS roll high.

    In this one campaign all players had someone level out past ten, some people are almost there a second time, and we’ve only had one death.

    Gosh darn +3 stats, once they’re rolling that for most things it gets to be almost hard to injure them (assuming they’re even a little careful). I also wonder sometimes if our many short sessions are leading to overly rapid leveling. Most of our XP is from session end.

  8. I have yet to kill someone, or have a last breath roll. I think that’s because some of the people aren’t really into combat, so I always make sure combat stays rather short by lowering HP and Armor. I would like to put more people in danger though and force some last breaths, so I’m trying to think of ways to endanger them out of combat, or just bring in some glass cannon enemies.

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