Quick question for those of you that attend (or would like to attend) gaming conventions.

Quick question for those of you that attend (or would like to attend) gaming conventions.

Quick question for those of you that attend (or would like to attend) gaming conventions. If you signed up to play in a Dungeon World game, would you rather the GM had a pre-made scenario or would you want to help create one at the table?

The past few conventions I’ve gone to I’ve run DW and had a great time. But I’m wondering if I could cut back my prep a little (or do different kinds of prep).

19 thoughts on “Quick question for those of you that attend (or would like to attend) gaming conventions.”

  1. I would prefer an adventure starter – exotic locale, strange denizens, mysterious ruins, etc. Enough to kick-start and focus my creativity without all the time it would take to start from scratch. But enough blanks left for everyone at the table to inject something fresh.

  2. Last year I did near 0 prep and used the following starter “you are all in a room about 10×10 the walls are hewn stone and covered in Moss and age. There are two doors, one of them is currently being beaten down from outside.” then I go around the table and start asking questions about why they are there, what’s beating down the door, why X character is actually there etc. Then I run them through the rest of the dungeon that I come up with on the fly.

  3. Marshall Miller I like the sound of that. If I went with something like that how would you sum up the “scenario” in 30 words or so? Thats the word count limit in the Description section of the con handbook.

  4. “A mysterious island, cyclopean monoliths, monstrous denizens… what happens next, only you decide! A Dungeon World adventure with blanks to fill in, where we’ll play to find out what happens.”

  5. Marshall Brengle Nice, very nice. I have no problems with improve and guided storytelling; just making sure that in a con setting that’s something plenty of people would enjoy.

  6. Lately I have been starting with a white paper. As people introduce their characters, they have to draw their city, town, cave of origin o the map. As the white paper goes around the table, the map grows. The next round is bonds. (I find it is a bad idea to have PC’s not knowing each other at the start) So where did so and so steal your mothers wedding ring? Put it on the map. And so on. By the time the map has gone around the second time, there is also a backstory and history. Then lastly I ould ask: “Why is the guy who rules this town hated by everybody? Why is there a war between these two city states?” or something like that.

    At our last game the main city was called Kentucky and the port to the south was called Fried.. (We had KFC just about then) Chicken is still not on the map, but it is coming…

    Only then do I introduce the starter.

    My last one was: “You are standing in an underground room. It is quite comfortably furnished. On the other end there is a desk, and behind it sits Krum Slithertongue, the local crime lord. He has six body guards standing behind him, the one more badass than the next. Why did he summon you here? Why does he want to kill you now?” 

    Everything beyond that is 100% improv. Like the farting Drain Beast. The Clock Punk tried to shoot him with his flintlock. He should have known better, for methane is HIGHLY explosive…

    The main story now after the second session is about a Gem of Power that opens portals to the dungeon dimension – with lovecraftian thingies coming through. I had no idea this was were the story was going when I started.

  7. Wynand Louw I like that. I think players might get a little tired of the same pre-packaged fare typically found at cons and that approach might be a nice breath of fresh air. 

  8. There is ONE BIG problem with 100% improv which one has to guard against, and that is falling into a rut. I realised I was doing it the third time I had my players fight giant spiders. (Different sessions) Not because it made sense fictionally, but because at that time Giant Spiders was my obsession. 

    So I am seriously thinking of getting myself the monster card decks on RPG now to avoid that in future. 

  9. What I like to do when improving is have a handful of 3×5 cards with different monsters, NPC’s, and locations. Nothing set to any particular plot-arc just a bunch of random stuff to potentially use.

  10. Some of me wanting the “blank page” approach is a general misstrust of GMs. If they do the full impro thing it is more likely that they are fully on board with the way you run Dungeon Worlds.   

  11. Thanks for the input. I’ve tried a couple different methods over the past year and half. I prefer to have a solid opening set-up but then let things develop organically from there. I really just wanted to see if players also prefered that. Clearly that’s part of what makes DW so unique and popular.

    Besides it allows me to keep my prep work down to whatever fits on a 3×5 card, nothing more.

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