HI all

HI all

HI all,

New to this community.  I got a lot of questions.  

TL/DR… I want to create a hack of DW… and maybe publish it.  But I’m not 100% sure I want to use DW/ AW as the base system.

OK.  Description.  The game is based on D&D world gone into the Magic Revolution.  That’s like the industrial revolution, only with magic.  And no… it’s not Eberon.  Themes include: futureshock, ethnic cleansing, fascism, communism, slavery, terrorism (with players maybe becoming terrorists), and body-switching.  

Mechanically, the game would have these features:

Lore Sheets (idea taken from Legends of the Wulin… it’s a little like Aspects in Fate)

Tactical Narrative (just suggestions on how to make fighting narrative more realistic, plus more weapons tags)

Character generation based on background.

somewhat different attribute and stat formulas.

It will be mostly compatable with DW, but DW characters would need a little bit of translation.

 Now… here is the thing.  I feel I can play this game using the basic DW / AW mechanics.  I think it works out cool.  But there is a big difference between my game and AW. My game is based on a settings document I’m creating, It has several very large, over-arching Fronts, designed to facilitate a long campaign if the players want this.  Basically… it’s still  “draw a map, leave blanks”, but those blanks are fewer than (I perceive) DW players believe there should be.  And I’m introducing a new mechanic (Lore Sheets) as a method for players to gain narrative control with the GM’s consent.  I read on reddit r/dungeonworld and r/RPG, where it seems DW players all play in sandbox / make the campaign on the spot mode.  

So the question is… is the *world system fundamentally opposed to creating a longish, full-featured campaign setting game?

18 thoughts on “HI all”

  1. As a data point to the contrary about “on the spot”: I started my DW group off with a fairly complete campaign world I had created (and that essentially got playtested over the last decade in a D&D 3.5 game with different players) and altered the laws of magic (arcane magic is almost non-existent in the area where the players started).

    But I left the question of “what do you do?” to the players and they have driven the direction of the story over half a dozen sessions so far (and not where I had imagined it going, either).  So while the world has a lot of places and factions defined, I still let the players decide how they interact with it.

    And personally, I don’t think I’d be a fan of the “tactical narrative” method you mentioned.  I find that just telling the player “describe to me how you do that” after they declare an action usually is enough to get them to create something “cinematic”.  I prefer descriptive to prescriptive.  and all my players caught on to that after the first couple of encounters..

  2. Tim Franzke OK,  Why would it “fight me” and why would you not be interested?

    I’ve seen some other DW settings/campaigns… most have settings taken from movies, genres, or other games.  I’m guessing that, if they hold to the DW and AW model, these games don’t develop their settings much, but rather let players cooperatively do this.  However, the players are basically bringing in those settings into their *world game.  Why not create a *world game that has original settings incorporated into it?  (or is it that you don’t like my brief description of proposed mechanical features)?

  3. Chris Bennett Thanks. And I think… but not sure… that I would be “collapsing towards” that core.  Although… not sure.  And not sure if it really fall apart as was said in that post.

  4. Brian Bloom I’m thinking of making a hacked RPG with some different mechanics.  I’m not thinking of telling them what to do in the game.  I think the question of “what do you do” is basic to all RPGs.  

    I’m co-GMing a Trail of Cthulhu game.   A very story-arch based game where in the investigators go from LA, to Mexico City, to New Orleans, to Malta.  We ran two groups of investigators.  In one group, half the players joined up with some dark old one in a war against another old-one, with the other half plotting to turn on the old-one agents.  In another group (same campaign, arc, etc), the investigators are seduced by a drug which makes them think they are mystic warriors from God (they are not, and they are working for Nyrlothotep, the enemy God of the dark old one mentioned above).  I never planned any of this.  But we had the fonts and locations.  As GM, I do have veto say on how they define this world.  

    If this can be done with a very narrative based game like Trail, I think it can be done with Dungeon World.

    EDIT: I’m really not good with this Google+ interface… didn’t see the end of your comment.

    The idea of “tactical narrative” is to add some “rock sissors paper” crunch to the description and use of weapons.  Basically, if a player is weilding a a weapon which has the tag “long”, the GM should ask the player how he/she wields it in a narrow alleyway while surrounded by party-members.  Guards will form shield walls as a basic and common tactic and the players will need to describe how they overcome this or get poked by a lot of spears.  Magic plate armor is not so uncommon… it’s basically like powered armor.  And players will need magic-piercing weapons to damage it.  Tactical Narrative is just about informing players about what gritty combat would look more like if they want to use this.

  5. Jesse Covner because for me personally basically all of the “Setting-Books” failed and I am comfortable that what our table comes up with for a game is better then any setting I might buy. 

    One of the main strenghts of the Dungeon World first session is coming up with all of that stuff together and have all bits matter to the character and players. Also there are moves that make players come up with things, or that make you answer specific questions that might go against the setting. 

  6. My $0.02: there isn’t really much about the player-facing mechanics of an AW-style system that precludes play in a specific, well-established world. The MC/GM principles, agenda, etc might need tweaking, but they could certainly survive it.

    That said: the cooperative, extemporaneous style of world building is a big part of what draws folks to AW-style games. So is the quick setup time, the lack of “homework” to learn the world, and the innate buy-in you get from the players by building the world’s details together.

    But you can still have a lot of that do what you’re talking about. It’s about the details you choose to include in the playbooks, character creation, etc. and it’s equally about leaving blanks.

    Don’t make me read pages and pages of world history to get started as a player. Design the playbooks to introduce the world and the themes, and leave the details (nations, factions, etc) as blanks to be filled in during play.

    Give the GM a bunch of setting ideas, themes, and imagery but leave the specifics in the fruitful void.

  7. Alfred Rudzki    Yes… It’s not different from how default works.  Here “tactical narrative” is adding more tags to weapons which describe where the weapons are best used… if the GM want’s to use this.

    Tim Franzke 

     Tim said “basically all of “Setting-Books” failed” … 

    Question:  is it that you don’t like settings books in general, or you feel that DW does not need settings where as other RPGs do?  If it’s the latter, I would disagree… you can do the same player-created spontaneous campaign in any RPG system.  I would say that some games… like FATE or Legends of the Wulin, have mechanics which facilitate this even more than DW.

    Jeremy Strandberg 

     I sort o guessed that there is nothing about “player facing mechanics” that precludes settings documents and story-arc in a campaign (which is what Fronts are anyway).  But it makes me happy to hear my thoughts on that confirmed in what other people say.

    What you are saying is that DW/AW fans like the low-homework, quick set-up aspect of the game and the player-buy-in.  To me, that is what I do not need in the game.  Not saying I want a huge setup like Vampire, or need to be well versed in genre like in Eclipse Phase.  But I as a GM like to “create worlds” and have more of a guiding hand in that than the players.  The “referee” aspect of GMing is really boring to me.  Which is not saying that I don’t want to leave blanks on the map for players to fill in.  There is a difference between “draw a map, leave blanks” and putting a blank sheet in front of the players and saying “lets fill this out together now”.  

    As a game that would be a part-hack of DW/AW, the goal is to attract some people who are DW / AW fans, and also attract D&D / Pathfinder fans, who are willing to try something different.  

    James Hawthorne 

    Thanks for advise.  To me, the only thing really different is that players will not create the Fronts, nor overall settings of the game… at least not in the first session.  Other than that, “Play to see what happns” seems like a good principle to follow.

  8. So what exact feel are you looking to capture with the game? What I’m trying to say is that the mechanics of your game have a strong impact on the worlds your players and GMs make; what’s the decision behind using PBtA mechanics to make your world?

  9. James Hawthorne

    The feel comes from the settings.  It’s a little sci-fi-ish.  Resurrection will be readilly available assuming the players have the gold to pay for it.  People use magic technologies.  However the “look” of the game is  fantasy.  Not even techno-magi… pure fantasy.  It’s influenced by novels by a man named Richard K. Morgan.  There are races (elves, dwarves, orcs, etc).  There will not be many “monsters”;  There needs to be a way for players to become part of and influence factions; as every campaign will be driven by what faction the players care to associate with.  None of the factions are simply “good.”

     I will post everything here in about a week … I only have about 40 pages written so far and 15 of that is for intro campaign.   

    I played this in D&D and the players really liked it.  Except… as a GM I felt the combat was really long and boring.  I could use a quicker game like Savage Worlds, but somehow Savage Worlds seems simple but nothing new.  I want the combat to be narrative.  But I want a little more crunch than DW has as it is written.

    One possible complication is that players may have the opportunity to swtich bodies, an play in a body that was crated by magic… instantly becoming ninja-like.  I don’t think this will be much of a problem to do in DW/AW though.

  10. Ace! Morgan’s stuff (esp. the Kovacs novels) is ripe for a really cool RPG.

    Feel isn’t purely from the book’s setting; a huge amount comes naturally from the mechanics (including names, styles etc) of the RPG. Apocalypse World’s mechanics for example are weird, dangerous and sexy; any game you play based on AW’s core will naturally involve these themes even if you throw out the setting entirely and just use the core mechanics. Stuff like Hx ensures that your players will be a bit on edge, rather than a friendly huggy cooperative group. It’s vital to get this stuff right and build the RPG’s setting based on the mechanics; if there’s a disconnect, the game kinda falls apart.

    Based on what you’ve said, a really great base mechanic for the game could be constructing the characters from two Playbooks; the first would be their Envoy training and reflect weaponisation and training, and the second would be the body/ Sleeve they’ve sleeved into; it’s own reputation and history in the world, including allies and enemies, and basic physical state (e.g. fat!). I.e. one playbook is Kovacs the Envoy, the second is Elias Ryker, the disgraced cop whose body Kovacs inhabits.

    This would tie in nicely to a death/ resleeve mechanic; player still fear death as it kills off their Sleeve and all the reputation they’ve built up with it, but they keep the core Envoy Playbook so don’t lose all their experience/ advances.

    I’d be wary of writing too much content before producing all the mechanics; that stuff can come later (and a lot of the time your players are just going to throw it out and create their own; everyone wants to make worlds, after all!).

  11. Setting is great… Mechanics are better. At the table, you can’t guarantee we’ll stick to however many pages of fluff that maybe not all of us have read and maybe some of us have misremembered or misinterpreted.

    Rules though? MC principles? Moves and tags? Those will interact with players a million times more than the setting booklet will. Mechanics can reinforce or break immersion in a setting.

  12. James Hawthorne  I’m not making a sci fi book… although my intent is, after this project, to contact him/his publisher and propose make a licensed rpg in the Altered Carbon setting.  So I wouldn’t create a sci-fi rpg with Envoys unless I got him on board… that would be more powerful and I can reference settings directly from the book.  Not to mention really get fans of Morgan to back the project.  This project would be partially inspired by that series, and also inspired by his The Steal Remains series, which I enjoyed a lot as well.

    I have semi-project managed the creation of an RPG before (Legends of the Wulin) and published Nobilis 3rd edition and Chubos Marvelous Wish Granting Engine.  Not saying I know what I’m doing… I certainly did not with those projects.  But I know now more than before.  And something I do believe in is that generally you want the mechanics to fit the genre and settings, not the other way around.  

    I know that players will create a bunch of stuff on their own.  I hear that most people completely through away all the content of Legends of the Wulin and just do their own wuxia setting.   Which means they really like the system, but I generally feel that the settings of LOTW is the best part of the book as it captures more faithfully the wuxia genre more than any other game.  

    Thanks for the suggestions though.  I am thinking alot about mechanics right now.  

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