Hey guys!

Hey guys!

Hey guys! Long time, no see. I’m doing a one-shot with DW later this week and wanted to brush up on the investigative side of location/room exploration.

I know that Discern Realities is the default way of handling a PC checking out a dungeon room or non-hostile location for clues, tips, information, items, etc… The player describes what their character is doing and you describe what they detect using their senses, truthfully of course.

1) What constitutes triggering the DR move? At what point in their description do you go “Sounds like DR, roll!”?

2) Does your group use something other than DR for this sort of situation, a custom move or a different ideology?

I’m trying to capture the “I trust nothing, fear everything, but am too curious not to check this place out…” mentality and experience that I’m accustomed to in Classic D&D. I know DW is supposed to be different and is designed differently. Just curious if anybody else has had any luck capturing this style and atmosphere in their games.

8 thoughts on “Hey guys!”

  1. 1) when they enter a room and look around you tell them everything they see. If they look at something specific, tell them what it is. If they continue to poke at it, it trigger DR.

    It’s basically when they check something out longer then a person would usually do.

  2. I’d say the default is: a character looks into a room and asks what they see and the GM summarizes what’s to be seen. If there’s something specific that characters want to check out, tell them what they discover. DR is for when players linger long enough for the situation to change on them. If players want to explore each of the things in detail, it might be a golden opportunity.

  3. This is an alternate move I wrote for a *W hack my weekly group has been playing:


    When you pay close attention to a person, place or thing, roll…

    …+WIS if you discern the subtleties

    …+INT if you consider how it might fit into the bigger picture

    On a 10+ hold 3; on a 7-9 hold 1. Spend your hold 1-for-1 to ask the GM questions about the object of your attention, either now or later. But ask carefully; if your question is unreasonable the GM may decline and you will have used up the question.

  4. Alright, lets pretend this is a classic D&D dungeon. Players assume its trapped up the wazoo and they whip out their 10 foot pole. They are poking and prodding anything in sight. Obviously they are taking the time out to interact with things, specifically to see if something will happen. Does this mean I should have them rolling for DR constantly? Do I only roll it for items that are of actual importance? This is the sort of scene I’m having issues with.

  5. No. They get 3 questions, after that they can’t figure out more in that moment. They need at least try a different method. 

    Other characters doing the same thing at that moment are most likely aiding, not rolling DR. 

  6. Apocalypse World: Dark Age has this option as part of the questions list:

    “Ask a question of your own. If the MC chooses to answer it, it stands; otherwise, retract it and ask 1 of the above instead.”

  7. In the situation you describe, Marques, if they’re describing in detail what they do (“I run my fingers along the edge of the door,” “I put pressure on the flagstones right in front of me with my 10′ pole”), I just respond directly to their actions (“You feel nothing unusual along the edge of the door,” “One of the flagstones sinks with a clicking sound and an arrow shoots at you out of the wall right in front of you”). It rewards them concretely for describing their precautions in detail, which can be satisfying to the players. Depending on how you feel, a misstep can result in a hard move (“The arrow hits you for 1d6 damage”).

    Discern Realities reads, “When you closely study a person or situation…” so it triggers when they do just that. If they are poking stuff and describing specific actions, answer them in kind with descriptions of the results of those actions. Trigger DR only when someone says they take the time to study a thing.

    And like Tim says, I would just roll ONCE per situation,  have the player who said she was looking make the roll, and have any others who are helping Aid that person. if they roll bad on DR or ask bad questions, they can keep poking and prodding until something happens, but they can’t roll DR again for that situation. Definitely do not have everyone roll, that gets tedious really fast.

  8. Carefully poking everything and dusting of every centimeter sounds like carefully studying to me. 

    Giving them direct feedback to everything they do in that way is also fine. 

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