Apparently I’ve all of a sudden gotten a couple friends interested in Role Playing Games after telling them about my experiences with D&D v5. Their familiarity with the concept extends to having ‘heard of’ Dungeons and Dragons.
They have never played an RPG at all. I’ve DMed a few times (never DW), but I thought that Dungeon World would be a great introduction to Role Playing. I also saw the recent post by another person who’s new at this. So I’m asking:
What are some things I should remember when DMing Dungeon World for the first time? What should I tell the players, since they’re playing for the first time? Would you recommend I try a one-shot just to get them familiar with the concept (and me familiar with DMing) before beginning a campaign? If so, which one-shot would you recommend?
Thanks for your help guys!!
10 thoughts on “Apparently I’ve all of a sudden gotten a couple friends interested in Role Playing Games after telling them about my…”
I would mirror what I said on the other post, just give yourself lots of time at the beginning to set up.
The most important thing you can tell your players to make your life more enjoyable as a GM is that RPGs, especially DW, are a collaborative game. The questions that you ask the players helps to build the world but the reverse is also true. So empower your players early in to ask you about what’s going on in the world and posit their own suggestions. Empower them to poke around in the world and push the boundaries.
Non veteran RPGers can be some of the best players to play with because they have no preconceived ideas about how a game should play out. I would recommend just running with that in mind. You don’t have to rely on a pre-made one shot and I would urge you to let the game play make itself through the questions you ask of your players when you start. Don’t be afraid to let your imaginations go crazy, and also don’t be afraid, as a GM, to take a moment to ponder something and figure out how it fits.
DW has a great way of just flowing, so just ask those questions and build on the answers 🙂
I think you underestimate regular DnD’s capabilities in introducing RPGs to people. Don’t get me wrong, I love DW and it so happens, that it is a better experience for everyone I play with. But using DW to introduce RPGs to someone that does not use his mind to make stuff up on a daily basis can be a bad idea. DW is heavier on player created content then DnD. Some players I started playing with were very much ok with it, but one particular group found it really difficult to describe the things I asked them about. Mostly caused by their low/lack of familiarity with any fantasy setting.
If you are not sure if the group’s imagination can come up with stuff in your games then go for a DnD approach, where you can pretty much shape the story on your own. If the group knows each other pretty well and is into any sort of fantasy at all, they should feel comfortable enough to tell a great story about those characters in DW.
Hmm, good point Andrzej Zielinski
DW is a bit demanding on the creativity side. If your players are unfamiliar with fantasy you will have to do most of the heavy lifting in terms of creation. Which can still be fun, but taxing.
Well, indecision was not really a problem. It’s more about the Bard not being able to tel me which song sis he learn his knowledge of Bandebeasts from. Or providing a name of the city their character visited. The worst thing that can happen in these situation is an ‘I don’t know, whatever.’ answer, because it will get everyone at the table out of the zone. You never get these situations in DnD, because it’s very much a reaction game. Which in essence is a bad thing, but can help a lot with an inexperienced group of players.
Review the DM pages in Dungeon World.
@Owen Kerr Did that already. I do play DW and it is by far my favourite system nowadays. I just found it difficult to engage players with creating an adventure with me. And sure, if you portray a fantastic world correctly and follow the agenda – it can work, but then there are several moves that have open questions in them. I usually love that feature, but with a group of inexperienced players it proved to be a difficulty. And sure – maybe a better DM would find a way to go around it – I am just warning Matthew here of this possibility.
Thank you guys for your help so far! I’m not sure when the first session is going to happen, but I’ll be sure to report back on how my friends handled it.
Are you using an Adventure outline Matthew Frederickson? I would recommend The slave pits of Drazhu.
there is d&d in every direction so dont worry about what you are supposed to do. be deadly be fun find out what interests everyone about the characters so that you can turn the thumb screws
the worst kind of questions you can ask in DW are “what is the name of_____” questions. there is no context to that question. those kinds of questions have nothing to do with imagination and everything to do with making up names that sound cool.
try questions like “the song you remember is about a man who lost something and then gave something up to get it back. what did he lose and what did he give up?” “you know someone in town with a dark secret but not what the secret is, how is he acting suspicious?” “This city has never been attacked or besieged even though it has no walls or army. why?
DM’s can come up with names players should be inventing the cool stuff. and in order to help players create a great world to play in the gm need s to think of questions that fire imagination.
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