So we are 3 or 4 awesome session in and my table is struggling with bonds, forwards, and holds.

So we are 3 or 4 awesome session in and my table is struggling with bonds, forwards, and holds.

So we are 3 or 4 awesome session in and my table is struggling with bonds, forwards, and holds.  I haven’t found a write up that is super clear to me.  Anyone got the perfect link squirreled away to share?

Kristopher Lopez Oliver Ross 

9 thoughts on “So we are 3 or 4 awesome session in and my table is struggling with bonds, forwards, and holds.”

  1. What specifically are you having trouble with regarding the bonds?

    +1 Forward means that you get +1 to the next roll you make. Sometimes it will specify what kind of roll the bonus gets applied to, like “+1 Forward to Hack and Slash”, but more commonly it’s just the next roll. +1 Ongoing is applied until the situation changes (your divine surge of power is dispelled as the necromancer defiles the ground beneath you, etc.)

    Hold is how Dungeon World usually handles time-based effects. For example, the Druid doesn’t shapeshift into a bear for 3 rounds – they just don’t exist in DW. The Druid gets to do three cool bear things.

    Does this help?

  2. Ben McKee  I’ll let others explain bonds in detail because there can be a lot said on Bonds, but I believe that Forwards and Holds are pretty simple.

    When you take +1 Forward, you essentially just add 1 to your next roll. It basically “pays it forward.” With hold, when you gain a certain number of Hold, you now have a pool of actions that can be performed at anytime in a way that is described by the Move you are using. When you spend hold as a druid in Shapeshift, you can just do what the Move lets you do at anytime as long as you still have Hold. When you spend 1 Hold, you reduce your Hold pool by 1 until it is depleted. Does that help? Hold could be anything. Some people call it different things. It is just a resource.

  3. Bonds should be in the core book but in short paraphrased from what I recall, they are like oaths or viewpoints between the party. Resolve them for character & plot growth/expansion as well as other rewards.

  4. Damian Jankowski covered Forward and Hold pretty well, so I’ll just see if I can explain Bonds.

    Bonds are just what connect the characters–why they’re adventuring together. If the Fighter is the Wizard’s loyal bodyguard, they might have, “I will protect Sassafras the Wild against all dangers.” These are mostly just to aid the fiction, and explain why these characters are all working together. They do have two main mechanical benefits (and probably a few tertiary ones scattered about as well). Firstly, the Aid Another move has you roll plus the number of Bonds you have with that character, since you’ll be more motivated to help your old brother-in-arms than the weird guy who can turn into sheep. Secondly, when you make the End of Session move, each character has the chance to pick one Bond that they feel has been resolved, cross it out, get XP, and make a new one. If Sassafras releases the Fighter from service, then they’ll probably decide together that that Bond is no longer applicable, so the Fighter will cross it out, mark an XP, and write a new Bond with any character. (Maybe something reflecting the new state of their relationship with Sassafras, or maybe they’re protecting another character instead now?)

    That make sense?

    As an aside, this mechanic is designed to work best with established adventuring parties: the game assumes you (the characters) have all been traveling together for some time, and have had other adventures before you (the players) all sit down at the table for the first time. I find that this works way better than the typical “origin story” first adventure, and am very grateful to the designers for making the system work this way. I’m pretty sure I’ll keep telling new groups they’re established parties even if I move on to another system some day.

  5. With things like the bonds, or other things in DW like where you have set questions to ask (fuzzy on the name as I need lots of coffee asap), remember the story is key so feel free to make up beyond what’s in the book.

    I’d say with bonds I’d avoid making them bad (ie. Killing the characters farm animals/pets years ago) but the misunderstood situation is a great one especially when people are traveling from one country/city to another (ie. Mistaken identity, You met when barbarian character borrowed a character #2’s horse & left it elsewhere in town as barbarian horses are community property, now barbarian feels in debt to character 2).

    Another great tip to take from Fate Core expands a little by giving the players a little time to describe how they got their character into adventuring & how they know another character (where #2 character did a small part in the character #1 backstory or first adventure). Go around so all get a featured role & guest starring role so everyone met at some point earlier. 

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