29 thoughts on “What if I were to add a Fate Point/inspiration/ action mechanic to Dungeon World?….”

  1. Agree with Tim here. The probability distribution spread in the Apocalypse Engine is very tight, and a plus or minus 1 changes things significantly. And honestly, the way the results are spread is a major major factor why the game works so well, so I just don’t think it’s worth to mess with that part of the system.

    On a more general level, the coolest thing about Fate Points in Fate, really, is not the mechanical bonuses they give, but the way you use them in conjunction with aspects to both leverage and affect your fictional positioning in a scene… and DW is extremely flexible under that point of view already, so you don’t need that function that much. 

  2. If you’re trying to give players more narrative control over the fiction, custom moves could do that without conflicting with the rest of the system.

  3. These guys have it right. I would also add that reroll/bonus currencies are usually only desirable in systems where failure is boring/frustrating. So boring/frustrating that you need insurance against it when it counts. You should really only be rolling in Apocalypse Engine games when failure is interesting, so why would you want to build in insurance against it? Embrace that failure and make the characters’ lives interesting!

  4. Jonathan Spengler pinpointed it. Moves bypass the need for “bennies” entirely. Every result on the dice is going to be interesting and drive the game forward. Besides, if you never fail in DW, you won’t be getting most of the xp. 🙂

  5. The good thing about the FATE point system is that it hardwires the characters traits into the game mechanics. Say someone has an aspect “Grumpy old man” and he parleys with a young lady, the GM could compel a fail. If that same grumpy old man parleys with another grumpy old man, the player can invoke the aspect for an advantage.

    This makes every aspect of the character in FATE significant, unlike other RPGs where these things are mere flavour text. Yes you can roleplay the fact that you play a grumpy old man, but that is you, not the game. It is you who decided to say interesting stuff, not the game that made you say it. I can roleplay while playing chess too.

    I agree that adding FATE points to DW may not really work, since the DW system is fine tuned as it is. But that does not mean it cannot work in a PbtA environment. We have been playtesting a PbtA game where you pay currency to add +1 to a roll after it is rolled when you invoke an aspect. The GM may also compel aspects and subtract 1 from a roll. This seems to work pretty well, and it makes people say pretty interesting stuff.

    It does not come up that often, only when a +1 would make a difference after the roll, and only if the player wants to spend the currency.

    The system seems to work pretty well for us in playtesting so far.

  6. “This makes every aspect of the character in FATE significant, unlike other RPGs where these things are mere flavour text.” true, however lot of players are cooled down by “ehi, every aspect do the same”, “every character is almost exchangable”. I’m a great warrior, +2 to fight, I’m quite agile, +2 to fight, I’m an old veteran, +2 to fight etc. Also, in the new Fate Core, they somehow tried to overemplify “feats” and other details (almost no gear) that usually help to customize a character. I find it more “shallow” even than more “narrative” “newgen” RpGs. Ultimately, not a game for everyone.

  7. As I said, Andrea, if you look at Aspects like circumstantial bonuses on a dice roll, they are mind-numbingly boring. but hey, that is often true of moves in a PbtA game that only give you a bonus to something. Where aspects shine is the way they handle fictional positioning, which DW handles in a radically different way, anyway.

  8. Of course, I don’t want to derail this thread into Fate vs DW, however I simply add that when I see a Fate Core character, I don’t scream “I wanna play it NOW!”, while I usually scream that when I see a DW playbook. You have lot of moves (with great effects, of fiction and/or on mechanic), you are spur on to use all those bonds, equip etc.

    I usually don’t need a “fixed bonus” o a “reroll” that I can use a couple of times in the session (ie. untill I have Fate points – than he becomes like every other unnamed character around) to roleplay my “Redguard retired veteran” that has “Great eye for the details” character.

  9. Of course you don’t need aspects, or any rules, to roleplay. But FATE aspects, if played by the rules, make roleplay happen. You have to state WHY a particular aspect is applicable, and that makes you say intetesting things. Only then do you get the bonus. And yes, it is even more interesting because an invoke snatches victory from the jaws of defeat in a fictionally significant way, and a compell turns a sure win into a failure, also in a fictionally significant way.

    I can roleplay the heck out of chess, as I can roleplay the heck out of Monopoly or Descent, but in these games there are no rules for roleplaying, so I would not call them RPG’s.

    Having said that, I have no wish to play FATE at this moment, I find the rules too complicated and I hate feats from my Pathfinder days. I think they add too much complexity with too little reward.

    The reason I am experimenting / playing around with aspects in a PbtA game is to get rid of playbooks, but retain character individuality. The absolute explosion of 3rd party DW playbooks (less for AW but also present) seems to me to point to a feeling that the core set/rules is too restrictive. Class Warfare adresses this perceived problem by adding another 50 000 or so words’ worth of rulebook. My theory is that it can be adressed by getting rid of playbooks and providing other interesting ways to define character in a mechanically as well as fictionally meaningful way.

  10. I think that a good trigger in DW seves as well as a Fate aspect. “When you chat with an old brother in arms, roll+… etc.etc.”.

    Also I feel playbooks are quite important. More than standard “classes” in other RpGs. Turn DW in “Gurps” can ruin part of the playing a distinctive character in a party. Of course, you still have multiclass moves. Also, if a single playbook doesn’t fit well in your “setting” or campaign, then of course you do well modifying it putting moves better suited for your game. However, I don’t advise to brake the playbook structure. It removes some nice flavor, I think.

  11. I think that a good trigger in DW seves as well as a Fate aspect. “When you chat with an old brother in arms, roll+… etc.etc.”.

    Andrea and I rarely agree, but this is good insight. 

  12. I agree that PbtA is “tight” by design and bonuses are more “effective” than most other systems.  But after running a First Session last night where I saw several rolls go by at +3 without any forward bonus (level one characters…), it had me wondering if the system actually plays that way.

  13. How did they get +3 at first level without bonuses? Character starts with pre-compiled stats that come to a max of +2, I am pretty sure…

    Also, yes, in my experience it does play that way. It can also be engineered between different games: Apocalypse World often has characters that are very good at doing a few things, and very bad at doing others, and you feel it more than in DW because the PCs are not a real, tight party in AW. Monsterhearts has lower stats, and thus invites much more failure, which helps the tone of the game. DW still provides an incentive to roll on your weak stats because of the way experience is allocated. 

  14. Alberto Muti

    Yeah, I’m confused too.  Brian Haag  – how did level 1 characters get a +3 bonus with no Forward bonus?  With a maximum ability score of 16, they need to be level 3 before they can get a +3 without some sort of Forward bonus.

  15. The Ranger’s pet’s Cunning bonus on Discern Realities and one other (don’t remember), and I think a third time by someone else.  Might be making that up though.

  16. Wynand Louw Have you seen Nano World by Marshall Miller? It’s a super short AW “nano” game about clones in a distopian future setting that is procedurally generated during play. The clones all begin and usually remain the same (because they’re clones). Players take turns choosing parts of the Clone playbook during character creation. Occasionally someone can become a unique character through accident or design, and then they switch to the Unique play card. The process might give you some ideas.

  17. Brian Haag

    Discern Realities isn’t really a problem for PCs to roll really well on though – it’s a serious fiction feeder regardless of the roll.

  18. Mike Pureka True, but I think there’s more to it than that.  As a GM, it makes it quite a bit tougher for me to improvise if every five minutes I have to give a factual truth and then remember and deal with it for good.

  19. Brian Haag

    Well, you can always turn it into a question for the player, but their answer will still be true, so use with care.

    Though on a related note, why are your PCs discerning realities every 5 minutes? Remember, that list of questions is binding this isn’t “make a perception check”

  20. Mike Pureka I’m glad you mentioned the “perception check” thing, because I feel like that’s exactly how people expect it to work.  I feel like that’s wrong–it’s not very “DW”–but I’m not sure how to make it work differently.

  21. Brian Haag

    It’s something I’ve struggled with a bit too, and the answer, for me (as I’m generally trying to do in *World games) is, since there isn’t a move for “Perception Check” to simply handle that in the fiction – if there’s a character who should be good at spotting this stuff, they can spot it, assuming they do something appropriate (you won’t find what you’re not looking for) or maaaaybe just Defy Danger with Wisdom (if the thing in question is dangerous).

    Coming from a very traditional games background, it’s occasionally difficult for me, but I persevere.

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