I’ve just started running a Dungeon World campaign, and I had a couple questions – apologies if these have been…

I’ve just started running a Dungeon World campaign, and I had a couple questions – apologies if these have been…

I’ve just started running a Dungeon World campaign, and I had a couple questions – apologies if these have been covered before:

1. Aid – when a character aids another character, do you make the Aid roll before or after the roll for the task being completed?  As a follow-up, can a player decide to Aid after the roll has been made (player A rolls Hack & Slash, but fails with a 6, so his buddy then offers to Aid, rolls a success, bumping player A’s roll up to a 7)?

2. Bonds – are you limited in the number of bonds you can have?  I understand custom bonds can be written, and you can have multiple Bonds with a character, but is there a limit to the number of bonds available?

Thanks in advance for your help.

9 thoughts on “I’ve just started running a Dungeon World campaign, and I had a couple questions – apologies if these have been…”

  1. 1. It can be done either way, though my personal preference is before.

    2. Yes. You’re limited to the number of Bonds that are written on the sheet to begin with. So, the Wizard can have a maximum of three Bonds, the Bard can have a maximum of six, and so on.

  2. 1. I find if players aren’t using Aid more often, it’s best after a player states his action ask what anyone else is doing simultaneously, that usually leads to using Aid before the roll is completed (and may even lead to some interferes you know). If you want to encourage the use Aid after a roll (a result of 6 or 9) I never like the idea of allowing the player to “Bump up” a character into success, it makes the failure feel a bit hollow. Consider the use of put a player in a spot in conjunction with show an opportunity. I like the idea of players choosing aid based on situations rather than numbers.

    2. The way I see it, vanilla Dungeon World tries to say the bonds on your sheet represent a “max cap” since bonds is used for aid or interfere + Bonds. When you naturally want bonds to organically represent the relations to the characters, that’s when it gets tricky. To be honest I expand the bonds because to me they are too simplistic. What I do is record bond history and positive or negative bonds. Not only do I feel it helps make better judgement on aid or interfere + Bonds, I feel it is a better alternative to filling multiple blank spaces with 1 of the characters and the “max cap” weirdness.

    Hope this helps. 

  3. 1. My MO is to do the Aid roll before or not at all. Once the dice hit the table I am moving the story forward or asking the player too. Aid at that point seems like a rewind. The first time a player tries to do it after a roll it feels like an interruption because of the pace at which I run DW and they quickly get used to speaking up if they are going to try an Aid action. 

    2. The bonds mechanic is dumb. It needs limits to mean anything. Otherwise why wouldn’t I develop a bond with each other player (to better Aid them) and turn them over as much as possible (to get XP)? I don’t worry about bonds too much and most players forget about them, but when I do manage them, I expressly tell players when to write a bond. If they ask, I consider it. I don’t like them to have more than a couple of bonds at a time or they don’t do anything interesting with them in the fiction. They just read them as “+1 to help Fred (or whomever).” 

  4. 1. Aid should be before the roll but after the roll works just as well. A good thing to use if using “after the roll” aid, is to tell the “aiding player” that their character, regardless of the outcome of the aid roll, will also face the same consequences of the player who initiated the action. And the players should always narrate how they are helping/interfering.

    2. Bonds feel flat in DW. I like the Hx system in Apocalypse World much better.

  5. 2. I read somewhere (trying to find the page number), that you can have as many bonds as there are other players. For example, with five players, and one GM, Bill can have three bonds with Tim, and one bond with Sally, but no more. Or Bill could have two bonds with one of them, and one bond with two of them, and no bond with the last player. You add number of bonds + 2D6, when you roll. But I’m typically just happy if people are making bonds in the first place.

  6. I’ve done aids as happening concurrently, so as long as it makes sense for the aid to happen AT THAT EXACT moment, it works. For example, if someone is hacking and slashing and they don’t roll a 9, the archer can declare his intent to aid by shooting the attacker. The arrow strikes the monster just in time to prevent that dreaded counter-attack (no damage, though, since the aid was modifying the H&S, not a roll of its own).

    But I want a narrative explanation for how the aid works, not just “I want to help”

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