Sorry if this is something that has previously been answered but, in my defence, I’m new to DW and still a little…

Sorry if this is something that has previously been answered but, in my defence, I’m new to DW and still a little…

Sorry if this is something that has previously been answered but, in my defence, I’m new to DW and still a little confused.

Races. There are no rules, none that I can find, which allow for the creation of different classes. Other than those specified by class in the playbooks.

So if you wanted to play an Elf thief for instance, how do you go about it when the thief playbook gives you the choice between Human and Halfling only?

Also what about racial specialities, Elven vision, or Dwarven knowledge of underground structures etc?

From what I can see you get very little advantage for playing any race other than human.

If I’m missing something obvious then I apolgise.

10 thoughts on “Sorry if this is something that has previously been answered but, in my defence, I’m new to DW and still a little…”

  1. The way the game handles species/race/stock/whatever is intentionally vague.

    That leads you and your table to answering questions about them during play.  The GM gets to ask the elf player “hey, so are elves like immortal? Or just really long-lived?  Or not even?”   And the player can be like “Oh, huh. We’re actually fey creatures from across the veil, stranded in this reality. So we do age but its on like a different timeline.” And the GM’s like “okay, cool! what does elven lore say about how you got stranded? what about the fae thing about cold iron, how does that affect elves?”  And you go from there.

    The choices on the playbooks are there to imply things about the assumed setting of DW. They say, in effect, that all the common races produce fighters, but only humans and dwarves produce clerics.

    One of the easiest hacks, though, is to just write up a new custom move for a race & class.  So, like, what makes an elven thief different from any other thief? Can they sneak attack with a bow shot?  Treat swords as precise? Never make noise when they don’t want to?  Decide that, right up a short custom move for it, and write it onto a playbook.

  2. The choices provided reinforce the implied setting and tropes of fantasy dungeon crawling. The advantages are fictional, what does it mean to be an elf? What do you know? Language? Who do you know? Where have you been? etc. The wording and fiction carry a lot of weight in DW that they might otherwise not in other systems.

    As for new races, my policy has always been: To do it, do it. If you don’t, then you can’t.  Basically, if you suggest a new race move then I’ll go along with it but if you ask permission I’ll tell you to go with rules as written.

  3. I suggest revising the way you think about it.

    Instead of “I want to play an elven thief, how do I do that?”

    Try “what does it mean that in this world only humans and halflings steal?”

  4. Ralph Mazza Right on! One is often better off for the creative constraints, which, in turn, become touchstones between different games. What new and interesting spin can you put on why only humans and haflings steal?!?

  5. In general, the options presented in DW conform to a specific set of fantasy archetypes that simply excludes things like dwarf wizards and elf thieves. As to what set of archetypes may have informed the authors, the fact that all Paladins are human is your primary clue . . .

    So you can either roll your own, or per several suggestions above you can let those constraints inform the fiction you create. Another option, of course, is to grab a copy of Class Warfare and kitbash an elf rogue from that. 

  6. Other people have answered these already, but I’ll throw in my two cents as well.

    The racial options available on each of the class playbooks were chosen to evoke the feel of old school D&D. Unless you make your own or find them somewhere, there aren’t options to play other races. The good news is that is it easy to make new racial moves. Just look at the options available in DW, and write something similar.

    Racial specialties, such as Elven vision or Dwarven stonecraft are handled with the narrative. Do the Elves in your game have exceptionally keen eyesight? Then the GM should take this into account when telling players what their Elf characters see. Are Dwarves masters of stonecraft and architecture? Again, the GM should give the players of Dwarf characters more info when those PCs examine stone structures.

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