One of the things that I have noticed from playing Dungeon World awhile is that every now and then I wish to have…

One of the things that I have noticed from playing Dungeon World awhile is that every now and then I wish to have…

One of the things that I have noticed from playing Dungeon World awhile is that every now and then I wish to have more things to roll. The initial stats are nice and simple, but occasionally they cover to broad of categories and it would be nice to have more focused skill progression. I came up with a rough draft for a skill tree system where players gain skill points per stat equal to to 2(Modifier)+2 points. These skill points can be spent to gain Skill Modifiers for very narrowly defined sets of skill moves related to each stat, up to a Skill Modifier of +3. Ex: 18Dex (+3 Modifier) = 8 Skill points. Points can be spent as: (+3) Lock picking treasure chests, (+3) Reverse pick pocketing, (+2) Sneaking in elevated positions. Depending on how you divide the skill points, it provides more varied stat modifiers for different actions where you could trade either having a higher modifier or a lower modifier that triggers a better move. 

22 thoughts on “One of the things that I have noticed from playing Dungeon World awhile is that every now and then I wish to have…”

  1. DW resolves stakes with rolls, not tasks. You are trying to put a task resolution system on top of a stake-based game, which is probably going to cause a lot of issues.

    You would be better off just using another system based around tasks. Lady Blackbird is a pretty simple jump from DW.

  2. Throughout Dungeon World, you only roll the same six rolls repeatedly. I think the system is great, but every now and then people want a little more variety for customization. I have even noticed in newer playbooks how they create their own stats such as Focus and create moves such as roll+Focus. Think of this as just a collection of mini advancements.

  3. Devin Butler creating additional moves or things to roll for is fine, as long as you do it within the confines of the system itself. Adding task resolution onto DW is going to be messy and make a very different, possibly broken game.

    Honestly, though, if you want to roll lots of dice, play a different game.

  4. I have to agree with everyone saying that you may be playing the wrong game. PbtA isn’t really designed to do that, at least not in Dungeon World’s version of the rules. Maybe try Blades in the Dark? I haven’t played it, but I believe it has some kind of skill-based system.

  5. I think you all are making a lot of assumptions because you saw the word “Skills”. These would function in the same way that gaining a skill/move/advancement or whatever you want to name it from a compendium class with only the modifier being the point of focus for change. You could make your character more focused by having a Dragon:Wise styled move in addition to your regular Spout Lore. It is all well and good to use the same Int modifier on everything, but the only way to change the difficult is to say that the move does not trigger at all or that it does not need a roll, both of which make no rolls happen. You can have a more diverse character if they have more diverse things to roll on. With my rough draft, I feel I need to find the right balance of numbers for the distribution though.

  6. Your description of your idea is too sketchy to make sense to me.  If you already have a +3 DEX, why would ever care about “+2 sneaking in elevated positions”?  Are you devising a system where there are penalties for “sneaking in elevated positions” if you don’t have the right specialized skill?  If you’re thinking you’d just add the modifiers together, then you’d end up with a +5 modifier there, and you could literally never fail.  That definitely breaks the system.

    Dungeon World tries to create diversity among characters not by giving them different numbers to roll, but by giving them different moves they can make.  The Druid can shapeshift, the Fighter can Bend Bars, and so on.  There’s infinite diversity available in that direction.

    If you’re worried that there aren’t ways to make some tasks more difficult than others, the PbtA philosophy is that you don’t make some rolls harder than others;  instead you make some rolls riskier than others.  That is, if you try to stab a goblin and you miss, it pokes you with a stick.  If you try to stab a dragon and you miss, it bites your arm off.

  7. You cannot simply add +x skills to the DW system since your basic modifiers already go to +3 and moves may add +1’s. Beyond +4 the game is broken.

    Having said that, we have been playing Cowboy World, my PbtA hack which has skills for more than a year now and it works pretty well, because the base attribute modifiers have max +1 and skills are capped at +2.

  8. Wynand Louw what I mean is this: you do not roll to do a thing, you roll to do a risky thing. You don’t make a roll to pick a lock unless you are in danger and even then the roll is telling you how you deal with that danger, not how you pick the lock.

    A roll in DW doesn’t tell you if you succeed or fail at a specific task. It tells you if your risk is brought to bear.

  9. Aaron Griffin I used to think that, but it isn’t really true. If you trigger a move, the move happens. Moves aren’t optional and they don’t care about context.

  10. Devin Butler​, I think you’ve got a cool idea. I see where you are relating the Skills to other class playbooks and added moves. If you continue with this thought and make moves for EVERY Skill, then it may work (that’s allot of moves however).

    As a side note, have you checked out Advanced World of Dungeon? It has allot of what your looking for. Maybe play it or use some of its ideas.

  11. Noah Tucker I’m not sure we understand each other. Let me rephrase using your words – if there is no risk, nothing at stake, a move does not trigger.

    Hack and Slash even says this – if there is no resistance, you just do damage. You are not rolling to hit, you are rolling to see if you suffer consequences.

  12. Aaron Griffin But that’s built into the trigger of H&S. The H&S trigger is “when you attack an enemy in melee”. If you backstab someone who doesn’t know you’re there, that doesn’t meet the trigger, but it has nothing to do with risk or lack of risk. It just doesn’t trigger H&S.

    Other moves are more obvious about this. If you “consult your accumulated knowledge about something”, Spout Lore triggers regardless of the context. Doesn’t matter if you’re in a bar or a hidden temple. It’s not about risk, it’s about meeting the trigger.

  13. To be more specific, the premise was that you would exchange having the more specific and possibly lower modifier for a greater fictional positioning. You would be drawing from a more focused expertise of your character to get a greater reward upon being successful.

  14. “Stake” vs “task” resolution is a fuzzy sort of distinction.  There’s maybe a spectrum, or maybe it’s not even a well-defined difference.  But the idea is that sometimes you’re just rolling to see how well you do at a specific task (I got a 17 on my fast talk roll), and then the DM decides somewhat independently what the consequences will be (what the guard will do in response); and sometimes you roll explicitly to resolve the stakes (“if this roll succeeds, the guard takes the bribe and lets us through, and if it fails, then he’s insulted and bangs the alarm gong”).

    Here’s a discussion:

    DW is sort of a fuzzy hybrid system.  The triggers for moves are often quite task-ish, but the resolution system encourages setting out stakes.  I’m not sure the distinction is even very important (it’s even hard to come up with clear examples of “task” vs “stake” resolution that would actually happen in play).

  15. Devin Butler oh, okay, i’m getting the idea now.  Sure, you could do that if you want.  You’re working a little bit against the grain of the system, though – the DW-ish way of giving characters improved fictional positioning is to give them new moves.  See, for instance, the Thief’s “Strong Arm, True Aim” or “Escape Route” skills – these give new triggers to let them show focused expertise other characters couldn’t do.

  16. I suppose I was inspired by the new Sundered World classes where they had playbooks that created additional modifiers such as FOLD for the Nomad and MANTRA for the Invoker to create variable difficulties. 

Comments are closed.