Curious: Looking at DW’s official Hireling rules and noticing the total lack of a non-magical academia skill category, something to cover the sages, scribes, loremasters and historians that surely exist somewhere in Dungeon World.
Deliberately left out? An oversight? Retribution for a scandalous wikipedia entry?
Anyone have house rules already in place or suggestions other than switching to the Perilous Wilds follower rules?
11 thoughts on “Curious: Looking at DW’s official Hireling rules and noticing the total lack of a non-magical academia skill…”
I’d mostly handle it as a GM’s opportunity to reveal threats, show signs of doom, and tell requirements/consequences… all while using up their resources.
I just whipped this up quick for you, so it might not be perfect.
New Hireling: Sage
Sages are the scholars of the world. Those of lower skill may have worked as scribes, while the truly learned among them are keepers of tomes, and advisers to nobles.
Loremaster — When you Spout Lore and consult the sage, roll +skill instead of +INT. On a 12+ you take +1 forward to act on the answers.
Guidance — When you Bolster, add the sage’s skill to your preparation.
I find the hirelings section in general a little uninspired. Do your players use them a lot?
I think your supposed to tell the world what it contains, not have the world infodump you. :p
Ben Jarvis What do you mean? Normally when a player spouts lore the GM provides the answers, but they could just as easily ask the player to supply answers. I don’t see how involving a hireling would make that any different. The only difference is that the GM would never have to say, “how do you know that?” since the obvious answer is: “the sage told me so.” It actually give a good reason to hire a sage (kind of a wizard stand-in), since they would have fictional justification for knowing things your character just wouldn’t.
Ben Jarvis I understand (and applaud) that. Specific situation is that our party is escorting a NPC who has fictionally spent years as a scribe/translator. While assigning her hireling stats, I noticed that none of the available options seemed to cover that sort of background.
Jason Shea I try to avoid ever asking the players to make up details about the world. I’ll ask their characters what they already know about the world, what they’ve experienced, or what they think or fear or believe.
It’s admittedly a fine distinction, but I find it helps make the world feel more real and more stable. The player is still making up the details, but it’s couched in a way that makes their world building an extension of their characters, and I find that makes a lot of players more comfortable than asking them “Bob, what does this artifact do?”
To that end, I definitely would NOT ask the players make up details they learn by consulting an NPC.
Jeremy Strandberg I agree with you, and I lean toward in-character responses as well. I think some GM wouldn’t have an issue with a more continual collaborative world building, though, regardless of the source of the information. If that works for them and their group, I’m going to stop them.
Jason Shea The reason I don’t like a know hirelings is it violates show don’t tell. Or the call to adventure doesn’t need toll booths.
Matthew Everhart In a mechanical scenario? I stated like a monster would be best. All sorts of weaselly moves like “begrudgingly share” or” speak with unearned authority.” Also leaves room to remind to the character has motivation beyond standard murderhobo.
My players have a hard time with coming up with something off the top of their head, so in my current campaign they found a sentient golem that has a vast bank of knowledge to work with. (The campaign before that their wizard found the Infinite Book, from the DW magic items) He doesn’t thrust his knowledge out at them unless they ask him for it, and honestly they don’t tend to ask him that often. I also started using the NPC cards lately and made consulting him on a subject they know nothing about (So basically if they fail spout lore and want to ask him) his NPC move that lowers his loyalty stat. They really love that NPC and he’s made for some funny roleplay moments. Like when he asked the Bard what “Tang” was. I’ll let you all fill the context of that 🙂
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