I’m mulling over #DarkestDungeonWorld

I’m mulling over #DarkestDungeonWorld

I’m mulling over #DarkestDungeonWorld .  I think a big part of the DD feel I want is the vulnerability and impermanence of the characters.  I also like the tactical decisions that comes with mix-and-matching different characters into a functional party for a fresh expedition Below. This means players will be handling multiple characters over the course of the game, if not on each expedition, ala OD&D/Funnel World.  If we also want Stress/Steel to be tracked, this is a lot of numbers to juggle.

Here are some things I’m considering to ease the bookkeeping:

* No Stat Scores, only Modifiers. These will be rolled with 1D6-3.

* No Race, Alignment, or Bonds. Quirks will fill these roles, which may or may not operate the same as Alignments ala Peter J’s rules.

* No Charisma.  There isn’t time for social niceties, and the Darkness Below isn’t going to stop to listen to you Parley.

* Most gear will not be tracked between expeditions/delves.  There will be set Outfits available for each character to chose from when preparing for an expedition. But if a character randomly comes with a special weapon or other item, it will stay with them.

* Likewise, no personal Coin is tracked (and wealth plundered should probably be abstracted in some way).

What I’d especially like your thoughts on is Health.  Here are the options I see:

* Normal HP

* The Descriptive Harm Hack, spending HP to resist damage

* Conditions similar to Torchbearer or AW, possibly acting the same as Quirks

* Debilities/Stat damage – both temporary and permanent

I like the simplicity of Debility damage only, and it also lends to the general atmosphere of brutality.  It also blends fairly well twith descriptive harm, since there are basically various kinds of damage, and reduced capacities.  What do you think?

19 thoughts on “I’m mulling over #DarkestDungeonWorld”

  1. How deeply are you willing to take this hack?

    When you start tinkering with damage, you’re fiddling very near the core. If you do much more than adjust HP numbers, you’ll need to rethink armor, monster stats, spell descriptions, a few dozen PC moves, gear (healing potions, bandages, etc.), and the economies between them all.

    One of the elegant things about Freebooters o the Frontier is that monsters from DW (and most custom moves) still work 100% as-is. That’s because the core of the system (6 stats 3-18, modifiers -1 to +3, HP and damage dice, etc.) and the currencies between those stats are largely unchanged.

    I’m not saying don’t change how damage works. But I am saying that if you change to something other than HP, you’re going to end up with a significantly different game from DW.

  2. If you want to create that feeling of having a stable of characters, you might want to build some very loose rules on healing that encourages hurt characters to sit out for a bit, and to come up with some fictional explanation for rotations, like an organization or agency.

  3. To the point Jeremy Strandberg raises, you probably could get a lot of mileage out of just adjusting healing times and using a lot more hard moves, as opposed to soft. That might be the easy route, but I haven’t had a chance to dive into Darkest Dungeons yet, so I’m not sure that’s enough for you.

  4. Jeremy Strandberg Good points. There’s definitely a fork in the road here, and I’m currently looking down the Deep Hack path, paralleling DD more than DW. Most moves may need to be rewritten, but characters will have less of them, and in any case there will be loads of custom common moves. Keeping monster compatibility would be nice though. Thanks for the comment, I’ll need to think about the actual math lying between monster stats and damage.

  5. It may help to mention that characters will definitely not simply be one of the main DW classes.  They will likely begin with only an Occupation (along the lines of the Villager creation table in Funnel World) which allows them to help out in the Town between quests, and one to three low-level moves.  What kind of moves and how they are decided is yet to be determined.

  6. 1d6 -3 does not do it for me, mathematically speaking. That’s linear deviation. You be better off to roll the stats as 3d6 and only write down the mods, or use the old +2, +1, +1, 0, 0, -1 set.

  7. If you go deep, GO DEEP. Be willing to toss out anything that doesn’t serve the game experience you’re trying to create.

    For example, you talk about dropping base stats and just using modifiers, and even losing Charisma. Cool! Can you go further? The fewer the stats, the quicker the character creation, the less precious each PC feels. All that leads to increasing players’ willingness to grind them down, and to have a stable that they rotate through.

    What are the key things you’re interested in modeling mechanically? Stress and fear appear to be on the list, so you probably need some stat(s) and move(s) for that.

    But do you really need all the DW moves? Or could you have single “resolve action” move (like World of Dungeons)? Do you need stats for Str vs Con vs Dex, or maybe just a “physical” stat with tags?

  8. Maezar I feel like greater variation would lead to both feelings investment in the good candidates, and being stuck with what you get for the poor candidates, both thematic with DD. As the Hamlet gets restored, more and more candidates will arrive. That said, I also like random assignment of the +2, +1, +1, 0, 0, -1 set as an alternative.

  9. Hmm. Roll [2x]d4 (x = number of stats). Assign two dice to each stat, one as a positive and the other as a negative.

    (No idea if the maths are any good there, or even if you want that type of choice, but maybe it sparks something.)

  10. Yeah, I’m considering condensing other stats as well.  Definitely going for speed of character creation. I will probably use Peter J’s Stress/Steel stat and moves, somewhat edited.

    WoD moves and its Skills are a little too anemic for me, I want crunchier, more specific moves with known consequences to ramp up tension.  One thing I might consider is breaking down what would normally be considered basic moves into ones only available to certain types of characters/occupations, or perhaps random assignment.  It would be yet another thing to balance out when assembling a party, though I want to make sure there aren’t too many things to consider like there can be in DD once your characters accumulate a bunch of quirks.

  11. Yeah Fate Dice have a good distribution for this, but I don’t like relying on specialty dice.  Jeremy’s 1D4-1D4 is a similar distribution that I’m really liking.

  12. Playing around with alternate stats.  I like the visceral sound of these: Keen (WIS-ish but focus on perception and stealth), Wit (INT-ish), Sinew (DEX-ish), Meat (STR-ish), Vigor (CON-ish).  I also like Thews, if I want to combine STR and DEX.  Also Grit instead of Steel, which makes me wonder if Steel should really just be rolled into one of the other attributes, perhaps turning Vigor into Grit.

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