I gave this some thought since I did the recap write up of my last game. Players self-limiting themselves.
Link here: https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?776829-Intrigues-of-Parsantium-Dungeon-World&p=19969826#post19969826, in case you are interested.
As a peek behind the curtain during our Dungeon World game. I found it quite interesting that Steve got slightly hung up on what is character could do. He has two Moves that indicate a very acrobatic Street Rat playbook. Steve wanted Rash to use his parkour skills, but in the woods. Rash is a city boy through and through. So I saw Steve self-limit his character, something to the extent of: “I guess it isn’t the city so this move doesn’t apply..” This, I think is a hold over from D&D and other games which have limits on skills and power sets very explicitly. But I thought, in that moment, ‘reverse-Tarzan’… hey, it might be the woods, but a ledge is a ledge and Rash’s athletic prowess is olympic class (being a fan of the character, right?). I quickly jumped in and said (paraphrasing here); ‘Steve, don’t think of specific skill set written in stone. Does it fit the fiction? Do you want to do it? Of course you CAN try and it comes down to the die rolls! “. I think Pete or MIke chimed in with; “Of course you can.”
Now Rash has +2 mod from Dex and got a 7-9 result, which I ruled that a branch broke while he was leaping from tree to tree, which had the unfortunate cost of alerting the bad guys. But it was really a success! Rash spirited away the statuette and created pursuit. And in the long run, Rash’s actions bled a lot of pressure the bad guys could bring on the other PCs and NPCs in the scene. Allowing them to take out the baddie and usher NPCs to safety. Besides, it was cool.
Another example: Pete’s character, Roh (Thief class), a couple of eps back, picked up a composite horse bow from a fallen foe. “Can Roh even use this?” Again, city kid, did do a stint in the Golden Cloaks, who are cavalry based on byzantine like tactics. I said something like; “Roh might be a natural talent, or he might have picked up some training in his short stint as a Golden Cloak. Or he might just get a lucky shot. Why not roll the dice and find out?” Roh has often had a bow in his hands since.
I think of this as a D&D hangover. Getting locked into what is explicit on the character sheet. I remember Conan, early in the Marvel Comics run, stated he wasn’t that comfortable with a bow. But it didn’t stop him from trying. And it is Conan, am I right? Several issues later, Conan is practicing with a bow, trying to overcome his prejudice, recognizing that it was a powerful ability to have. If this is DW, his character sheet didn’t change really. It was just the fiction of the world enforcing the view of the PC. Conan doesn’t become Robin Hood, but he becomes competent. Hey, Conan’s Strength mod is most likely a +3, making him an ungodly melee warrior…and his Dex mod, could be stated at +2. Making him very good with range weaponry, but with Conan’s fighter/barbarian melee moves, not in the same class as his impact in hand to hand.
So, my advice to Dungeon World PLAYERS, think in the fiction. Is it something your character could do? Even if it is something you think your PC might be a novice or bad at. Try. Try and do it. The dice and the world will tell you how it turns out.