Anyone is good to do an elevator pitch of Dungeon World?

Anyone is good to do an elevator pitch of Dungeon World?

Anyone is good to do an elevator pitch of Dungeon World?

I’m trying to convince (cough*coerce*cough) my group into trying DW and they don’t seem interested by my “it’s a simpler and more narrative game than D&D, very open-minded” pitch.

How would you explain its wonderfulness in, say, max 5 bullet points?

42 thoughts on “Anyone is good to do an elevator pitch of Dungeon World?”

  1. Dungeon World is the fantasy skinned rules system of Apocalypse World where the players have more control of the world and story around them and is primarily fueled by back and forth narrative between the GM and players.  You only need a few dice to play, failing is not always a bad thing, and GM prep is light.

  2. Y’know all that stupid crazy shit you keep trying to get away with in D&D, but I never let you because it’s stupid and crazy? You can get away with it in this game.

  3. Noah Tucker That’s just a terrible GM.  Saying “No, you can’t do that” in any system is just not a good thing to do ever.  It should always be “Yes, and…” or “Yes, but…” with consequences or incentives.  Another point that Dungeon World brings up.

  4. Karlen Kendrick

     yeah but not really… when I first started playing RPGs with my kid, he was very kinetic with his character’s descriptions of what he wanted to do in combat (playing Pathfinder) and I would always have to check him to see if that was really what he wanted and explain the penalties involved with that. and he would always gloomly go… no I’ll just roll to attack.

    He was sixteen at the time, and one afternoon I took him to play a game of DW after I had played it once… He loved it.

    Afterwards on the way home, he told me, “Dad I don’t ever want to play another game that has an initiative roll in it again.”

    Addramyr Palinor just tell your group you are sick of all the work you have to do for a game and want to take a break and try a new thing to see if it is something that ya’ll might want to shift to, if your group can’t try it once, you need another group.

    Or make one of them slog the GM duties.

  5. Oh I’m a warrior. But my backstory is that I was born a real dragon and wanted to live life as a human for a bit. I give up and want to go back to being a dragon now. Monster moves don’t require rolls.

  6. Addramyr Palinor – on of the things i always got bored with in D&D and pathfinder was spending round after round rolling the dice, only to miss and watch my spotlight move on to another.  Sometimes we’d hit those nasty rounds where nobody could do anything.

    Of failing a lock picking check, and finding myself having to simply accept that i can’t try it again (or worse: being allowed to keep trying it until i roll high enough!)

    One thing i came to love in DW early: every roll of the dice matters!  On good rolls, things go well; on bad rolls, things get dangerous.  But it’s never boring.

  7. Karlen Kendrick​ yeah, but DW is explicitly designed to support a “play to find out” play style that actively discourages such bad GM practices. D&D is not, and never has been. It doesn’t have the safeguards that DW has. In fact, some TSR adventures actually advised bad GM practices that DW simply doesn’t support.

  8.  – It’s a ‘yes’ game rather then a ‘no’ game. Get away with actions impossible in DnD.

     – Rules are designed to keep the action rolling, never to drop it to halt.

     – Your character is The Hero. Feel the epicness.

     – Telling the story is not only the DMs job anymore. Tell your story yourself.

     – The rules take 15 minutes to learn. You will only ever need 4 pages as reference on the first session. (6 for mage/cleric)

    Advice: Take your creativity with you when embarking on a journey into Dungeon World. The more you put in the more fun you will have exploring.

  9. – It’s not D&D

    – It’s not D&D

    -Combat is much better and involved for all

    – Everyone participates in telling the story

    – It’s not D&D

    Those would be my 5 reasons!

  10. Karlen Kendrick i find your “mic dropping” to be pretty silly.

    Why phrase this is a competition, instead of a productive discussion?

    There are times when you can tell a player “no” – in fact, there are times when it is best.

    For instance, if one player is not upholding their responsibility to share spotlight with other players.  Or when they want to change the fiction in a way that negates/contradicts what has already happened.  

    Aaron Griffin has given a great example: If i was a fellow PC and heard someone push for that, i’d be disheartened. If the GM went with it, i’d have less fun.

    I get what you’re saying, too: a simple “no” isn’t necessarily the right approach.  but there is no compulsion in DW to simply agree to any bad behavior or whimsical claim. 

    There is no reason to dogmatically fear the word “no” – but good practice is to use it appropriately, as with any response.


    So here… take this microphone you dropped back.  Take good care of your things.  And have fun playing games.

  11. Andrzej Zielinski​ The rules take 15 minutes to learn. You will only ever need 4 pages as reference on the first session.

    I can second this. In the one game I’ve ran so far, everyone was new to DW, and two of the three players were new to tabletop roleplaying altogether. It took about half an hour to teach the game and create characters. I have no doubt that my usual group would have been able to do it in 15-20 minutes.

  12. Try this: I am not going to master D&D anymore. I am tired of this crunchy powemonger thing and its piles of rules which cannot nevertheless ever cope with every posible situation.

    By the way, I am sick and tired of elves and dwarves and orcs and underdark genocide.

    I am never ever running this kind of shit anymore.

    The only way I would do it again is if a find a rules light, prep light, imagination heavy system…

    It worked for me.

    I am still sick of medieval fantasy, but at least I don’t spend 1 hour choosing spells for just one encounter o 2 hours stuck in a combat until the hitpointbag finally dies.

  13. Andrew Fish The implication is that the player and GM have discussed and agreed that this is what the character can and should be able to do.  Hence providing him the tools to do just that.  If the other players feel disheartened they can say so, but it’s likely they’re just as capable of doing what that player is doing within the rules.

    Sure, you can say “No”, but it’s often an immediate feeling of a door closing to the player.  As DW says “Be a fan of the characters”, if that’s what the player wants to do, and they are capable of doing it, let them.

    I drop the mic because it literally takes that long to resolve such instances in DW.  The game shines in that regard.

  14. Karlen Kendrick

     naw that wasn’t implied. I have literally had players do the equivalent to me (“I use the Force to steal his keys” wat?)

    My point was exactly what Andrew Fish said – that sometimes saying “yes” is the wrong choice. “Why would you be able to turn into a dragon? Is this something everyone else is okay with?”

    If you say yes to everything, your game tends to go gonzo and stupid.

  15. This is like arguing about which ice cream flavor is best.  We all have different preferences.  The point here is DW fast, makes it clear whether you can or can’t do something with the playbooks, and has enough wiggle room to allow for you to do things like Aaron described.  

    Besides, if you *were* a dragon in human form then that would have been discussed on the session 0 and would be completely expected.  That’s how DW works.

  16. Aaron Griffin Hey, still DW is more a ‘yes’ game then a ‘no’ game. Especially on the first session where you establish things. And even in your example “Why would you be able to turn into a dragon? Is this something everyone else is okay with?” is not an explicit no. In DnD it would’ve been a straight ‘no’ but in DW there’s ALWAYS field for negotiations. If you can come up with a cool story that other players accept, crazy things get spun into the narrative in a very nice, not gonzo-stupid way.

  17. DW is still a “fiction first” game. If we establish early on that this world has no magic and no monsters, and everyone is just playing competent folk, then one player decides he wants to use telekinesis to do a task, it violates the original premise of the world, and should be met with a no. You can say “no” in DW, guys, and it’s totally fine. This is important to point out because other posters here are suggesting that you should ALWAYS say yes.

  18. “Remember when you first played D&D and it was all energy and excitement because you were just saying what you did, and you didn’t know the rules well enough to let them bog you down? That’s what DW feels like. But that feeling never goes away!”

  19. Ok, 5 Bullet Points: (Lively discussion BTW)

    *  It is about the Story, Build Cool Stories

    *  We can be playing in less than the time it takes for the pizza to be delivered.

    *  You can help me define the world and the stuff in it.  The Details of this world are from all of us.

    * There is TONS of support for the game online by fans.  And that support is not even necessary as it is OUR group that matters.

    * If we play just 2 sessions with this I will let you have the epic thingy-ma-bob in our regular campaign.  Assuming you will want to go back to that system.

    That all said.  I have found that as one person put it, “It does put a large cognative load on the GM” meaning that the descriptions that make up the game can get a bit exhausting after a long game session and coming up with creative ways to do something does sometimes get a bit wearing.  It IS worth it but let’s be honest.  This is not a game for someone that likes a nice tactical game, especially in combat.  It is also not for any control freak GMs.  Those with tactical minds and that have played D&D/Pathfinder or some other game where “Facing, Movement Rate, Flying Maneuverability Rating” is a necessary thing then you may not enjoy it.  You may need to be broken of some bad habits that DW just doesn’t have.  For those types, One recommendation that I found was to make the characters but keep back the “Moves” sheets from the players and as a GM figure out what the Moves that they need to do are.  Remember, running up and attacking it doesn’t mean a Hack&Slash should be rolled.  If it is an Air Elemental, great you attack AIR.  Swich, Defy Danger as it tosses you across the room.

    Great system though

  20. Oney Clavijo Yeah, was kidding. I’ll never force them and I understand why they want to keep playing D&D. They’re just starting to get comfortable with 5e. They are invested in their characters and the story. And one of them comes from too much 3e love and he thinks more rules = better (he’s the one that NEEDS to play DW to understand less is often better).

    But I really want them to try because I know it will teach them that less complicated and more freedom is lot more fun! I’ll not be able to convert them, but if they can learn a thing or two for when we go back to our 5e game, I’ll be a happy GM.

  21. Show them the move for Carouse, Last Breath, and/or Outstanding Warrants. It succinctly illustrates how the game is all about flavorful, fictional triggers that lead to interesting situations.

  22. I’d like to give you some silver bullets that always work, and I’d like to tell that after playing a session, they’ll all fall in love with DW and finally understand. But, I can’t, because I’ve been down that road before and sometimes it’s a tough sell. And some just won’t like it, because honestly, some players love getting 8% chance/level to detect sleight of hand. The prospect that everyone can discern realities and see the thief marking the cards is a threat to what’s special about themselves. I would focus on the cinematic nature of the action, and then deliver that to them if they agree to play. Beg them to come make a action movie with you.

  23. Secret: I said to my players “a game much better than D&D has been created and it’s called Dungeon World” (eyes wide open and amazement smile like when you are told Wonka bars do exist) They were hooked after that.

  24. trust me… when you roll up on your first group of bandits/orcs/walking assholes with tentacles and the fight is over in 5 minutes… your group will be hooked.

    you will accomplish so much more in a session than you ever could in the same amount of time playing D&D

  25. When trying to persuade your players that love their 8% chance/level minutiae, can you offer them the following trade:

    “You either try playing Dungeon World for a session, or you try prepping and GMing yourself for a session.”

  26. The word “whiff” comes from swinging and missing (particularly in baseball or golf). In this context, it means waiting around for your turn in a more traditional games, rolling a failure (and, therefore, nothing interesting happening), then waiting around some more.

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