My first attempt to create a new class for a future campaign I’m dreaming up, The Operative.

My first attempt to create a new class for a future campaign I’m dreaming up, The Operative.

My first attempt to create a new class for a future campaign I’m dreaming up, The Operative. Critiques welcome for the starting moves.

11 thoughts on “My first attempt to create a new class for a future campaign I’m dreaming up, The Operative.”

  1. Not sure I like Your Mission. First, the name is a little long.

    Beyond that, though, I think that’s something that the GM should have a little more say in. Maybe have the GM choose the mission from the list?

    Also, perhaps a roll for the boon? 7-9 choose one, 10+ choose two? 

  2. Operative network

    It says (CHA) but you roll +Con. Why?

    Leave No Trace

    It kinda strange. So, I roll +Int to get into the thing… err… and then out. Well, in AND or in OR out, okay. And… what to roleplay here? If I get a success it’s cool, but it’s just that, nothing more. long pause I don’t understand that move at all.


    So… why do I need to roll again? It’s a Rogue move, right? Why can’t I knock out that guy or something? That move does not even care about the range! I mean, I could use it as written with a crossbow or a, hell, ballista! Options are more or less fine unless you think of knockout thing… it’s a staple of spy movies, after all.

    Your mission blah-blah-blah.

    Basically, it’s more or less… I dunno, quest thing? Okay, it’s nice, but there is the thing that I don’t understand. Amongst other options there are “Senses that pierse lies”. Okay. Why it works only while I am on the mission, then? Useful skill in daily life I’d say.

    Phew… is there a second page?

  3. Mr. Wolfoyote​ yes, the operative network has a typo, I’ll correct that to cha. And the backstabbing move was largely a placeholder until I could figure something else out. Knock outs was something I was considering, Judo chop came to mind.

    The your mission name, while I guess is long, is a classic nod to Mission Impossible and I thought appropriate to the style of DW moves. It’s a combination of the paladin quest with herculean appetites from barbarian. I thought the senses that pierce lies as kind of a truth serum or perhaps some magical aid.

    I thought Leave No Trace was somewhat obvious. Should you need to break in somewhere, using your smarts, you figure out the best way to get in and out of the location without being caught. Knowledge of patrols or security systems, etc. On a partial success you get the choice of getting in or getting out. You only know how to do it, but you still have to get the task done. Maybe I should tie this into discern realities instead.

    Good comments, got me thinking about it further. Thanks!

  4. I think Leave No Trace is fine, accepting that it changes the style of game. Dungeon World’s normal moves lean towards older D&D, exploring the dungeon room-by-room. This move is for the Bond movie experience. “Mr Bond, you see that if you climb on top of the elevator, you can ride it to the top of the skyscraper, where the villain’s penthouse will surely be. There’s probably a skylight that you can climb through.” cut to scene dropping through the skylight

    As is, the move seems vulnerable to argument about what the rest of the party has to do; I would strengthen the 10+ to say that you and your party can do it. Bond gets to bring a sidekick if things are going well. It could be a choose-from-a-list move where on a partial the player has to choose between party and stealth.

    I agree with Nathan V that Your Mission seems more like a GM move framing the game. If it’s a player move, what’s in it for the other players to go along with the mission?

    I’m not sure about all the +1 forwards; Discern already has a +1 forward acting on the information. Calm Intimidation in particular seems like a broad +1 bonus, which isn’t common in DW. I like the idea of mechanising , but Parley works already. Maybe a more focused thing: +1 to Parley when the target is bargaining for their freedom?

    Or it could be something that mechanises the Parley results more. Something like: when you interrogate someone from an organization, conspiracy, etc that you have in your power, roll +CHA to get information out of them Choose 3 on success, 1 on partial, from: who do you work for, when is X happening, where is your base, why are you here.

  5. In the bonds i’d swap ‘falling in love’ for ‘becoming really close’ or ‘developing strong feelings’ to make it vague and give the player some space for making things up. If they choose love, that’s fine, I just wouldn’t force it upon them like that.

    The class seems iffy for me personally, because on one hand it’s one of those that allows the character to use external (superiors/company) resources, but then it actually dosn’t do that very much. I’d make a design choice and either made it a spy with connections (a game about information and bringing in player-made NPCs) or a one-man-army spy (a game about subterfuge, survival and conning your way out). You’re either an alone operative in the field, or you actually will end up having other operatives pop-out eventually, which can easily break the balance a bit. Below I’m going for a one-man spy, so first:

    Remove the Operative Network. In theory it’s a great move, but obtaining the information leads to creating cumbersome NPCs.

    Calm Intimidation just seems like an extra random +1. I’d change it for ‘you can always use the fact that you’re an Operative to intimidate people in a Parley.’ This WILL be an intimidation though.

    Leave no trace sounds like a great advanced move to me. There’s not to many things you can actually do with it in play, but if someone wants to be that type of Operative, be my guest.

    The backstab goes to trash as well.

    A cool spy move (though much less versatile) would be something that allows you to take out a single surprised enemy without a sound or with one grab or blow, like in the Liberator movie.

    The mission thing

    I’d scratch the ‘senses tha pierce lies’, cause the other options are clearly non-magical. Better yet – replace this with a ‘There’s another field agent at your disposal nearby, tell the DM who and where they are and how they’re helping with the mission.’ that will replace the ‘Operative Network’ in a more one-man style. I’d also change the ‘symbol of authority/disguise’ with ‘a perfect con/cover story as a way in’

    I am also not a fan of the barbarian move that involes rolling D6+D8, because a lot of players I ran this with found it interferes with the gameflow, so I’d scratch that as well.

    This would leave you with a character on a mission with an extra resource for the mission, that can intimidate people when uncovering his true idendity and can take down enemies silently by surprise. Kind of lame. What I find lacking here is what spies usually do, and that is pose os someone else, that’s why I’d add some sort of Parley move.

    EDIT: gave it some more thought and there’s my take on your class right here:

  6. Gil Colgate If you can drive the fiction to a point where you make something you consider an attack with your bare hands on a dragon that is surprised by it, then I guess it will work. I thought about putting ‘humanoid’ or ‘roughly your size’ in there but that would account for disallowing some of the fun cases. I mean, you’re the operative, whats a dragon gonna do about it?

  7. Andrzej Zielinski​ I mean, if I was a dragon, I’d be pretty surprised by a human attacking me with its bare hands. Those apes are so useless as hunters that they have to make their own weapons and armor, where I was born with mine.

    … yeah, I think I’d include the size clause.

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