Hi, all.

Hi, all.

Hi, all. Inspired by some of Justin Alexander’s writings, I’m planning on running an open table Dungeon World game using The Perilous Wilds. The open table format means the lineup of players/characters present at a given session will potentially change radically, so everyone needs to be back in town between sessions. To ensure things wrap up like that, I came up with the following custom move. Does it look reasonable?

Escape to Civilization

If you finish a session away from a safe haven, roll +nothing:

10+ You manage to make your way to safety, no problems.

7-9 You make your way to safety, but choose one:

* The experience had a lasting effect on you (ask the GM what).

* You lost significant pieces of gear (the GM chooses which).

* You left a Follower or (NPC) companion behind (the GM chooses who).

(The idea is that players will try their best to get their characters home in-game; this is just a fall-back in case that doesn’t happen for whatever reason.)

12 thoughts on “Hi, all.”

  1. You do not “need” to specify results on 6- – those results are always “the GM makes a move” however, it is sometimes helpful to suggest results on a 6- as they can give the GM information on what might be a good choice.

  2. I run open table. You don’t need to be precious about where you start at all. Provided you leave blanks on your maps, the new players can come from near where you left off with new information on the world.

    I generally start at the location the last group left off – then discuss if they have traveled a bit and how much time has passed where we’re picking up the story. We also discuss how the newbies have gotten here, and weave their story into the campaign.

    It means you won’t have to worry about pacing so much during the session – you can stop outside the big dungeon without everyone suddenly returning to town because their players may not make it next week. You simply say people got lost in the confusion of the assault at the beginning of the next session.

    Your move is still useful for a time-jump. But I would probably let the player choose which stat, so that the fiction of how they retreat matches their character.

  3. Regarding a rotating cast: Bonds don’t work well. Consider alternative methods for advancement and group cohesion.

    My favorite so far has been setting both personal and group goals at the beginning of each session and assigning XP if they were accomplished or significant steps were made. The group goal let’s the PCs define the reason they’re together more plainly. Personal goals let them do more class-y things.

    Also worth considering: letting them take or create multiple alignment moves and just forgoing Bonds completely.

  4. Maybe you can give bonuses or penalties depending on the end of the session:

    – 2 if you ended in the middle of a terrible situation

    + 1 if you were really far from home, but things were pretty calm.

    Or something like that.

  5. Thanks for the thoughts, all!

    Oliver Granger I thought 6- was always “mark XP and the GM makes as hard a move as they like”. In this specific case, depending on the situation they were in the most obvious move is to “separate them/put them in a spot” (they don’t make it back), but the consequences are quite harsh if that means the player can’t play that character any more until they’re found/recovered (which might happen before that player shows again).

    Aaron Steed That’s a really valuable insight. Perhaps it’s not necessary to force things back to town at all.

    I like the idea of letting them choose the stat to roll (Making it +nothing was one of the things I wasn’t sure about).

    It also occurred to me that it might work better if I turned it around and make it a start of session move… “If you finished your last session away from civilization…” That means that anything that comes from the roll(s) can then snowball naturally.

    Aaron Griffin WRT Bonds, my concept was to keep them, but change how they worked. I’ll make another post, since this reply is already very long 🙂

    Is a “personal goal” (mechanically) just a key to earn XP, or is it something more? Is there something floating around on the net I can read about them?

    I actually had some thoughts about having each player set a long-term personal goal which I would come up with a front for, so the fronts in play would change depending on who is at the table. I haven’t worked it out in detail to make sure it would work, though.

  6. Aaron Griffin Bonds work fine. At the beginning of the session we erase bonds for anyone not present. Then they write in new bonds and we discuss why this new piece of history has come about between the players. It’s usually my favourite bit of the game – had one guy explain that he knew another character because he raided their monastery once, giving them much to resolve.

  7. Andrea Serafini I contemplated having a bonus or penalty depending on the situation they were in, but some of the reading I’ve done about DW suggested that the way you handle favourable or unfavourable circumstances is in the severity of the consequences of a miss, rather than as modifiers on the roll.

    So if they finished the session a few days into the wilderness but with plenty of rations, no immediate danger and not lost, a miss might look a lot like a partial success (they make it back, but with consequences). If they were deep in a dungeon and fighting for their lives, then a miss would be things like they were captured, or holed up somewhere, wounded and afraid to venture forth.

  8. You’re right, but this also happens since usually the modifiers are the skills of the character, and giving a modifiers may invalidate it, or not be interesting enough.

    In a “skill free” roll, i could see modifiers working.

    Take, as example, the “Carousing” roll.

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