Hello everyone.

Hello everyone.

Hello everyone. I’m running a new dungeon world campaign, and it’s been way longer than I’d like to admit since I’ve played some good old fashioned dungeon world. I’m looking through the game-mastering sections of the dungeon world book as well as a lot of the perilous wilds documents, and it’s a lot to keep track of. I have agendas to aim towards, principles to follow, moves to make, fronts to advance, and that adds up to a lot of paper around me that I don’t always look at.

If you could give me one piece of advice on running dungeon world, what would it be?

13 thoughts on “Hello everyone.”

  1. Play to find out what happens; don’t have a plan for how it WILL go, but instead multiple plans for how it COULD go (including a plan for when they ask the bard to resolve it with a charisma roll- i’vr made that mistake plenty of times)

  2. Be on the lookout for move triggers. Don’t mind principles, agendas, and GM moves unless you’re stuck for ideas about what happens next. 

  3. Don’t have any potential solutions in mind for the problems and obstacles you throw at the players; just give them problems to solve and let them come up with their own solutions. They inevitably will, and it will invariably lead to less work and more fun than thinking of scenes as multiple-choice questions.

  4. Review the principles and agenda before and after each session; but during sessions, just go with whatever comes to mind that you think will be the most interesting. You will subconsciously incorporate the principles and agenda with time.

  5. Just relax and have fun. Its a game after all and as long as you are calm and collect, your mind will flow more easily. Just move with the fiction, if the players come up with it, you know they will be interested in it.

  6. Trust your instincts and go with the first idea that pops into your head. Better to keep things moving and adjust/retcon later than hold up play trying to make “the right move.”

  7. What John Wilson said, with an extra emphasis on “go with whatever you think will be most interesting.” Call a little break when you’re into the game some and go off by yourself with pen and paper. Think about three really cool directions this story could take, pick the one you think would be most fun to experience as a player, return to the table and hurl it in your players’ faces. Then play to see what actually happens.

    AW and DW taught me to narrate right up to edge and then ask the Four Magic Words. “The lizard-men warriors are bellowing-spit-pissed about the ritual you just ruined. They’re gnashing teeth, hurling their heads side to side, and leaping into your party, intent on rending the flesh from your bones. And their giant spider pet scuttles off into shadows near your Cleric. Now… What Do You Do?”

    PS Perilous Wilds is uh-may-zing but can wait for your second or third session.

  8. PPS I keep a stash of poker chips on the table (use them for XP and for Holds and such). When a player blows a roll (6 or less), I smile, toss them a white XP chip… and sometimes instead of making a hard move right away, I collect a red Hard Move chip and say, “OK, you succeed.” They all groan because they know I’m going to throw the red chip at them when I think the story could really benefit (which usually means at the worst possible time for the characters).

    I do this a) to build suspense, b) to respond to the unfolding fiction – sometimes a big fail or tough choice or whatever isn’t all that interesting, and c) every once in a while to buy myself time because I can’t think of a good move to make. Works like a charm.

  9. Don’t just roll, find out what your players want from this roll. Finding failure in that is then pretty easy since inspiration will come.

  10. I use a clip-board instead of a GM screen (I can lift up the top sheet for secrets) and I’ve started putting little post-its for things I want to remember for next session on my clipboard.

    Eg: Remembering debilities, a custom move, agendas or principles I’m forgetting, etc.

    This way I can improve my game a few steps at a time instead of trying to remember a bunch of stuff and forgetting it all at crunch time.

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