Ok, I am having some interesting problems with the system.  I am running a hack for Shadowrun using the Dungeon…

Ok, I am having some interesting problems with the system.  I am running a hack for Shadowrun using the Dungeon…

Ok, I am having some interesting problems with the system.  I am running a hack for Shadowrun using the Dungeon World mindset.  When I was approching the game, I found 4 different versions of Shadowrun Hacks for DW.  Each had errors and were incomplete in some way, so I took what I thought was the best of them and tried to complete it, but that isn’t my issue.

I have two players that have different issues with the game.

Player A had poor dice luck in the game and ended up failing the roll a good portion of the time.  He got 8 experience from one short game session on it due to rolling 6 or under.  One comment the player had was the he has trouble with a system that you fail 50% of the time: he considered it a failure when he got a 7-9 and I chose to exchange damage with him.  And when I can make a Move, he considered it a failure on his part.  It was hard to explain it to him, definitely used to tactical gaming.

Player B, had the opposite response.  He was playing a stealthy character that spent most of the session sneaking around and didn’t fail at anything, hardly needed to make a role due to no opposition, it didn’t trigger a Move.  So he ended up with just 2 xp in the game.  1 for my end of game and 1 for a single 6 that he got.

Fiction of the situation was a bunch of gangers busted into a store and started threatening people.  Nearly pure combat as they were just there to make havoc and rob the place and didn’t mind killing anyone that got in the way.

Player A was a Mage that had poor Luck, Player B is an Adept that is sneaky and snuck around back and avoided most of the fight.

So here is the problem:  One Player is frustrated in his failure but sees anything I do in response on a 7-9 as a failure and the Other feels that he doesn’t have opportunity to gain the experience points because what he was doing was not triggering Moves.  Jumping on a person that is completely unaware doesn’t require a move.

An Odd mix of both spectrums.  I also needed to come up with more alternatives than Damage on a 7-9 in a firefight.  The bad guys want to control the situation and kill any opposition so I was doing damage more often, so they were exchanging damage a bunch.  So a bit of a failing there on my part.

31 thoughts on “Ok, I am having some interesting problems with the system.  I am running a hack for Shadowrun using the Dungeon…”

  1. Perhaps this sounds harsh, but maybe this style of game is just not for Player A. I say that because you’ve said they see a 7-9 (which is a mixed success, a partial success, or success at a cost as) a straight up failure. They also see you making a move as a failure. I honestly don’t know if the player is ever going to enjoy the game with that mindset.

    For Player B, tell them that if they want moves to trigger, then start triggering them. The player has immense control over when a move triggers because they are in control of their character’s actions and can see the triggers right there on the sheet. It sounds like Player B wants to get XP but doesn’t want their character “to be bad”. Tough. Earning XP on a miss and having something bad happen is just how the game works.

  2. I’ve definitely encountered the Player A before, and, basically… we don’t play Dungeon World together anymore. He doesn’t like it. It happens.

    Beyond that, I think you’ve largely identified the possible solutions: change up your 7-9 responses so that they aren’t just “deal damage.” Threaten their position, their stuff, the mission, etc. instead of just inflicting physical harm.

    Remember that a 7-9 is fundamentally a success and narrate it as such. When you do deal damage on a 7-9, and it’s low damage, narrate it as incidental. “You hurl your manaball at the ganger and he goes flying, but as you duck back under cover your arm starts burning. Oh, crap, looks like you got winged by a bullet out there!”

    But! Hack & Slash style moves (where you’re trading blows and might take damage on a 7-9) are not safe. In standard DW, if you Hack & Slash with the razor boar, it is very likely to suck. You’re likely going to take 1d10 messy damage, with 3 piercing. A wise fighter just doesn’t do it. Contrast that to H&S vs. a goblin… a 7-9 is no big deal.

    If your player is basically trying to H&S against a foe that’s got lots of firepower and does lots of damage, and a 7-9 would suck, maybe tell them the consequences and ask before going to the dice. “If you pop up from cover and fling a manaball at them, they’ll unload on you and you’ll be triggering Hack & Slash. They do like 1d10+3 damage, 3 piercing. You sure?”

  3. I agree that player A is probably not going to like the system ever. Partial successes are one of those things that people instantly take to if they’re ever going to like it.

  4. Well, Matrix Forby, I’d love to humbly make the “DW professor”, and teach that a 7-9 in Hack-n-Slash isn’t “trade damage”. As GM, you make an attack with your enemy, and usually this is a Monster’s Move (of course, you can do “just damage” but this isn’t really funny, doubly true if you have interesting enemies that can eat alive the heroes, bring down castle towers, bring havok on the battlefield, or if you already did a lot of HPs damage and you think it isn’t funny take down an hero in that moment of the fiction). So, for example, if there heroes vs. Goblins, and the Fighter got 7-9 on a Goblin Orkaster, now I as Master describe that the Goblin take the wound, and before dying/fleeing, he raises his staff and chew some goblinesh word, and three angry Flame Spirits erupt and start bringing distruction and burning the things around (I chose: “Unleash a poorly understood spell”). Then I narrate that a Flame Spirit burn a nearby goblin alive, while another take the life of the Orkaster “You dare calling US!!!”, while the third Spirit flies to the thief screaming. Now, Thief, what do you do?

    – As you can see, Fighter wasn’t affected from the Orkaster attack, initially at least…

    – Also, this is why I love Dungeon World (and AW). It runs in a VERY DIFFERENT WAY than hundred of old, stale, inadequate RpG systems.

  5. I would tell Player B that sneaking “around back and avoid(ing) most of the fight” didn’t garner much XP because the Player didn’t do much of anything to gain XP. You only get XP for doing stuff, not avoiding stuff.

  6. I have been pouring over books, writing hacks, and gathering play data for years, brother, and let me tell you this: the only way you can really play Shadowrun is to play Shadowrun. Use whatever edition you want. Throw out rules that you don’t want to use. Handwave the Matrix and the Astral Plane, if you have to, and just focus on the simple exchanges of a firefight. Everybody loves the world of Shadowrun, and one of the reasons they love it (whether they admit it or not) is because Shadowrun is a complex world of magic and technology. A complex world needs a complex game. I love Dungeon World, but the one thing it ain’t is complex.

  7. Edd Gibbs IMHO a Complex World brings a rich Setting and plenty of Background and Lore. A Complex World doesn’t need a cumbersome, overcrunchy system.

  8. Edd Gibbs I think that I have found a few hacks that I have cobbled together and made mine.  I feel that it will work.  I have thought about the Matrix a bit:  Run it like any other setting, their Hammer program is a weapon, Check the Situation is based on their Scan Program, Hardening on the Cyberdeck is Armor, MPCP is how many wounds the Deck can take, ect.  But fiction-wise just have it be like any other environment.  Same thing with Astral Space, it is just a magical realm where you can see energy, connection to the world, but cannot puzzle out things like text or anything on a computer.  Kinda like a more positive version of what Bilbo saw when he wore the One Ring.  Confusing to those that are not initiated in it’s ways.  Also, Asensing someone would give one free answer to the question if they are lying, emotional state, ect. 

    A few things I am having problems with is DW is a very reactive system.  It doesn’t handle actions that are happening all at once, possibly in different areas.  But I have found, thinking about Shadowrun the sense of DW that I could have some problems to solve in converting some of the normal creatures and character types without making them bland.  So far, it seems to be working.

  9. For player B, remind him there’s a lot of other ways to gain XP other than fail a check. Playing your Alignment gets you XP. Resolving Bonds also grants XP. Resolving a plot in the scenario grants XP. Plus few moves grant XP.

    XP granted for failing a check is not HOW you gain XP, it’s just an extra bonus so that failure doesn’t feel as bad.

  10. Andrea Parducci I respectfully disagree, especially and vehemently in the case of Shadowrun. If you know of a system that isn’t “cumbersome” and “overcrunchy” that can handle casting spells, summoning spirits and elementals, travelling the astral plane, hacking in virtual reality, the nuances of hundreds of weapons including attachments like smart-linking and recoil suppression, cybertechnology, cyberdecks with variable hardware AND software, monsters, fantasy races, corporate warfare, vehicles, and drone piloting, I’m all ears. Maybe that game is out there, but I sure as hell haven’t found it yet!

    Again, to reiterate: I love Dungeon World, and all its brethren (including The Sprawl), but they are all simple, lightweight games designed to get out of the way of the narrative. Likewise, they work best in worlds with little “gameable” nuance. You won’t find a good DW hack of Shadowrun any easier than you’ll find a good hack of Rifts (Savage Worlds version notwithstanding), or Warhammer 40k, or Iron Kingdoms, or Earthdawn (Age of Legend notwithstanding).

  11. Matrix Forby Good luck, brother! I would totally be interested in anything you write up. I’m not too crazy about the currently-existing takes on it out there, myself, either.

  12. Edd Gibbs Well, I am mostly using a conglomeration of some of the stuff out there.  I made up my own names for the moves and went with different Stats.  It seems to be working.  I will post a link to it once I get it edited a bit.  I am basically re-running the original SR1st ed adventures that I have.  I started with checking for completeness of the Moves, it was surprising to me that none of the hacks out there were complete.  The first adventure that I ran was the one from SR1st ed book: Food Fight.  A simple scenereo meant to give an introduction to the system.  I am then going to move on to Silver Angel, the adventure that was from the 1st ed GM Screen written by Tom Dowd.  It seems simple enough.  I think then I will move on to DNA/DOA.  My two favorite adventures were Mercurial and Bottled Demon.  Translating them should be a bit of a challenge.  This is why with my Hack, I have not yet translated the Building A Sprawl stuff yet.  We shall see how it works out.

  13. Edd Gibbs … Cheers, mate! I’ve actually hacked Dark Heresy (WH40K) for the PbtA Engine. I won’t say it was easy, but it’s certainly preserved the feel of the original. (Using the Apocalypse World damage system — combat is very deadly.)

    Dungeon World, if you include fan content, has “casting spells, summoning spirits and elementals, [and] travelling the astral plane,” hundreds of weapons are (IMO) unnecessary to any game, hacking can be run like any other combat (especially since the programs act like creatures anyway), cybertech just adds f/x, “monsters, fantasy races” are already part of the mix, corporate warfare sounds a lot like Fronts to me, and vehicle and drone rules would be an easy hack.

    I understand the love of different systems, and there are some that won’t work for a PbtA system (Ars Magica springs to mind), but I don’t feel that Shadowrun is one of them. Your mileage may vary, of course.

  14. “Player A will never like PbtA”

    Guys. I was player A once. I even wrote a fucking article on being player A: http://dmbullets.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/dungeon-world.html

    Took me several systems and 6 months to change my tune because like you guys, everyone assumed I will never “get it”. What changed? Understanding that the system isn’t describing failure. It’s drama. A non-success doesn’t mean you failed. It means a plot-twist occurred. You don’t roll to test your skill, you roll to see if drama happened. If a player searches a body, just tell them what’s on the body – it’s not an opportunity for drama so there’s no need to roll.

    It’s not a failure that happens 50% of the time – it’s something interesting or exciting.

    If Player A got to play a non-caster, they’d spend more time solving things narratively instead of spamming spells and triggering Moves. (Which is what I did when I first played.)

    As for the XP, what other people have said about using the traditional DW rules for end of session XP will make a big difference. Make sure you’re giving them opportunities to earn it as well (big treasure, big monsters, learn lore).

  15. Aaron Steed I agree, I think I like the terminology there.  7-9 is an opportunity for DRAMA.  I tried to explain to him that It is not a failure.  It is a success with conditions, or success But…  I think that because the scenereo was a bunch of gang members bent on destroying and killing that I took the option to do damage too often.  But I like the term of a 7-9 is a success but DRAMA/ACTION happens.  And for the XP issue, It was a really short session after character creation so I only gave 1 xp.  I should come up with a chart where more opportunities happen.  Still as I explained to the player, if you fail a lot you will eventually level and then be less likely to fail in the future, one who does not fail as much is having good things happen.  It evens out in the end.  But it is interesting to see the curve in effect.

  16. Edd Gibbs of course, each of us has a preferences about the “perfect system”, and preferences about the crunchy stuff he can tolerate in his games. Said so, the whole list of things you enumerated (magic, tech, cyber, matrix, astral plane, weapons etc.) are simply aspect of the game that doesn’t need separate/complex rules to manage them. Well, you (like me) seem to know well lot of systems. For a “traditional” RpG I’d say Savage Worlds (you mentioned too): I love it, and you can easily manage all those things with the core book and good flavored Trappings.

    However, let aside the “traditional” systems, I’m VERY convinced that you don’t need 10 different sub-systems to manage each of those aspects. Take Fate, for example. You can manage almost all the situation with the same mechanics (test, challenges, conflicts); also, the Stress / Consequences is super cool for managing wounds, stress, fear, exaustion etc.

    But, if you mean “fine details” ie. you need a system that make slightly mechanical differences between an Acid Ball spell and an Corrosive Jet spell, or between the Atlas Deck Hacker PC v1, and the Atlas Deck Hacker PC v2, that has completely different rulings for moving in the real battle space, moving in the matrix space, and moving in the astral space… Well, then you are speaking about the “cumbersome, overcrunchy system” that I was describing above.

    However, with Fate (or Cortex+, or other low crunch systems) I think I can manage/run a whole campaign with fantasy/technology/cyber/summoning all mixed together etc. Sure, the characters will be probably more “cliche”, more “archetypal”, however I think I could have ton of fun, with my players, playing it.

    I can assure you that we had crazy, fantastic scenes (fights, hacking etc.) thanks to more narrative systems: in a “standard” RpG, you can barely manage a Character that want “shoot to the building glass, running thru it, then clinging to the VTOL that was hovering outside, then dropping the gun, grappling with an hand the soldier to the minigun, throwing him in the sky, then getting aboard, hard-jacking to the VTOL from the passenger bay, beating the pilot and disabling the engines, then jumping outside hoping that your choomba is waiting for you at the window ready to catch you at the last second!!!!”.

    When “you” as GM start with: 1) that pistol cannot make enough damage to the window in one turn, 2) the VTOL is too distant, even if you have Level1 jump cyberlegs, 3) you can’t grapple one handed, you need a specific feat for that, 4) roll for the unstable platform when trying to put the jack in, 5) that hacking need at least a minute, so the pilot now is flying away, 5b) your friends at the game table need to wait A WHOLE GAME SESSION because while they are doing a couple of round of real combat, you need to make 20 cyberspace turns, 6) the VTOL make 30 m. at turn, so if you need to jump back you need to fall for about 100 m., that makes 5d6 damage to you and to your choomba, and of course he need a roll at -4 to even try to catch you at that speed etc. etc. etc. – Well, “you” killed my fun. Of course, this latter kind of playing could be the best and the funniest kind of play of other groups, I know, because we are all different, and the world is big and diverse.

    But I couldn’t play in the latter way anymore.

  17. Times they are a changing.  Andrea Parducci I agree with you totally.  While I love Savage Worlds as well.  (A friend is working on his own Savage Shadowrun), I felt that I would give Shadowrun in Dungeon World a try.  I call it Shadow*World.  I am actually cobbling together and re-skinning DW to more fit the Shadowrun mindset.  The two combat Moves are Mix It Up (for melee) and Lock&Load (for ranged).  A number of the Shadowrun Hacks I found had Stay Frosty as the Defy Danger Move.  It works well for the terminology.  I made the Stay Frosty also into Get the Frag Out.  Though I haven’t dealt much with the Creating the Sprawl (SR font ideas) but I hope to have it all put together from the things that I like from the other games.  Because I am not publishing and it is for personal use, I am freely taking what I like from those 4 other Shadowrun Hacks I have found and blending it together to make it more complete.  Yes there are issues but we shall see.  I hope to post it completed on the forum soon.  Wish I was good at the whole formating and typesetting thing to make it nice and pretty, like I saw out of Pink Mohawk but as a simple word doc it should be fine.  Currently it is too big at 109 pages but I think that some of that is formating, 12 pt, Times Roman.  I could do better but, hey, it’s readable.

  18. A couple of points:

    1. Most of where I’m coming from is individually focused on Shadowrun. I do think today’s “story game” RPGs can do damn near anything else. Shadowrun, to me, is a special case.

    2. I am NOT a big fan of Shadowrun’s system. I know it very well, and I would not argue at all against charges of it being clunky or complex.

    Here’s where I’m coming from: the very setting of Shadowrun is complex and clunky. Thus that needs to be reflected in the system, to do the fiction justice.

    You cannot have a cool, dystopian future world where people are not obsessing about how cool their shit is. Those details fill the pages of cyberpunk novels and fill the screens of sci-fi cyberpunk films. Complexity is a motif. One thing that alarms me about a few of the responses in this conversation have been how dismissive some of you are about how important those details are in creating a vivid, “lived-in” world. If you don’t think that’s important, then I’m not really sure what you think you’re doing.

    Look at The Sprawl. Even in its valiant attempt at taking on the genre, it quickly became one of the biggest and most complicated PbtA games (not saying much, given), and that doesn’t even have orks in it!

    And, if you dig deeper into The Sprawl, you’ll read the author saying the exact same shit I just did. He tells you to spout out the name of the gun and type of its ammo and all that shit. The only difference is there’s no mechanics backing any of it up. What matters in The Sprawl, like every other PbtA game, is the emergent story. What matters in Shadowrun is the world. They focus on different things…thus they need different kinds of mechanics to run.

  19. Edd Gibbs  I am not trying to be dismissive.  To me the Setting is the important thing, I don’t really think that you need the system to reflect the setting.  The World is complex and yes it does simplify things a bit but to me it is the story that matters.  And in that story is the setting.  The setting is not in the complexity of the system that runs the setting.  While I know that for some and in some games the two are inseparable.  Amber Diceless for instance.  You can’t have Amber with out the system.   But I figured that I would give it a shot.  I think that the  way you portray the world doesn’t really have much to do with the system.  Most weapons can be solved with Tags, and yes a number of the weapons are similar enough to have the same tags, different name, slightly different fiction, but the same mechanics.  You roleplay it.  In the end it is sort of like the difference in a Hershey’s bar and a Nestle’s bar (not Crunch but just plain chocolate) both  are chocolate.  Yes they taste differently but they are the same (Mechanically) and only the roleplaying and advertising is different, to give the different feel.  I can only try:

    Here is what I have so far for those that are interested:


  20. Edd Gibbs I think we are almost saying the same thing, maybe in a different way.

    I’m really interested in rich settings like Shadowrun (or other “strong brand” RpG, like, for example, Eclipse Phase). If I were a player in a Shadowrun game, I’d be upset if my GM tells me:”You find a gun on the dead cop body”, and I reply “what kind of gun?”, and the GM again:”You know, some kind of pistol… Damage +1″. Men, this is a) boring, b) not cyberpunkish.

    I PRETEND that the GM is fonded of the setting at least to tell me:”It’s an Ares Viper Silvergun, a very common hevay pistol”. And I need to know if I can get informations on a crime scene from the Astral Plane or not. And I want to know if I can still easily shooting fireballs, even if I’m doing an heavy cyber character, of if this is against the setting vision. And I want to know if I can or cannot damage a Great Dragon with an automatic rifle. And if my Troll character can or cannot regenerate a limb, or return from the death, of if he’s just a slightly more strong /dumb than the other races.

    All these details ARE Shadowrun, but they are not related to his mechanical system. A good GM should know well the SR world, reading the original books, but I keep thinking he doesn’t need that system (or similar ones). It’s a pretty standard fantasy-cyberpunk mashup.

    There are other RpGs more difficult to emulate with a completely different system, for example the aforementioned Eclipse Phase (another impressive setting, with an horrible, bugged d100 system that I could have played maybe 25 years ago… and lately a very shallow, uninspired, Fate Core conversion, that I did better by myself years ago with the “Strands of Fate” book :-/ ).

    Men, you can download you character in completely different bodies in the same game session – and not men, dwarves, elves… but Uplifted Octopuses, then small trasformable robots, then gene-exalted women tailored for combat – you have to face horror, insanity, psychological issues about your/not-your body, you can duplicate yourself and let your dumbed-down clones making dirty jobs (researches, targets etc.), or risking that your almost perfect duplicated conscience starts to think that she’s the real one, and turning against you. Even if you don’t tinker with bodies, you have at least your personal AI that does tasks for you, cooperative working with you, you have nanovirus that turn you in a Psychic, that replace your mind with their, so you start to play against your party etc. etc. 😀

    Ultimately, however, it’s the deep knowledge of the setting the real deal, not the mechanics you choose to emulate it.

    Ok, enough, I’m starting to repeating myself, and surely I’m becoming boring… ;-D

  21. Matrix Forby I skimmed your doc. EDGE is a mechanic of Shadowrun that you put in your conversion. I can understand it’s for “nostalgia”, however I feel it’s “useless” in a PbtA. In “old” standard systems, you need that kind of mechanic (similar to Savage Worlds Bennies, for example) to reroll dice etc. because it’s all “roll dice / success / failure” thing. With PbtA you rarely have “stupid failures that ruin your session”, instead you have dangerous, interesting things that happen in fiction. You can advance the “treat clock” of your enemies, you can give your players an opportunity with a cost (a thing 100 years ahead the “old classic” systems) etc.

    Usually characters shine and are super capable as they are. So, do you really need a “reroll/boost mechanic”?

    It has nothing to do with the Setting.

  22. The 7-9 mixed result is the most common for a reason, because it’s the most exciting. It’s designed to make your tactical actions fictional. The player often has to make interesting choices about what they give up or let happen. Give your players options on a 7-9, show them that it’s as interesting a result as a 10+.

    In a pass/fail binary system, a fail means your turn is over and you don’t get to do anything. In PBTA, you’re making interesting choices even on a miss. Your turn hasn’t ended, you just have tougher choices to make.

  23. Andrea Parducci  I see what you are saying with Edge.  My only excuse is that most of the systems that I found that were DW hacks for Shadowrun had it.  I also see that the mechanics for it also powered Cyberware.  It was a way to limit cyberware, the non-always on.  It cost you and Edge point to turn it on.  I think that it works as a limiter to powerful cyberware but you do have a point.  As a GM, I want the 7-9 result more often.  As a Player, I would want a way to affect the game in a more tangible way and use that when it is really important.  I have started the game already and I like the mechanic that I have read but you do make some strong points.  Hmm, not sure what to do with it.  Also, reading it over I have Karma as XP and Rep as Level (though Rep can fluctuate a bit) but both are mechanics that help out as well.  I have a tendency of giving too much to the players, being too generous.  I am just not sure how to modify the mechanic.  Dropping it entirely is not an option as I have already introduced it and used it.  I feel that it would be bad form to take it away now.  Perhaps my next iteration.

  24. Yeah, of course it was MY vision about that. You did not wrong. Usually I’m for “Less is more”, doubly true when we are thinking about mechanics that bring no useful things in fiction. There’s a sweet spot between crunchy conglomerate of numbers apparently there for “simulate reality” and no crunch at all (like in Fate Core, with no equip, skills all the same, sad uninspired stunts etc.)… For me, that sweet spot is something in between PbtA games and Savage Worlds, while they are two systems not easy to blend together ☺ However I’m digressing again…

  25. Regarding the questions about dealing with type-A and type-B players:

    Player A feels like a 7-9 is a failure -> Use my favorite cheat in Dungeon World: let the player do the work. Narrate the player’s success (because a 7-9 should achieve what the player was trying to do). Then add “but it’s not a total success, so something doesn’t go according to plan. Tell me what.”

    Asking the player to come up with their own consequence can help them to see it not as a penalty, but an opportunity. It’s also a helpful way to take a break from constantly coming up with 7-9 effects, as your players may have very unique thoughts on what goes wrong. I’ve also found that players are surprisingly eager to go harsh on themselves — I think they often fear “going easy” and looking like they’re trying to get out of the consequences altogether.

    Player B feels like stealth means no challenge and no XP -> I’ve noticed one thing about the players who enjoy DW the most: they’ll eagerly roll against their bad stats. Likewise, every campaign seems to have that guy with +3 DEX who only ever sneaks/dodges/volleys.

    To spice up that player’s life, put things in the shadows. This doesn’t mean they fail their stealth — in fact, you may even want to stop asking them to roll for stealth all the time, to heighten the feeling of mastery. “Your character is a ghost, king of the shadows, lord of thieves.” But the shadows come to life and speak to you; roll+CHA to sway them to your cause. Or their are rats gnawing at your feet as you close in for a lethal backstab; roll+CON to avoid the plague. Or the city’s alleyways are labyrinthine and full of secrets; roll+INT to remember the best route, and risk getting lost in some lucrative backalley gambling den.

    The gist of it is: when you see a player rolling only the stats they want to, start finding ways to lead them towards new stats and new situations. Don’t penalize them; you’re not making them roll+CHA so that you can sneak damage past their +3 DEX. Instead, you’re giving them a new opportunity for success, and if they fail, well, you’ll make their life interesting in strange and exciting new ways.

  26. I really like the solution to Player A.  I shall have to remember it and see what they come up with.  I like the phrasing:  You are successful-Insert story- But it doesn’t go completely to plan–How? This being a more narrative game that is altogether wonderful.  Once they get the fact that a Move is not an “Action” but a small series of events or as I put it a slice of the action or a sequence of a scene, I am sure that we can bring about more creatively what happens that isn’t, you deal damage and I deal damage.  Speaking of course the Hack&Slash or Volley Moves.  I need to get them into the more flexible mindset as all of my players are in the mindset of a tactical game with an initiative order and “Actions” that they do in their 3-6 seconds or 1 minute of action.

    On the Player B.  Since it was a quick skirmish and designed to get the players introduced to the way combat and action is handled in the Apocolyse/Dungeon World way, I wasn’t really worried about it.  But yes, I shall work on challenging them with a variety of usages on their stats.  Heh, I once had someone try to use defy danger by “I stand there and take it.” Thinking to simply avoid damage because they were so tough, with a plus 3 on Con.  They were disappointed.  In essence they simply ignored the danger even after I explained the imminent danger that they were facing.

  27. Actually, I think defy danger with CON is literally described as “enduring.” So, that sounds like a great angle to take, if the danger is in fact something that can be endured.

  28. A Flying Table thrown by a Troll.  Character was standing in a doorway and in direct line of fire.  He didn’t dodge to the side, just let it smack him, striking a pose

  29. You can give the thief non-combat, non-person challenges. A large gap to jump across, a narrow fissure they have to squeeze through, some horrifying sight or sound they are faced with, traps! The thief has a move all about traps, include traps that are both constructed by someone and are just precarious situations – unstable ground that threatens to fall out from under them, a viper or scorpion they disturb, slippery or uneven ground in the dark.

    If a player isn’t getting xp because they’re not failing, hey don’t need xp! They’re already getting what they want.

    In DW, if you want xp, you gotta take some risks and look for challenges that aren’t your strong suit.

  30. Partially OT. The Math in PbtA games is very generous to the player characters. They have at least +2 in their favorite tasks, usually more, thanks to Aid, magic items, various bonus from other moves. So, even if they have “just” a +3, they already have 60% of total success, no risks and no bruises, 30% of mixed success (still a success), and 10% of “probably a failure, maybe a success with heavy costs”. There’s no other RpG so forgiving and fan of a player character. Matrix Forby​, show some math to your players.

    Side note: in a campaign I ran, I ended with almost all the players at 10th level, and one of them at 4th level. About the latter, he did so many things with success that he leveled up less of his friends, but, you know, he rocked. A lot. He tried crazy actions, he turned cities, he fought semigods, and he did it. He rocked. You don’t need level ups when you are actually “beating the game” this way 😊

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