I’ve seen a question a little down below in the page but it does not cover what I wanted to ask about Bonds.

I’ve seen a question a little down below in the page but it does not cover what I wanted to ask about Bonds.

I’ve seen a question a little down below in the page but it does not cover what I wanted to ask about Bonds.

After all, what can you have Bonds with?

I ask because the brief text that covers them indicates that they can only be formed with other players, not NPCs or Organizations.

Really? I can’t drive much ficction if all the Bonds the characters have are amongst themselves – neither can the players. It mainly ends up serving as a XP-giving merry-go-round between the characters.

Is this really the rule or did I not read some text that elucidates the issue, and Bonds with organizations and NPCs CAN be made?

20 thoughts on “I’ve seen a question a little down below in the page but it does not cover what I wanted to ask about Bonds.”

  1. Think the bonds are there for players to drive the fiction themselves with the team dynamics and banter. Don’t see the problem with this.

  2. You can absolutely drive the fiction without Bonds. You can establish relationships between PCs and NPCs/Organizations just fine, it’s just in the fiction, no mechanics needed. You can’t roll to Aid/Interfere with an NPC because NPCs don’t roll. So having a Bond with an NPC would only serve to occasionally get some XP at the end of the session.

    Also, Bonds aren’t really meant to be XP machines. Read the End of Session text closely: choose one of your bonds that you feel is resolved (completely explored, no longer relevant, or otherwise). Ask the player of the character you have the bond with if they agree. If they do, mark XP and write a new bond with whomever you wish. You don’t get an XP just for touching on a Bond during a session, it has to be resolved. If your PCs are completely exploring the Bonds they have every session, then great, but in my experience it’s something that tends to happen once every couple of sessions at most.

  3. Nicolas Bohnenberger first of all, character that ignore combat happening are subject to hard moves automatically. That’s what happen when you ignore the setup of a soft move. Second, bonds are resolved ( a thing as completing a bond doesn’t exist, there is no predetermined requirement) through roleplaying and character interaction that happens when characters’ agendas clash. How significant interaction can happen when the characters are busy with survival?

  4. Nicolas Bohnenberger Make some hard moves in response. If they’re ignoring a dangerous situation so they can have a chat about how Ragnar is no longer interested in converting Voltax to his religion, then that’s a golden opportunity to make as direct and hard a move as you like.

    Or, cut the XP component of Bonds entirely. Nothing stopping you from doing that.

    Also, it would probably help to have a talk with your players about their expectations for the game. If their interest is primarily in maximizing XP gain, then maybe DW isn’t the best system for them.

  5. I’ve seen some moves in Compendium Classes that allow you to write bonds with things other than other PCs… I think there was one that allowed a cleric to write a bond with their deity, for example. But as mentioned, you’re not going to be rolling Aid or Interfere with those bonds any more…

    Note that a player only gets to resolve one bond per session, so the “XP machine” is giving at most one XP per session. It’s a nice-to-have, but not on the same order of magnitude as marking XP when you roll a 6-.

    (Personally, I’d allow players to resolve more than one bond after a session if they wanted, but they only mark 1 XP no matter how many they resolved.)

    But really, players aren’t restricted to the text of the starting bonds in the playbooks, even at the start of the game. Bonds can be anything, so players can trivially write them in such a way that at least one can resolve each session without even stretching things very far. And that’s fine IMHO.

    But if you’re finding bonds to be a problem in your group, producing incoherent play at the table, maybe check out Rob Donoghue’s article about using flags instead of bonds: http://walkingmind.evilhat.com/2015/09/07/from-bonds-to-flags/

  6. Your job as DM’s isn’t to punish the players for ignoring your combat so their characters can interact. It’s the opposite. Watch, listen, and use what they give you instead of shutting them down. Be fans of their characters.

  7. Yeah treat it like every action movie ever where they are trading quips and personal feelings while fighting the horde. In fact can I please have your players cause it sounds like the type i want to have

  8. Amado Sainz doing a move when players ignore what’s happening around their characters is not punishing: it’s playing Dungeon World. It stems directly from the principles Think dangerous, Make a move that follows and Begin and end with the fiction.

    Verbatim from the manual “A soft move ignored becomes a golden opportunity for a hard move. If the players do nothing about the hail of arrows flying towards them it’s a golden opportunity to use the deal damage move.”

    A player ignoring the fiction is like a basket player ignoring the ball: not playing the game.

    james day “while fighting” is great, “while ignoring” not so much. And that’s the word OP used.

  9. Bonds fuel Aid / Interfere – which is a table management tool. If players have a dispute or talk over each other you can resolve it by triggering Aid / Interfere.

    As for Bonds with NPCs – read the Hirelings rules. They have their own variant called Loyalty, which describes players making requests of them. You can assign Loyalty to cultures or organisations if Parley isn’t cutting it. Just remember that Bonds and Loyalty don’t combine with stat modifiers.

  10. Paride Papadia Think of it this way: if I didn’t wait for the bond interaction to run its course before saying “cool, but what about the hail of arrows?” and just threw hard moves at my players to interrupt it or end it, I’d definitely be punishing them for ignoring ‘*my* combat encounter’ and shifting the spotlight somewhere else, to what they have created and to what they are enthusiastic about at that moment.

    The Players can do this all they want before returning to the question of the hail of arrows en route to their characters without “running out of time” in the fiction. Just keep asking questions about what they’re spotlighting so you can use the answers later, then bring them back to the question of ‘the ball’ that their Characters need to keep their eyes on.

    I see this misconception about Think Dangerous a lot. That principle is not about imagining ways to injure the PCs, it’s about how you regard your own stuff. NPCs, cities, etc. “Nothing you (the GM) create is ever protected. Whenever your eye falls on something you’ve created, think how it can be put in danger, fall apart or crumble. The world changes. Without the characters’ intervention, it changes for the worse.”

  11. Amado Sainz

     damn gplus ate 3 times my long post already.

    There’s no plot immunity in DW. Discussing a bond in fiction is not a special thing. If a move happens it has to be resolved before getting back to fiction.

    If the GM tells the players that the troll is charging them and they decide to keep bickering about their stuff without describing what they are doing to avoid being hit, they will suffer a hard move. There’s no discussion about spotlight, time, or petty GM desires: the fiction is framed, if the players ignore it, the characters will face consequences. Else, the fiction is meaningless.

    I have no misconception about Think Dangerous: it says nothing is safe, not only GM creations. Also GM creations, not only.

  12. At least ask your players if they’re sure they want to ignore the charging troll to bicker among themselves before you hit them in the face if you’re going to be a stickler about its immediacy. 

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