18 thoughts on “Alternative experience systems!”

  1. The XP system is one of the most important factors in how a game like this is played. I change the end of session questions to match the play style of a specific group if needed, and tend to allow more free-form alignments changed whenever it makes sense. But I wouldn’t overhaul the entire system – I’d just play a different PbtA hack if I needed to go that far.

  2. Well, I am kind of in the middle of developing my own hack of DW, that’s why I am asking 😉

    Problem is… Bonds and Alignments and the End of Session move are ok. They will undergo changes, but as a system I am fine with them.

    What I’m not liking is the main experience mechanic.

    It rewards rolling dice, which is not a bad thing for a PbtA.

    But it also rewards seeking mechanical failure.

    I understand it was meant to kind of “counter” the dump stat effect, and the always roll the same stat behaviours.

    But the end result is… not too much to my liking.

    AW and MH, by highlighting two stats, reward rolling dice AND guide the fiction: the stats work as flags for the kind of behavior/facet the others want to see of your PC, and it implicitly informs the fiction.

    No matter what I do, if I roll HARD my character is behaving in a HARD way.

    But this won’t work in DW, where instead of interesting descriptive stats we use nondescript “tools”:

    STR speaks less loudly than HARD or VOLATILE

    CHA is not remotely comparable to HOT or COLD or SHARP

    WIS is definitely not the same as WEIRD or DARK, although in the end they are often used for similar purposes

    So I was wondering if someone else already came up with an alternative xp system specifically fitting to Dungeon World 😛

    In the meantime I work on my own ideas, but it doesn’t hurt to look around 😉

  3. Thinking about increasing the XP in order to reach each level, but also adding more End of Session questions. Aim is to slow levelling a bit to allow for a longer campaign and to better drive the atmosphere of the campaign through the additional questions. Perhaps also giving XP for in-game awesomeness.

  4. Tom Walker a better choice would probably be to add additional rewards for you new questions so as not to muck too much with the XP system.

    For example, adding “fate points” that can be spent to roll 3d6 and choose the best two, or something…

  5. End of session XP is ok for me, but my groups struggles with the XP for failure. It encourages rolling above everything else, so it punish non dice related actions :S.

  6. Aaron Griffin that’s a concrete possibility 🙂

    But before throwing away the baby with the water I would like to at least try to “fix dungeon world”.

    If that fails, then yes, I’ll use a different pbta as a starting point, or maybe I’ll actually concoct something (relatively) new 😉

  7. I have this thing saved from a post here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-yAcwpCuO8hN1JiUkdGRWpJX3c

    It’s a cool way to replace Bonds that might be close to what you’re looking for.

    But I want to make some points about the whole “failure generates XP” thing, because there’s a lot of strange ideas in this thread.

    – Stats increase in DW with each level – it is not an advancement choice like other PbtA hacks. This means the likelihood of failure reduces rather quickly.

    – Not gaining XP for non-dice related actions is not the same as being punished for non-dice related actions. That’s like saying “people don’t give me cookies for walking down the sidewalk, so I am punished for walking down the sidewalk”

    – If gaining XP from a 6- roll is encouraging to your players then make harder moves. If you learn from your mistakes, make them big ass mistakes. XP on a failure shouldn’t be a benefit, it should be an apology. “Well Thognar, your breastplate is shattered, but at least you got some XP!”

  8. The XP from failure is precisely one of my favorite things about Dungeon World, though that could be partly because my groups handle it well. We see it not as an incentive to force dice rolls (though I could see that happening), but rather a motivator to take risks, a way to sweeten bad luck, and (because of the previous points) a chance to see what interesting curve balls the GM will throw at us

  9. I’m also a fan of XP on a miss and the “give it a go!” play style it generates.

    Biggest issue I’ve seen is that “fighty” characters can often end up rolling 2-3 times as often as other characters. Fighty, risky actions with 7-9 results often snowball directly into follow-up moves, whereas non-fighty characters take more conservative actions that often have less immediate peril or consequence. (Often! Not always! But enough that I’ve noticed a difference.)

    One thing I’ve rolled around is that each time you roll a 6- in a stat, you mark XP on that stat. And you can’t mark it again until next session. Or maybe, you can’t mark XP on a stat again until you’ve marked XP on ALL of them, regardless of session.

    Not sure I actually like that idea. But it’s an idea.

  10. Oscar Iglesias

    If the players feel punished for accomplishing things without rolling (and risking misses), then maybe the consequences of misses aren’t scary enough. 🙂

  11. oh man my group LOVE the if you fail… well at least you get XP! and it really helps keep them from gaming everything, always defying danger with dex, always having the wizard dicern realities etc…

    makes the game reward being more involved

    I did however change leveling up to 5+level XP (from 7)

  12. I am experimenting with a system that is more for a one-shot or a convention game set up.  I have removed the XP from the equasion.  On a 6-, I give out a +1 token.  This +1 token can be used by the player or he can give it out, prior to any roll.  The token must be spent prior to rolling and tokens and other bonuses cannot bring the + to above a plus 3 on any given roll.  I also changed the bond system for quicker play start too.  AS you play, you can make up bonds.  The maximum of a Bond you can have with someone is 3 bonds but if you aid someone and need to roll+Bond then the first time you get a +1 to the roll and must make up a bond with them on the spot.  This can be a bit of a halting feeling as it stops play for a quick flashback as the player explains the new bond and how they got the bond.  If they already have a bond then they can up it to 2 bonds and get a +2 for another flashback.

    This is mostly to build the story and connections AS you play and get the players going quicker.  For a Con game this is needed and let’s face it, on a one-shot XP doesn’t really matter.  You are not going to get to level.  Now if you play the character again in another session with that GM at the Con, then yes.  But most likely you are not, so end of session XP and earning XP doesn’t matter.

    As I said, this is not for a continuing situation but a quick one-shot or a short series that is too short for much story and helps the, Let’s Just Get going and Play attitude you get at a Convention.

  13. We tend to add the bonds durring play too ^_^ unless some ate just perfect at creation

    and i see your intention

    Just all the floating +1 tokens seem ok but takes away a cool dungeon world feature that if i were playing at a con would want to know about

    Maybe preface it oh usually you do this, but for one shot were adding bonus tokens

  14. Andrew Murphy Yes, I did preface it when I started.  The XP is usually “X” but since we are doing a one shot…”Y” will replace it.  I have been tempted to add another attachment to it.  Call the Tokens not +1 tokens but “Add Drama” token and add an easy soft move or complication in when it is spent.  I fear that this will take away something more.  The +1 tokens do tend to make things a bit more swingy..Most of the results of the night were either good successes of 10+ or on the other end of 6 or less.  I may have to re-think this a bit.

    I may be wrong but Bonds serve 2 purposes: XP at end of session and adding a bonus to aiding someone.  I don’t know of another mechanic.  Most of my players never “resolve a bond” as they feel that it is a part of their character’s background and they are afraid to lose it.

  15. ha! Im always funny about resolving a bond

    Until it was explained that its more an evolution of the bond form a new one based on the session was really good for me

    And yeah im cautious of +1s in dungeon world lots of bad 3rd party playbooks over use them

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