Last night I introduced three of my friends to Dungeon World, they were pretty familiar with the concept of tabletop…

Last night I introduced three of my friends to Dungeon World, they were pretty familiar with the concept of tabletop…

Last night I introduced three of my friends to Dungeon World, they were pretty familiar with the concept of tabletop RPGs, but I guess they never experienced the “real thing”. The session began at 10:30 PM yesterday and we finished at 3:00 AM today (yeah, they enjoyed the game).

During the first hour I explained how the game works and they made their characters (it took that long because they had a lot of questions, these guys were very green), so we got a a Fighter, a Wizard and a Ranger.

Next I explained them that their characters already knew each other, and I asked them how would they name their last adventure, giving some suggestions; they choose to name it “The Journey of Ur-Gammon”, then I asked what happened during this adventure, and they explained that they were escorting this wizard named Ur-Gammon to an ancient place, until they discovered his evil, necromantic intentions and took him down.

Without further ado, their adventure began at a tavern (they REALLY wanted to begin at a tavern, see how those guys were very new to this thing), where they were drinking and telling their story to the locals (the ranger couldn’t stop saying that he killed three zombies with a single shot), until a group of bandits broke in town raiding and stealing and eventually locking themselves in the local temple with both the priest and the mayor’s mom as hostages. This was a very small town, and they hadn’t much of a guard, so the mayor asked the PCs to solve this situation, promising gold in return.

As they are big fans of hack an’ slash videogames, I wasn’t surprised that they decided to go kicking the front door down “guns blazing”. Considering that they were very new players, I decided to let them deal with this situation without very severe consequences for their “rash” entrance, as the adventure turned into a good old dungeon crawl (there were some hidden catacombs under the temple).

We finished the session with them finding the priest’s body, sacrificed in a dark ritual to raise undead, and yet no sign of the mayor’s mom. They didn’t explore the whole place, it was getting late and we all agreed that it would be best to continue on in the next session.

I have to say that this was the biggest group I had (I mostly play one-on-one short campaigns with my brother), and that I was kinda nervous at the beginning, but I’m happy to say that everyone had a blast playing. The players were very engaged right from the beginning (they were always curious about tabletop RPGs), and right now they’re already asking when is the next session.

Damn, this game is fun! : )

5 thoughts on “Last night I introduced three of my friends to Dungeon World, they were pretty familiar with the concept of tabletop…”

  1. Congrats, sounds like it was a good time. 🙂 One thing I’ll note is that it’s okay to have a game where bashing down the gates and going in “guns blazing” is an effective strategy. If your group enjoys that style of play, you can easily run DW in an “action movie” style with plenty of direction confrontations, magical explosions, severed limbs, gratuitous property damage, etc.

    You can introduce some interesting complications if you want, but it’s also okay to sweep some of the more ‘realistic’ complications under the rug to play out the power fantasy and blow shit up. The players will tell you the kind of story they want to play out by the actions they choose to take with their characters. And, if you’re ever unsure, you can always ask the players directly if you’re interpreting their signals correctly.

  2. This is very encouraging for a tentative GM like myself. I’ve played RPGs since 1988 with a small group of players and as I look back at the games I ran, I’m very self critical about how I did as a GM. Seeing how well everyone improvises has set back my confidence as a GM. So now as a non-confident GM who has no group of players (I moved a few years ago, ppl have kids now etc…) I’m very hesitant to start another game. Seeing posts like this give me hope though 🙂

  3. Jason McDonald One of the fun things about improv in DW (and games like it) is that it has plenty of tools to help provide inspiration if you get stuck. The GM moves list is a treasure trove and if you ever get really stuck you can always ask one of the characters.

    The funny thing about improvisation for me is that it highlights how this is just how my mind works all the time. I tell a story about my life in an attempt to construct a coherent narrative explaining what is otherwise an absurd series of events. Granted, I’m more attached to the fictional character I call ‘me’ and I’ve got a more direct sensory investment, but otherwise it plays out much the same way. If anything, improvising in a game is easier because I have more structure to work with.

  4. Jason McDonald When we started the session I was very nervous, and I was struggling to improvise the adventure’s beginning (like “how am I supposed to begin this sh*t?”), so I started to ask them questions like how was their last adventure, what’s the name of the nearest town, do they know any person of note that lives there and so on.

    Asking questions might be the most important thing about improv, IMO. It gives the players something to think about and sparks your imagination, giving a baseline that you can build upon.

    It’s also worth of note that taking suggestions from the players can be really helful: sometimes during the session I caught myself hesitating, trying to figure out the consequences of their moves, especially when they were in the 7-9 ranges, then a player would just suggest some good ideas.

    Remember that this is a cooperative game above everything else, and I think that engaged players will instinctively get this idea, resulting in very fluid and extremely fun sessions.

    So yeah bro, don’t be afraid, and if you ever get stuck, just ask for a suggestion, your players will surprise you : )

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