I’m looking for advice on running con games using Dungeon World.

I’m looking for advice on running con games using Dungeon World.

I’m looking for advice on running con games using Dungeon World. My search skills aren’t turning anything up. I’ve run multiple con games using Castles & Crusades and have a good handle on con games in general. I’m wondering if Dungeon World has quirks that call for a different approach. For example, I’m a strong proponent of using pregens since chargen takes up valuable gaming time. Does that hold true for Dungeon World where chargen is must simpler than a traditional D&D-style game? How do you plan an adventure that fits into a 4 hour time slot when much of it will presumably be improvisational and incorporate player input when asking questions and using the answers?

10 thoughts on “I’m looking for advice on running con games using Dungeon World.”

  1. I’ve run DW at several cons, and I would not recommend pregens. Character creation is fast, and usually doesn’t take up a lot of time. I also plan… basically nothing.

    I break my time like this:

    First hour: explain the game and make characters (I sometimes limit the starting playbooks to speed up the selection process). I ask lots of questions, especially during the “Bonds” phase to make it really clear that the characters know each other. I also have every player add a feature to a communal map. Sometimes I’ll prime the map with a big magical tree or a castle or something else.

    Then: “Alright, you fall back to the ruined tower as the goblin warband rushes towards you. Why are you fighting a goblin warband, anyway?” I let them answer the question, then ask them where the tower is, add it to the map, and add them a few more questions about the tower based on the other things they have drawn: “Oh, I see it’s really close to the Cleric’s temple. Is it related to your church in any way, Cleric?”

    Then I just let the failure snowball build and build for 2-2.5 hours, and just before wrap-up, I introduce a twist: “You drop into the caves that the goblins were using as a base, and as you delve deeper, you find that they open up into a massive glittering chamber. From deep below, you hear heavy breathing… wait, not breathing! The beating of massive, leathery wings!”

    Then I cut on the cliffhanger, tell everyone that they can keep their playbooks, and ask if anyone wants to take the map.

  2. For a con game style, I have implemented +1 tokens instead of XP as XP means nothing in a one shot. You give them a +1 token that can be spent for a +1 on a die roll at any time.

    Bonds I changed to a simple +2 for all players and let them come up with bonds on how they know each other or simply ignored that part of the game. I would plan a general idea of an adventure and then improvize it as you go. I have also been thinking on a Drama type token. When the player gets a 6 or less, at times when I know that I might need it, I give them the option to get a 7-9 result to give me a Drama Point. I can spend the Drama Point as the GM to get a free move extra. Cheating a bit, yes but it could help me get more epic stuff into the game. Hmm, need to think on it.

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