Let’s Talk About Dangers

Let’s Talk About Dangers

Let’s Talk About Dangers

Specifically, I’m thinking about this stuff:

* The categories of dangers presented in the Dungeon World core rules: Ambitious Organizations, Planar Forces, Arcane Enemies, etc.

* The specific types of dangers (e.g. Corrupt Government, Demon Prince, Power Mad Wizard) and their impulses.

* The GM moves associated with each category (e.g. Attack someone by stealthy means… Give dreams of prophecy… Cast a spell over time and place…)

(for reference: http://book.dwgazetteer.com/fronts.html)

How have you found these dangers (the ones in the book) useful? How have you found them frustrating, confusing, or limiting? What parts do you use? What parts do you ignore?

If you were to add a category, or some individual types, what would you add?

(For the record, I’m specifically not asking about grim portents or impending dooms, or cast or stakes questions… but if the way you use the stuff above ties into those things, yeah, I’d love to hear about it.)

12 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Dangers”

  1. Fantastic timing, as I was just thinking about this. So far, I’ve found the present 5 to be pretty universal, but I keep wondering if there are some others that might help distinguish things further. For one: I tend to use the Ambitious Organizations, Misguided Good dangers quite a bit.

  2. I don’t really use them. I just think of what each enemy would want to try and accomplish instead of grouping it under a category. But I tend to ignore fronts in general most of the time.

    Edit: By ignore I mean I don’t use the system’s setup for them. I still track things in a general fronts fashion, but just to keep track of what each enemy or group is doing.

  3. I find then difficult to use in my campaigns but that might just be me not liking to many complexities. Rarely if ever use them. (P.S. When is the Thrall compendium class coming out for #Stonetop?)

  4. I don’t find dangers useful in dungeon crawls but I have used different types of ambitious organizations successfully in a city environment. The impulses and moves associated with them really helped to bring these organizations into play.

  5. I think of them as useful guidelines. Sometimes I use them RAW, others I create some mix of them, but I think they are pretty generic, so there’s little need to add more types. But YMMV.

  6. I find most things I make is Ambitious Organizations so there might need to be more.

    I find the ones that have the impulse of defending things or maintaining the status quo a bit weird to use aimce the thing with dungeon world is that your meant to be always pushing the players but these don’t so still not to sure how I’m supposed to use them.

    Genrally though I find they do the job well to make you think about your dangers and what they do and how they are going about the things they are going about.

  7. Thinking more on this – I think the threat types and all that would have more utility as a random table. Like most tables, you could roll or pick one.

    The moves, I usually find myself writing more specific moves (“get a pawn elected to the senate”) , but it’s good to have examples for each table.

  8. Something that’s always struck me as odd is the distinction/overlap between danger moves and monster moves. And between a danger’s instinct and a monster’s instinct.

    Like, say I’m throwing a front together about a lich. The lich is a Danger (of course it is… it’s a lich). But it’s also a monster.

    As a Danger, the lich (a Lord of the Undead) has an instinct of “seek true immortality.” Makes sense. And they’ve got a whole bevvy of Danger moves:

    – Learn forbidden knowledge

    – Cast a spell over time and space

    – Attack a foe with magic, directly or otherwise

    – Spy on someone with a scrying spell

    – Recruit a follower or toady

    – Tempt someone with promises

    – Demand a sacrifice

    As a monster, the lich has an instinct (“To un-live”) and it’s own, more limited moves:

    – Cast a perfected spell of death or destruction

    – Set a ritual or great working into motion

    – Reveal a preparation or plan already completed

    Now, the instincts line up nicely here. But the moves strike me as somewhat overlapping and redundant, and yet at the same time acting on a fundamentally different scale. Like, the Danger moves seem to be (generally) more about things happening at the strategic level while the lich’s monster moves are (mostly) about things happening at the local, tactical level.

    I’m not sure I have a point to this… I’m just feeling my way towards something. Interested in other people’s reactions (and other meandering thoughts)!

  9. Fronts are strictly organizational in nature, and since I have the ability to remember almost every detail (major or minor), I just plot out all the information I need in my head, and can keep the cogs turning as needed.

  10. I found AW’s equivalent rules to be better. It had tighter moves for each category.

    But in general I find fronts and the associated tech to be underwhelming tools. I think the time scale that fronts often imply are at a disconnect with the reality of how slow play can be. Considering the scale of conflict that dungeon world encourages, do you ever really move around at the tactical level? Especially in any meaningful way?

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