Mouse Guard advancement and Dungeon World, aka overhauling XP (hopefully without having to overhaul the whole game).
Kicking around an idea here, thought I’d get some feedback. In Mouse Guard, one of my favorite elements, and one which feels very PbtA in its fiction-first lean, is the way you advance. You level up skills organically, as you use them — it takes X successes when rolling a skill, and X-n failures, to advance it. This means you have to use skills to make them better — the things you neglect aren’t going anywhere. Additionally, you have to screw up a little, too, which is a neat touch — you learn from your mistakes, as it were.
Additionally, at the end of a session you choose a skill you used and advance it. Then you choose one you didn’t use — and decrease it. It really keeps things lively, and it’s always been a fun system to me.
What if we tried something like that in DW, I wonder? First of all, what if instead of XP for misses, it just took, say, 5 10+ rolls on a stat and 3 6- rolls to then increase that stat mod by 1 (max +3, as always).
Then, what if at the end of every session we chose a stat we’d used and increased it by one, and a stat we did not use and decreased it by one? (my instinct is the actual stat, not the mod, though… the mod could work too)
We’d need to rewrite some moves to not bother with marking XP anymore, but that’s a small matter. The remaining big question, then, is how we handle taking advanced moves, and max level. Without a universal XP and level up, we have no way of tracking our level and, thereby controlling what moves we can unlock, and when.
I’ll admit that this is the only part that has me stymied. I can’t think of a way of doing it without tracking level. It could be per-session, maybe. At the end of session, you pick a new move from the 2-5 list. At the end of the fifth session, pick any advanced move.
At the end of 10th session, you can’t pick moves anymore, but you can retire and all the normal stuff. You could even keep playing and growing your stats with rolls — though if that was the case, I do think the losing a modifier each session is vital, to curb the ability to get +3’s in all stats. In theory I suppose it would be possible to max everything out, but you’d have to be doing a lot of rolling in every session.
Thoughts? Is this possible without obliterating the entire game?