Dungeon World for dungeon crawls.

Dungeon World for dungeon crawls.

Dungeon World for dungeon crawls. I have heard several people say that dungeon world works well for dungeon crawls, but not for more RP heavy campaigns. In my first campaign, I find that it is working well for the straight up RP stuff. We have not actually crawled any dungeons yet, and they are level 3. I did remove the “leverage” requirement for parley, and use it a bit more for interaction. I was just curious about what makes folks say that. Thanks!

25 thoughts on “Dungeon World for dungeon crawls.”

  1. DW being good for crawling and bad for RP is pretty much the opposite of my experience. And honestly, this is the first I’ve heard otherwise.

  2. Yeah. Chiming in to agree that DW not being good for non-dungroncrawl stuff has not been my experience. I expect it’s just a matter of getting out what you put in, or having differing expectations than what the game provides.

  3. Timely. My players just hit level 3. It’s a high RP campaign and I’m finding it difficult to see how to run it well as a dungeon crawler. I’d imagined it was just me and my group.

  4. Oh I think it’s equally good for both. Just think less about exploration and random monsters and more about the story the dungeon wants to tell. Does that make sense?

  5. I think the comment I’ve seen suggesting that DW is not well suited to non-dungeon crawls is with regards to how often dice are rolled. In a dungeon, there are frequent combats and hazards, so there are a lot of dice rolls, which means lots of opportunities to fail (with attendant XP to hasten levelling, as well as creating complications that snowball into further ad-lib hazards).

    However, I’m not sure how much of an issue that is in practice… one of the GM principles is “think dangerous”, and that applies whether you’re in a dungeon or not.

  6. Robert Rendell that sounds like a GM failure in two parts: not in a dungeon doesn’t mean safe; and rolls should zoom in and out (even in dungeons) – if someone is rolling for every tiny task, they’re doing it wrong.

  7. I’ve had some fantastic RP moments in DW. Recently our party was ambushed while making camp, but the thief couldn’t be surprised, so was only pretending to be asleep. As one of the ambushers was sneaking up to him, he reached up and stabbed her in the throat. Her hood fell back and revealed her to be his daughter, and my character’s on-again-off-again lover.

    Two of the Deity’s in our story both manifested their presence and Geodee (The Earth God) gave us an option to save her life. What could have been a combat encounter turned into my character pleading with the thief to do whatever it took to save Kasandar’s life as she bled out before us.

    In the end the thief chose to have his own quasi-immortality transferred to his daughter through the other Deity (The God of the Forge), reducing him to a pile of ash in the process. And that’s how it ended so I can’t be sure, but I can assume Geodee is not going to be happy that the party ignored his offer of help.

    So IMO, the people who say DW is only good for dungeon crawl and not RP are the people who aren’t any good at RP to begin with. Everything begins and ends with fiction right? Sounds like a good recipe for RP to me!

  8. Removing “leverage” for Parley effectively turns it into brainwashing. You can command anyone to do something simply by asking without promise of any reward.

    Perhaps you actually mean to Defy Danger with Charisma?

  9. I have one campaign that is 90% RP, 10% combat/problem solving; it is going great! I think it really depends on the people who are playing (one woman is playing a very anti-combat Bard, and another guy is playing a pro-violence Paladin. The Wizard is in love with the Bard, who loves the Paladin. Lots of RP).

  10. I’ll offer a slightly divergent opinion and say that Dungeon World is very much designed for dungeon crawling. However, it doesn’t do so at the expense of character development. It also makes the danger of the dungeon much more universal than dark holes in the ground; there are absolutely ‘social dungeons’ with just as many dangers lurking, some potentially far scarier than monsters you can kill with a sword. A huge part of your job as GM is to fill the character’s lives with adventure, with think dangerous being a driving principle for how to do that. This means that if the characters don’t choose to go to the dungeon, the dungeon will come to them. In Dungeon World, The World is the Dungeon.

  11. Chris Stone-Bush Yeah, perhaps my phrasing has been colored by over-exposure. Though, sometimes, when I visit the depths of a cubicle farm and see the fading sun through a distant window, parrying yet another email and carefully avoiding the office troll on my way to kill the bugs hiding in the bowels of the machine’s software, I can’t help but wonder…

  12. Aaron Steed I think I do mean that. I guess I also make a judgement on the reasonableness of a request, and decide if the dice should come into play at all.

  13. John Corey – in response to this: “I guess I also make a judgement on the reasonableness of a request, and decide if the dice should come into play at all.”

    It has been my experience that an IMPORTANT aspect of Dungeon World is that the GM is not allowed to randomly call for rolls.

    Explicitly, if a move is triggered, follow the move. Dice shouldn’t be getting rolled to do things if the doing doesn’t trigger a move. And if a move is triggered, you have to follow the move.

    If a player attempts something but doesn’t explicitly trigger a move, the GM can either follow a GM move (because they’re looking at you to find out what happens) or can speak to the player and ask for more detail, perhaps help them figure out if they want to take an approach that triggers an available move.

    Making it clear that the GM is just another player, with a different set of rules, helped me understand why this can be an important aspect of the fun of DW. No longer are players subject to the arbitrary whims of a GM; everyone has access to the information, everyone has the opportunity to ask and answer questions that develop the narrative.

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