17 thoughts on “Can you point me towards some good PvP rules for DW?”

  1. … just trip you buddy as the Yuggoth attacks and let him curse you with his last breath while you get the loot! (The World is to dangerous for the characters not to help, but when the evil sorceress enchants the fighter it pays to know him well…)

  2. So, PC A swings at PC B, PC B rolls to interfere. What happens when PC B rolls a 10+? PC A gets -2 but still rolls H&S? How is that different than if PC B rolled a 7-9 to interfere? What should PC B’s consequence be for interfering?

  3. On a 10+ PC A gets the -2 but still rolls. On a 7-9 as 10+ but PC B exposes themselves to danger, retribution or cost (could be anything really: lose their footing, weapon, item, strain their ankle etc).

  4. It hasn’t come up that often, but we always resolved it in a way that felt fair for everyone. The main thing to check with your players is: are they happy with the resolution mechanism, will they accept the result and what is their intend: do they want to actually kill each other, just teach them a lesson, would it be ok if the other is left seemingly bleeding to death but survive etc. If you are playing with adults PvP isn’t as bad as you might remember.

  5. Paging Jeremy Strandberg​. I believe he shared an interesting actual play featuring an alternate interfere move? Something about the result being the target of interfere making a choice to go ahead with -2 or relent and mark XP?

  6. One of my best learning moments as a GM for Dungeon World was running PvP very, very badly.

    It was a bad play experience for the two players involved, it was a bad experience for me as GM, and it was a bad experience for the other PCs watching it happen (and waiting for it to end).

    First rule – player agenda! Each player should be on board with the fact that you’re going into Player vs. Player territory. If anyone is being bullied into it, or it is simply the result of “troll” behavior, i would call out that behavior, stopping play if necessary. Mind you, this isn’t the GM’s role – any player at the table should be willing to speak up to keep the table a safe play space. One of my biggest regrets as a player (non-GM), was sitting by while another player harrassed someone into giving up their player agency, and seeing the other player leave the online game.

    Assuming the players are on board, i’d ask if they are fine leaving it to the dice, or would rather briefly argue through it as players and settle on a result. We would then work out what happened as a group, and provide a quick recap of how it played out in the fiction.

    If it comes down to players triggering moves against eachother, then the whole group should be involved in watching for triggers, and the GM needs to be especially mindful of their need to spotlight fairly, and to make GM moves as called for.

    If the PCs are fighting eachother, and it isn’t due to non-game issues between the players, perhaps the world isn’t dangerous enough. In DW, the players are expected to be banded together for a common purpose. Even if they don’t get along, that common purpose should be important enough to keep PvP from becoming too disruptive.

  7. The impression I get is that every other PbtA game that I’ve played, Apocalypse World included, has handled PvP better than DW does. Given that, I’m inclined to believe the moves were written in such a way as to discourage it. In that case, what I would want to see in a PvP hack would be rewrites of the basic moves, not creative ways of triggering the existing ones.

  8. The sorceress has your fighter under a spell- “I talk to him about our adventures and tavern-hopping” (Defy Danger+CHA, “I dogde and weave, and try to trick him into falling into the pool, hopefully that’ll break the spell”)


    DW is not a game were one will attack eachother like one attack the goblins, right?

    Fighter: “I’ve had it! Thief! …. I charge at the thief fully intending to cut him in half! He’ll regret taking my knife and pulling that pun on my mother’s weight!”

    Thief: “*gulp* … I run to the wall and climb to the second level, hopefully the cleric can talk him down while he climbs…” (Thief rolls Defy Danger+DEX, but not that on a 6-1 I as a GM am not obliged to have the Fighter cut him in half, I might just send him into a combined garbage room-pit trap and immideatly activate the crushing walls…)

    Always run with the fiction, use the GM moves and the GM agenda and take inspiration from movies and the like!

    I.e. “Everyone argues, then someone finds a hidden passage!”


    Even epic final battles with world ending as well as campaign-ending consequences were two sides go at eachother – use the moves, but don’t let them roll “Hack & Slash” … ASK QUESTIONS LIKE CRAZY!

    So, you have her at an advantage… she stumbles backwards, much like the time you kissed on the bed at the tavern. “What thoughts are racing through your mind at this moment?”

    I think rarely will they do the same thing in fiction: If one attacks with the sword, the other will duck… maybe if everyone attacks my GM move might be to just INFLICT DAMAGE… just to up the stakes. (Then the people with low a damage die mihgt reconsider and do something dramatically appropriate: “I walk to the fighter and toss my staff. Sir Theodotus, your skills far outweigh mine. If your need to end the world makes you willing to strike me down, do so and let me die before my loved ones. Let me say it’s been an honour to fight side-by-side with you…”

  9. Here’s the post Asbjørn H Flø was referencing:


    The most relevant thing, I think, is this revised Interfere move:

    When you try to foil another PC’s action, say how you do it and roll +STAT: On a 10+, they pick 1 from the list below; on a 7-9, they pick 1 but you are left off balance, exposed, or otherwise vulnerable.

    • They do it anyway, but take -2 forward

    • They relent, change course, or otherwise allow their move to be foiled

    (You could easily have it roll +BOND instead of +STAT).

    The linked post gives a couple examples of it in play, alongside a mind control move. But the key reasons I prefer this to the standard Interfere are:

    1) It gives the interferee an “out”. If you H&S at me and I interfere with you, I can relent. We get our moment where we come to blows but can stop it before it goes to far. That works really nicely in a game that’s generally cooperative.

    2) I haaaate the 7-9 clause in standard Interfere (“you also expose yourself to danger, retribution, or cost”). It’s presence implies that on a 10+ you are NOT so exposed. But in order to actually trigger the move (i.e. to interfere with someone) you’re pretty exposing yourself to danger, retribution, or cost by definition. Like, how could you not be exposed? I think “left off balance, exposed, or otherwise vulnerable” tells us more about how you end up rather than what you are exposed to.

    Beyond that… what others have said in this thread are golden: take it slow, make sure the players are on board with the conflict, follow the moves. You can almost identify who’s the aggressor and who’s Interfering.

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