So I’ve decided to hack Dungeon World into something my niece can handle.

So I’ve decided to hack Dungeon World into something my niece can handle.

So I’ve decided to hack Dungeon World into something my niece can handle. She’s 3, going on 4 & apparently she can do some very basic math so I’m boiling everything down to a single d6 roll. 1-2=Fail, 3-4=Partial Success, 5-6+=Success.

I’ve seen other games out there like Hero Kids but I really want to have the open-ended options for non-violent combat that come with a narrative first game like Dungeon World.

I’ve reduced the number of stats (Strong, Nimble, Tough, Smart & Charm) & classes basically have 2 strengths & a weakness (+/-1 to the d6). Tough is essentially HP so I might even drop that & have Strong cover those rolls. Tough would basically be a passive stat that reflects HP.

I’m kinda having trouble with damage & HP though. Damage would be a d6 +/-2 for strength or weakness. I was thinking base 15HP, +/-3 depending on whether it’s a strength of weakness but I want to simplify it further, like to 6 blocks max. It could work more like Blades in the Dark, Shadowrun or other systems where players just take levels of harm.

I might put my character sheets up here after I’ve gone through a play test but does anyone have any advice? I’ve read the general advice like keep sessions short, offer options etc. but I’m looking for anything to really help with keeping these rules simple enough for a girl who’s still more than a year away from starting school. And of course, still fun for any adults who want to play along.

9 thoughts on “So I’ve decided to hack Dungeon World into something my niece can handle.”

  1. You should strongly consider making damage fixed instead of a die roll. A child will have less trouble conceptualizing the risk rewards ratio of a conflict with fixed numbers than random ones. Teach them certainty first.

  2. Use card instead of dice. No math involved. You could let them to draw more cards, if they have an high Stat. You can prepare simple cards with color code. Green success. Yellow mixed result. Red failure, Cyan great success etc. Maybe something like Gold wierd opportunity.

  3. I agree on fixed damage. I’m in similar situation and planning to use just 3 Guts by default (combines physical & mental stamina), and just use Damage (1) or Big damage (1 on partial, 2 on failure). Enemies could have specialties like armor which needs to get in a good spot to hit (defy danger with Nimble!) or heavier weapon.

    It depends on the kid what to use (dice/cards). Even if the die are slow at first, pretty dice are quite fun (just ordered rainbow dice for my little ones!) and if the child doesn’t get frustrated, it helps her learning simple math.

  4. Drop HP and damage entirely. Give conditions like “Hurt” and “Tired” and “Scared” and “Angry” and maybe “Hungry” (yes, from Mouse Guard). They do what’s on the tin. If you’re “Hurt” then you’re hurt. Want to ignore that? Defy Danger (or whatever).

    As for damage dealt by the PC, handle it with fiction and or whatever “Fight” move you’ve got. 10+ it works and you’re safe, yay! 7-9 it works but you get Hurt, or you stay safe but it doesn’t work very well. “Work” being whatever ploy she comes up with, to the extent it makes sense in fiction. Stabbing a gobbo “works” by making it hurt or dead or dying. Throwing a blanket over its head “works” by making it confused and useless for a bit.

    Also, maybe instead of +1, it’s roll an extra die and keep the best roll? (Unless you’re trying to teach/practice math.)

  5. Thanks all, really good thoughts.

    No Thank You, Evil! looks like a great game that might save me a lot of work but I’m down in NZ & getting it here by next week looks impossible.

    I like the idea of status effects like Hurt but I’m wondering if giving them mechanical effects (-1 or take the lesser of 2 rolls) would be too complex. At the moment, I’m thinking of having a low HP (max 6) & fixed damage. Most classes would do 1 damage, maybe a special move could do 2.

  6. I’ve been thinking about similar things and am considering combining BitD dice with DW style attributes. 1/2/3/4d6 approximately correspond with 0/+1/+2/+3. The problem is what do do for negative stats. (BitD has 1-3 failure 4-5 partial and 6 success)

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