I am reworking the Travel & Exploration moves because I’ve been unhappy with the way Venture Forth works out in play…

I am reworking the Travel & Exploration moves because I’ve been unhappy with the way Venture Forth works out in play…

I am reworking the Travel & Exploration moves because I’ve been unhappy with the way Venture Forth works out in play — too fiddly and repetitive! The main change is that I’m integrating encounter rolls — formerly called Discoveries & Dangers, now called Incidents and Threats. Incidents encompass hazards, obstacles, mishaps, encounters with non-hostile entities, and discoveries; Threats are hostile entities. The Judge can make something up for those results, or roll on the Incident and Threat tables that I’m currently working on (based on those in The Perilous Wilds).

Let me know whatcha think.


17 thoughts on “I am reworking the Travel & Exploration moves because I’ve been unhappy with the way Venture Forth works out in play…”

  1. Threats are the equivalent of your classic wandering monster, actively hostile/dangerous out of the gate. Incidents encompass anything that’s not an active threat — at the undesirable end you have hazards and obstacles, which need to be overcome or avoided; then mishaps, which are minor problems (equipment breakage, argument/disagreement within the party, etc.); encounters with other entities, which are potentially positive since they don’t start out hostile; and discoveries, which are pretty much what they were in TPW — footprints, ruins, landmarks, etc.

  2. We kinda liked the fiddly-ness of Venture Forth, but I like the “legs” component of this as well as it not really mattering who it is that rolls, since that part of it was always a little annoying. (I’ll be honest that I actually miss the different roles of stock DW but never thought it was implemented well–three rolls to do essentially the same thing is WAY too much for the GM to handle imo which is why I like your version of aid/interfere better as well; I always found it difficult to handle one player missing and another hitting, or whatever; especially when the result of this stuff should be applying to the whole dang party).

    I also REALLY like that the region/area tags come into play and have a little bit of mechanical significance. I think that’s pretty awesome. Also adding in Keep Company to encourage that piece.

    Is Travel a Well-Beaten Way gone now, then? I think it’s a useful move, especially for returning from somewhere back to base. Is there a way to fold it in to the new Set Out? Something like

    When you *travel by a known or safe route*, treat that leg as Safe until you reach the next juncture or leg.

  3. Jeb E, yeah, after many attempts to coax the idea of specialized traveling roles into working shape, in order to overcome my dissatisfaction with the DW mechanics on that front, I still haven’t found something I really like.

  4. I think it can mostly be handled fictionally, yeah? Say the Set Out roll is a miss, and the person at the back of the line has the least Luck, then maybe that’s where the attack comes from, etc. (I actually always found it a little tough to incorporate the whole “when a bad thing happens, it happens to the party member with the least luck” thing and this seems like a great place for it.)

  5. I really like this. I’d be inclined to add more modifiers to the Safety modifier (like “you’re able to travel in stealth, +1 Safety” etc), maybe notching down the base modifiers by 1 or even 2.

    The other question I’ve got is:do you really need Stay Sharp? It seems like the tags of the Threat would almost always suggest the initial GM move. I horde of huge flying insects will be heard from afar, no matter who’s on watch, yeah? And a solitary tiny _ stealthy_ critter is to be in the camp before anyone notices.

  6. Does make camp trigger at the end of each leg? Or, does it only trigger when the players need to recover resources and decide to risk making camp?

    Also, does pass the night always follow make camp?

    I think I was clear on the original procedures, but I have become unsure.

  7. Violet Robinweiler, great questions. There’s an unintentional lack of procedure but an intentional lack of specificity. the language needs more work to get that across. Set Forth move is meant to accommodate journeys from varying lengths, but Make Camp is meant to happen at the end of each day. A leg could be half a day’s journey, a day’s journey, or several days’ journey, depending on how much the Judge wants to montage. I imagine the Pass the Night always follows Make Camp, so I either need to rewrite those to make the link more clear or in the other direction, to make them more modular.

  8. Jeremy Strandberg, indeed! Hm. Stay Sharp is perhaps a vestige of the lookout/on point role, which might be better left on the cutting room floor with those other roles. I think I like it as an explicit scene marker, but making a saving throw with WIS at the Judge’s discretion might do just as well…

  9. Oh, one other thing that just occurred to me…

    One problem new players sometimes have DW’s UPJ move is the question of “What happens after the encounter? Is there another UPJ move? Or do we get to the destination?”

    Not sure if you want to try to address that question in the Set Out move text or not. I can definitely see the value in leaving it undefined… the incident or threat could completely change the party’s plans, so you don’t want the move to presume that they reach their destination after dealing with it.

    But at the same time… it might be nice to clarify that, after dealing with the threat or incident, if you continue on your journey, you’ll reach the end of this leg without further interruption.

    Maybe? Maybe not. Maybe that’s just something discussed in the Judge’s section?

  10. How do y’all handle players who are actively searching for discoveries? I miss the player facing choices from 1st ed. where the scout and the navigator could pick making a discovery as one of the options. With the newer iterations of the travel move players are “rewarded” with a discovery on a 7-9 which feels odd.

  11. I’m working on the table for the 7-9 result of “incident,” and currently the first tier looks like this (1d12):

    1-2: HAZARD

    3-4: OBSTACLE

    5-7: MISHAP

    8-9: ENCOUNTER

    10-12: DISCOVERY

    So this way you’d have a 25% chance of making a discovery each time you roll a 7-9.

    If your players actively want to seek out random discoveries, you could just ask the searcher with the highest Wisdom to Make a Saving Throw with WIS (perhaps Helped by another party member) to find one. Each attempt could take half a day or whatever makes sense to you.

    Let’s say the party Sets Out from Dunhollow to Widow’s Weir, a landmark they’ve visited before. It’s a 1-leg journey and half a day’s march if all goes well. They roll a 10 and reach the Weir without incident. With half a day of light left, they decide to establish a campsite on the banks of the river and venture out into the surrounding wooded hills to see what they can find before sunset. I ask them their plan and they decide that two people will hold down the camp, two will search the area north of camp, and two will search the area to the west. I ask the person with the highest Wisdom on each team to Make a Saving Throw with WIS, taking +1 for their teammate helping. The north team rolls an 11, so they get to roll a random discovery. The west team rolls a 7, and I give them a hard bargain: they can Get Lucky to make a random discovery, but only if they keep searching until sundown, which will leave them to find their way back to camp in the dark.

    If they specifically want to make a random discovery during a journey, I would just ask them to Make a Saving Throw with WIS alongside the Set Out roll.

    In all cases, I would limit the number of discoveries they can make in a given area or on a given leg. You could do this by setting a hard limit — say, there are only 3 random things to be found along that particular leg — or just by saying “there’s nothing more to be found here” whenever you feel the area has been thoroughly explored.

  12. I should add that one of my goals with this rewrite is to make the travel process flow more smoothly — I found the combination of choosing a travel mode (quickly, cautiously, etc.) and pausing to make a decision on a 7-9 started to make things feel a little tedious. Rolling for an incident will of course pause play for a few moments, but “asking the dice” feels better than waiting on player deliberation (to me).

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