I love this game

I love this game

I love this game

This is a bit long, but I just wanted to get some of this down while it was all in my head.

People in my game, on the off chance you are reading this, this won’t have spoilers but it’s kind of “man behind the curtain”, so read at your own risk.

My players had a pretty long and sudden hiatus; about 4 months long. We have three players + me (GM), and one had to take a break for outside reasons, so we paused. I thought this was basically the end of the game, but lo and behold, the band got back together this week! (This was very exciting to me – not only do they like my game enough to play each week, they didn’t take the easy out of “situations have changed and we can’t play now”.)

We have a Druid (Ivy), Paladin (Solus) and a Bard (Stark, who plays a lute). Goblins have been attacking the Druid’s forest, and they are trying to figure out why. The last session we had, they had just fought a troll and camped while en route to a nearby druid encampment, where they hoped to find answers from the leader there, Aurbrey.

I had not prepared really anything, for all of my time I had away from the table. I had some general ideas about things that were coming, but I had those from before. I do wish I had been more prepared, but once things started going, it really went. Hopefully the players felt the same way!

I knew we needed something to get things moving so I picked a fight with Ivyt the Druid. You see, the players were escorting a group of NPCs from a different encampment to this new one. The leader of the first encampment is named Lem. I explained that half of the clan was suddenly missing this morning, and Lem started berating the Druid about it. Lem had been sitting by the fire all night drinking, and it soon became clear that he blamed these newcomers for the problems they were having. (Something I had apparently not considered: how was it he was sitting here all night, and didn’t see the people leave? Maybe that’s part of the mystery though…)

Lem stormed off to his tent.

Solus the Paladin decided he would attempt lay on hands, to try to sober Lem up. After some discussion he was able to convince Lem to allow the prayer, and he rolled 10+ and sobered him right up. It was a great start to the session – the NPC was now totally ready to head out and saw the newcomers with more favor.

They started wandering through the woods, so I had them roll “undertake a perilous journey”. I kind of dislike this move because it often falls flat for me, but I knew that the only way to figure it out was to keep trying. The Paladin was trailblazer and rolled 6-. What does being slowed down look like? The Druid was Scout and rolled 10+, so slowing them down with bad guys wasn’t really going to work. And then I knew.

They found themselves suddenly in a creepy, dense forest. It had become basically night in the middle of the day, the trees were so thick and dark, and they noticed the branches were gnarled and twisted. Some trees seemed to be leaking blood instead of sap.

Stark the Bard, having bardic lore in Grand Histories of the Known World, asked me something about what he knew of the place from legends. I told them this place was Rhym, a legendary forest, known for magic (usually evil), where failed wizards and cultists often wound up. It was also something like the Bermuda triangle. There are few if any first hand accounts of entering and leaving, and most that tried have gone mad or been changed drastically. Or at least that was the legend.

The Bard then atempted to heal the trees with Arcane Art. I looked over the move, and it’s not really meant to be used on something like a tree (it says “choose an ally”), but I figured it would be fun to see what happened from trying – it was basically just going to be RP. He missed the roll, and so I said that as he sang the song he could hear an echo of it being sung over him, off-tune and very creepy.

The Paladin started trying to get his bearings, trying to figure out where they came from, and where they should go. He rolled discern realities – and also missed. I said that as he was looking around, he heard what sounded like great flapping wings over the treetops – the trees bent and swayed under the powerful force of the wind from the wings. They couldn’t see the creature as it flew over, but only hear it and feel the shaking trees. The Paladin then started freaking out over the prospect of a dragon.

As an aside, this was one of my favorite moves I made. I had no intention of throwing a dragon at them (and technically it is still a ways off), but it was great to “show signs of an approaching threat”. Everyone knows there is a dragon, but they have no idea when it might strike. I am so proud of thinking of this, as simple as it is.

The Druid changed into a bird to take a peek at the dragon, that was now circling around the distant mountain that they were traveling towards (they have a treasure map, and it’s on the way to the druid camp).

They eventually looked around enough to figure out that to the right was what seemed to be cultists, and to the left was maybe the path to leave. They took the left path, leaving these cultists behind (and leaving me with new fronts).

Once they arrived at the druid camp, they found it half-destroyed, with the people there fixing up their homes and stores, and building a large fence to try to prepare for further attacks. Lem said he would travel ahead with Ivy to find Aubrey, but Stark, who is obsessed with Solus, attempted to convince Lem to take Solus with them. He played some song, and I can’t even remember what I made him rol – I think there was a roll. At any rate, they all end up traveling into the center of town.

They find a townsperson and ask them if they know where Aubrey is. He says he can go find her, but it will probably be about an hour. So they start talking to the other people around, and Solus starts helping build the giant wall they were constructing.

Eventually, they come to find out that there seems to be some sort of enchantment on the townspeople here; Stark plays his lute to break them free, and succeeds.

Next time they are going to meet Aubrey – who they are not sure now if she will be an ally or foe.

The game felt like it really fired for me, and I think the players liked it too. This weekend I might try to think up some more stuff for Tuesday; I definitely need to write down the info about cultists and whatever the hell front they’ve got going on.

I have two questions regarding Discern Realities. It reads:

I have two questions regarding Discern Realities. It reads:

I have two questions regarding Discern Realities. It reads:

“When you closely study a situation or person”

1. What does closely studying a person look like?

I had a player last session ask me if someone was lying, and I thought this triggered (how else would they know this? I assume studying the person closely to see what they can tell about them), but once they rolled and had to ask from the list of questions, it made little sense (most of the questions just didn’t apply and all they really wanted to know was the one question they were asking).

2. Why is there the list of questions?

Nobody in my games ever likes this list when the move comes up, because it feels like, “You can do anything in this game, except for this one particular area where you read directly from this list”. It seems really odd to me, so I feel like I must be misunderstanding this move – it completely breaks the flow of what is happening.

I’ve asked about Discern Realities before, and I will probably ask again – I just can never understand how it works.

Any advice?

Playing A More Serious Campaign – Would Love Ideas!

Playing A More Serious Campaign – Would Love Ideas!

Playing A More Serious Campaign – Would Love Ideas!

I GMd a first session last night with players that are very experienced with other systems but not DW. We only had time to do character creation, and I got a lot of cool background and stories from the players. In the few other games I’ve GMd, most players didn’t have quite as much background, and it felt easier to drop them in to some random setting because the characters were just not that deep. From what my players gave me last night, I feel like they want something a little deeper than “you fight some random goblins in a camp”.

We have a Wizard that I believe said he learned magic basically by accident, but I think he said he is still very good at being a wizard. (I need to confirm this and didn’t realize until later it was unclear to me.) He was taught by a bad mentor, and I believe I will make that mentor a big bad guy (possibly still incompetent).

There is also a ranger that belonged to a group that was basically trying to eradicate magic and magic users. He eventually felt that this was not right – he is still not okay with magic and finds it unnatural but isn’t looking to kill all magic users. He explained it as basically believing in God but leaving the church. I think this will give some interesting interpersonal conflict between the ranger and wizard; both players are on board with this (and really enjoyed the bonds they were able to make between each other).

There is a barbarian princess that was driven from her home by militant elves, and later rescued by orc druids.

And there is a cleric that is on the verge of being kicked from his order because he is a drunkard and spends a lot of time drinking with the undead.

So, I want to start with a bang that ties into at least one character and hopefully more. My first thought is I want to find a way to introduce some magic users that are doing something that is controversial and the ranger will have a situation where he has to decide if what they are doing is so terrible, or do the ends justify the means.

Any other ideas would be really appreciated! Even just a cool setting; I am just not experienced with D&D etc to have the background where I can think of cool fantasy settings without a prompt. I might ask the players, but they already complained about not having a story and world laid out to create the characters in. I think this first scenario and my fronts will work better if I can do it from their input, but not with explicitly asking for “what do you think you are doing”.

I don’t quite understand the Ranger’s animal companion.

I don’t quite understand the Ranger’s animal companion.

I don’t quite understand the Ranger’s animal companion.

So, the book / character sheet says, “You have a supernatural connection to with a loyal animal. You can’t talk to it per se but it always acts as you wish”.

However, all of the rules seem to be about the animal helping the ranger do things like hack and slash, discern realities, etc, but not where the ranger just says, “I want the animal to do this thing independent of me”.

I’ve been reading around and it seems like most people treat the animal as an NPC that the GM controls, but that seems really weird since it “always acts as you wish”.

Specifically, there are situations where the ranger will probably want the animal to do something like fight a monster while the ranger themselves fights a different monster.

And if the companion is, say, a bear, the bear will likely be pretty capable. But there are no mechanics for this – it seems like it always just then becomes, “the bear distracts the monster”. But that’s lame – it’s a bear! It should be doing some damage.

So, what am I missing?

Had a good session two weeks ago.

Had a good session two weeks ago.

Had a good session two weeks ago. It’s been a little while since the game, so hopefully I can remember everything! Also, apologies in advance – this is super long.

This is basically my post from Reddit brought over; it took forever to write so why not post it everywhere.

I guess some backstory:

We have played a few sessions so far. We had a bard, a barbarian, and an evil wizard. The three had been summoned to the Queen’s castle to help in some important upcoming task, but basically before that could happen:

– The wizard was given a magic book

– They soon found out the town was overrun by cultists, and the queen was herself being controlled

– They ran into some cultists, who tried to take the book

– They killed the cultists, and left them lying out in the open

– The next day, after the bodies were discovered outside their rooms, and they basically just admitted to killing these “friends” of the queen, they were thrown in the castle’s jail

In jail, they met Finbar, a hireling that I unfortunately did not really flesh out very well. With his help, they escaped and found that there was a way out of the castle through the sewers. So into the sewers they went.

Here they fought a giant spider and many swarms of little spiders. And then venturing down the tunnel, they ran into a Mutant Turtle with an Orange Bandana. The turtle told them to leave, and when they refused (because the only way they could see forward was through the sewers), a battle ensued. Eventually all of the four Mutant Turtles showed up – they killed Raph, Mikey and Leo. (In fact the barbarian put a torch down Raph’s throat). Just before killing Mike, a laughing gas grenade was released, and smoke filled the area; the three adventurers went by Don and into the outside, leaving him weeping over his fallen brothers.

At this point I wanted them to go back inside and deal with Don some more, so I let them find a note with a map of the sewers that showed a large treasure chest in the lair, and a hidden wall area that might have more treasure. This, of course, worked perfectly.

They went back inside, and ran into Don. The wizard decided to use Charm Person on him, and rolled I think it was a 12. Don, through conflicting emotions, came to terms with his new friends – he didn’t like what they had done, but he understood it. But they would need to meet Master Splinter.

Don left, and the barbarian dragged one of the turtles outside and removed the shell, to wear as additional armor. (BTW this is something I really love in DW. These kinds of things just seem to happen so much more in this game – these weird, crazy, things). So now he had a shell which gave I think +1 armor and basically invulnerable on the back. The barbarian also went back inside and found the secret wall compartment, and I gave him an axe which had a custom move, but I hadn’t quite figured it out, so I asked him about what it might do. (Looking back, probably should have waited for him to get into a spout lore or something…) We decided it could heat up, so it would basically cut clean through things more easily. 7-9 roll would overheat and he would drop it.

This, finally, is the end of the intro section, and we can get to the session we played.

For this session I had a few challenges:

– There would be two new players – one that was mostly versed in pathfinder and D&D, and one that had never played any tabletop rpg at all.

– One of the players was moving away – the evil wizard – so this would be likely last session.

– One of the players had expressed not enjoying DW as much as D&D (why I wrote my previous post, because the player felt my actions seemed arbitrary).

I needed to end the game for some characters, start and end the game for two new ones, and make sure I didn’t forget about one of my players that I just had not been doing enough for.

Work was especially busy that week, so I unfortunately had less time than I wanted to prep. One of the things I feel DW kind of does is make it feel like no prep is required (I understand it is expected that there is some because of exploit your prep, but everyone’s always talking about doing basically nothing). To be honest, I am not experienced enough for that, in any system. So I had decided I wanted to do more prep, but most of it was still done Friday night, just before the game on Saturday.

I had gotten an idea from a coworker, which I was super hesitant to use, but did end up using, because it was a pretty epic way to end things. I also know this idea might go against the agenda to play to find out what happens, and I also know I didn’t execute it perfectly. Still, it is what we did. It worked okay; I wouldn’t do it again, probably, until I am way better at this. More about that in a minute.

We had a short character creation and intro for the two new players – Queen Elsa, a ranger with some sort of ice powers, (I mean, I get who Queen Elsa is supposed to be, but I don’t think the ranger has any kind of powers like this, but it was fun so I just went with it), and Oopa, a Paladin. I honestly really messed this part up, because I didn’t really ask anything about the new characters. I am hoping they play again, and we will do a real character intro section, and get more story out of it.

They had previously left off in the sewers. However, the game opened with them standing on a large, flat lay of earth, with a swirling firestorm surrounding them. Winged creatures screeched in the firey winds. In the distance they could see two figures, one with a large blue orb over their head. They decided to approach.

As they came closer, they see that one of the figures is Finbar, the hireling from before. The other figure is a woman, standing in front of an altar. She asks the wizard for the book. I can’t remember exactly what happened next, but of course, they had a battle. This was the cult leader they had been looking for.

In my prep, I had tried to make this super challenging, but I was not used to having five characters instead of three, and two I had no idea what they did or how they played. I also made another mistake and leveled them to two to match the other characters. I know, lots of mistakes.

I had basically two monster types – the cult leader, who would have three stages of becoming a demon as they took damage, and progressively more powerful moves / attacks; and these demons flying around that the cult leader could summon down to help.

This was a pretty awesome battle, except the characters were winning. And, unfortunately, since I had decided this very beginning part would be a railroad, that was not great for me. So, when the barbarian cut off the cult leaders head, I said, “you see a demon start to crawl out of their neck, pulling its way out, and then a white flash of light and everyone dies” – I think if I had left out the everyone dies part it might have been okay – “and then you see it fade to black and it says ‘five days earlier’, and you find yourselves in the sewer”.

This was the idea that my friend had given me, and I liked it, but executed it poorly – but noooot as bad as I was fearing. The plan was that they would start in a battle, lose, and then be taken back and find out through play the things needed to actually kill the boss. I know a lot of people are going to have comments about how this is not how DW plays, and I understand that. I think over more play time it might have worked out. In one session it was kind of rushed.

(Also, most of the table was okay with how things had gone, except I could tell the Barbarian player was not. He had cut off the cult leaders head, he had earned victory, and I took it away. I felt awful about that. Learned a huge lesson there. I asked after the game, and he said it was okay, but it just didn’t seem that way at the time to me).

They are back in the sewers. Don led them into the lair area – well, the wizard and bard; the barbarian had previously had the wizard make him invisible because he was now wearing the shell as armor and that might rub Don the wrong way). When they got to the lair, they saw a shadowy figure, and when it spoke, the bard recognized the voice – and then he stepped into the light, and it was her first love. (This was one of the things I had decided to do to get the bard more involved. I had, in classic me style, not gotten a lot of info about the characters, but the name of her first love was one thing I knew. I had a few ideas for how to use this guy too, depending on how the character decided to take it.)

They spent some more time roleplaying in the lair – they met the two new characters here, and “master splinter” told them that although they killed his other students, he would support them if they would take up the quest they had to kill the cult leader. He pulled the Bard aside and tried to convince her to get the book from them, to give to him – he said that they should not be allowed to have it for this mission, it was too dangerous considering how they act. (This was actually extremely true, although Splinter had ulterior motives (wants the book’s power for himself)). She refused, but what I expected to be another battle, actually just kind of fizzled away. The barbarian, who normally causes most of these things, was still invisible and trying to remain hidden.

Eventually, Splinter opens a chest to give everyone some gear for the fight. (I had wanted this to be less all at once, but we were already going really long). They items were meant to be like a “when your powers combine” sort of thing, to defeat the cult leader. I am sure they overlap with existing moves but they feel more special this way.

– Rune Axe (the axe the barbarian found previously)

– Orb of Destiny – Extinguish targets magic for a period (10+) or weaken everyone’s magic (minus 1 to rolls) (went to Paladin)

– Nightsider’s Key – this is from the book, but I needed more items; basically planned to use it for opening the door in the church to find the cult leader (went to ranger)

– Ancient Songbook – 10+ choose two; 7-9 one: heal an ally 1d6 – entrance an enemy – excite or calm a storm (went to bard)

– Soul Drain (has a picture of a bottle of whiskey on it) – used to capture a soul, or capture and release a soul (went to wizard)

Soul drain was specifically an item so we could give our departing wizard a bottle of whiskey as a going away present. So I presented the in game item, and then a few beats later, the real thing – that was another fun moment.

The idea was they needed to weaken the cult leader, use the songbook to calm the crazy storm and get rid of the demons, and then use the rune axe to kill the cult leader. After that, the bottle could be used to capture their soul and prevent them from somehow causing more damage.

They headed out of the sewers, and found that the city had been completely overrun by cultists. Of course they had a fight, but this was super easy, even with a fair number (the cultists are pretty weak and I wasn’t really looking to give them a challenge, it just fictionally made sense that this would happen).

They stole some cultists robes, and started making their way to the underground, burned out city they had learned about, where the church was with the cult leader.

When they arrived, they found dozens of cultists heading to the church for a “big meeting”. The bard I think discerned realities and wanted to know what was useful, something like that – all I really know is, for some reason I decided that one of the cultists would see the songbook and take them around to the side of the church, to go into a special room where they were taking artifacts. Well, they of course refused to put the book in the chest in the room at the cultists prompting, and instead killed him. Here they also saw an altar with a book-sized indentation on the top.

Previously, before the session, the wizard had asked me if he could become the bad guy at the end, to have everyone fight him. I was already pretty sure this would happen anyway, so I said sure. This was when I turned to the Wizard and said, “you feel a pull from inside, to bring the book to the altar. What do you…”

With no hesitation – “I walk over to the altar”.

Everyone immediately starts to try to prevent this. This was the best part of the session IMO. People are grabbing him to hold him back; he throws the book through the air towards the altar. The ranger shoots the book mid-air; the book lands on the edge, teetering, about to fall in with a nudge. The wizard casts Unseen Servant to go over and hold the book steady – I explained that the servant was meant to carry so I wasn’t sure it could move the book, because the spell says, “It cannot pick up items on its own and can only carry those you give to it” – so we basically agreed it was going to just keep it from falling while he tried to get over to it.

Meanwhile, the cult leader comes in the room, and sees the book. The bard tries to tell the cult leader they don’t want that book, but they are like, why not? With no really good reason given, the Wizard steps up and casts charm person, and the cult leader is subdued. And then the Wizard goes invisible, walks over, and places the book.

The walls fall away and they are transported back to the place they were fighting before, but now their target is the Wizard. It was kind of hard adjudicating PvP; most of the time it was “this person attacks”, “okay, how do you respond? Roll defy danger…” It worked okay; it got the job done.

Eventually the wizard was outmatched; I had been sending in the demon things but it was still not really enough. I let them eventually take over the demons, so they could have a bit more fun before they lost.

Everyone figured out what each of the items were for, and worked on weakening the wizard with those items. Then they did a big finishing move where they kind of all rolled at once, and I described how each thing worked. The main ones of the axe and the soul drain succeeded, so that was the most important part, and the wizard rolled last breath, and died. He then told a bit of a story about who he was and what his goal was, and how he went to the other side and found his previous mentor there.

The game was super fun. I have some new goals for next session; I am hoping we can just start a new game so I can get off on the right foot entirely. But, I did meet some of my goals:

– The bard LIKED the game. Love might be too strong, but I was able to actually think of ways to include her, with prep beforehand

– The totally new player loved the game. She is quieter and harder to figure out what she wants to do, so I have to be extra careful there

– The D&D player liked it as well. Some of my fears about them started to pop up – they were a bit rules-lawyery, which was hard because I didn’t know the ranger class and was bad with some of my stuff there. Sometimes it felt like a conflict was brewing and that was frustrating

– I had prep, and I exploited the hell out of it (too much probably)

I hope you enjoyed reading my VERY long post. I am, as always, looking forward to the next game so I can figure out better how to run it!

So last weekend we played our second session (which I will maybe get time this weekend to write more about), and I…

So last weekend we played our second session (which I will maybe get time this weekend to write more about), and I…

So last weekend we played our second session (which I will maybe get time this weekend to write more about), and I made a custom move that my players really liked.

Anyone that plays DW with me probably stop reading right here

Warning: this move is intentionally very swing-y and OP. It’s probably going to be taken away next session or two, maybe replaced with something more toned down… not sure yet.

So we have a Wizard, and he loves to cast spells. This is great because he also is apparently a really bad wizard, and hits a lot of 6-. He found a book in the first session called 1001 Awesome Spells. The first game it didn’t do anything when he read it, but I decided this session that it would become a pivotal object in the game – the bad guys want it. I knew once he knew this he would of course read it. And he did.


When you read the book, roll+WIS.

– On a 10+, learn a One-Time-Use spell

– On a 7-9, learn a One-Time-Use spell and also take -1 forward to any spell cast

– On a 6-, the next spell you cast will be a hidden One-Time-Use spell

When you finish reading, the pages are blank for 24 hours and/or while any One-Time-Use Spell is in your possession.


One-Time-Use spells are half of an index card with a spell on it that, when used, either happens immediately or calls for a roll. They sit face down and are drawn when they are learned (to be used later) or when 6- triggers they basically just happen when the next spell is cast. They are meant to be OP and swing-y, which is why there is such a huge cool-down on reading the book. I might tweak the cool-down to be less, because it was so much fun, and I wouldn’t mind just having to deal out super dangerous stuff every time the wizard gets a spell. Oh, and they can be given away to other characters.

Some examples (here is where I expect, if you didn’t have issues with this before, you will now… but I think they are fun):

Extra Sneaky

You steal any one item you can see that can be placed in your bag and place it there, undetected


Fully heal a creature that is close to you


When you read this ancient text, roll+con – a fog covers the area as far as you can see

10+ your enemies can’t see through the fog, but you can

7-9: nobody can see through the fog

6-: nobody can see through the fog and it also does 1D4 damage to everyone


I have a few others but I might remove them / tweak them some more. Now, one thing that can happen is on a 6-, nothing happens until the wizards next roll, at which point he instead draws a One-Time-Use spell and it immediately takes effect. I had to make sure that all of the spells I made would work as instant triggers, but it happened with the first spell he drew and it was great. He role-played it great too – he immediately knew that in character it just appears that nothing happened when he read the book. (I might tweak the move to make this more obvious.) Later, the party were in chains being lead to the castle dungeon and he decided to try to cast invisible or something, but instead got one of these cards. He drew Extra Sneaky, which triggered immediately, and I said that it grabbed the keys off the guard and put them in his pocket. (I then basically said the guards did a really poor job of searching and didn’t find the keys – and then they figured out another way out anyway).

Well, I hope this move is enjoyable. I am new to DW, as are my players, so I expect I made a lot of faux pas with this, but so far so good. Everybody wants one of these things, and I should have realized they would (and should get one too).

I am GMing a DW game for three other players, a bard, a wizard and a barbarian.

I am GMing a DW game for three other players, a bard, a wizard and a barbarian.

I am GMing a DW game for three other players, a bard, a wizard and a barbarian. We have had one session, and are going to have another one on Sunday. One of the players recently started dating someone, and they might bring their SO to the next session to play as well. Now, I think I could easily just say, “you meet this new character, and they are on the same adventure”, but I was thinking of something that might be more interesting.

When the last session ended, the characters were in the queen’s castle and just learned that much of the castle and the queen herself are under mind-control from a cult that is doing some bad stuff to the south. The characters were just heading back to their rooms when the session ended. I am probably going to have them walk into a group of cultists and have a fight (something I unfortunately didn’t really do during the first session – pretty lame once I realized it!)

So, what I would like to do is have one of the cultists be snapped out of mind control and – surprise! – it’s the new PC! However, there is a problem there:

– I can make the new player just sit and watch while everyone fights, and then surprise them by saying they are now that person. This seems dumb – nobody likes to sit and watch when they could play.

– I could have the new player play as the cultist to the point they are defeated and then they can switch sides. This seems better but does ruin any surprise of realizing that the cultist is going to join your party. Also, how does the PC play this – do I make them a special monster that they just get to control? Or do they fully play as their new character instead?

Has anyone done a similar thing to this? I think it seems like a really fun way to introduce the new character!

Stealth in DW

Stealth in DW

Stealth in DW

Yesterday I ran a short game with one player, and there were some stealth situations that I have no idea how to play out.

There is a small jail, with two cells. A guard is asleep at the desk.

Player looks over the guard, sees they have the keys in sight, possibly grabbable.

Player tries to grab the keys through the bars.

To me this seems like a Defy Danger roll+dex. However, there are some issues with this:

– There is no immenent danger – if you fail, the guard wakes up and then something else happens. So maybe it is not Defy Danger?

– The book says, “by getting out of the way or acting fast” – this is not fast, it’s actually going to be slow. So again, maybe not Defy Danger?

– But if it’s not Defy Danger, the GM just makes a move, and this seems arbitrary – like, the player has no say in how skillful they are in doing this thing. There are basically two ways this can go – the keys are gotten easily, no consequence; or, the keys are not gotten easily, some consequence (maybe you rattle them a bit and the guard shifts, might be waking up – show signs of an approaching threat). However, even something as benign as that move seems really arbitary – the character had no control over whether they rattled the keys. Dice seem like a good way of deciding that kind of control.

– But, if it is Defy Danger, the partial success is:

> the GM will offer you a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.

I have no idea what any of that would be for “I am trying to be sneaky and I succeed kind of”.

It seems like this is a sitation that has no danger unless you screw it up, and deciding if you screwed it up by GM move seems arbitrary or by roll, too harsh (partial success that will feel like a failure).

Anyone have examples or ideas on how I am doing this wrong, or could do it better?

BTW they rolled a 12 so it just worked fine, and I didn’t have to resolve partial success, but they wanted to know what that might look like.


talked about it with the player, and I think it would be something like:

– Failure: keys drop, guard wakes up

– Partial success: you get the keys, but the guard stirs a bit and might be waking up

I guess that is a worse outcome… what would a hard bagain or ugly choice be like? Defy Danger is really confusing to me.

I am very new to Dungeon World (and tabletop RPG / GMing in general).

I am very new to Dungeon World (and tabletop RPG / GMing in general).

I am very new to Dungeon World (and tabletop RPG / GMing in general). I have the rulebook, but it’s been out quite a while, right? Has there been much as far as addendums or changes that people commonly use that would be good?