So, I've been wanting to get back into RPGs for a while now, and someone at my FLGS mentioned Dungeon World. I haven't heard much of anything about it, so I figured I'd ask you guys. How is it? How does it work? Is it any good?
I've had a lot of fun with it with one of my groups
helped rekindle a lot of my love of rpgs, though it does have some of its own problems.
the system does whats advertised, it's rules for advancement are fun, but odd.
Easy to learn and introduce new people to rpgs. Encourages a lot of good habits in terms of roleplaying group story telling. Not great at long term campaigns and has a few weird parts in being a hack/reskin of a pretty different game (apocalypse world) but that's more a matter of preference.
Makes some people very very angry because it uses different words.
It's heavily narrative- and roleplay-based. Players are pretty much required to help develop the story ("How did you hear about the X of Y?/What dark secret about Y do you know?/Who really created the X?")
Excessive use of terminology (like the ever-present "move") makes reading it a little clunky.
I wish it didn't shoehorn alignments and had more race-class options.
if you look at the advancement rules, once you go to advance past 10 theres 3 options, but typically it ends with 'make a new character at 10' so it messes with the narrative since the original characters disappear and suddenly you have a party of characters who have nothing to do with the original plot
with a setting more like a mercenary group it'd work fine, but its not great for epic quests
It only has advancement rules up to level 10, and then a vague, 'I dunno, here's some stuff you could try' after that. I ran a once a week game for 4-5 months and my party got to L5-ish.
Some motivations are much easier to achieve than others. Evil or Good Wizard is basically going to get 2 XP every game because terrorizing someone with magic or using magic to help someone is dead easy. Neutral Wizard only gets an extra XP when it discovers something new or solves a magic mystery which isn't going to happen that often. Over the course of a longer game, this can leave you with some characters significantly higher in level than the others.
It's nice for not having any of the 'lol I break the game' combinations of some D&D editions, but the sort of campaign I ran before that, which ran for 3 years, would have run out of advancement options and I would have thrown out the neat little 'bennie for total failure' thing you get on a 6-down roll, and motivation based XP.
It's a nice little game for short campaigns, one off's and the like, but it's not really meaty or able to go beyond that.
>I ran a once a week game for 4-5 months and my party got to L5-ish.
Also, to clarify - Some of the party was at L6, some at L5 and one at L4. The majority of my party were not XP chasers and one was actively fucked by her motivation and her inability to roll 6-down ever.
I ran a campaign that lasted for about a year, and we only got to level 6 or so. It's not a big problem. If you think it will be, there are things you can do to extend a campaign, like allow higher levels than 10, but without stat bonuses, and only taking moves from compendium classes so characters branch out more, or even just increase XP requirements if you want a simpler way to stretch things out.
Tweaking things is heavily encouraged -- there's a whole section of the book devoted to building your own races, classes, rules tweaks, and other stuff. Plus there's tons of third-party stuff out there, some of it brilliant.
Advertising a Dungeon World game is also a good way to scare off number-crazed rules-lawyering autists, because I've learned from /tg/ that they HATE Dungeon World with a burning passion. If saying "we're playing Dungeon World" means I'll never have Virtualoptim show up to my Roll20 game, that's a big win in my book.
Is good, but it depends on players that are imaginative, able to improvise easily, and invested. Otherwise it just refuses to work properly.
Then again, the system is modular and laid out in a way that makes is easy to modify, so you can just get Apocalypse World and make your own fantasy hack from scratch.
Where the hell do you think you are?
Gotta be. That's a lot of carefully arranged tendentious bullshit. I started to reply to the elder dragon bit, then saw the rest of it and realized I'd be here for a while, and fuck that.
>There is literally no reason to play it over another system
It's better balanced and faster than either 3.5 or PF so there are literally two reasons to play it instead of two other systems.
No, what'shisface got permabanned.
The big thing is that the "moves" are not the only things you can do. The entire game is a narrative, you don't roll dice until someone does something on their move list; this does not mean "hey I'm using Hack and Slash", it means they narrate an attack and you decide whether that's enough for a hack and slash. It is very weird.
I had a ton of fun with it, it really fucks with rules lawyers, and those two things are enough for me to call it good.
You joke, but when it's your turn in DW, (or any other game for that matter!) the spotlight is on you. It's your job to be at least marginally entertaining for that minute or so, not to be a dull asshole and make the DM do all the heavy lifting of waking the other players up.
Would you put up with a dm who phones in his part like "Okay you're in a bar. There's a guy. He asks you to save a girl from some goblins. Do you wanna do that? No? Okay there's a different guy. He wants a magic sword from some kobolds. Do you wanna do that job?" No, that would be fucking terrible.
So why should we put up with a player who does the same?
DW does a good thing in that it gives mechanical weight to player narrations, so players actually have a good reason to be precise and creative about what they plan to do. Describing your actions in a particular way can give you some control over what moves the DM can legally make against you.
>helped rekindle a lot of my love of rpgs, though it does have some of its own problems.
If you've only ever played 3.5 and hated all the complicated rules in sure it would of. But that's like saying you prefer led call of duty over halo.
Books don't correct people's actions, anon. If people are shit, they'll be shit in anything they do. Sadly (for you), Dungeon World was written by shit people that stole ideas from other sources and marketed their game as the ultimate tool of roleplay to "normal people". You can have a good time with any other game, Dungeon World isn't the last straw in the packet neither the heaven-sent answer to burned out players and GMs.
my groups for 4-5 years had only wanted to play shit like 3.5, pathfinder, dark heresy
most of the core issues came down to specific players making the prior unfun, to the point a lot of us were really considering just dropping game nights because they were more taxing than fun and we didn't really realize the issue was being caused by those players.
one of our regular players but non-regular dm's wanted to try hosting it, i made a fighter named Griff, he used a rusty claw hammer as his personal weapon.
The character became a legend even long after his supposed death where he retired before level 5 with a cursed two handed sword that was driving him mad, but allowed him to slay an eldritch abomination that housed a much greater evil
he was also known for eating the eyes out of stone gargoyles and being turned into a bull, losing a his left front limb, and later shoving his wooden pegleg into the skull of a lich rattling it around like crazy, all before being turned on by the paladin who had made a deal with a god to slay Griff, in his weakened state after the lich fight, still an ox, they slayed eachother, but griff got his last wind roll and managed to survive the mortal blow, eventually turned back into a human, but by then the sword had taken too much of a toll on him to survive much longer so he walked toward the resulting hordes of monsters to buy time, despite being unable to wield the sword with only one hand.
no monster ever came from that direction again, so it was unknown if he had died or simply gone insane and still stand between the town and the portal the wizard had accidentally opened in the liches place of power.
Given his previous track record, the latter seemed more likely to most.
Baker supports DW, I think; at the least, he gave it his blessing to use the PbtA mechanics, when really what he should have done was told those kids to fuck off and make their own system they actually understand so DW could end up as another forgotten D&D heartbreaker. AW was his first really successful game, and DW is way more successful than AW, so he probably doesn't want to rock that boat (though now that the DW people sold out to Burning Wheel and Baker's making AW 2e, he might speak more freely.)
It really depresses me, because AW is a way better game than DW, and Monsterhearts is a way better PbtA game than DW, but people are so obsessed with fantasy that they hopped right on DW's dick and haven't stopped riding even though there are better fantasy PbtA games out there now.
And if people on rpg sites keep describing DW as the main PbtA game, I'm going to slap them.
It codifies the interactions. The dm also has rules to follow, rather than the dm being the sole engine of the rules. Like, you can't do certain things unless the moves are triggered. It's extremely heterodox for an RPG.
/tg/, we really, REALLY need to talk about the recent surge in popularity of "Dungeon World" and its sister systems around here, especially the trend of recommending it as a good system for "introducing" players to our hobby.
I understand that there is an obsession with being subversive and finding the most super specialest alternative to D&D possible, but having finally taken the time to read into Dungeon World and the reasons why this game has caught on around here and other forums I feel the need to be frank: this NEEDS to stop. I try as hard as I can not to be a "badwrongfun" style curmudgeon, but this is not a role playing game. Full stop. This is not a role playing game, and this disingenuous promotion of it as such is legitimately dangerous to this hobby. This is an exercise in self-congratulatory free form group storytelling.
This is a "game" where the danger of literally any challenge is by design arbitrary, not just from encounter to encounter, but from action to action. There's no actual combat or tactics at play, everyone takes turns basically describing a "cool fantasy battle" and resolve everything through "dodge danger" and "hack and slash" rolls triggered at the GM's whim. This is a game proud of being anti-structure, where the goal is to explain to the GM how many cool things your players do instead of actively overcoming any challenges in your way.
It's chaos. Consequences of certain failures are decided collaboratively. The GM is encouraged to be more of an antagonistic player than an actual referee of any rules. At /tg/'s suggestion I watched a few videos of people playing this. At one point the *GM* asked the *PLAYERS* what rumors they had heard in town.
I get that the people involved in this game by admission shill it everywhere, but please stop pushing this as a system for beginners. It's dangerous to our hobby and the behaviors it promotes encourages entitled players with disruptive expectations for how parties are meant to work.
>The dm also has rules to follow, rather than the dm being the sole engine of the rules. Like, you can't do certain things unless the moves are triggered. It's extremely heterodox for an RPG.
No, not at all. You know what game has rules for the DM to follow? Fucking every one. In every game that has rules, they are expected to be applied evenly to both the players and the GM (unless explicitly mentioned otherwise). A good DM doesn't say, "Oh, this monster doesn't take damage this round, even though you completed the to-hit and to-wound rolls, because I say so." D&D 4e is a game that can be run by a DM who actively hates you and still be enjoyable, because it provides strict guidelines for how everything is designed and operated.
"But what about bad DMs?" someone might ask. Well, DW does squat for them, because it doesn't provide rules, it provides guidelines. There's no hard and fast about what a hard move is, it's up to the DM's discretion, just like the powers of the monsters are fluffy bits of text instead of rules. Heck, the DM can trigger moves whenever they feel like the story needs spicing up, and a bad DM can make those a 'hard move' without it being a failed roll by accidentally going too far and not realising. DW doesn't help bad DMs run good games; it clears the space so that they can't fall back on codified rules but instead land flat on their asses.
I like AW and some PbtA games, but it's not heterodox because it gives rules to the DM that they have to follow, it's orthodox with scads of other storygames.
>He gives that to everyone. He literally says "do what you want with my rules"
He also says that if you want to make money off of them, you have to talk with him. I know he was in contact with the DW guys during their fundraising and development, and he gave the green light. It's not like the fly-by-night stuff on nerdwerds, he was in contact with the guys for an extended period.
>"roll a d6 to succeed on 5+ you do it lol"
Mutants & Masterminds' resolution is literally nothing but "roll d20 and compare it to target number" and it's still a good system. Unisystem Classic is also a good system and it uses something almost identical for its resolution, although it adds penalties and bonuses to the equation.
>you need to say what about this approach is GOOD
Players always know what they need to succeed so they spend less time agonizing about modifiers. No adding up up a ton fiddly +1s and -1s then having to consult a chart. It speeds up play.
I'm beginning to suspect that you're an Apocalypse World fanboy butthurt about your genre being "contaminated" by fantasy.
>Did he get money from DW?
He must have, right? I can't see him licensing it for free (if nothing else it sets a bad precedent, and there's enough for-sale PbtA games that he would be kicking himself), though I don't know what percentage he got, or if it was even a flat fee.
>To be fair, it also does squat for good DMs.
I disagree with that. I think the idea of a set list of moves, even if they are deliberately vague fluff, can be a nice guide for good GMs. It helps remind you of your options and keeps the consequences varied, especially when you factor in the fail clause of the PC move. I know I keep the AW list handy even in non AW games to make sure I'm being creative.
>implying you need to justify personal preferences with well-reasoned and logically consistent arguments
I work with food for a living. I don't give a fuck why you don't like your sandwich without tomatoes, and I'm not going to argue with you over a clearly deep-seated dislike of tomatoes. I'll just leave them off your sandwich.
It's ok to like different things. I like the production values of DW, I like a particular setting that a homebrewer made, so that's what I like. You have other preferences. There's no objective benefit to most systems compared to other systems. It's all subjective.
Right now The Burning Wheel is hot shit for me. Absolutely adore it.
>I am a cook
Get back in the kitchen with the other excons, alcoholics and drug addicts and make me something good to eat. Service jobs suck no matter how much food tv tries to glamorize.
Son, you can think whatever you like about people. That's your business.
But If I've leaned anything from my short time here on earth, it's not to piss off the people who make your food.
You pick up two swords, describe yourself swinging at an opponent and roll Hack and Slash.
If you wanna do more than just damage opponents with your swords then you can homebrew or make a new move.
>hurr it's all subjective
The entire point of this thread is to argue the pros and cons of the system. "Opinions are like asses" is a non-comment at best and poison to the discussion at worst. Please fuck off.
It's pretty good for one-shots and short campaigns where characters start off competent and end up getting marginally more so by the end. Works for low fantasy best, serviceable for high fantasy. Absolutely terrible for mid to long campaigns. Core rules are fine if your group likes standard, iconic classes from D&D and don't mind if they can't play anything weird like psychics, necromancers, or shamans. The many, many custom classes you'll find online give it some flexibility but are of questionable balance. It needs a lot of tweaking to fit longer campaigns. For example, for the DW game I'm currently playing in the GM raised the level cap to 20, restricted Advanced Moves to level 11+, and made it so you get an attribute increase on even levels and a new move on odd levels. Basically raised the total amount of XP needed to max out a character by 250% and thus slowed down progression significantly.
In summary, the system is kinda like Don't Rest Your Head, in that it fits a very specific niche of gaming, and it pretty damn good if that's the niche you want, but it's complete ass if you want something different. Any rewrite to fill that niche is going to be so exhaustive that you might as well play something else.
Experience: 10 or so sessions running Dungeon World, about 25 sessions playing Dungeon World, and two custom classes I designed for it.
I also designed a Mass Effect system very, very loosely based on the PbtA mechanics.
Soon people will start to say "Mortal Coil" isnt a rpg because you cant dual wield.
If you dont like DW, please, just say so, tell the cons and leave they guy to decide. Arguing "oh this is not a rpg" is bullshit. You dont decide what is or what isnt a rpg. Go play Gurps and stop shitting around.
>Literally every task is the same difficulty. A default TN is a good idea to make rolling faster, but Dungeon World hides its difficulty rules in the back of the book.
This is something I didn't understand about Dungeon World until I played it.
Dungeon World's difficulty isn't "can you do the thing?"; it's "what will it cost you if you fail to do the thing?" In other words, the game doesn't care about making it harder or easier to do things, but encourages the GM to raise or lower the stakes of the roll.
Plus, you shouldn't even be rolling for easy stuff. Save the rolls for hard stuff.
The difficulty modifier rules are in the back of the book because they didn't want you to use them. Apocalypse World has the exact same situation.
As for the rules? Frankly, the players don't even need the fucking book. Give them a little cheat sheet to explain the core moves and their class playbook. As long as the GM knows the rules (the majority of the book is targeted at the GM), that's all that's needed. The players narrate what they do and the GM tells them when a move is triggered and that they need to roll. I ran this with a group of completely new RPG players last year and it went great.
It works well for long campaigns given a certain style of campaign. If you're cool with character turnover, the base rules for advancement are totally fine. For playing the same character over a long term, yeah, it makes that tough.
It's definitely for a very specific niche, though. I'm starting to like systems that are designed for very specific things myself, like Blades in the Dark for specifically playing a gang of thieves in a Dishonored/Lies of Locke Lamora city. It'd be terrible as written for almost anything else, but what it's for, it's brilliant at.
I know a player in real life who makes EVERY character he plays who can grab weapons a dual wielder. It might be the same retard who's mad that he can't dual wield with every slut he makes. Literally, every character he plays is a dual wielding promiscuous woman.
We don't play with him, but that's because he keeps interjecting politics at the table and thinks palladium is the pinnacle of game design.
Yes, you get the tags of both weapons whenever you dual wield. If you want more than that you need to take one of the moves that gives you more, either by a class advance, multiclass advance, or taking a compendium class. If none of that suits you, homebrew it, because homebrew for DW is easy and fun.
D&D 3.5 doesn't give you a seiton of the rulebook devoted to succcessful homebrewing, though.
Exalted, and a few other Story Teller games had stunt dice. You describe your action, and the cooler it is the more bonus dice you get. Sorcerer has something similar, as does Over the Edge. It is a neat idea, but it needs to be tied into some actual mechanics.
That and a lack of crit mechanics.
If you can't crit in a game, it's shit to him.
Despite the fact that Critical Hits tend to completely ignore the difficulty system in place and Virt also bitches on DW about how there's no difficulty system and if you roll well, you win.
That's ignoring how there's many systems that don't even bother with critical hits and frankly: critical=success is far worse for a game than lacking a difficulty scale.
With the combined powers of toggling airplane mode to evade your bans and samefagging, anything is possible!
Have you never had a fight wind up dragging, or someone lose steam due to frustration? The luxury of saying "I attack" to get through your turn in a civil fashion, rather than being nagged into taking part in an encounter you lost interest in isn't something you should rob someone of.
If a fight is going back hacking and slashing, the GM is doing a poor job in Dungeon World.
Normally I would brush my above argument off as "don't blame the GM for the system's failings" but in this particular case Dungeon World has pretty strong guidelines on what the GM is meant to do.
www.dungeonworldsrd.com also exists so there's no excuse for anyone to be ignorant about the rules or argue in bad faith.
Anyway, DW is a decent game but is a poor implementation of the PbtA system compared to Apocalypse World or Monsterhearts.
Only when I was starting out GMing. Not anymore, but the systems in question have little to do with it.
Fights in DW are never supposed to drag. For one thing, HP bloat is a non-issue. If you can succeed in getting at an enemy to hit it, it should go down in a few hits.
The rules also encourage the GM to make the fights dynamic and interesting, as long as you use the rules hard and change up your moves a lot.
HP bloat is a thing in 4e, which is why everyone halves monster HP in the first two monster manuals.
And 4e does encourage the GM to build dynamic and interesting fights, and gives you tools to do that, but that's different from Dungeon World, which allows you to do on the fly what would take you a lot of prep in 4E.
I find it a lot easier to just make some moves as a DM than to try to pre-plan every fight while also making it seem spontaneous.
>Using the term "meme game" outside of /v/
>Using "meme game" at all
Here's an actual play one-shot with a good DM, runs about four hours from start to completion so you can get a feel for how it plays in practice.
Not him but the fact that the difficulty doesn't increase when rolling kinda makes the whole thing kinda pointless.
After a while, if your character reaches the higher echelons of power, you're gonna be rolling 7-9 and 10+ more often than outright failing.
Here you go.
I get what you mean. It works better in apocalypse world where it doesn't really matter how good you are at things, the world is going to fuck you up. Its one of the goals. But in DW the idea is to become bigdamnheroes so it does a different thing.
Except that when you're winning (or not failing) all the time, it starts to become boring.
I mean, I've played my share of RPGs, I've even played apocalypse world, and even when you gain power, there's still just enough risk for you to stay on your toes.
If an action you make is just as easy at the beginning as it is at the end, what's the point of progressing at all?
This was an issue in apocalypse world too, you gain enough bonuses to reach a +4/+5 to your roll and you can basically steamroll any challenge and do whatever you want unless the GM just saying "fuck you" and makes you auto-fail just because.
Yeah, but its still not going to be much different than other RPGs.
You aren't going to have +5 to all of your stats, even if you get it that high it will probably be for your primary stat. So yes, you will be unlikely to fail at the thing you shouldn't be failing at anyway. You still have to utilize rolls for every stat and those ones you will still have a chance to fail at.
And even with all of that, instead of just succeeding all of the time like you would in many other games at high level, making them boring like you said, you are still going to end up rolling 7-9s a lot for successes with a twist.
The actions aren't just as easy, there's an actual mechanical difference in failure rates with a +2 and a +3. Other point being that the consequences of failure are what is difficult, rather than just the action itself.
But yeah, I've found things get OP in dungeon world, one of the reasons its better suited to short campaigns.
In apocalypse world, even if the players are good at stuff, their things still get stolen, their friends still die, the rest of the world still turns and gets weird. The scope of dungeon world seems much smaller, so there tends to be less interesting shit that can still go wrong.
>Fights in DW are never supposed to drag.
So, you never get strings of bad rolls in DW?
These threads just make feel as though DW players are the WoD players of today. The hoity-toity, "We're a superior class of roleplayer because our system makes use better than those plebs" gamers.
Apocalypse World, like Dungeon World, has explicit GM guidelines on how they should approach the game and how they should move things forward.
Re 'rolls never get harder' - the intent is that if a roll really *should* be harder, then it takes more steps (and so, more rolls) to get to.
Best example off the cuff is the story of the 16 HP Dragon: http://www.latorra.org/2012/05/15/a-16-hp-dragon/
If you got strings of bad rolls in either game, then the GM should be using hard moves to significantly change the situation.
Like, the books are REALLY CLEAR on what to do in this situation, and if your GM doesn't adher to it then it's their fault.
If you get a STRING of bad rolls you're probably in bad enough shape to need to retreat, or you're dead.
The GM might well have the enemy accomplish their objective and leave if you fuck up long enough.
On another note, I've played a couple of games of DW, run one, and stolen a load of the GM thinking for my running of other systems (it was pretty close to how I did things before but... codified more clearly? not sure how to explain that one)
I don't think I'm better than anyone. Except Virt, because he's like cystic fibrosis for boards.
I fail to see why this particular instance could only happen in DW though.
It just feels like DW is only enjoyable if the GM unnecessarily pads out the distance between point A and point B.
So, why should I play this over something like OSRIC (first edition AD&D clone)? OSRIC has plenty of room for quick on the fly improvisation, quick fights, and a modular system that I can tweak easily.
Wait are you playing this for that, or to avoid that?
Easy to introduce to new players. But most osr isn't too complicated, it more depends on your crew at that point. Its mechanically focused on story telling rather than that being implied around some rules as in most osr stuff. But they port back and forth pretty easily.
You want the game to have a built-in 'spiral of escalating action'.
That's the main thing about any PbtA game.
Dungeon World doesn't do it great, but some people refuse to play anything that isn't dungeon fantasy, and so it exists.
I like games that blend fluff and crunch together so that when you advance, you feel as though your character is advancing from a mechanical and roleplay standpoint.
I like games that encourage players to work together and reward you for thinking outside the box.
I like games that are simple to understand but still always has something new to learn about the setting, the characters, the lore, and even the mechanics.
Those are the types of games I enjoy.
Although, if the game gives me the option of playing as either an undead or a monkey-person, that's just the icing on the cake.
That... doesn't make any sense.
I asked you if other systems are fun without action or description.
That is: You appear to be positing that DW is ONLY fun because there's fast-paced action and lots of description encouraged from players and DM. I was asking if there are systems that are fun when there is NO action, and the events happening in-game receive only cursory description.
I can't imagine playing 4e and having table talk where the DM lists of the dimensions of the room and bulletpoints the features, draws the map, and we all speak only about our mechanical actions, ammunition remaining, HP, etc.
That'd be worse than Arkham Horror, and there's nothing worse than Arkham Horror normally.
And then you named something that doesn't exist, a family of games, and a system.
Let me guess, you're just pretending to be retarded and I'm being trolled mercilessly.