Dungeon World is a heroic fantasy game mixing old school aesthetics and cutting edge game design based on the Apocalypse World system. In Dungeon World the narrative always drives the mechanics allowing players to focus on being their characters first and the GM on building and adjudicating the ...

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GMs and MCs, When do you say, 'No,' to your players?

The player that introduced me to DW/AW seems to feel that it's not in the spirit of the rules to tell the players 'no'. I feel that is too extreme, so I want to know, MCs/DMs, do you say 'no' to your ...
44
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1answer
7k views

How to ask nicely in Dungeon World

(and some of the other Powered by the Apocalypse games) There's a basic move called Parley in DW: When you have leverage on a GM Character and manipulate them, roll+Cha. Leverage is something ...
42
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4answers
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How can I politely handle a GM who doesn't appear to 'get' how Dungeon World works?

My gaming group recently decided that our next game was going to be Dungeon World, GMed by my flatmate who I will refer to as Bob. Bob has played a one-shot of DW with myself as GM in the past and ...
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5answers
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What do you do in Dungeon World when someone wants to perform an action they don't have a move for?

So in Dungeon World, everything breaks down to 'moves'. What about situations where a move is not available, but a check of some sort is called for, such as in the case of a non-fighter who wants to ...
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4answers
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How do I respond when a player trivially kills my boss monster?

In The "Smash!" Move we discussed a barbarian move which can (on a good roll) kill any monster. An answer to that question makes it clear that the DM should allow this: They've just ...
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4answers
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How does “failure” work in Dungeon World? How does it move the story forward?

I am having trouble understanding the specifics of failure Dungeon World. According to the rules, a GM should "make a move" against players when they fail, and that's alright, I get that. What I ...
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6answers
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Is it normal that players share their characters' thoughts?

I am totally new to RPGs and haven't participated in a single game yet. However, I'm interested in the topic and today, I found a link to Dungeon World on this site and started reading. There's ...
23
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5answers
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How to GM for a player who knows none of the tropes Dungeon World relies on?

I have a very occasional player who gives me a disproportional amount of difficulty as a Dungeon World GM. DW is normally really easy to teach to new players because it has almost everything a player ...
21
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5answers
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How to increase difficulty in Dungeon World

I've been GMing for a couple of sessions now and I'm still struggling at making encounters or situations more difficult. I will describe dangerous situations and encounters in fiction but the ...
21
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4answers
738 views

Dungeon World after much D&D (3.5E, 4E and 5E) - struggling with what degree of “fiction first” applies to moves

My group tried out Dungeon World for first time. We've played quite a variety of games, but the most time has been spent with D&D 4E and 5E. During the session - which in general I enjoyed - I ...
19
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2answers
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How can I prevent characters from doing the impossible?

I am just learning Dungeon World, and I don't understand how to prevent the characters from just trying impossible things. For example, what if a character tries to jump across a 1,000-foot-wide ...
19
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3answers
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How do you administer combat without an Initiative system?

So in Dungeon World, there doesn't seem to be any stat for initiative or any structure to the sequence of moves that people can make. Is the game intended to be simply played "round robin", or do ...
19
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1answer
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Why does the Clumsy armor tag impose −1 ongoing for all rolls?

For example, why would it affect wisdom or intelligence? ...or am I just misunderstanding the rule? Thank you!
18
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3answers
2k views

Playing Dungeon World in an established setting

World creation in Dungeon World according to its principle is meant to be broad and keep some blanks for the players to fill. But what about an established setting like Forgotten Realm or Greyhawk? ...
17
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4answers
5k views

Should I worry about players abusing the Know-It-All move?

I'm concerned about this move of the Wizard: Know-It-All When another player’s character comes to you for advice and you tell them what you think is best, they get +1 forward when ...
17
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1answer
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Dungeon World Leveling at level 10

I didn't really understand the leveling portion other than: XPTotal & LevelUp = Level+7 - XP However when you hit level 10 the manual says you must create a new character as an assistant or etc. ...
17
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3answers
921 views

Starving in Dungeon World

My Dungeon World party is now two weeks out from civilized lands. They've had the usual amount of foul luck, and lost more rations than they planned due to bad rolls. Mostly due to picking up some ...
17
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3answers
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How do you handle Reach in Dungeon World?

How does reach actually work? If I am wielding a long spear against a goblin with a dagger ("Staying far out of its reach, I make quick thrusts at the goblin's head!"), do I roll Hack and Slash? Do ...
17
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1answer
345 views

How does the “Descriptive Damage” hack affect Dungeon World?

A few years ago, Paul Taliesin wrote a very interesting hack for Dungeon World, helping players add descriptive damage to the game. Here's the core move of the hack: When your character suffers ...
16
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3answers
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How do GM Moves in Dungeon World work in practice?

So I was reading about the GM Moves in Dungeon world and I started to have a string of questions running through my mind... It went something like this (all within about 20 minutes) Am I going to get ...
15
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4answers
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What are the major innovations in Dungeon World compared to D&D 3.5/Pf/4e?

In various comments on this site, DW was mentioned as [Dungeon world/Apocalypse World] is really more required reading for any designer today working on innovation in mechanics Having read the ...
15
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4answers
658 views

Casting invisibility on self and draw unwelcome attention

Last game session the Wizard was casting Invisibility like a maniac and he would always choose to draw unwelcome attention when he got 7-9. I have to say the first couple of times I just thought: Ok, ...
15
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2answers
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How do I make a socially-optimized character in Dungeon World?

I enjoy playing PCs who talk, and can solve social situations effectively. Looking at Defy Danger and Parley as my main uses of Charisma, I'm underwhelmed and somewhat sad to have no Bluff, ...
15
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4answers
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How to lie in Dungeon World?

I can't quite understand how, if at all, you roll to lie in Dungeon World. Parlay does not work because you don't necessarily have some leverage on the character.
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How do I make a good narrative campaign in Dungeon World?

In my old group we played Pathfinder and I always created "hack 'n' slash" adventures: enter the dungeon, loot, kill, go home. We loved that. But with my new group we're gonna play Dungeon World and ...
14
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3answers
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How can I encourage players to Spout lore

I have this rich setting with plenty of details and it's not a published one that players read and know by heart. I'd like to give them a lot of information contextual to locations and events ...
14
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2answers
654 views

Partial Success on Hack and Slash which kills a monster, can it deal damage?

Suppose a player uses the Hack and Slash move against a monster, and he obtains a partial success (7-9). He rolls the damage and he is able to kill the monster, can I as a DM use the Deal Damage from ...
14
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2answers
202 views

Making harder shots

In Dungeon World, let's say we have two archers in the party, both mechanically the same. It's time for some feats of arrow-work, so the two archers take aim. Alice aims at an ogre who's a fair ...
13
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3answers
470 views

What published resources give good examples of Adventure Fronts?

I have recently started running a game of Dungeon World, and now that the first session is out of the way I am trying to get my head around how Fronts work. I am finding Campaign Fronts relatively ...
13
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3answers
335 views

Can a Paladin use Lay on Hands on himself?

Can a paladin use Lay on Hands on himself? Lay on Hands (Cha) When you touch someone, skin to skin, and pray for their well-being , roll+CHA. ✴ On a 10+ you heal 1d8 damage or remove one ...
12
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8answers
575 views

How to avoid sidetracking and keep things together in cooperative storytelling

I've been playing Dungeon World for a while and I encourage players to collaborate to make the game really "our game" by using the principles to the letter. But when I look back at the world we ...
12
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4answers
490 views

Languages and Knowledges

We were running our Dungeon World campaign, and the time came to confront the goblins about their evil ways and interrogate them for what they knew. At this point, we hit a snag; how can we know if ...
12
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4answers
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Getting bogged down in combat with Dungeon World

I ran my second session of Dungeon World today, which lasted just under three hours and at least an hour of this was made up with a single combat. They were a party of four facing 12 small mechanical ...
12
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4answers
1k views

FAE or Dungeon World as first game for kids, rusty DM?

I'm looking at FAE or Dungeon World for a first RPG for some ~11 year olds with me as a GM (who hasn't played anything but AD&D in nearly 30 years). The kids are interested in a D&D style ...
12
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2answers
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Running a one shot session in Dungeon World. How?

I'm going to GM a session of Dungeon World this saturday. My problem is that the book doesn't really deal with one-shot sessions in any detail. It discusses how to make sessions in great length ...
11
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2answers
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Are there any good, free introductory Dungeon World adventures for a DM used to D&D? [on hold]

I have been playing & GMing for some time, mostly in various versions of D&D, and other 80s-90s systems. And most of my GMing has been with published adventure modules. I want to try Dungeon ...
11
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2answers
743 views

Can the Wizard move “Ritual” be used to create a permanent effect or learn a new move?

In my specific instance, I have an Immolator player that wants to gain the following move: Ogdru Jahad Gain the Wizard move Ritual. The GM will always tell you what you have to sacrifice to ...
11
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1answer
319 views

Are the GM principles from Advanced Delving meant as alternatives, or are they typos?

The Advanced Delving section of the manual lists GM principles that are different than the ones described elsewhere in the manual. I am confused by whether the examples in Advanced Delving are ...
11
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1answer
443 views

How do rotes and cantrips work?

While reading the rulebook and class sheets of dungeon world, I had some problems. Most of them are answered somewhere, but I was unable to find information regarding rotes and cantrips. I am just not ...
10
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2answers
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Are the A), B), C) starting equipment choices exclusive or multiple choice?

this is an embarrassingly small question, but it's bugging me and my troupe greatly. The short form of the question is, "Can a player choose MORE THAN ONE item from a list of items on their DW ...
10
votes
2answers
374 views

How can I GM for more tactically-minded players?

I've been GMing a Dungeon World campaign for about a year now, and consider myself an intermediate at understanding the system. My group has recently told me that they miss D&D's tactical combat. ...
10
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2answers
425 views

How is Hold spent, and how long can you save it?

Having played Dungeon World a handful of times, I love it. I still find the concept of accruing and spending hold a bit confusing. I purchased the pdf version of the game. I found the following text ...
10
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1answer
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The “Smash!” Move

A player in my group shows interest in taking the 'Smash!' barbarian move soon, so I wanted to ask how much should I allow when using it. For example if an enemy has more than 12HP and the barbarian ...
10
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1answer
373 views

What happens when a PC attacks another PC in Dungeon World?

Consider the following situation: GM: You see a gleaming pile of gold in front of you crowned with a ruby the size of your fist. Thief: I stab the fighter and run to grab the ruby. How must the GM ...
10
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1answer
210 views

Is Apotheosis cosmetic or functional?

Apotheosis states that the cleric permanently gains a physical characteristic of his deity. Examples given are claws, wings made of sapphires, and an all seeing third eye. Assuming functionality as ...
10
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1answer
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Dungeon World - Gaining XP for failures

I ran our first Dungeon World session yesterday, and we really had fun. We're all new to the game and to tabletop RPG's in general. I'm a fresh GM, so I forgot a few rules here and there, mostly ...
9
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4answers
3k views

Racial features in Dungeon World

Races are really accessories in Dungeon World. How can you translate more potent races (or race features) from other settings to Dungeon World? For instance I'm trying to make an Eberron game using ...
9
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8answers
1k views

Chess Trap Variant

I'm planning to run a Dungeon World campaign based on a classic D&D Super Endless Quest book called The Ghost Tower which, in turn, is based on a classic D&D module called The Ghost Tower of ...
9
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1answer
448 views

How do I get my players to make their own decisions?

I'm GMing a Dungeon World campaign with players completely new to tabletop RPGs. Every time I present them with a situation and ask them what they do next, none of them ever arrive at a conclusion, ...
9
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3answers
936 views

Idea for missing on a shapeshift roll for Dungeon World

I was looking at the Druid and the shapeshift move. I can imagine consequences for failing the wizard's spellcasting and the thief backstabbing moves, but how can you make shapeshifting turn out bad?