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This question is a child of In what ways will having too many players negatively impact a Powered by the Apocalypse game?, I give full background there, but the important part is that I expect to be GMing a Dungeon World campaign which will have a core group of 3-5 regular players, but other people will be interested in joining for a session, perhaps returning, but not making it to every session.

This question is specifically adjusting part of the system and its impacts.

I am thinking that I may want to increase the number of bonds available to more regular PCs so that they are not negatively affected by bond slots being locked up by infrequent PCs. Having not played DW before, just reading the rules and the questions here, I am unsure if this will break the game.

Will increasing bond slots for some/all PCs break the game or negatively impact it? If so, how?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Even though this question is based on a misconception, its a misconception that I held after reading through the bonds section of the rulebook. I'm letting stand as is because it has at least one fitting answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Will Barnwell Aug 2 '18 at 7:46
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As far as I understand it, there are no bond slots in DW, every character can have as many bonds as they want, with as many other PCs as they want. (I might be wrong about that, but my answer still stands)

There is no mechanical downside to having more bonds, it's just that the fiction can get confusing. On the other hand, having bonds with characters that aren't playing is completely useless.

The problem you might have is that you'll have to create bonds if some players want to have bonds with all the others (most playbooks have only 4 suggestions). This is not overly difficult if you understand what they're here for (create stakes or inspiration for inter-players interractions).

The problem the table might have is that it makes the worldbuilding process quite long and possibly boring, when it's normally one of the greatest part of DW.

You might want to use the "flags" mechanics instead, it's pretty much designed for swapping casts: http://walkingmind.evilhat.com/2015/09/07/from-bonds-to-flags/ (and browse RPGSE for insight into this alternative tool, it's full of great answers)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh well, this embarrassingly shows I haven't finished reading the rulebook. I will likely discourage 1-to-1 PC bonding, good call. Thanks for the answer \$\endgroup\$ – Will Barnwell Aug 2 '18 at 7:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was under the impression that this was explicitly not the case. In particular, the Immolator has Burning Bridges, that contains "This is permanent and lowers your total available Bonds forever." , inferring base cap on Bonds. \$\endgroup\$ – Frezak Aug 2 '18 at 8:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I hadn't thought about that, but I also rely on Adam Koebel's explanations in actual plays videos in which he sometimes states you can have as many as you want and even create some during play. The rules are not very clear I think. \$\endgroup\$ – Boulash Aug 2 '18 at 8:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might be right, Frezak, in the sense that character creation tells you to "fill the blanks", and nothing else, which would give as many slots as blanks, in a way. \$\endgroup\$ – Boulash Aug 2 '18 at 8:33

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