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What does "+1 forward" mean?

Is it simply a shorthand for saying "add 1 to your roll"?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For a question about basic game mechanics like this, it would be useful to explain which resources you've already read regarding the rules. For example, do you have the free playbooks download but not the core rulebook? \$\endgroup\$ – AgentAquarius Feb 17 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does that prevent answering the question? \$\endgroup\$ – DaveC426913 Mar 5 at 17:21
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From the github repo, here:

Some Moves...

[...]

Say "take +1 forward." That means to take +1 to your next move roll (not damage). The bonus can be greater than +1, or even a penalty, like -1. There also might be a condition, such as "take +1 forward to hack and slash," in which case the bonus applies only to the next time you roll hack and slash, not any other move.

"Forward" adds to your next roll and then goes away. (There are also damage modifiers - "take +1d4 damage forward", "take +style armor forward".)

This is to distinguish it from "ongoing", which is a modifier that doesn't go away after the next roll, though there may be conditions where it ends. ("Take +1 ongoing to Defy Danger as long as you don't stop moving." "Take +2d4 damage ongoing while you wield the sword, but after every kill, roll +kills today and...")

There may also be bonuses without the qualifiers "forward" or "ongoing", which last forever. (They're usually in racial moves: "Take +2 to damage with thrown weapons." "Take +1 to Spout Lore about crimes and doing crimes.")

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  • \$\begingroup\$ On a side note, although the answer is absolutely correct in this case, quoting the "SRD" is a bit tricky. It's not an "official" document and has an old version of the text. The updated text can be found on gitHub or, which is more convenient, on Roll20. \$\endgroup\$ – Boulash Nov 24 '18 at 10:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Repo's not as easy to cut and paste from. :P But it's linked. \$\endgroup\$ – Glazius Nov 24 '18 at 12:10
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The Playing the Game section of the Dungeon World SRD describes this:

That means to take +1 to your next move roll (not damage). The bonus can be greater than +1, or even a penalty, like -1. There also might be a condition, such as “take +1 forward to hack and slash,” in which case the bonus applies only to the next time you roll hack and slash, not any other move.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks guys. All good answers. I guess having the character sheets and moves is not sufficient. In the two campaigns I've been in, we haven't been given access to the game rules, just our sheets. I should get hold of the rules and read them. \$\endgroup\$ – DaveC426913 Nov 24 '18 at 6:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaveC426913 Absolutely. The players only ever need the sheets and moves, but there's a whole game engine that the GM is running things on that players only ever seen the results of, not the inner workings. Read the whole book/SRD if you're planning on running Dungeon World, and especially note that the GM section is the majority of the actual engine's rules! \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 24 '18 at 6:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ SSD: to be clear: the players need to learn the philosophy of the game. That's the biggest "hurdle", and the sheets don't cover that. \$\endgroup\$ – DaveC426913 Nov 24 '18 at 19:35
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I don't have Dungeon World to quote, but I do have Monsterhearts, which uses the same game engine. The Monsterhearts rulebook (p. 31) says:

Some moves will tell you to take 1 Forward. This means that you add +1 to your next die roll. A few will be more specific, perhaps telling you to take 1 Forward toward a certain type of action. In those cases, you’ll save the +1 until you find yourself in the specified situation. When you take 1 Forward, the bonus is always used on just one roll, and then it gets erased or crossed off.

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