So in Dungeon World, the basic mechanic seems to be that you roll 2D6 + Modifier. If you get a 10+, its a 'good' result, and if you get a 7-9, it's an 'OK' result, with <=6 being 'bad/useless'. However, I don't see that there are enough consequences for bad/useless!

Let's take as an example Hack And Slash. The move works thusly:

When you attack an enemy in melee, roll+STR. On a 10+ you deal your damage to the enemy and avoid their attack. At your option, you may choose to do +1d6 damage but expose yourself to the enemy's attack. On a 7–9, you deal your damage to the enemy and the enemy makes an attack against you.

So 10+ deals damage. 7-9 deals damage but suffers an incoming attack. <7? No effect. So oddly, it seems you suffer less damage with a complete miss than you do with a hit of some sort. On top of that, rolling <7 gets you free XP! What is the downside to players deliberately spamming moves that they know will not land in order to 'farm' XP?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think a few things stop players from "farming xp." One, it's boring and possibly difficult to explain in the fiction. Two, your GM moves can get harder and harder until they stop. I mean "on a 1-6 you die" is perfectly valid. \$\endgroup\$
    – Preston
    Jun 25, 2015 at 19:40

1 Answer 1



A miss means that the character's action is unsuccessful or carries major consequences. Unless the move tells you what to do, all moves work the same on a miss—the GM takes action, doing something dangerous to the characters.

Chapter 12: The GM

You also make a move when the players give you a golden opportunity. A golden opportunity is any time they ignore a threat or when they fail a roll (6-).

When they give you a golden opportunity, you can make your move just as hard as you like. A hard move is one that is irrevocable and immediate. The players immediately feel the consequences of the move and have to deal with them. Dealing damage is a hard move, since the damage is immediately applied.

On a miss, the GM makes a move. In particular, the GM is empowered to make a hard move, which includes just dealing damage! Of course, the response should be guided by the GM's principles, including make a move that follows (in the fiction). If you miss Hack and Slashing an orc, then it would follow for you to get hit by the orc. It wouldn't necessarily follow that a cave-in occurs, unless there's been some buildup in the fiction that a cave-in is about to occur.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Apocalypse World (which Dungeon World is based off of) has a great explanation for when players miss: All the moves list what should happen on a hit, 7–9 or 10+, so follow them. A few of them list what happens on a miss, so follow those too. For the rest, for now, tell the players this: “on a miss, I’ll tell you what happens.” If you want, just so nobody has any incorrect expectations, you can add this: “...and I promise you won’t like it.” \$\endgroup\$
    – okeefe
    Jul 15, 2012 at 16:24

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