The Make Camp moves begins as follows:

When you settle in to rest consume a ration. If you’re somewhere dangerous decide the watch order as well. If you have enough XP you may level up. When you wake from at least a few uninterrupted hours of sleep heal damage equal to half your max HP.

It is unclear to me when exactly this move triggers. Does the party "settle in" simply by deciding to do so, or does some in-fiction event need to happen? Once the decision to make camp is made, can the move be interrupted or aborted by outside influences?

For example, if my PCs have the XP needed to level up and decide to make camp but are immediately attacked or otherwise harassed by monsters/NPCs - they certainly don't get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep - do they level up or not?

Updated: The Level Up move description independently resolves my question as it applies to leveling up specifically. Restoring HP is also explicitly tied to uninterrupted rest. I do not know if there are other mechanical effects tied to Make Camp, but if there are this is still a worthwhile question.


2 Answers 2


… but are immediately attacked or otherwise harassed by monsters/NPCs …

There's an important detail about how PbtA games work that often gets overlooked, and needs some getting-used-to.

Players getting into any kind of trouble sounds like a DM move. However, in DW, the DM only gets to make a move when:

  • A player misses a move (ie. rolls a 6-)
  • The players look to the DM to find out what happens
  • The players give the DM a golden opportunity

If none of these are present, (contrary to more common RPG practices from other games) the DM can't make a move

This means you can't interrupt their camp on a whim. But this does not mean you are helpless. You just have to be on the lookout for opportunities, and especially other move triggers.

If they try to make camp in orc territory, that's a golden opportunity. You can make a soft move by asking them questions and using the answers, like "How do you ensure your camp's safety in the middle of Orcland?" and then maybe following up with Defy danger if their answer triggers it. That move may fail and then you make your move. Or you may choose a hard move and give them trouble right away for ignoring the skulls-on-pikes they saw on the way.

If they say they set up camp and ask you what happens next, that's looking at you. Make any move you like. Remember to fill their lives with adventure.

If they set up camp and one of them decides to do something that triggers another move before the camp is over, and that move misses, you can also make your move.

If they say they set up camp, and it's an established safe context, and they refrain from triggering other moves, and they don't ask you what happens, then that camp is successfully over with full benefits. That's what the move says. It's a rule and you shouldn't break it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The interruption was the result of a previous 7-9 result (attract unwanted attention, it was the player's choice). \$\endgroup\$
    – mcwyrm
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ That could be considered a golden opportunity but I'd prefer to keep something like that soft. Show them signs of an approaching threat. When they say they make camp, tell them they saw footprints of some creature around, and ask them what they do about it. If they ignore that, it's fair game. If they don't, then they do something and that could lead to a moves snowball. Everything happens without the make camp move getting triggered. \$\endgroup\$
    – edgerunner
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 10:44

The rest seems mandatory

Under Level Up, you can read the following:

When your characters have safety and a chance to rest, they’ll be able to make the Level Up move to level up and gain new moves.

If you Make Camp and get attacked right away, you didn't really have safety and a chance to rest, so you can't make the Level Up move. A logical interpretation would be that you don't get to make the move until you've gotten that chance to rest in safety.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you!! It hadn't occurred to me that Level Up was its own move, separate from Make Camp. It is, and that clears the question up for me, as far as leveling up goes, anyway. I still think there's some ambiguity around Make Camp, but the mechanical effects, at least as far as HP and leveling up, are clearly tied to having at least a few hours w/o interruption. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – mcwyrm
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 15:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .