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 supposed to be a slight twist on the "official" rules, or whether they're maybe something left over from earlier drafts.

From the current Github repo 12/2/13 (same as the printed book, I believe):

The GM’s principles are more mutable than the agenda but still can seriously change the game with only minor modifications. Address the characters, not the players; Make your move, but misdirect; Never speak the name of your move; Begin and end with the fiction; and Be a fan of the characters are the most important principles. Without these the conversation of play and the use of moves is likely to break down.

Embrace the fantastic; Give every monster life; Name every person; Think Dangerous; and Give them something to work towards are key to the spirit of Dungeon World and fantasy exploration. These are changeable, but they amount to changing the setting of the game. If you want to change any of these, you may have to make changes to all of them.

Leave Blanks; Sometimes, let them decide; and Ask questions and use the answers are important to running Dungeon World well. They also apply to many other games in the same style. The game will be diminished without them, but the conversation of play will continue. These are also some of the most portable principles, applicable to many other games. They may even work in games with very different play styles.

The first paragraph, for instance, seems to indicate that "make your move, but misdirect" is one of the GM's principles; but I don't find that in the original list of principles earlier in the book.

Looking at the directives in the second paragraph, "embrace the fantastic" seems like it may be an earlier version of "portray a fantastic world". "Think Dangerous" might be an earlier "fill the characters' lives with adventure." The rest of the text in that paragraph seems to indicate that the directives in the paragraph are official / canon.

There's not really enough difference between the principles in Advanced Delving and in the rest of the book to make a major difference in play, so this is really just me trying to understand the intent of the paragraphs I've quoted. Thanks in advance!


1 Answer 1


I noticed that too and pointed it out to Sage & Adam. You can tell that it's an earlier draft of the list because the wording "Make your move, but misdirect" is still identical to the wording in DW's parent Apocalypse World.

In that Twitter conversation Adam confirmed that it's an editing error, but they've apparently left it uncorrected since it doesn't damage the advice and it's kind of an unintentionally topical error. But in the end, there's no intentionality to this difference, just a lapse in editing oversight. Any intentionality in leaving it uncorrected is purely meta-textual and after the fact.

You could still treat them as alternatives if you wanted to. (Clearly, they were acceptable from a game-use point of view earlier in the game's development, despite later refinement.) So long as you understand what they're supposed to accomplish, the variation in wording won't actually make a real difference (as you point out). Or, if you take the different wording more literally and tease out the distinctions between these and the "official" Principles, then you might see some variation in their effect during play – and that would be useful hands-on experience with Advanced Delving.


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