I have a relatively new Dungeon World game that I'm planning out a campaign front or two for, and I've found some inspiration so ideas shouldn't be too hard. My problem is that, should the players choose to pursue that story to its natural conclusion, there's a decent chance they'll decide, at the moment of truth, that the remnants of the royal family don't deserve to rule. I hope to have developed options for other people they can hand the kingdom to, preferably ones that will make it a difficult choice, but there is always the chance they'll decide to take the thrones.

I'm 100% ok with that, except that I have no clue what I would do at that point. Clearly, these will need to be adventurer-kings, and running adventures will only really change in the amount of support the players are likely to have. But when they want to direct their kingdom in certain ways or develop it in certain directions, some kind of mechanical framework would be really useful for representing the kingdom's changes...

I don't want to just "import" something like Pathfinder's Ultimate Campaign that really doesn't seem to fit in a super-narrative system like Dungeon World, but I'd like some kind of framework. Clearly, mechanics have their place, since there ARE rules for settlements; should I just track the settlements separately and give the PCs more control over settlement development? Or is there a good way to incorporate the kingdom as a whole?

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    Are you familiar with its parent game, Apocalypse World? I haven't had to tackle this in DW, but AW's The Hardholder playbook would be required reading long before something like Ultimate Campaign. – SevenSidedDie Sep 21 '14 at 0:25
  • @SevenSidedDie I am not. I very briefly glanced at the base rules for AW while answering a game recommendation question here; that's the end of my knowledge of it. I'll happily look into it if it'll help with the problem I'm expecting here ^_^ – gatherer818 Sep 21 '14 at 0:36
up vote 4 down vote accepted

They're still the same people as before, they just happen to have a lot more resources and problems to deal with...

Your adventures will be the same characters with the same class features as before, whether or not those features lend themselves toward ruling will be another matter entirely. You should not need to install a game framework for this outside what already exists in the basic and advanced moves to do everything they could possibly want/need to do as kings/lords.

Yes, they will have money and servants and be able to call up an army in a time of war, but for each and every power they gain, they are equally weighed with a duty and an expectation of how that power will be used. Heavy is the head the wears the crown.

But, they probably won't be able to just go adventuring, not without a cost...

As I'm sure you know as a Dungeon World GM, there are always threats brewing in the form of fronts, usually more than one at a time, and this forces players to make hard choices about which threats they confront and what is important to them in the face of possible destruction.

There may be an orc war party raiding and pillaging villages on the edge of the kingdom, and its certainly their duty as rulers to see it ended, but whether or not they go themselves or send their subordinates is another question entirely. They could probably handle the threat quite efficiently themselves, but leaving the capital to go on a raid, may leave their throne(s) vulnerable or help to advance some form of intrigue going on about court.

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