Does dungeon-world support a play style1 where players carefully prepare for an encounter by manipulating the circumstances to their advantage, think of strategies for a large battle, and go on a quest to research a spell? Or does the GM agent item "Fill the characters’ lives with adventure" conflict with this style?
A classic example2 of preparing for an encounter and manipulating the circumstance is:
- the characters need to face a group of goblins/orcs/… (probably to retrieve some item);
- the characters are aware of a group of owlbears nearby that they probably have to face as well;
- the characters decide to lure the owlbears into the first encounter to form a distraction and thus be able to retrieve the item without facing the enemies directly;
- the characters research owlbears and discover that owlbears like honey;
- the players buy large quantities of honey; and
- they put their plan into motion.
I'm afraid that especially item #5 (and to some extend #3, #4, #6) may conflict with the dungeon style of play. Buying large quantities of honey is not adventurous – we may even consider it boring. So if the players play out the act of buying honey and they look to the GM for what happens next. The GM is obliged by the agenda to fill the lives of the characters with adventure, thus:
- The shopkeeper is a doppelganger; he jumps over the counter, his claws grabbing for your throat
Is more in accordance to the GM agenda than
- The honey costs x; continue with your creative plan.
Is it possible to avoid dragging down every plan of the players/characters with unexpected 'adventure'/complication? Is it possible that some plans/actions just work? Is it desirable to sometime have things work without complication3 or would this destroy the spirit of dungeon-world?
1 For this question I assume this play style is chosen by the players; in reality things may be more complex since there will be no direct interaction between the GM and the player since I'm attempting a cRPG/interactive story telling game (definitively not intended as a point and click hack and slash).
3 Of course occasionally even a great plan can fail for a stupid reason such as that the town's honey vendor can't sell any honey; because his basement is infested with monstrous spiders.