36

Monsters (or NPCs in general) don't make specific moves. Instead, the GM will make moves whenever the players present a golden opportunity (amongst other things) So if the PCs don't engage in combat, but keep looking at the GM, there'll be a progression of moves, probably something like this: Show signs of an approaching threat The hobgoblins you've ...


27

Unless you revise damage and/or healing, this will take "deal damage" out of your toolbox as a GM quicker than you'd want. Apocalypse World introduces the "harm move" as a way of imposing unpredictable consequences when a PC suffers any harm at all. In Dungeon World, the unpredictability is the damage roll - everything can basically do up ...


21

The rules (including the unofficial SRD) clarify what "Be a fan of the characters" means. In the "Gamemastering" chapter: Be a fan of the characters Think of the players’ characters as protagonists in a story you might see on TV. Cheer for their victories and lament their defeats. You’re not here to push them in any particular direction, merely to ...


20

Begin and End With The Fiction No-one on either side of the table really "makes moves". The moves come from what happens in the fiction, more specifically, from what the players have their characters do in response to that fiction. From the SRD Gamemastering chapter, Principles section (emphasis mine): Make a move that follows. When you make a ...


17

Ability modifiers are not, by default, added to damage. (Though they are, by the moves' description, added to the "to hit" rolls of Hack & Slash and Volley.) See, for instance, DW p.23 ("Damage"): If a move just says “deal damage” the character rolls their class’s damage dice plus any bonuses or penalties from moves, weapons, or effects. If a move ...


17

Your numbers are right, but consider the spells. Especially when you get up to 7th- and 9th-level spells, most of the spells are things you're going to be casting at your leisure, so that you can take an hour to prepare before or after using them. Spells at those levels that you'll be casting in the middle of danger, like dominate and soul gem, are ...


17

Foreword Remember that your job as GM is to follow your Agenda and Principles, even when doing behind the scenes stuff like this. So Fill their lives with adventure, ask questions and use the answers, make a move that follows, and draw maps, leave blanks are in play here, along with their unlisted friends. Piecemeal These kinds of questions can work, but are ...


17

the bond with Able is more of an existing, recognized status In which case, it’s resolved. You should think of the bond not as: Able always has my back when things go wrong . But, rather: Able always has my back when things go wrong ? If, in the session, there was an opportunity for this to be demonstrated and it either was or wasn’t i.e. Able showed he ...


13

The PC's don't have to engage in combat. They will respond to whatever is happening and sooner or later, something will trigger the moves snowball. They just stand there? That's a golden opportunity with a GM move as a follow up. Make it as hard as you like. They run away? That's Defy danger. If they miss, then it's your move. The bard tries to talk them ...


13

When you closely study a situation or person, the Discern Realities move asks you to roll. You roll. The move then tells you what happens on a particular die result (ask the GM this many questions, or on a miss the GM makes a move as hard as they want). That's a natural order. However, since Discern Realities says what happens when you closely study a ...


13

The GM could prompt the Fighter to clarify what they're doing. But the GM !!just described the tentacles!! and was clear about the threat they posed. Was the GM clear? A common problem in Theatre of the Mind is where one person thinks they are being clear, but their words are actually open to some interpretation. The GM and the player might have very ...


12

You need to manage level-ups somehow Most PbtA games use simple "+2, +1, +1, 0, -1" array. In terms of the game mechanics, it is completely unnecessary to have another stats set, separated from these modifiers. The main reason DW has its 3-18 values for stats is the D&D equivoque. There are two cases when we use the stat itself, and not the modifier: ...


12

It's up to the GM, both options are correct The Hack and Slash move description has this exact case mentioned: If the enemy isn’t prepared for your attack—if they don’t know you’re there or they’re restrained and helpless—then that’s not hack and slash. You just deal your damage or murder them outright, depending on the situation. Nasty stuff. So the PC ...


12

Everywhere that it says "the poison you choose", it means, the one that you choose when you take the move. From a very literal reading, you could say that each time this phrase occurs it's a separate choice, but I would not interpret it that way. (It would be clearer if they simply said "that poison", to obviously refer back to the first "choose as poison"....


11

You're thinking of "Brewer". When you have time to gather materials and a safe place to brew you can create three doses of any one poison you've used before. -- "The Thief", via the Github. If you were meant to be able to create three doses of any poison from the start, this move would be useless to you. So it should be interpreted that ...


10

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 ...


9

It means putting the heroes first, before the story and the world As a GM, you create the world and everything in it. Furthermore, as a GM, you have power to determine what is possible in that world. "Be a fan of the characters" means letting the players do awesome things to that world, instead of being limited by what you think should be possible. ...


9

Context Remember to start with your Agenda, such as fill the characters' lives with adventure, and follow up with your Principles, such as begin and end with the fiction, think dangerous, and ask questions and use the answers. Failures Your question assesses success vs. middling, but doesn't really cover failure. This is important for context. Success is ...


9

Personally I've never found the starter bonds for classes to be all that compelling for exploring a party's inter-relationships. And for new players they can lead to some poor assumptions about what constitutes "good" ones. To alleviate that: Add something actionable Like you've noted, bonds like the Thief's "_____ has my back when things go ...


7

If I were the GM on this, I'd question every preliminary assumption you made as a player to pull this off, but once you have gone past those, the murder part is just straight out murder. What do you mean by guile and subterfuge? How do you approach him? What are the ways this can go awry? How have you ensured that you come across as innocent? Is there ...


6

Be a fan of the characters. That's the principle that should guide you, here. Give them what they've earned, don't take away what makes them interesting. So how do you make it pop, here? Give them what they've earned. Remember that a 7-9 does what it says it does, not that it must necessarily be a compromised success. If you just want to take a blow for ...


6

"On a miss, ask 1 anyway, but be prepared for the worst." That's language from the second edition of Apocalypse World on its Read a Sitch/Read a Person moves. It's not some special game-specific condition; it's consistent with the core principles of the game, specifically what in Dungeon World is called making a move that follows. When you narrate ...


6

… 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 ...


6

The only cost is some math. The actual way ability scores correspond to bonuses is a reference to how they were treated in Basic D&D, as summed up in this table from the Rules Cyclopedia: \begin{array} {|r|r|}\hline Ability Score & Adjustment \\ \hline 2-3 & -3 \\ \hline 4-5 & -2 \\ \hline 6-8 & -1 \\ \hline 9-12 & 0 \\ \hline 13-15 &...


6

The document you're linking to actually explains this - Moves are only triggered if you do something that triggers them. You can't Discern Realities if you're not actually trying to discern anything. The wording might be a bit confusing because of course the questions that the move lets you ask come after the roll, the thing that triggers the move is you ...


5

For Your Consideration: The Fairies' Checkmate This puzzle rests on two pillars. The first is how to present dungeon obstacles in Dungeon World. When considering what to do to the PCs when there aren't monsters about, when "the dungeon" is the only thing to act, you need to consider what "the dungeon's" motivations are - or, rather, the ...


5

Defenses A glaring omission from your original question is armor. One of the several reasons the 16HP dragon is so much more difficult than the other monsters is its whopping 5 armor. If your average Hunter or Soldier gets lucky enough to land a hit, there is a 1 in 6 chance the hit will do any damage at all (and incidentally, roughly a None in Hell chance ...


5

Since you say the game "has to start" this way, and you've clearly already planned out exactly how it will/should happen (as opposed to "play to find out"), I would, as a GM, treat this as scene-setting and narrate it as a fait accompli rather than attempting to run it using the game rules. The actual game starts when the murder is done ...


5

There isn't "combat". There's just "monsters trying to hurt PCs." I mean, there is combat-the-fictional-thing, if you want to define that as, for example, "a fight to the death between PCs and monsters, with neither side holding an overwhelming advantage". Some playbooks care about going into combat or limiting use of features ...


4

The general idea is that the player indicates that the character is trying to learn something, and the GM determines that invokes the move. The player rolls, and based on the result they may ask some questions and get honest answers. It may be clear from the player's indicated action which questions they intend to ask. "I wander around the room, trying to ...


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