47

You're most certainly not here to tell everyone a planned-out story. -- "Agenda", from the GM section on the repo. And you've felt that friction trying to make it happen, haven't you? Walking into a scene with a point planned for how it's going to end, and you have all this power to deal damage and put people in spots to do it. You feel a bit of ...


37

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

You cannot do this if you will only accept the outcome that the party is killed. A central agenda point for both GM and players in Dungeon World is "Play to find out what happens!". If the outcome is predetermined, this tenet is violated. On a mechanical level, successes, failures and successes-at-a-cost are supposed to be interesting precisely ...


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 ...


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 ...


18

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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"....


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 ...


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

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 ...


10

To answer 'what should I do?', the answer is probably: Ask the player if they had a good time. Ask them if they enjoyed the story. If the answer is "yes", then you did everything right. To answer 'how to make the encounter easy', the Dungeon World answer is: you don't. It's not your job to make encounters easy or hard. It's your job to be a fan of ...


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 ...


7

Why not make death an option they want/need to take? For example, let's say to complete their quest they need certain information. That information was known only to someone that is currently dead or maybe they were captured by some evil force and imprisoned in the afterlife (or some other place/plane they can only get once they are dead). Lead them to ...


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

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

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 ...


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

After totally agreeing with the excellent answers from Glazius and ACuriousMind, I'd like to offer my two cents on how I'd approach this if I had good ideas on an adventure on the other side of the black gates. First of all, let's put one thing aside. This is not death. Not in the game-mechanical sense of Dungeon World. Death as in the last breath move is ...


4

Yes, you just have the new class's damage die. Note that a class's playsheet just says "your base damage is dX." (Emphasis mine.) It doesn't say "you gain 1dX damage dice" or something like that. True, the phrase "damage dice" is used in many places in the book. But note the presence of advanced moves such as the fighter's ...


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 ...


4

The world will never be the same. Stakes are about important changes that affect the PCs and the world. A good stakes question is one that, when it’s resolved, means that things will never be the same again. -- "Stakes", from the Fronts chapter of the github. There's a difference between the "Will" stakes questions that you call easy ...


4

Think of it this way: This particular kind of game is a bunch of prompts and levers to help you to (1)work together, (2)in the moment, to build compelling fiction. This style of play still has room for prep work (e.g. coming up with interesting locations and characters outside of play, and mapping out how they fit together — your "fronts" or "...


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