Dungeon World’s Secrets Revealed

Tyler Provick

Tyler Provick is a writer and a gamer that likes to combine his two interests and share them with the community.

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4 responses

  1. st33d says:

    The group I played with played it “as written”. This meant every task had a 6:1 chance of success – because that’s what it says on our character sheets (that’s the actual probability of 10+). It’s like putting a loaded gun on the table and whenever I talk to anyone else about Dungeon World they say they never fired the gun. I raised my concerns about this during the second game we had and now it looks like I’m not playing with that group anymore because I ended up being disruptive. They honestly think that being in Dungeon World is like being Jar Jar Binks. You’re a total fuck-up that accumulates grief with every move, even when you slightly win.

    Here’s the problem when your rules are broken: No one I’ve ever played an RPG with knows all the rules. They look at what’s in front of them and go with it. There’s a loaded gun on the table – it’s going to get fired.

    If what was written on the character sheets and move sheets didn’t imply a disaster at every turn, then things would have gone better. I would still be speaking to people from that group. Instead of being some asshole complaining that the GM isn’t pulling their punches. Instead of sounding like a baby.

    Whilst everything else about the game was a lot of fun – I can’t recommend the system itself. It’s rigged for failure that is mitigated only by the GM. And if the GM skips a punishment I feel patronised.

    • I can understand your frustration. I still feel fond of Dungeon World but I’ve moved on to other games. It sounds like you were not the GM and the GM missed the bit where you only ask for a move when it is warranted by the fiction. If you look at the hack and slash as something which always happens as a result of a fight then the game breaks down. Sounds like you were right to wonder whether the game you were playing was supposed to be fun.

    • Mike Schmitz says:

      Wow, this is such an unfortunate story to hear. Whoever first read the rules in this way must have had an overly large impact on everyone else, because by definition 7+ is “success”, it is simply “success with complications”. And it’s very clear that many of the complications that the GM is supposed to introduce (via his Moves) are not necessarily “bad”, they’re just interesting.

      Still, even armed with that approach to the game, if players come to the table wanting to kick the crap out of everything and have no real conflict or surprise, then DW is never going to be a good game for them.

  2. Mike Schmitz says:

    Tyler did you ever post your followup articles? You seemed to be on to something interesting here…

Even a short comment makes my day.