So, I finally got my copy of Dungeon World yesterday and here is my review of the book.
Part 1 The Game itself
It has been a long damn time since I have wanted to dungeon crawl. I just don’t play those kinds of games anymore and there are a lot of people out there that do. So, bully for them. But my point is that after I burned out on Dungeons and Dragons, this kind of game never even reached my radar. I was more into the story telling games like Fate.
Then I played the game once about 7 months ago and the narrative control amazed me, and the fact that it was so close setting wise to how D&D was, became irrelevant. The fact that it is such a rules light game also appeals to me since this is why I don’t want to play games like Burning Wheel due to how crunchy those games are.
Part 2 Playing the game
2D6. is what your roll to accomplish things in the game. Yes, you may have to roll a different die for damage, but the basic component is that you roll 2D6.
You have the basic attributes like D&D. Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Charisma, Wisdom, and Intelligence. Depending on what your score is, you can get a bonus to your roll.
When you are trying to do something you roll the 2d6, and one of the following happen:
On a 10+ You accomplish your task with little trouble
On a 7-9 You accomplish your task but with complications or trouble
On a 6 or lower you fail and the Gm tells you what happens and then mark XP
There are basic moves like hack and slash (roll+STR bonus), Volley (roll +Dex bonus, Spout Lore (Roll +INT bonus, Discern realities (Roll + Wis bonus) Defend a character (Roll + Con bonus), or Parley with an npc (Roll + Cha bonus).
The other thing that you do is defy danger. When your character acts despite an imminent threat, you say how you deal with it and roll. For example, to dodge, you would use Dex. To hold on the edge of a cliff could be +Con. And so on.
Oh, and did I mention that the GM never rolls a dice. Not once. Craziness!
Part 3 Character types
This is nothing new to you. The classes are Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Thief, and Wizard.
I don’t need to say what these are, but each has its own starting moves, such as picking locks, spellcasting, shapeshifting, a signature weapons, and hunt and tracking to name a few. You also can get racial benefits since you can play human, elf, dwarf, or halfing.
You also have bonds with the other players in the game that can be resolved and get xp, but more than that it is a way to get you connected with the rest of the party. I like this quite a bit.
Part 4 The Gm
The Gm has moves as well. They could be as simple as enemies, or a trap. But when the player does not make the roll, the Gm can cause some problems for the player. They could separate the players or even make them lose resources…or my favorite reveal an unwelcome truth.
This is just a small sampling of what they can do, but their job is to keep the story going. When the players decided to do something, they make a roll. Depending on the roll, the GM then looks at their lists of moves and chooses something like mentioned above.
After the first session, the GM then starts creating something called Fronts. Simply it is secret knowledge of dangers and threats for the players. Things that the player care about and get used against them. Fronts allow the GM to organize GM’s thoughts their thoughts to create the opposition.
There is good advice here is to how to get this started. By the time you are done you would be able to have Fronts created along with threats, places, people, etc. It was cool to read.
Part 6 The World/Monsters
The first part of this was creating steadings, towns, ect. It is very simple and I love how easy DW makes it to create the world you are playing in. You take a map and start with a few locations and off you go creating the world.
The steading creation gives you a lot of options on how to go about it.
Then there are the monsters that are stated out. Enough for you to definitely get going in the game.
Part 7 Advanced delving
One of the best things about this game is how hackable it is. People take the basic game play and then just go nuts with it. This chapter gives advice on how to create moves, classes, races, etc.
There is some great advice here and I am personally looking forward to doing that at some point.
Overall, this book is awesome. It is damn hard to make a game where I actually want to dungeon crawl again, and the rules are easy enough for new players to jump in and get going. Sometimes you just need to make things easier to really gain complexity. That is how this game feels. It is so damn simple to see, but there is so much you can do.
It takes everything I used to love about D&D, but only better. I heard someone say the other day that this is the D&D they want to play.