Dungeon World is a game powered by the Apocalypse. There is a direct gate to its engine room.
lot of beginning players have trouble with the rules. They see some good stuff in there, they're excited to try the game, but the mechanics are just so different from what they know. It can be confusing, especially if you aren’t experienced with Apocalypse World, which Dungeon World is based on.
I think that's because you might need to unlearn some things about gaming before approaching Dungeon World.
The devious YouTube algorithm proposed me to watch a few jdrfactory videos. Sorry, French again. They have an ongoing history of the role playing games that is brilliant. I especially appreciated the Empire of the Petal Throne episode.
The younger members of the channel had an excellent discussion about the games powered by the Apocalypse (Propulsés par l'Apocalypse in French).
Here are some points they highlighted:
- Epiphany, PbtA codifies fiction, mechanism, fiction. Learning to be a GM the hard way, encountering PbtA and levelling up
- Dungeon World sits on two chairs, but may be considered a great gateway, it gives too few narrative tools to the players, its character archetypes only tell you how you'll hack the opposition. In a true PbtA Game, archetypes have different goals
- The move system may cut the action, but once used to it, it flows
- PbtA Games are harder to hack, you grant a +1 here and there, and it crashes
- Loss of authority for the GM, the GM has to let go
- Less than 6, the GM takes the hand, 7 to 9, the players tell what happens and the GM adds a twist, 10 or more, the players have the hand
- Less preparation for the GM, epiphany, so much preparation work to let go of!
- Monster of the Week might be a better entry point for DnD people than Dungeon World
They point to the french translation of When you read and understand Dungeon World, roll +INT. I was intrigued, I looked around and found the original, in English, downloaded it and humbly proceeded to read it.
It is very good.
My favourite part is the custom moves section. I am a programmer and things like:
When you are grabbed by the blood vines, roll +DEX on a 10+ both apply. On a 7-9, choose one that applies: ...your gear is undamaged ...you are unharmedare music to my ears.
My second favourite part is the sample worldbuilding exercise. It highlights two of the main principles of Dungeon World:
- Draw maps, leave blanks
- Ask questions and use answers
Of course, the meat is in the first part of the PDF, I need to re-read it. But I am already certain that the first read made me a better GM. Well, it's not for me to judge.
a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable
The video discussion made me want to look at: