Barf Forth Apocalyptica

powered by the apocalypse => Dungeon World => Topic started by: Scrape on October 13, 2012, 05:20:05 PM

Title: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 13, 2012, 05:20:05 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/KGvaG.jpg) (http://www.mediafire.com/?2qyqqkbhwdzot6d)

Are you excited to play Dungeon World, but still having trouble understanding it?
Grab this 60-page guide and ease your troubles! The image above is the download link!

Edit: The above link is an updated .rar file containing the print & pdf versions of the updated guide. For those who aren't interested in the print version, here's And the direct link to the pdf version can be found here. (http://www.mediafire.com/view/?ypk10uede2sgri6) for reading on a screen.

This is specifically geared toward new and inexperienced players, and written from a GM perspective. It's for people who are having trouble understanding how NPCs attack without rolling dice; how combat turns work without initiative, that sort of thing. There is some useful advice for combat and writing custom moves in there, for the slightly more experienced player or the just plain curious.

Quote
What could possibly fill sixty pages, you ask? Stuff like this:

*Full explanations of the GM moves: what they mean and how to use them!
*A list of Worse Outcomes and Hard Choices to spark your creativity!
*In-depth guide to Dungeon World combat, guaranteed to answer all your questions!
(Narrating battles, triggering moves, dealing without initiative, handling multiple enemies- tons of info!)
*How to write custom moves for your campaign!
*Full worldbuilding advice, from Fronts and Dangers to Grim Portents and beyond!
*A sample campaign front, ready to run: The Great Wyrm of Axstalrath!
*Two Races and Five Compendium Classes[/b]... and how to make your own!
*8 pages of Actual Play, fully annotated to help you understand how it all fits together!
*Sweet pictures of dragons and dwarves swinging axes!



Here's the backstory:
For a while now, I've noticed that some new players have trouble with Dungeon World, especially those that don't have a background with ApocWorld or related games. The player/GM move structure can be confusing for beginners, and we get questions in here all the time like "What happens when I roll a 7-9 for my NPC?" or "How come it's just as easy to hit a dragon or a crippled man?" For a while, I've been answering these questions to help out new players, both in this forum and over in the really great Dungeon World thread on SomethingAwful. I really like DW and I wanna see everyone understand and play it!

So I posted a "Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World Combat" that people found really helpful and they asked me to write a longer guide. Fellow SA member Sean Dunstan (forums name Evil Mastermind) signed onto the project with me, andit snowballed into a sixty-page illustrated guide with tons of advice for new players.  I encourage anyone who has lingering questions about the game to download this guide and check it out. Also, the illustrations really are pretty awesome, so if you like awesome things then you should probably check it out, as well. Enjoy!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: noofy on October 13, 2012, 10:44:16 PM
Scrape, that is TOTALLY AWESOME!!!
Thank you for taking the time, well done mate :)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 13, 2012, 10:56:05 PM
Thanks, buddy! I've gotten great responses so far; a lot of new players say that it's cleared up the move structure quite a bit and helped them unlearn old habits. I'm pretty happy about that.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Irminsul on October 13, 2012, 11:30:25 PM
Any chance of getting this in just pdf form? I can't open rar, and don't want to download the software to do so. Just a friendly request.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 13, 2012, 11:44:55 PM
Any chance of getting this in just pdf form? I can't open rar, and don't want to download the software to do so. Just a friendly request.

Definitely! Here's a link to the separate files- there's a pdf version (http://www.mediafire.com/view/?r8ltpj70fi7duid) for reading on the screen, and there's a print version (http://www.mediafire.com/view/?fujrzbb9b9wpou7) intended to be printed out double-sided and folded into a booklet (not suitable for screen reading). I'll update the OP with these links as well, good idea.


Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Irminsul on October 14, 2012, 01:29:58 AM
Thank you! I'm excitedly reading now.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 14, 2012, 02:48:07 AM
Cool! I hope some people end up deciding to print a copy as well, it looks really hot printed out:

(http://i.imgur.com/wH6jls.jpg) (http://imgur.com/wH6jl)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: skinnyghost on October 14, 2012, 02:53:08 AM
Oh my god what the hell this is crazy I don't even.

*BOGGLE*
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 14, 2012, 03:01:23 AM
Oh my god what the hell this is crazy I don't even.

*BOGGLE*

BOOM
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: noofy on October 14, 2012, 05:18:29 AM
Oh my god what the hell this is crazy I don't even.

*BOGGLE*

BOOM

(http://boomcraftbeer.com/images/bottbohm.jpg)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Slow Dog on October 14, 2012, 04:51:19 PM


Feedback is totally appreciated! Enjoy!



That's really great, Scrape (or Eon, as the case may be. I wish I had such an awesome real name)

Minor Feedback: My E-Reader thinks the guide's title is "Layout 1". Some meta-data, presumably.

A request: Would a player's guide to combat/the game be possible? A lot of what's there would be suitable as it is. My group are already devolving into "I hack and slash the goblin"-style narrations, and something as inspiring as this could shake them up a little.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 14, 2012, 05:50:49 PM
Thanks for the feedback! In boring real life I run a print shop (and have a weird name, it's true), so setting up PDFs for e-readers is something I've never done. I'll see if I can rename it, thanks.

I would love to write some players' advice as well, but probably as a forum post at some point. I think a lot of the guide applies to players as well, please feel free to pass it around and redistribute to your group! The biggest hurdle, I think, is realizing that you're not bound by the moves list. Having a "list" sort of implies that this is what you can do, but the book does a great job explaining that it's not your list of options, it's a list of when the rules kick in. Of course, many players don't end up reading the whole book in any game, so they often don't get that info hammered in like the GM does.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Johnstone on October 14, 2012, 05:59:07 PM
This looks pretty good. I have a few comments though:

Minion's nice, it's a good choice, but it would ALSO look a lot better if you used real quotation marks (instead of the typewriter ones) all throughout the document, instead of just on pages 9, 48, and 58 and the first text box on page 14. And that one time on page 21. It looks especially bad when you use both at the same time, like at the bottom of page 41.

The combat advice is good, especially initiative. There's one technique that Vincent has mentioned using in Apocalypse World that is probably worth mentioning here as well: he asks everybody at the table what they are doing first, THEN has them roll dice to resolve their actions in whatever order seems to make sense. If the GM is just relying on the fiction and her instincts to move from PC to PC, there's still the possibility that the louder players getting to do more and the quieter ones being ignored, right? So especially for a group transitioning from initiative order to DW, finding out what everybody does first and then dicing for the whole lot of it makes sure everybody gets a chance to do something, and it FEELS like they get a chance to do something, even if one person's action takes a bit longer. I think it would also help to hone a new DW GM's instincts for moving around the battle as it flows and still keeping everybody equally engaged.

The stakes in Sean's example campaign front are a bit weak. These two are solid:
* What role will the Monolith play in the islandís destiny?
* Will the lizardmen in the swamp break their tenuous truce with the humans to side with the dragon?

These three are not good stakes questions, though:
* What is in the caves uncovered by the dragon's attack on the center of the island? Whatís inside that the dragon wants so badly?
* What came out of the mine on the southern peninsula? What's happened to the inhabitants of the nearby mining & logging town?
* Why are the sea elves from the kelp forest making themselves known to the island's inhabitants for the first time?

The reason: There's actually nothing at stake here. These are questions you have to answer IN ORDER to FIND OUT what's at stake.

Once you find out the dragon's attack has uncovered the Ragnarok Stone, you've got the fate of the world at stake, and you can write great stakes questions like "Who will risk using the Stone to defeat their enemies?" or "How will the gods react to the possibility of Ragnarok?"

Once you find out what the dragon wants is another hoard, you've got a bunch of money at stake, and you can ask "What lengths will the islanders go to in order to get that hoard?"

And by "find out" I mean when you make up some shit. Go back and read DW page 196 ("Stakes") again. Those three examples are like the first to above -- they ask about stuff that will happen, exactly the stuff Vincent means when he writes "DO NOT pre-plan a storyline, and I'm not fucking around." At some point you're going to look at those questions and think, "Hmm, what DO these characters do about that? Well, based on what's happened so far, I think they..." But these three are all questions about stuff that already happened, that already exists in the setting, just nobody has made it up yet -- setting elements, not plot elements waiting to happen. These are more along the lines of the questions for players.

Does that make sense?

(And this is just me, but... If it doesn't become "real" until you tell it to the players, whether you make shit up now or make shit up later, it doesn't make much difference. You can always just change it if you think of something better. "Leave blanks" sounds all sexy and new wave and shit, but if you wind up with no ideas at a critical point because you're trying to be spontaneous it's no good, and if it prevents you from spending the energy to try to make shit up when you don't need it, THEN it works.)

And finally, while I do remember some of this stuff from the SA DW thread, the TG threads are currently closed to account-less lurkers (or maybe just me, somehow? I dunno). Just so you know, since you're linking it.

Overall, though, and blah blah blah aside, really good job.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Irminsul on October 14, 2012, 06:43:17 PM
Okay, I read it and I was all "yay, this is neat!". So again thanks for posting this!

(Everything Johnstone said +1).

I have a question regarding the “long lost temple to a forgotten god” question. It feels like a schroedingamer’s box to me. The GM asks, “you find a box in the ruins what is in it?”. But the character can’t answer that question.

Because I’m a stickler for the rule: “the players are in charge of their characters. What they say, what they do; what they feel, think, and believe; what they did in their past…”.

This question seems to be directed at the players and not their characters, when all the questions should be directed at the characters.

So as a player I could say, “it is the temple to a long lost cult of ninjas who made moonshine and bootlegged it in the name of the god of whiskey Bobblewum at this temple”.

But how does the character know this? Shroedingamer‘s box? I mean, unless the character is known for obscure history or something.

On a personal note: I'm not sure the "Red Box D&D sucks" thing at the beginning is needed. I tripped over it and paused. Personally I like Moldvay/Mentzer D&D and think it does what it is supposed to do excellently and better than most games. EDIT: strangely enough though, if it would have said D&D3.5/4e I would have been nodding my head aggressively.

Again, good stuff though! And again THANK YOU for posting it.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 14, 2012, 09:13:31 PM
Awesome feedback, guys! The worldbuilding section was all Sean, not me, so I can't fully answer for him. But I can say that the campaign front was meant to be more of an example of how you might take an idea in your head (the summary text at the beginning) and turn into a DW-style map of Fronts and questions. You guys raise some good issues there, thanks!

It wasn't my intention to compare versions of D&D, so I hope it didn't come across like that. I was trying to relate my personal experience: I was a nerdy little kid who bought that red box expecting something else. It's a personal thing; I meant to relate that DW was the game that I wanted that box to be.

Thanks again for the great feedback! Overall, I'm glad you guys liked it.

Edit for Johnstone: I'm confused about the quotation mark comment, my copy shows them all the same. Is there a font issue maybe? Not embedded properly on my end?

Edit number two: I think you're totally right about the Stakes, Johnstone. There are a couple other edits we need, so v1.1 will be replacing this one soon. Thanks for the help, man!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Johnstone on October 14, 2012, 11:03:57 PM
Oh, hm. I hadn't thought about that. There's minion font subsets embedded in the pdfs, but it could be my stuff doesn't read it properly. Or it could be a DW curse hanging over me, when I try to dl their pdfs it fucks up. Like the druid turned into garbage between the storage site and my screen. Dunno!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Johnstone on October 14, 2012, 11:24:31 PM
As to the other things:

I actually don't mean to criticize the Worldbuilding section, I think that's fine. Also fine to have the three questions I called out in a campaign front write-up. The GM should be thinking about it, for sure. I just mean to say they're not stakes. Answering a stakes question should immediately give you character decisions.

I also considered mentioning that first page of text. Honestly, it's a tricky thing. You are far from alone in your response to DW. People have been saying "oh my god, this is what I always wanted D&D to be" for years, over all sorts of "indie" and "Forge" games and "storygames" and the whole "Forge diaspora" thing. And it pisses people off, sometimes. Sometimes just a little bit, sometimes actually a whole lot. Like how grognards.txt pisses people off I guess. It's possible you might never run into that, but in case you do, it's probably better you know about it in advance.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 14, 2012, 11:58:58 PM
Honestly, the D&D comparison is a thing that Sage mentioned during the early draft stages, too. We decided that it was fine because this is 100% fan-made and I tried to make it clear that this was just my sole opinion, not the game's stated goal or anything like that. Dungeon World is the game that I expected when I bought that red box.

Again, thanks for the fantastic advice!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: johnmarron on October 15, 2012, 01:26:16 AM
First, a huge  thanks to everyone involved in putting this together.  I found it really helpful and especially loved all of the examples drawn from actual play.

A couple of observations:

1) In the example Front, you say that the island was only settled by Humans about 5 years ago (and the implication seems to be that only Lizardmen lived there before that time), but in the questions to ask players, one of them refers to a character having been born and raised on the island.

2) In the extended example of play, you refer to stone-carved frescoes.  I know this is  a little nit-picky, but technically frescoes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fresco) are paintings done in wet plaster.  Maybe you were going for something like a bas-relief (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bas-relief#Bas-relief_or_low_relief)?

But, yeah, extremely useful stuff and may help push my group over the line into playing DW as our next game.

John
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 15, 2012, 03:38:33 AM
Hahaha, that's sort of an oversight on my part. I was thinking it would be for Lizardman characters, like to show that you might want to ask questions specifically tailored for your players. Explaining it would've been nice, huh?

I'm glad this inspired you to try the game, though. It's pretty great; obviously I'm pretty taken with it. Have you guys done ApocWorld?
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: johnmarron on October 15, 2012, 05:39:24 PM
No, we haven't played any *World games as a group.  I ran a short demo session of DW at the local gaming meetup a couple of months ago (using the 2-hour demo scenario that Jason Morningstar did), but that's all the experience any of us have.

John
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 15, 2012, 07:25:35 PM
No, we haven't played any *World games as a group.  I ran a short demo session of DW at the local gaming meetup a couple of months ago (using the 2-hour demo scenario that Jason Morningstar did), but that's all the experience any of us have.

Cool, have fun running DW! I've not been a player yet, but it's a total blast to GM.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: John Harper on October 15, 2012, 09:31:57 PM
This is great!

All I can do is nitpick. :)

Maybe turn off hyphenation (and set your justification settings accordingly). Stuff like:

did-
n't

is pretty rough.

I'm also turned off by that first page. This is a cool introductory text for people new to DW, and I think by comparing it to Moldvay the way you do, you only alienate people who love Moldvay. It doesn't help, far as I can tell. We don't need to know why you wrote the thing.

But yeah -- great work! Love this guide.

EDITED TO ADD: Oh! Also, I agree about the "ask the characters, not the players" thing, too. It's a bit of a gray area, but sticking to character-centric POV is definitely my preference for DW.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 16, 2012, 01:44:46 AM
I really didn't mean for it to come across as a criticism of Moldvay, I seriously just meant "Dungeon World is the fast & loose adventure game that I always expected D&D to be when I was a kid." :(
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Irminsul on October 16, 2012, 02:01:52 AM
So, serious question Scrape: what does your opinion of D&D add to the incredibly good product you have here that explains DW to new players?

Even if you remove people's opinions and feelings, what does it add to the product?

EDIT: and, again, on a personal level D&D isn't supposed to be "fast & loose". Expecting that is like saying, "I expected D&D to play like Fiasco". Anyway, ignore this opinion part. The important part is above.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 16, 2012, 04:13:58 AM
Yeah, see, the problem is that I wasn't trying to express my opinion on D&D at all. In fact, I still haven't, hahaha! It's not that I think D&D should be anything, it's that as a child, picking up that red box with zero preconceptions, I was expecting something like Dungeon World. That's what the anecdote was about.

But either I didn't make it clear or the topic is just too loaded. So yeah, I'm gonna remove it before it goes up on the site because it's not worth the distraction from what the conversation should be about, which is this awesome game.

New version will be up soon with minor corrections. Thanks again for the great feedback and suggestions! Super appreciated.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: watergoesred on October 16, 2012, 05:21:11 AM
In the Sample Campaign Front, it looks like the Grim Portents are listed under the wrong Dangers.

That is, the Grim Portents for:
- the Dragon seem to be under the Magmin
- the Dragon Cultists' under the Dragon, and
- the Magmin's under the Dragon Cultists.

O, and this frickin' amazing brilliant work! Very helpful and tidy.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 16, 2012, 05:27:52 AM
In the Sample Campaign Front, it looks like the Grim Portents are listed under the wrong Dangers.

That is, the Grim Portents for:
- the Dragon seem to be under the Magmin
- the Dragon Cultists' under the Dragon, and
- the Magmin's under the Dragon Cultists.

O, and this frickin' amazing brilliant work! Very helpful and tidy.

Haha! I was wondering how long it would be until this forum noticed! Somehow that got all jumbled during some round of editing, I dunno.

The new file is live as of now, for anyone who's curious. Typos and a few errors have been changed, along some minor content changes (revised Stakes questions, stuff like that), along with the PASSAGE THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED. If you've already read and digested the first version, it's probably not worth re-reading.

Huh, for some reason I'm unable to edit the OP? Never had this problem before, but until I figure it out, the new file is here:

(http://i.imgur.com/KGvaG.jpg) (http://www.mediafire.com/?2qyqqkbhwdzot6d)

And the direct link to the pdf version can be found here. (http://www.mediafire.com/view/?ypk10uede2sgri6)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: pseudoidiot on October 16, 2012, 02:05:36 PM
I just wanted to say a big thanks for putting this together. My excitement level was already pretty high for Dungeon World -- been about a year since I've gotten to play.

But reading the guide has me even more excited! And actually makes me kind of confident that I could run the game and do it justice (running *W games intimidates me for some reason.

Again: thanks!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Johnstone on October 16, 2012, 03:16:56 PM
You only have a limited time to edit your posts here. I thought it was originally less than an hour, but I think it's set to about a day or something, now. After that, only mods can edit posts.

But either I didn't make it clear or the topic is just too loaded.

It's not you. I know exactly what you mean. It's just too loaded. The new version is excellent, though.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 16, 2012, 03:55:16 PM
You only have a limited time to edit your posts here. I thought it was originally less than an hour, but I think it's set to about a day or something, now. After that, only mods can edit posts.

But either I didn't make it clear or the topic is just too loaded.

It's not you. I know exactly what you mean. It's just too loaded. The new version is excellent, though.

Thanks! For the new version feedback and explaining the editing thing. That's kinda annoying. I can't report my own post so it'd be nice if a mod could edit the original links out for me. Would someone mind reporting it or whatever? I'm apparently clueless, teehee.

I'm happy with the new edit and I think it'll avoid any issues once it's hosted on the main page. I don't want no trouble, I should've known better!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: skinnyghost on October 16, 2012, 07:48:47 PM
Scrape - PM me with the changes you need to make and I'll take care of 'em.

We're also going to be hosting this on the DW site, too, so you'll be able to link from there.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 16, 2012, 08:30:32 PM
Scrape - PM me with the changes you need to make and I'll take care of 'em.

We're also going to be hosting this on the DW site, too, so you'll be able to link from there.

Will do! Thanks!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: BDK Wombat on October 16, 2012, 09:05:13 PM
For what it's worth, Scrape, I've played (and loved) DnD since the early days of 1977 and I thought your little passage of "what I wanted DnD to be" was spot on and not at all derogatory to the source material. Thanks again for the great guide, it's helping me get my head around some of DW's awesome concepts :)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Irminsul on October 16, 2012, 09:44:59 PM
I thought your little passage of "what I wanted DnD to be" was spot on and not at all derogatory to the source material.

Yeah, I need to work on being articulate on the internet, because I didn't exactly mean it was "derogatory".

I just meant it added nothing to a helpful/useful/great product.

It could have been any game. Your choice. Monopoly, RIFTS, Fiasco. Doesn't matter. I just felt it detracted from the product itself.

In the same way that talking about sandwiches or LOLcats would have. It was an unnecessary distraction.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 16, 2012, 09:48:23 PM
For what it's worth, Scrape, I've played (and loved) DnD since the early days of 1977 and I thought your little passage of "what I wanted DnD to be" was spot on and not at all derogatory to the source material. Thanks again for the great guide, it's helping me get my head around some of DW's awesome concepts :)

Thanks, I appreciate it! I'm glad you got what I was saying. But I think Irminsul and Wombat are right; as long as there's any room for misinterpretation then it's not worth alienating someone just to share the anecdote.

The response has been massive (about 600 downloads over 4 days) and overwhelmingly positive, so I'm real happy, no worries!

Edit: skinnyghost, did you get my pm?
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Evil Mastermind on October 17, 2012, 05:53:27 PM
I should probably weigh in here too, huh?

Hey folks; Evil Mastermind here, a.k.a. The Other Guy What Wrote The Guide.

I'm glad people liked my worldbuilding stuff and sample campaign.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 17, 2012, 06:36:31 PM
Seeing you outside of SA is like when you were a kid and you saw your teacher at the grocery store. You're like "WOAH WHAT THE--"
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 18, 2012, 12:34:03 AM
Our guide is now available from the official site. I'm pretty stoked about this!

 http://www.dungeon-world.com/dungeon-world-guide/
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Emong on October 18, 2012, 03:26:09 AM
Hello! I'm the guy who wrote the compendium classes. So if you have any issues with those, yell at me.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: noclue on October 19, 2012, 01:03:38 AM
Our guide is now available from the official site. I'm pretty stoked about this!

 http://www.dungeon-world.com/dungeon-world-guide/

Why do all the links show a circle with a chain when I mouse over the images?
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 19, 2012, 01:35:17 AM
Why do all the links show a circle with a chain when I mouse over the images?

In the pdf? They should be working hyperlinks... I think that's just how they display in Acrobat? Click one and it should bring you to the corresponding forums. If they don't, then it's because I messed them up probably! :)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: noclue on October 19, 2012, 02:22:39 AM
No, the website. All the adventures, the guide, all of them.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 19, 2012, 04:58:20 AM
Oh, I dunno about that but I tested the link and they're just normal downloads, they link to the dungeon world dropbox account. Maybe that's it?
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: noclue on October 19, 2012, 07:33:20 AM
Ah, my Dropbox wasn't open. Maybe that's the thing.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: warzen on October 19, 2012, 08:01:29 AM
Could we get a second version of the printer frilendly pdf where all even pages would be flipped ?
When I try to print the current pdf (the printer friendly one) on a duplex printer, the result (ie the booklet) is unusable.

Thx.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 19, 2012, 03:06:51 PM
Could we get a second version of the printer friendly pdf where all even pages would be flipped ?
When I try to print the current pdf (the printer friendly one) on a duplex printer, the result (ie the booklet) is unusable.

Thx.

You should be able to flip it short edge, not long edge, and the booklet will work (landscape orientation, not portrait). I've printed it dozens of times, myself. The page imposition should give you a fold-in-half-zine when you're done.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on October 27, 2012, 05:53:09 PM
Has anyone checked out the Take on Magic Items (http://www.dungeon-world.com/take-on-magic-items-released/)? I'm curious about it, I kinda want a sneak peek.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: watergoesred on October 28, 2012, 02:23:39 AM
Here's a review: http://www.rpgmusings.com/2012/10/mini-review-take-on-magic-items/
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: takeonrules on November 09, 2012, 02:25:25 AM
Has anyone checked out the Take on Magic Items (http://www.dungeon-world.com/take-on-magic-items-released/)? I'm curious about it, I kinda want a sneak peek.

I'm the author of Take On Magic Items. Do you have specific questions? RPGNow has a preview of a few pages. And my website has some more information.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Sanglorian on November 09, 2012, 03:28:28 AM
Hello! I'm the guy who wrote the compendium classes. So if you have any issues with those, yell at me.

Sure, I have an issue: where can I see other DW resources you've made? I saw in the guide that you're active on SomethingAwful. Are they on a thread there?
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Emong on November 09, 2012, 08:26:22 AM
Sure, I have an issue: where can I see other DW resources you've made? I saw in the guide that you're active on SomethingAwful. Are they on a thread there?

All the stuff I've made is in this SA thread. (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3501369) (Well, one thing isn't, but it ended up in the guide anyway.)

I also have an archive of all the stuff I've made uploaded here. (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9114003/Dungeon%20World%20Stuff.zip)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Sanglorian on November 09, 2012, 10:46:43 AM
Thanks Emong! I don't have access to SA, but that ZIP is terrific.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on November 09, 2012, 09:04:54 PM
I think Emong's stuff is awesome; full of really fun ideas. His Abysswalker and Skinchanger are so evocative. I really think you oughtta put out a supplement!

@TakeOn: no specific questions, no. I was just really excited for more fan-made stuff!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: vsh on November 26, 2012, 01:22:54 PM
I've got you an illustration for moves snowballing:
http://i.imm.io/N1cf.jpeg (http://i.imm.io/N1cf.jpeg)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on November 26, 2012, 04:30:32 PM
Hahahaha
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: samuraiko on November 27, 2012, 06:13:40 AM
I loved the DW guide. It's been super useful for myself, as the DM, and for my new players. I do have one thing that we've all struggled a little bit with that might be worth adding in: fictional positioning. It's a little difficult to wrap your head around at first, especially since so many RPGs rely on non-fictional/mechanical tools to create the context in which things interact. For some things it's easy to see how it works, like the example of Smaug/the dragon in the DW text, but other things are a little harder to relate and conceptualize starting out.
For example, I'm running my group through the Bloodstone Idol adventure to start and they attacked the Demon Urlaz rather than talk (notably the Paladin's doing there). They started attacking, and mostly missed at first, until the wizard burst through with magic and took it down nearly by half. It was then that I realized a bunch of adventurers with no magical tools, or real effort were going to take down a (low-level) demon, and I started to think better of it. Following the wizard people started to actually hit, but armor applied and caused less damage. I increased the demon's armor so that it wasn't dying that fast, but in hindsight they shouldn't really have been allowed to roll hack&slash/volley in the first place.
I guess my own confusion in this is how to relate fictional positioning to players when they can literally walk up and touch the demon (as opposed to the flying dragon). There's always the whole: it has lots of armor and mundane weapons won't ever harm it schtick, but after a a few monsters like that it seems like it would get old. I'd personally like a little discussion on how fictional positioning can be better used. It should be useful to both GMs and players since it'll give a GM tools and ideas, and give players an understanding of why they can't just walk up and beatstick the demon in front of them.
Just my 2 cents on it. I've really enjoyed your work and the effort you've put into it. Thanks again.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on November 27, 2012, 05:33:54 PM
Thanks for the kind words, and your point is a good one. I wish I had written some more on that topic, myself. The way I feel, you don't need armor to make a beast tough. You need to pause, picture the monster in your head like it was a movie scene, and describe it like you see it there. Talk about how fast the demon is, how it flits away in a puff of smoke. Its malevolent presence, the stench, the cruel and playful way it dances from foe to foe. How it's always just out of reach, taunting, when the characters run in.

Remember, the game fiction comes first and a monster is as fast and intimidating as you make it. Hack & Slash only triggers when they're in there slashing it; and they rely on your judgment for that to happen. You know, you don't want to cheat them but you want to be fair: if it takes a better plan than "charge!", you can make that a reality.
Title: How to play boss monsters?
Post by: zmook on November 27, 2012, 06:25:28 PM
The way I feel, you don't need armor to make a beast tough. You need to pause, picture the monster in your head like it was a movie scene, and describe it like you see it there. Talk about how fast the demon is, how it flits away in a puff of smoke. Its malevolent presence, the stench, the cruel and playful way it dances from foe to foe. How it's always just out of reach, taunting, when the characters run in.

Thanks, that's really helpful.  I'm working up on starting a DW game after just finishing an AW one, and this is one of the things that I'm worrying about, finding ways to make the scary monsters genuinely scary, when DW discourages me from just giving them lots of HP and armour.  What other things might work?

* Incorporeality/immunity to mundane weapons
* Speed and evasiveness
* Flight and ranged attacks
* Environmental damage -- e.g. the burning lava demon
* Threatening claws/weaponry with extended reach, so characters have to defy danger just to get in range
* Highly dangerous counterattacks to bring out on 7-9 -- especially knockback, stuns, and pins
* Charm and fear moves
* Others?

Still, I worry a little about boss monsters ending up as glass cannons -- very frightening right up until a couple of lucky hits, and then they go down fast.  I mean, vampires only have 10 HP and 2 armor, which seems to make them more fragile than a typical first-level cleric.   

Is this not something I need to worry about?  If not, why not?
Title: Re: How to play boss monsters?
Post by: Cerisa on November 27, 2012, 08:04:24 PM

Is this not something I need to worry about?  If not, why not?


Lurker sneaking in to snipe this question:
http://www.latorra.org/2012/05/15/a-16-hp-dragon/
Title: Re: How to play boss monsters?
Post by: zmook on November 27, 2012, 09:30:33 PM
Cool.  Looks like I should add:

* Leverage "messy" and "forceful" to the hilt
* Use smoke, fog, and battlefield confusion
* Threaten bystanders

All that said, I'd still be curious to see an affirmative statement of why people think that (e.g.) 16 HP is the right number for a dragon.  Is it just for trying to keep fights shorter, or is there something else that's it's balanced against, that I'm not seeing yet?
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Cerisa on November 28, 2012, 12:13:23 AM
I'd say that things are much more tense when getting a solid blow on something hurts, no matter what. I don't care if you're a dragon or a goblin, getting stabbed in the heart is not something you brush off. The thing about some enemies is that getting those solid hits can be very, very hard. Hack and Slash is when you are "trading blows" with a monster, and that 16hp dragon is the living incarnation of terror and destructionóif you're awesome enough to trade blows with a several-ton mass of fire and foot-long claws, then you should be killing it in a few hits. And if not, then you'd better start looking for arrows-in-the-gap solutions, because you're not going to convince anyone that a low-level fighter is just going to stroll up to a dragon and spar with itóeven the act of getting close to it is defying danger in like four different ways.

Increasing the difficulty of a monster is less about mechanics and numbers, and more about using the fiction to prevent the PCs from just saying "I attack it". I mean, a demon? If you want that to be a scary fight, go on the aggressive with the fiction: force the players to respond to the terror and brutality ("as you charge the demon, necrotic power pulsates heavily from itóeven getting close to it will be a challenge" or for the wizard "as you tap into the magical energies around you, you feel that the very essence of magic in the area is completely evilómanipulating it may be putting your allies and your sanity at risk.") so that they have to earn the right to hack and slash (or if they're particularly clever, gain enough of an advantage to circumvent rolling altogether.)

Going back to Middle Earth, not only did Smaug die in a single arrow, but the Witch-King of Nazgul, one of the most feared servants of evil, was slain in two blows, and Shelob, a manifestation of complete evil and gloom, was sent scampering by a blow to the stomach. In all of these situations, the hard part was not "dealing a lot of damage" but even being allowed to deal damage in the first place.
Title: Re: How to play boss monsters?
Post by: Sanglorian on November 28, 2012, 12:52:00 AM
I mean, vampires only have 10 HP and 2 armor, which seems to make them more fragile than a typical first-level cleric.

I share some of your concerns about HP, but I just thought I should say: there is no typical first-level cleric. There is the Cleric, the only cleric in the world, who may at that point be only first level.

Cerisa, I thought was was a great post. Although I do think it's a little different in a team game. It's one thing for two people to face off against the Witch-King and kill him in two blows, and another for a party of five to do the same.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on November 28, 2012, 02:56:55 AM
Cerisa nails it completely. Monsters are much more than just numbers. Sure, the vampire is 10hp, but that's not what he is. He's not standing there trading blows with a PC, right? Look at the moves listed for the vampire: Charm someone. Feed on their blood. Retreat to plan again. Now think about what that says about him, how he acts and how he fights. He's a schemer, he's got contingency plans. He's got charmed minions, and when they fail him he's got an aura of mesmerizing beauty and dread. Think about how vampires are portrayed, and how you want to portray them in your world. Is he impossibly fast? Can he turn into mist at the first sign of trouble, maybe transform into a swarm of bats to harry his prey? When he feeds, does his victim slump into mindless pleasure or become his thrall?

So like, yeah, he's only got 10 hit points. But he's a goddamn vampire, right! He's as scary as you say he is.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: samuraiko on November 29, 2012, 05:00:59 AM
Increasing the difficulty of a monster is less about mechanics and numbers, and more about using the fiction to prevent the PCs from just saying "I attack it". I mean, a demon? If you want that to be a scary fight, go on the aggressive with the fiction: force the players to respond to the terror and brutality ("as you charge the demon, necrotic power pulsates heavily from itóeven getting close to it will be a challenge" or for the wizard "as you tap into the magical energies around you, you feel that the very essence of magic in the area is completely evilómanipulating it may be putting your allies and your sanity at risk.") so that they have to earn the right to hack and slash (or if they're particularly clever, gain enough of an advantage to circumvent rolling altogether.)

Going back to Middle Earth, not only did Smaug die in a single arrow, but the Witch-King of Nazgul, one of the most feared servants of evil, was slain in two blows, and Shelob, a manifestation of complete evil and gloom, was sent scampering by a blow to the stomach. In all of these situations, the hard part was not "dealing a lot of damage" but even being allowed to deal damage in the first place.
[Emphasis mine]

This is where there hasn't been as much conversation, and where I wish there were more. Granted, every situation is unique and such, but ultimately creating the fictional position in which heroes must earn the right to be effective is where I've seen people having trouble, and the general answer has been to use the fiction. It's perfect advice (and I agree with it), except that I think a lot of people coming from other systems, in which the right to be effective and dangerous to monsters comes from levels, have an, initially, harder time wrapping their heads around how to recreate that feeling and situation. But saying "use the fiction" or "fictional positioning" doesn't really help, when the real question is "how do we do that?".  There's not been much discussion of what techniques are useful or how to go about creating those situations.

We can tell players that their attacks are unable to reach the flying dragon or pass through the incorporeal wight, but when it's something powerful enough to need something extra, and yet  smaller or reachable, that's where saying that attacks simply bounce off or their weapons burst into flame and melt starts to get a little tired, especially when that seems to be the only answer to that sort of situation. It feels like a poor answer to the question of why this entity is so terrifying and powerful. There's got to be more to tell players than that their attacks are turned away by their magical armor or that their weapons melt when they strike the demon. That response gets old fast.

And it may be that something like that only takes a few iterations before people to realize they're in over their heads or that there has to be a different answer to their confrontation and that they'll shift courses and tactics at that point.
My whole point is that more conversation around this topic in particular, notably more clear and direct conversation, would be useful and helpful, especially for getting GMs out of the space where monsters are numbers and into one where they possess space within fiction and command certain interactions based on their fictional power and presence.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Cerisa on November 29, 2012, 06:38:20 AM
This is where there hasn't been as much conversation, and where I wish there were more. Granted, every situation is unique and such, but ultimately creating the fictional position in which heroes must earn the right to be effective is where I've seen people having trouble, and the general answer has been to use the fiction. It's perfect advice (and I agree with it), except that I think a lot of people coming from other systems, in which the right to be effective and dangerous to monsters comes from levels, have an, initially, harder time wrapping their heads around how to recreate that feeling and situation. But saying "use the fiction" or "fictional positioning" doesn't really help, when the real question is "how do we do that?".  There's not been much discussion of what techniques are useful or how to go about creating those situations.

We can tell players that their attacks are unable to reach the flying dragon or pass through the incorporeal wight, but when it's something powerful enough to need something extra, and yet  smaller or reachable, that's where saying that attacks simply bounce off or their weapons burst into flame and melt starts to get a little tired, especially when that seems to be the only answer to that sort of situation. It feels like a poor answer to the question of why this entity is so terrifying and powerful. There's got to be more to tell players than that their attacks are turned away by their magical armor or that their weapons melt when they strike the demon. That response gets old fast.

And it may be that something like that only takes a few iterations before people to realize they're in over their heads or that there has to be a different answer to their confrontation and that they'll shift courses and tactics at that point.
My whole point is that more conversation around this topic in particular, notably more clear and direct conversation, would be useful and helpful, especially for getting GMs out of the space where monsters are numbers and into one where they possess space within fiction and command certain interactions based on their fictional power and presence.

I think the trick is not to be reactionary (As you attack it, your sword burst into flames) but to use your moves, and use them as hard as you need to to keep the players on the reaction side of things. This is combat 101 in real battle: The victor is usually whoever is dictating the direction the fight is heading. So, instead having the demon sit there and melting swords that strike, use your moves to throw the PCs of balance. Defy Danger is your friend, here. If this monster is truly dangerous, show why it is, and if you can't figure out how to show that it's dangerous, maybe it isn't?

It's hard to give concrete "here are things you can do" advice because it really just involves considering the monster at hand, and trying to imagine what sort of danger that this monster presents that needs to be defied. For a demon, it probably has the "terrifying" tag. That sounds like a Defy Danger to try to just stroll up to someone terrifying and start hitting it. Maybe the demon is surrounded by hellfire. Maybe it sucks all the light out of the area and forces the adventurers to fight blind while it uses its supernatural senses. Maybe it's stealthy and can turn invisible. Maybe it sends out huge pulsing waves of necrotic energy. Maybe it uses one of its moves to pick up a PC and throw him or her at another one. Maybe it uses illusion magic to make it look like a PC and one of the PCs look like it.

Your options are literally limitless, but if you can't think of any, then to me that implies that the monster isn't actually the epic threat you want it to be. Perhaps the Lich King isn't all that scary when surrounded by five powerful heroes: it turns out his real power comes from having an army of minions and a phylactery that keeps regenerating him whenever he's destroyed. Maybe the demon is more of the "make Faustian offers" sort and when threatened it simply slips back to where it came. Notice how many monster moves are not combat techniques. They're things like "call on family ties" (dragon whelp), "bargain for a soul's return" (devourer), "reveal a preperation or plan already completed" (lich; I love this one. Instant Xantos Gambit.), or "act with disdain" (dragon). If you can't figure out a reason why this monster poses a danger, perhaps you need to broaden the scope to beyond combat.

Does that help at all?
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on November 29, 2012, 07:39:55 PM
I'll write more when I'm not on a mobile device, but there are a lot of all-purpose "tricks" you can use to make an enemy as difficult as you imagine it, without negating players' efforts. Most of them involve playing around with your moves. Consider the following:
Quote
The demon lunges toward you, claws slashing. What do you do?
versus:
Quote
The demon lunges, faster than you thought possible. You hit the ground as it lands on top off you, you're pinned. It rears back its claws to slash your face. What do you do?

See? That second example is a demon that is fast, too fast to react to normally, but you haven't straight-up hurt the player yet. She still has a chance to react, but it's almost too late. Play around with your moves and where you pause the action and you can increase the tension and difficulty quite a bit. That's what I mean when I say "picture it like a movie in your head, and describe that exactly." How fast is the demon? How terrifying? How strong? As much as you say it is.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: zmook on November 29, 2012, 08:04:56 PM
It's hard to give concrete "here are things you can do" advice because it really just involves considering the monster at hand, and trying to imagine what sort of danger that this monster presents that needs to be defied.

That may be true, but it certainly sounds like a real skill that the DM will have to acquire, especially to pull it off in the heat of battle, as it were, with the player right in front of you saying "I got a 7, what happens?"  Examples of how other people dealt with it, even if they're for particular circumstances that won't come up exactly again, are helpful -- that dragon fight was great for that. 

Are there any more APs out there with particularly scary fights in them?

On the plus side, if all the PCs are starting at L1, it'll be a while before a new DM really needs to come up with something really intimidating, so she's got some time to learn at the table.  Just don't put out something that's *supposed* to be scary, like a dragon, and expect the stats to just take care of it for you, or you'll spoil the mystique of that creature type.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: saintandsinner on December 01, 2012, 01:40:11 PM
For an example 'scary fight' this was useful to me.  http://www.latorra.org/2012/05/15/a-16-hp-dragon/ (http://www.latorra.org/2012/05/15/a-16-hp-dragon/)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: zmook on December 01, 2012, 02:43:56 PM
Ha, yes, that was "that dragon fight" I just referred to.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: samuraiko on December 04, 2012, 12:55:11 AM
Examples of how other people dealt with it, even if they're for particular circumstances that won't come up exactly again, are helpful -- that dragon fight was great for that.
This is what I was trying to get at. Even though they may not relate exactly to my situation, examples can be helpful in inspiring ideas about what I can/should have done. I'd like to arm myself with an arsenal of ideas of how to exhibit to my PCs that they may be outmatched (at least head-to-head), and will need to either retreat or get smart about how they go about things.
But I think "exhibiting" is what it all comes down to. It's the classic situation of "show, not tell". But there's not been a lot of discussion around how to do this, even by means of examples or anecdotes. That sort of tells me that people have trouble articulating what it is that's happening in the process of fictional positioning, which means that real understanding of how it works may be spotty and uncertain. Maybe.
The "dragon fight" posted by Sage is extremely helpful, and illuminates a certain sort of fictional positioning, namely getting into a position in which one can be effective. It's a great example, but only really addresses a certain sort of fictional positioning and there are all sorts of others that will come up.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: zmook on December 04, 2012, 05:11:08 AM
I have been working on a list of tags that I think of as ways to make monsters more badass.

Monster Tags and Moves

reach:  characters without reach or ranged attacks must defy danger to get close enough to attack at all
flying:  cannot be engaged in melee unless it chooses to attack first, or is forced somehow to the ground.
stealthy:  attacks from ambush and/or disappears from sight (even when being watched)
evasive:  moves in a way the characters cannot normally follow
fast:  when it takes its action, the monster can move anywhere (or almost anywhere) on the battlefield as a free action;  cannot be cornered;  does not give up attacks of opportunity;  if knocked down, gets back up instantly
devious:  e.g. threatens bystanders, reveals traps, exposes hidden allies, fast talks or dissuades, deceives with illusions

area attack:  attacks multiple characters at once; e.g. dragon breath or cleave attacks
counterattack:  makes a return attack after every incoming melee attack;  the monster may therefore get many more moves than any player character.
multiple attack:  makes attack moves more often than individual player characters, either because the monster has multiple modes (e.g. claw/claw/bite, or multiple eyestalks of a beholder), or because itís superhumanly quick.

messy:  rips equipment (and sometimes characters) apart; reduces armor; breaks weapons
forceful: knocks back and/or knocks down;  possibly picks up and throws characters
skilled:  rolls twice for damage, take the better
n piercing: reduces targetís armor by n (temporarily) before applying damage
ignore armor: damage dealt is not affected by targetís armor at all
terrifying:  causes fear in all who can see (or hear) it;  defy danger (WIS) to remain in the area
controlling:  influences, controls, or possess player characters; e.g. charm
disabling:  takes characters out of battle non-lethally, such as by entangling, pinning, stunning, or causing sleep
confusing: creates smoke screen or confusion in battle, preventing characters from knowing where it is or being able to attack it consistently
damaging presence:  causes passive area damage; e.g. from extreme heat or toxic emanations
debilitating:  causes one or more debilities as part of attacks; e.g. vampiric bite does d8+5 dmg plus inflicts weak debility

damage resistance:  takes half damage from specified attack types
immunity:  unaffected by specified attack types; e.g. iron, fire, fear.  typically description should cite a vulnerability, such as silver or salt.  active immunity (e.g. counterspell) may require the monster to be aware of an incoming attack and free to respond to it.
incorporeal:  cannot be affected by non-magical causes
regeneration: regain hit points in combat; e.g. some number per action, or some proportion of damage dealt, or some proportion of damage received.  In the extreme case, the monster must be killed in one blow, or will instantly regenerate.

Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on December 05, 2012, 05:36:48 AM
Great list! I like some of them quite a bit. Some of my most common advice on monsters is "they're as tough as you say they are," but if a GM wants to add +Quick or +Multiple Attacks to reinforce that idea for them on paper, more power to 'em.

Just remember of course to lead with your game ction and descriptions. A monster is only Quick if you describe it as moving like a blur or whatever. Tags should be as obvious to the players as to the GM, so make sure you don't "gotcha" them with sudden unexpected powers. Very cool, well done!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Nifelhein on December 05, 2012, 03:54:02 PM
First time around, probably far from the last. Having purchased Dungeon World recently I fell in love with it, the kind of game it focuses on is the exact kind of game I want to play and have been trying to play with other systems for a long time.

That all said, this particular Guide is immensely helpful, it is like having a directed talk with a more experienced person and it has helped me immensely in grasping better how to change from my "how to do it in the system" mentality into the "Fiction First" mentality of DW.

While reading through the guide I noted down some things:

Quote
Angered diety, NPC, or monster
page 7 - Nothing like an angered low-calories opponent!

Quote
it's the your turn to react again. So the you respond by
page 12 - leftovers

Quote
First of all, when a PC takes damage from multiple enemies at once, you take the largest damage die from all of them, and roll dice equal to the number of enemies. So if there are two goblins (d6 dmg) and a gnoll (d8 dmg) all stabbing an unlucky PC, you roll 3d8 and take the highest result. ?is doesn't mean only one enemy hit them, it's just a way of ensuring high but not-overwhelming damage.
Page 20 - The current rules are roll the highest dice and add the number of additional creatures attacking. The example has the same iteration of the rules.

Quote
(roll one damage die for each attacker and use the highest result).
Pages 25/26 - same as above



Now that it is out of the way, more to the discussion at hand. I always hated when after describing an action the Gm would ask me to roll a thousand tests to do something cool, also always hated when your perfectly cool and simple action was called impossible because that is not how the rules work, in one of the last games I played the entire final battle in the campaign happened after I noticed a smile on the corner of the mouth of an "ally" when we met with our seemingly nemesis.

It was a vampire the masquerade game, I instantly used celerity to attack said vampire with a stake that already was in my hand. Oddly enough we all had to roll initiative, since my action triggered combat mode. I was last to act in the *entire* round. It was extremely disappointing.

I was a player then but I have GMed a lot, and it has always been D&D, from AD&D 2nd edition to D&D 4th edition, and the things that turned me away from it were the same of that example.

The real problem is: when a system puts you into the rules first mindset and you have been using that for a while, it is hard to break up the old habits. Players have less tendency to try different and cool stuff, the GM has problems grasping how things can be done when there are are no rules guiding him. I will elaborate with a simple and small thing that popped up in my mind when I was reading the Dungeon World book from cover to cover.

In the Cockatrice description one of its abilities is "Start a slow transformation to stone", the Medusa has a similar ability though "Turn a body part to stone with a look". After reading through them both I realized:

There is no "Stone to Flesh" spell anywhere in the book.

That was a bit shocking for someone GMing and playing D&D for 20 years like myself, isn't it? Yeah, quite a bit. Then I closed the book and let that rest a bit, it was a little while before I finally found the answer: Fiction Dictates.

The Medusa is a mythological creature, in quite a few retelling of the tale her victims were turned back into flesh after she was killed. That would be one way to go about it right there, simple, quick and solved alongside the conflict.

You could also say that a stone to flesh spell does exist but, given how rare it is used, it is not part of a spellcaster's usual repertoire but it is not hard to find or cast, a trip to a city with a little research and it is covered.

And at last you could say it is hard to undo such an unnatural power, it is a ritual requiring hard to find and rare ingredients, making the gathering and casting of it an adventure by itself.

What would the right answer be? That is where I go back to the most common advice here: whatever the fiction states.

The group is in the middle of something more important and the enemy's ability to turn into stone was an afterthought, then killing the beast should suffice

You want them to fear the enemy but not halt the game's current direction or force the player to play a new character right now? Then make it a simple spell but one that they do not have yet, a simple trip back and you are done.

You want the game to get a new front that gives them something they want (to turn the character back into flesh) with a cost (to let whatever was happening behind and having to deal with the consequences) then it can be an entire ritual, maybe one that hasn't even been done yet. This choice seems the most interesting for a well placed opponent and even uses one of the GM moves (present an opportunity at a cost).

In the end I was very happy to have been able to break the rules mentality, I finally understood what fiction first meant and am ready to try and enforce that mindset in a live game. :)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on December 06, 2012, 04:18:02 PM
Well said, Nifelhein. That's exactly the kind of thought process the game encourages. The Medusa turns you to stone not because she has a certain spell, but because that's what a Medusa does. That sort of idea abounds- a lot of times, a player or monster doesn't need a feat or ability, it's just doing what makes sense.

Thanks for pointing out the rules discrepancies, too. I was writing under the current version and some stiff has changed. And your low-calorie God joke made me laugh out loud!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Nifelhein on December 06, 2012, 07:16:33 PM
The guide was well worth the read so I just felt I should contribute to make it more precise. ;)

The guide also helped a lot in fleshing out the compendium class ideas, this baby helps a lot.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on December 06, 2012, 08:58:21 PM
Cool! Credit where it's due: the compendium class section was all Emong, a frequent SomethingAwful poster and an infrequent poster here. I think his examples are awesome, too.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Evil Mastermind on December 07, 2012, 06:52:49 PM
In the Cockatrice description one of its abilities is "Start a slow transformation to stone", the Medusa has a similar ability though "Turn a body part to stone with a look". After reading through them both I realized:

There is no "Stone to Flesh" spell anywhere in the book.

That was a bit shocking for someone GMing and playing D&D for 20 years like myself, isn't it? Yeah, quite a bit. Then I closed the book and let that rest a bit, it was a little while before I finally found the answer: Fiction Dictates.

The Medusa is a mythological creature, in quite a few retelling of the tale her victims were turned back into flesh after she was killed. That would be one way to go about it right there, simple, quick and solved alongside the conflict.

You could also say that a stone to flesh spell does exist but, given how rare it is used, it is not part of a spellcaster's usual repertoire but it is not hard to find or cast, a trip to a city with a little research and it is covered.

And at last you could say it is hard to undo such an unnatural power, it is a ritual requiring hard to find and rare ingredients, making the gathering and casting of it an adventure by itself.

What would the right answer be? That is where I go back to the most common advice here: whatever the fiction states.

The group is in the middle of something more important and the enemy's ability to turn into stone was an afterthought, then killing the beast should suffice

You want them to fear the enemy but not halt the game's current direction or force the player to play a new character right now? Then make it a simple spell but one that they do not have yet, a simple trip back and you are done.

You want the game to get a new front that gives them something they want (to turn the character back into flesh) with a cost (to let whatever was happening behind and having to deal with the consequences) then it can be an entire ritual, maybe one that hasn't even been done yet. This choice seems the most interesting for a well placed opponent and even uses one of the GM moves (present an opportunity at a cost).

In the end I was very happy to have been able to break the rules mentality, I finally understood what fiction first meant and am ready to try and enforce that mindset in a live game. :)
Just want to point out that there is, in fact, a built-in "Stone to Flesh" spell: it's the Ritual move.

The beautiful thing about Ritual is that it covers pretty much everything that would be covered by "bigger" spells in D&D. The spells in DW are the ones that a wizard would need right away, so any spell that boils down to "I want to make <effect> happen" falls under Ritual.

When I was writing the Crescent Isle section, I tried to come up with a "water breathing" spell. Should it be a Wizard spell or a Cleric one? What level? Then I realized that you can just cover that with the Ritual move, since the only real effect of a water-breathing spell is "you can breath water".

My point is that while I agree it's good to get out of the "rules mentality", DW has enough mechanical weight that it's a foundation, not a straightjacket.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Nifelhein on December 07, 2012, 09:18:10 PM
 I agree, the ritual was actually the choice I like the most, but since there is no stated way, it means you can also apply any of the magical options available instead of worrying about a lot of metagame information, because it is the fiction that defines the choice, not the mechanics.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on December 09, 2012, 05:45:44 PM
I love love love Ritual because my Wizard player used it so creatively and it opened my eyes to the possibilities of the move. For me, it fully captures what wizards do in every book and movie- they rarely have a list of spells, instead they're always like "Sure, I can make us all breathe underwater... but it's dangerous because blahblah blah" and then there's like some fun plot device that pushes the movie/book forward with some constraint for the heroes to work with. Ritual perfectly emulates that.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Undreren on December 13, 2012, 11:23:03 AM
Nifelhein, you are a genius. Your post about fiction was actually quite an eye opener to me. The "Turns body part to stone" example was really spot on. I literally think I understand the premise of the system a lot better now!

Thumbs up!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Nifelhein on December 13, 2012, 11:34:13 AM
I wish! ;)

I just wanted to share what actually opened my eyes as I was readign the book. =D
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: mease19 on March 30, 2013, 12:47:17 AM
So I picked up a copy of the physical book at pax.  What a nice little booklet!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on April 04, 2013, 04:09:22 PM
Thanks, mease! I made an extremely limited run of print copies (because I run a print shop, it's pretty easy for me). I'm glad you grabbed one, I assume it came from the Modern Myths booth. They're my FLGS and awesome guys!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: chiisu81 on July 17, 2013, 04:49:14 PM
I've already posted on RPG.net, but I wanted to re-iterate here how much this DW Guide has helped myself, a longtime D&D/D20 player, understand the way DW/AW works.  Simply amazing, and I'll be spreading the word!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: chiisu81 on July 21, 2013, 08:27:41 PM
I posted this DW Guide feedback on the RPG.net forums, figured I'd post it here as well:

Ok I've read and digested the DW Guide; the combat example at the end was perfect, by that point I was able to follow along and realize I would probably do similar things the GM did. And on page 52, "How big are the rubies": I totally laughed out loud at that, considering it was the Wizard asking rather than the Thief!

In return for this amazing guide, I humbly offer some editing feedback (for an eventual 1.3 update perhaps?):

Page 2: 3rd paragraph, 3rd sentence, extra space between "be" and "confusing"
Page 3: 1st paragraph, put a ";" after "Deal Damage" instead of ","
Page 5: 1st paragraph, 1st sentence, there's an extra "."
Page 5: 1st paragraph, 3rd sentence, remove "it" before "tells", change "tells" to "telling"
Page 6: 2nd boxed area, need a space between "an" and ""immediate"
Page 7: bottom of boxed area, need a space between "-1" and "forward"
Page 8: near bottom of boxed area, change "," after location to ".", add another space, and capitalize "they're"
Page 11: near end of 3rd paragraph, is "some thing" meant to be 2 words or "something"?
Page 11: boxed area, change all ", what do you do?"s to ". What do you do?"
Page 12: at the top, in the first 2 sentences, there are 2 extra "the"s
Page 12: 1st paragraph, 4th sentence, change "," after counterattack to ";"
Page 12: 1st paragraph, 3rd-to-last sentence, change ";" after one to ".", and another space, and capitalize "this"
Page 14-17, 19, 27-33: capitalize all instances of "move" to ensure consistency
Page 15: 2nd paragraph, "determining" mis-spelled
Page 19: 2nd paragraph, 5th sentence, replace "," after "moves"(another needed capitalization) with ";"
Page 19: end of 2nd paragraph, capitalize "xp"
Page 24: boxed area, 2nd sentence, change "," after points to "." and add another space
Page 24: boxed area, 2nd Cleric statement, change "." after "6" to ","
Page 27: 4th paragraph, 3rd sentence, remove "," after "moves"(another needed capitalization)
Page 27: last sentence, replace "might actually work" with "applies"?
Page 29: 1st full paragraph, replace "," after "move"(another needed capitalization) with ";"
Page 29: last paragraph, bold "The Supreme Court"
Page 30: top, bold "The Supreme Court"
Page 31: 3rd paragraph, change ";" after "choose" to ":"
Page 32: 1st paragraph, capitalize second "you"
Page 37: Need a blank line before the 1st full paragraph
Page 37: 3rd full paragraph, 4th sentence, capitalize "cast"
Page 58: 2nd line, need a space between "simple" and "and"
Page 59: 2nd line, extra space between "and" and "campaign"?
-----------------
Page 36: first full paragraph, you kinda skip over whether Dangers and Portent are actually what make up Fronts, or if all 3 are seperate-but-related

Page 37: Cast is barely mentioned, can you expand/elaborate?

Possible to have page numbers added to the bottom or top-right of the pages?
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: RenoGM on September 12, 2013, 04:08:34 PM
Something I've instituted at our table is having new Dungeon World players read this guide BEFORE reading the actual rules. I've noticed that the players that did this seem to grasp the game much quicker than those that went the more traditional route of reading the rules first.

Anyway, thanks for the hard work. It's really improved our game!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Scrape on September 14, 2013, 08:32:25 PM
Thanks, Reno, much appreciated. It's been a while since we wrote the guide, and I wish now that I had included info on how to adjust difficulty. I'm really against any more editing (there are like, thousands of PDFs distributed across multiple websites and it seems silly to do addendums now). I was considering either a follow-up or submitting to the e-zine.

Anyway, I'm psyched that you guys consider it a must-read, that makes Sean and I very happy. The guide has been translated now into Korean, Italian, and Spanish that I know of. That rules!
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Quickleaf on February 01, 2014, 08:48:06 PM
Thanks for this @Scrape! It's made a big difference for me *grokking* Dungeon World as a new player. :)
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: chiisu81 on March 07, 2014, 10:01:02 PM
I'm really against any more editing (there are like, thousands of PDFs distributed across multiple websites and it seems silly to do addendums now). I was considering either a follow-up or submitting to the e-zine.

Perhaps it could be offered for free download via DTRPG/RPGNow, that way if there's any further edits/fixes we'll be notified...

Is the source text file available for our own edits?
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Maezar on November 17, 2014, 04:36:33 AM
Love it.

LOVE.
IT.
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: oldercloud on September 11, 2016, 12:22:00 AM
Thanks for writing this primer for Dungeon World.  It helped me wrap my brain around the game's subtle mechanics and freeform nature.  The only thing that I'm still struggling with is figuring out when to deal damage.  Since there are no turns (amazing), I assume that characters suffer as a result of partial successes or failed rolls.  For example, if Morgoth the elf partially succeeds at skewering an orc, his opponent has the opportunity to swing his axe in kind and hack the elf.  It goes without saying that the narrative dictates, I get that. 

Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: Lobstrosity on September 15, 2016, 07:21:42 PM
I would love to include this guide in the german edition of the DW core book. Is anyone here in contact with the authors?
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: hobbykitjr on May 09, 2017, 02:46:28 PM
Thanks for the guide, registered just to point out a typo for you:

Page 12 of the pdf version: " it's the your turn to react again"

thanks again,
Title: Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
Post by: hobbykitjr on May 09, 2017, 02:51:56 PM
Also, page 15 of pdf, Example 4 comes before example 3