One other thought: we're walking a thin line here because if we don't present it right people are going to make hanging out in steadings the game.
But Tonks the 8th Level Wizard and Brancino the 7th Level Sometimes Head of the thieves guild, have been using a Drow fortress deep under the vastness mountains as their 'steading' for the last few sessions as they explore ever deeper into the underdark, trying to uncover the bubbling resonance of ancient magic that plagues the very planes of existence. (I want to introduce Planescape) Hanging out in this particular supply line has been fraught with peril and a front onto itself.
If you go with Sage and Adam's particularly poignant resource analogy, then I like to make all of 'Dungeon World' seen in this light. I like to threaten the PC's security, as they increase in level (and power), their more significant resources (including whole steadings and what they offer) come under even greater threat from impending doom. The PC's have nowhere safe anymore. I'm a fan of them engaging in adventure
, not sitting around in their respective hang-outs in town, chillin'. Safe is when they retire from play or are dead.
I like the idea of mobile steadings (like caravans or sailing ships), that's so cool!
When it comes to NPC's its only our
preference to populate the world so densely. We like character interaction, it has sort of become habit after playing AW to name every significant NPC, and if they aren't named well they just aren't significant to the story and thus fade from the scene. I wouldn't suggest everyone play this way! The steading rules as written are awesome as a more detailed (fictionally tagged) resource for the PC's to use and lose, that give additional cues for the 'new' steading moves.Our
style of play however is very focused. Years of playing burning wheel have made me 'cut to the chase' and antogonise the player's goals as a matter of course. I am adverse to 'filler' scenes in my GM style. It has to matter y'know? Thus the steadings become not so much 'home' fronts (like in AW), they are Dungeon Fronts, with their own kind of dangers.
So if the players want to hang in the steading, the steading becomes the dungeon. The same way is if the players want to take the story to the wilderness, then the wilderness becomes the dungeon.
Make maps (as a group) like crazy, that's all I can say! Relationship maps, town maps, wilderness maps.... If you have maps of a place then its significant to the group. No map for a steading? Not needed? Then its just as the beta rules outline: a line of supply for the players to engage with so they can get back to the dungeon.
I've been using these two wonderful generic maps by Brandon to fill in the steading tags for our towns of Dingledale and Port Blackrock