Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: First "real" game of DW, advice sought  (Read 2941 times)

johnmarron

  • User
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« on: December 06, 2012, 07:15:40 PM »
I'll be running my first "real" game of DW at a local RPG meetup this coming Saturday (I ran Jason Morningstar's 2-hour convention demo at a previous meetup).  I'm planning to offer the players a choice of one of 3 of  Marshall Miller's dungeon starters (Goblin Hole, Frozen South, or Black Oak Ridge).

Besides printing out the playbooks and GM sheets, and reading over the three dungeon starters, is there anything else I need to do to get ready?  I've read the rulebook through a couple of times (skimming the monster sections), and read the Beginner's Guide a few times as well.

John

zmook

  • User
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 07:42:05 PM »
Personally, I find the Dungeon Starters a little thin.  If they work for you, great, but I like to have a little more skeleton to hang a session on, even the first one.  The Starters are awesome evocative settings, but I need at least an idea or two of a plot.  In particular, a map, and at least a few NPCs who want things.  I just wrote an answer in the "One hour prep guide" thread with a little more detail on what I do.

(not that) adam

  • User
  • Posts: 274
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 10:00:51 PM »
Hey, my experience it's just the opposite. The more I play DW (and world of dungeons), the more I understand that for the first session you don't need anything prepped. Just ask questions like crazy!

I found useful, if anything, to have a whiteboard to quickly draw one-shot maps on the spot, like that single important dungeon room and so on.
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

vsh

  • User
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 07:54:57 AM »
I'm with adam on that one. First session is best played by the rules in the book. That is, with no prepared fronts. Well, you might have one or two, but do not try to force the characters into it.

johnmarron

  • User
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 03:54:38 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions.  I'm pretty comfortable improving based on questions and running from just the dungeon starter, but wanted to see if I was missing something big that I should be doing to prep.

John

Jeremy

  • User
  • Posts: 134
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 07:06:55 PM »
I find a names list invaluable. The dungeon starters don't have any, and it's a place I struggle to improvise well with. 

Names of people (common names, exotic names, potent names), names of places (towns, ruins, features), names of groups (churches, orders, cults, cabals, etc.).  The more evocative the names, the better.  I find a list of 6-12 of each much easier to use than anything like Abulafia.

Along the same lines: anything you know you're not great at improvising, look for resources to help.  Not good at making interesting dungeon maps? Grab some Dungeon Geomorphs or some maps from Tony Dowler's website.  Have trouble describing grand vistas or majestic buildings?  Do some Google Image searching and assemble a library.  Want a continental map but don't want to make it up?  Go to the Cartographer's Guild website and find some that strike your fancy.   

That's my opinion, anyhow.

johnmarron

  • User
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 07:09:54 PM »
Jeremy,

That's weirdly synchronous!  I was just downloading a list of Inuit names for the Snow Elves and Ice Giants from the Frozen South dungeon starter in case we use that one!  I agree that a good name list is really helpful for improvising.

John

(not that) adam

  • User
  • Posts: 274
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2012, 07:42:10 PM »
totally agree! Even when I play DW, I always have a printed copy of world of dungeons just for the names!
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

mease19

  • User
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 08:12:09 PM »
Yeah, Name lists are the one thing I really regret not putting in the Dungeon Starters.  I didn't think I had enough room but if I had it to do over again I'd run a ring of names around the margins. 

zmook

  • User
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 03:13:55 PM »
+1 having lists of names!

johnmarron

  • User
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 04:26:37 PM »
Ran the game this past Saturday, and had a great time.  Had 6 players, only one of whom was at all familiar with DW (or *World games).  I was a little surprised at how smoothly it went using just the dungeon starter (Frozen South), although one player complained that she felt that they were "floundering" a little and didn't have a lot of direction.  I ended  up working about half of the impressions into the game.  Spent most of the 3 hour session on the journey through the frozen wastes to the lost city of Endria, and finished with a climactic battle against a horrible furry giant squid in which the dwarven fighter finally go to shine by smashing the thing's brains out with her blood-stained hammer.

The players seemed to enjoy the game, and were intrigued by the "mark XP on a miss" rule (several of the players ended the session with 7 XP, so if we had finished the adventure, they would have leveled up).  I'd like to get a longer-term game going to see how the system works for a campaign.

John

(not that) adam

  • User
  • Posts: 274
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 04:46:47 PM »
Hey, they level up when they Make Camp, so there's no need to wait until the adventure is finished!

one player complained that she felt that they were "floundering" a little and didn't have a lot of direction.
Next time, just ask him in what direction he would like to go, and then elaborate on the answer!
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

johnmarron

  • User
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
Re: First "real" game of DW, advice sought
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 08:47:09 PM »
Another thing I forgot to mention was how much everybody liked the bonds.  Multiple players commented on how their bonds gave them instant hooks for roleplaying, and great relationships and reasons to interact with the other characters right out of the gate.  One player mentioned that she found that unusual for a one-shot.  I like bonds so much, I'm going to try and incorporate them into other games (specifically, I'm planning to run tremulus soon, and, while it has a similar trust mechanic, the lack of explicit bond choices stood out to me on reading the book).