Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World  (Read 34915 times)

Scrape

  • User
  • Posts: 379
    • View Profile
NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« on: October 13, 2012, 05:20:05 PM »


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. 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!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 07:48:59 AM by skinnyghost »

noofy

  • User
  • Posts: 774
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2012, 10:44:16 PM »
Scrape, that is TOTALLY AWESOME!!!
Thank you for taking the time, well done mate :)

Scrape

  • User
  • Posts: 379
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #2 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.

Irminsul

  • User
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #3 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.

Scrape

  • User
  • Posts: 379
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #4 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 for reading on the screen, and there's a print version 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.



Irminsul

  • User
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2012, 01:29:58 AM »
Thank you! I'm excitedly reading now.

Scrape

  • User
  • Posts: 379
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #6 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:


skinnyghost

  • Moderator
  • User
  • Posts: 426
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2012, 02:53:08 AM »
Oh my god what the hell this is crazy I don't even.

*BOGGLE*

Scrape

  • User
  • Posts: 379
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2012, 03:01:23 AM »
Oh my god what the hell this is crazy I don't even.

*BOGGLE*

BOOM

noofy

  • User
  • Posts: 774
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2012, 05:18:29 AM »

Slow Dog

  • User
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #10 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.

Scrape

  • User
  • Posts: 379
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #11 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.

Johnstone

  • User
  • Posts: 426
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #12 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 island’s 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? What’s 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.

Irminsul

  • User
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #13 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.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 08:10:00 PM by Irminsul »

Scrape

  • User
  • Posts: 379
    • View Profile
Re: NEW PLAYERS: I wrote a Beginner's Guide to Dungeon World
« Reply #14 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!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 10:58:49 PM by Scrape »