ttrpg, Dungeon World 

Maybe it's just my group, but a lesson I'm steadily learning is:

If you've given your NPC a name, and you want your players to know it, introduce it early, because they absolutely will not ask what it is.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

The enlightened GM way to see it is:

They're looking to you for cues as to which NPCs are significant enough to bother learning about, and providing a name upfront is a clear gesture in that direction.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

That's something I need to get better about in general. I like to leave things pretty open-ended, even at the level of description, in hopes that my players will poke and prod around until they either give me a good narrative excuse to uncover details I've prepped, or opened up opportunities to improvise new details. But sometimes, they just need a nudge in some direction, ANY DIRECTION, to keep them from bogging down in uncertainty over what's supposed to be significant.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

Anyway, tonight was my second session running DW. A bit more comfortable with the moves, and I managed to get the campaign headed in a clear direction, which means I can dig into developing some fronts for the rest of this arc.

As of now, though, I prefer Ultra-Violet Grasslands, which is the only other ttrpg I've run. DW's rule set is interesting, but I enjoy working in a distinct setting, and the setting here is almost totally tabla rasa.

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ttrpg, Dungeon World 

Dungeon World is asking a lot by providing minimal setting and also emphasizing collaborative storytelling. Feels like they should have picked one or the other. There are probably RPG groups in which everyone feels comfortable constructing bits of the world out of whole cloth, but most players are likely more comfortable improvising within a suggestive framework.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

Third session tonight, and my paladin player has only just figured out what deity his character serves. That there was no starter pantheon really threw him for a loop — and he's probably the most experienced player in the group. DW provides mechanics for really playing characters *as characters*, but I find myself having to prompt players to invent details with very little established world to work from.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

It's also taken us three sessions to get to a dungeon — totally my fault, but at the same time, the players would have substantially less world to build on right now had I not had them trekking across the landscape for a week of in-game time first. I suspect the moves will feel more solid once the walls close in a little, but the setting might feel paper-thin had I put them on a shorter route.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

One thing I need to work on: Using GM moves in response to failing rules. The manual is pretty explicit about what happens when a player rolls a (high or moderate) success, but leaves the consequence of a failure open. It took me a few sessions to really wrap my head around the way GM moves stand in for explicit instructions for failing rolls. Something to work on for next week. (Expecting lots of dice use now that the characters are entering a dungeon.)

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

Tonight's session: My first dungeon — the abandoned swamp monastery of an uplift-oriented dwarven cult. My players explored a little over half before exiting to camp, but it's gone well so far. They teased out a lot of lore, fought a couple of monsters, pulled some interesting moves with the environment, put me on the spot in a couple of good ways. And they articulated a couple of my themes for the place back to me, so I feel confident it's gelling as a conceit.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

If anyone's interested, I used this dungeon map generator, refreshing it a few times to get a layout that I liked and turning off annotations to make it easier to add my own. (Right clicking brings up the options.) watabou.itch.io/one-page-dunge

I uploaded the exported image to the background of a new Roll20 map for use during the session (fog of war is a nice feature), then printed out a copy for my own notes. The printout I loaded up with lore, descriptions, encounter notes, etc.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

At the end of every session I ask "Has anyone resolved any bonds?" and we all look at their character sheets and say, "Ah, maybe? Sorta? Not really?" so it's time to sit down and figure out how to make these things function.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

@lrhodes I loved that about it but also I only made it two sessions before my GM moved away...

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

@darius I'm also pretty new at the whole thing, so a more experienced GM might have foreseen some of the pitfalls that I walked right into. One zero session plan I mulled over was having the players start out as prisoners in a literal dungeon, and build the characters as they escaped. Might have worked better, but at the time, I felt it was too close to how I started the UVG campaign we played before.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

@darius Did you ever find a new GM/game to join?

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

@darius The time difference might be a little awkward, but we're meeting entirely via Roll20 right now, so if you're looking for a group, maybe you can jump in when we start the next campaign.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

@lrhodes what's the time difference? I'm Pacific time

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

@darius Yeah, I'm EST. We usually play from about 9:30 to 11:30pm, so early evening in Portland. Not too awkward, maybe.

ttrpg, Dungeon World 

@lrhodes It's from an indie scene in which players are more comfortable with those things and with a lot of experience under their belts. It's one of the earlier and more prominent AW hacks, but unlike AW doesn't do the same things to handle world building. Compare it to say, the recently Kickstarted Stonetop, and the contrasts are more clear. Also a lot of intervening years of design and play in the PBTA games.

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