Observations of Dungeon World at Michiana Board Gamers

What follows are my observations regarding the Dungeon World game that I ran at Michiana Board Gamers. The other post was already ridiculously long, so I’m splitting it up.

Observations

Michiana Board Gamers

What a fantastic facility! An area church has graciously offered space for us to use. The people were very friendly and inviting. Michael, thank you so very much for being a host and ambassador for your church.

If you are in the area, please make sure to check out Michiana Board Gamers.

The Namer

The Namer is an interesting playbook but perhaps served for a longer game. Much of what they do requires a true name…which they can research. So in future one-shots I will make sure the Namer is not amongst the batch.

The Namer also has a fantastic racial move that is perfect in the hands of a player ready to embrace this narrative power:

You were raised on oral folklore and traditions of names and songs which took new life for you when you learned their true origin. Whenever you sing or tell a story to impress, captivate or frighten an audience, take +1 forward against them.

Golden Opportunities

I was trying to hit harder on 6- rolls, and think I did that. But it is still not quite in my nature; I like complications but have a hard time really twisting the knife.

As we were wrapping up Mark noted that I was hitting harder when the players presented a golden opportunity.

Flow of Combat

I’m struggling with the flow of combats. Some of the combats devolve into what feels like hack and slash marathons – lots of 10+ rolls for minimal damage. I’ve been playing these as “okay player keep pressing the initiative…you’ve got free rein.” Should I be making soft moves in between a successful hack and slash?

I asked this question at the Dungeon World Tavern, and there are some great responses. In essence, I’m forgetting to follow-up with soft moves that are my response to the players action. As a GM I need to ask the players “What do you do?”; Also as a GM I need to take the results of each player move and answer the implicit “What do you do?” question that the player ask me.

Splitting the Group

Splitting the group in Dungeon World is rather invigorating…as one group faces a hard question I quickly pan to the other characters and have a quick conversation and end with a hard question…then pinball back to the previous group to hear their answer and determine its resolution.

Playbook Selections and One Shots

I love running Dungeon World one shots with a huge selection of playbooks presented to the players. Once they winnow the playbooks, a story and world takes form – it is a custom creation in which each character is “at home”.

At first with this style of improvisation the world is blurry. We fumble a bit as the questions and answers bring the fiction into focus. I almost always feel that this method results in a session trajectory that is steadily improving.

Moves that Don’t Hit the Table

I’ve noticed in the games I run that players don’t often Discern Realities and very rarely Spout Lore. It could be that I tend to run human-centric games, but perhaps something isn’t quite clicking.

Roses and Thorns

And note to self, adopt Mark Truman’s Roses and Thorns post session wrap-ups. I keep saying this, but rarely give myself time to do this.

One thought on “Observations of Dungeon World at Michiana Board Gamers

  1. Hi, I subscribed to your blog too and now I’m going through past posts.
    Re: Flow of Combat
    The same thing happened to me the last time I ran AW. The combat felt hack-n-slashy as the PC couldn’t be hurt, so in order to spice things up I had him make the Harm move at +0 since they were hitting him, he just wasn’t getting hurt. DW doesn’t really have the Harm move, but I’ve been the player on the other side of the screen when the PCs are just hitting the 10+ rolls.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about turn order during combat this week, because I would like to try preserving the “fiction first” narrative for a classic initiative roll. Once I have some ideas nailed down I’ll likely blog them.

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