Backing Project: Dark by Will Hindmarch

My absolute favorite RPG sessions always involve a heavy dose of scoundrels and rogues. Which is why I’m backing “Project: Dark” by Will Hindmarch.

In fact the single most memorable session in my gaming experience started with everyone having committed a crime and were given a chance for freedom – Irv the Mole if you are keeping score at home.

I know that there are those that would just as soon wait until something is complete and released so they don’t assume a financial risk – or they simply don’t want to wait. And for those on the sidelines, I can understand; Personally I have a few Kickstarters that I’ve relegated to the “if it shows up, fine” category.

I have personally met Will on numerous occasions; And played in a few of the games run by him. He is the utmost professional game designer with a solid track record. He truly understands games.

And while I missed my chance at GenCon to play early drafts of the game, those were able to spoke quite highly of the game.

The Kickstarter is already funded, and I can promise my players that come March this will be brought to the table.

World of Dungeons by John Harper

John Harper has made some fantastic games; I’m familiar with Agon and Lady Blackbird, both of which are outstanding in their own fashion.  So when I learned that he was offering his “World of Dungeons” as a stretch goal for Kickstarter, I was super excited.

World of Dungeons is a complete short roleplaying game that answers the question “If Dungeon World was the latest version of a classic roleplaying game, what would the original look like?” – Dungeon World Kickstarter

Here we have a hack (Dungeon World is a descendant of Apocalypse World) that is being hacked such that it could stand in as the originator of the gaming hobby. This is interpolation at its best. I love it.

So what’s in it? There are two versions, the old blue print with aged paper look and the clean B&W for printing version.  Both PDFs are otherwise identical.  The PDF is 3 pages long.  The first page contains two character sheets. The second page contains  rules on equipment, hirelings, magic, character creation, and rolling the dice. And the final page has an old school drawing, an advancement chart and suggested names.

“These rules are yours to bend to your will! You may find it natural to expand, redact, and modify them as you your game goes on. We advise keeping an open mind and lively discussion of possibilities at the table.” – World of Dungeons

Is it enough to go from? Yes, if you are willing to improvise. These simple rules are a complete distillation of the player side of Apocalypse World and serve as an excellent foundation for building other hacks.

Mind you, there is precious little help for the Game Master, but then again, the originators of the hobby were making things up as they went along.

There is no discussion about moves, though John does provide an excellent post on regular and hard moves in /(Apocalypse|Dungeon|\w*) World/ – pardon the regular expression, as the Apocalypse World hacks are taking on a life of their own.

The rule are very light, because, most anyone that is downloading the PDFs are already intimately familiar with the various tropes and are likely part of the collective gamer memory.  And if you need some help on what the GM moves are, I’ve provided a handy translation from Empires Strikes Back to Dungeon World.

Vincent Baker, who started this worldly madness, has already blogged about concentric game design, and John Harper’s World of Dungeons codifies it to what is almost it’s most core element while still retaining the identity of a fantasy RPG. John Harper has applied a thin veneer on the core system…others could just as easily make a “World of Star Wars” or “World of Indiana Jones” by following John’s minimalist approach.

Is “World of Dungeons” enough of a reason for backing the Dungeon World Kickstarter? No, but it is some damn tasty frosting on this already decadent cake.

Resources

For those curious about adding more to your World of Dungeons, there is a fantastic wiki resource that is evolving over at story-games.

Kick In the Door…Dungeon World Kickstarter is Live

The Dungeon World Kickstarter is live…and is already fully funded. The game designers are working on creating their stretch goals.

I’m eager to get a physical copy, as this game is one that reliably ignites my imagination – both invoking memories of my early days of gaming as well as the excitement of a fantastic yarn.

Consider supporting this game; it is $25 for a softcover.  And as always, the text is freely available on Github – [canonical source] and [my fork].