Sunday, July 1, 2012

"Dungeon World", my own way

So, Dungeon World is, basically, using the rules from Apocalypse World to recreate the world of Dungeons & Dragons, right? Then, if I designed Dungeon World, here's what the playbooks would be:
  • The Adventurer — you go dungeon-delving for fame and fortune; the exact way you kill monsters (sword-fighting, spell-casting, arrow-shooting, god-invoking, back-stabbing, shape-shifting, kung-fu, etc.) depends on the options you take from the playbook.
  • The First-leveler — you're young and eager and you wish you were as cool as the Adventurer: survive long enough and that may happen.
  • The Leader — of an adventuring party (a small, but very powerful, gang).
  • The Henchman (not gender-exclusive: you can be a henchwoman, henchqueerperson, etc.) — you earn your living by being around adventurers a lot.
  • The Mayor — could be a council leader, town elder or whatever, and they're sort of like the Hardholder, in that they're responsible for a town and her citizens, probably with a militia to wield for that purpose.
  • The Baron — you control land and a manor, possibly an actual castle, and lead an armed gang of violent people; also Hardholder-ish, but compared with the Mayor you've got different responsibilities and loyalties.
  • The Merchant — a barkeeper, innkeeper or shopkeeper, possibly a craftsman like a weaponsmith, you've got an establishment sort of like a Maestro'D's.
  • The Thief — comes with a guild, but with no warrant that the guild is their friend.
  • The Wizard — not your average adventuring wizard (we've got that covered already), but the kind of wizard who owns a wizard's tower; optionally, your tower may include a dungeon.
  • The Sellsword — you fight for coin and kill for a living; maybe you've got your own mercenary gang of which you're the captain, or maybe you're a solitary assassin from some dark cult.
And here's a basic move:
When you go adventuring in a dungeon with your brave fellows, roll +a currently highlighted stat. On a 10+ choose 3, on a 7-9 choose 2:
  • you are not wounded
  • you didn't use up rare or valuable provisions (such as magic item charges, a potion…)
  • you didn't give your adventuring fellows +1Hx with you
  • you got a rich loot
  • you got an even richer loot
  • you gained a useful magic item
  • you gained a powerful magic item
  • you gained a permanent magic item
  • bards are singing of your deeds
On a failure, you are stymied during your adventure, and the MC will zoom in to that situation, showing you being cornered, embattled, imprisoned, hunted, perplexed by a puzzle, or worse.

— § —

Now, the serious part. Please, don't think that the point of the above is to slander the real DW for not focusing on the aspects of D&D (or AW) that I right in this moment I'm thinking are more funny. Rather, I meant to illustrate a point I recently made on Lumpley's blog concerning player-vs-player conflicts in AW. Well, or maybe the joke pulled my leg and it became an end in itself.


  1. Thumbs up! Secondo me però il playbook "dell'avventuriero" non dovrebbe rappresentare UN avventuriero ma un intero party di 5-6 razziatori psicopatici assassini, o magari un insieme di "leader+party" alla maniera del chopper di AW.

    Oppure! Si potrebbe "automatizzare" il comportamento di un party di avventurieri creato e gestito collegialmente usando mosse tipo quella che hai descritto sopra, e i playbook dei PCs rappresenterebbero tutte quelle magnifiche categorie corollarie (henchmen, datori di lavoro, osti, negozianti...) che di solito sono relegati al ruolo di comparse.

    Siccome questo era maybe a joke gone too far, questa risposta è "far too far" immagino, però ci diverte anche così quando si è relegati a NULLOPOLI.

    Salumi & Baci

    1. Mio caro/povero esule in Nullopoli (che è certamente molto oltre Eboli, nonché oltre la Linea-dei-Lupi), l'approccio che proponi col tuo primo paragrafo è certamente quello che volevo incoraggiare con il playbook del "Leader", ma in effetti temo che la denominazione sia un po' debole.
      Comunque, a quando l'organizzazione di una NullCon?

  2. I saw a link to this from lumpley's blog, I'm sure it's pretty out of date. I don't know if you intended this as some kind of parody, but I find it very appealing, actually. I would play this game! It sounds much more interesting than Dungeon World to me.

    1. It's not a "parody" in the sense that I would *not* actually play this game: in fact, I too would rather play this hypothetical game than the existing Dungeon World.
      OTOH, it's not a game I have any real plans to develop… even if it wouldn't be too difficult: it would just amount to a huge writing project in terms of new lists (playbooks, etc.) for a very close AW reskin. The game itself, I would contend, would play almost identically to AW — which was the purpose of writing this piece in the first place, if any.