With a possible old friend returned, the adventurers head deep into the land to figure out the nature of a new and terrible enemy.
Intro Music: One-eyed Meastro by Kevin Macleod
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5 comments on “Dungeon World: A Little Bit of Dis part 2 of 2”
Long time listener, but first time poster. Love the Fandible Crew’s
*Long Winded Dungeon World Rant Time*
First let me start off by saying I love AW and many of it’s hacks, but I absolutely hate Dungeon World. The Fandible crew did a great job trying to get the system to work for them, but for many people it just doesn’t click.
While I appreciate the attempt Sage LaTorra and Adam Koebel made at trying to make a rules light and old school style dungeon crawler, but Dungeon World just never scratched that itch for me. As a fan of Apocalypse World hacks, I have to say that Dungeon World really bastardized the system and stripped away what to me were the highlights of AW.
At one point Angela made a comment about the lack of interpersonal moves in Dungeon World compared to Monster Hearts and how it may reflect on the parent Apocalypse World engine. This is ultimately what always disconnects me from Dungeon World. Of all the AW hacks I’ve experienced Dungeon World is one of furthest divorced from the core system. Standard AW moves are much closer to Monster Hearts in terms of interpersonal Player and NPC communication and manipulation. Really there’s just with less innate emphasis on being a know-it-all teen screw up with internal issues and more about being a somewhat more competent adult screw up with external issues.
While playing AW you still get the tension and drama between players you find in Monster Hearts. In Dungeon World it’s taken for granted that all the players are a united force against an external agency. Like in Monster Hearts this isn’t true in Apocalypse World
Honestly I think you folks at Fandible would have more fun just playing the core Apocalypse World game and just flavor it to be more Fantasy instead or Post Apocalyptic. At it’s core it’s a system better suited as am Ensemble Drama than going dungeon crawling and loot hunting but it still works fairly well. Though it would work better in a GrimDark Fantasy world such as ASoIF/Game of Thrones or the Warhammer Fantasy setting than a High Fantasy world like Narnia or most other fantasy settings. For the most part all the skins/classes can easily be translated into a Fantasy Setting equivalent with just a bit of imagination. Just swap the guns out for crossbows, bows, wizard staves or magical wands. Here’s a quick breakdown of how I would pitch the skins/classes if my group wanted to do a Fantasy AW game.
-“The Angel”-Not much to change here, maybe just call it a Sawbones, WiseWoman, HerbWife, or MedicineMan.
-“The BattleBabe”- This could be a Rogue, Assassin, SwordDancer or some other lightly armored fighter with a pension for being sexy and diplomatic. Could use the high Cool rating to mimic stealth by using the “Act Under Fire”/”Hold Steady”/”Defy Danger” standard move.
-“The Brainer”-This is really just a Mage with some psychic based magic.
-“The Chopper”-A Warlord of bandits instead of being in charge of a biker gang. Maybe Captain of the Guards, or Bully Boss.
-“The Driver”-Instead of having a cool car this could be a Caviler riding around on some exotic mount like a War Gin-Gin or a chariot drawn by blood crazed Unicorns.
-“The Gunlugger”-Instead of being a badass with fancy guns could be a crack shot Archer with a badass crossbow. Also the guns could be explained as being a WarMage using magical wands or a wizard’s staff.
-“The HardHolder- SteadHolder/Count/Noble. Swap the gang out for a town guard or personal bodyguards. This one is tough to work out in a standard fluffy bunbuns happy fantasy world. Works fine in a dark fantasy world.
-“The Hocus”-Would work fine as a High Priestess or some other Cult Leader type character. Maybe more focus on a particular deity’s cult than an omnipresent mystical force.
-“The Operator”-Tough to translate since it’s role in AW is pretty nebulous. Maybe Prince of Thieves or an Artful Dodger/Fagin type character.
-“The SavvyHead”- Artificer/Alchemist/Magical Smith/Hedge Wizard. Instead of working with tech could be builder of magical devices.
-“The Skinner”- Easiest way of thinking of it is as a Bard but could be a sexy Witch, an ambitious noble in a court, or a courtesan/companion.
*Official Limited Edition Playbooks*:These splats tend to be for more advanced players and tend to be more powerful or harder to integrate into a campaign.
-“The Touchstone”- Crusader, Paladin, Swash Buckler, Spellblade. The Indomitable move allows for some amazing theatrical combat options that could be explained away as being mystical or divine in origin.
-“The Quarantine”-Soldier from an other dimension or an older era armed with forgotten/forbidden magical devices and armor.
-“The Maestro’D”- Love this skin but it’s hard to use unless the campaign is centered on a central location. Could be an Inn-Keeper, Brother Madam, Spy Master. Also hard to explain why they’d be out adventuring.
-“The Faceless”-Black Knight, Champion of a Demonic Deity.
-“The Marmot”-A Druid stuck in animal form?
-“The Hoarder”-Dragonkin or Scholar obsessed with collecting loot from ancient ruins.
-“The Solace”-Vestal Virgin, Mysterious Waif, Master Diplomat or Anti-Mage. This skin is probably the most powerful skin in the system due to the amount of limitations it can impose on the actions NPCs and other players at the table.
“The Space Marine Mammal”- Okay yea this one doesn’t work in a fantasy setting without some serious imagination. Normally it’s something of a joke skin. It’s basically a Dolphin running around on land in Warhammer 40k Space Marine mech suit. Yeah sure, it could be fluffed off as a an exotic race that uses a magitech suit of armor but it’s moveset is really hard to translate into fantasy without bending your mind over backwards to make them work.
Also as a side note, Billy and the rest of crew seemed to be pretty frustrated with the Fighter class in Dungeon World. Hasn’t that always been the problem with Warriors and Fighter style classes though? Other than feats of strength and swinging around a pointy stick they tend to be universally useless and overshadowed by other classes in nearly all RPG systems. One other thing Billy could’ve done in combat was use the “Defend Other” move to act as an MMO style tank.
Welcome to the comments section, Johnny Drake! And thanks for such an in-depth look into Apocalypse World! It’s one of those games that’s been on our radar for awhile, but we just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Of course, I’m going to fight to keep it post-apocalyptic! But it looks like there’s a fantasy-flavored AW coming soon that specifically cites Game of Thrones as an inspiration: http://lumpley.com/index.php/anyway/thread/780 Apocalypse World: Dark Age.
The lack of power or ability is something I’ve found in a lot of Fantasy games, which is usually bound to the idea of games that have a numerical leveling system. D&D especially, but also Dungeon Worlds it sounds like starts you off as someone who’s more competent than the average person, but in order to space out your ability gaining over 20 levels you start out not being able to do very much, and your advancement can feel very slow. Since all your non-combat abilities also level up very slowly, you are forced into roles where you’re sucking at something for a very long time until your ability reflects what your character concept originally was. All these limitations also really grate against me given that the “Fantasy” game is one of the most restrictive as to what it is my character can actually do.
Compare starting this game to how your characters started in Shadowrun. Daniel wanted to play a gun obsessed nut, and played someone who mowed down Lone Star agents by the handful but also had some out-of-murder contacts and could roleplay his character however he wanted. Angela was someone who could sit down at the negotiation table with a corporate figurehead and hold her own, but also level-headed enough to completely disappear from people’s sight whenever combat began. Jesus played an angry mage prone to poor-decision making, and managed to expand that poor decision-making to encompass friend and foe alike.
So I’m not really sure what my feelings on these games are, but I think broadly any system that requires people to slot into specific roles should make you at least feel like you’re good at those roles, rather than just possess a neat trick or two.
Also judging by finite infinite distance trolling, this game took place after the Planescape one? I’m hoping that even if you never speak of this game again, horrifying unicorns never fully vanish.
Honestly, we’ve been leaning more and more into trying Pathfinder. It’s a touch crunchier than we like, but Dan has a program that makes character creation very easy so… we might do a pathfinder game soon enough. Maybe? Could be. Possibly…
If you guys want to have a go at fantasy and feel Pathfinder is too crunchy there’s lots of alternatives without having to resort to Dungeon World.
Take a look at OpenQuest from D101 Games or, even lighter, the excellent BareBones Fantasy from DwD Studios, for example.