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Old 11-24-2017, 07:40 AM   #1
petemarovic
 
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Default So I read through Dungeon World and had some questions about it's popularity and use

I get that it's a big deal, but a few things had me wondering what all the hubbub was about. Why exactly is it so popular?

I read through it and my initial thought was that sure it kinda builds combat in to rest of the game without a separate phase. Although, a lot of games could do this if it was GM'ed that way. But I think the lack of specifically combat-only type 'abilities' also helps.

It's weirdly restricting on classes and races, and even stranger: names. it's baffling.

The main draw I saw was this: Collectibility. How? Well. Playbooks.

Aside from small list of default classes (and another weird restriction of allowing only 1 of each class), there's a wealth of player made custom playbooks touching on anything you can think of. And anyone can do it - playbooks are pretty uniform in how they're built, as it's basically a 2 page character sheet, with the class specifics filled out, and your leveling choices.

Finding, sharing, and creating playbooks for this system I think is the biggest draw and mainstay, as it provides and infinite amount of character options, without being in any way complex on that front. And that's pretty cool.

There's a good amount extra I could do without in the system for sure, but it's decently solid. The page count is far extended due to many non-core items such as creature lists, repeated explanations, and single columns with plenty of spacing. So as a super random personal note I think it could be a much smaller book to have to read through but. Whatever.


What are your thoughts on DW? I know it's popular but I honestly haven't seen much in-depth talk about the system.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:17 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: So I read through Dungeon World and had some questions about it's popularity and

Is it especially popular? I am only aware of it as one of a host of OSR-esque games, and otherwise don't know anyone who plays it or have even seen it at the FLGS. It definitely isn't in the top five.
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: So I read through Dungeon World and had some questions about it's popularity and

I use the engine a whole lot - I love Powered By The Apocalypse - but Dungeon World is the bastard child of the set and the one I don't play. If I felt the need to do something like it I'd tweak Monster of the Week (the modern monster hunters one) or even Blades in the Dark (a sort of gothic steampunk one) and use them instead. That said, there are plenty of DW players, second only to the original, Apocalypse World.

You won't see an in-depth discussion of the system because there simply isn't that deep to go. What you'll find tends to be discussion of MC technique and table management. The system is extremely hostile to the player who simply waits their turn and then declares "I hit it with my axe." And nearly every troupe has one of those. And of course it's not on a list ranked by sales - it's almost entirely pdf and resistant to supplement creep. Which I think is what people like about it.

I'm not a fan of DW because it makes a lot of unnecessary nods to the original, Dungeons and Dragons. The six ability scores can be tightened and cleaned up - most Apocalypse games have 5 or even 4, and they aren't any of those - moves can be better described and made more specific when they don't work around those six attributes. But the Pokemon Syndrome of players creating their own classes (as deliberately unbalanced as they think they can get away with) and trying to sell them for $2 or $3 is the real turn-off. You can find plenty of player-made classes for Monster of the Week or Apocalypse World too, but no one would dream of charging money for them. And while I like very few of them, they aren't generally deliberate attempts to break the game either. I tend to think of DW as the PbtA game that caters to munchkins. I don't care to cater to munchkins.

But hey, play, enjoy. And if you find you like it, consider trying the many other PbtA games.
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Old 11-25-2017, 06:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: So I read through Dungeon World and had some questions about it's popularity and

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Originally Posted by patchwork View Post
And of course it's not on a list ranked by sales - it's almost entirely pdf and resistant to supplement creep.
What does being PDF have to do with it? You can see ranks on OneBookshelf and its aliases just fine.
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: So I read through Dungeon World and had some questions about it's popularity and

PDF, schmDF. It's freely available as online SRDs. I've been in two Dungeon World games, one current, without buying (nor pirating) anything.
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Old 11-27-2017, 01:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: So I read through Dungeon World and had some questions about it's popularity and

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Is it especially popular? I am only aware of it as one of a host of OSR-esque games, and otherwise don't know anyone who plays it or have even seen it at the FLGS. It definitely isn't in the top five.
Dungeon World is currently listed as #24 on the Hottest Selling title list for DriveThruRPG...and that is right now for five year old game. A game that also won Golden Geek RPG of the Year 2012; Indie RPG 2012 Winner: Best Game, Best Support, Best Production; and ENnie Award Winner 2013: Best Rules - Gold Winner

Why is it so popular? It is part of the second wave of the small press Indie game revolution that started in the aughts that focuses on Narrativist games. So...it is part of a trend.
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: So I read through Dungeon World and had some questions about it's popularity and

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
Dungeon World is currently listed as #24 on the Hottest Selling title list for DriveThruRPG...and that is right now for five year old game. A game that also won Golden Geek RPG of the Year 2012; Indie RPG 2012 Winner: Best Game, Best Support, Best Production; and ENnie Award Winner 2013: Best Rules - Gold Winner
GURPS has won a bunch of awards too, and the Basic Set looks like it is still on that hottest title list, and there certainly isn't a lot of perception that it is very popular. Compared to the top five, I think everything else is marginal enough to fit in the market's rounding errors. :(

That might even be true of just the top two.
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: So I read through Dungeon World and had some questions about it's popularity and

I've run both DW (using a set of some of the better balanced pay for extra skin/character classes) and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy (pre-KS). My players enjoyed both games and we can see that they scratch different gaming itches. I'm going to Dungeon Fantasy RPG for my third kick at the can because I really like how they've streamlined GURPS to the essentials for the genre and then I can incremental build upon it w/ the GURPS DF supplements as needed.

That being said I will probably bring in some DW techniques (certain ways of dealing w/ Moves and co-opting players into spontaneous world building) but these are tricks that can be used w/ any game. Hank Infernal (of Drinking w/ Dragons Fame) does a couple of episodes on how DW is a great supplement to read for any OSR gamer

DW can be good for very quick, low prep, pick me up games where you can also build in some asymmetric power dynamic if your players like that. It is good for, small number of session, concept campaigns as well (A Djinn, A Rakasha and Oni meet in a bar....) Some of the 3rd party supplements are brilliant for story/monster ideas andit's the only system you could easily play a Space Wyrm campaign.

pbG games, for us, are the ones to go to when you going to build a meatier game that will be played for awhile or when we have an urge for tactical combat play style.
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: So I read through Dungeon World and had some questions about it's popularity and

The key thing about DW as compared to conventional dungeon-crawl games is that it gives the players more direct influence over the narrative.

In conventional games, players act through their characters' actions and motivations, with a side order of trying to personally influence the GM. Story effects arise from those actions.

In DW, the player Moves are much more direct contributions to the story: Spout Lore is a prime example, allowing a player to directly define facts for the world. DW needs a GM so that there can be unknown elements of the world that fit together, but that's a smaller job than running a conventional RPG.
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