Dungeon World - can I build a dungeon beforehand?

What it says on the tin.
What is the role of the pre-made dungeon/adventure area in a game like Dungeon World?
There's talk of switching a campaign over from Swords and Wizardry to Dungeon World, and I'd be intrigued to try it, but I'm curious - does this mean my pre-made dungeons should go?

Comments

  • I definitely sketch out a dungeon, because this is a really fun part for me. I usually have a map and names for different places and some ideas about traps, set pieces, monsters and so forth - lists, some monsters I know i want to introduce written down and ready to go. The first time I ran DW I had the characters acquire an accurate map, so there was no in-game mapping to slow things down, and the flow of the dungeon was pretty transparent. I thought this worked great.

    Regardless, I adjust on the fly and take my cues from interesting failures and choices. So, to answer your question, I don't think you have to but if you enjoy it, within bounds you totally can.
  • Sure, why not.
  • From the text: "If you like, you can design a dungeon ahead of time."

    You do have to be willing to be flexible with them, since the players will give you lots of interesting cues to run with.

    I often use a Tony Dowler microdungeon, especially for oneshots or con games. It works completely fine. It's no different from the AW instructions to use maps.

    That said, leave blanks is one of your principles. A 4E-style, completely specified dungeon isn't likely to work as well, since you need space to react to the player's actions. Broad labels like the stuff on Tony's maps work great, you get a general idea along with a blank to adapt into.
  • I haven't run Dungeon World yet, (lots of AW play), but I want to make maps for it when I do.

    I want even to have room tiles on 8.5"x11" card stock and tokens so I can show the spatial relationship between the PCs and the environs. My little rooms would have broad labels and be spare on detail. I'd choose from among my pre-generated tiles according to the player's reactions and the need of the play as it had developed. Hopefully.

    I'm curious to find out how well this will work and whether it will detract from or add to the experience. And how to use the existing rules + newly created moves to facilitate this kind of play.
  • Thanks, folks!
    I recall the basic advice in DW was something along the lines of "sketch the basics, establish some factions". Sounds like a great place to start!
  • Posted By: sageFrom the text: "If you like, you can design a dungeon ahead of time."

    You do have to be willing to be flexible with them, since the players will give you lots of interesting cues to run with.

    I often use a Tony Dowler microdungeon, especially for oneshots or con games. It works completely fine. It's no different from the AW instructions to use maps.

    That said, leave blanks is one of your principles. A 4E-style, completely specified dungeon isn't likely to work as well, since you need space to react to the player's actions. Broad labels like the stuff on Tony's maps work great, you get a general idea along with a blank to adapt into.
    See, this makes sense, but I went in search of this thread (or one like it) because I just read DW in prep for running it this week and I feel a little confused. The Bloodstone Idol dungeon in the book is very detailed and thought-out, with a page or even two for each room. I know how to run AW, but I don't know how to run dungeon-y games. Do the players just go from one room to the next...? Maybe I'm just feeling overly constrained by the detailed room descriptions in the book, and I should use them or not as I see fit? You can see my lack of experience with the dungeon-crawl genre, here.
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: Hans c-o

    See, this makes sense, but I went in search of this thread (or one like it) because I just read DW in prep for running it this week and I feel a little confused. The Bloodstone Idol dungeon in the book isverydetailed and thought-out, with a page or even two for each room. I know how to run AW, but I don't know how to run dungeon-y games. Do the players just go from one room to the next...? Maybe I'm just feeling overly constrained by the detailed room descriptions in the book, and I should use them or not as I see fit? You can see my lack of experience with the dungeon-crawl genre, here.
    We put the Bloodstone Idol into the game so that people could jump right into DW with as little prep as possible. That said, it definitely represents the "well prepared" aspect of DW. Compare, if you like, to the Spanterhook Guild booklet, if you have it - it's much more a framework than one might initially expect. There's a gamut of options - prepare as much as helps you feel like you've got things "ready" and with enough blanks to leave something open to discovery (on your part, as the GM).

    Generally speaking, the players are going to want to feel like they're exploring - that's a big part of the genre. Maybe you're helping them discover things you've half-prepared and letting them fill in the blanks or maybe there's a lot of "I don't know, what do we think would make sense in the antechamber of a dwarves tomb?" Asking questions is important in DW, as it is in AW, it's just that instead of the macroscopic approach with a gaggle of NPCs, you've got a micro-world with some rules and details (rooms, tunnels, some monsters, a feature or five) set out and ready for detailing.
  • I mentioned elsewhere that I used DW to run a classic AD&D module this past weekend, and it went great. If that's not a dungeon built beforehand, I don't know what is.

    The beauty part is that I was able to stick to the module itself both for inspiration and specifics. I read out descriptive text. I used the random encounter table as color, then ended up getting to make a move that brought that monster into the game and make it relevant to the story. We used the map on the inside cover of the module, which was a big ruined city with lots of interesting bits but nothing "filled in," as it were. All in all, it was kinda... perfect.
  • edited September 2011
    I too was unsure, initially, about how much and what kind of prep to do. This is what I settled on: The Goblin Hole, Black Oak Ridge. The format works, for me, because it's a grab bag of thematically interwoven ideas but still leaves lots of blanks and doesn't prescribe too much (though the lead-off questions imply certain aspects of the setting).
  • Mike, which module was that, specifically?
  • Posted By: UserCloneMike, which module was that, specifically?
    I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City. Great module, and great for DW.
  • edited September 2011
    Posted By: Hans c-o...I don't know how to run dungeon-y games
    Depending on how your brain is wired, it may help to think of dungeons as directed graphs, not only geographically but narratively. That is, each room is just an encounter or scene, but the layout of the dungeon dictates which scenes can possibly follow the others.
  • I ran Dungeon World with the D&D "Thunderspire Labyrinth" module and it worked fine. Of course, this was play-by-post, so digging through the module to look stuff up wasn't a problem. The players mostly followed the expected path, but they deviated here and there as well. Wasn't the best session in the world, but it worked.
  • It really seems like there are two broad ways of handling GM prep in DW. Some seem to gravitate toward AD&D, looking for solid modules with maps and, to a greater or less extent, area descriptions. Others gravitate toward Apocalypse World, asking questions and using the first session to start fleshing out the world and the forthcoming adventure. I suspect that the former may also be people coming to DW from other games while the latter are probably people coming to Dungeon World through the Dugneon World Hack.
  • I am a sucker for a cool looking dungeon map, so yeah I use them.....and scribble all over them by the end.
  • Playing with old modules is one of my favourite DW tricks. I've run Against the Cult of the Reptile god with it a few times and will happily grab a random adventure to show people how DW works at a con.
  • Posted By: WordmanPosted By: Hans c-o...I don't know how to run dungeon-y games
    Depending on how your brain is wired, it may help to think ofdungeons as directed graphs, not only geographically butnarratively. That is, each room is just an encounter or scene, but the layout of the dungeon dictates which scenes can possibly follow the others.

    Click. This helps me understand how to run DW in a way that nothing else has. Thanks!
  • I treat my maps in AW the same way I treat them in DW.

    A dungeon is a map. AW uses maps extensively. The map of the holding and the burn flats and Roarke's place is like the map of the black pool and the goblin warrens and the treasure vault.
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