[Dungeon World] No move sheet for you!

edited February 2012 in Story Games
In this thread that is mostly about D&D, some people shared that they don't give out Moves sheets for players when they run Dungeon World.

I am prepping for a DW game that is important to me (old friends in town for a rare night of gaming), and I want it to be extra awesome.

I've run Apocalypse World, with every player having their own Moves sheet, and it does slow the pace down a bit while people consult the "Master List of Things I Can Do". (Plus it seems to lead to a bit of confusion, but every instance I recall was fight-related, and it seems like DW probably smooths that out with the Hack & Slash move.)

So, NOT handing out Moves sheets and just asking the players to tell me what they're doing seems like it will be more fun, and more old-school. Right?
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Comments

  • edited February 2012
    So, between the time I posted this new thread and went back to the old one, Adam sort of answered my question:
    Posted By: skinnyghost
    It's totally okay to approach it this way, too - if you've got shy or passive-style players, they can say "I want to hack and slash" and you can say "cool! can you tell us what that might look like?" and then they say "I swing my sword at him in a big overhead arc" and you're done. You've fulfilled the do it / do it part of the move trigger.

    Either way is fully valid, so long as you're making sure the moves have fictional triggers or trigger fictional aspects before the rolling starts.
    Any actual play examples of keeping the players in the dark, rules-wise, are welcome. Or, you know, the opposite.
  • *W is in many ways a very traditional game, and taking the move sheets away reinforces that hardcore. I've found that people like to review the example questions for question-y moves, but that's not really necessary or problematic either way.
  • What about typing up each of the moves on a sheet of paper and cutting them out (like cards). Then, when players say they want to do something that is covered by a move, you slide the card across the table to them. That way they learn the moves as they go and by the time they're all out there they won't need to look at the cards anymore. Plus, you can slip in some custom moves as appropriate.
  • The whole reason I picked up so readily on Apocalypse D&D (the proto-DW) was because I had players who, while we were playing AD&D said to me" fuuuuuck, adam, I just don't care about +1s and to-hit numbers and all your gamer bullshit. I just want to mash things with my mace and be awesome." and so, for that group, the no-moves-book thing was perfect. They say a thing, I tell 'em what to roll and we discuss what happens when they do.

    Personally, I like having the moves as a player, because when the GM says to me "sounds like you're trying to Parley" I can look at the move and say "yeah, that sounds about right" or "no way, man." as the case might be. It gives me a better grip on the rules as a player.

    There's a whole matrix of player-preference, GM-preference and trust in this scenario that you need to come to terms with before you can make a decision. Alternately, give it a go and see what happens. The rules say to print off "A few copies of the basic and special moves" but it doesn't say you have to give them to anyone.
  • Posted By: mease19What about typing up each of the moves on a sheet of paper and cutting them out (like cards). Then, when players say they want to do something that is covered by a move, you slide the card across the table to them. That way they learn the moves as they go and by the time they're all out there they won't need to look at the cards anymore. Plus, you can slip in some custom moves as appropriate.
    Ooh, good one. I am totally doing that. It also hits Jason's point about needing the options for some of the moves, like the ones where you keep Hold.
  • Posted By: skinnyghostThere's a whole matrix of player-preference, GM-preference and trust in this scenario that you need to come to terms with before you can make a decision.
    The PPGMPT matrix? I think my score for this game will be quite high. 93. Or 8.5. Whatever's pretty high.

    So, cards for when it comes up, but no handouts.
  • Thinking about cards, a deck of move cards would be a cool promo (for a kickstarter campaign for example). - For an extra $5 pledge you get a deck of blank move cards for your custom moves. For a further $5 pledge you get a card with a unique custom move written just for you. I don't know if its right for DW but its right for some *W game.
  • The moves on cards thing has a lot of potential. At the moment we're working out a deal on a French version of DW. They're interested in doing it more boardgame-y with, for example, moves on cards. There's some definite cross pollination and you may see that for DW.

    AS for when that's hard to say. We're trying to get the main text in the right shape and get the necessary layout down, any official move cards would come after that.

    I guess that's all slightly tangential, but I agree with all the advice upthread. It's great stuff!
  • I DEFINITELY want moves on cards. Doubleplus awesome if they include some iconography to help them jive well with this, or similar, since I'd prefer an XP system that runs more AW-style, but that's probably just a pipe-dream. :P

    Either way, Move cards are YES!
  • Yes, when I play with new players I no longer give out moves sheets. I don't have a problem giving them to players if they know about them and want it.

    However, I think the cards idea can be pretty hot. I see a deck of moves shuffled and put in the center of a table. If there is a moment of hesitation in the game, some one draws and has to figure out how to fit that move into the situation to keep things moving.
  • Posted By: UserCloneEither way, Move cards are YES!
    Yeah, this is a good idea. I may make some of these up in advance of Living DW at OrcCon -- just stickers to put on index cards. I think we may be doing the same with magic items, actually.

    My only concern is that people might uncharitably connect move cards with 4E's power cards, and... I dunno... be dicks or something.
  • I've run into the playstyle conflict where people look at the mechanics first, then create fiction to justify their use.

    I tried taking the playsheet away but it slowed down the game for us. Plus once the mechanics are engaged, I like the players to easily access all their options. The mechanics are super fun, I just want everyone to lead with the fiction in this particular game.

    What we do now that works well...

    1. Only print out 1 sheet. We all share it. When someone engages the mechanics, we slide the sheet to them.

    2. Remove mentions of what Stat to roll.

    3. Make the fictional names small italic type and make the move triggers large bold type. Put the move triggers first, before the move names.

    4. I include multiple mentions and variations of "say how".
  • Do you have a file we can see of what all you've done with the Basic Moves sheet, John?
  • So the DW game I am running with my ladyfriend has no move sheets and her character sheet has minimal detail on it. Her sheet is an index card with name, class, level, stats, HP, and some notes. Seems to work pretty well.

    I'd like to see John's sheet as well!
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: akooserSo the DW game I am running with my ladyfriend has no move sheets and her character sheet has minimal detail on it. Her sheet is an index card with name, class, level, stats, HP, and some notes. Seems to work pretty well.
    Can you elaborate on how this works? What about her class moves and stuff?
  • I've found that virgin roleplayers find the move sheets helpful, and they rarely ask 'so what exactly can I do again?', they just seem to narrate what they want and we apply moves as needed. Whereas the hardened gamers want the move sheet to pore over and try and 'fit' the fiction to the desired mechanical iteration of their moves. I've taken to printing off only one copy of the moves sheet, if I see someone so engrossed with either their character sheet or the basic move sheet that they aren't engaging with the group or the story I gently nudge them fictionally. I address their character, I tell them the consequences and ask, I announce an impending doom, I point to a looming threat, I ask questions of them and use the answers, I put them in a spot and ask 'what to you do?'. This has always been enough to break the mechanics focused player.

    Move cards are a great idea! Though now my mind is swirling with the idea of move DICE.Seperate colours? Pictograms for hack&slash, parley, Defy Danger etc? Dice pools based on stat modifers / +1forward?. Nah, 2d6 is way simpler and less gamey. Damn my love of WHFRP 3e dice :)
  • Felan,

    She was err.. is an interesting case. Her first rpg was running me through Murderous Ghosts. She rolled her stats and I asked her what she wanted to be. Something thievy she said. So basically the game moves along until she says something that triggers a thief move and neither of us are sure what the outcome is.

    ara
  • Cool! In a way that's kind of an ideal situation - the focus is entirely on the fiction. But, sadly, that would only be satisfying if you didn't have preconceptions about how other RPGs work.
  • edited February 2012
    Procedural questions for those who don't give out move sheets:

    1. What do you do with move results that require a player to choose from a list, like a weak hit on Cast a Spell or any hit on Discern Realities? Do you explicitly explain the options to the player or do you pick some based on your interpretation of their intention?

    2. If a character earns Hold with something like Defending or Trap Expert, do you manage the player's Hold spend as well?
    Posted By: jenskot3. Make the fictional names small italic type and make the move triggers large bold type. Put the move triggers first, before the move names.
    Why do moves need names? What about eliminating them?
  • I'm with John[zo], I think its harder to try and just say the move that you want to do when it doesn't have a straight up name. Granted, moves will probably eventually get a shorthand so that they can be discussed but consider removing the names from the moves.
  • Posted By: johnzoProcedural questions for those who don't give out move sheets:

    1. What do you do with move results that require a player to choose from a list, like a weak hit on Cast a Spell or any hit on Discern Realities? Do you explicitly explain the options to the player or do you pick some based on your interpretation of their intention?

    2. If a character earns Hold with something like Defending or Trap Expert, do you manage the player's Hold spend as well?

    Posted By: jenskot3. Make the fictional names small italic type and make the move triggers large bold type. Put the move triggers first, before the move names.
    Why do moves need names? What about eliminating them?

    1. I give the players their play books, so they have their class moves. Form things like discern reality I describe the options the first time and have a reference sheet for subsequent uses

    2. I do not manage holds, but I do make sure they understand what hold is when they get one the first few times
  • Posted By: johnzoPosted By: jenskot3. Make the fictional names small italic type and make the move triggers large bold type. Put the move triggers first, before the move names.
    Why do moves need names? What about eliminating them?
    Originally I tried eliminating them but the problem was that many of the character class sheets and class moves refer to the basic moves by name. To remove the names we would also need to change most of the character class sheets.
    Posted By: UserCloneDo you have a file we can see of what all you've done with the Basic Moves sheet, John?
    Posted By: akooserI'd like to see John's sheet as well!
    Right now my Basic Move sheet uses the rules from the latest unreleased Beta. I don't believe these are public yet but once they are, I will definitely share them!

    Rock,
    John
  • Posted By: skinnyghostPersonally, I like having the moves as a player, because when the GM says to me "sounds like you're trying to Parley" I can look at the move and say "yeah, that sounds about right" or "no way, man." as the case might be. It gives me a better grip on the rules as a player.
    As a player, I would hate not having the moves in front of me. I like to see how the system works as a intrinsic part of my enjoyment of a game.
    As a GM, having the move sheet available for all players reinforces the kind of play that the game is about.
  • Standard Operating Procedure is that everyone has access to the moves. If the group finds that distracting or weird, going without puts more pressure on the GM but can make the game flow better for certain kinds of players.
  • I think we'll take another hard look at removing names for the basic moves.
  • Felan,

    I am not sure about that. I've run the game this way a few times for a range of roleplayers. It's a DW approach to the baby of Action Castle and Primitive D&D which is my style of running a dungeon crawl.

    ara
  • edited February 2012
    I know that the difference between saying "I engage him in melee" and "I Hack & Slash" is almost trivial, because the names are already phrasal. I just feel like not having a specific short form that is easier to say makes long form fictional descriptions just as appealing to say.

    So, only having something like this bolded, when you engage an enemy in melee combat, roll+Str; when you attack an enemy with missile weapons, roll+Dex; etc.
  • cycy
    edited February 2012
    If you're going to take away the Move sheet, make sure you have a copy for yourself and know all the moves. It puts way fewer eyes on figuring out when Moves are actually happening.

    Specifically: Defend is an awesome move that players often try in the fiction, but for some reason doesn't trigger as making a move for people. The Actual People Actual Play podcast of DW had me twitching as the fighter repeatedly Defended in fiction and basically got told "OK, what do you *really* do." Interpreting declarations like "I brace for their assault, I draw a line in the sand, I invite them forward with my "come get some" kung fu wave" as "I do nothing" and smacking them with a hard move is even worse.
  • Posted By: Anarchangel
    As a player, I would hate not having the moves in front of me. I like to see how the system works as a intrinsic part of my enjoyment of a game.
    Reflexively, I agree, but I think I would enjoy playing a game in a mode where I didn't really have that kind of information.

    Either way, it definitely sounds like it will a) work for my particular game, an b) create that 1979 vibe.
  • Definitely a great point there, Cy. Or well, two of them:
    1. No Move sheet puts the onus squarely on the GM's shoulders as far as how to interpret the fiction, which may or may not be to your group's taste (as it also requires more players' trust of the GM).

    2. People can't seem to see a Defend for what it is! I think it just takes getting used to. To clarify, this happens WITH the sheet right in front of them.
  • I have to admit, when playing with new players (which is pretty much everybody at the moment) people get hung up on some of the basic moves. I think dropping the highlighted stats will help, though. Before, players would describe attacking a monster, but then want to Defend in order to use CON, or some similar mismatch. Now, maybe things will flow a bit more smoothly.
  • edited February 2012
    Oh, man! Yeah, drop highlighted stats like they're hot.
  • Posted By: Orlando WilsonOh, man! Yeah, drop highlighted stats like they're hot.
    Highlighted stats have been Officially Dropped as of Beta 1. We're done with that particular AW artifact! Go forth, free of the shackles of Highlighted Stats.
  • Weekend before last, I ran DW for four newbies (and have yet to finish my AP, but I will). I found that using the BBC XP system, combined with telling the players to be total XP whores, led to some good play. They all played strongly to their XP triggers from alignment and highlights.

    For example, the halfling thief had Stunt and Aid/Interfere highlighted; I'm not sure if she did anything other than throw herself into peril and get in everyone else's way the whole time. It was easy for her player to key into that, and it made for a fun contribution to the story.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: UserClonePeople can't seem to see a Defend for what it is! I think it just takes getting used to. To clarify, this happens WITH the sheet right in front of them.
    Can someone explain how people are getting Defend wrong? Is it on the GM who forgets it's a rolled-move and instead does a hard move against the player?

    I haven't encountered that much flak in the games I've run explaining Basic Moves. There is always the "I want to threaten him. I want to go aggro."
    "OK, do you want to follow up on that threat if the person stands up to you?"
    "Um, no, I just want to threaten them."
    "OK, that sounds like manipulate, a hot move."
    "Er, my hot sucks, can I change my mind?"
    "Of course! I want you to do what you think it awesome for you!"
    "You know what, I do want to go aggro. He'll get the butt of my shotgun if he doesn't respect my au-thor-ah-teh!"

    Of course, I'm always in the middle of that zone where I'm talking and teaching and I actually can't remember what I'm saying because I'm too busy listening, and it's two hours later and there are a lot of dead NPCs...

    (Edited to note that the above example is, of course, AW, not DW...)
  • When you hold your ground and look for an opening, you Defend.

    Would that help?
  • I think it's that Defend sits in a weird place in the "players make moves, failures cause GM moves, if a player doesn't make a move, the GM gets to make one" flow.

    Players naturally want to use Defend in the middle of someone else's action, because that's usually when the GM is making a damage move or w/e. But that's not really the right time. When it *is* the right time (basically, the GM asks "what are you doing?") it feels very close to saying "I stand around until something happens" and the GM goes ahead and makes a move. It needs to be "I'm protecting Jim when someone comes after him, okay, hold 3" then the GM *moves on*. Later, when Jim bungles his Hack and Slash roll, and the goblins are filling him with arrows, the player gets to spend their hold and look cool.

    I think the biggest issue with Defend is that there's no class that has a natural inclination to use it a lot. Paladin and Bard from the Hack both have a strong Cha component, and it's not like Parley is that hard to indentify when someone tries it. All the other Basic moves have a Basic class that is inevitably going to be good at them and use them repeatedly. Defend just kind of sits there unexamined. I'd like to see a Con (or at least Defend) based Paladin playbook just to get Defend some spotlight time.
  • I don't know, our Pally has gotten a lot of millage out of Defend, especially the redirect and half-damage clauses, and has been doing the same sort of tanking in fights one might do in an MMO or MOBA. Oh, hey you have to hit me, oh hey it does like two points of damage. It's allowed the Barb and the Mage to say alive and dish the DPM.
  • edited February 2012
    Defend and the Paladin are like, best friends. They go to the mall together and eat ice cream and laugh at the Orcs that shop at the GAP.

    Defend is tricky until the GM learns to say "ARE YOU DEFENDING X" and then the Player is like "FUCK X" or "OH SHIT OF COURSE, POOR SQUISHY X" and then things flow just fine, from there. Which isn't to say it's impossible to have trouble with it, just that Defend tends to take a bit to wrap one's brain around. Kind of like certain aspects of Defy Danger.
  • I like the new XP better than highlighted stats, but at my table, leveling would be SLOW compared to BBC XP, which I think I'll continue using.
  • I don't mean to say that Pallies+Defend don't work well. (My last Wizard used Defend as his go-to combat move.) Just that the path is way less direct than the path to using every other basic move. I think highlighted stats also push Defend out of the mainstream, because Con is rarely a cool highlight.

    I would guess that (way) less than 50% of Paladins/Fighers have used the Defend move, and less for other playbooks. I'd guess 90%+ of Fighters have Hacked, Clerics Discerned, Wizards Spouted, or Rogues Defied/Volleyed.

    Giving Paladins a "You can use Cha to Defend." starting move, and Fighters "You can use Str to Defend." as a level move would bring Defend into the mainstream. Once it's mainstream, everyone will be more comfortable with how it works, when to use it, etc.
  • My players' fighter and Paladin used it regularly (moreso the paladin, and the fighter mainly used it to defend the thief, because he chose the thief for his Bond "I have sworn to protect ____."). Even the Ranger used it once.
  • Posted By: skinnyghost
    Highlighted stats have been Officially Dropped as of Beta 1. We're done with that particular AW artifact! Go forth, free of the shackles of Highlighted Stats.
    That sounds good. What shall we do in the meantime?
  • You can get XP only from Alignment Moves, resolving a Bond, or answering "yes" to any or all of three end of session questions, which pertain to different sorts of milestones like defeating a notable monster or enemy (the end of session question XP pertains to every member of the party collectively, so they each get an XP per collective "yes").
  • The Beta 1 rules have a set of XP rules based on alignment and bond resolution.

    If you want a quicker rate of advancement with a focus on action rather than characterisation, BBC XP was written for the previous version, but it still works and I'll be tweaking it in the near future to make sure it's fully Beta-compatible.

    If neither of those do what you want, there are a bunch of threads here and in the DW forums in which people discuss other options. Or you could keep using stat highlights if you like them.
  • In the current pre-release playtest version of Dungeon World, XP is earned, just to summarize, in three ways;

    - Alignment Moves
    - Resolution of Bonds
    - Exploration / Treasure / Monster (1 each, end-of-session)

    We're thinking "Current Level + 7" required XP, so that you'll hit 2nd level usually in the second session of the game, as an example.
  • Posted By: skinnyghost
    We're thinking "Current Level + 7" required XP, so that you'll hit 2nd level usually in the second session of the game, as an example.
    Shit son, okay, cause I was like man, current level x 10 is gonna really slow them down with the new rules.

    Cool, cool.
  • Posted By: Orlando WilsonPosted By: skinnyghost
    We're thinking "Current Level + 7" required XP, so that you'll hit 2nd level usually in the second session of the game, as an example.
    Shit son, okay, cause I was like man, current level x 10 is gonna really slow them down with the new rules.

    Cool, cool.

    Yeah, I was gonna bring that up. I love the new XP moves, but current x 10 seems crazy when you don't really get a faster rate of XP even at higher levels.

    Matt
  • I like level + 7, I think.

    I also like this cool hack culture around DW. BBC XP, alternate basic moves, the whole shebang. It's keen.
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