[World of Dungeons] How do I play this thing?

edited December 2012 in Play Advice
I want to run it for my regular gaming group as a one-off day over the yuletide holidays. My group knows D&D very well indeed but I'm more into 'lite' system. Couple that with loving John Harper's work (I ran Lady Blackbird at a little con last year) and I really want to run World of Dungeons. Thing is, I haven't run Apocalypse World before - do I need to? (I bought a copy of AW but the wordage intimidates me quite a bit and I haven't got around to reading and absorbing it.)

I think World of Dungeons is written assuming you know how to play AW? Am I wrong?

Comments

  • edited December 2012
    There's no need to know Apocalypse World to play World of Dungeons. There's very little in common, really. The only thing WoD really carries over from AW is the 2d6+Attr dice system, and even that is very simplified and focused on different tasks.

    In AW, you only roll the dice when a Move is triggered, ie. 'when you go aggro on someone', with specific rules for each trigger. In WoD, you roll whenever 'you attempt' something risky', with a 6- meaning failure, 7-9 meaning partial success & 10+ full success.

    AW is also much more focused on inter-player drama, which could happen in WoD, but is less likely: The main XP draw is from loot.

    The only core concept that might make GMing WoD that comes from AW is the idea of GM-side Soft Moves and Hard Moves, which just a way of saying: When players roll a partial success, or when there's a lull in the conversation, set up a situation (Soft Move). Then when they fail a roll or fail to deal with the situation, make the consequences real (Hard move).

    ie:

    GM: "The ogre is swinging it's tree-trunk club at you. What do you do?" (Soft move)

    Player: "I'm gonna dive between it's legs so I can attack from behind!"

    GM: "Okay, roll for that. Sounds like you're using DEX to me"

    Player: "Aw crap, rolled a 4"

    GM: "The ogre's club catches you in the stomach and sends you flying across the room and into the wall. Take 6 damage." (Hard move)

    EDIT: Then again, all this is in the Dungeon World book, which you should have if you have World of Dungeons!
  • Thanks for that Isaac. Lady Clarity has descended on my desk!
    EDIT: Then again, all this is in the Dungeon World book, which you should have if you have World of Dungeons!
    Actually, I don't have DW - I made a small contribution to get my hands on WoD but it wasn't enough to get the DW PDF. :)
  • I think neither AW nor Dungeon World are prerequisites to run World of Dungeons. I first ran WoD without having played AW and before playing DW. The games went fine. The key for me was to remember the formula: when a character acts and rolls dice, on a result of 10-12 they succeed; 7-9 they succeed with a cost; and 6 or less they suffer a setback. This is paraphrasing the rules, but I recall initially trying to make a 7-9 result more complicated and forgetting that the character succeeded in the action, regardless of what cost I might incur. Recognizing that the cost (on a 7-9 result) is in conjunction with success actually helped me picture what costs might be appropriate. For example, in a fight pitting the characters on a river barge against a giant crocodile, a character rolled a 7 when attempting to leap from the barge to the top of creature's head. I initially said the character fell into the water in front of the monster, but the player balked--according to the rules, the character succeeded but at a cost. And he was right! So, picturing the character precariously balancing atop the alligator, the cost became the loss of some newly acquired treasure that fell out of his pockets into the river.
    It also took a little while for me to get used to not rolling dice, other than damage. But it soon became second nature.
    When I run WoD again, I want to take advantage of WoD's three tiered results (success, partial success, setback) to really streamline play. I have in mind a process where, for example in combat, success (result 10-12) means the characters defeat their opponents without rolling damage. On a partial success (7-9) the combatants either exchange blows (both rolling damage) or are stalemated (neither rolls damage) at the player's choice. And on a setback (6 or less) the character is defeated (captured, disarmed, or otherwise rendered hors de combat). What I want to avoid is the pattern where combat looks like 'PC attacks (PC rolls attacking dice); NPC attacks (PC rolls defensive dice)'. I want to resolve the conflict with one roll of the dice, if possible.
  • You don't need to run DW or AW to run WoD. Emphatically not. I haven't run either of those, but I've been running WoD for a couple of kids groups for a couple of months now (read the actual play here), and had run a couple of sessions with an adult group.

    I resolve most exchanges with one roll of the dice, but if there's a partial success or even a miss, I set up a threat that needs a defensive roll on the player's part. I don't traffick in attack rolls followed by defense rolls, though. Most succinct advice I've heard is a partial success leads to success with a soft move to set up something painful as a looming threat, whereas a miss draws a hard move that delivers the pain.

    WoD is also extraordinarily easy to house rule, and the spirit based magic system lends itself well to flavor and tactical fun.
  • It's actually 10+, not 10-12. With a +3, you can achieve a 15. And that's without +ongoing and +forward.
  • Both times I've been involved with playing World of Dungeons, the GM had not read any of the GM stuff from AW or DW, and it worked fine. I wouldn't worry about what the other games have to say.

    Just run with what is on the page, as that is enough to play with.
  • edited December 2012
    More than enough.

    Edited to add: Beware. The game can be seriously addicting.
  • Great advice guys, thanks. I'm really keen to give it a bash now.
  • Also, most of DW is out in the open for everybody to read anyway.
  • edited December 2012
    You might also check out Michael White's Streets of Marienburg. It elaborates a little on WoD and has a great list of Soft Moves and Hard Moves.

    EDIT: One of the biggest things that took me a few sessions to realize is not every Failure has to result in damage to the characters or really a mishap that is tied directly to the action at all. Like, consequences can be in-direct is what I'm saying.

    UPDATE: Like, for example, a player might swing their sword at a goblin and roll a Failure. Your first instict might be to have the goblin block the attack and stab the player instead. But you could also have the missed sword swing knock over a candelabra that then lights the building on fire. Or even more indirect, because the player misses their attack against the goblin, the goblin is able to slip past them and tackle the magic user. I found that the more indirect the consequences, the more exciting it can be for the players because they'll stop expecting the obvious and start to think about what other types of things could go wrong.
  • While it may not be required, I agree that having the AW or DW list of MC/GM moves in front of you as you run it is very useful.

    rgds
    rob
  • I have added all I could find on this forum to the wiki: http://bit.ly/wod-resources
    Let me know if there is more.
    Still needs quite a bit of editing.

    I made the decision of dropping individual attributions, exception made for the original author (too much work).
  • Where did you get that "Expert Edition" stuff? I'd like to hear more about that!
  • I believe it had a Spirit generator and it also described a system of bonds and promises handling the relationship between wizards and spirits, thieves and guilds, fighters and their lords, clerics and the celestial hierarchy.
  • That's drool-worthy.
  • Here's a Bonds mini-hack that I made and then forgot about... your expert edition reminded me. Disclaimer: Haven't actually played with it.

    http://f.cl.ly/items/3M1b0W091H162A1U1w1R/wod-bonds.pdf [PDF link]
  • Here's a Bonds mini-hack...
    Nice!

  • Hey all,

    Sorry if that's not the right place to ask, but :
    I've heard somewhere around Story Games of a World of Dungeon hack to play... humm... Apocalypse World. I'm currious, but I cannot find it anywhere. Can somebody help ?

    Cheers
  • @Yragael I think what you are looking for is World of Apocalypse. Their decision to cap the number of hit points was quite controversial at the time.
  • Hey all,

    Sorry if that's not the right place to ask, but :
    I've heard somewhere around Story Games of a World of Dungeon hack to play... humm... Apocalypse World. I'm currious, but I cannot find it anywhere. Can somebody help ?

    Cheers
    Yeah, they sold out and went mainstream when their hack of _World of Dungeons_ went viral. It's rulebook got so bloated with all this extra stuff, like playbooks and Moves and Fronts and stylized images of half-naked people. Sad.

    If it helps, I've been piecing together its sister game from various old articles that were in a _World of Dungeons_ fanzine from Germany, about the beginning of the apocalypse. Still trying to translate everything, and I've been told that I made some errors here and there...but you might want to look at the pocketmod so far:
    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B5K_Bqfr0dqcbUgxdUd0T0tXZ2s

    I'll probably finish compiling the GM's section soon (the Germans called it the "Overseer"...not sure what kind of connotation they were going for...)
  • Thanks, I'll look into it.
  • The German "World of the Apocalypse" is really cool! I hope you can find the Overseer's booklet as well.

    (It would be a good thing to have in your pocket when the world ends, after all.)
  • The German "World of the Apocalypse" is really cool! I hope you can find the Overseer's booklet as well.

    (It would be a good thing to have in your pocket when the world ends, after all.)
    Consider it done:
    Standard Version
    PocketMod Version


  • edited December 2012
    Hey, that's a great find, good work on the translation!

    A couple of things are unclear, though- I heard they were cleared up in the second issue of the short lived fanzine Weltschmerz dedicated to this hack- do you have it?

    I want to say I recall Weapons and Armour cost one point of Arms per Harm they could inflict or soak, but I can't remember if there were other modifiers for tags and ranged weapons. Or was it just a straight one point of Arms per weapon?

    I am sure that they had to errata the Advancement rules in that issue, after someone wrote in complaining his players tried to gain 5 Favour by advancing a skill from -2 to -1! Then advance it to 0 for free. Heh, what would we do without power gaming rules lawyers, eh?! I think they said the minimum cost was 5 Favour to improve any skill, no matter how low.
  • I believe the Arms tags were merely for the sake of description. Yes, they kinda balance themselves it looks like.

    And indeed, I do believe the minimum Favor for any sort of advancement was 5. I'll have to double-check the wikis later.

  • If it helps, I've been piecing together its sister game from various old articles that were in a _World of Dungeons_ fanzine from Germany ..
    Reading this thread helped me remember that i might have something in my miscelania pile collected from sale offerings in FLGSs around Hamburg.
    And indeed i found among some curiosities of the d20 wave, amateur publications from the late 80's: an old translation of World of Dungeons called "Welt der Verliese", bundled along with two supplements and a shortlived zine, given away probably by an convert to the simulation fad happening on the forums of "the smithy". The translation hails from 1982 and must have enjoyed modest success, since in 1983 the supplements and the zine called "bibliothek der verliese"came out. In the bundle are 4 of the 5 issues present. The zines are a (micro) testament to the rpg trend of accumulation procedures and rulings, backgrounds and extensions to make the game more "real". Eventually someone tires of the complexity and calls for reviving the old style (ROS).

    Anyway, your mention of the fanzine interests me greatly. Whats the name of the zine? Might it be the missing number of the "bibliothek"? Although it does not look like something the "Bibliothek" would have done ... So i am exited to find out that there is even more Germn stuff for WoD around. maybe we can trade content?
  • As a curiosity we've adapted/translated "World of Dungeons" into portuguese using a lot of different sources like the stupidgremlin's "Streets of Marienburg" playset and other stuff. I hope you like it. :)
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