GM Struggles

Struggles, wins and losses of a gamer

Tag Archives: Dungeon World

Getting ready! Two Purchases

So, I have been a while without posting, have been mostly reading things and preparing myself to run the, since my game is composed of Pirates, I need to get source material and ideas into my brain, to make the game really be about that and also, to be able to give them fitting ideas on the fly.

Just now I placed an order on for two general books, I have mostly gone digital but somethings are hard to leave behind, so when it comes down to the system book, maps and resources like names I prefer print over digital. The books I purchased are:

1. Story Games Name Project, a book that collects names to be used for your game, the idea and work in making the compilation was by Jason Morningstar. I really need to make sure I got fitting names at a game table and even more when my players have the guts to name an elf warlock Miguel… when I asked the player to choose a more fitting one he changed it… to Miguelel.

2. Dyson’s Delves Limited Edition is a book with maps and ready to use dungeons by Dyson, a great artist that I have been following through RPG Bloggers and RPG  Blog Alliance Network. His maps and dungeons are cool and evocative and I want to show him my appreciation and support too, so everyone wins. If you want to check out his maps and other stuff check out his blog at and see how much stuff is there for free, if you got some spare money and wanna help him though, do as I did.

Meanwhile I have been sharing some stuff about my current game (powered by Dungeon World) at the Story Games Forums, selflessly collecting their wisdom, advice and tips to make the game better in any way I can.


Dungeon World: I Didn’t Get it at First Too

Dungeon World is a little far from my usual games and from many systems I have heard. While reading it was kinda obvious to me that there was a different logic to the rules, but I didn’t get it at first. I mean, I understood it, I just didn’t get it.

The system’s logic is not something you transition into by just reading if you have the same kind of background that I have regarding RPGs. The best advice I can give you to help you get it is, whenever you feel the game doesn’t cover something as you read the book, put it aside and ask yourself: “How would that happen in a story?” this simple question will throw images in your head, and maybe you will find that thing that makes the system click, and all of a sudden you will just get it.

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Trying a New Game: Transition Plans

On my last post in the series of Trying a New Game (Selling the System), Undreren talked about Dungeon World being hard to pitch. I think a lot of the pain in pitching the system itself (since the game frame is the same as D&D’s) has one basic opposition: habit.

In Dungeon World, unlike many systems out there, the actions taken are defined by how the player describes them, by their actions and intent, this is not mechanical. Meanwhile my players and many others out there are used to framing their thoughts and actions in a game through the system mechanics.

Completely different filters are in effect, by wanting to play and run DW I also want them to think on the character’s toes, to make them act how they want them to, and not make a choice in the character sheet or on the basic moves sheet, but after so many years of playing D&D, Storyteller and GURPS, there is little chance that will happen spontaneously.

How I plan to make it work then?

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Expectations: Being on the Same Page

I have been debating to a friend about Dungeon World, the system’s simplicity and he compares some things to Legends of Anglerre (which is powered by FATE), a point of central debate we had was how he could see frustration arise from how something is handled, like an arm being ripped off. In Dungeon World there is no hard rule for doing it, and he saw the messy tag alongside the 16 HP dragon example as something that can arise way too often, in LoA such a consequence is first and foremost chosen by the player, and only to avoid being taken out, as such he sees no chance for frustration.

My point was pretty simple though: it can be frustrating in both cases, the greatest difference is that in DW the GM has to make an effort to be on the same page as the players, there is no other way it can work at all, otherwise he will be unfair and deviate from what the group want  very very fast, in LoA he can present me that this kind of thing is part of the game upfront, and I can just say I am not interested right there.

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Dice are random right? riiiiight…

I have two opposite players in my table, they are friends, they enjoy much of the same thing, they game well together, but whenever they pick up the dice, things go south fast for one and heavenly well for the other. Sounds unlikely right? Ina  recent game one of my friends was GMing, we were all playing newly awakened mages in a Mage game.

During our training, he informed us, we would make different tests and he would have the results stored, he recorded the amount of successes from each player and made some kickstarter-like rewards that were unlocked the higher our number of successes. I don’t have the exact numbers (though he has them in excel) but it was something like this:

  • Standard Success Rate in NWoD ruleset: 30% (7-10 on a  d10)
  • Lucky Guy success rate: 60%
  • Player A: 35%
  • Player B: 33%
  • Me (my rolls are like proof of statistics): 30%
  • Unlucky Guy: 20%

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