Friday, December 13, 2013

Dungeon World

Dungeon World is a 'hack', or modification, of a game called Apocalypse World. It has become its own game, thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign last year. I'm not entirely sure how to describe the game in a relatively short, easy-to-digest way, so I'll leave it to this description I'm borrowing from the game's page at DriveThruRPG:
"Combining high-action dungeon crawling with cutting-edge rules, Dungeon World is a roleplaying game of fantasy adventure. You and your friends will explore a land of magic and danger in the roles of adventurers searching for fame, gold, and glory.
Dungeon World’s rules are easy to learn and always drive the action forward in unexpected ways.  A missed roll is never a dead end—failure introduces new complexities and complications.  Life as an adventurer is hard and dangerous but it’s never boring!
Designed to be ready for you to hack, remix, and build new content, Dungeon World includes systems for changing everything to suit your group including creating new races, classes, and monsters."

I know that I find the system intriguing, and it looks like a relatively simple, easy system to use. I know that character creation is very simple, so I think I'll try a run-through of that. According to the Dungeon World PDF I have, creation consists of the following steps:

1. Choose a class
2. Choose a race
3. Choose a name
4. Choose look
5. Choose stats
6. Figure out modifiers
7. Set maximum HP
8. Choose starting moves
9. Choose alignment
10. Choose gear

I'm a big fan of paladin classes, so since there's a Paladin class in Dungeon World, let's go with that. As a Paladin, I only have one option so far as race goes, and that is Human. So, that's two steps down. As a perk of being a Paladin, I get a move (basically, a useful power) where, if I pray for guidance, even for a moment, and ask "What her is evil?", the GM will tell me, honestly. The Dungeon World book lists a number of names, so I'll take one of those - let's go with Hadrian, like the big ol' wall. 

For look, I have a few categories to go through. For eyes, I can pick Kind Eyes, Fiery Eyes, or Glowing Eyes; I'll go with Fiery. For head, I'll go with Helmet, Styled Hair, or Bald. I like armor, so I'll go with helmet. I get a choice of Worn Holy Symbol or Fancy Holy Symbol; I want a hard workin' man, so let's go with worn. And for body, I can choose Fit Body, Bulky Body, or Thin Body. I think I'll go with fit.

For stats, I have the standard D&D set - Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma. In Dungeon World, I have an array of 16, 15, 13, 12, 9, and 8. I know Charisma is big for a paladin, so I'll put my 16 there, and the 15 in Strength; I want a 13 in Constitution, and 12 in Wisdom; the 9 is for Intelligence, and the 8 for Dexterity - Hadrian, like a wall, is not very speedy. As far as modifiers go, I have a -1 for Dexterity, because of the 8; 9-12 is no modifier, so nothing special for Intelligence or Wisdom. 13-15 gets me a +1 for both Constitution and Strength, while 16 in Charisma nets me a +2. My maximum HP is my Constitution + my class base, which is 10, for a total of 23; my base damage is d10.

For moves, it doesn't look like I have any starting choices, though I do get some nice ones - Lay on Hands, which lets me try to heal someone by touching them skin to skin; Armored, which removes the clumsy tag from armor I wear; I Am The Law, which gives me a chance to give orders based on my divine authority and have them followed; and Quest - when I dedicate myself to a mission through prayer and ritual cleansing, and state what I am setting out to do, I can choose up to two boons, things like 'senses that pierce lies' or 'a mark of divine authority', and all I have to do is make a vow, like Honor (requiring me to avoid cowardly tactics and tricks) or Valor (suffering an evil creature to live). 

As for alignment, I can choose either Lawful - where I can get XP if I deny mercy to a criminal or unbeliever - or Good, where I gain XP by endangering myself to protect someone weaker than me. I'm a sucker for Good - I can't even play a bad guy in video games - so I'll go that way. Finally, I have my choice of gear; I start with dungeon rations, scale armor, a mark of faith, and a weapon - either a halberd or a long sword and shield; I can also choose either adventuring gear, or extra dungeon rations with a side of healing potion. I'll go with the classic long sword and shield, and the adventuring gear - never know when rope might come in handy.

As a step they don't mention in the character creation section - at least, not in the numbered sections - there are also Bonds, ties I have to other characters in the group. It lists 4, things like '(Other character)'s misguided behavior endangers their very soul!' and (Other character) is a brave soul, I have much to learn from them'. These are tools to help tie the group together, but also create some inter-party tension.So, when it all shakes out, my character looks like this:

Human Paladin
Eyes: Fiery Eyes
Head: Helmet
Holy Symbol: Worn Holy Symbol
Body: Fit Body
Alignment: Good

Strength 15, Dexterity 8, Constitution 13, Intelligence 9, Wisdom 12, Charisma 16
HP: 23

Lay On Hands
I Am The Law

Dungeon rations
Adventuring gear
Scale armor
Mark of faith
Long sword and shield

So, not a huge character sheet, and relatively simple, but it looks fun to try. I hope I get to sometime.

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