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Author Topic: Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.  (Read 42171 times)

Archangel Fascist

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« on: September 24, 2013, 06:47:49 PM »
As someone raised on D&D 3e, I feel abused.  It's one of those games that puts players and DMs through the wringer: charting out character builds, calculating save DCs, adding attack bonuses, putting ranks into skills, and so on.  I firmly believed that everything needed a concrete rule to better simulate a fictional world.  Writing mechanics was a matter of scientific precision that left no room for interpretation or stylistic choice.

I had read Apocalypse World before, and it didn't click.  It was too abstract, too foreign, too weird.  The rules didn't make sense to me.  It was only after I moved from Pathfinder and D&D 4e to Savage Worlds that I started to appreciate how cumbersome D&D was.  Even then, though, Savage Worlds still had so many of the game conventions of the RPGs that I was familiar with.

It was only after I had played with Savage Worlds and Apocalypse World was translated to Dungeon World that I could appreciate the mechanics within the game.  Now, personally, I feel that Dungeon World is too abstract for my tastes (and some of the mechanics are a bit iffy and too removed from traditional gaming), but there's one thing that stands out to me about the game:

All the mechanics are written from an in-character perspective.  This emphasizes roleplaying over number crunch.  When playing Dungeon World, you won't have to deal with things like, "I charge 70 feet at the dragon and make a full attack while using my Power Attack feat to take a -4 penalty on the attack roll while gaining +8 damage."

It's so much better than the D&D model, I think.

Brad

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 07:01:34 PM »
Quote from: Archangel Fascist;693684
This emphasizes roleplaying over number crunch.

It's so much better than the D&D model, I think.


That is the D&D model. At least the original one.

Fiasco

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 07:07:17 PM »
Quote from: Brad;693685
That is the D&D model. At least the original one.


Yep. The over complication is more a 3E/4E thing.

Spinachcat

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 07:30:37 PM »
Tell us more about WHAT in Dungeon World changed your view and how and why.

silva

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 08:22:15 PM »
Im with you on this.

Apocalypse World wasnt the first game to show me the marvels of "color-first", but it was the first to portray the concept in such a simple, exciting, and most importantly, gameable package. Enough to change the way I see roleplaying.

Quote from: Brad
That is the D&D model. At least the original one

I wouldnt say so.

CRKrueger

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 08:29:15 PM »
Quote from: silva;693700
I wouldnt say so.
Of course you wouldn't, since by your own frequent admission, you have absolutely no fucking clue what early D&D was even like.
Even the the "cutting edge" storygamers for all their talk of narrative, plot, and drama are fucking obsessed with the god damned rules they use. - Estar

Yes, Sean Connery's thumb does indeed do megadamage. - Spinachcat

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silva

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 08:36:07 PM »
Quote from: CRKrueger;693701
Of course you wouldn't, since by your own frequent admission, you have absolutely no fucking clue what early D&D was even like.
Rectified since Ive acquired and read it.

Anyone who defends both games are similar in this aspect dont know what is talking about.

One game is over-reliant on hard-numbers and math precision (from concepts as thac0s and armor class, to stats witth little modifiers everywhere, to the consulting of lots of tables for precise outcomes).

While the other is over-reliant on character and fiction color and improvisation.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 08:49:57 PM by silva »

Spinachcat

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 08:52:11 PM »
I am confused. How is Dungeon World different than any other narrative RPG? How is it different than FATE?

AKA, WTF does a player and GM do in Dungeon World that is so marvelously different than what goes on in traditional RPGs?

Gronan of Simmerya

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 08:53:48 PM »
Quote from: silva;693703

One game is over-reliant on hard-numbers and math precision (from concepts as thac0s and armor class, to stats witth little modifiers everywhere, to the consulting of lots of tables for precise outcomes).


What the hell edition are you talking about?  Because it bears no resemblance to anything I've played.

Once again , "3rd Edition is not the entire D&D world."
You should go to GaryCon.  Period.

The rules can't cure stupid, and the rules can't cure asshole.

estar

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2013, 09:43:43 PM »
People can play 3e or 4e however they want. If you focus on crunching number then that what the game is about. If you focus on characterization that what the game will be about.

The fact that "in-crowd" surrounding late 3.X and 4.0 focused on builds and number crunching doesn't make those games magically defective. Maybe the deal is that some folks are at a point in their life where they appreciate a rule-lite system.

I didn't start hating GURPS just because I started playing and publishing for OD&D. Or because I currently prefer the support behind classic D&D and the lite nature of some of the classic rulesets.

GURPS is a great system for what it does. D&D 4e is a great system with a tactically detailed system that is easy to play. D&D 3.X allows for extensive character customization while still remaining recognizably D&D.  If any the above three sucked it because the referee sucked or more commonly it just wasn't suited for that particular individual.

In my campaigns I implement the mechanics for my style and setting. I don't implement my style or setting for the mechanics.

silva

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 10:21:32 PM »
Estar, if we are gonna discuss game systems, we must consider what they do/promote, not what people do at their table.

Otherwise one can consider chess a great roleplaying game just because he likes to roleplay a rook while playing chess.

silva

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 10:32:08 PM »
Quote from: Old Geezer;693708
What the hell edition are you talking about?  Because it bears no resemblance to anything I've played.
The one full of little rules with arithmetical implications/modifiers for each stat and each thief ability and each spell rule and each class and each race and each circumstancial activity like combat with thac0s and armor classes and saving throwses and attack speedses and damages, and etcs.

I have the Moldvay edition here. Isnt it considered OD&D ?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 10:38:48 PM by silva »

Archangel Fascist

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2013, 10:40:59 PM »
Quote from: Spinachcat;693707
I am confused. How is Dungeon World different than any other narrative RPG? How is it different than FATE?

AKA, WTF does a player and GM do in Dungeon World that is so marvelously different than what goes on in traditional RPGs?

I found FATE to be too metagamey for my own taste.  Dungeon World is much different than D&D, despite what the people in this thread say.  Dungeon World emphasizes how the PCs react to danger and treats in-combat and out-of-combat the same.  Whereas D&D is very much based on hard numbers (AC, percentile charts, THAC0, save DCs, and so forth), Dungeon World is not.  I'll give an example.

DM: As you are exploring the room, you hear the door behind you crack and splinter.  A mighty ogre bursts through, driven to a furious hunger by the scent of fresh meat.  
Fighter: I'm going to draw my sword and stand between the ogre and everyone else.  "Come get some, you ugly brute!"
DM: Wait, you can't act yet.  We have to roll for initiative.

*break in scene to determine initiative order*

DM: The ogre gets to act first because he's surprised you.  The ogre is famished, so he rushes over to the closest target--that's you, Wizard.
Wizard: Can I run away from him?
DM: No, he gets to act before you.  The ogre rolls a 15.
Wizard: Can I dodge it?
DM: No, it hits your AC and does 12 points of damage.
Fighter: Can I block the attack with my shield?
DM: No, it's not your turn.

Here's how the scenario would play out in Dungeon World.

DM: As you are exploring the room, you hear the door behind you crack and splinter.  A mighty ogre bursts through, driven to a furious hunger by the scent of fresh meat.  
Fighter: I'm going to draw my sword and stand between the ogre and everyone else.  "Come get some, you ugly brute!"
DM: The ogre is famished, and he has the jump on you.  He's heading straight for the closest person--that's Wizard.  How are you going to make it in time?
Fighter: Simple, I'm faster than that ugly brute.
DM: We'll see.  Roll +Dex.
Fighter: 12+, so I make it in time.
DM: Okay, you make it over, but the ogre is swinging his club down.  You can try to block it, if you want.  Roll +Con.
Fighter: I rolled an 8, so I get 1 hold.  I'm going to spend it to redirect the attack to myself.
DM: Okay, the ogre does 12 points of damage to you.
Wizard: While the fighter's doing that, I'm going to run back to cast a spell.

And so on.  It's a much more natural flow to the game.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 10:43:12 PM by Archangel Fascist »

silva

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2013, 10:49:29 PM »
Nice example, Archangel.

Traditional simulation-based mechanics tend to abort the fiction when they enter play. DW/AW mechanics dont do that. On the contrary, they tend to provoke/stimulate fiction even more.

amacris

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Dungeon World has greatly changed how I view mechanics in RPGs.
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2013, 10:51:38 PM »
I have not played Dungeon World, so I do not know whether your example is representative of the best that the game has to offer.

All I can say is that I didn't see anything in that scenario that couldn't be emulated by a D&D-like game. By hand-waving the Surprise roll and Initiative roll, you've handwaved away the mechanism by which these games emulate the process you're describing.

I'll use ACKS as an example, since that's my own game. Here's how the scenario would play out in ACKS.

DM: As you are exploring the room, you hear the door behind you crack and splinter. A mighty ogre bursts through, driven to a furious hunger by the scent of fresh meat. Everyone make a Surprise roll on 1d6. on a 1-2 you're surprised.

Thief: I rolled a 1. Surprised.

Wizard: I rolled a 4. Not surprised.

Fighter: I rolled a 2, but I have +1 on surprise rolls so I'm not surprised. I'm going to draw my sword and start moving between the ogre and everyone else. "Come get some, you ugly brute!"

DM: The Ogre sees you draw your sword, but he's famished, and he's heading straight for the closest person--that's Wizard. Let's roll initiative. Thief, you're surprised this round so don't roll.

Wizard: I'm going to cast a spell. But I only rolled a 2. Damn.

Fighter: I rolled a 6.

DM:  (Rolls and gets a 4 for the Ogre). Okay, Fighter, you're first. What do you do?

Fighter: I run over and attack the Ogre. I rolled an 8, so I miss. But since I've engaged the Ogre, he can't get to the Wizard.

DM: That's right. He'll attack you. (Rolls for the Ogre's attack.) The ogre does 12 points of damage to you. You're reeling from the blow. Wizard, you're up.

Wizard: My spell goes off...
****

I've heard good things about DW from people I trust, so I'm sure there's something to the system, but your example set up a D&D straw man and didn't illustrate what makes the game great.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 10:52:10 PM by amacris »