Ann Arbor Game Day
Elevator Pitch: Dungeons & Dragons by way of Apocalypse World.
Core Resolution Mechanic: 2d6+sta modifier; 10+ succeeds perfectly, 7-9 succeeds with a cost, 6- fails.
Dice used: 2d6 + standard polyhedral set.
It’s a hard life, being an adventurer. Threats exist around every corner, be they the consequence of ancient ills or mad wizard’s experiments. Only the bravest of souls explore the dark places where they lie: the noble Paladins, enigmatic Wizards, or any of the other classic fantasy types. But sometimes that bravery can be rewarded, and the threats you defeat just might save the world.
Dungeon World is set in a collaboratively created version of the classic fantasy worlds of yore; your choices of moves, bonds, and stories combine to define elements of the world, and its tone, from hardscrabble muderhobos making due in a world that’s hilariously out to get them, to heroes battling to the last breath against demonic invaders, it’s the impulse to adventure and explore that ultimately drives the story you’ll create forward.
Dungeon World is an adaptation of the system behind Apocalypse World to the tropes of fantasy fiction. As such it centers on fiction-first moves: players describe actions, and when appropriate the GM tells them to roll dice, either assigning the action to the common moves available to all players (such as Hack and Slash or Defy Danger), their own personal class moves, or special GM moves. It lacks many of the structures of more familiar fantasy RPGs; instead of initiative, for instance, the events simply flow appropriately to the story being told, and monsters don’t roll their own attacks; when a PC suffers an attack, it’s always a consequence of own decisions or a side effect of one of her own rolls.
Most moves which use dice resolution (other than taking damage) use a 2d6 + stat system, with a 10+ being a dramatic success, 7-9 succeeding with some sort of a cost or complication, or a 6- being a failure; on a Hack and Slash roll, for instance, 6- fails and probably exposes you to a monster attack, 7-9 lets you deal damage, but you suffer an attack in return, and a 10+ lets you deal damage and avoid the attack, but also gives you the option of suffering the attack in exchange for more damage. Failed rolls, however, always generate 1 xp for the character in question.
Characters are generated by selecting a playbook representing their classes and assigning an array of stats (or rolling them randomly!), which in turn define their general modifiers to actions. Class playbooks contain their own moves (and spells, for classes with the Cast a Spell move) as well as decision points like race and alignment, each of which gives you a unique move for that combination.
Adventures on Dungeon Planet (Dungeon Planet supplement)
Dungeon Planet is an add-on for Dungeon World that modifies the game for the Planetary Romance/Science Fantasy genre; it adds different racial options for some of the classes and replaces others entirely (the cleric is replaced by the technician, for instance). This particular adventure will see the party investigating a crashed space-ship on the world they’re on, searching for the secrets of its origin.
Getting the Game
The Dungeon World homepage has links you can use to get either the PDF version or the PDF + Print book.