Monday, July 30, 2018

Homebrew World

Homebrew World is the working title for my mini-hack of Dungeon World, optimized for one-shots and short-term campaigns.

Playbooks from my first time running this
You can find the most current print version right here:

Current print version

And here's the version for online play, using Google Sheets:

Current online version

So what's different?
  • Most +1/-1 modifiers are replaced with advantage/disadvantage (roll an extra die, discard the lowest/highest).
  • Parley is completely different; it’s as much an info-gathering move as it is a “convince them” move. Also: works on PCs.
  • Aid and Interfere are rewritten as well. Aid is now “grant advantage but with risk” and Interfere is its own thing.
  • Less dramatic rewrites of Hack and Slash, Defend, and Defy Danger
  • Expendables (rations, bandages, etc.) are condensed into “Supplies.” Adventuring gear is now a combo of undefined "load" and expending Supplies. Ammo is tracked as a "status" on weapons/equipment. Shields give a bonus to Defend.
  • Most “Special” moves are gone. Undertake a Perilous Journey is replaced with Venture Forth. I’ve included a couple of my favorite custom moves for speeding up play.
  • There are only 3 debilities, and each affects two stats. But they’re easier to clear.
  • XP and leveling are different, because this is meant for one-shots or short-term play. You get XP on a miss or when you Make Camp (instead of at end of session). An advance costs only 5 XP. You can burn XP to give yourself a +1 on a roll you just made.
  • No more “big number” on stats, just the modifier. Likewise, HP is now a set number per class.
  • “Race” is just part of your look. But everyone has a choice of Backgrounds, which replace the “race” moves and that give you a series of bond-like questions to use during intros.
  • Drives instead of Alignments; same mechanic but less baggage.
  • Many changes (some small, some big) within the classes themselves. 
    • There are two versions of the Fighter: one that's all skill and steel and guts, and the other (the Wielder) that's all about their special weapon. 

If I was going to be in charge of DW 2.0, this is a lot of what it would look like. 

Homebrew World was largely inspired by Yochai Gal's One Shot World (which you should totally look at, too; it's free, closer to "core" DW, and the materials he includes for GM support are great.)  It also owes a debt to Peter J, whose Dungeon World Quick Start Pack (no longer available) first got me thinking about this sort of thing.

If you have questions about Homebrew World, let me know in the comments, via Google Hangouts, or by email (jack underscore blackfoot at the yahoo company).  Likewise, if you play Homebrew World, I'd love to hear about it!


  1. someone who usually ends up playing a smashy-smashy fighter-style character in RPGs, I appreciate that one of the name options for the fighter is Hob <3

    Super cool! If I can't find an extant group to squeeze into I might try to use this as a gateway drug to form one.

  2. This is amazing! I love your work. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  3. This is amazing.
    It fixes so many small nags I have about DW

    1. Glad you like it! Let me know if you play it, or if you have any questions for feedback.

    2. What's your recommended player count? (min and max)

    3. TL;DR: recommended for 3-4; can work with 2 or 5; not recommended for 6+.

      Detailed answer:
      3 players seems to be the perfect number. That's enough players to form interesting triangles, and enough different points of view to get some really unexpected, creative angles on things. But it's a small enough group that you can spin up quickly and easily manage the spotlight, keeping everyone involved. I find I can get a lot of plot covered quickly with 3 players.

      4 players works well, but it's more work and moves less quickly.

      2 players would be my minimum, and I think it would work fine with the right players and GM. Even then, you'll find that the Background questions work poorly with 2 players... asking "Which of you put this job together" when there's only 1 other player doesn't work. You'd have to change the discussion to be more like "which of these questions makes the most sense?"

      As for maximum: I think it'd be the same as standard Dungeon World: it starts to strain with 5 players, and gets downright hard to manage with 6 but a skilled GM can do it. 7+ is really, really hard and the game will suffer for it even if you manage to pull it off.

  4. This looks great! I've used One Shot World twice now to great success with newbies at Cons. I'll try your version next since I love your rewording of some of the basic moves like Defend.

  5. Love the changes to Parley especially! I have a few questions though:
    What do you think about adding the options of AW Read a Person to the discern realities list? Like "What is you character really feeling?" That kind of thing.
    Also, Advantage shakes out to about a +2 bonus, I think. Does the Aid move not make a lot of tasks too easy? And when does the GM award advantage outside of the aid move?
    Again, great stuff!

    1. Hi Rotwichtel, glad you like it!

      I've never found much general need for the Read a Person questions above and beyond the Discern Realities questions. A lot of Read a Person questions map easily to the Discern Realities ones ("Are you lying?" >> "What isn't what it appears to be?") and the others usually *can* fall under the other questions if you think about why you want to know. "What is your character really feeling?" Well, why are you asking? Are you looking for an angle to get leverage over them? Ask, "what is useful or valuable to me?" Do you suspect that they're hiding something? "What isn't what it appears to be?" Do you suspect that they're about to lose their temper or do something stupid? "What is about to happen?" Etc.

      For the stuff that *doesn't* map easily, I think a combination of being generous with the truth ("he's clearly distraught, keeps wringing his hands and staring at nothing, rocking back and forth") and using the Parley move to reveal what's required handles a lot of it.

      I don't think it'd break the game at all if you added those questions back in. It'd undercut the Paladin's "Windows to the Soul" advanced move, but you could replace the first two questions with something else. The biggest worry I'd have is that the Discern Realities list becomes too long to quickly parse in play.

    2. Re: advantage. It's between a +2 and +1.5 bonus, depending on your starting modifier. It's closer to +2 when you start with +0, but it gets less pronounced as your base modifier grows. (The change in an average result is +1.46, but what you care about is how it changes the distribution of of 6-/7-9/10+ results, compared to a +1 or +2 bonus. And that's... not straightforward to calculate.)

      Anyhow... yeah, it's a big difference and it *can* make some moves feel very easy or safe. The only times I've found that to feel wonky is with some of the more exploratory moves. Like, Aiding someone when they Discern Realities to search a room is a pretty solid bet, because with advantage, your odds of a 7+ are really good and there's not a lot of inherent risk that you're sharing.

      But while that feels a little off-putting at first ("they're getting away with something!"), in my experience, it just tends to push the adventure forward more quickly. Like, yeah, they get a 7+. Cool, they can ask their question and get an answer and that opens a new path for the adventure.

      It's similar with Aid on Spout Lore and Parley. A high probably of success on a Spout Lore means it's more likely that I'll need to flesh out the world, give them a new option, or give them information to help choose which option to take. None of these are *bad*. And with the revised Parley, it's not that they're necessarily going to steamroll an NPC into doing what they want just because they're playing good cop/bad cop... it's more likely that I'll have to *reveal how they could get the NPC to go along with them*. They still have to act on that, and the answer isn't always easy or something they want to do.

      So, a lot of words to say "hasn't really been a problem, and in fact, easy access to advantage via Aid often helps move the adventure forward."

      In action scenes, the PCs are often all tied up with doing their own things, so it becomes much less likely that they'll choose to Aid each other. Even when they do, the consequences of a 7-9 are usually much more significant, so getting involved has more of a bite to it.

      As for "when does the GM award advantage outside of the aid move?" Generally, they don't! Like in standard DW, the GM isn't usually handing out +1 or -1 modifiers to players' rolls. Same thing here. PC moves (like Discern Realities or the Thief's "Move Silently, Hide in Shadows" move) might grant advantage, but it's not really the GM's job to hand it out. Usually, if I find myself thinking "I'll give them advantage," I stop and think about whether the move is actually being triggered or if they just "do the thing." And if the move *is* being triggered, I'm more likely to adjust the range of outcomes than I am to just toss the PCs a numerical advantage. E.g. if the Fighter has a spear and attacks the goblin who has a rusty knife, that might just be deal damage. Or if I think that it *is* H&S, I'd just tone-down the goblin's counter-attack on a 7-9 from a hard move to a soft move... something like "he gets inside your reach and rears back to stab you in the leg, what do you do?" Adjusting the fictional positioning is usually more rewarding than playing with the numbers.

  6. You say it's optimized for one shots or short campaign play. What would you do differently for a longer campaign?

    1. Hi Steve!

      The biggest issues you run into are:
      * advancement is too quick for ongoing play, and you run out of standard advances pretty quickly
      * the core rules don't have a good way to handle accumulation of wealth or gear, and that starts to play havoc with the gear & inventory system
      * some of the moves (especially Background moves) don't make a lot of sense without an extended bit of downtime between them, during which the PCs could replenish their resources.

      With that said, I've been running an ongoing weekly campaign using HBW since March, and wrote about how I handled it here:

      Happy to answer questions!

    2. Gotcha, the advancement part was what I was thinking would get sticky. From the reddit post, I like the idea of 5+ current # of advancements. Definitely gives me a path if my upcoming one shot becomes more than that.


  7. That's a great piece of work, thank you. I'll be starting a mini-campaign next Monday with the Homebrew World.

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  9. Fantastic hack! I love you work! I did notie a small typo—the Bard's move Heart Strings reads " swells in YOU audience's heart."
    I have to ask, would you be willing to share an editable version of the file used to make this? I'd love to try adapting some other playbooks to your hack.

    1. Thanks for the typo report! I'm *pretty* sure that I've got that fixed in my in-progress file, but updates to this game have been on the backburner so I can focus on Stonetop.

      You can find editable playbook templates here. It'll be easiest if you have access to InDesign; I've also included .eps files that you can theoretically edit with Scribus, but I've got no idea whether that's actually practical.

      If you make some new playbooks, please share! I'd love to see them.

  10. I kind of miss the Immolator playbook. Do you have any plans to adapt it in the near future? The official implementation is certainly flawed, but the idea is good, and there are solid hacks going around.

    1. No really. I'll be honest, the Immolator never *really* caught my fancy. By all means, though, feel free to make an adaptation. I've posted a link to playbook templates above. If you make something, let me know and I'll consider adding it in a future update.

    2. Thank you, I'll let you know if I manage to get anything done.

  11. Hi! I was wondering if you could help me understand the intent behind the Wielder's Accursed background move. How do you envision it playing out at the table? When it came up during our session it felt like it forced both the GM and players' hands, as well as the fiction in odd ways that we were quite sure how to handle. The 7-9 result especially felt like it called for a very specific situation to work as worded, while the trigger of the move (unsheathing the weapon) is broad enough that I'm assuming it will be rolled quite often.

    1. We just finished a 35-session-long campaign with an Accursed Wielder, so I've got plenty of specifics to share!

      The idea is actually just a twist on the Through Death's Eyes move (link below), but the player actually has *more* control over the trigger (drawing the weapon instead of just going into battle), but making it a bit more bloody.

      So, the upshot of the move is that it grants the player some narrative control on a 7+. They get to make sure that someone they want to die is gonna die (on a 10+) *or* they name a pair of characters and one dies/one lives... which might seem totally not-cool, but it actually still gives the player a lot of certainty. If they name (e.g.) Bad NPC #1 and Good NPC #2, and then they focus on killing Bad NPC #1, they've basically ensured the survival of Good NPC #2.

      In practice, though, it really was NOT a tactical boon for the player... it was mostly downside, a constraint that they had to work around. The player never complained--he saw what he was signing up for and embraced it--but that move did NOT help in the vast majority of cases. It *did* add a lot of flavor and texture to the game, though. If nothing else, the Wielder was almost always cautious about when and where he actually drew the accursed ax.

      One thing that I think is important: early on (like maybe during introductions), ask the player for details on how the ax's curse *works*. Like, how does it ensure that someone dies? In our case, the wielder said that it preferred to let him just do it naturally, and failing that it, it'd do a little nudge here and there to make the death inevitable. But if really seemed like the doomed person was going to get away, the ax would get direct and possess the wielder, or even animate itself and fly through the air and kill the person. That was pretty much perfect, as it gave me all sorts of leeway to deploy the ax in play. (1/3)

    2. Times it came up:
      The PCs caught up with the NPC who the Barbarian was chasing. Their NPC guide was around somewhere, too. Giant swamp stoats were attacking. The Wielder drew the ax to fight the stoats, got a 7-9, and named the two NPCs on the scene--the guy they were chasing and their guide. The Wielder got a 7-9 to H&S, and suffered the stoat's "blast them with a stupefying spray of musk." Meanwhile, the Barbarian has caught up to the NPC they were chasing and started questioning him (while the Thief and Ranger kept other stoats off his back). We cut back to the Wielder, who’s blinded and retching, stumbling around the battlefield. He Discerns Realities to figure out what’s going on... and misses. He hears something coming towards him out of the grass, thinks it’s a monster, and attacks! It is, of course, their guide.

      (The other NPC lived of course, despite the Ranger putting an arrow into him when the Barbarian realized that he couldn't honorably kill him.)

      Later: they’re exploring with said NPC. They get attacked by crystal constructs. The wielder draws the ax. We decide that if there are 2+ people in the scene, then they must be named. But if there's only 1 NPC, then the second “NPC” can be a monster/construct/etc. If there aren't *any* people when the ax is drawn, no roll. In this case, the wielder got a 7-9. He named the NPC and an arbitrary construct, and focused on killing that construct (successfully, so I made sure not to threaten the NPC).

      Next adventure: the PCs and a posse of NPCs are clearing a keep of demons and the sorcerer who conjured them. They get to the sorcerer, the wielder draws, gets a 7-9, and names the sorcerer and one of the posse members. There's some tension, as the sorcerer escapes the wielder via a portal and runs into the barbarian. He curses the barbarian, and but the barbarian beats him down. The barbarian promises to let him go if he lifts the curse and dismisses the demons (and this barbarian always keeps his word). But the wielder pops out of the portal and kills the sorcerer before he can keep his end of the bargain. They figure out another option to remove the curse and the GTFO because the hole place is collapsing into a hellmouth. They get out, and the wielder asks the thief "hey, what happened to Ferris?" (the NPC who was now fated to live). The thief had left him to die. So I did a little "cutscene," show him bashing the last demon, looking into the hellmouth as the dungeon starts to collapse, sighing, and stomping through it. He's still out there, somewhere in the cosmos.

      Final example: the PCs sneak into a formian hive to extract an NPC. The sneaking goes fine, the sorcerer is eager to get out, and they've even bluffed the formians into leaving. They were gonna get out of there scott-free. But when the soldiers had first approached the PC’s hiding spot, with the NPC in toe, the wielder had drawn his ax and gotten (again) a 7-9. Named the sorcerer (only person on the scene) and one of the two formians. So as the soldiers turned and left and the party started to quietly slink out, I said that the wielder accidentally knocked a pot over with his ax, and it shattered, making noise and drawing the formians' attention. A fight was now imminent. The wielder told the barbarian to get the sorcerer out of there, then charged the soldier he had named (the thief went after the other soldier). They won their fights, thus ensuring that the NPC survived the encounter. (2/3)

    3. So, I think the TL;DR version is:
      1) Establish up front how the accursed weapon goes about ensuring deaths (synchronicity? animating? possession? etc.)
      2) Talk about who or what constitutes "an NPC" and what happens when the wielder draws their weapon when there aren't any NPCs around, or if there's only one.
      3) If they trigger the move, whatever outcome it comes up with, you've now got a mandate to make that happen in the fiction. That means you sometimes get to make an extra-hard move when you'd normally just make a pretty hard move or even a soft move, or it gives you an impetus to add a twist or complication to what would have otherwise been an unmitigated success.
      4) I found that I very really didn't need to stretch things to make the accursed results come true. I just kept "X or Y will die, and other will live" (or "X will die here") in mind, and it was pretty obvious how to work that into my moves.

      Oh, and also: make a point of putting NPCs into party or the situation with the PCs. Guides, prisoners to rescue, porters, loyal followers, non-monstrous enemies, etc. And then, be prepared for the wielder to get quite cagey about when and where they draw their weapon. (3/3)

    4. Thank you! These clarifications are both super thorough and incredibly helpful. These are *exactly* the kinds of situations and issues we were scratching our heads about. It does seem like the kind of move that can certainly put a thumb on the scale for setting the tone of a game, and likely requires *all* the players to be on board with it lest there be frustrations. I'm going to discuss things with the players before next session to establish the how and why of the way it manifests, as well as better understanding what the Wielder player is hoping to get out of this background. I think these examples are going to help us a ton in getting a handle on things.

  12. Hi Jeremy, This Friday I'll try for the first time your hack.

    I just want to drop a message of appreciation for your work. Me and my group are going to try for the first time something different from D&D and I found your Dungeon World hack better than the vanilla version.

    I love the backgrounds concept and the way how the inventory is managed.

    May I also ask if you have some links to extra supplement? let's say in case I'd like to take inspiration to expand the amount of background/classes.

    Thank you again!

    1. Hi Antonino, thanks for the comment! I hope you all enjoy the game.

      Regarding extra supplements, I haven't made anything "formal" and I haven't seen anyone publish anything formal, either.

      Razorkiss on the Dungeon World Discord has regularly shared some of her content for Homebrew World-inspired tweaks, though it can be hard to find. And there's a draft Immolator that someone posted on Reddit/r/Dungeonworld (but it was definitely a first draft).

      I've also talked somewhat at length here about expanding the game to longer-term play, and how I've done so these past few months:

  13. I have one more question on tags. Are tags just removed from Homebrew World? I see there are still some tags referenced on Weapon Specialization but I'm not sure how I should approach to them.

    1. I'll clarify my question a bit. I see that a Spear doesn't have any "piercing" tag so I wonder if it's just left to the players to decide or not.

    2. I removed most tags from weapons on Homebrew World, yeah.

      I kept tags like _messy_ and _forceful_ because they have a big impact on the fiction, and tags like _2 piercing_ because they have mechanical impact (ignoring armor). I replaced _precise_ with just describing what it does (H&S with Dex, not Str), because I wanted to eliminate "hidden" mechanics.

      I did drop the range tags because:
      a) Space is very limited, and I wanted to make it all fit
      b) The DW range tags are pretty arbitrary and imprecise anyhow
      c) I feel comfortable with players judging the fiction for themselves.

      Like, do you have a knife against an guard with a shield and spear? If we envision that fiction honestly, it's pretty clear that you have to do something to change the situation before you can launch a viable attack. I don't really need the _hand_ vs. _close_ or _reach_ tags to tell me that.

      (And FYI, standard DW has never put the _piercing_ tag on spears. The _X piercing_ tag indicates that it ignores X armor. It's not like D&D5e, where every weapon is tagged as _piercing_ or _slashing_ or _bludgeoning_. And if DW *did* do that, I still would have dropped those tags, because I trust people to figure out that, yeah, a spear stabs things and an axe slashes through them.)

  14. FYI I'm going to be playing this over Discord soon, and noticed that the free version of Adobe Reader has a 'document signing' feature. It lets you type on and add check marks to the playbook PDFs. It feels like you're writing on a paper playbook with a pen, instead of the using the Google Sheet.

  15. Is it intentional that the Druid has one less stat advance available than the other playbooks?

  16. Is this the most updated version of your work? I want to use this as the skeleton of a homebrew version, where I would add extensive spell lists and maneuvers. But I want a good base for a game that will run smoothly.

    1. It's the most current version available, and I'm unlikely to do any serious changes any time time soon. (I've got a decent-sized list of changes I'd *like* to make, but don't have the bandwidth to implement them anytime in the foreseeable future.)

      If you make something based on/inspired by HBW, please link us to it here in the comments!

  17. Hey Jeremy, I'm working on making some stuff to play homebrew world in FoundryVTT and I was wondering if you had a "raw" version (like a latex file or even a word doc or something) of the text that I could get access to in order to more easily get the data copied over to the format needed for Foundry.

    Thanks again for the cool hack!

    1. Duh, I can copy from the google sheet... ignore me

    2. Heh, I was gonna suggest copying from the Google Sheet, so, huzzah! The PDFs are all in In Design, but if that'd be helpful, let me know.

      If you get a shareable Foundry ruleset going, let me know and I'll plug it here! You can reach me via email at jack underscore blackfoot at yahoo.

  18. Hey Jeremy! I am a brand new GM, my players range from brand new to pretty new. After discovering Dungeon World and finding it very intriguing, I found Homebrew World and realized it is just about everything I wanted a role-playing game to be! I have run three sessions for my 3 players so far and we are all just loving it so much. I'm still finding my style and figuring out how I like to do things, we've had some rocky spots but Homebrew World just makes so many things easy (I especially LOVE "have what you need" and the inventory system).

    So I wanted to thank you! Homebrew World has given me the confidence to take the leap and be a GM finally and it's so exciting! I also intend to give Stonetop a shot sometime later if we come to want a fresh start.

    If you don't mind a few questions, I wonder if you've run games yourself with your Wizard class. I love the "ritual" move, my Wizard player and I are slowly growing more comfortable with it. They are coming up with fun ideas and I'm doing my best to come up with fun requirements. I wonder if you have any favorite uses of ritual that have ever come up, or any interesting ideas you ever had come up around the move. It just seems so versatile!

    And for a minor one, doesn't the sleep spell seem a bit weak? It hasn't come up yet but I know my player wants to use it!

    Once again, thank you for Homebrew World, it's so good!

    1. Hi Jamie! Thanks for sharing... it warms my heart! =)

      Regarding the sleep spell: yeah, I've adjusted to it to 2d6 HP (instead of 1d8) in my home game and update notes. There's a growing pile of tweaks that I'd like to make, but Stonetop is taking priority.

      As for Wizards and rituals... yeah, it's a super fun move. I've seen it used for all sorts of stuff, including...

      - A very simple protection ritual, where the Wizard marked a boundary around their camp site to hide the NPC they were escorting from (effectively) the Wild Hunt. I don't recall the specifics, but I remember that the player set it up well enough (and the effect was simple enough) that I just said "it'll take a few minutes" and that was that.

      - In another game, the first scene went sideways for the PCs when they were cornered by a handful of glasswraiths. They had a child-of-prophecy with them, and the kid got cut. The Pact Wizard said he wanted to work a ritual on-the-fly to create some sort of physical barrier to keep the glasswraiths at bay, using the child-of-prophecy's blood as a reagent. I honestly hadn't thought of using a ritual in the middle of the fight, but ran with it, and said that the best he could do was call up some pillars of glass and that he and his allies would risk danger from flying shards and the already present wraiths. He defied that danger and boom, big of glass crystals shot out of the earth, providing them cover.

      - Those pillars ended up not turning the tide, so the Wizard got desperate and wanted to use the child's blood again to empower his magic missiles and turn them into a forceful, sonic area attack (glasswraiths, amiright?). I told him that first he must get a substantial amount of the kid's blood (like, grab him, smear his hands... not just drops from the ground) AND that he'd need his patron's aid. So he broke the patron's token, went into a time-stopped reverie, and tried to convince the patron to help him out. It was a Parlay, and I think the patron wanted the Wizard to do something unsavory to the Paladin (I don't require what exactly), and the Wizard agreed, and FOOSH back into real time and the Wizard casts magic missile but this time it's *area* and *forceful* and dealing 2d6 damage ignoring armor, and that gives them the break they need to get out of there.

    2. The game in which I'm currently a player has a Wizard, a big pear-shaped orc professor of History with a bent for paranoia and self-importance. So whenever he casts a Ritual, he demands that "no one looks." This has led to all sorts of fun stuff.

      Rituals in this game have included:
      - the Wizard hiding under a tarp and working a divining ritual on an emerald some villagers had found, to learn more about where it came from
      - using the psychic crystal found in a crab-man corpse to sense the location and distance to the nearest crab-men
      - rescuing his grad student from having turned himself into a floating blog of sapient light
      - conjuring "THE BIG LIGHT" again to appease the radiance para-elemental whom the Druid had called up to help
      - using the nexus of like 2 or 3 lay lines and an ancient arcane laboratory to resurrect the Ranger; this involved a lesser ritual with the Cleric to restore the Ranger's crushed body to "good enough" to support life again; the Druid calling up one of the many elemental spirits the party had freed from bondage and asking it to "fetch" the Ranger's soul; the Wizard guiding the Ranger's soul back into the restored body and fusing them by sacrificing a powerful, potentially world-changing artifact they'd encountered previously.
      - working for like 7 days of continuous ritual (tagging in/out with his grad student and a couple other arcanists from the university), and sacrificing a bunch of small blood samples collected from the archaeological expedition, in order to take all the extremely-fragile books found in an ancient library and convert them into knowledge directly implanted in the Wizard's and his grad student's heads.

      There's almost certainly more that I'm forgetting!

    3. I think the biggest challenges with the Ritual move are:
      1) It doesn't give the player much to start with, because it's SOOO broad and powerful; this can lead to "blank page" paralysis, or the player just not realizing they could use a ritual to solve a problem
      2) You really need to develop a magical "system" for your world as you play, and it helps for the player and/or GM to be familiar with various ways that magic can work in fiction and folktales. Otherwise, when you ask the player "how they go about it," they're likely to draw a blank.
      3) In the hands of a very clever, imaginative player, it has the potential to be the way to solve every problem. If that starts to happen, I think that first the GM and players should talk through expectations and whether or not everyone's having fun with that. But also, if the player is leaning on Ritual for everything, I think it's fair to lean pretty hard on both the requirements and the potential consequences of working such magic.

      Anyhow, that turned into a ramble! Hope you find it useful, and glad you're enjoying the game!

  19. hallo jeremy! just getting into TTRPGs as a whole and want to introduce my friends to the same. was wondering if i need to read through and understand Dungeons World prior to going through the pages of Homebrew World. Thanks so much for making this available to play !

    1. I think the important thing is to understand the flow of what to do as the GM: how the conversation works, who's responsible for what, what a "soft GM move" is vs. a "hard GM move" and when to make each one, and how to move the spotlight around.

      You can probably get buy without reading the whole book (and it might be more confusing than not, given the slight differences between DW and HBW). Instead, maybe read these blog posts:

      My Framework for Running Dungeon World

      Running Fights in Dungeon World and Stonetop

      Discern Realities in Stonetop & Homebrew World

      Parley in Stonetop and Homebrew World

      My Recipe for Starting Adventures

      Step-by-Step: How to Write Up a Front

      I think those will cover most of what you'd get out of reading the core DW text.

      Have fun!

    2. you're lovely! thanks for the quick response:)

  20. Jeremy Strandberg, this game is incredible. I will be using it in a twitch stream and making sure to give you a shout out every episode. Thanks for making an absolutely dope story telling experience, and please dont hate me for falling in love with it and sharing it with the world. Thank you! Feel free to check us out:, fridays at 6pm PST.

  21. In the v1.5.1 PDF, pages 3-4 seem to be the same as pages 5-6. Is that deliberate?

    1. Yup, intentional. So that when you print the packet out, you've got two sets of basic/optional moves sheets to share at the table.

      Per "Printing" on page 1:

      > If you can, print the two "Basic Moves" sheets
      > (with "Optional Moves" on the back, two copies)
      > on colored paper. It's easier to find them in the
      > mess of paper at the table.

  22. Thank you, I missed that explanation. I suspected this was what was happening --- but just wanted to make sure it wasn't a glitched version where some content had been overwritten.

  23. This is awesome! Likely going to run it for my next campaign (might do Stonetop but not sure our group is organized enough to track all the village improvements haha). One question about the druid's Shapechange: "While in your borrowed form, you have its innate armor, qualities, tags, and abilities but use your own stats (you might be an ox, and strong as an ox, but you roll your STR to see how you wield that strength)." Where can we find those stats? From the Dungeon World bestiary, or do we make them from scratch using the Homebrew World quick monster stats tables? Thanks!

    1. Yeah, just use them from an existing monster write-up (if there is one), or just make them up on the fly based on your sense of the monster.

      Like, we had a Druid of the jungle who often turned into a cassowary (0 armor, messy, 1 piercing) or a hippo (2 armor, forceful, grabby, good swimmer). We didn't find stats for those monsters, we just eyeballed it from the monster creation guidelines, and what made sense based on the fiction.

    2. Ran it last night - what a blast! It was a lot of fun. In particular, the Venture Forth and Scout Ahead actions do so much heavy lifting in making exploration fun and interesting.

  24. Hi, I'm looking forward to GM this for the first time. With regards to hook questions for the Wielder, what would be some suggestions, and how would they differ from, say, a paladin's or a fighter's?

    1. I go into a lot of detail (like a lot) about hook questions here:

      I think the adventure premise (fantastic locale + grabby activity) will drive your focus questions much more than the specific playbooks. Like, if you look at the Obsidian Forests of Yend linked at the bottom of that ^^ blogpost, you'll see that the hook questions aren't really specific to a playbook.

      I might ask the more lore-related questions to the Wizard or Bard or Ranger, and the violence-related questions to a Fighter or Wielder, but not necessarily. I probably wouldn't tweak those questions that much based on the specific playbooks.

      Where I am going to ask hook questions based on the playbooks involved, I'm going to lean into the background a lot, and riff on the questions/answers the PCs asked/gave during introductions.

      So like, once I know that this isn't just the Wielder, but that they have the Accursed background, I'm going to ask questions that add friendly NPCs into the mix (to complicate their "When you unleash your weapon" move). If they asked "Which one of you knows how to lift my curse?" and got an answer, I might ask *that* PC a hook question that ties the adventure into lifting the curse. "What ingredient is said to be found in these lands, that could be used in the spell to lift the Wielder's curse?"

      By comparison, if the Wielder has the By My Own Hand, Forged background, I'll maybe ask the PC "What fabled weapon of legend does Count Badguy supposedly wield, and what power is it rumored to possess?" (playing off their background move to fold the powers of other weapons into theirs).

    2. That was a great answer, i might have been looking at hook questions a bit wrong. I will definitely look at the link and delve deeper into the subject. Thanks for finding time to answer my (kinda silly) question ;)

  25. Is it possible to get editable files (what format)? I am considering trying to translate it to polish, but it would be much easier if I get the form.

  26. Well, this is awesome. Do regular dungeon world monsters work or does anything need to be converted?

    1. I use them as-is, works just fine! The monster creation guidelines on the GM spread should end up with HP, armor, damage, tags, and moves in line with what the official DW procedure produces.