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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Transitioning from AD&D to Dungeon World, sounds big right? Right?

Out with one in with another:

So last night after a quick game on roll 20 the group I game with decided that it would be fun to convert their characters from my long standing campaign over to Dungeon World.

So what does this mean for my relationship with AD&D 2nd edition?
I think it's pretty much over.
Breaking up is hard I know.. It's not you it's me... I'll pay for a cab.

Over course of time my campaign has been run in,
BX D&D (red box)
Rules compendium D&D
Advanced D&D
Second edition AD&D
Third edition D&D
Phase Abandon (home brew)
I might be forgetting something , but lets face it one more game system wont make a difference.

I have nothing against the various flavors of D&D. I still have this pipe dream to return to basic D&D at some point. I would love taking the Basic D&D rules compendium that's slowly turning yellow in my attic for one final spin. Though I think the chance of that happening is shrinking fast at this point.

so why change? As a group though I think there was a kind of unspoken simmering dissatisfaction with the AD&D2nd system. I could be projecting here it could be my simmering dissatisfaction that's flying around, but regardless I sense it. The feeling I get sometimes from playing  the second edition game is kind of like when I suggested we play the  old deluxe Car Wars for a few sessions. I posted an intro video and  the reaction was something akin to showing the drivers of a 2014 Audi a model T-Ford. "You have to crank it? You have to do all that just to go buy milk?"

I think for our style of play, we have started looking for a system that's less fiddly. Sometimes we go a session and a half with out ever rolling a die, so 90% of what AD&D offers is left just sitting on the character sheets moldering. 

 I'm not a flavor of the month guy  I started this campaign world in Jr high school on My friend Fred's couch, that's about 27 yeas ago? something like that, usually we pick a system and run it for a while. I strongly believe Apocalypse World and  Dungeon World are the current hackers flavor of choice. Kind of like Fate has been over the  past few years, have an idea? Use Apocalypse World it will be great!  It's like tatted up D&D with a beard, some big sunglasses, and a can of Pabst.

What I do find interesting is this, We talked about Dungeon World for a while one night on skype. Neal offered to run a game, the “slave pits” of somebody. We played one game and Jay said “I love this game,” and “This is my new favorite character.” That's pretty strong stuff from one game. There must be something there that matches how the guys like to play.

I think it's the functionality of the basic moves and how they an be implemented creatively. For example It's not I'm just "defying danger," but The gm is asking me how I'm defying danger and what I say might make a difference. That's good. It matches up nicely with my long standing habit of giving mechanical bonuses based on creative things the players tell me they are doing. It codifies a big part of how we already play.

A dead simple die mechanic also helps.

Abilities and  effectiveness being ore about who your character is and less about what they have is also something I think appeals to the group.

As a GM the only thing it means to me is that my 2nd ed books go back in the box, and I should invest in some Dungeon World materials beyond the main PDF.

Every body Is going to remake their 6th level AD&D characters as brand new fresh dungeon World characters.
The only character who might cause an issue would be Johann the gnome Bard, but Neal assures me there is something out there on the inter-webs that he can use to cob together a gnome.

But wait! The group is already level six how can you expect them to go back to the beginning with a new system?

Dungeon World puts a strong emphasis on characters being awesome right out of the box. After examining the starting character moves, Willhelm the first level Dwarf fighter is pretty much as effective as a first level dungeon world character as he was as a 6th level AD&D 2nd ed character.

The only real loss they will feel is the dropping back in hit points. Which I will have to adjust for as the GM. I will just have to adjust what they fight accordingly, and you know, read more dungeon world.

The current story arcs, have Johan researching the legends of the norther lands. Wilhelm looking to go to the ruined city of Careth to suss out information about the thieves guild who were apparently behind the cutting off of his hand. Finally the Master our Druid, looking to restore the lay lines by collecting magic infused stones and placing them in ancient druid groves. There is a side line about a strange cult leader named Vorul who is looking to get his hands on a key that The master has which has been back burned while Vorul plots quietly. There is other stuff going on but the players read this blog sometimes, loose lips sink ships and all that.

That's quite a bit to adjust and track, but it's not a lot to adjust statistically. For the story I just keep using my notes and carry on.

In short a transition to Dungeon World or anything else for that matter is just a book keeping exercise, story wise the change is negligible.

I will be posting from time to time on this blog how the transition goes. I have a pretty good feeling about it.

Thank you for reading.
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