Hein (fub) wrote,

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Play to find out what happens

I was going to run a campaign using Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, using the module Hoard of the Dragon Queen" which I got for Sinterklaas last year. Then life happened and I had to postpone my plans for a bit. Since then, I have started playing in the Dungeon World PbV that I wrote about earlier. We have been playing most Sundays, and I really like how the game has been developing. I have also started (again) in the Dungeon World rulebook now that I have some experience with the rules in actual play.

One of the main rules of Dungeon World (and I guess every game that uses the 'Powered by the Apocalypse' system) is: "Play to find out what happens". Instead of moving through a pre-determined set of events, you leave the resolution (and escalation) of dangers up to the characters' actions. And then I thought about those adventure paths that we played in Pathfinder and the set-up of the module that I was going to play -- and that all seemed kinda 'flat'. It is definately not "play to find out what happens"!
I play RPGs because I want to portray an awesome character whose awesome adventures have an impact on the game world. And with those modules which are actually just a trip along several set pieces, that is lacking. Take the Hoard of the Dragon Queen module. In it, the players go on a journey from place to place, pursuing a treasure that will go to a central collection point. Along the way, they get to various places where various factions are doing their various things that they have to deal with. For the scenario, it is a necessity that the players are always one step behind the bad guys. If they catch up with the treasure caravan before the end of the module, that's the end of the adventure right there. Instead of being awesome, the characters have to be dumbed down and made ineffective. They don't have the initiative, they're just running after somebody else.

So now I'm not so sure I want to play through this module. But I'm not so sure I can get this group to go for a Dungeon World campaign. And: can I run DW effectively? I had the same 'wow'-feeling when I was reading through the Fate Core rules, but I never really got that off the ground...
Tags: rpg

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