Thursday, June 7, 2012

Things I Love About Dungeon World: Spouting Lore

Dungeon World Cover Art - Pencils and inks by Edwin Huang, color by Mike Luckas

Dungeon World is being Kickstarted! I've been thrilled to be involved with this project from it's very earliest inception.

Something I love about Dungeon World is how spouting lore works. When your character observes something interesting in the game, and they want to know more, they can spout lore. To spout lore you roll 2d6 and add your INT bonus to the roll. On a 10+, the DM tells you something interesting and useful about the thing you're observing. On a 7-9, they tell you something interesting, but it's up to you to make it useful. On a 6-, the DM does whatever they thing is appropriate. This might mean activating the downside of a cursed magical item, providing ominous hints of looming threats, or whatever.

What I love about this as a DM is that whenever characters spout lore, I'm invited to make up cool shit about my game universe. And the best part is, on a 7-9, I don't have to give a care whether it's useful to the characters. I can just make stuff up. For example, in our current DW game, Magnus the Wizard loves arcane lore. In fact, she gets XP every session where she uncovers it. The party has just killed the nefarious Rat King and chased off it's Ilithid adviser. Magnus wonders how it is that the Rat King sits on an ancient stone throne made of eldritch stone far too large to have been brought into the room from outside. Magnus rolls a 7. So I tell her that she has heard of this throne. In fact, a long dead god sat on this throne when the world was new, before the mountain was raised over the Mine of Khunmar. In a campaign with Ilithids and the growing rumor of Githyanki, I think a dead god makes a pretty good seed for further coolness.

The other thing I love about this is that it's no different from what I normally do as a DM. I make up cool stuff. The DW rules just tell me when and where it's appropriate to do. They give the players something obvious to do in character when they want some lore to be spouted. Good times.

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Blogger Jamie said...

When I played DW I was disappointed by spouting lore - I had played so many games with 'players get to narrate' for that kind of thing that it kind of chafed. 'What do you mean I'm not the one who spouts the lore?!' I wonder if a different name for the move would have made it all better 'uncover lore' or something like that...
Anyhow, still backed DW. Sage & Adam deserve a little something something for all their hard work!

June 7, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Blogger Chris Bennett said...

I really love Spout Lore as well. It's really helped drive play in my games. In fact, this post makes me realize I need to have something similar to Traveller World:)

June 7, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

Yeah, Sage and Adam had a version of it at one point where the player spouts the lore and the DM confirms or denies. The problem is, since DW is still basically a game where the DM preps something, even if it's loosely prepped, spouting lore inevitably ended up throwing a wrench in the works.

June 7, 2012 at 10:09 AM


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