Talking about Dungeon World on Story Games feels a bit like singing to the choir. But here's an informal mini review...
We've been playing a lot of Dungeon World when no one wants to GM or prepare a game. Dungeon World
feels like playing D&D as a kid but with modern day RPG game design.
Why do I like it?
- Easy to GM.
- Feels like playing D&D when I was a kid but without the bad stuff.
- GM doesn't roll anything!
- Making characters takes 15 minutes.
- Playing is fast. Combat takes minutes, not hours.
- It's rules light.
- You can download and play the Beta rules for free.
- It feels immersive, the rules are tied to your character's action in the fiction, moment to moment.
- The PDF for the basic rules costs $5 (the expanded and print versions come out in 2012).
- The character classes really hone in on what's great about being say a Thief or a Wizard.
- Great for when I want to play an RPG without tactical components. No minis or grid maps. You spend most of the time speaking in character.
- Leveling up is fun!
- You don't need multiple supplements or books to play.
- Player Characters are pretty bad ass! A wizard doesn't cast 1 spell and then hide behind their allies fearing anything and everything!
- You earn XP for playing your Alignment.
- Classes feel unique and distinct from each other.
- There are simple rules for throwing parties after returning from triumphant adventures, rules for outstanding warrants when you return to a city where you've broken the law, rules for making camp, rules for undertaking perilous journeys, rules for looting monster lairs, and much more!
- When a wizard rolls to cast a spell, if they roll high enough, they don't forget the spell!
- Characters have Bonds / Relationships with each other. You have a reason for adventuring together.
- When you hit 0 Hit Points, roll! If you roll awesome, you are stable. If you roll ok, death offers you a bargain, take it and stabilize or refuse and die. Roll crap and you just die.
- And much more!
What don't I like about it?
- Highlighting stats tied to gaining XP works against the immersive feel of the rest of the game.
- I would prefer the option to inflict named wounds instead of reducing hit points. But hit points feels more like old school D&D.
- I would prefer if trying to convince someone to do something had a bit more back and forth. Right now you just make 1 roll to see if you convince someone. Where in a fight, you make multiple rolls.
- I would like some sort of quest / goal mechanic. I prefer games where character motivations are external. External motivations makes the GM's job much easier.
- There are few mechanics for individual traits, personalities, drives, or beliefs to diversify characters mechanically beyond their class.
Minor dislikes aside, I highly recommend Dungeon World! It's my new... don't know what to play, lets play DW!