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DungeonWorld is an Apocalypse World hack that attempts to recreate the experience of RedBox D&D rather than literally recreating the rules. A lot of people also use it to get a fantasy AW experience.

It is my general opinion that DungeonWorld is a broken system. It is stuck between the driving, abstract mechanics of Apocalypse World and the tactical grit and chance of RedBox D&D.

There are times when it plays great: you're defying danger, stacking your moves to build rising momentum, your Alignment and bonds are shaping the way you respond to the game. The system makes it easy to use all manner of OSR and original D&D modules and adventures. You have the nostalgia of the old with the game mechanics of the new.

Then you realise that basically it all comes down to the judgement of the MC, just like roleplaying games used to be. I can take the initiative with my moves but I can't really drive the game forward. The Bonds and Alignment doesn't give the reinforcement that the Monsterhearts experience marking system of  does.

DungeonWorld is hugely popular and I suspect it is because it is one of those gateway games that successfully straddles the storytelling/new wave design and traditional roleplaying divide. However for people with a strong preference on either side of the divide it doesn't really work.

Subpages (1): DungeonWorld is broken