Dungeon World at Gen Con 2011
After a year of PDFs and incremental releases, Sage Kobold Productions will proudly have the Dungeon World Basic Game on sale at GenCon through Indie Press Revolution (IPR, booth 413) for $15. It’s a striking red book featuring four classes playable to level 5, all the rules, equipment, and an included adventure. The cover is by Edwin Huang, artist of the wonderful Skullkickers comic.
The included adventure is really something special. It’s the first time we’ve tried to write a module for DW and it’s pretty great. It features a wonderful new map by Tony Dowler and an awesome contribution from none other than Jason Morningstar, designer of Fiasco and many other great games.
If you’ve been following me over the years, you know that normally I would never tell you to check out a pay-for “preview edition” (or playtest edition, or ashcan) of a game. They’re usually unplaytested, unfinished crap that someone’s trying to get out early so they can claim some indie cred. But I’ve been watching the game & the twitter streams about it for the last year, and it’s clear to me that Sage & Adam have actually Done The Work. So I’m likening it more to incremental products like the Dragon Age RPG box sets from Green Ronin, which I think is a pretty neat model.
I’m showing some love to Dungeon World because they’ve take ideas from the old school revival and from Apocalypse World, and have made it their own. It’s like a sweet little idea baby from an odd but loving marriage. I hear they’re doing interesting stuff with layout, which excites the fuck out of me because I’m looking at doing similar with Mythender. And they ended up inspiring a fix for a problem I had in Mythender — Bonds came directly from Dungeon World (though they do things differently in terms of mechanics, the language around the idea solved a lot of stuff). And Sage tweeted about having an editor, so yay!
Granted, that doesn’t say shit about the game play. And I haven’t had a chance to play it myself — every time I’m at a con where a game’s happening, the fucker fills up fast. But I got to hear an entire group be Excited As All Hell at the May #BarCon in LA. Colin Jessup ran the hell out of Dungeon World down there, and all of his players came back with that sort of high you get from an exciting, phenomenal play experience. Them raving about it makes me want to play Dungeon World. Maybe at Gen con.
It’s a sweet, sweet idea baby. Go check it out. Flip through it. Play it at Games on Demand. And if it look like it’s up your alley, like it’s worth your $15, buy it & take it home for your group to play.
 Which I did when I participated in the Ashcan Front, and which is what the ashcan model in 2007-2008 felt like. It was a place where several people wanted spotlight without Doing The Work, which was a shame.
 Which mortals call Gamex.