Dungeon World is eight years old now. Its flaws are naked, visible, throbbing. My views on it are very mixed — it’s a good system for largely-improvised high-energy adventure, but there are many things (from the plethora of move triggers to the bland nature of its presentation) that drive me to hot madness. It needs work.
Mechanically, I have worked on understanding it:
Meanwhile, several others have worked to actually improve it. In particular Jeremy Strandberg cannot cease from this labour:
- “Hack and Slash” always had problems, from the day it was born until the day Strandberg killed it. I’ve used his version, and it is better.
- “Parley” was always a bad move. Strandberg has fixed it. Probably. Not sure about the on-another-PC version, but that’s always difficult.
- Thirdly, and more importantly than anything else that was ever done, Strandberg has written in words how you should and must GM dungeon world.
Strandberg has covered various other moves in what look like good ways. Read his whole blog. Put those things down. Read it now. He is your god now.
Finally, see John Harper’s classic article on “Crossing the line”. It’s written for Apocalypse World, but it is True and Correct about Dungeon World, too. And it’s not in Dungeon World’s text.
Caveat on that — you can cross the line and survive. You can make a habit of crossing the line, and your game might still be viable. You might have a good time, and your group might eventually move to Scotland and found a successful anarchist commune. However, crossing the line upsets many people, especially when it’s a sudden jarring insertion into a line-respecting game. Look at the player in Harper’s second example. Imagine their face.