Tag Archives: aspects

Dungeon World – Bonds

Dungeon World


I have written about Distinctions in the past, ripped from Aspects of the FATE system, but Dungeon World handles the issue in a little different way. Dungeon World asks you to select a few physical traits, and then focuses specifically on the way that your character is connected to the other characters in the game. These connections are called Bonds, and as far as I’m aware, they are pretty unique to Dungeon World.  Each character can have several bonds with other characters active at once. A bond is a relationship with another character, generally based on prior sessions (although the system does recommend formats for initial character creation bonds, and recommends structures for those bonds by character class).

One of the ways you gain experience in the system is to test and resolve the bonds you have created with the rest of the group. For example, you may have a bond with another character like, “I do not trust Erik to help me when my life is on the line; I will not rely on him in dangerous situations.” Your bonds should begin with a feeling towards another character, and then end with an action you will take based upon that feeling. As you adventure, your relationships with the other characters should come into play, and change over time as your relationships with that character change in the fiction of the game.

The system actually rewards players for testing and “resolving” these bonds. At the end of a session, you formally gain experience if you have resolved a bond with another player. Resolving a bond means that the relationship has changed or grown in some meaningful way so that the current bond, as written, should be updated or removed. You gain experience and remove the bond, replacing it with a new one.

This system formalizes the personal relationships between each character, and provides a simple mechanic for encouraging those relationships to become dynamic over the course of play.


Character Distinctions

Last week I wrote about Scene Distinctions, which help to create a mechanic for interacting with the environment.  This week, I want to talk about Character Distinctions.  The FATE system calls these Aspects, and I like the idea of defining a character with an open and flexible system.  This could be a word, or a phrase, that defines the character.

Here are some examples:

Luke Skywalker

  • The Force is strong with this one, and the rest of his family
  • Farm boy turned Jedi
  • “I’m Luke Skywalker. I’m here to rescue you.”

Han Solo

  • A smuggler and a scoundrel
  • Made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
  • “What good is a reward if you ain’t around to use it?”

Continue reading

The Measure of a Man (Abilities)


One of the classic features of D&D is the set of ability scores: Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.  Part of me thinks that I can’t truly have a different game if I’m using the same set of ability scores – it’s going to be difficult to feel like I’m playing a new game, and difficult to associate a different culture to the play-style of that game, if I keep using them.  On the other hand, I don’t want to change for the sake of change if these really are the best choices – and they’ve certainly stood the test of time so far!

Continue reading