A compendium class is a class only available to higher level characters who meet specific requirements. They’re called compendium classes because they first appeared in the Compendiums for Dungeon World Basic. A compendium class is the way to go for a concept that can be layered onto multiple other classes.
The basic structure of a compendium class is to have a starting move that is available only to characters who have had a certain experience, like this:
When you enter the bodily presence of a god or their avatar the next time you gain a level you can choose this move instead of a move from your class:
Divine Bond When you write a new bond, instead of using the name of another character you can use the name of a deity you’ve had contact with. Anytime a bond with a deity applies to the current situation you can mark it off (as if it was resolved) to call on the deity’s favor in a clear and decisive way that the GM describes. At the end of the session you then replace the marked off bond with a new one, with a deity or player character.
Note that the move is only available after the character has done a specific thing, and even then only at their next level. Compendium classes are best when they rely on what the character has done, not stat prerequisites or anything that happens without the player’s action. A compendium class that is available to anyone who just gained 5th level doesn’t stand for much; one that only applies if you’ve been to Death’s Black Gates and lived to tell the tale is more interesting.
A compendium class also usually has 2–3 moves that can be taken only if the starting move is taken. These are just like normal class moves, just with the requirement that you have to have already taken the starting compendium class move.
Compendium classes are ideal for concepts that don’t quite inspire a full class. If you can’t think of what the class looks like or how much HP it has, or if the class overlaps with existing classes, it’s probably better as a compendium class.
- see Compendium Class List