Whenever there is a question in the narrative regarding "what happens next" when a character wants to take an action, it is time for their player to make a move. This might be a basic move , a class-based move , or a special move. Most player moves are triggered when a character's intended action has a reasonable chance at both success and failure and is significant to the flow of the fiction.
Dicing Your Moves
Most player moves include the phrase roll+x where x is one of the character's ability modifiers. Unless the move says otherwise, players always roll two six-sided dice and then add/subtract the ability modifier and any other modifiers (weapons, spell effects). The total bonus-penalty range is +3 to -3; no roll should have a numerical modifier higher or lower than that. These are The Basic Outcomes
A result of 10+ is considered the best outcome. They are uncommon.
A total of 7-9 is a success that brings some form of compromise or cost. They are the most common result.
When the result is 6 or lower, the character doesn't automatically fail but some form of unexpected trouble is about to be unleashed in the form of a GM Move. The player gets to mark 1 XP on their sheet.
Some moves include one of the following mechanic:
- +N Foward- add +N to your next move (not damage) roll result which might be any or apply to a specific move (like +1 forward to hack and slash). The +3 modifier cap still applies.
- +N Hold- allows you to make N choices later on by hold. Hold must be spent on move that generated it; hold from defend can't be used on trap expert or vice versa, for example
- +N Ongoing- take +N to all move rolls (not damage) roll result until the condition specified takes place.
Damage Rolls vs. Moves
Damage that a character causes or takes is an aspect of a move, not a move within itself. in classic Dungeon World, the GM never rolls a die: if an NPC is granted an attack at an adventurer (usually as the result of a 7-9 or 6- roll), that character's player will be asked to roll for the damage they receive.
Moves & Equipment
In Dungeon World, the function of a character's equipment or gear is to establish what kind of moves they can make. Hack & Slash for example generally requires a weapon better than a bare-knuckle punch to trigger it when the target has armor or other defenses. Volley cannot be triggered unless the character has a ranged weapon to fire or throw. A character with a rope may be able to climb up or down a cliffside without triggering a Defy Danger move the same way as a character without one.
Requires & Replaces Tags
Some moves that are gained at higher levels depend on other moves. If an advanced move is tagged with Requires [blank] then you must acquire [blank] first. If an advanced move is tagged with Replaces [blank] then you must not only possess [blank] but remove it from your Moves list entirely and replace it with the new move that you are acquiring. Usually it includes all the benefits of the original and adds at least one additional one.
The GM never rolls a dice. However, when a player rolls 6- during their own move or otherwise provides a golden opportunity? The GM responds with a move of their own .