A Sundered World: Race Moves

Dungeon World was originally intended to evoke the feel of earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons, which is why when you pick a class you choose a move from one of a few races (and by default paladins can only be human). While I like the simplicity I dislike that by default you only get one choice, both in terms what you can choose from and how many such choices you get to make.

Rather than try to complicate things, like having race add more at the start and/or down the line, our current approach with A Sundered World is to treat races in a similar fashion to compendium classes: when you create a character you choose a race and a move associated with that race, and when you level up you can continue to choose more moves.

This way you have the same number of things that you can do, but you also have more control over what you can do and how much your race impacts your character. Some moves will have move and/or level requirements like, for example, a dwarf move that makes you deal more damage with a hammer and add the Forceful tag to your attacks, a cthon move that lets you shoot lightning bolts, or a tiefling move that lets you animate chains and strangle people.

With that said, here is an initial peek at four races: the dwarf, elf, bladeling, and deva (names subject to change).

Dwarves are one of the few races to exist prior to the Sundering, crafted by a dwarf god during the Dawn War. Though most perished, a handful have managed to survive for untold millenia. As they age they gradually turn to stone, and eventually start to go dormant for longer and longer periods of time.

[   ] Cast-Iron Stomach: When you try to resist the effects of poison take +1 forward, and a miss counts as a 7-9.
[   ] Dwarven Soldier: When you attack with a hammer or axe and roll a 12+, deal +1d6 damage.
[   ] Stoneskin: Your skin is hard like stone. Gain +1 Armor.

Like dwarves, elves existed before the Sundering, though each claims that they came first. As the world was torn apart they evacuated to the moon, which now drifts through the Astral Sea. The Summer and Winter courts maintain an uneasy alliance against the formorians, whom also managed to escape and dwell within the moon's bowels.

[   ] Camouflage: When you try to hide in natural terrain, a miss counts as a 7-9.
[   ] Elven Soldier: When you attack with a sword or bow and roll a 12+, deal +1d6 damage.
[   ] Fleet-Footed: You move a good deal faster than a human, and are not slowed down by natural terrain.

Similar to cthon, bladelings were crafted by the primordial Khaltokles. The original bladelings were resplendent beings wrought of an incredibly durable golden material; now they look much cruder, forged from numerous plates of imperfectly-assembled, beaten iron.

[   ] Hedgehog: You have numerous sharp protrusions. When an enemy grabs you, or attacks you with an attack that has a range of Hand or Close and you defy danger with a 10+, deal your damage to it.
[   ] Iron Claws: Your hands are lethal weapons. You can deal damage even when unarmed, and when you hack and slash with at least one free hand you deal +1 damage.
[   ] Living Weapon: When you tear a shard of metal from your body, take 1d4 damage and gain a dagger.

Even though they are the weakest—and most human-like—of angels, devas still embody a divine aspect of the god they once served. Choose the domain that you represent:

[   ] War: When you start a fight, take +1 forward.
[   ] Death: When someone takes their Last Breath near you, they take +1 forward.
[   ] Knowledge: When you spout lore, take +1 forward.
[   ] Protection: When you defend someone from harm, take +1 forward and +1 Armor.
[   ] Sun: When you heal someone, they regain 1d4 hit points.

Depending on how many moves a race has, it could be pretty simple to attach hit points, starting gear, and bonds to just play that race as a class. What do you think? Is this a good idea? Do you like them? Are they too good/bad?


  1. Any chance of you can made moves for another D&D 4th races, like the Dragonborn, Eladrin or Goliath?

  2. Dragonborn and eladrin, yes. Goliaths...mebbe. It depends on if I can cook up enough interesting things for them that do not tread on the cthon, which are iconically earth-like.

    Once more Sundered World stuff gets done (whether or not it goes to Kickstarter), I'll start asking if people want to pitch more stuff to add to the mix.

    Is there anything you would want to see, race or otherwise?

  3. For races, Tiefling, Warforged, so we can have all the D&D 4th iconic races in DW. I know, they exist in D&D 3.X, but they have a really good background in 4th.

    For class, Monk, Warlord and Swordmage, they need more love, hell, i love my Lazylord.

    And some way to choice my race whatever my class i choice.

    Thanks for the attention, and sorry for my poor english, its not my first language.

  4. Tiefling is definitely in, warforged will at least be able to be represented by bladelings and possibly even chton.

    Working on warlord (or some kind of captain-ish class) and some kind of sword-and-sorcery class.

    That is the idea: you pick a class, pick a race, and then pick a race move that appeals to you.

  5. *facepalm* I have to stop posting so late in the night, duh.

  6. Ha, it is totally fine! Glad to see that someone finds this stuff interesting. :-)


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