Recently, I’ve been very interested in World of Dungeons and its various iterations. I know of World Of Dusters (right?). How many hacks of WoDu are there? Can you pass me some links? Do you know of any discussions you can share with me? Thanks!
I sure can! (Also, World of Dusters is actually unfamiliar to me - can you tell me more about that?)
There’s World of Dungeons Turbo: Breakers, written as a follow-up to WoDu by John Harper. It features modern-day average folks breaking into dungeons that have appeared in our world due to magical shenanigans. It features a built-in countdown clock that can lead to exciting race-against-time endings to your typical dungeon crawl.
John Harper also wrote World of Mutants, a pretty straightforward reskin for Gamma World-esque adventures that nonetheless serves as a good example of how easy it is to adapt WoDu to your own setting. You can be a robot! But I wish it had more rules support for mutations.
Michael Wight blogs at Gremlin Legions and has written a few interesting hacks of WoDu as well: End of the World is inspired by Apocalypse World, and is aptly named; you play people trying to survive on the cusp of the apocalypse. Kingdoms of Ooo is an adorable unofficial adaptation of the Adventure Time cartoon (a personal fave). Streets of Marienburg is an extensive reskin for Warhammer. Each of these are definitely worth looking over if you are at all interested in World of Dungeons. They are super polished and self-contained without overstaying their welcome.
Zach Wolf was inspired by Streets of Marienburg and wrote a WoDu Star Wars playset called Streets of Mos Eisley (you can imagine what it entails). It is equally polished and self-contained, a cool feature of the Streets playset styles. @RichRogers take note!
I ran 8 sessions of Zach’s World of Shadows which is inspired by earlier editions of Shadowrun. Metatypes (fantasy species) can choose to take a special ability based on their species, which I like. Nuyen -> Karma is a calculation that makes perfect sense in WoDu’s OSR context. It’s much less clunky than Shadowrun Anarchy if you’re looking for a lightweight Shadowrun game. The author has also produced an Advanced World of Shadows if you’re interested.
However, I prefer Veil 2020 (found in Codex: Chrome 2) for WoDu cyberpunk. It’s got a tasty emotions-based twist from The Veil with that single-move core I’ve come to love. I highly recommend checking it out.
There are two great WoDu inspired games that are inspired by Traveller. Catherine Ramen of Aviatrix Games took notes from Turbo for Rovers while Chris Wolf stays closer to WoDu core with Offworlders. Both feature rules for spaceships and planet generation and are absolutely worth taking a look at. Unfortunately, neither have rules for dying during character generation.
Storm Riders! is a game about 80’s action cartoons and the people who love them, written by yours truly. It was published in Codex: Joy 2, which is not yet up on DriveThru. @jasoncordova talks about it a bit in this Twitter thread. OSR is a genre all about coming up with creative solutions to in-game problems, and Storm Riders! addresses that in a unique way.
Dark Designs in Verdigris by @RichardRuane is one of my favorite treatments of World of Dungeons. It was published in Codex: Emerald. The twists on Traits and Resting are absolutely inspired, but what DDiV really benefits from is a strong emphasis on theme.
The great thing about WoDu and its hacks is that they are digestible. Most are less than 10 pages long. Therefore, if you’re interested in hacking WoDu, I would go ahead and suggest reading all of the related material you can get your hands on, since it won’t take you very long! That being said, if you’re looking for a starting framework, I would recommend turning to DDiV first. It’s a lot less generic than WoDu, of course, but that’s a Good Thing. These minimalist games really benefit from a concentrated premise and a distillation of theme, something DDiV pulls off with aplomb.
WoDu as an engine/genre is noticeably missing a superhero adaptation. It wouldn’t be ridiculously difficult to make a generic “World of Champions”, if it hasn’t been done already. But to be honest, I’m not interested in that. I want to see an interesting baked-in premise. I agree with @jasoncordova’s remark that PbtA is an okay genre simulator, but an even better sub-genre simulator. This is why DDiV is such a standout game.
I’ll page @jesseross on this one cause I remember asking that question on Slack a while ago and I got a ton of useful answers that I didn’t bookmark (urgh) and I’m pretty sure Jesse piped in (sorry if I’m misremembering it!) I think Michael covered most of the replies I got (and many more beyond that), but I feel like there’s a couple games missing. Our very own Catherine Ramen has a WoDu hack but she’s not in the forums right now.
Also, shameless plug: I’m making a WoDu hack about religion, class dominance and post-gothic horror.
I’ll add there is an Advanced World of Dungeons that proports to be what AD&D is to original D&d for WoDu. I haven’t even read it, so I’ve got no idea how it plays, but I do know it’s out there, and hadn’t been mentioned.
@Luiz, that sounds absolutely amazing. Let me know if I can playtest it. The themes sound right up my alley!
I downloaded all of that shit!
Yeah it didn’t work for me.
Yep that one worked! I like that one a lot! Leveling up the town and the bit about Names are particularly cool.
These are awesome @JasonT! I’m also very impressed with the layout and design work.
World of Dungeons is something I’ve been meaning to grab, if for no other reason than to fully appreciate all the amazing hacks folks have done!
For people who want World of Dungeons to be even smaller/simpler, I have some of my home materials as free downloads on my itch page:
Mass Effect SR-X started as one, but it’s gone pretty far away https://docs.google.com/document/d/1c_LfSmKjq0Qt7AIEtArku_IIyr-Qs-a6XOHI5UOuImA/edit?usp=drivesdk
The World of Dungeons Resource Compendium lists several more hacks and modifications to the game, plus a lot of fanmade additional material for vanilla WoDu.
I at one point made World of Secrets, a hack about low-key, burnt-out John LeCarre style spies.
When my daughters were younger (and one was very into The Avengers cartoon) I ran a superhero hack of World of Dungeons for them. It was extremely simple: Each hero had two broad traits that covered different parts of their super abilities, which were represented by larger dice. Each PC got one trait at d10 and one at d8. When you rolled, if you were using one power, you’d swap out one of the d6s for that power’s die. If you were using both powers together, you’d roll d8 +d10 (still against the standard 6-/7-9/10+ bell curve). It worked really well, and was easy for small children to handle.
One of my favourite WoDu reskins is Arkfall. It’s basically WoDu meets Numenera with nanites and science-as-magic. You can find the link on the story games site here:
Another WoDu adjecent game worth checking out is:
The Exploits of the Intrepid Crew of the Fairweather Jay on the Shrouded Sky-Isle of Doom
(original storygames thread here)