Great questions! I will use my experiences as a player in your game as well as my own as GM of this solo game for my wife in response .
On the smaller scale and just as an observation about a specific mechanical subsystem within the game, I am surprised by how DW's spell system seems to disincentivize PCs regularly taking on higher level spells in preference for a range of lower level ones. Generally speaking, I just don't thing the power increase is worth the tradeoff. My wife's Wizard is level 6 (eligible for 5th level spells) but regularly prepares 2 third level and 1 first level spell; my Paladin (MC Cleric) is 7th level and also eligible for 5th level spells but regularly prepares 1 third level and 4 first level spells. My wife's Ranger-Psion (4th level, eligible for 3rd level spells) prepares 4 first level spells. Maybe this is entirely reflective of our own gaming preferences, but I think many of the higher level spells are too narrowly focused to give up a range of effects. This had been mitigated, as you know, by homebrewing a few higher level spells that provide a similar power level to their canon counterparts but more diversity in application or effects.
ElfWhen you undertake a perilous journey through wilderness whatever job you take you succeed as if you rolled a 10+.
ElfWhen you undertake a perilous journey through wilderness, if you get a 6- on your role move, mark xp and treat the result as a 7-9.
Do you have any moments of play in the one I'm GMing where your instinctive reaction to a complication I generated (whether its a softer complication from a 7-9 result or a harder one from a 6- result) was "I would have done that differently if I was GMing this instance of play?"
If you do, can you unpack your thoughts on that? That would be interesting.
I'll think a little more about an example from my game as GM, but I have this example from the game you GM for us:
The scene: my Paladin and my wife's Wizard race to a glacial alpine archaeological dig site to head off the incursion of extra planar forces animating the bones in the well unearthing a dragon ossuary (as foretold through the spell Visions through Time and leading, unless stopped, to the mass slaughter of the scholars and workers on site). Through a previous Discern Realities move, we know that immediate threats include avian predators and avalanche.
My wife's Wizard fails (6-) a roll to augment her Mage Hand spell during combat with a rampaging wyvern that attacks the site, and your move was to narrate the newly forged wand that powered the spell surging uncontrollably from her hand with electrical feedback and ricocheting down the well. (For the record, I have no issue with this move.)
My thought at the time, partially informed by your own walking back of the description from character-centered mishap to new item surging out of control: rather than separating the PC from this new and interesting piece of equipment, why not introduce the wyvern's mate or an avalanche (from the electrical feedback), already telegraphed threats, into the situation?
Again, I think your move was interesting and appropriate (and built from the established fiction); but my.mind went a different direction in the moment.
Another example, this from last Friday's session: Alastor, my Paladin, was leading a technical climb up a glacial cliff face in pursuing the wyverns back to their lair, but the dice were not with me. Amid my series of successive failed rolls was one when I attempted to launch myself from a crumbling section by digging my ice axe into the face and swinging myself to a safe ledge I spotted. But I rolled that failure. Your move: I land successfully but the landing is not as safe as I thought; it's solid ice that complicates my footing at every step and I espy a creature of shadow (an agent of our arch nemesis, a necromancer who lives in a fortress atop the mountain) that must have been tracking us throughout our journey.
Again, an interesting move and one I like, but my mind suggested manifesting the mate of the recently slain wyvern as the hard move here.
I tend to shy away from separating PCs from newly acquired gear, or worse, new gear they've crafted for themselves. I'll do it if I have to, but with the same thought process as above I probably would have gone with electrical feedback and the wand shorts out, plus you drop it. Take some damage and it will need to be repaired. Assuming you have the time to pick it up. You know, wyverns and whatnot. This does really highlight the difficulties of constantly making decisions on the fly though, as one does in PbtA or FitD games. Hindsight, right?
Thanks! Maybe? The OP is the first session of four played so far and I haven't yet found time to write up anything from the subsequent three in any detail. It is my plan to do so, but you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men....
So those are all of my thoughts on those two decisions! What do you think?
Very interesting to see your thought process outlined post mortem. Everything makes sense and follows well from the fiction. I agree wholeheartedly about trying not to utilize the same move vs PCs multiple times in a session (eg ablate or separate them from equipment), which I felt was a misstep I made in my first session GMing (noted in OP). However, I think I would have made the exception in having the wyvern mate threaten in situation two above, just because it seems so tightly a logical outcome of the fiction (appearing to avenge her recently slain mate). That said, your logic on not doing so in favor of the choices you made is sound and also logically follows from pre-established fiction. This speaks to a point you made recently in the "GM notes" thread about being graded by other GMs, I think, at least partially: there are many potential outcomes in any decision point, each with equal claim to logical consistency, fictional aptness, invitation to the making of hard choices, and so on.