By "people" do you mean @Ovinomancer? I haven't said that you use Force. I've asked you about your use of, an opinion about, various techniques.Okay. So...people have made it clear that they see what I do as obvious Force (IIRC "sniffing it out" nearly instantly) but...I don't do any of these.
I think a number of posters - including me, to be frank - get two sorts of impressions from your accounts of your DW play.I never fudge rolls. I never contrive backstory this way, holding myself to extremely high standards about backstory growth. I certainly wouldn't replace BBEG-Prime with BBEG-Lieutenant (they haven't killed/defeated/turned/etc. any yet so I can't formally say I don't do it.) If a clue is missed, it's just missed; maybe if the fiction happens to lead back to the clue then they get a second shot, but I would never contrive to ensure the clue is found no matter what. The only one that's hard is that last one, because it's possible I do it not intending to, being all implication and soft-touch stuff. I certainly wouldn't do it intentionally.
(1) It seems that you do not apply the action resolution mechanics, in all cases, as per the principle if you do it, you do it and play to find out. Of course any impression that is gained of someone's play from brief reports online is going to be imperfect. But your account - in this thread, and in some earlier threads too - of how you adjudicate circumstances where PCs consult their accumulated knowledge about something or closely study a situation or person has given the impression that you sometimes, perhaps often, adjudicate such action declarations via establishing answers based on consulting your pre-authored backstory rather than by application of the Spout Lore and Discern Realities moves.
I've got in mind posts like these:
The impression that I take away from these posts - leaving out information, not comfortable with having something like <whatever> come out in this way - is that you have pre-authored backstory, and are using that to adjudicate the way you do or don't parcel out information to the players. This seems like map-and-key or players-play-to-learn-contents-of-GM's-notes play, rather than AW/DW-style playing to find out.
A fellow player figured out that Discern Realities (DW's "Perception" equivalent) is really hard to give good negative consequences for.* (If you lie when they roll poorly, people will just know that whatever they hear is false; if you do nothing, that's a consequence-free error; and it's hard to justify doing damage or most of the other hard DM moves in general.)
I learned from this lesson and figured out a good consequence before I started running my own DW game: reveal an unwelcome truth is the DM move in question. That is, when the player gets a Miss on a Discern Realities roll (6 or less after mods), I have them still ask one question from the list...and they get an answer they won't like, but that is a completely true answer. No lies, still a consequence linked to the action, and still a true setback rather than a slap on the wrist.
As part of the GM side of these rules, I must answer these questions truthfully. I'm not allowed to lie--unless the roll is a miss, but I don't lie then either, I do something else (which I'll explain later). Now, just because I can't speak untruthful things, doesn't mean I can't leave out information if the characters wouldn't have any reason to perceive it, so I can still maintain some mysteries.
As a practical example of a hard move, I offer my solution to the "problem" of missed Discern Realities rolls. See...Discern Realities doesn't give you a good notion of what "failure" should mean, particularly since Dungeon World is fail-forward in its philosophy. The first DW game I played in, another player (gently) exploited this loophole for some (effectively) free XP. And I couldn't blame him, but it did make me wonder what I should do to forestall this while dodging the stereotypical problems of Perception-type rolls. And then it hit me...I just needed to make a hard version of the "reveal an unwelcome truth" move. So, whenever the party rolls badly on Discern Realities, I tell them they MUST ask me one of the questions....but they'll get an answer they won't like. It will be completely true, but it will reveal that the problem is more dire than they expected, or that something troubling is going on, etc. This is generally a hard move because its consequences are immediate (they learn a true but bad thing right now), but it could be a soft move if the party can still forestall the problem (e.g. "the cultists are almost finished with their summoning ritual--you're almost out of time!")
I readily respond to Spout Lore and, as noted, I've taken to having "reveal an unwelcome truth" as my standard response to -6 on Discern Realities rolls. I'm just not comfortable having something like "the true murderer" come in this way--I don't know that I feel that it can be sufficiently "principled [and] structured" to work.
That impression is reinforced by posts that suggest confusion about how these moves work:
Neither Spout Lore nor Discern Realities requires the player to invent solutions to mysteries or author the existence of Forges. But they can require the GM to narrate backstory in accordance with the constraints imposed by the moves and the broader principles.
I just can't wrap my head around the idea of "solve a mystery" where the "solution" is invented by the players.
As I had understood it, it wasn't the DM authoring the Forge, because the whole point was player authorship. I had thought this whole conversation was very specifically about the problems of DM authorship, and avoiding the use of Force by giving players authorship of things. Is that not the case?
Having been presented like this (rather than the original framing which did somewhat confuse me), this sounds perfectly cromulent to me. You had a foundation for there to be hidden things, you had resources you could employ (the books) to reveal information, it was the DM creating a neat opportunity at your prompting rather than you giving yourself an opportunity, etc. Sounds rather similar to stuff I've done, afraid I don't remember any specific examples off the top of my head (we had a low-Int party for quite a while so Spout Lore was relatively rare for about the past year and a half, though that is changing).
(2) Some of what you have said in your posts, for instance about using a NPC to send the PC to "important" places, suggests that your play is focused on GM-established "quests"/"adventures" rather than playing-to-find-out. This makes some other posters - me, I think @Ovinomancer, perhaps also @Manbearcat - curious about the possibility of Force, in two ways: (a) social/non-mechanical/non-gameplay pressure/influence on the players to declare actions that engage with your plot hooks and pre-planned adventures; (b) as per what I've said above about Spout Lore and Discern Realities, the use of pre-authored backstory to narrate outcomes that keep the PCs anchored in those pre-planned adventures.
As a GM, I would expect that a player would take the lead in establishing the sort of information you describe, such as details of their PC's religion or cultural practices. For instance, in my 4e D&D game it was the player of the Dwarf who took the lead in establishing Dwarven culture (making reference, obviously, to established D&D tropes and some of the 4e details). It was the player of the Drow who invented the Order of the Bat, a group of Drow Corellon worshippers dedicated to freeing the Drow from subjection to Lolth and returning them to the surface; and the same player was the one who decided that the PC would sing lays of when the Drow froliced on the surface of the earth under the moonlight with their Elven and Eladrin cousins.If it's not possible to tell you "your character would already know this," that seems to cut off an enormous amount of interesting stories that depend on, for example, having a cultural background in the setting. It's not really possible to establish absolutely every cultural value a character might pick up over time, nor is it (IMO) very interesting to have every single stricture and ritual of a particular religion narrated out to the party the instant they show up. But if (for example) you have a dominant religion in an area (as is the case in almost all D&D-type games), the player characters as a general rule should know that (say) white is worn to funerals in this land, or that a censer emitting blue smoke is a traditional sign that someone in the house just got married (a superstition about warding off evil spirits or whatever).
Do those things count as alienating you from the setting if you must be told that your character would already know it? If so, I'm confused how you manage to have characters that adventure in locations where their cultural background is relevant without either (a) just letting the player write that culture all by themselves, which falls into many of the issues I had had with my mistaken understanding of the dwarf forge (that is, unmoored from any fictional tethers and invented by the player for the players' benefit); or (b) literally hashing it all out collaboratively with the DM super far in advance so that you do already know basically everything relevant about your character's cultural history and awareness.
As a player I would expect to take the lead in establishing my PC's religious and cultural practices, within whatever premises of genre are established as part of setting up the game.
I don't understand what you mean by players inventing this stuff unmoored from any fictional tethers an invented for the players' benefit. I think there are at least three ways I don't understand this: (i) What fiction would a player's material be untethered from? Do you mean fiction pre-authored by the GM? (ii) If play is taking place in some pre-established setting, why wouldn't the players have access to the relevant material and be the ones who lead the extrapolation of that material to apply to their PCs? (iii) How does it benefit a player that funerals involve the colour white rather than blue?
The way you frame this is strange to me.
As I've said, this isn't clear to me. For instance, your reply to @Nephis - You had a foundation for there to be hidden things, you had resources you could employ (the books) to reveal information, it was the DM creating a neat opportunity at your prompting rather than you giving yourself an opportunity - doesn't seem to demonstrate a clear understanding of how Spout Lore works, nor the function of asking questions and building on the answers.I am well aware of the function of the Spout Lore roll, having run a Dungeon World game (augmented with the excellent Grim World third party book, though...without the grimness) for something like three and a half years. Probably three years of weekly sessions if you cut out all the breaks we've had for various reasons.
Yes. The confusion is being introduced by posters who have not played and seemingly not read AW or DW.It's also incredibly confusing to call it "player authorship" when the DM is still the author, they're just authoring "on commission" as it were, prompted by player actions
I also don't see, at all, how this is incompatible with (for example) drawing a loose overall map of a location, such as the map I just drew of the lost city of Al-Shafadir for the session we just had on Monday, with labels on it for a general, loose idea of the neighborhoods visible to the PCs.
I drafted up something that seemed a suitably engaging but light adventure (check out a recently-rediscovered lost city) that I knew would be of interest to at least two of the three current players both as players and as characters, and which would fit well with the Druid's unfolding story.
Drawing a map and writing a setting history may be compatible with playing to fin out, or it may not be. How is the map being used as an input into framing and into action resolution? How does the setting history relate to the player's orientation of their PCs towards the situations they find themselves in.At least for my part, it's because I've repeatedly tried to describe how I've done things like this (like developing the backstory of how demons and devils work, because I have a player who just thinks tieflings are neat and thus wanted to play one, so I wanted to provide him with stuff to dig into over time)
When you refer to leaving information out, I get the impression that there is some sort of pre-established fiction that will be drawn upon from time-to-time to determine what happens next. That is what also gives the impression of force or force-adjacent GMing. As I've posted, it's hard to be sure but quite a bit of what you post about your DW adjudication seems odd to me. I think @AbdulAlhazred's post just upthread of this one elaborates on this in a very thoughtful way, so I won't repeat what he's said.