Monday, 16 July 2012

[Dungeon World] Kung-Fu Moves

I'm looking at running a Dungeon World game soon that's inspired in equal parts by Avatar, Planescape, and Perdido Street Station. My instinct is to remove the idea of non-human races from the setting - or at least the idea of mechanically differentiated races - but that leaves a hole in the game where the current race moves are.

Inspired by some retro-clone I came across a while ago, and have completely forgotten, my solution is to give everyone "kung-fu" moves instead. The idea is that any adventurer in this setting will know at least the basics of one martial art, even the least physically inclined wizard. Essentially, it gives everyone access to a few "spells" they can use to impact the fiction automatically, without rolling - but as a strictly limited resource.

I'm also looking for a better name than "kung-fu moves".


When you spend time practising your forms and meditating, roll +WIS. On a 10+, hold 3-breath. On a 7-9, hold 2-breath. On a 6-, hold 1-breath, but the DM holds 1 over you to inflict your school’s weakness at some point. Spend your breath to use your kung-fu moves.

When you spend time practising with a kung-fu master, you can add another kung-fu move to your list.

When you create a character, choose which style of kung-fu that your character has trained in:

Drunken Monkey

  • Appear totally harmless.
  • Taunt an enemy into moving into an advantageous position.
  • Trick someone into attacking an ally.

Weakness: Incautious

Flowing Water

  • Redirect an enemy’s attack into another foe.
  • Move swiftly out of the path of danger.
  • Use an enemy’s momentum against them.

Weakness: Softness

Immovable Mountain

  • Shrug off the damage from a single attack.
  • Resist being pushed or forced to move.
  • Deliver an unstoppable blow.

Weakness: Inflexibility

Celestial Fist

  • Smite an unholy opponent with your fists.
  • Strike an incorporeal or invulnerable being.
  • Fly free from gravity for a few moments.

Weakness: Arrogance.

Shadow Dancer

  • Hide in plain sight.
  • Strike without warning.
  • Move swiftly out of the path of danger.

Weakness: Fragility

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