[RPG] Dungeon World campaign length – how long to reach level 10


I'm thinking of starting a Dungeon World campaign. It seems from the experience system that levelling can be pretty quick. How many sessions would you expect to play before characters start retiring etc?

Best Answer

This question really heavily depends on your groups style of play, frequency of moves and duration and frequency of sessions.

Frequency of sessions: the more often you play and the shorter your sessions are, the more often you will use the End of Session move and thus earn XP at a faster rate.

Frequency of moves: the more often a move involving a roll is triggered, the more often a 6- will be rolled, thus marking XP. The frequency of moves strongly depends on how the players like to play. A more adventurous, aggressive, less cautious group will trigger moves more often than a group that is more into roleplay and making eloquent plans to deal with situations (thus avoiding lots of hack&slashing) .

Style of play: min/maxing players will level at a much slower rate than players who don't. They will optimise their stats, thus getting a +3 mod on their most used rolls quickly. They will use the fiction to their advantage and use solutions that involve moves where they have a high modifier.

That said, a campaign does not end with the PCs reaching "level 11" (there is no 11th level). In Dungeon World, you are encouraged to build your campaign around the characters, and change the world just as they do. Even if the rules state that at when they would level up from 10 to 11, you must choose one of the options presented, the character does not just vanish from the world. It migh settle down somewhere with a family. Become barkeeper in a local tavern. Two of the options even let them stay with the party.

On a closing note, my group currently has played 8 sessions at 4-6 hours each and we are around levels 5-7.