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Inverse World - A Dungeon World Supplement $15.00
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Inverse World - A Dungeon World Supplement
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Inverse World - A Dungeon World Supplement
Publisher: Liberi Gothica Games
by Nicholas A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/09/2014 11:34:06

Short Version: Inverse Worlds is a good book and worth the money for any fan of Dungeon World. Its player facing content is a major step up from the core classes as the focus on higher fantasy gives the classes moves with more "oomph." It has a great deal of GM facing content to make adjusting to its setting a breeze and helps greatly for those who keeps to DW's model of "No preparation." Perhaps its best decision is removing the cruft DW had by trying to be D&D.

Long Version: Inverse Worlds is a good book and worth the money for any fan of Dungeon World.

Its player facing content is a major step up from DW's classes as the focus on higher fantasy gives the classes moves with more "oomph." Here are some examples of what some of the new playbooks are like.

The Mechanic is of particular note. Making a class all about being a bloke in a mecha and having it be both fun, balanced, and effective (I was playing one in a one shot, recently) is a nice surprise. It has a lot of versatility in its design, but never becomes overly complicated or too versatile. You can build the type of mecha suit you want, with little fuss, have it be effective, and not be unbalanced. Also, the Megas XLR reference was sweet!

The Captain, for example, is an airship pilot that gets a free airship and means to get it back if its lost (I've seen another review comment on the means negatively, but the point of the abstraction, in my mind, is to avoid the class losing a key resource because you are low on gold: you could, for example, view the abstraction as pulling in favors, some stashed away savings, etc.). Despite what one might think, having an airship is surprisingly undistributive when you have it and non-crippling when you don't. Outside of its airship, the pilot is great at trading and navigation. In the case of the later, it can make travel safer which is a nice considering how much adventures do that.

The Collector can best be described as a "the bottomless bag." The classes main shtick is that it can pull items out of its bag to help in a situation. Thanks to DW's (Really AW's) system, this is kept in check by a series of well thought out limits that keep the move useful, but not overpowered. I can't help, but feel the Collector is Inverse World's answer to the the thief and, if so, it's a fun and, possibly, innovative take on the idea.

I'm not going to go through every class in the book like this, the above was just to give you an idea for what the playbooks are like. The book also includes The Golem, The Walker, The Latern, The Survivor, and The Sky Dancer. There wasn't a class I disliked in this book. It was a good selection.

The Compendium classes (think Prestige Classes without all the requirements, just do a thematically appropriate thing within the game itself to unlock) are fun, but I would have liked to see more of them. While I get Compendium Classes are tied very tightly to a setting so people tend to want them less, I still think they are a cool concept and really help tie characters to the world.

As a fan of balanced classes, the playbooks are a nice change of pace as some 3rd party playbooks that try their hands at higher fantasy tend to be poorly balanced narrative-ly (In DW, disparity more comes from how classes affect the narrative than their actual numbers since it is a low numbers game). Inverse Worlds successfully avoids this issue of balance.

It has a great deal of GM facing content to make adjusting to its setting a breeze and helps greatly for those who keeps to DW's model of "No preparation."

It has an Instant Island Guide which makes creating a new island for your players fast even during midgame. It has a few premade areas you can implant around your players if need be. These areas even have some custom moves to make them feel distinct. Setting wise, the book does a good job of telling you about the world, not individual places. By keeping to the overall picture, it makes it easier to build the IW setting around my ideas for the game than build my game around the IW setting.

In regards to the setting, it's a fun and cool idea for a setting. If this were a novel, I wouldn't call it original, but, as a TRPG, the setting stays away from a lot of tropes that makes alot of TRPG settings same-y and does a good job of backing up its setting with mechanics (like the playbooks and a slew of near gear). The vehicles rules keep it simple -- which is inline with the system -- and are a fun addition to the DW format.

Rules were given to fit your favorite ideas from the supplement in your normal DW games that might be hard to convert. For example, rules to use the Captain in a setting without airships. It's a very smart addition and, honestly, a necessity for a book calling itself a supplement.

Perhaps its best decision is removing the cruft DW had by trying to be D&D.

While alignments were just a way to get extra XP, they had some limitations to them thematically and felt restrictive. If I like the XP trigger for lawful, then my character is going to have to be a lawful character. The replacement with Drives -- which focus on smaller aspects of the player's world outlook instead of the all encompassing nature of alignment -- allows players to choose XP triggers they like without having to conform all their behavior to a particular set of beliefs. My Captain can be a roguish and chaotic figure, but has Responsibility and Respect for his crew (a common thing in fiction) so protecting them gives him XP. In DW's alignment system, I'd likely have to be a lawful character to get that XP trigger.

Race to class restrictions are gone. You can now play any race with any class unlike DW system that was emulating old school D&D. In place of racial moves, each class has their own special moves which feel more thematic as a result.

DW made the mistake of trying to be a different game that it was not, IW tries to be its own games.

Like I said before, IW is a good supplement for DW. It capitalizes on DW's strengths and removes some of its weaknesses. Its content is good on its own, but could fit into your regular DW game if you just want to take your favorite things. Visually, it's a bit minimalist, but, for an independent developer, that could be forgiven. If you didn't like DW because it was too simple, too focused on narrative, lacked crunch, or any reason similar to that, you probably won't like IW. If you didn't like DW because its classes were a bit boring and it tried too hard to be D&D, you might like IW.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Inverse World - A Dungeon World Supplement
Publisher: Liberi Gothica Games
by Eltup E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/01/2014 04:51:40

Almost every page of the book has something useful at the table, which is my standard for these things. I appreciate the non-specificity of the setting because the book itself gives you the tools to make it specific to your table. The playbooks themselves are of a very high standard, though I've only run one session of the game, I have no complaints about their design. Docking a star for two reasons: there's not much advice for developing inverse world specific fronts and I wish the island creation worked better with the steading rules in Dungeon World.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Inverse World - A Dungeon World Supplement
Publisher: Liberi Gothica Games
by Mikael H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/01/2014 01:33:44

Very light-weight in content and lazy layout (lot of empty space). Great idea, but hardly passable execution. There are other that delivered much more and better content on the same KS budget. This is rated in my book as a KS that just barely cleared the failed mark.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Inverse World - A Dungeon World Supplement
Publisher: Liberi Gothica Games
by Jacob E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/24/2014 22:01:50

If Inverse World's goal was to create a world that could capitalize on Dungeon World's strength, then it succeeds with flying colours. If Inverse World's goal was to make me giggle with excitement and my mind bubble with idea, then damn, did they ever get that right.

I really like Dungeon World. The elegance and simplicity of the system really hammers home what roleplaying is all about, and I think it works well as a catch-all D&D system. At it's core, Inverse World is basically the same game, but replace "Appendix N" with more modern fantasy fiction; Last Airbender, The Legend of Zelda, Bastion, etc. While none of the ideas in Invells is particularly new or exciting, the combination of the elements makes the setting distinctive and eye catching. It really feels like you're stepping into some new world that isn't just D&D fantasy again.

The class playbooks are just... fantastic. Far removed from Dungeon World's roots, the don't feel like the familiar fantasy archetypes like the Fighter or the Wizard are, but they are archetypes. They drip with flavour. The playbooks tip the game into familiar, but not common territory. Mechanics or Golems aren't something never seen in fantasy, but it clearly isn't classic D&D tropes. This is what really sells the world of Invells, I think. It's not yet another world of Fighters and Wizards, Dragons and Mind-Flayers. It's a world where your Merfolk person likes to walk on walls, or your winged-human keeps a pile of junk that is some how useful, or your metallic goblinfolk battles with the scars of his destroyed life.

Overall, the content is good. The writing is clear and easy to understand. The mechanics are familiar if you've played Dungeon World (while adding a few tricks here and there), and it's all easy to plug-and-play with any other DW derived games. I've heard some complaints about the amount of content for the price. It's a little thin compared to Dungeon World, which is cheaper, but I think the price isn't that much to ask when it has at least as much content as a $40 release from a big publisher.

The art is all top-notch, beating out a lot of other books with it's execution (especially Dungeon World itself). I think the biggest point to made here is the types of people you see. They are very varied, and not just because some are fish people. You give people of different colours, but also ages, sizes, shapes, and some that look like fish. It's not just enough for a game to say you can be whatever you want to, a game has to follow through to get that kind of inclusiveness. Inverse World succeeds.

This is a must buy if you love modern, quirky fantasy, great art, inclusive RPGs, or just plain like Dungeon World. Serious. Buy it. Right now. (do it).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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