Even Less Complete

To begin: Dungeon World, just like Dungeons & Dragons, and the scores of other "foundational" fantasy, is racist and colonialist. Because of my privilege, I was able to make excuses about it and my own writing instead of facing up to that fact. (and as though that weren't enough, I want to also condemn Adam Koebel's behavior & non-apology for simulating sexual assault on stream without even passing it by his players, let alone the live audience. Eeugh.)

So in light of all that, I have some pretty mixed feelings about this update. Incomplete Adventurer is my first major design project, and it holds a special place in my heart, as does Dungeon World to a point (and interestingly although not particularly compelling to me is the fact that it's far and away the best selling of the things that I've written). I've been making edits semi continuously since release and it finally feels like there are enough of them and of sufficient quality to push the update. But I think that this will be essentially my last (and, well, first) update to Incomplete Adventurer.

I do have one other Dungeon World thing before I move on to more personal and less problematic projects (by which I mean, not just the absence of objectionable ideas but also the presence of radical & ethical ideas). That is to say that I think what I'm doing with it is aligned with my principles of justice, especially around anti-racism and anti-colonialism. I'll be looking to hire a sensitivity reader, so let me know if you're interested! But with everything going on, it's looking like that's going to be a little bit further down the line than I'd originally thought. In any event, look forward to Plane Escape, coming "soon".


  • In general, a lot of minor tweaks, tightened language for the notes following the moves, and the like.
  • Alchemist: Minor wording changes to Hops, Barley, and Everything Gnarly. 
  • Berserker: Removed Half-Orc move and replaced with Fierce Guardian. Major cleanup for Herald of the Storm
  • Gunslinger: Edit to Dusty Henry's trigger (When you Parley, threatening someone -> When you intimidate someone who's seen your skill with a gun)
  • Monk: Advanced moves got shuffled - some 6+ advanced moves went down to 2+. Dodgy and Eye of the Storm replaced.  Revolutionary Praxis and Transcendent Master added. Buddha's Palm renamed to Meteor Punch. End notes have a beefier explanation of the intention behind Martial Art.
  • Necromancer. Makes the dream work cut and replaced -> Death is Change. End notes have some new tips for thinking about the horde.
  • Oracle: Too old for this -> lost the sh*t.
  • Paragon: Got some of the most edits. All the background moves are different. Inspiring Presence got a little tighter. Battlefield Leader & Master changed to work better for fiction first play. Pack Tactics and Dire Wolf Pack removed, replaced with For the Honor and We Have the Power, transformation moves.
  • Psion: Good and Neutral alignments changed. Conjure Illusions renamed -> Mind Tricks. Timey Wimey, Wibbly Wobbly is gone, replaced by Psicrystal Crafter.
  • Runepriest: Improved Words of Power text, so it's easier to understand and the GM's levers are more front and center. Added Conjunction Function and Future Tense to 6+ Advanced moves. Dwarf and Human background moves changed.
  • Sorcerer: Magical Soul starts with only two tags now.
  • Verdant: Small wording changes to Vine Whip.
  • Warlock: Patrons now have suggested wants (and lean a little into instincts too)


Incomplete_Adventurer.pdf 2 MB
Nov 29, 2020

Get Incomplete Adventurer - Playbooks For Dungeon World

Download NowName your own price


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.


Oh, my God. This is of course a level. Such a desire to get into the political agenda, for this you need to reward a box of soap. What a disappointment.

I'm sorry that my original commitments to antiracism/anticolonialism/justice did not come through in the original text. If you purchased Incomplete Adventurer or any of my other work, I would be happy to offer you a refund. It doesn't look like you did, so I think you could probably just leave? 

If you're interested in learning more about the history of white supremacy, colonialism, and racism in our world and our shared hobby, and what we can do about it, I'd be happy to share some more resources I've found.

 I apologize for my bad English.

Fighting what happened 100-200 years ago is certainly very interesting, but fighting the real problem - the unfair structure of the economy, it is probably too difficult. Especially manifested in the fight against monuments, objects of creativity and art, a real feat no matter how you look at it. And in the media space, in the grinding of supposedly sharp corners, which is especially funny in the framework of fantasy worlds that can, and in some places should be racist or unfair and where stereotypes are normal, otherwise we would not have those conflicts, and as a result of this, reasons to perform feats or do what their inner voice tells players, if they have the power or backstory that their characters are endowed with.

For example, in the current party there is a dark elf who in the classical understanding of the world of dungeons and dragons-evil, worshipping the goddess Lloth and prejudices from other races (new trends in the world apparently and this word is forbidden to use) seem quite understandable. But this does not mean that the character is evil (in practice, I have not seen characters of this type at all that would behave as prejudices say about them), it gives those obstacles that he overcomes and behaves not as they say about him, but as he determines himself.

It has always seemed to me that whatever is written in general about something is never 100% true. And I mean that if everyone makes everyone else at the stage of rules equal, fluffy, and allegedly in accordance with some generally accepted morality of people who are not interested in anything at all except their political aspirations-then we will get faceless blanks that will differ only conditionally. Their good and bad sides create depth for specific characters, as well as for races, states, and societies, whether they are fair or not.

But what is really bad about this whole movement is not the message itself-we are for all the good against all the bad (it just sounds quite strange), but the fact that it is done for show. It is not normal to apologize for others, it looks like the apologizer has some problems with himself, or he does it to meet certain criteria and be accepted into the progressive crowd, or at least not fall victim to the harassment of this wonderful progressive class. In board games, the worst thing has already begun-the censorship of old books or the removal of them from history. In the West, like to scare all the evil Soviet Communists or Nazi Germany or other dictatorships, but they do not notice how has a liberal dictatorship, which not only censors the other but instills self-censorship and the state of acceptance of a servant, no matter what color skin or sense of self.

No apologies for language barrier necessary, and thanks for taking the time to write a response, ArmoredPumpkin. I'm 100% behind you about how the structure of the global economy is wildly unjust, and responsible for a great many problems. Most of the rest I can't agree with you about, though - I think it's useful to talk about racism and colonialism, and those things didn't just happen 100 years ago; they are happening today, across the world.

I certainly don't agree that fantasy worlds "should be racist" - I think that mindset is evidence of the fact that racist & colonialist ideas permeate our contemporary world. I'd like to dig in a little to the Drow/Lolth example. I think there are parts about the Drow that are extremely cool (I'm way into spiders, and living underground, and more)! But it seems to me undeniable that their original writing is a mishmash of racist ideas about dark skinned people and sexist ideas about a matriarchal society. Just the existence of a racist, slave-holding society isn't by itself a bad thing in fiction (especially in a fantasy game, where you'll probably be fighting against that society) - the trouble is, all the evil, racist, slave-holding societies in the book are described using words and language people use in the real-world to also describe people of color. The idea of an "evil" society itself I think is dangerous, and reminiscent of the way people justify horrendous tragedies. I'd like to do away with these things in my writing.

There's one part I'd like to zoom in on - the in the book part. My goal here is to announce my intention to write and create material that suggests other possible worlds, and do justice to the realities of our world. What you do in your games is your business. If you don't like my approach, there's no reason for you to be here. 

Lastly, as to my "self-censorship" or "doing this for show" - I have very little patience for this line of thought. From my end, this argument feels like a fascist talking point, designed to make people believe that a better world isn't possible. Do you consider the way we teach children to be kind to one another a form of "self-censorship"?  Is suffering consequences for causing others harm "harassment"? I would say no to both. On the other hand, writing random disparaging comments on my update sure does feel like harassment to me. In any event, whether you believe me or not, I'd like to assure you that I am completely sincere in my desire to write better, kinder, work, and not because I live in a "liberal dictatorship".

If you'd like to read more, I quite liked these. If you'd like to talk about them, I might have time.

Thank you for taking the time to read my message and respond to it in detail. Your links are quite interesting reading material, and in some places very funny.If you bring out the essence of all these texts-it is needless to play dungeons and dragons because everything is evil, and it isneedless to play any other games, there are stereotypes everywhere, colonialism and injustice and in general solid evil, evil, evil.es, I made a mistake in my previous post — worlds should not be racist, and they may not be everywhere, but in some places.

And in general, it seems obvious to me that all people are equal by nature, and what makes them different and unique as a race or nation, in addition to the processes taking place in their minds, is what these processes are caused by, namely, society, culture, history and place of residence(country/continent) that is, their background. And what were the first and subsequent books of dungeons and dragons and others, primarily due to the world around the authors. People of that time simply do not think in modern terms, like people of the past. I would look at how in the Middle Ages someone would have tried to instill at least a little similar views.

Those who were engaged in colonialism and the slave trade thought in the paradigm of their time and to reproach them now for this is quite stupid, especially without fully realizing what was going on in their heads, what was their perception of the world around them, if we speak in game terms — the background. All this is a mystery to us, no matter what scientists say, you can not look at Columbus and others in the head.

And to reproach Gary and the company that wrote the game, which still lives very smart of course. And these days there are games that try to meet the needs of the modern world and this is normal, but to take and rewrite what was written earlier, this is not good. WotC rushed to edit their books for allegedly incorrect and add notes to old editions, as if apologizing for the fact that they contain something unacceptable, and if they had their will, and enough resources, they would rewrite them (or delete them). Those books are what they are and if you use many favorite expression-Do not like — do not play/read.

As for whether such a vision offends Drow or Gnolls, I don't know, I don't see it as such. I don't know where you are from, but in my childhood there was an old Soviet book — What is good and what is bad. - a book about how it's bad to offend the weak — it's good to protect the weak, it's bad to trash, it's good to wash your hands before eating, it's bad to spoil things and create them well and all that sort of stuff. And if in life people followed more of this, then life would be much easier. In role-playing games, players of that time, like many modern ones, are guided by similar principles, you rarely see a purposefully evil party, and even if this is their goal, they have to use more effort to play such roles.

Clearing dungeons and capturing something is also guided by the most common classics of the genre, or what is funnier, truly capitalist motives. After all, the party cleans the dungeons not because evil Drow or Goblins live there, but in the desire to get treasures, artifacts and glory, and Drow and Goblins stand in their way, being an obstacle to what they want and are eliminated in one way or another. Perhaps everyone goes through this before plunging into a deeper level of hobby and doing not only shredding crowds of enemies, but also coming to the construction and arrangement of castles, cities or deeper studies of the world around them. As for your work, it seems to me beyond any doubt that you have the right to make edits to your own work, but it also seems to me that writing a whole manifesto about your awareness that you used the wrong words is somehow too much. Your edits speak for themselves and players will appreciate them, one way or another, and it is completely unnecessary to explain the reasons for their manifestation, and even more so to apologize for someone else's creativity or vision.

Is there a change log for this release? If not, could you give us the gist?

I never wrote one up because most of the changes are pretty minor - no playbook is dramatically different after the updates, and very few starting moves even got edited at all. The gist is mostly tighter language, more helpful notes, and replaced advanced moves. I've added a changelog with the stuff that stood out to me!