Some of the most common questions over on the Dungeon World Reddit are how to choose between the different hacks. To better answer that question, with help from the Dungeon World+ Discord, I’ve developed this side-by-side comparison. (All errors and wrong opinions my own!)

Dungeon WorldChasing AdventureFreebooters on the FrontierHomebrew WorldUncommon WorldUnlimited Dungeons
PitchPbtA + D&DDW – D&DPbtA + OD&DStonetop – StonetopDW 1.5 +
3rd-party playbooks &c.
DW 2.0
Requires DWNoNoNoNoYes
# stats65 (removes CON)7 (adds Luck)666
3-18 scoresYesNoYesNoNoNo
Typical bonuses+1/-1Advantage/ disadvantage+1/-1Advantage/ disadvantage+1/-1Advantage/ disadvantage
Harm systemHPConditionsHP and ability damageHPHPHP
Debilities65 conditionsCondition tags366 (renamed)
Diced4, d6, d8, d10, d12d6d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20d4, d6, d8, d10, d12d4, d6, d8, d10, d12d6
Monetary systemCoinsAbstract (tags)CoinsAbstract (tags)CoinsAbstract (tags)
SuppliesSome quantum itemsMany quantum itemsPrimarily concrete itemsMany quantum itemsSome quantum itemsMany quantum items
EncumbranceLoadNoneLoad (called Weight)LoadLoadLoad
Base classes1010410010
AlignmentAlignmentBackgroundsAlignmentDrivesDrives (subsumes Alignment)Drives
BondsYesFavor systemYesNoNoYes

And a longer elevator pitch for each:

  • Dungeon World: “A game with modern rules and old-school style.”
  • Chasing Adventure: “Started as a refinement of Dungeon World, but has since evolved into its own game.”
  • Freebooters on the Frontier: “Takes the freeform improvisational spirit of *World games and imbues it with the survivalist sensibility of old-school D&D.”
  • Homebrew World: “Mini-hack of Dungeon World, optimized for one-shots and short-term campaigns.” [Or… Stonetop (the game) – Stonetop (the setting).]
  • Uncommon World: “Compatible with third-party DW playbooks, monsters, and adventure starters, while updating the core moves with what has been learned over the past decade.”
  • Unlimited Dungeons: “A more consistent set of rules for the game that would still be easy to pick up and learn, [while making] the choices of the players more meaningful.”

This is obviously a reductive exercise. Since most of these systems are free, I encourage you to check them out in detail!

If you’re looking for “like DW but…”, then check out Alternatives to Dungeon World.

Illustration credit: Copyright 2021 by Pixray. Permission granted for non-commercial use.