How the DM is in theory meant to run ability checks:
1.set a DC
2. if the player rolls over it, they succeed, otherwise not
How I think everyone actually does it
1. don't set a DC
2. player rolls
3. about 10 or less is a failure
4. about 19 or more is success
5. 11-18, the DM does the thing that makes the story more interesting

or am I unusual in this?

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@craigmaloney is that an official rule with AW? I don't know much about it

@sil In AW games they use the following:

6 or less: you don't get the thing and the GM narrates what happens
7-9: You get the thing, but there's complications or trouble
10+: You do the thing with little or no trouble

7-9 are what usually happens with 2d6.

@craigmaloney it's a fixed DC? Interesting. How does a DM indicate that a particular task is hard or easy?

@sil It's more player focused, so the players state which of the moves they're making and then roll for it. The GM doesn't roll.

You do get the ability to add modifiers based on different criteria but it still falls into those categories.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_ has a list of games that use this engine and a little more details. The one that fits dungeon crawling is Dungeon World (which is CC-BY licensed).

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