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Dungeon World

Where to discuss Sunday Brunch sessions and plan your next session.

Moderator: vonSaponatheim

Re: Dungeon World

Postby vonSaponatheim » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:55 pm

Re: our chat about setting. I suggest we let the finer points be determined in play, but definitely stick with a non-specific era/culture to draw inspiration from. Sort of like the early D&D cover art and illustrations.

Maybe Cassius's neck of the woods is Romanesque. Strong republic, patron deities, stuff like that.

Maybe Ajax's old haunts are cypress-dotted islands with sharp cliffs and smouldering fissures. Small city-states, colourful biremes, hilltop shrines. Greco-fantastic stuff.

I'll trust Edwyn and Mithralan to tell us about their homelands when we delve into that first dungeon. Cool questions might be "What here reminds you of home?" or "There's something familiar about this statue/book/gate. What is it?"

Some things to keep in mind if we want to go the ol' Sword & Sorcery route:
• Heroes are heroic. Not always successful, but never outright klutzes.
• Exotic locales. Fantastic but also grounded.
• Exotic monsters. Very few 'races' of monsters. More singular or unique monsters.
• No real central authority. Despots, sure. But little control beyond what's immediate.
• Societies are malleable. Squeeze a little and they change.
• Old civilisations tend to be decadent, degraded, and debauched.
• Isolated savages likewise, though the vices may differ.
• Gods tend to be distant and benevolent, or present and wicked.
• Humour is fine! Slapstick is not.

Anything on the list should be celebrated or overturned as it suits us. After all, Elric is a drugged weakling, and Conan is a polyglot conversant with pre-human sorcery. It's not like the source material never breaks it's own conventions.

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Re: Dungeon World

Postby vonSaponatheim » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:32 pm

Image

Minerva, huh? Spear, armour, snakes, owls... I have a feeling Ajax will be an easy convert. :)

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Re: Dungeon World

Postby zircher » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:54 pm

Well, I have read about a dozen starters and nothing grabbed my fancy. I think I'm going to grab some info from Will's inspiring posts and roll my own from a template. :-)

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Re: Dungeon World

Postby vonSaponatheim » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:29 pm

Very cool. I'll take that as permission to peruse the new Dungeon Starters on the G+ group. No fear of spoilers if we roll our own.

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Re: Dungeon World

Postby zircher » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:57 am

Knock yourself out. :-)
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Re: Dungeon World

Postby Dirk » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:10 pm

Here's a improv adventure starter http://www.rpgalchemy.com/dungeon-world-adventure-builder

I've been thinking about using something like this for a con adventure, but it could be a way to start us off.

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Re: Dungeon World

Postby vonSaponatheim » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:37 pm

For Todd's benefit, here's the way I started off Dungeon World for the Monday group:

Pitched the Idea
We're in an ancient, decadent city-state, somewhat mediterranean, Venice-like, with dried-up canals, fenced-in parks, crumbling stonework, etc. Debauched nobles, crazy cults, and vicious criminals. PCs should be scoundrels. "Dungeons" will be be sewers, canals, catacombs, mansions, slums, etc.

Let the Players Make Characters
They made a Bard (singer), a Druid (city critters), a Renegade Soldier turned Blood Cultist (using Class Warfare), and a Lantern (from Inverse World). Bit of an odd bunch, but strong concepts all 'round.

Asked Questions
• Who is the Bard's most vehement rival or detractor?
• How did the Druid learn to shapeshif? Are there other Druids in the city?
• Who lead the legions' persecution of the Blood Cult?
• Is the Lantern native to the city? If not, who took her in when she first appeared?
• Etc.


From their answers, we determined that there's a university for bards in town (also other entertainers, but musicians are most highly regarded) who despise the Bard's style; there's a Circle of Druids around, but nobody knows much about them; the principal persecutor of the Blood Cult was the high celebrant of the war god Baas, integral to the legions, whose nephew was killed by the Soldier; and the Lantern was from another place, difficult to say where, and was taken in by one of the elderly bards at the university when she first appeared on the streets.

Further questions determined that the university was called the High Chorus, a staggeringly bureaucratic institution mired in politicking, ladder-climbing, and backstabbing, which the Bard had left in disgust (bringing with her an old and potent songbook).

There was a whole quarter, a sort of ghetto, where all the halflings lived (the Druid is a halfling), called Lowtown. Charming, rustic, pleasant, a colourful contrast to the rest of the city.

The local temple of Baas used to be a magificent edifice to war and conquest, with proud statues, fine masonry, and tall pinnacles; now, post-war, Baas has fallen out of favour, and as a result the temple is a crumbling ruin (for mystical, divine reasons). I wrote down a question for myself about the nature of belief, divine favour, and its connections to appearance of fortune and wealth.

I filled in some details, telling them about the exalted families who rule the city, the many cults, and the swampy once-lake where the city squats like a mouldering carcass. I also said the city has many names, some fair, some foul, and asked them to tell me some. They happily complied, and added some neat details about slime-rakers looking for sunken treasure out on the stinking morass.

Started Play with Questions
I described the night sky over the city, with ill stars gleaming over the rooftops, the light of the moon spilling silver into the streets below, and into one of the slime-filled canals. In the canal, four figures (the PCs) stood around a dead body. Then I asked:
• Whose body is this, and how did they die?
• Did you come upon the body by happenstance, or did you kill them yourselves?
• Why is it a very bad thing that they are dead?


The players got into it immediately. The body was a low-ranking member of the High Chorus, the favourite protege of one Immacula, a vicious rival of the Bard. The Bard had accidentally shoved her into the canal, where she'd broken her neck. Now they were all trying to figure out what to do. If the Chorus got wind of this, there would be hell to pay...

Hilarity ensured:
• Approaching constables.
• Distraction followed by desperate scramble into the sewers, dragging the corpse with them.
• Getting horribly lost in the dark.
• Team Distraction getting picked up by constables and brought to the garrison house; then picked up by a VERY sympathetic Immacula.
• Team Corpse Disposal finding a shrine to the six-tailed, eight-legged, countless-eyed god of rats in a forgotten cellar vault.
• Making deals with the rat cultists.
• Singing for the rats (from the old songbook). Big mistake.
• Flight from enraptured rat cultists.
• Druid cat vs the rat horde.
• Sticky grates and desperate flight.
• Team Distraction "invited" to Immacula's domicile, courted, charmed, terrified, pressed for magical knowledge; "persuaded" to stay the night.

Closed the Session with XP and Feedback
Not a lot of negatives here. Some talk about moves. Praise for fun situations and NPCs. Praise for amusing PC play. Everyone pumped for Session Two.

Takeaways
Ask lots of questions. Build on the answers. Incorporate player input. Reincorporate. Reincorporate. Reincorporate. Use the GM moves. Take your time.

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