[Dungeon World] Mini Session!

edited March 2011 in Actual Play
I played Dungeon World with a few friends last week! Taking inspiration from literature (Dracula), movies (Van Hellsing), video games (Castlevania), and other gaming products (Castle Ravenloft D&D Boardgame), I came up with a quick scenario involving a vampire's manor on an island in the middle of the lake. There were two points of ingress; the front gates (guarded by werewolves in human form!), or by way of the natural caves connecting to the basement of the manor, accessible only by boat (a tiny rowboat piloted by a grumpy old farmer, fresh from the field with... scythe, lantern, and black cowl?).

Our players were Rynn the Human Paladin and Eldwulf the Human Wizard. They chose to go by boat, and had to pay the old man's fee.

When you accept passage from the old man on his boat, roll+CHA. On a 10+, he merely charges you a gold piece per person. On a 7-9, he asks you for a cut of the treasure you bring out of the manor; figure 10% off the top. On a miss, you must give him your most treasured possession. He'll know if you're lying.

Eldwulf did the bargaining and hit with a 10+. Two gold pieces and a very creepy hour-long boat ride later, they found themselves at the mouth of the caves. They progressed through the caves easily, encountering nothing but a few dire rats. After awhile they found themselves in what they assumed was the basement. Except there were coffins everywhere! After being ambushed by vampire spawn (and nearly losing our Wizard!), the party found a set of stairs and ascended into the backyard of the manor, which just happened to be a werewolf-infested hedge-maze. It had been a while since I got to play D&D, so I sort of went all out on the traps and badguys element...

Anyway, when you enter the hedge maze, roll+INT. On a 10+ you find your way out amidst the growling and howling. On a 7-9, you encounter a pair of werewolves, but both sides are ready for each other. On a miss, you never see the two werewolves coming. Surprise round!

The Paladin rolled a 7-9, but the Wizard rolled a 10+! I interpreted that as them getting split up, with the Paladin having to face off against two werewolves. The Wizard stepped out of the hedge maze and into the back doors of the manor, while the Paladin got mussed up a bit by the Werewolves before properly smiting them. The Paladin stumbled out of the hedge maze, covered in blood of various ownership, where the Wizard was relaxing on the lawn.

"What in the name of the Gods are you DOING, man?" he shouted.

"Hm? Oh, just reviewing my spells. I figured you had gone off to do some righteous smiting; didn't want you get in your way," the Wizard replied casually, eyes closed. Heh.

They made their way into the manor. The back half of the place was the GALLERY OF MIRRORS! They wandered around a bit before catching a glimpse of a writhing mass and hearing hissing sounds.

When you enter the Gallery of Mirrors, home of the Medusa, roll+DEX. On a hit you manage to get the drop on the Medusa without catching her lethal glance. You get a free surprise attack. On a 7-9, you know where she is, but operate at -1 to most rolls for the fight. You can't risk looking at her! On a miss, you look the Medusa in the eye!

When you look the Medusa in the eye, roll+CON. On a hit, you're fine. On a miss, you've been turned to stone! If someone manages to get the blood of the Medusa what cursed you and rub it on your stone form within the hour, you'll regain your flesh. If an hour passes and you haven't tasted the blood of the Medusa, you're forever doomed to be a lawn ornament.

The Paladin ended up getting turned to stone, but the Wizard got a lucky Magic Missile off the very next round that finished her. Bloodied and beaten, he Spouted Lore and figured out how to save his friend before time was up! With the Medusa vanquished, the Gallery of Mirrors was destroyed. Simultaneously all of the mirrors shattered, leaving the way to the foyer open...


Unfortunately, we had to stop at that point. I had a train to catch that afternoon, and a presentation the next day. But we had a blast! I could have paced it better, considering that I knew we only had two hours, but man is this game easy to set up and play. It felt just like D&D, without any of the frustration or prep work (which I used to enjoy, but now have no time for).

Thanks, Team Dungeon World! I humbly submit this for acceptance to the Adventurer's Guild. My email address is joey dot richards at gmail dot com . Cheers!


  • That is some good stuff, Joey! I particularly love your custom moves, and the way they snowball - entering the gallery of mirrors to looking the medusa in the eye. Awesome!

    Welcome to the Adventurer's Guild!
  • edited October 2012
  • Posted By: framweardI played Dungeon World with a few friends last week! Taking inspiration from literature (Dracula), movies (Van Hellsing), video games (Castlevania), and other gaming products (Castle Ravenloft D&D Boardgame),
    Hmmmm I'm sensing a theme there.
    When you had the wizard and the paladin separated, did the paladin's fight against the werewolves take long? Could the wizard have done a custom move to rejoin him and help out?

    The writeup has me thinking about how to approach AW moves in a more team-focussed game, for when I run DW.
  • @Darren: The fight against the werewolves took a few minutes. The Wizard could have tried to rejoin him, I would imagine, but he was keen on sitting on his ass. :D
  • Awesome, that's what I've found too. DW, like AW, runs fast enough that giving someone some spotlight time isn't a big deal, they can even fight without wasting everyone's time. I can't take any credit for that, it's all the AW design, but I do think AW is more fun to spectate than most games, which helps with spotlight scenes. I can listen to someone making their moves and the attendant choices and have a good time.
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