And I’m resharing this WALL OF TEXT because maybe the Dungeon World community is also interested?
Originally shared by Dylan Boates
Does anyone want to help me brainstorm ideas for my Dungeon World game? If you don’t want to help, you may still want to read this post, because I’m going to spend most of it talking about all the cool stuff that’s going on in my game. Maybe you’ll get something out of that.
I’m pretty terrible at prepping stuff and making fronts, so I could use some inspiration and encouragement. I’ve been coasting by on my improvising skills (luckily my players and I have been having a lot of fun with what I’ve been improvising) but that’s no reason not to try to do better.
A bit of background: (If you’ve read the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, you’ll recognize a lot of material I stole here…)
I started out with the Indego Galleon mini adventure, then we used a bit of stuff from Within the Devil’s Reach, so our major plot threads are “Imperials” who have turned out to be an invading force from overseas who the PCs HATE and are slowly laying siege to the “Free Cities”, a set of independant city states that are the major powers in the area. Only two of the “Free Cities” remain free, and one of those just barely. (Thanks to the players being insane. I’ll get to that later.) We’ve also got a Worm God that’s awakening and doing something mysterious with cults and zombies, and may be starting some sort of war between the gods. It’s really hard to tell, but they’re carrying around the son of the God of Fire and The Sky (well, his soul) and he insists that his ancient foe is rising again. (He seems to be right too.)
The group consists of:
Greta, a Dwarf Fighter who used to be some sort of noble and/or general before she was framed and exiled by an evil cult. (She suspects it’s a cult of the Worm God.)
Hycorax, a Druid who’s becoming more and more powerful and less and less human (or Elf, as the case may be).
and Jonah, a half-elf ranger who agreed to help guide these people and now thinks he may be in way over his head. Still, they’re fighting the Imperials, and he thinks that’s a good thing.
So, they killed some Imperials who were being arrogant and oppressive in Codcliffe, then again just outside Devils Reach (Despite the fact that the Imperials were trapped, and arguably innocent. The dryads were pissed that they had cut down some trees, so Hycorax agreed that they had to die… Brutal!)
Then in Devil’s Reach they followed one of the villagers they had rescued from Codcliffe (there were more Imperials on the way, so they thought it was unwise to let the villagers who had helped them stick around to be punished) who got all hypnotized and wandered off. Turns out he was being drawn into the “Silent Tomb” by a powerful spirit that resided there.
They went all ADVENTURER and raided the tomb, looted some stuff and finally confronted the Four Winds (powerful elemental spirits) who guarded the final chamber.
Hycorax was having none of that and told them to fuck off. They did. Quite dramatically. (Hycorax can command the four elements apparently.) Then they looted the tomb and discovered Aleric’s phylactery (the aforementioned demi-god and Priest King of the Sky People) and his legendary spear. (The Carcosan Spire, from the DW book.) Hycorax claimed both of them, and is now semi-possessed by a demi-god (demi-possessed?) and can feel the spear’s hatred for unnatural beings.
Then they investigated some Gnoll cults worshiping Venith, the Godess of Shadows, and found that they were also involved in making some sort of freaky worm zombies. They kicked the Gnolls out of the ruined Temple of Brol and discovered that the temple was the last resting place of Argo-Than, the Holy Avenger. (Another magic weapon from the DW book.)
Since Argo-Than is nothing more than a heavy and awkward sword in anything other than the hands of a Paladin, they decided to head to Pale to find a Paladin.
Pale is one of the last two Free Cities, and it is under siege. They figured that the famous sword could help rally the defenders and give them a chance of resisting the Imperial invasion. They were probably right, but their attempt to sneak into the city was probably what REALLY changed the situation.
They decided that the best place to sneak through was where the Imperial Mage Cadre was preparing to assault the city, but was opposed by Anomander Rake, the favourite son of Mother Dark. (He’s basically the Prince of Darkness.) The Imperial army was giving them a wide berth.
They basically thought, “Hey! Let’s just wait until they start casting their spell, then Hycorax will distract them with a little earthquake and we’ll charge in and kill the lot of them!”
The Imperial High Mages were trying to summon a bunch of fire demons, and the distraction caused the spell to also summon a giant cloud of ash that blanketed most of the city.
They charged, stabbed some wizards, Greta killed a demon, and then they escaped into the city while the Prince of Darkness killed a lot of people in the confusion then left.
They rallied the defenders, found a Paladin (the leader of a mercenary company devoted to the Twin Wolves of War) and Greta and Jonah led a few raids on the Imperial supply camps as the Imperial army tried to regroup.
Then Hycorax turned into a fire elemental and burned down some Imperial camps while they were sleeping…
After that, they set out to the nearby camp of the Free Cities Coalition Forces, to try to get them to march on Pale and free the city once and for all!
On the way, they discovered that the great danger that Hycorax had seen following Greta was none other than one of the infamous Hounds of Shadow. An ancient beast in the service of Venith. (Although, technically they predate her ascension to deityhood.) It was big and terrifying (it came out a little bit tougher than the “Apocalypse Dragon” in the DW book actually. That’s what you get when you make a Solitary, Large, Magical, Stealthy, Divine, Intelligent, Planar, Ancient monster.) and actually KILLED Gretta before they were able to drive it off.
However, she got an 8 on her Last Breath roll and got to come back! Now she’s a vampire… (We changed her race from Dwarf to “Hungry Dead” from the “Number Appearing” supplement.) Life has become REALLY interesting, since she has to kill sentient creatures and drink their blood, (long distance travel is especially brutal…) but she’s still holding on to her Good alignment. For now.
Anyway, they made it to the camp, had a council of war, didn’t really do much. They did meet a creepy guy who gave Greta some Imperial prisoners of war to eat though. (He was sympathetic, since he’s also cursed with immortality, but no one really realized that yet.) Then they decided to head south, since that’s where Aleric says the Worm God is rising. Also, the Dwarven cities are down there, and we all know it’s going to be fun when Gretta comes home!
Finally, last session they arrived in Darujhistan. The only Free City to not have felt the Imperial presence, and the last major city before we enter Dwarven territory It’s ruled by a council of High Priests (The gods of War, Death, Shadows, Earth, Darkness, Light/Sky/Fire, Luck and Dreams/Prophecy) and contains a cult of assassins (mostly undefined so far).
They started poking around the refugee camp that’s outside Darujhistan’s walls, looking for signs of the Worm. The did discover that there are a lot of refugees from the south, which is strange because the war is in the north. The southerners bring rumors of a plague of undead and a strange new religion. They worship “The Crippled God” and preach that suffering is the way to purity and that the weak, sick, oppressed and downtrodden are blessed in the eyes of their god. The religion doesn’t seem to have any signs of being tainted by the Worm (but it totally is) and it seems pretty harmless (which it basically is, unless you believe that paying homage to a corrupt god is inherently evil or something…).
Then they made their way inside the city and proceeded to freak everyone out with their crazy stories. First they visited the guard house and claimed to be soldiers from Pale with news of the war (not entirely false, they did actually fight in the Siege of Pale, but they were never officially sworn in), then they gave their report to a lowly desk sergeant, who became more and more terrified and convinced that this was above his pay grade, as they recounted their tale of demi-gods, renowned artifacts and famous heroes.
Then they went to the Temple of Serc (the local name for the god of light and the sky, Aleric’s father) to see if they’d help them fight the Worm God. The priests were totally freaked out, since these guys arrived with the spirit of their centuries dead prophet (Hycorax even preached their religious doctrine, which he doesn’t actually know, in Aleric’s voice) and started telling tales of ancient evils rising. They were not subtle about this, and you can bet that rumors are flying around the temple like crazy, however, the abbot agreed to bring their concerns to the high priest (who was busy with Council business at the time).
Then they trucked across the street to the Temple of Hood (the god of death) to see what they had to say about Greta’s condition. The priest was sympathetic and helpful, but not QUITE as awed as the priests of Serc. He offered to introduce Greta to the local executioner (the High Priest is ALSO a vampire, so they’re used to this) and offered to perform a divination to determine what Hood’s plans for Greta actually are. (Everyone’s been sort of worried, since the Gods seem to be taking sides with or against the Worm God, and no one’s sure where Hood stands, but he’s directly intervening in their quest…)
Greta had a vision of herself staggering through a tunnel, her hands drenched in blood, carrying a human woman’s head.
Then a priest of Serc brought them to the Council Hall to meet with the High Priest of Serc, where they got a glimpse of the rest of the Council. The Council all wears masks of their patron gods, and Greta recognized the mask of Venith as the face from her vision!
And that’s where we left off.
Anyway, I should probably ask some guiding questions or something, but writing all that has left me exhausted, so I’m just going to end it there.
What do you think?