A SINGLE STEP: An introductory/campaign starter for Dungeon World.
“_Are there other wizards?_ Not really. There are other workers of arcane magic, and the common folk may call them wizards, but they’re not like you. They don’t have the same abilities, though they may be similar. Later on there may be another player character with the same class but no GM character will ever really be a wizard (or any other class).” – Dungeon World, page 178
Have you ever wondered why that is?
Long ago, there were great heroes. A warrior who was as strong as an army, master of all weapons. A wizard who could shake the earth with his magic. A priest capable of bring his god’s will to the world. A thief who wielded shadow as a tool and a weapon. The bard, whose songs could inspire nations. The druid, embodiment of the power of nature. The ranger who mastered beasts and became one with the forests. The paladin, who protected all with sword, shield, and faith.
They were the world’s first heroes.
They fought evil, as individuals and later as a group, stopping unknowable monstrosities and terrible foes. They defeated every foe they faced and saved the world dozens of times over.
But time is one foe that can fell even the mightiest of opponents. The heroes knew they could not live forever, and even after their passing the world would face danger once again. How, then, could they continue to protect the world? Training proteges would take too long, and even if they did find a way to live forever, there was the chance that they would be unable to change with the times and adapt to the new threats that would inevitably arise.
Then the wizard and the bard had an idea.
There was one place the heroes could go to both escape the ravages of time and be ready to reappear at a moment’s notice: the shared imagination of the world.
Oh, the bard and the wizard used lots of complex terms to describe it; “collective unconscious , “zeitgeist”, “heroic archetypes” and the like. But what mattered was the result: the heroes would cease to exist as people, and would become ideas. And when needed, they could empower individuals with their power and abilities allowing for heroes that had ties to the world they lived in.
So the heroes left the world we know. They did remain, however, in the backs of the mind of the people of the world. In legends and fables. Some sought the power of the heroes, but those who sought rarely found; a hero is chosen by the need to protect and forged in deeds. It’s not something you try to become for fame or fortune.
Still, there are those who sought the power of the heroes in other ways, such as through worship. Around the world, one can find altars and statues of the heroes that were used in futile attempts to beseech them for their power. Over the generations, these makeshift temples faded from memory.
But on a small ignored island, one such temple is about to be discovered by the survivors of a shipwreck. Others are there already, seeking what they believe is forgotten magic for their own ends. The stakes begin as survival, but may end up being the world itself.
It is a a world, a time, a moment in need of heroes.
What do you do?