Okay. I finished my first read-through of the rulebook. I got to play once (so far) as a paladin in Tobie Abad’s game. I even got to run a short “free taste” game for three of my buddies. I like what I see, so far, and my friends agree. Now I just want to know if it can support long-running campaigns.

Personally, I like demon lords/archdevils as BBEG’s: One of the popular D&D ones will likely be the center of my campaign front in the longstanding game that I’m about to start. In D&D demon lords are all about the STATS! But here in Dungeon World, they will likely be scary through the game fiction, and their monster elements will be comparable to an apocalypse dragon I guess.

On that note, here’s a question for the community: What elements do you suggest I employ to evoke the feeling that a monster is a demon lord? Will their mere presence ravage the land? Should I design custom moves that will trigger when the characters see their their unnatural forms? Will they shrug off normal attacks and spells? Things like that. 

5 thoughts on “Okay.”

  1. Yes, it can support longer campaigns. All of those ideas for the demon lords sound really cool. Maybe, if you’re doing multiple demon lords, have each one have an area of influence? I don’t know, I’m not all that familiar with demon lords.

  2. Find inspiration from the tags they have.  If they have Terrifying, then consider things that they can do to be terrifying.  Maybe you can describe it merely as an aura of fear.  Or maybe you can reflect it as a literal presence (think Sauron’s Eye in the movies) which can see you regardless of distance.  

    The other systems are there to reflect repercussions on the players.  But the tags really fill up the makeup of the personality and presence of a monster.

  3. As stats tend not to be the big scary in DW, remember to bring the immediate world into your descriptions.  Collateral damage is a wonderful way to show the power of an creature or entity.  Similarly, because Demon Lords don’t need something like ‘Great Cleave’ or some multi-attack feat in order to threaten the whole party….make sure that the Demon Lords threaten not just the whole party, but anyone and anything in the area.  Make the party Defy Danger just to act in the vicinity of the creature (unless they PCs have prepared themselves appropriately).  There are lots of options to showcase your BBEG, both in fiction, as well as through the interaction of fiction and mechanics. 

    Custom moves can be great ways to emphasize a specific part of the monsters’ effects on the PCs.  Don’t bog yourself down with lots of different custom moves.  Choose a key aspect or two, and make some great moves based on that.

    As for shrugging off attacks or spells, that’s totally a doable.  One of the community’s common clarifications is that moves like Hack and Slash or Volley are only triggered if A) the monster can resist and, more importantly, if B) your attack has a chance of actually hurting the creature.  This is one of the ways in which the fiction really drives the moves.  A player can’t just say, ‘I Hack and Slash the Demon Lord’ and then try to roll, regardless of fictional context.  If this Demon Lord can only be hurt by [ancient swords], then the PCs had better find themselves some [ancient swords].   Maybe you need to complete a specific ritual, or attack during a specific time of year, or be in a specific place, etc.

  4. Thanks, y’all! I’m not really building one yet, I think I need to experience GMing a little bit more before I can jot one down properly. But I do like brainstorming.

    Giovanni Lanza I think you’re in an Eberron vibe, so I guess the best way to describe the demon lords I want to use will be akin to the Lords of Dust. The LoD’s can’t be killed though, only imprisoned through the Draconic Prophecy, whereas D&D always portrayed Orcus, Demogorgon and the like to be killable end bosses.

    Tobie Abad I’m thinking of using one of the more maddening demon lords in D&D-verse: Pale Night! She’s basically this translucent white shroud swaying in the wind, and in the middle of it there’s the silhouette of a woman. But everyone who’s ever seen what’s inside the veil has either died in terror, or are too insane to recount what was inside. Terrifying, indeed.

Comments are closed.