I had the most satisfying adventure in DW as a GM this weekend. I finally felt like aspects of the game came together as they were supposed to. This included problems that I was having with pace and keeping players involved and interested in how to further the story at pivotal points.
It all started as the players decided they were returning from a voyage on a ship. Sure, that sounds great. The players were escorted on to the docks and into a large tree in the woods near the shore that, when you look up from the ground level, there were no leaves at the top. The players were led to a platform that began to ascend to the top of the tree and, as it did, I told them that they’re hands and bodies were covered in blood. For a few minutes, the group began trying to get their stories straight on what happened.
The captain of the ship was led to believe that the adventurers were planning a mutiny and they figured, well, better stop him from making any drastic decisions before someone gets hurt. Apparently, Lautrac, the elven wizard, was attempting to bind him with magic that he draws from the night sky. It went horribly awry and the captain spontaneously exploded. I asked them if anyone was in the elevator with them and they said yes, the short elven elevator attendant.
As the group reached the top, Queen Valaria was waiting, eyes gazing over the horizon as the sun was almost fully hidden behind it. Only a few minutes of sunlight was left. The group was interrogated as to why they had no artifact and why her daughter, Azalia, was no longer with them. She apparently tried to make off with the artifact and Lautrec decided that it was best if he pushed her off the cliff just after snatching the artifact back from her. Using his keen magic ability, he transported the artifact across space and time to put it in the woods where they were now returning to.
What at first looked like Queen Valaria quickly turned to an evil witch that the players would later learn captured the real Queen and placed her in a cage deep underneath this very tree, though the players later found a secret way in that did not involve coming back. Oh, where did they go you ask? I can tell you this much.
Cyrus, our human druid, quickly turned into a squirrel and… well, was quickly picked up by the elevator operator and stuffed into a sack as he told the faux Queen what he had heard on the elevator on the way up. The attendant attempted to jump off the edge of the tree with some contraption on his back but Shep, our mighty human fighter, quickly snatched him before the young elf could escape. Once a fight broke out on the top of this enormous tree, the group was trapped by vines that created a barrier to any escape as the witch’s giant hawks came dive bombing from the sky. That didn’t stop Shep, oh no. With the help of Cornbread, our lovely human bard, he found a weak spot in the wall of the vines and threw the elven attendant through it. Cyrus luckily transformed back to his human form and ripped through the sack he has held in just before this.
The group eventually attempted to escape through the hole and went free falling off the edge. All but one of them. Cyrus missed a crucial roll to get away from some hawks that were attacking him and thus was snatched by two of them, in bear form at this point mind you, and the sad bear that was left behind was slowly being carried away through the air, likely to the mountains where the hawks nested.
The flight down for the other members of the group was just the first of many hilarious outcomes that occurred in this story. So many failures were rolled during this game that I had an absolute blast making hard move after hard move but the players still seemed to enjoy it, which was all the more rewarding for me.
Want to hear what happened? Here’s the link to the audio: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B99hPl0o50Y8UXhmV3hJQWt4aDA/edit?usp=sharing