Hello Tavern Goers

Hello Tavern Goers

Hello Tavern Goers,

Next week I’ll be introducing Dungeon World a group of about 6 players. I have 2.5 hours to work with for play time. My plan is to make premades for them (last time I introduced this game character creation took somewhere around 45 minutes) and then run them through a short but complete adventure. The players ages will ranged from 13 to adult. 

I’m drawing a blank for ideas for adventures. I want something that can be completed in the 2.5 hours and will be epic, also I want to hand pick the classes that will be played so that I can have situations that give everyone a chance to shine. I’m going to shy away from collective world building for this since I’m so pressed for time.

What are your thoughts on a short adventure and what 6 classes would you use? Note that I own a majority of classes that are out there and am more than happy to use non core classes.

19 thoughts on “Hello Tavern Goers”

  1. Chargen is probably the most important part of DW. If you make the characters, an adventure will grow out of it naturally. I’d just use the corr characters for new players, but that’s just me.

    (Edit: Kasper Brohus Allerslev is the one shot king, at least I think that’s what he said. Lol He probably as some good ways to speed up chargen.)

  2. If your goal is to complete this in a short period of time, limiting the available classes is probably a good way to go. Avoid classes that tend to need a great deal of adjudication during the game (I’m looking at you, Druid) and maybe the Vancian spellcasters (Cleric and Wizard) in favor of their counterparts, Mage and Priest. A lot of this choice is going to depend on your players, though. If you have exceptionally quick learners, those classes may not be a problem at all. 

    Since this is an introduction to the game, don’t worry about doing End of Session and thus, you don’t need to worry about Alignment and other mechanics that tend to be more important in an ongoing campaign. For this reason, I would probably not use the Paladin (or at least, limit the Quest move to something that can be done during the course of this session). If you are super pressed for time, you might also want to have everyone pick 1 Bond instead of filling out the entire list.

    In terms of the adventure, my preference would be to write short, one or two sentence summaries of certain scenes that will demonstrate the game’s potential. Allow the players to find these scenes on their own instead of railroading them through what you have planned.

  3. Sigh…Yes I know how to run a one shot DW game. I’ve done it a couple of times and once at a con. I’ve even wrote an article about it for my blog. I’m asking for story idea. That’s it. A plot. I have writers block and I’m asking for inspiration. 

    Sorry for biting heads but lately it seems when I ask a question people give me advice and information about everything I’m planning but not actually telling me what I want to know.

  4. I’m just saying that characters made before the game, don’t show off the system very well. If you’re wanting to demo what the game has to offer, chargen is essential.

  5. OK, so a story idea. Sometimes, I call back to the classics. Maybe some shorter version of Keep on the Borderlands. Or the Temple of Elemental Evil. Maybe the bottom level of ToEE would give you the epic feel you’re seeking.

  6. The lich-King stirs once more. Only one being knows the details of his phylactery, a 2″ tall faerie creature named Hamlet. Hamlet lives in the rafters of the ancient Library of Baluk which is rumored to be haunted, among other things. Maybe with his help and the help of the Cat Lord and his minions the party can recover the charm.

    Hamlet rides a large dragonfly and only negotiates for salt and pocket lint. He hates the cat, Bogart, who also roams the library’s halls spying on behalf of the Cat Lord.

    The library is built above an ancient mausoleum in the old city. Releasing the dead would threaten the entire city.

    NOTES: For the most part, the adventure is about recovering the phylactery, not confronting the lich, but who knows what will happen?!

  7. As was said before.

    Character creation is integral to any AW derivative. 

    It paints the first part of the backdrop that your players want to play in. It informs the DM as to what the players see a fantasy game as.

    From there some light structure in the form of a front can be built upon. A good set of generic maps and an idea as to where you want to take the game.

    Each session can be short, but further build on the last game. The challenge is to create good stopping points and cliffhangers. 

    Good luck and have fun!

  8. Kairam Hamdan n I totally agree. But part of the fun for the GM is bringing a few ideas of his own to throw in the mix.

    I ran my first game last weekend for a meetup group, and It was difficult getting ideas from them at times. They just weren’t familiar enough with DW, and in some cases RPGs altogether. They wanted some direction.

  9. I use the 5-room dungeon site. The 1-page dungeon has far too big dungeons for most one-shots (though I run the Giant’s Dollhouse as a DW one-shot really well). I would use a 5-room dungeon, but trim it down to 3 rooms by removing or reducing the reversal room and eliminating the guardian (by starting in media res). Leave space for complications added by the PCs.

    This should give you enough time to hand out character sheets (core classes only) and also do 20 minutes of bonds. Alternately: use one class for everyone, like a Commoner, so there really aren’t many choices, and still spend time on bonds. The actual character sheet is less important than the bonds with other PCs.

  10. As Stephanie Bryant says, bonds are very important.  I have found when running one shots that choosing bonds gives the players’ an immediate hook for role-playing the interactions between their characters.  People that have just met 5 minutes before will be getting into character and having in character conversations right off the bat.  Very powerful tool.

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