#Shaper  was the #DungeonWorld  class I wrote that changed most through playtesting.

#Shaper  was the #DungeonWorld  class I wrote that changed most through playtesting.

#Shaper  was the #DungeonWorld  class I wrote that changed most through playtesting. I am indebted to Chris Sakkas and his contribution of The Truenamer in Extracts from Stone & Shadow from Grim Portents Issue 1 as the source of the base move’s mechanic. That heritage is still evident in the move Speak a True Name. Sculpt Reality and many of the advance moves owes more to fictional characters like Galadriel, Lanre, or Lyra. Try it and let me know how you like it!


11 thoughts on “#Shaper  was the #DungeonWorld  class I wrote that changed most through playtesting.”

  1. I should add that I have one player playing the Jacob Randolph  Mage and another playing a Shaper in my party. Comparing between the two, I would say that the Shaper is much more restricted in the effects he can achieve, but is more proficient at getting good results within his scope.

  2. Birch is a shaper allied with the brute Gog Mog. Birch knows the true name of trees. The party is descending a natural chimney which opens up into a large cave room. Gog Mog drops to the floor and is ambushed by an ox-sized acid frog being ridden by a wingless wasp the size of a monkey. There are many more in the corners of the cave. The party has found the nest!

    Birch decides he wants his ally out of that sticky situation. From his perch in the chimney above, he speaks the true name of tree, hitting the roll with a 7-9. He wants to grant the cave floor beneath Gog Mog the quality of trees and bear Gog Mog off the ground with a huge oak, but Birch has a choice to make first. Looking over his options, he really wants to make sure Gog Mog is safe while also remaining safe himself, so he decides the magic oak will not last long. Gog Mog and the giant wingless wasp on his back are born back to the escape route of the chimney in the branches of a magic oak, but Gog Mog will need to scramble to get clear of the oak while dealing with the angry wasp on his back before the oak crumbles back into nothingness.


  3. Comments from the player who plays Birch: “I tend to view it as akin to the 4E controller. There’s some damage, but mostly it’s environmental effects. Obviously, I could dream up uses of the word that would insta-kill and be all game breaky given that (unlike mage) a full success is just that. If I rolled a 10+ and declared that I was turning someone to stone, that seems a bit like a game break. So I limit the power of the effect on sentient beings to cover for the fact that I can only do 1d4 damage to them, which I think of as their mental will opposing my character’s use of the word of power. I’ll probably look to deal damage in some contexts, but I’m still feeling out the limits of the power within the game.

    And generally yes, this is about what I had hoped, it’s like having a quick ritual power most of the time that I can’t use to insta-kill, which is about what I was expecting.”

  4. Hmph. My example of play is probably not what actually happened. I think Birch did choose to be put in a spot so the wasp leapt off Gog Mog and tried to sting Birch, but you get the idea.

  5. To preempt the inevitable follow-up question, here is an example of play for sculpting reality.

    Birch and friends are heading deep into a cave in a geologically active area. GM has notes that tell him this cave is a Shadowland which may make the PCs backtrack or obfuscate direction by changing the environment, so he points to a looming threat without speaking his move by mentioning a little spring in the entrance of the cave. It issues forth a small stream which falls off into the cavern system. Chunks of rock are so eroded as to break off wetly before Birch’s eyes. Birch, savvy spelunker, does not like the look of this. He could speak the true name of stone and stiffen up the rock here temporarily, but he may be down in the cavern for some time. He needs a permanent solution, so he sculpts reality. He knows the true names of stone and movement, so he draws on the stone of the cave and the movement of the water to perform a ritual. He wants to create a natural dam with a sluice for the spring water and give his creation the tag solidity. GM decides the rock and stream are plenty pure enough for this purpose, so Birch may attempt the roll with a +2 for the two true names imbued into his creation. When he hits on the roll, Birch’s new dam gains exactly one trouble since it was imbued with only one benefit. Birch temporarily forgets the true name of movement, which will make collecting the treasure down in this cavern more difficult, but he has ensured the path out will remain open behind them.


  6. That sounds like an unfortunate situation to experience. Are there methods to writing non-Vancian magic moves that are more robust when used by that kind of player?

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