I’m new at this Dungeon World thing (as in 3 sessions new) and would like your help with the campaign’s first magic…

I’m new at this Dungeon World thing (as in 3 sessions new) and would like your help with the campaign’s first magic…

I’m new at this Dungeon World thing (as in 3 sessions new) and would like your help with the campaign’s first magic item.

Lizardfolk in the DW book have an instinct: “to destroy civilization”.  Following some D&D lore, I have presented lizardfolk as neutral aligned creatures that only really wage war on civilization when it threatens their well-being or when the Lizard King takes charge.  Rather than the Lizard King being a lizardman with demonic heritage, i decided that the trident that he wields is the thing that makes him all ape-shit crazy to destroy what the civilized races have wrought.

Well, the elven ranger found that trident.  Let’s call it the Trident of the Lizard King.  I looked through the magic items presented in the book, and searched for examples of magic weapons here in the DW Tavern and elsewhere online, but nothing really jumped out and grabbed me.  I know that i’d like the trident to constantly urge the ranger to take a more savage approach and shun the trappings of the civilized, but i’d also like it to confer a nifty enough advantage so that the ranger will be tempted to keep it.

So please help me out!  What does the Trident of the Lizard King do?

10 thoughts on “I’m new at this Dungeon World thing (as in 3 sessions new) and would like your help with the campaign’s first magic…”

  1. Mess with his alignment. Give him a new alignment relating to destroying civilization, and tell him to draw a few boxes (3 to 6ish). When he marks the Trident’s XP, he fills in a box. When all the boxes are filled, the trident’s alignment replaces his own.

    Of course, give him something that makes it more worthwhile to wield it in the interim.

  2. With the idea it could go with instead of destroying civilization but protecting the lizardman culture so you can go with some kind of persuasion/mind control that makes it easier to convince other races to help smooth things over to either leave the lizardmen alone or make them less threatening to the other races.

    Could also go with the more sensible thing to tie the lizardmen to dragon heritage & somehow unlocking power or lore out of the dragons to help out the lizardmen of this area.

  3. Excerpt From Grim world:

    Here’s a few of some possible cursed item tags, but don’t be afraid to create your own.


    When this item is in your possession, something about you (such as your personality or alignment) will be completely opposite. The bold will become meek; the good will turn evil.


    Occasionally, the item will put a troublesome impulse in your mind without you realizing it. The item might want you to steal a valuable, betray an ally, or start a fire, depending on its personality.


    Whether it’s magically powerful or seemingly mundane, a sentient item is one with a mind, will, and goals of its own. Maybe it’s a spirit living inside the item, or the personality of a past bearer has imprinted itself. It’s not always inherently evil, but beware what happens when you disagree.


    An item with the Bound tag means it’s somehow attached to the wielder. It could be embedded in your skin, or cause you great pain when you put it down. Perhaps every time you attempt to rid yourself of it, somehow the world conspires to give it back. The item could bind itself to you as soon as you pick it up, or need to be used or triggered first.


    The item will encourage a specific emotion, such as anger, fear, sadness, or apathy.

    A good cursed item is just as tempting for the player as it is to the character. And the best cursed items ARE tempting. An item that’s just bad all around isn’t nearly as interesting as an item that holds great power but comes with a cost. Consider perhaps the most infamous cursed item of them all: The One Ring.

    Also, as a GM, don’t feel you need to always reveal every detail of the item. Sometimes it’s best to tell the player what they’re risking, but often it’s more fun to find out the item’s curse through play.

    Often it’s best to keep things primarily fiction driven, but for the tags that give a character certain impulses, emotions, or desires, GM’s may want to add a mechanical effect.

    In Dungeon World, when you give in to such an impulse, take +1 forward. When you resist, take -1 forward. Another option is only allowing partial successes (7-9) when you act against the cursed item.

  4. (Now rushing to find out more about Grim World. . .)

    Such an elegant solution!

    When the Trident of the Lizard King encourages the ranger to act in accordance with its goals, the ranger chooses one:

    Do it the Lizard King way, take +1 forward.

    Do it your way, take -1 forward.

    I’m not sure that this alone is tempting enough to make the trident a prized possession.  I’d like to see some more examples of benefits the trident might offer.

  5. Just a thought: what about modifying Discern Realities and Spout Lore for the bearer of the sword to reflect the Lizard King’s “world view”? 

    What here smells of humans?

    How has civilization corrupted this area?

    Something along these lines could help shape the player’s outlook and might be tempting to use for gaining information not normally available to the character. 

  6. Maybe it allows you access to Lizardmen moves, a la heritage moves from the Planarch Codex….

    Lizardman Moves:

    • Assault a bastion of civilization

    • Embrace internal chaos

    • Change direction suddenly

    • Overwhelm a weaker force

    • Display a show of dominance

    • Grow in size—by breeding or conquest

    • Appoint a champion

    • Declare war and act upon that declaration without hesitation or deliberation

  7. Make it a hold move.

    Temptation of the Trident

    When you Succumb to the Trident’s desire for chaos and destruction of civilisation, roll+STR. 

    On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7-9, hold 1. Hold can be spent, 1 for one, on the following: 

    -Cow, frighten, or dominate a subjectof civilisation with a show of power.

    -Command a small part of the wild to do your bidding for a single moment.

    -Look into the eyes of another, know what they truly fear.

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