Running Dungeon World for three 9-12 year old boys and their dad tonight.

Running Dungeon World for three 9-12 year old boys and their dad tonight.

Running Dungeon World for three 9-12 year old boys and their dad tonight. Any last minute prep or tips that you suggest. My current plan is to go in with some random half baked ideas and then spin them like crazy off of anything the boys say might be interesting to them.

8 thoughts on “Running Dungeon World for three 9-12 year old boys and their dad tonight.”

  1. Let the boys come up with everything. Their ideas will probably be more insane and interesting. My nephew came up with the setting–a city ruined by a hurricane. But the good part was all the gargoyles he said were stirred up by its passage. Whole deal kicked off with a huge gargoyle fight. Holy cow, they were hiding everywhere!

  2. I can never stop myself from preparing adventure stuff, but I have learned the hard way that Dungeon World is better served by too little prep than too much.

    After they make characters, but before they make up bonds, you could ask some questions about things you want to bring into the game: What country is this adventure in–a howling forest on the slopes of wild peaks, or a rainforest filled with ancient ruins, and extinct animals so fierce that no one has explored it? Who is your patron–a ruthless general, a powerful wizard, an outlaw prince, a nightmare queen, our a pirate captain? What kind of job did they entrust to you–a delivery, a recovery, a rescue, or defeating a menace? What went wrong?

  3. 9-12? I start the set dressing in the middle of combat and build from there.  Their attention is immediately engaged in a life or death struggle. This really gets them interested from the start and helps engage them in making moves right off the bat.

  4. Put in lots of combat, as long as its interesting and exciting they should love it at that age. However, don’t do endless swarm of combat (keep introducing new creatures on failed rolls), the combat should advance the story.

    If this is a campaign and not a one shot I suggest looking/thinking of plot hook questions, these can be used later on. In the first session try to find any personal goals they may have: gain magical power, gold, saving others, epic fights.. Etc.

    I find that at the first session it is better to ask questions about where they are and where they are going, cool world ideas, immediate things. You then can ask a few questions at the start of following sessions about family, past adventures and such. Ask too many questions at the start and your players can get bored.

    You probably knew some of this and it’s just my advice so decide what you want to do, good luck! 🙂

  5. Hey all, thanks for the tips. 

    So, here’s my a summary from the last night, cleaned up a bit for easier reading and to put it in chronological order rather than the order we discovered certain facts or details. We’re doing this at a family reunion and hope to get in one more session tonight to tie some things up before everyone goes home. We ended up with an 8 year old (the wizard), an 11 year old (the druid), their father (the priest), and my 12 year old (the thief) as players.

    I came to the table completely cold and was able to put together the adventure below (setting, threats, everything) on the fly based only on what the players offered up. They did most of the work and I simply tied things together and added a few twists and obstacles, mostly as soft or hard moves. I fell back on asking questions at every opportunity. For example, Q: “ok, you guys are camping in the desert…what kind of horrible monsters live in the desert and what are they like?” A: “spider-scorpions; they spit poison, glow in the dark, have horrible slashing front arms that will cut you to pieces, and have a poison stinger” Wow, thanks guys all I have to do is come up with hit points and descriptions and everything else is done for me! This continued on for the whole night.

    Backstory made up during character gen and/or during early play

    Lenore, the priest of Secullus sent halfling thief Shank into the desert city of Sindahim to steal the magical Haunted Dagger from a wise old blind man. Unfortunately for Shank, the blind man’s hearing was amazing and he cried out during the theft. Shank accidentally killed the old man and was thrown in jail, the dagger taken from him and hidden away in a well guarded dungeon. Fortunately for Shank, the creepy elven wizard Galadir had seen visions that Shank will play an important role in events to come and busted Shank out of jail either using invisibility, charm person, or a portal spell (we had a hard time getting a final answer on this, but any of them work for me, esp. since it’s backstory, not play). The two fled the city into the desert to escape from the town guards.

    Summary of Play

    The halfling thief, elf wizard, and human druid fought off some sand spider-scorpions in the middle of the desert. They then flew on the back of the druid in giant bird form to the nearby Temple of Sucellus where they met up with the human cleric. That night the halfing discovered a secret passage leading underground and in that moment the temple grounds were overrun by the skeletons from the desert outside. The four hurriedly descended into the catacombs beneath the temple to escape from the skeletal horde. In the catacombs they discovered that all the skeletons were missing from their recesses. Moving ahead they discovered that the passageway split into 8 directions like a star, but fortunately the wizard had seen visions and knew that all the paths but one lead to dead-end tombs. Heading even deeper underground they discovered that the tunnels were now natural, although unusual in that though they appeared natural and not carved by any tool, they were lined with ridges and snaked through the stone in unusual patterns. When they reached a pit in the tunnel path, the thief discovered that it was trapped with a large boulder perched precariously above the pit opening and support by logs that would dislodge if even slightly disturbed. Thinking quickly, the thief rigged up a rope harness to tug the logs out of the way and allow the boulder to fall into the pit without rolling down the tunnel towards them. Unfortunately his lantern was smashed in the chaos of triggering the trap. To be continued…

  6. I really loved being able to focus on the big picture and evocative descriptions instead of rules minutia. There were a few times where the boys want to say “I get +2 damage to attacking, so I attack it” and I had to walk them through “well, the spider-scorpion is a few feet away and about to pounce on you…what do you want to do about that? You could roll out of the way…you could slash at it as it lands on you with those sharp slashing arms you described…etc.” In the end they got the hang of describing the fiction and worrying less about the rolls.

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