6 thoughts on “Hey guys.”

  1. (very minor spoilers for some Sunless Sea locations below…)

    Sunless Sea is indeed a wonderfully quirky world, and it is definitely a wonderful world that I’d love to start a campaign in.

    First things first: what aspect of the world are you (and, just as importantly, your players) interested in exploring?   Do you want to more-or-less emulate Sunless Sea in table top form? If so, you’re probably going to have the players all be crew on a single ship.  Spend some time establishing the ship, the crew, etc.  Maybe look into a naval-themed DW supplement.  I can’t speak to their quality, but a quick search found both Pirates! and Pirate World.  

    Alternatively, are you particularly intrigued by one or two locations in the world?  Perhaps you all want to play members of the Dead Post Society from Nuncio (sp?), or maybe you’re really interested in exploring the politics of Mt. Palmerston vs. Iron Republic, or playing Indiana Jones in the Empire of Hands.  If you go this route, consider really focusing the game (at least early on), on the locations or entities that you’ve chosen.  I could easily see an entire campaign’s worth of content available on nearly any single island in Sunless Sea.  By focusing early on, you allow the rest of the world to wait in the wings, ready to respond as your version of the world grows and changes.  

    Personally, I would probably also focus on keeping the game’s ‘power-level’ relatively low.  Yes, it might be fun to dive right into things like usurping the three gods, or messing with the Dawn Machine, etc, but the higher up in the mythos that you choose to play, the less room there is for that mythos to provide mystery, uncertainty (terror), and ‘general creepiness’.  Again, personal preference here. Obviously, if your groups is interested in conquering the immortal southern continent, go for it 🙂


    Now, looking beyond the specific circumstances of the campaign, I would spend some time considering how you plan to convey the atmosphere of Sunless Sea.  To me, this encompasses a few different aspects:

    1) Make a plan for how you intent to handle Terror.  To me, terror and loneliness play a huge role in navigating the Underzea, and if travel ever gets to the point of “We’re just going to sail from Fallen London over to Polythreme.  Ok, we’re there” then I feel that a large part of the atmosphere that makes Sunless Sea what it is will be lost.

    2) Ideas-as-items, to me, help to flavor the world’s quirky oddness.  Breaking from core Dungeon World’s ‘all currency is gold’ is important here, especially if you anticipate your game taking you to places like Irem or Whither.  Yes, it’s weird to trade in Tales of Terror or Extraordinary Implications, but to me, that’s one of the charms of the game.


    I’ve blathered on long enough, hopefully that’s helps explain how I’d ‘get started’ with such a campaign.

  2. You’re in good company – Vincent Baker  and John Harper were working on a Fallen London game until issues (I believe with licensing) put a nix on it. 

  3. It’s going to be an ongoing world, that threshes out as the players level (or don’t). I’m planning on level 1-3 exploring london and threshing out the general mood of the world. Currencies, laws, what is and isn’t condoned, etc. After that, the plot hook would revolve around the Royal Admiralty making them “an offer they can’t refuse” as their reputations start to precede them, aboard one of the royal vessels. Levels 3-7ish (Leadership will be allowed for obvious reasons) will be spent on the players getting to know how the exploration aspects of the game as well how to run a gritty ship in the Underzee. From there something will happen to their captain while out at see, and we’ll see what happens from there.

    One thing that I’m excited about is my implementation of the Terror stat. There are lots of unpleasant things to witness in the Underzee (purgatory ?). False stars will be the still glowing souls of other vessels in the waters, and this will invariably shake even the heartiest soldier. I’ll have the players make will saves under such stressful events, but they will never know if they’ve succeeded or not. Players can reach a maximum of 50 Terror, before losing complete control of their PC, however, upon reaching the 10, 25, and 40 mark they will suffer penalties on subsequent Terror saves. Their will also be reprieve from such things, of course. Each week of “downtime” (which is where professions and sidequests can be done) will remove a said amount.

  4. Actually, i was planning to do the exact same thing, but hacking apocalypse world instead of dungeon world. Unfortunately, my notes are in italian, but we can exchange contacts and find some time to discuss about it. 

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