I’d like to start off by saying that this community has been extremely helpful for me in running my first ongoing DW…

I’d like to start off by saying that this community has been extremely helpful for me in running my first ongoing DW…

I’d like to start off by saying that this community has been extremely helpful for me in running my first ongoing DW campaign. 

With that said I’m looking for some help with an item/follower that my players have found recently in game.  So basically what we have is the full skeleton of a large beast of some sort.  The bones are carved with runes that at first weren’t visible but as they came across more of the pieces the runes began to glow and the shaman in the group began to hear whispers from the spirit of the bones themselves.  By the end of the  dungeon the party had found all of the parts but hasn’t had time to really discern what they are or piece it together. 

The purpose for me in this item is to give the shaman something special to his character, this all happened very organically and I was thinking of making the bones some sort of follower or companion with a spiritual nature for the shaman.  Each session I try to give one of the players something that is important for their characters development that I can later give greater purpose in the fiction.

So, I turn to you the community to see if you have any ideas you can throw my way to help me piece together what the hell these bones will be before our next outing. Thanks for the help in advance.

10 thoughts on “I’d like to start off by saying that this community has been extremely helpful for me in running my first ongoing DW…”

  1. When I hear large bones and spirit I immediately think this is a giant, and his spirit remains in the bones for some unfinished business. Or possibly a spirit animal or spirit guide for the shaman.

    Those are my quick thoughts on that. However, one great thing about DW is the collaboration between DM and players to tell the tale. So when in doubt, ask the player. Have them piece the bones together and tell you what they see, or have the spirit enter their dream when they make camp and have them describe what happens and build on that with your other players.

  2. Friend from the Boneyard 

    Your skill grants you dominion over a summoned magical creature. It is a Hireling that will follows your orders to the best of its abilities, describe it.

    Choose a base:

    * Protector +1, Warrior +2, Loyalty +2

    * Adept +2, Priest +1, Loyalty +2

    * Burglar +1, Tracker +2, Loyalty +2

    * Minstrel +2, Warrior +1, Loyalty +2

    If it dies or is otherwise unavailable, it summons itself to your side on the next midnight, alive and unharmed.

  3. Feels like a custom move to me…

    When you invoke the power of the rune bones first choose a creature’s skeleton:

    Griffin, manticore, hippogriff, wyrm, owlbear. Then roll +WIS

    And then maybe a version of the ranger’s companion move as the spirit of the bones does its shtick? Once hold is gone, the bones collapse into dust.

  4. These are the bones of a hulking giant, the last of this ancient race of giants, which lived high in the mountains.

    Deeply spiritual and religious, these giants’ needs to be buried in secrete ground to release their spirit.

    I would not make the bones an item, but a quest that could lead them to an ancient treasury.

    If you need it to be an item I would do it sort of like this:

    When you finish a ritual of binding with the hulking giant spirit roll+wis, on a hit gain the strength, endurance or ferocity of a hulking giant.

    10+ choose 2, 7-9 choose 1, -6 the ritual goes wrong and you enraged the spirit world, your DM what you need to do to make amens.    

    You temporarily gains the massive strength of a giant (+2 forward to strength)

    Until you make camp, you gain the giants ability to endure in the hashes of climates

    You let the spirit of the giant enter you mind, the next time you fight in melee it will take control of your body, until you see your enemies driven before you. (+1 ongoing and add forceful and messy to any weapon you swing)  

  5. If I was the shaman, I might love having a great glowing spirit beast to ride as a mount, with ornate bronzed runes spiralling over its visible skeleton.

  6. I would probably have the bones used in a form of spirit cleansing ceremony by the shaman. Maybe turning one of the bones into some sort of pan flute or shaman wand.Once cleansed you wouldn’t need the bones as the spirit is free. Now he could summon this particular spirit as a sort of animal companion similar to the ranger.

    Like a spirit guide of sorts. It could give him discern realities or spout lore bonuses. After the ceremony have the shaman be offered a boon by the spirit and see what he asks for. Then give it to him to the best of your abilities without breaking the game. Maybe the shaman really wants a magic wand or special ability rather than a companion?

    Edit- maybe if he asks for the spirit to stay with him it would only come when called and you use a move similar to the Druids shape change but to summon the spirit to take a different form and have the auto successes based on the roll like the Druid, without changing the shamans physical shape.

  7. Maybe the spirit wants the shaman to give its bones a proper resting place? That is important to the Shaman as a character and in return you could award him a “First Spirit” or whatever they are called from his class that corresponds to the beast it used to be. Imagine how your Shaman would feel being able to lay one of the first spirit creatures that ever existed to rest! You could also create a custom “First Spirit” if it doesn’t fit any that already exist. 

  8. I wanted to say thank you for all the ideas.  Some Ive taken directly but all of them helped inspire the final result.  I’m thinking the shaman will have to perform a ritual to unite the spirit to its bones.  As a companion/follower this creature will help with the next leg of the parties quest and give the shaman a little more usefulness in battle since he doesnt really engage when the party is fighting as is.  After the defeat of a few ‘boss’ battles I may have the follower feel at peace and ready to be put to rest which will send them on a seperate side quiest.  If any one is interested here is what I ultimately came up with.


  9. Looks good! One thing I would personally change would be the fact you have to have all the bones. Maybe the ritual could leave only like a skull or something smaller? Just seems a bummer to dismiss the companion and have to lug around a pile of bones.

    That’s just my personal preference. Also I personally as a shaman would love to yell out some phrase and throw some dust or dirt. Throw the bone and have it become this giant blue ape and you can see its skull glowing inside lol.

Comments are closed.