Fronts seem to confuse me, I understand the basics but not sure if I am doing them correctly here is a front I did,…

Fronts seem to confuse me, I understand the basics but not sure if I am doing them correctly here is a front I did,…

Fronts seem to confuse me, I understand the basics but not sure if I am doing them correctly here is a front I did, not even sure the grim portents make any sense?

Adventure Front

Name: What Lies Below

Description: A long lost city, that vanished below the earth, during a full moon, is revealed to the surface, as the sands parts. Sleeps an ancient evil, who’s worshipers flood to the city, offering sacrifices to their god.


Lord Behbur – Lava Demon

Soren Bloodworth – Head Cultist


Will they save the Sacrifices?

Will Senka hesitate when the demon tells her, he knows where her uncle is?

Danger: The Demon

Type: Demon Prince (impulse: to open the gates of Hell)

Impending Doom: Rampant Chaos (laws of reality, of society, or any order is dissolved)

Grim Portents

 Lord Behbur is summoned

 The sacrifices are sacrificed

 Lord Behbur opens the portal to hell

Danger: Entering the Chapel

Type: Cult (impulse: to infest from within)

Impending Doom: Tyranny (of the strong over the weak or the few over the many)

Grim Portents

 The cult completes the summoning Ceremony.

 The victims are Sacrificed

 The cult uses the weapon to kill Lord Behbur

16 thoughts on “Fronts seem to confuse me, I understand the basics but not sure if I am doing them correctly here is a front I did,…”

  1. I think it looks good. The second Danger is super redundant though. I’d rephrase it like this:

    Danger: The Behbur Cult

    Grim Portents:

    – The sacrifices are brought to the city

    – The temple is sealed and guarded

    – The sacrifices are given to Behbur

    It’s not perfect but I don’t know your fiction. I was trying to make it so the dangers are distinct and can happen in parallel. Behbur can still be summoned if the PCs stop them from bringing the sacrifices, maybe he just goes into a rage. And if the temple is sealed by then, the cultists might become sacrifices. Or the PCs…

  2. Just so i’m clear, it seems like the cultists are going to summon Lord Behbur and Sacrifice the victims, and then there is some race between the Cultist trying to use a weapon to kill Lord Behbur before the demon can open the portal to hell. Is that right?

    If so, your front generally works. A few improvements i might make, depending on what the PCs already know, what’s already established in the fiction (i.e. – what has been said at the table, and NOT what only the GM is thinking about):


    What sorts of people are taken as Sacrifices?

    What NPC that the PCs know has been taken as a Sacrifice?

    Can Behbur be defeated without the death of the Sacrifices?

    What will Behbur offer a PC to trick or stall them?

    Grim Portents (again, depending on what has already happened at the table):

    People around town are going missing.

    A cultist is captured!

    A holy relic (the cult’s weapon) is stolen from the local church (or if it wasn’t held locally, it’s presence is rumored/indicated by some weirdness)

    The summoning Ceremony begins!

    The Summoning Ceremony is completed.

    The Victims are sacrificed.

    The cultists attack Lord Behbur, and fail.

    Lord Behbur opens the portal to Hell.

    Note that i’ve changed the Grim Portents to determine that the cultists fail – you could change it the other way, that they succeed and the demon fails. I choose to have the Demon win here, because that would seem to be the worst outcome if the PCs fail to stop the doom. That means their involvement is more exciting, then if they are working to stop a doom that won’t happen anyway if they sit this one out.

    What you want to do with Grim portents is assume that the PCs don’t get involved at all, and list what happens. In this case, it’s perfectly fine to pick one side or another in a conflict to win, IF the PCs don’t get involved.

    Because the players will never see these Grim Portents laid out this way, you can go back and change them between sessions, or as part of a GM Move.

    Let’s say the Cultists would win if the PCs don’t intervene, but then when the PC’s hear of the divine weapon, they go steal it and use it to hunt rats in a basement somewhere. Well, even though you haven’t gotten to this Grim Portent yet, now the cultists lack that weapon, and they will fail. Change the Grim Portents to reflect this.

    How do the portents change? At this point, the cultists will need to switch tactics. Will they try recruit the PCs? or to steal the weapon back? Or find some new way to kill the demon? Whatever their new tactic, rewrite the Grim Portents to reflect how the PCs’ actions have impacted the plans of the various dangers, and how those dangers have to respond to their new fictional positioning.

  3. James Chambers Like I said, I don’t know your fiction. Changing the specifics of the portents is on someone more familiar with it. I thought “sacrifices” were innocents the cult had to cart in. If it’s the cultists themselves, then something like “Sacrifices begin the ritual of cleansing”

  4. You are correct, the cultist are clearly aware they are dealing with a demon, so are prepared for him to betray them. He wants to open a gate to his realm, which the Sacrifices are for, the cultist think that it will keep them wealthy.

  5. I don’t like to spell out Portents, personally. The reason is that once the PCs get involved, everything goes to shit. And if they don’t get involved, you don’t really need steps 1-4, just the final outcome.

    So instead, I just like to spell out some ultimate plan. The cultists plan to summon Behbur and kill him after he ushers in the chaos. Lord Behbur plans to open a portal to hell and reign over the land. Etc.

  6. Adventure Front

    Name: A family Betrayed

    Description: A powerful family, vanished from the streets of Dracmead, the only voice that remains is the daughter(obe of the PC’s) , the Uncle who jealousy destroyed the families name, sending his relatives into slavery. Dracmead’s merchants are responsible they wanted the power to themselves.


    Bernard Willhelm

    Merchants of Dracmead


    Danger: Thicker than water

    Type: Thieves Guild (impulse: to take by subterfuge)

    Impending Doom: Impoverishment (enslavement, the abandonment of goodness and right)

    Grim Portents

    (cant think of any)

  7. Campaign Front

    Name: The Lost Waters of Life

    Description: The war was just a distraction, the waters of the world have been locked away into an underground see, by a jealous and evil god. His agents are everywhere, making sure the water remains under lock and key.



    Danger: The heads of the grand city of

    Type: Corrupt Government (impulse: to maintain the status quo)

    Impending Doom: Tyranny (of the strong over the weak or the few over the many)

    Grim Portents

    So same problem, still need 3 to four dangers, and when I do go into the campaign Front do I pull the danger out and turn it into an Adventure front? Thats how I assume it works but could be wrong

  8. The reason i like to spell out roughly sketched out portents is that they provide me with a spring-board to either make a GM move, or to frame an interesting and relevant scene for the PCs.

    Working with stakes and Grim Portents, i can establish an idea of what would be interesting to play out, as the PCs are exposed to the ongoing drama of the world we’re playing in.

    By using this light framework, i don’t need to commit too much time and energy to it, and as a result, i’m not invested in seeing the full list of grim portents happen, or struggling to answer every Stake i’ve written. And, instead, i can revise them as needed, based upon the PCs’ interests and actions.

  9. James Chambers – take note that a big part of PbtA generally, and DW included, is “Play to find out what happens”

    It’s fine to have a solid idea of what the NPCs are trying to do, though i prefer to leave it vague for myself.

    But a strength of DW is that it calls on the GM to not know what is actually going to happen – the PCs have the ability to surprise you, and take you way off course.

    When you say you want to write things down for once, and not make it up as you go along – does that leave you in a strong position to react to the players? Does what the PCs do really matter, if the story is going to go in a particular direction regardless of their contributions?

  10. James Chambers How did the sessions go? I’m new to DW and have only gm’d 1 session and only played in a few so this discussion was valuable to me. Coming from a D&D background the “sandboxyness” of DW frightens and entices me. I’m worried about not having the capability of making a conclusive ending, or being drowned in options, but the tools are all there. Did you ever find a resolution for your adventures?

Comments are closed.