I am looking for some inspiration.

I am looking for some inspiration.

I am looking for some inspiration. One of my players is playing a Ranger with a big stealthy, tireless eagle as familiar (cunning: search). Because most of our playing so far has either been indoors or underground (Dungeon World, you know), the bird has seen very little use in the game so far.

As I am a fan of the character, I’d like to change that, but ideally in a way that’s a bit more original than: “okay, you’re now in the open air, yes, your bird can probably help you attack these orcs”. Unfortunately, this player is not that experienced in out-of-the-box thinking yet, so if I don’t provide a little bit of help I fear that’s exactly the scenario we’ll end up with.

Do you guys have any nifty ideas for a fun sort of scene or setup or puzzle I could throw into the current campaign (maybe as a sort of nano-front?) that would help my player make good use of her familiar? I am having a hard time thinking of something that would require the use of a stealth eagle but would still actually be novel and exciting rather than boring and mundane (“you send the eagle to steal the orc’s shoes. It does so.”)

11 thoughts on “I am looking for some inspiration.”

  1. Well besides the obvious not having everything worth doing in enclosed spaces. One thing you can do is use detail to draw his attention to certain things. You don’t need to be “this hole is perfectly sized to fit your bird in” obvious, but even a small amount of focus on something can get him thinking on it.

  2. Information could be a great thing to have, you want to know whats down the two forks have the bird go and scout. You want to know how many orks there is, the bird is there to spy. Many spies have many eyes as Gandalf said about the birds.

  3. Take advantage of flight to help make a bridge or grab something beyond reach. Maybe his acute senses detect gas or distant noises sooner. Maybe she’s a nocturnal eagle that sees in the dark.

  4. Having a Fence that knows the familar and the Ranger would be cool. He could have the eagle transport goods back and forth safely. Even make purchases while away.

  5. I’ll just add that Dungeon doesn’t have to be a literal term; anywhere with monsters, danger and treasure can be considered a dungeon. The forest where Hansel and Gretel got lost, the dead city of Hamunaptra, Treasure Island, they’re all dungeons. How much time did the Fellowship of the Ring spend underground, really? Moria, a bit of Mordor, pretty much everything else was outside.

    So, don’t think of above ground adventures as unoriginal, they’re just an alternative.

  6. I would say that the more often you bring his attention to his animal, the more likely he may think to incorporate it. This can be done in small ways, like during a make camp, asking him what his animal is doing, or just describing it. In dungeoning around, you may describe it flying forth and perching on a stalagmite (stalactite?), maybe it looks at him and pecks at him in discomfort for lack of fresh air. the more you can make it an interesting NPC, the more he will see that there may be a use for it after all…

  7. David LaFreniere Stalactites cling tight to the ceiling!

    You could add a puzzle where there are mechanisms too high for your players to reach safely, but the bird could make it. Also, they could use the bird to lure monsters into traps.

  8. Just a minor thought for how to use the eagle while they’re still in the dungeon: the eagle can be circling the area above looking out for trouble. If a miss causes you you mark off an applicable off-screen grim portent, the Ranger might hear the shrill warning cry of his eagle filtering through the natural air vent fissures from outside warning him of approaching danger on the surface.

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