I’m working on wands for my next issue of Session Zero.

I’m working on wands for my next issue of Session Zero.

I’m working on wands for my next issue of Session Zero. Wands are very prominent In Harry Potter, but I want them to be less common and more like a lightsaber for Dungeon World. I feel a Wizard should go on a journey to collect the materials he needs to make his/her own unique wand, and then perform a ritual to complete its construction (because I feel rituals are woefully under used).

Here’s what I have so far to give the GM some direction…

Two primary components: Shaft and Core.

Secondary components: Whatever you feel is required for the ritual.

Shafts offer a benefit of some kind, and cores offer a completely different type of benefit. It’s up to the player to tell the GM what he wants to create, and then it’s on the GM to tell them what they need.

Doing it this way prevents me from creating a “Signature Weapon” type list of options, allows players some customization and gives the GM some quest fodder. It also wraps it all up snugly in the Ritual move so that there aren’t any additional rules and moves to be concerned with.

Wizard: Since we’re going to be trekking deep into a burial tomb I want to build a wand that is so strong and sharp I can use it in melee and pierce through armor, and it allows me to turn undead – with an INT roll of course.

GM: Because of its long, slender nature, to avoid breaking the wand would need to be made of unobtainium that can only be found at the core of the underwater volcano Dreadblaze. To turn undead you’ll need to find an Angel Feather for the core.

Thief: Can we steal some unobtainium?

GM: Sure, who do you know that can put you on the right track to finding some?

Thief: I know a fence down by Logrun who should know where to look.

Bard: When I was a lad living in Gotheim I heard tales of angels aiding the sick. Might be a good place to start for the Angel Feather.

Wizard: Yeah we can do this… what about the ritual?

GM: You’ll need to find a smith who can work with unobtainium, and it’ll need to be quenched in sanctified forge oil. Then you’ll need to find a place of power on desecrated holy ground to infuse the Angel Feather into the shaft…

It’s now up to the GM to decide on the actual effects of the wand, but he has plenty of time to think about it while the players are off finding the components. The completed wand might be something like this…

Deadbane – 1 weight, hand, 2 Piercing

A Wizard may roll+2 when using Deadbane in melee

When you hold Deadbane aloft and call upon its core for protection, roll+INT.

On a 7+, so long as you hold it aloft, no undead may come within reach of you.

On a 10+, you also momentarily daze intelligent undead and cause mindless undead to flee. Aggression breaks the effects and they are able to act as normal.

…but they had to go through a lot to get it.

What are your thoughts please? All discussion and criticism is welcome!

10 thoughts on “I’m working on wands for my next issue of Session Zero.”

  1. Brilliant! A great use of the current moves and story building. This will be a great article in the Zine.

    I like the Light Sabre analogy.

  2. After posting I thought “I hope they don’t think I mean physically like a light sabre!” I totally just don’t want it to be “the wand chooses the wizard” and everyone gets theirs at age 13 lol

  3. Also Robert Doe, I’m trying very hard to stick to what DW already does, with as few modifications as possible. I think if I get too crazy it becomes a hack of DW (which is fine; I’m working on one of those right now too!) rather than popular-media-inspired content for worldbuilding, which is what Session Zero is all about. To that end I added a principle in issue 2 that wasn’t there in issue 1: Think Dungeon World.

    Crafting in issue 2 went through SEVERAL revisions. I originally had each designed as a Compendium class with several moves each and special leveling methods for the different crafting types. All of that belongs in a hack, not in Session Zero. I wrote the Think Dungeon World principle specifically because I’d gone too crazy with crafting!

    I may do a Skyrim hack for DW because I have some cool ideas, but none of that belongs in Session Zero (IMO).

  4. I’ve been thinking of a Dragon Ball hack myself. Maybe not Dungeon World level, but more so World of Dungeons level.

    All this talk of epic battles in the community has me craving some dbz

  5. I’ve edited it down and altered Deadbane a bit. Here’s a Google Doc’s link that I opened up for comments if anyone would like to take a look. If you make any edits that make it into the published issue you’ll get your name in the credits.

    I originally intended for this to be a single page but it will likely now take up a two-page spread.

    docs.google.com – Wands

  6. I don’t think you need to include “Melee: hand”. Just “hand” should suffice.

    And i don’t think its too powerful at all. Feels good actually. I’d be careful not to include it while a cleric is in the group however.

  7. I was worried about the “melee” bit, I just wanted to make sure it was clear that it’s a bonus when using it in melee and not to spell casting in general (Magic Missles cast with it doesn’t get 2 Piercing and + 1 damage for example).

    I agree with the Cleric comment as well, but that’s always going to be up to the GM. If the party has a Cleric you would have to find a way to disallow it (which I’m loath to do), severely gimp it, or make it really difficult to get. In a party without a Cleric you can be more lenient.

  8. I took out the [Melee: …] portion that was odd and out of place and put the information in italics underneath the name (in the link of course… it’s much easier to just update the document than to keep re-posting it here).

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