I feel like regular animals should get some more love in Dungeon World.

I feel like regular animals should get some more love in Dungeon World.

I feel like regular animals should get some more love in Dungeon World. We had a session where a player’s class was supposed to get a move of the beast he made a trophy from, but it was just a bear. We resolved that, but it took longer than it should have. Has anyone seen a resource made that has regular animals made up for dungeon world? I could make them myself, but I figured if it has been made already, it saves me some time. 🙂

18 thoughts on “I feel like regular animals should get some more love in Dungeon World.”

  1. I’ve been writing animal moves on the fly for my druid, but we haven’t found any real resources to go from besides my deep deep zoological nerdiness.

  2. Rachel Kahn my group has a lot of animal knowledge amongst us as well, it would just be nice to have something to use that doesn’t have to be made up on the fly lol

  3. I asked about this a while back.

    Someone posted a link to the Druid Shapeshifter FAQ which I believe included some animal information.

  4. Most moves are pretty obvious but generally you need to listen to exactly what your players are looking to get out of the tranformation. For example an eagle would have some variation of a flight based move, take to the skies, attack from above, etc. If they mentioned trying to save another player from danger, I would add take an Ally aloft as a move or if they mentioned trying to disarm an enemy, I would add Steal an item with talons. I think it really depends on the context of the situation more than the animal they’re shapeshifting into.

  5. Griffin Lambert it’s not a shapeshift problem, we usually don’t have any issues there. This was a 3rd party class that gets a move the beast had when they make a trophy from part of it. He made a bear paw trophy.

  6. Andrea Serafini posted some suggested animal moves (for the purposes of Druid shapeshifting) a while back.

    plus.google.com – DRUID SHAPE SHEETS So, that is a handout for druids. Pick your land, and you…

    I’m sure I’ve also seen a huge google sheet of animal moves. Searching turned up this one, which is different but might still be useful:


    Also Jeremy Strandberg, your boar has an instinct to “loose” its temper, rather than losing it 🙂

  7. Jeremy Strandberg​ I know it’s by the rules, but I’ve always felt that 3hp was a lot for a small bird. I mean, the Adventurer and Soldier from the core book’s “Folk of the Realm” section only have 3hp. I’ve been running with a general shift down for small animal hp; if you can hit it (represent difficulty to hit with armor, as you did with the fox, or a penalty — or both!) Then it’s just dead. Hunters down deer with one bow shot, similarly for birds. I’ve been just giving things like birds 1hp. If you hit it, it’s probably dead. Foxes and the like might get 2-3, and larger stuff is usually okay as written.

  8. Edward Hickcox sure, that makes sense.

    I remember when I was working on those, I had similar thoughts. I think I ended up keeping everything with a minimum of 3 hp because these were at least partly intended to be Followers (Perilous Wilds style), and I wanted them to have a little bit of potential durability.

  9. An interesting angle to take would be to find ways to do vulnerability at a distance (eg deer vs arrow) but have armor come into play more in melee – eg. deer are quite dangerous and hard to kill when you’re up close and personal.

  10. I would almost say anyone familiar with hunting would get 2 piercing (like with Smaug’s Belly) vs deer when they attack one that is unaware. It’s easy to kill a deer that doesn’t know you are there if you know where to hit it.

  11. Rachel Kahn That sounds like some kind of sniper move. Bonus damage or reduced/nullified armor. There’s no critical hit in DW, but double damage might make sense for animals if you have time to set your shot and aim.

  12. I think the Ranger’s Called Shot (which lets them just deal damage with surprise and skip the Volley) covers this pretty well.

    A single bow shot to a deer might kill them outright, but there’s a pretty good chance that the deer will survive the initial wound and bolt and bleed out (and the hunter then has to track them down). Even experienced hunters don’t always kill with a single shot.

    A deer has 3 HP. A ranger rolls d8 damage. 75% of the time, that shot will drop a deer. The other 25% of the time, the deer bolts. Time to Hunt & Track.

    Shooting a starling or a squirrel is more about actually landing the shot, though. You hit it square and it’s going down (with an arrow or a sword, take your pick). They’re just tiny little buggers and hard to hit.

    So, I think the best way to model it would be to give them 1 HP with armor: +1 armor for being fast and nimble, +1 armor for being tiny. (Basically what Edward Hickcox was saying.)

    So our Called Shot ranger has the same chance (3/4) to drop the starling or squirrel, but on the 1 in 4 chance that they roll under the 2 armor, they’re gone.

    And if you get a squirrel for a follower, maybe don’t put them in harms way? I can live with that.

  13. Jeremy Strandberg I like that idea, +1 armor for a few different qualities. It keeps within the rules of the game and simulates the issue. Basically, if the armor stops all the damage, you missed. Perfect. Maybe call it Avoidance instead of armor. Aaaannnddd… now I need to rewrite all my custom creatures.

  14. Edward Hickcox I’ve taken to putting the source of Armour in parentheticals, and using that to inform the fiction and judge when/if the Armor applies.

    So for example:


    Armor 2 (reflexes, size)

    Black bear

    Armor 1 (hide)


    Armor 4 (chitin, speed, size)

    The monster questionnaire already has “skilled in defense” (+1 armor) and “actively defends itself” (+1 armor), and “lacks discernible anatomy” (+1 armor).

    All you’d need do is edit the size entry for Tiny to be “-2 damage, -2 HP, +1 armor” and you’d be golden.

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