I want to run Curse of Strahd in Dungeon World or Freebooters, structuring it in the Perilous Wilds/Deeps style, but…

I want to run Curse of Strahd in Dungeon World or Freebooters, structuring it in the Perilous Wilds/Deeps style, but…

I want to run Curse of Strahd in Dungeon World or Freebooters, structuring it in the Perilous Wilds/Deeps style, but I’m not sure the best way to go about that. Some parts are more clear. I am using a more structured approach than normal since I have a player who does not want to get into world building at all, so it makes sense to use this kind of module. I plan on setting up fronts as much as possible, but I could use some help in other areas.

Should I abstract a ‘dungeon’ like Death House


into the Perilous Deeps style, or just run it as is?

What about all the existing NPCs and their complex relationships? Should I make those more random and improvised or use them as written in CoS? They are pretty complex as this diagram shows:


or maybe just run #Stonetop, add a vampire and call it a day? I am considering using the stonetop classes regardless. Any advice?

9 thoughts on “I want to run Curse of Strahd in Dungeon World or Freebooters, structuring it in the Perilous Wilds/Deeps style, but…”

  1. Could you play without the person who doesn’t really want to? If they’re unwilling to even answer questions, DW is not the game for them.

  2. Yeah, Yochai Gal, I’d take any notes you’ve got. I did see that thread, I’m just wondering how far to go with destructuring and improv assuming no world-buiding and using the world map and such as-is. I can understand it from the pure DW end, with your standard DW player world-building, but I am aiming at minimal world building, given my player’s preference.

    Should I skip the “leave blanks” part of DW and follow the CoS maps exactly since they are already made? Or do the work to convert its dungeons to lists of Common Areas, Unique Areas, Dangers, and Discoveries which would allow a more DW style of play?

    For the maps, I’m leaning towards using them as-is, but I hope that doesn’t feel too constrained during play by DW standards. Using fronts are a no-brainer. The NPCs maybe as-is, though some flexibility might be good depending on how the players interact with them.

    I haven’t seen anything in DW that supports having that kind web of relationships. Friends at the Table does get that sophisticated in their DW games, but I think that just comes from their very strong grip on the fiction, and I play with a lot of first-timers, so that’s unlikely to be improvised.

    Anyway I appreciate the input!

  3. Another question Yochai Gal – Strahd himself is supposed to be way too powerful at the beginning and defeatable once the players get to higher levels (in D&D). In DW it could be possible for the players to kill him in their first encounter which would cause some problems with the overall story. I’m sure I will play the 16-HP dragon angle super hard, making him very dangerous to reduce that possibility. But then how to make him defeatable later? Through the players gaining new powers that undermine his abilities via those key magic items?

  4. When I’ve thought about this in the past, it has seemed fairly straightforward – though that’s probably because I know the map of Barovia, and all the things that happen, really well (playing that campaign for 7 months will do that to you). For one thing

    For one thing, you can TOTALLY leave blanks – just have things ready to insert that are true to the story. I’m talking revenants, riding skeletons, old hags, werewolves, corpses hanging from trees that disappear when you get close, etc. If you want to add something thematic, or let the players, DO IT. There are some really great plot hooks to follow as well – Vallaki, Krezk, Rictavio’s Tower, etc can be mixed around if you know the plot basics well enough. Wizard of Wines I recommend leaving as is, it’s just so good!

    NPC connections aren’t that important; but you should keep the relationship with Strahd, Ireena and her brother – it helps. Also anything related to the Vistani is interesting.

    So, I actually had Strahd SHOW UP real early and kick the party’s ass; they were able to get out of the situation by throwing holy water at him (which pissed him off, but didn’t hurt him much. He decided to let them go because they were interesting). The key to hurting Strahd, and making sure he stays dead is determined by the Tarroka cards (which I actually still own… they are great). The Sun Sword, the Tome, etc will all help. That’s how you make it hard to kill him.

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