Something Actually Useful: Instant Monsters for Dungeon World

Something Actually Useful: Instant Monsters for Dungeon World

Something Actually Useful: Instant Monsters for Dungeon World

Do you ever miss the days of Tunnels & Trolls, when you could just spin up a monster on the fly with a creative description and a single stat?

Okay, probably not. Making monsters in Dungeon World is not exactly rocket science. Still, it does have more steps than T&T, and it’s complicated enough that Jeremy Strandberg created a one-sheet variant to make it easier.

But Dungeon World and T&T otherwise have a lot in common when it comes to monsters: What makes monsters interesting in both games, their entire presence in the game and how the players engage them, is their fictional positioning, rather than their ratings. DW formalizes this by giving monsters moves and tags and stuff, but T&T has been implying it since 1975.

So, if you’d like to try out a system for busting out monsters raw like sushi, check it out here:

15 thoughts on “Something Actually Useful: Instant Monsters for Dungeon World”

  1. I like this concept and enjoyed it when I ran T&T urban fantasy via Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes. I’ll have to give it a shot next DW session.

  2. Cool, thanks! I’m glad I found it in my notes, because I thought that every idea I had to port it over had been a dead end. But this version is something I can use immediately.

    MS&PE is on my wish list. I have run and played a lot of T&T, though. Does MS&PE have Monster Ratings?

    I suppose I could ask Kyrinn S. Eis, who knows both games inside out!

  3. That is normal in T&T. There is a back-up method for creating more enduring enemies, but the Monster Rating + death spiral method was the standard since 1975, and it’s still the standard in the 2013 Deluxe Edition by the same creative team.

  4. Interesting. I tend to just come up with my monsters on the fly right now. As you say, it’s mostly about the fiction; other than that all you need is hp and damage (and sometimes armour).

  5. Aaron Griffin, combat works differently in T&T: Each side rolls dice at the same time, and whoever gets the higher sum wins the round. The difference is damage the lose suffers. Risus is the only other game I can think of (besides Twisted Tunnels) that appropriates that mechanic, pretty much.

    In T&T, the Monster Rating determines the number of dice monsters get to roll in combat, and it also stands directly for their Hit Points. So a MR 22 monster in the 1979 rules would roll 3d6+11 in combat and have 22 HP. If their MR got knocked to 4, they would roll 1d+2 in combat.

  6. Saul Alexander, I guess I’m a stickler for following the monster questionnaire to get the “right” HP and damage values. No idea why. The MR system is something that’s easier for me to eyeball.

  7. Yeah…I tend to just give them stats on the fly that feels appropriate. If they become regular opponents I will run them through the process.

    BTW monsters in the Cypher System can be just their level and what they do (the ones in books have individual stats tweaked and details on their powers but knowing that it’s a level 2 creature is all you really need)

  8. Thanks! Goal number one is to make the damage progression follow a simple, intuitive formula rather than require a table look-up. If I can work it out to keep the “descriptive damage” hack, I will.

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