Not sure if this is quite the right spot to post racial moves, but I’ve been pondering running a Dungeon World game…

Not sure if this is quite the right spot to post racial moves, but I’ve been pondering running a Dungeon World game…

Not sure if this is quite the right spot to post racial moves, but I’ve been pondering running a Dungeon World game in the Elder Scrolls setting, and I was hoping to get some critique on these racial moves I’ve made.

As a note, I plan on using the Class Warfare book instead of the predefined playbooks.


— You are immune to mundane diseases and poisons, and can breathe underwater.


— Your hands count as weapons with the [HAND] range, and either the [PRECISE] or [MESSY] tags. You can see perfectly even in complete darkness.

ALTMER (High Elf):

— Whenever a magical effect happens close by, you can feel it.

Choose one Cantrip and one 1st Level spell. You can cast it even if you lack spellcasting ability otherwise.

BOSMER (Wood Elf):

— You can speak to, and understand, animals as if they were people. When you Spout Lore or Discern Realities regarding wilderness environments or creatures take +1.

DUNMER (Dark Elves):

— Whenever you take damage from a fire-based source, reduce the damage by half. You also have an Ancestor Guardian spirit that acts as a hireling. The hireling has no Cost, but only 1 point to spend on Skills, and if lost can be resummoned when you Make Camp.


— Once per battle you may reroll a single damage roll (yours or someone else’s). You can judge the worth and mettle of armor and arms at a glance.


— Choose one Cantrip. You may cast it even if you otherwise lack spellcasting ability. If you are adversely affected by a spell or directly magical effect, take +1 forward to your next roll.


— When you make camp in a dungeon or city, you don’t need to consume a ration. Whenever you find treasure, you find 2d6 Gold in addition to whetever else you find.


— You are completely immune to mundane cold, and take half damage from magical cold. As long as you are touching the ground, you cannot be moved by attacks that also deal damage.


–Gain +1 forward to parley with anyone who

has seen you fight. Gain +1 to spout lore on anything related to warfare.

6 thoughts on “Not sure if this is quite the right spot to post racial moves, but I’ve been pondering running a Dungeon World game…”

  1. Cool. I like them. 🙂 The Imperial one feels like the least fun. Didn’t they have some sort of command/royal yell kinda thing in one version of the game?

  2. I like these! But I would definitely add at least an instinct to the Ancestor Guardian, and perhaps a cost. Instinct: to… Maintain tradition, to make mischief, to howl, to intervene. Costs: Small offerings, blood, honour to the clan

  3. Pretty cool. I don’t know Elder Scrolls, so I can’t comment on how well you’re adhering to those, but here are some thoughts from a purely DW perspective.

    First: these are (almost) all considerably more potent than the “standard” racial moves in either Class Warfare or core DW. That’s fine (cool, even) as long as everyone will be picking from this set of moves.

    Specific comments:

    ARGONIAN: do you need the “mundane” qualifier? In my experience, the poisons and diseases that affect PCs most often are not mundane, making this immunity rather limited.

    ALTMER: Stating “whenever a magical effect happens near by, you can sense it” puts an awful lot of cognitive load on the GM. They have to remember that the PC has this power and then remember to describe them feeling a magical effect, and more often than not, it’ll just be the player asking “do I sense any magical effects?” (or worse “wouldn’t I have sensed that?”). I prefer moves (like the paladin’s human move) that let the player always ask the GM a question. So: You can always ask the GM “What magical effects are present here?” and get an honest answer. (Yes, it changes the flavor of the move a little, but it puts the burden on the player, not the GM.)

    Wording-wise, maybe consider changing the spell-casting business to this: “You gain the wizard’s Cast a Spell move if you don’t already have it. Choose a Cantrip and 1st level wizard spell. When you Make Camp, you automatically prepare these spells.”

    BOSMER: Are there any CW specialties that have “speak with animals” as one of it’s base moves? If so, think about how this will interact with that specialty… probably not putting it into the text of the move, but I’d have a plan in advance.

    As for the +1 to Spout Lore/Discern Realities about wilderness environs or creatures… it’s a little boring. Other options could be:

    ● When you Spout Lore about the wilderness or natural beasts, you can roll WIS instead of INT. (Also a little boring, but it drives PC build a little more.)

    ● When you Spout Lore or Discern Realities about natural creatures or the wilderness, on a 7+, you can ask the GM one additional question of your choice (within reason).

    DUNMER: Why are they only resistant magical fire, unlike the Nord who are immune to mundane cold and take half damage from magical cold?

    Agree with Asbjørn H Flø that giving it an instinct and a cost would be better. I’ll also plug using the Followers moves from Perilous Wilds instead of hirelings. As a follower, I’d say it’s Quality +1, Loyalty +1, HP 3, 0 Armor, no damage, Dunmer-wise, magical, and then give it an instinct, cost, and 2-3 GM moves as appropriate.

    ORSIMER: Maybe reword as: When you take a moment to study your opponent’s armaments, the GM will tell you their Armor, damage, an any tags associated with their attacks.

    BRETON: I’d reword this the same way as with the ALTMER.

    Why do they get just a cantrip when the Altmer gets a cantrip and a 1st level spell? I don’t think that the +1 forward after being affected by magic is enough better than the Altmer’s “sense magic” power to make up for that.

    Are the Breton’s really magic-resistant? If so, maybe they get “When you Defy Danger against hostile magic, treat a miss as a 7-9.” That’d be potent enough (IMO) to make up for just getting a cantrip.

    IMPERIAL: I’ve never been a fan of this move (don’t consume rations in a city or a dungeon) for a ranger, and I like it even less for an entire group of Roman-esque civilized folk. It’s just so disconnected from the fiction. With the ranger, at least, you can imagine them dumpster diving or scraping fungus to get by (though why they can’t do that in the damn forest, I’ll never know.)

    Similarly, saying that they “always find 2d6 Gold in addition” to whatever treasure they would have found is… super weird. It says (and does) all sorts of strange things to the fiction.

    If you wanted to go with a calm/royal shout sort of thing, you could model it on the Paladin’s I am the Law: When you raise your voice and demand everyone’s attention, roll+CHA: on a 10+, all eyes are on you, what do you do? On a 7-9, you get everyone’s attention but the GM says what happens next.

    NORD: “As long as you are touching the ground, you cannot be moved by attacks that also deal damage.” So I can be grabbed by a tentacle and lifted up, as long as it doesn’t squeeze too tightly? Or I can be tripped by a dude with a bullwhip, but can’t be picked up and thrown into the wall by an ogre? That doesn’t feel right.

    How about: “While you have hold from Defend and your feet are planted firmly on the ground, you cannot be moved or tripped.”

    REDGUARD: I gather that this is a warlike people (or caste?), with a reputation for violence? If so, maybe make the bonus based on being recognized as a Redguard rather than having actually seen you fight. E.g. “When you Parley with someone who knows the Redguard’s reputation, take +1 to the roll if you use threats or violence as leverage.”

    Likewise, for the Spout Lore option, you could make it more interesting with something like: “When you draw on your bloody past to Spout Lore, you can use STR instead of INT. But if you do, the GM will ask you to describe who you fought against back then and who might hold a grudge.”

    (edit to clean up G+’s amazingly awful formatting)

Comments are closed.