So in my spare time I have started making a sort of monster manual for Dungeon World.

So in my spare time I have started making a sort of monster manual for Dungeon World.

So in my spare time I have started making a sort of monster manual for Dungeon World. I decided to split it up into different documents based on the types of monsters in them (Aberrations, Fey, Dragons, etc). I have a couple of questions for you all.

Would you want the flavor text to be kind of anecdotal, and from a single traveling adventurer’s perspective, or would you rather it be more matter of fact information. The difference being that, while I have a stat block for each monster, the adventurer would only have information from his own experience or information he gathered from other sources, while the matter of fact version would give specific info, more like a D&D monster manual.

Would you think a handful of dungeon starters using some of the monsters would be good, or would you rather have a subsection with each monster that had short examples of how to implement them into a story?

Would you want a separate section with items that could be made from some of the monsters or do you think most people wouldn’t need something like that? Maybe a mix of uses for certain ones, like if some can be mounted or trained?

Any other suggestions would be welcome as well!

11 thoughts on “So in my spare time I have started making a sort of monster manual for Dungeon World.”

  1. A single traveling adventurer’s perspective? Or perhaps a small number of traveling adventurers, each with their own perspectives? Not necessarily having all for each monster, but a one of a small set of voices for each?

  2. I’m actually quite fond of how the DW core book does it. Sometimes it’s from a particular (though unnamed) character’s POV, sometimes it’s just the author describing, sometimes there’s a bit of editorial, but it’s jever dry and there’s always a sense of voice.

  3. Oh, also:

    Examples of treasure you might find (or make) of the critter would be great. “Treasure: belongings of its victims, discarded with their bones” or “Treasure: the musk glands, if carefully removed, fetch a high price from parfumeries in the eastern cities.”

    Jason Lutes’ A Book of Beasts does a lovely job with this.

    Lairs and maybe adventure hooks or even grim portents for some monsters would be cool, but probably the exception not the rule. Like a doppelgänger plant could have both (the grim portents as it starts to grow and take over a village, and the weird cave (accessed from the town well) where it’s glowing, pulsing root system can be found.

    Something Johnstone Metzger does that I really like is work tactics into the monster, like…

    * If they approach during daylight: stay out sight, watch them

    * If they camp in the open at night: sneak into camp and steal stuff

    * If they offer food or trifles: play dumb, act impressed, look for a chance send them into a trap or otherwise rob them blind.

    Another trick, I think I got this either Johnstone or Joe Banner, is to include something interesting (“they are haughty and proud and easily offended”) and something useful (“but they respect an equally proud woman who presents a thoughtful gift”). You can work that into the treasure, sometimes, or instead of it.

  4. I would definitly prefer facts. Even if the players discuss about a monster with an NPC I prefer finding my own words. Facts that I would like to see are typical environment, typcial daily activities and how the lair of the monster looks like (including treasure but not limited to).

  5. I kinda like just the stats and possible treasure. Because it’s another opportunity to have or let the players “spout lore” and DW is all about the big “and, what do you do / know!?”

  6. I try to imagine how David Attenborough would describe the monster on a nature show. That would be my description.

    I do like the treasure idea for monsters that would carry something useful or valuable. Keeps from having to roll on a random treasure table.

  7. Keith J Davies I originally viewed it as a single, “famous” adventurer who sat down and wrote about all these monsters he had met on his journeys. He’d comment a lot about how many guides or traveling companions he lost to them and how he was lucky to be alive.

  8. I prefer brief and the point, leaving lots of room beyond essential info for the GM and players to embellish. I find monster descriptions written from the point of view of an in-world character annoying, since it forces me to skim or hunt for actionable info, and brings in a voice or tone that may not have a place in my personal campaign world.

  9. Jason Lutes That is a fair point. I was thinking it would be a gimmick of the “collection” of all these books being by the same person when I envisioned it. Maybe having the info and then a short bit after that may or may not be a quote from a character (kind of like the flavor text you see at the bottom of a magic the gathering card) would be sufficient?

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