Some Dungeon Planet inspirado.

Some Dungeon Planet inspirado.

Some Dungeon Planet inspirado.

Originally shared by Henry Ian

Captain Future. Captain Future was created by Edmond Hamilton (Rab Crane, Brian Cullan, Ethan Drew, Interstellar Patrol, Stuart Merrick, Jan Tor, Dr. Whitney) and appeared in twenty-seven stories in Captain Future and Startling Stories from 1940 to 1951, beginning with “Captain Future and the Space Emperor” (Captain Future #1, Winter 1939/1940). Captain Future’s adventures take place in the far-distant future of 1990. Roger Newton, his wife Elaine, and their best friend, the brilliant older scientist Simon Wright, have created a significant amount of advanced technology, but they are threatened by the schemes of Victor Kaslan, who lusts for power. So the Newtons and Wright leave Earth for the Moon, where they establish an advanced laboratory. In this lab, which is filled with technology beyond that of Earth, they create two artificial beings: Grag, a seven foot tall, superstrong robot, and Otho, an android who “looked only half human…its arms and legs had a rubbery, boneless look. Its artificially created flesh was not pink like human flesh, but pure, dead white. The white face had no eyebrows or eyelashes, and there was no hair whatever upon the well-shaped, pure white head.” Unfortunately, Simon, “who had achieved fame in a half dozen different fields of science,” is dying from an incurable disease, and Roger is forced to remove his brain and put it in a plastic box; the box (otherwise called a “serum-case”) has a speaker through which Brain in a Jar Simon can communicate and artificial eyes with which he can see. (Eventually he gets tractor beams attached to the box, enabling him to move around). Grag, Otho, and the Brain become known as the Futuremen.

Kaslan eventually catches up with the trio, and the Newtons are killed. This leaves their infant son Curtis an orphan, but Grag, Otho and the Brain decide to raise him. He grows up to be Captain Future, a strapping six-foot-four, red-haired scientific genius with “space-bronzed” skin and two powerful fists. His lab is located beneath the Tycho crater on the moon, and Otho, Grag and the Brain are his steadfast companions, although Otho and Grag continually bicker with each other. Captain Future flies around the galaxy in his spherical rocket ship and mobile lab The Comet, upholding the laws of the System Government and helping the Planet Police. One of their agents, Joan Randall, becomes a friend of the Futuremen and Captain Future’s love interest.

Captain Future wears a blue “synthe-skin” zipper suit and uses, among other SCIENCE! weaponry, a “proton pistol” and “antigravity boots.” His arch-enemy is the Magician of Mars, a Martian half-breed and the son of Victor Kaslan. The Magician of Mars is almost as brilliant as Captain Future and substantially challenges him before finally dying. Captain Future also travels in time, going back a hundred million years in one story and, in another, three billion years backwards, to save the natives of the planet Katain.

I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter about GM prep in my gaming circles and communities lately, so I thought I would…

I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter about GM prep in my gaming circles and communities lately, so I thought I would…

Originally shared by Adam “Bison Court” D

I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter about GM prep in my gaming circles and communities lately, so I thought I would repost this series of videos of Thomas Demkey, john knight, and I explaining how we do game prep using some techniques borrowed from improvisational theatre and our many years of collective experience, and our own various (uncredited, sadly) sources.

1. Calgary Expo 2013 – Improving Your RPG – Ep. 1 “Introductions”

2. Calgary Expo 2013 – Improving Your RPG – Ep. 2 “Yes… and No”

3. Calgary Expo 2013 – Improving Your RPG – Ep. 3 “How To Steal Your Friends’ Thoughts”

4. Calgary Expo 2013 – Improving Your RPG – Ep. 4 “How To Fail Like John McClane”

5. Calgary Expo 2013 – Improving Your RPG – Ep. 5 “Player Death”

I can guarantee you that the players in my next game are going to come across a beautiful ancient city, abandoned…

I can guarantee you that the players in my next game are going to come across a beautiful ancient city, abandoned…

I can guarantee you that the players in my next game are going to come across a beautiful ancient city, abandoned but for a single statue and thousands of crows…

Originally shared by Adam “Bison Court” D

An 8 minute animated film about the elevating power of art.

Ran a pretty intense freewheeling one-shot of DW for some friends at a birthday party/minicon on Saturday afternoon.

Ran a pretty intense freewheeling one-shot of DW for some friends at a birthday party/minicon on Saturday afternoon.

Ran a pretty intense freewheeling one-shot of DW for some friends at a birthday party/minicon on Saturday afternoon. (Caution: long AP ahead).

I had five players, two who had played DW before, one with AW experience, and two with old-school D&D experience. Character creation went pretty smoothly, though next time I do a one-shot I think I might limit the classes available to the number of players I have. In this case, I probably would have slimmed the list to Fighter, Thief, Cleric, Wizard, and Ranger, just to speed things up. As it was, we had Bard, Wizard, Ranger, Fighter, Paladin (this is the order around the table clockwise).

I really enjoyed asking a lot of questions of the team, especially about where they were from, how they formed those specific bonds, and what they thought about the world. I also liked that the answers to the bonds created some interesting world-building: the Bard, Wizard, and Ranger were all elves, and had all pointed their more trusting bonds at other elves; the human Fighter and Paladin were similarly ethnocentric. That said, the humans pointed bonds of mystery and curiousness at the elves, and the elves pointed bonds of destiny and fate at the humans.

The Fighter, while choosing gear, asked me “What kinds of monsters are we going to be likely to face?” and I turned the question back and said “What kinds would you like to face?” He picked goblins, and made his special weapon a goblin-slayer. 

Based on what we had, we quickly brainstormed a world where the elves were nature-worshippers, and believed strongly in fate, but the human religions had splintered off, still worshipping nature of a sort (the main church, where the Paladin had taken holy orders, was the Temple of the Four Directions) but with more emphasis on freedom. The Paladin decided he was on a quest to discover the true nature of the history between elves and humans, and gave himself boons to see the truth, and to be immune from magic. I thought about saying that immunity to magic was too potent, but I just checked off every obligation instead. Spells would roll off him, but he had to be a full-time paragon. I made a mental note to put some of his principles in opposition to each other.

I then grabbed a sheet of scrap paper, drew a little hut to represent a village and labeled it “Grim’s Edge”. I told them that Grim’s was basically a fantasy Deadwood, and that it was on the edge of the Grim Wastes, which I also drew. I told them the Wastes were blasted, ashy lands, prone to earthquakes and geysers and poison gas clouds, and that in modern terms it was probably the caldera of a semi-dormant supervolcano. Probably. Then I passed the map around and told everyone to add one detail of their choice. I recommended places that they had come from, places that they wanted to go, or other important locales. I ended up with a few mystic sites and some home towns, and the aforementioned Temple.

Then I said “You’re out in the Wastes, and you’re in the middle of a fight. What are you doing there, and who are you fighting?” They decided that some children had gone missing from Grim’s Edge, and they feared that some goblins had come in from the Wastes and stolen them, so they were hunting the little gobbers, and when the Ranger caught sight of them, the Paladin was compelled to jump in and declare a challenge. Battle was joined, and unfortunately, the Wizard had neglected to prepare any combat spells, so she was stuck Spouting Lore and Defying Danger, but that worked out OK anyway, especially when the Paladin routed some of the gobbers, and it was the Wizard who realised that if they fled they would come back with reinforcements, as per the Goblin Move. The rest of the team made some poor rolls, and I kept having to escalate the situation. I flipped through the Cave Dwellers section of the book and decided that a purple worm would be attracted by the commotion and dig its way to the surface.

I started by foretelling its arrival with what appeared to be small, localised earthquakes, then a sinkhole, then it rose out of the sand in all its glory, and the goblins fled. At that point, I let the group notice that the goblins were all marked with purple tattoos and carried charms, indicating that they worshipped the violet vermicelli. The fight with the worm didn’t go so well (I had expected the group to flee back to Grim’s Edge and regroup, but they pressed on), and though they nearly killed the worm, the Bard had to approach the Black Gate. I asked him to describe the gateway, and he gave me a red-sandy beach on a murky orange sea, which was great. The Avatar of Death appeared as a menacing figure in rusted elven armour, bearing a banner with a corrupt version of the crest of the elven kingdoms (the players told me that the elven flag was the image of a stag and a tiger, both rearing, facing each other. Death’s flag was a skeletal stag and a black panther with red wounds in the same pose). The Avatar told him he could return if he built a roadside shrine to Death within the month, and the Bard agreed.

I had the worm retreat into the tunnels below the wastes, to buy the party some time to regroup. Since it was a one-shot, I let them make camp and restore health, and also to swap around stats if they felt they had chosen poorly (the Paladin had put 8 in Strength, not realising the importance of Hack and Slash. He swapped it for his 15 Intelligence). They searched the area, and I ruled that the worm had treasure and other things that stuck in its slime, and often left them behind when it burrowed. I let them roll a d6 for treasure, and they hit Magical Trinket. I came up with a dwarf-craft ring that glows in the dark, getting brighter the darker the surroundings. The ring also made the bearer immune to night-blindness. The Ranger laid claim, since it was decided that the party’s tracker and main ranged combatant needed the light the most. I also gave them a handful of coins. They asked me if there was anything interesting about the coins, and I said “Of  course! One of them seems ancient, and it’s tarnished to the point where it is illegible. The others are gold and silver from an ancient dwarf city. Bard, you have heard that once there was a mighty dwarven fortress in this area, before it became the Grim Wastes.” That didn’t end up going anywhere, but it was a good opportunity to add colour.

The Bard awoke covered in hardened ichor, with fat purple worm grubs, each the size of a small dog, crawling towards him. The party eventually made their way down and rescued him, happy that he wasn’t dead (as they had feared). So then I had some cave rats show up, and in response to a Spout Lore roll, I told them that cave rats love the taste of purple worm grubs The group used the grubs to try to distract the rats while they fought, but a series of bad rolls left the Fighter separated by a cave-in, and also with the sudden approach of some goblin scouts. Meanwhile, the rest of the party, also rolling badly, got attacked by a modified roper (I treated it more like the Watcher in the Water from LotR). They killed it with a clever Defy Danger, dropping some stalactites on it, and then dug the fighter out.

The party attempted to Parley with the goblins, but the Fighter double-crossed them and another little skirmish broke out. The group handled the scouts with ease. The goblins wanted the tarnished coin, but wouldn’t say why.

We were short on time, then, so I did a quick narration about how they charged in and rescued the kids, then went back to town for a heroes’ welcome.

All in all a good session! I probably could have used an extra hour, and for whatever reason, the players’ were rolling really poorly, which meant I kept having to improvise new danger, which I find somewhat harder in DW as opposed to AW or even Monster Hearts, because of the action-heavy nature of the game. It might be easier in long-term play, because I can always foreshadow off-screen badness rather than raising the immediate stakes.

For Mikael Andersson and anyone else who is interested, here’s the outline of the 24-hour game I ran, back in…

For Mikael Andersson and anyone else who is interested, here’s the outline of the 24-hour game I ran, back in…

For Mikael Andersson and anyone else who is interested, here’s the outline of the 24-hour game I ran, back in December. I ended up chopping big chunks out of it, and rewriting the back half on the fly, for time and pacing.

I drew a map as the game progressed, adding elements as the players encountered them, then at the end, cut the map into quarters and shared then out.

Opening: The heroes are battling a squad of goblins (why?) when both groups are attacked by skeletons and need to join forces.



1. The heroes recover the magic spear from the lich-king


First hour: Tracking the skeletons to their lair.


Second hour: Asses kicked by lich-king with magic spear.


Third hour: Hunt down lich-king’s phylactery (guarded by? Trolls?)


Fourth hour: Fight and defeat lich-king. The lich-king warns that the peace between the gods has been broken.


Signs of divine war: the dead are rising, and shambling to the service of one army or the other. Cities fortifying and preparing for war.



2. The heroes use the magic spear to rescue the oracle, Manno (Sami moon-goddess)


Fifth hour: Rumours that magic spear is tied to prophecy.


Sixth hour: Giant has kidnapped powerful oracle. Adventure into Jotunheim.


Seventh hour: Fight and defeat giant.


Eighth hour: Spear is the key to unlock the Manno’s prison.


Signs of divine war: the giants are locking down their borders, and building great walls to keep the war out. Forests growing dark and sinister. Human armies in open conflict.



3. The oracle tells the heroes that the dragon has the ring


Ninth hour: Manno explains that there is a magic ring that will settle the war between the gods.


Tenth hour: Adventure into Alfheim. Elf-queen sends heroes into Niflheim to recover magic ice, which she turns into magic water for the oracle.


Eleventh hour: Adventure into Svartalfheim. Dwarf-king sends heroes to Muspellheim to recover magic fire, which he uses to forge a magic mirror for the oracle.


Twelfth hour: Manno reveals that the dragon Fafnir has the ring, and that only a long-dead warrior knows his weakness.


Signs of divine war: Elves are openly armed with magic weapons. Dwarven forges are running nonstop producing arms and armour for the gods. Packs of wolves and flocks of ravens are seen everywhere. Death of the High King, leading to massive civil war.



4. The heroes slay the dragon and recover the ring


Thirteenth hour: Into Hel!


Fourteenth hour: Meet Regin, a giant-smith, and the betrayed brother of Fafnir.


Fifteenth hour: Recover the fragments of the Sword of Sigmund, forged by Wayland the Smith, and destroyed when it was wielded against Odin, now guarded by a fierce demon (and Theodred). The fragments are reforged by Regin into Gram (Wrath).


Sixteenth hour: Battle with Fafnir’s children (naga?) and the dragon himself.


Signs of divine war: Magical beasts, including valkyries, everywhere. Earthquakes, storms. Ruined cities. Fields of corpses.



5. The heroes give the ring to either the Aesir or Vanir


Seventeenth hour: Delegations led by Odin on behalf of the Aesir, and Njord on behalf of the Vanir attend the heroes.


Eighteenth hour: Delegations from Alfheim, Svartalfheim, and the kingdoms of men attend the heroes. What they want will be determined by past dealings. Probably Elves want the passageway between the worlds closed, to keep the war from spilling over; Dwarves want the ring kept from the gods, so that they kill each other off; Men want to use the ring and become gods themselves.


Nineteenth hour: Violence! Somebody attacks. Goblins? Trolls. Yeah, that sounds good.


Twentieth hour: Can the ring be destroyed? Probably. Or else the heroes give it to somebody.


Signs of divine war: Doesn’t get much more personal. Odin always has storms and lightning around. Njord is cold and damp and ageless.



6. The heroes decide the war between the Aesir and Vanir


Twenty-first hour: No matter what happens, somebody is pissed.


Twenty-second hour: War of the gods unleashes Hate and Treachery, two giant magic wolves. Everything becomes wintery all of a sudden. Also their father Fenris.


Twenty-third hour: Jormungand, the World Serpent, arises. Huge upheaval in the oceans, glaciers breaking off, all that fun stuff. Fight him, heroes!


Twenty-fourth hour: Man, I dunno. Pick up the pieces of whatever is left.


Signs of divine war: Maybe the world ends?

Has anybody else had this problem?

Has anybody else had this problem?

Has anybody else had this problem?

I ran a 24-hour Dungeon World game a few months ago, and after about the fourth hour, I noticed something: players specifically rolling their weaker stats and stepping into situations where they knew that failure was likely due to the automatic XP for a failed roll. Meaning that these heroes were specifically avoiding rolling their best stats and pursuing the things for which their class was designed. I was a bit stonewalled, and just ran with it.

Any suggestions? I thought about increasing the lethal consequences of failure, so that yes, you get XP, but at substantial cost. Has anyone tried that successfully?

Relevant to none of you, but my copy of the book (along with my shirt) is now waiting at my post office for pickup!

Relevant to none of you, but my copy of the book (along with my shirt) is now waiting at my post office for pickup!

Relevant to none of you, but my copy of the book (along with my shirt) is now waiting at my post office for pickup! Finally! Canada Customs can roll + suck it.