Had the third session of my Dungeon World game on Monday.
Had the third session of my Dungeon World game on Monday. I made the mistake of not giving them enough direction in the first couple sessions (my first time running the game, so I’m still getting a sense of how tightly to hold the reigns), so this session was about giving them a common purpose. In that regard, it went quite well!
The setting of our campaign is a magical jungle the size of a small ocean, dubbed “The Tangled Sea”, that splits a continent down the middle. Only one, magically-created, path exists the connects the two sides (Human and Elven) and it’s quite recent, so there’s a lot of trade and traffic along it. Our characters are Jan the Little (Paladin), a Pathwalker whose order is dedicated to protecting the Path, guiding people along it and finding ways to expand it; Humble (Thief), a smuggler who ran away from life a life of religion in favour of a life of crime; and Aranwe (Ranger), a half-elf who helps lead trade caravans along the path with the aid of his python, Bivi.
The session started with the characters arriving at Midway Island, the trade-hub in the centre of the Path. Jan immediately went to report to his superior, the High Pathwarden, and deliver a letter that he had received from another settlement. In the meeting, he learned that a pair of Pathfinders (whose job it is to find ways to expand the Path) had gone missing and was asked to lead a group to find them and recover their equipment if they were dead.
Aranwe’s time was mostly spent wrangling Bivi, who was trying to make mischief in town (we’re playing with the Perilous Wilds rules for followers). He got in an altercation with a produce salesman and was nearly arrested, but managed to defuse the situation well enough.
Humble, meanwhile, went to his criminal contact, Jarden the Fish (so named for his slippery demeanour and his sweaty body) at the Lodestone Inn. During negotiations over payment for some magical dragonfly eggs, Humble tried to poison Jarden with Goldenroot, wanting to trick him into offering a better price. The covert poisoning failed after a bad Tricks of the Trade roll, was made worse by a Defy Danger roll attempting to cover up for the dropped vial of poison and was barely saved by another Defy Danger roll using some quick words to calm Jarden down. Somewhere in there he very nearly decided to burn the inn down, but cooler heads prevailed (I was a bit disappointed; the chaos of an arson would have been great). Still, Jarden only paid Humble a pittance for the dragonfly eggs, but he did offer him another job – some Pathfinders had been lost south of town and they had valuable equipment. If Humble could retrieve it, he could make some coin and advance his stature in the criminal world.
When the characters met back up, Jan told them about the mission he had been given, and Humble, acting on Jarden’s hint, accepted the offer. Aranwe accepted just because exploring the Tangled Sea is the thing he loves best.
The session ended with everyone going off to prepare to set off for adventure the next day. But right before going to bed, Humble ran into Ola, a fellow smuggler, whose lover had been killed by Jan. So she’s probably going to be causing trouble for the group before long.
All in all, not an incredibly eventful night, but a good one, especially given that our sessions are fairly short. Everyone seems excited to get the real adventure started and so am I. Looking back on it, I realize that I probably should have just started them there in the first place, but I’m not too sad that we got to do a bit of scene setting first. My players have a bit more of a sense of the voices and motivations of their characters now and I’ve got a decent idea of how the world is going to react to their actions. I can’t wait to find out what happens next!