It’s Day #2 of the Zombie Apocalypse.

It’s Day #2 of the Zombie Apocalypse.

It’s Day #2 of the Zombie Apocalypse… and you have survived the night after barricading your group in a home with the acrid stench of a burnt pile of victims still wafting underneath the front door. Tears stream down the paladin’s face but the fighter’s remains resolute. #GiveEveryMonsterLife  This is a game reflection and follow up to this post from a few weeks ago.

Today I ran a “Second Shot” sequel to a one-shot game.  The part that was wildly successful came from the reboot character generation session at the beginning for about 30 min or so.  I revised a few of my generic zombie-trope breaking questions and I made them more setting specific and incorporated the DM Principle of “Draw maps, leave blanks” by asking a few key questions to the players to generate a richer backstory for the world.  My backstory prep started with a rough sketch of Eberron’s Undead Nation Karrnath for a basic storyline and setting… and projected it thousands to millions of years into the future with the question of “What would happen if a nation led by a Lich-God King had fallen to the Silver Flame?

I had each player pick an index card at the beginning with seed questions like:

— “You were raised in the outskirts of Trendorfell” (the starting steading)

— “Your grandfather bragged about being a descendant of the Hero of Trendor, but you know it’s nonsense.  Wait, is it?”

— “You know someone from the inner sanctum of Trendor.  Who is it?”

— “Everyone talks about how pious and pure Trendorfell is as ancient site of power, but people often forget about __(rival city) too!”

— “The last time you were in Trendorfell, you barely escaped”

— “You meant to take the Pilgrim’s Path, but you never quite got around to it…”

From this, I asked questions about everyone’s character which planted the key plot element seeds.

The bard’s father was a town innskeep; his father bequeathed a magical lute to him and his nanny/barmaid was a halfling barmaid named Esmerelda (who of course became the first zombie with a face they knew).  The ranger came from an abandoned town named Aquabog that was a “swamp” all the way across the country (the player pointed at a blank area on the Eberron map that was the Talenta Plains and since it was unmarked, he asked me ‘is this swamp?’ and I said ‘Sure, of course! And it used to be like the Shire, before it became the Bogs of Blood.’)  This turned out to be a key part of the storyline as the ranger’s elven homelands (a millenia ago) marched upon the Evil undead nation from “Aquabog” to “Trendorfell”(Eberron’s Vulyar to Atur) and the Hero of Trendor paid the ultimate sacrifice to rid the world of the Accursed ones.  The elven wizard was on the lamb after becoming “The Wizard” solely by stealing level 20 arcane secrets from his evil master.  A bounty hunter was on his tail, but was stymied by the fact that the wanted posters basically looked like the Sun God had committed a crime.  The cleric was a priest of Woodmorning (which had started off as a silly pun off of the poorly named elven wizard Morningwood, who was identical in appearance to his moniker).

I used the Pilgrim’s Path move I made from #ClericWeek to good effect for heavy-handed plot-reveal of key visions and to provide cryptic blessings that would push along successes on very important rolls to defeat the undead menace.

I had the group choose between the starting town locations of the Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestickmaker, which would set the plot along a combat/weapons vs people/protection/resources vs legends/lore route which unbeknownst to them, worked wonderfully.  After picking the Candleshop/Library as their starting point, they proceeded to avoid zombie combat as much as possible and a lot of time was spent on the mystery of the Zombie plague and the ritual that the wizard would need to complete in order to reverse the curse.  (Spoilers, the curse is spread by a Vampire Lord and can’t be reversed… the zombie apocalypse can be stopped only by basically burning a huge pyre of eldritch brambles at the center of the town which burns with an “unseen flame” and basically microwaves everyone in the area and the death curse can be controlled only by being inflicted onto a pious cleric who becomes the new Vampire lord and chooses a different path.)

Key lessons: in media res is AWESOME for story building (allows for ret-cons galore), being curious and asking carefully crafted leading questions can really push along your story arc and you can fill in all the gaps with a web of character-hooks.

There were a ton of other satisfying character denouement moments, like “Elan the Bard” being rescued by his father ominously clad in full plate, beating out a Pied Piper rhythm to mesmerize the zombies and lead them away… but I digress.

Dungeon World Rocks!!!!

A compendium class for #ClericWeek : The Initiate of the Sacred Order.  Comments & feedback welcome!

A compendium class for #ClericWeek : The Initiate of the Sacred Order.  Comments & feedback welcome!

A compendium class for #ClericWeek : The Initiate of the Sacred Order.  Comments & feedback welcome!

The Pilgrim’s Path #ClericWeek

The Pilgrim’s Path #ClericWeek

The Pilgrim’s Path #ClericWeek

For some, the divine path leads to enlightenment and is paved with good deeds but for others, it may be a path to power paved with blood and suffering. Your path is your own… and who knows which divine being will answer your call?

You follow in footsteps of a holy leader and meditate on their lessons. When you arrive at a holy site and offer a heartfelt prayer, roll +Wis, or +Bond with a divine figure.

On a 10+, Pick 3.

On a 7-9, Pick 1.

On a 6-, the player chooses one: pain, retribution or cost.

1) A cryptic message from the divine is whispered in your ear to gain ++1 Forward when you act on this information. (This stacks with +1 bonuses from Aid, Bless, Preparation or other enhancing moves.)

2) An intense vision briefly overwhelms your senses. An upcoming grim portent and its impending doom is briefly revealed to you.

3) You do not need to pay tribute with a small but meaningful sacrifice

4) You do not attract unwanted attention from a deity in opposition to your beliefs.

Cleric Racial Moves Story Implications

Cleric Racial Moves Story Implications

Cleric Racial Moves Story Implications



You are one with stone 

Lets let us think about that first. Why are you One With Stone? And how? 

Is this a general dwarven thing you are just better at then other dwarves? Is it because of your Deity? A special gift to his/her/its Priests? So is a deity connected to Stone? Are all dwarven deities? Are they primordial forces of the earth? Or the stoneforged Dwarven ancestors, the first of the dwarves!

Or is it a glitch in the divine spell delivery mechanics? A twist of Fate that gives dwarves these gifts? 

Is it maybe only because YOU are THE Cleric and you were able to talk to stones since you were an Acolyte, proving to everyone that you are indeed destined/a chosen one.

It might be because you are literally one with Stone. A Soul of a perished dwarven saint, bound to a masterfully crafted statue and given new life through ritual. If so, are you that Saint, just reborn or are you a new person with the same soul? Do you remember what happened to you in a former life or do you see everything through fresh eyes? Why was this done? Is it an old practise or an act of desperation in the eye of the doom of all dwarves as the dragons reappeared. Maybe it was done by a weird sect? 

But you my friend, for whatever reason, are One With Stone. Make it something cool! 

On a related note, what does it mean that human faith is diverse? And why do they get to cast Wizard spells? Do they cast them like Wizards or is it seen through a divine lens? 

Please tell me how you think it works or other ideas about the Dwarven Racial move. 

What does Granite really want to talk about? And does it rock to speak to it?

Cleric Racial Moves

Cleric Racial Moves

Cleric Racial Moves


We of course have the classics: 


You are one with stone. When you commune you are also granted a special version of Words of the Unspeaking as a rote which only works on stone.


Your faith is diverse. Choose one wizard spell. You can cast and be granted that spell as if it was a cleric spell.

But then there are more kinds of Clerics out there right? 

Hit us up with your coolest Cleric Racial Moves! 

For Inspiration: 

Half Orc 

Your deity demands blood, when you butcher a powerful enemy of your faith after a one on one duel, immediately gain a boon from your deity

Dark Elf

Darkness and Shadow are the domains of your deity. When you stand in the shadows you can manipulate and form them into cloaks of darkness or even light cover against attacks.


When you use a spell on an ally, you infuse them with draconic might, granting them +1d4 damage forward 

Idea for #ClericWeek :  each potential deity domain gets a custom move that affects how a specific spell works.

Idea for #ClericWeek :  each potential deity domain gets a custom move that affects how a specific spell works.

Idea for #ClericWeek :  each potential deity domain gets a custom move that affects how a specific spell works.   


Healing & Restoration: when you cast cure light wounds, you can choose to purify the recipient of a mundane disease or poison instead of healing HP.

Bloody Conquest: when you cast magic weapon, the weapon gains the messy tag.

What ideas do you have for the other domains? (or for additional domains you make up)





A player in one of my groups did not like how some of the available spells (e.g. Cause Fear, Speak with Dead) fit his Good-aligned Cleric’s concept so we looked at converting over a few spells from D&D that he could potentially swap out as an alternate.  These are what we came up for 1st level as a first pass:

Command 1

One living creature obeys one-word command for 1 round.

Comprehend Languages 1 Ongoing

Understand all spoken and written languages.  Written material is read at 1 page/min for a maximum of 10 min/level.  While this spell is ongoing you take -1 to cast a spell.

Healthful Rest 1

Up to 1 target/level may recover full HP when Making Camp.

Hide from Undead 1 Ongoing

Up to 1 target/level is warded.  Non-intelligent undead cannot see, hear, smell or otherwise sense the warded targets.  If a warded creature attempts to turn or command undead, touches an undead creature, or attacks any creature (even with a spell), the spell ends for all recipients.  While this spell is ongoing you take -1 to cast a spell.

Inhibit 1

Subject delays making any type of move until next round.

Lesser Vigor 1

Creature touched gains 1 HP per round for 10 rounds + 1 rnd/level (max 15).

Nimbus of Light 1 Ongoing

You glow like lantern (30ft radius).  As a Move, gather light then fling as a Volley for your damage.  Attack ends spell.  While this spell is ongoing you take -1 to cast a spell.

Ray of Resurgence 1

Remove one debility from target.

Resurgence 1

Target may reroll a failed (6-) Last Breath roll.  This must be cast in the round after the original Last Breath roll is made.

Rudy Henkel had also posted up a list of alternate spells a while back: 




I always wanted to play a cleric of a monotheistic religion with several aspects.

The god is one, think of them as our world Judaic/Christian/Muslim God, and the Clric chooses an ASPECT of that religion to highlight when they chooses their divinity.

Not a faux-polytheism like A Song of Ice and Fire, with multiple gods being emanations of a single entity, but a true monotheistic religion that encompasses all aspect of life.

The Cleric choose doesn’t even need to be conscious, or true for the character. I can choose to worship “The God of the Downtrodden” and my character will venerate the same Almighty as that haughty knight over there, but will do it working in shelters and in the worst part of the city… but maybe going back on Godsday on the big gold and stone cathedral.

Someone have done this?




Who is your favourite Cleric in Fiction andy why?

For me this is hard. There are a lot of characters i really like that are highly defined by their faith but they are not Clerics/Divine Spellcasters in that sense. In all the media i consume Faith Magic in a DnDish sense isn’t really happening at all. I was thinking of Gandalf but he doesn’t count. All my favourite Anime doesn’t have that stuff and so, coming up blank, i walked over to my bookshelf and low and behold i found someone: 

Melisandre of Asshai