What difficult demand does a Bat Spirit make of the Druid?

What difficult demand does a Bat Spirit make of the Druid?

What difficult demand does a Bat Spirit make of the Druid?

(Context below)

I’m looking for some help/ideas to answer the above question, thanks for taking a moment to consider it.

We’re using the DW Unlimited ruleset. Players are level one, this is our first adventure.

The context is that while facing off against some pirates who had a mage that controlled bats, the Druid spoke to the Bat Spirit and freed it from the mage in exchange for a favor at a later time. If the Druid refuses to deliver on the favor, the Bat Spirit will withdraw its power (bats won’t converse with the druid, can’t shift into bat form) which is significant for this underground campaign.

They’re now at a Kuo-Toan village, with the intent of retrieving a ring from a failed diplomatic mission to the village. There are a few things going on here:

– A kuo-toan OOZE druid, largely fallen out of favor for religious reasons, but kept around because of his ability to create a mind-protecting substance harvested from tumorous growths he creates on the back of large toads.

– A cult that has recently grown up around a kuo-toan leviathan giant (a regular kuo-toan who absorbed a shard of divinity.)

– The diplomat from the failed mission who is being prepped to be sacrificed to the kuo-toan leviathan.

I’d love for the request to complicate their mission, making it a tough choice for the Druid. I’d also love for it to actually be something a Bat Spirit might want – I imagine bats don’t really care about the sort of things the players might be concerned with.

Any ideas are welcome!

Thought I’d share a few items I made for my campaign.

Thought I’d share a few items I made for my campaign.

Thought I’d share a few items I made for my campaign. They’re tied to the character identities thematically, and are intentionally pretty powerful for that reason.


A small blue stone is set onto the front of this hat. On closer inspection, there is a bright blue liquid trapped within the gem, sloshing back and forth angrily.

When you are on a body of water and compel the imprisoned Water Elemental in the gem on this hat to serve you, roll+CHA. 10+Hold 3, 7-9 Hold 1. You can spend hold to…

Speed up the waters around you, allowing you, allies, or a ship, to move more quickly to its destination.

Create a whirlpool in a nearby body of water.

Create a large watery tentacle under your control out of a nearby body of water (reach, forceful)

Sense the location of a creature you know that is in contact with this body of water

Breathe, see, and swim perfectly underwater


Ivlysar Tal’enquin’s life was ultimately one of loss, failure, and pain. This compass is all that was known to survive him. Worn like a necklace, the glass on this compass is cracked, and it seems broken beyond repair. When worn by someone who knew Ivlysar in life, however, it begins to spin rapidly, pointing him to others who are in pain – and allowing them to share their own.

When you discern realities, you can also ask “who here is in pain?” The GM will tell you the nature of this pain.

When you willingly accept a blow from an enemy, roll+CON. On a 7-9, deal your class damage to them. On a 10+ they are also momentarily afflicted with terror, pain, or sorrow.


The tattoos that cover your body all go black, and your organic eye clouds with a shadowy substance, turning it dark as well. Something has changed within you, at your most fundamental level. Your veins no longer carry blood throughout your body, but instead pulse with shadow.

In darkness, you can see in shades of grey, including magical darkness.

When your blood is spilled, either by an enemy or yourself (1d6 self-inflicted damage), you may roll +CON to will it to coalesce into shadowstuff. On a 10+ hold 3 SHADOW, 7-9 hold 1 SHADOW. You may spend SHADOW 1 for 1 to:

Create a cloud of darkness centered on the place you touch, with a radius of near

Slip through a space only large enough for a shadow

Cast a shadow, no larger than an ogre, on a near surface

Remain unnoticeable as long as you keep still in shadows

Manipulate something small (doorknob, chest, key ring, etc.) at near range with the shadows of your fingers




Hey, a friend of mine is GMing a DW game for the first time and was asking me for help on how to handle 7-9s on defy danger rolls. I also frequently find this challenging, especially in the middle of actual play. I ended up writing a bunch of thoughts for him (and for myself!), and thought I would share here for feedback. I’m certain some of you have much better insight and better ideas on how to handle this than I do!

**Side note: he was specifically asking for help with 7-9 results when players are dodging threats, so there is more of an emphasis on that here.

Ok, so in my experience one of the most difficult things to do is come up with satisfying 7-9 responses to defy danger, especially during combat. For one thing it is hard because you don’t want to just end up in a circle of stagnating 7-9 rolls. This is extra tricky because defy danger is a very common roll, and it takes all sorts of forms. Let’s use a few scenarios as examples:

-Dodging a magical attack in combat (in this case, let’s say a fireball)

-Dodging a regular attack in combat (The spider pounces at your with its fangs)

-An environmental challenge (climbing up a cliff)

-Sneaking into a camp

The first thing I try to keep in mind is that a 7-9 is fundamentally a success; the player gets what they were aiming for. The added part of 7-9 that’s tricky is to differentiate between “worse outcome, hard bargain, and ugly choice.”

WORSE OUTCOME – A fundamental success, but not quite as successful as you had hoped, or with a drawback you hadn’t expected. There are several ways to do this one. For me I tend to either take away a resource, deal damage, put them in a spot, use a location or monster move, or reveal an unwelcome truth.

Dodging a magical attack: TAKE AWAY A RESOURCE: “You roll under the fireball and it explodes behind you, but as you come up off the ground you realize that your pack got snagged on a rocky outcropping. You still have your weapons, but now you’re fighting without your gear.” [And if you want to add on a hard bargain…] “Oh, and the fire is spreading towards your bag.” OR “You hold up your shield as the fireball meets it and explodes around you. You drop what is now a hulk of melted metal just in time to avoid it fusing to your skin, but you’re ok.” OR “Throndir drops all his arrows” DEAL DAMAGE: This feels like a poor choice if the only threat of the fireball is damage in the first place. Maybe if the fireball is trying to blast you away from your enemy and you roll an 8, I might say “You hurl yourself forward as the fire forms just in time to avoid the explosion that would’ve knocked you away. Take 3 damage as the fire singes your skin, but you’ve managed to close with the mage.” In general though, I like to reserve damage for the hard bargain option, as it doesn’t feel fun as a player to receive unexpected damage on a “successful” defy danger. PUT THEM IN A SPOT: This one is money. “You jump out of the way of the fireball, but find yourself surrounded by the flames. The wizard’s skeletons march through the flames towards you, seemingly unfazed by the fire.” “You dodge the beholder’s disintegration ray, but it cuts away at the foundation of the gate, and now Jenn is standing on top of crumbling rock. What do you do?” USE A LOCATION OR MONSTER MOVE: “You easily dodge the fireball, but as you blink your eyes at the explosion of fire you see that the wizard has teleported on top of the pillar, well out of reach.” “The fireball goes off, missing you easily, but the mushrooms are catching on fire, each one exploding into a puff of dangerous spores as they go up in a blaze.” REVEAL AN UNWELCOME TRUTH: I have a harder time coming up with unwelcome truths to direct-damage threats, but sometimes I can think of something. “Tylis easily absorbs the fire ball with the flame eater’s shard, but the wizard just snarls and twists the top of his staff. It goes from an orange, flaming glow to a cold, blue crystal – seems he can change the element it uses!”

Physical attack: This is mostly the same as the previous. TAKE AWAY A RESOURCE: “You deflect the spider’s fang with your sword, but it knocks it out of your hand and well out of reach.” DEAL DAMAGE: Again, probably better to save for hard bargain imo. Works well if the spider has got you in its teeth, though: “You pry open the spider’s fangs, pulling yourself free, but you get cut up in the process. Take 1d6+1 damage.” PUT THEM IN A SPOT: “You dodge the spider’s fangs but it’s leg pins your cloak to the ground, holding you in place. You’ll have to deal with it here and now, and quick, because the other spiders are closing in…” USE A LOCATION/MONSTER MOVE: “You roll out of the way… right through a patch of the spider’s sticky webbing! Your left arm is pinned to your side and you can’t run like this.” REVEAL AN UNWELCOME TRUTH: “You roll out of the way, only to come face to face with the corpse of the child you were searching for, wrapped up in the spider’s web. How do you react?”

Environmental Challenge: TAKE AWAY A RESOURCE: “Throndir slips about halfway up the cliff, barely able to catch himself from falling. All of his arrows are jarred out of his quiver, falling into the abyss.” “The cliff is tougher than you expected, and you end up breaking quite a few hammers and pitons(sp?). Mark off an extra use of adventuring gear.” DEAL DAMAGE: “You make the climb, but not without avoiding the steam vents. Take 3 damage, and tell me what the steam burns look like.” “The cliff face is extremely difficult to climb, and it takes everything you have. Mark the shaky debility.” PUT THEM IN A SPOT: “Sure, you reach the top of the cliff, but at the edge the rope gives out and you barely grab on to the ledge. By the time you pull yourself up, the hook horrors will have caught up with you.” USE A LOCATION OR MONSTER MOVE: “On your way up you steady yourself on an outcropping… but it turns out to be a hive of rock wasps! They swarm out, threatening to sting you. What do you do?” REVEAL AN UNWELCOME TRUTH: “About halfway up you hear a clicking noise from above. Looking around, you realize that one of the 3 hook horrors must have split off and is already on the ledge above you, while the other two are climbing up after you. What do you do?”

Sneaking into a camp: TAKE AWAY A RESOURCE: “None of the guards notice you, but a watch dog does. Mark off a ration use to calm it down.” DEAL DAMAGE: “You slip in over the wall, landing quietly but hard. Your ankle twists painfully, take a -1 forward, but no one has noticed yet.” PUT THEM IN A SPOT: “As you reach the commander’s tent, you hear some fanfare. You look back and see that Agent Delgado has returned with a contingent of Animatrons. You may have gotten in here safely, but getting out won’t be so easy.” USE A LOCATION OR MONSTER MOVE: “You sneak your way through the Chosen camp, almost invisible. Suddenly, you hear a hissing noise, and see green gas piping through the vents. Its another Spellguard gassing!” REVEAL AN UNWELCOME TRUTH: “You make it to the commander’s tent and find the plans you were looking for, but you also find a note about something else. It looks like while you’re here, the Numinous Order is springing an ambush on the rest of your party back in the webbed wood!”

HARD BARGAIN – sometimes this is just the same as worse outcome but with an element of choice, making it a softer move. “You dodge the fireball but drop your bag, which is right in the fire’s path. Do you continue to charge the wizard or do you save your things?” “Sure, you can pull yourself out of the spider’s jaws, but you’ll take 1d6+1 damage to do it.” “Yeah, Tylis can get past the shadow tentacles to strike at Delgado, but he’ll take a hit from them, or he can just avoid them but not get close to Delgado.” The key is that you give the option of success with a cost, and let the player decide. “You can shoot the sword out of the goblin’s hand before he stabs the girl, but you’ll have to mark off an ammo.” <-- That's an example, but a bad one, because who won't take that bargain? That would probably be better used as a worse outcome (no choice it just happens), because the player would likely be fine with it. Meanwhile, the Tylis/Delgado fight is a better chance to give a hard bargain because it is an important strategic choice (and one that the player chose the safer option on if I remember correctly). Another example is Tylis' fight with an Umberhulk: "The Umberhulk starts to cave in the room, what do you do?" "I try to dodge the rocks and take it down." "Roll DEX defy danger" "8" "Ok, you can dodge the rocks and get out of here, or you can get in an attack before the rocks hit you and try to finish this thing off, but you'll take damage after." In any case, that would've been a poor time to simply use the worse outcome option - the situation needed to allow for player choice.

UGLY CHOICE – this one is pretty different from either hard bargain or worse outcome. It’s all about having to do something disagreeable or desperate to succeed. “The fireball flies at you – you can dodge it, but if you do it’ll be headed right for the orphanage… or your horse… or Throndir’s arrows.” Or an actual situation from Throndir’s solo one-shot: “You’re in the room with the elven maiden, and the guards are about to cut through the door. She looks at you and says ‘please, don’t let them take me alive again.'” “I want to climb out the window with her.” “Roll STR defy danger.” “9” “You can either save yourself and leave her or lower her out the window and get caught yourself.” “…I slit her throat and jump out the window.”

ADDITIONAL RANDOM THOUGHTS: Sometimes a 7-9 defy danger result just feels stagnating. Like in the fireball example, if character is trying to dodge the fireball to attack the wizard, then “You dodge the fireball but it keeps you from getting to the wizard” feels a little boring. What really happened? Nothing. But using the other party members can help remedy that feeling. “Tylis dodges and the fireball explodes, encircling Tylis with flame and cutting him off from Delgado. Jenn, you have a clear shot at Delgado now, or you can help Tylis out. What do you do?” That frames the narrative of the battle and gives characters some clear options. In the end, it is always a collaborative effort between everyone playing to establish and clarify the fiction within the group’s shared vision, and call for rolls together.

This is your classic “lots of bodies stitched together into a terrible abomination” created by a big bad lichess.

This is your classic “lots of bodies stitched together into a terrible abomination” created by a big bad lichess.

This is your classic “lots of bodies stitched together into a terrible abomination” created by a big bad lichess. I made it using the dwtools monster generator. Seems perhaps too durable, but it is definitely supposed to be something you try to avoid engaging. Always appreciate anyone’s thoughts, specifically on its custom move.

The Agony

Solitary, Huge, Terrifying, Amorphous

Bite, shred, and crush (d10 + 5 damage); 31HP; 4 armor;

Reach, Forceful

Instinct: Serve H’bala

Special Qualities: Hauntingly familiar faces


Absorb corpses to heal

Grapple with arms and bite and rend

Spew sticky, congealed blood

Reveal a hauntingly familiar face

When you see a hauntingly familiar face emerge from The Agony, describe how you resist its horrific gaze. On a 10+ choose 1 and the sight steels your drive to fight the beast, take +1 forward; 7-9 choose 2.

​-The sight is horrific beyond description. Gain the stunned debility, and you cannot bring yourself to look upon The Agony without defying danger.

-The face whispers words of betrayal to you; do something that will endanger your comrades.

-The face invites you to join it. Take 1d6 damage ignoring armor as your flesh begins to fuse with The Agony.

Compendium Class – welcoming feedback/ideas

Compendium Class – welcoming feedback/ideas

Compendium Class – welcoming feedback/ideas

In campaign I’m running (based in a non-canonical Forgotten Realms) my players just participated in a ritual that resulted in the death of Mystra, the good goddess of magic. One of the players was responsible for dealing the final blow, and I wanted to allow for some lasting effects from such a significant choice. I worked up the following compendium class with that in mind. Would love thoughts/feedback/ideas for additional moves if anyone cares to share!


When you kill Mystra, the goddess of magic, you are forever marked with a cursed rune. Anyone who sees this rune will instantly recognize it as the result of some terrible, evil deed you perpetrated. Someone with knowledge of the gods will recognize it for what it is. When you display your cursed rune, you can use your past misdeed as leverage in a parley. Additionally, when you killed Mystra, your mind glimpsed the makeup of all magic and a few runewords were burned into your memory. You may take the following moves when you level up:

Arcane Runes

When you have a safe place and spare time (a day or so) you can inscribe runes onto items or equipment, giving them additional abilities. Treat this as the GADGET BELT move from the Artificer playbook.

Rune of Empowerment

When you inscribe a rune onto a magical item to increase its power, roll +INT:

On a 10+, the item’s power is momentarily increased. Choose 1:

The increase in power is very dangerous.

The item will be destroyed after use (cannot be taken for consumable items).

It draws on your life force, take 1d6 damage ignoring armor.

On a 7-9, choose 1 and the GM will choose 1.

Rune of Protection

You empower your cursed rune with protection. As long as your cursed rune is visible and unhidden, you gain 2 armor against magical damage.

Runes of God-Slaying (Requires level 6+)

When you use your blood to carve the runes of god-slaying onto a melee weapon, lose 2 constitution permanently. This weapon can now harm immortal beings. Empowering a weapon in this way is almost certain to draw the ire of such beings.

Looking for ideas!

Looking for ideas!

Looking for ideas!

My party members are helping a conclave of wizards complete a ritual by rooting out the traitor among their 4 lieutenants. I want each to be a unique, iconic magic-user for the party to investigate. So far I’ve got:

(these are descriptive names, not npc names 🙂

Golem-mancer – has created a variety of golems, and his flesh golem poses as him. The real wizard’s body is kept safe inside the large iron golem.

Enchanter – a throng of dominated and enchanted humanoids, all dressed similarly – which among them is the real mage?

Drug addict – uses illegal substances to boost spellcasting, at the cost of sanity and health.

I’m still looking for one more strong thematic take on a mage, and haven’t come up with anything on my own. Would love your help thinking dangerously and portraying a fantastic world.