Dungeon World: Skeleton Playtest

I got a chance to actually play in a Dungeon World one-shot tonight, run by none other than Melissa, who not only has also never run a game before in her life (though can be a pretty brutal Keeper in Mansions of Madness), but also requested that I give our almost-ready-for-release skeleton playbook a shot.

I decided to have Phonos be a former barbarian that was torn apart by some kind of monster, probably a hydra, because that sounded sufficiently hardcore even by barbarian standards. Since he was too awesome to be confined behind Death's Black Gate he came back to life, crawled out of his cairn, and proceeded to travel around looking for worthy beast-skulls to smash (or wear).

Shortly after beginning his journey, Phonos came across a pair of drunken satyrs (so, satyrs) relaxing by a campfire. They were not particularly interested in fighting, which was fine because satyrs are more carouse- than fight-worthy. As it was he regaled them with the events of his death as best he could still recall (we decided that his trip through the Black Gate had robbed him of much of his past), and in exchange for the story they pointed him to a ruin where he could find gold, glory, and hopefully an actual sword or axe...maybe even a sword-axe.

The ruin turned out to be a small dwarf fort buried under the mountains. After smashing his way past a griffon guardian, bribing some sprites, and burning all the furniture in a dining hall to keep an assassin vine at bay (to be fair they were coming out of the walls, man) he found a centaur that he assumed was also a king. The centaur tried to keep his distance and pepper Phonos with arrows while another griffon kept him occupied, but the griffon ended up accidentally killing the centaur when it crashed into both of them during a botched dive-bomb.

The griffon barely survived, and Phonos let it go since it both pointed out the location of the treasure and he had already killed a griffon that day. The treasure ended up being a handful of ancient gold coins and a dwarven sword forged out of cold iron. Before leaving the throne room Phonos planted the cairn stone he had been lugging around and trying to crush things with on the dais, which he figured would be sufficient notice to anyone that saw it that he was now in charge.

The last noteworthy foe was a chaos ooze that had been living it up in some fetid bathwater. Phonos tried hacking it apart, which to his surprise was not very effective. It tried gobbling up his leg, so he detached it, lit it on fire, and just kept running until it was utterly consumed by the flames. As an added bonus it left behind some strange black crystals, which Phonos assumed were perfectly safe to handle and valuable; he just had to find something that could confirm his theory without first trying to destroy him.

With most of the keep cleared out Phonos went back into the throne room to rest. He had a decent weapon, now it was time to figure out who he was.

Behind the Scenes
It was a pretty nice first-run for Melissa, especially considering that, again, she has never run anything, mostly been exposed to Dungeons & Dragons, and Dungeon World is not the most friendly game for Game Masters, what with the lack of prevailing hard-wired rules, actions, results, etc. Also, again, I was surprised that she recommended the skeleton of all playbooks.

Some things of note:
  • It's Bones stat made it harder to kill (which was kind of the idea since, you know, skeleton), though one bad roll from the griffon depleted almost all of them in one encounter (eleven out of sixteen). Even so I am considering reducing Bone Harvest to just 2 Bones on a 10+, since almost everything I fought had bones to take.
  • Them Bones was pretty handy as Melissa was fond of either taking my weapon away (or me away from my weapon); I spent a lot of time creating weapons to stab things with.
  • As far as Melissa is concerned limbs are a apparently a good target for "resource depletion", so I guess I need to put in a note on recreating a missing limb in Them Bones. Of course Bones are also a resource, so skeletons could probably stand to be hit with damage moves more frequently.

1 comment:

  1. Since ive seen the document, I can say its awesome!!
    I can also see this as a boardgame or 2d video game as well.


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