Dungeon World: Monster Mash One(?)-Shot


Under the cloak of night, the Three descended upon the hapless village of Holder.

Well, not right away. They made a brief detour to a random farmer's house, where Gygor disguising himself as an elderly woman in need. When the farmer opened the door, Unathi tackled and pinned him, and Czernabog finished him off with a magic missile to the groin. Czernabog then reanimated his corpse to serve him, but he had to quickly abandon it in order to distract a group of drunken villagers.

They soon arrived at their goal: the church. They'd been tasked by the high priest of some nameless, probably also formless, Chaos god to kill the high priest. Since Gygor could fly, he carried Czernabog over the fence, while Unathi simply leaped over. They decided to try the front door first, with Gygor again trying his classic "old-lady-in-need" strategy.

No one answered, and when he tried to open the door it burned his hand. Unathi spotted a belltower which, thanks to their abilities, was easy to access. Unfortunately, when they entered it the bell began loudly tolling on its own. They quickly descended the stairs and made their way to the nave. A middle-aged, bearded man, clad in white and gold robes sat near the alter. He was looking at the door as they came through, as if expecting them.

He held out his holy symbol, and blinding, burning light emanated from it. Czernabog blasted him with necromantic magic, while Gygor and Unathi closed the distance, enduring the scorching light so that they could bring blade and fang to bear. Unfortunately the priest was also literally armed with divine power, striking at them with a mace shaped from golden light: it was only after much suffering that Czernabog was able to deal a fatal blow.

The priest's body burst into flames, reducing everything but the holy symbol to ashes. Assuming that the holy symbol would be more trouble than it was worth, they left it and investigated the rest of the church. Yeah, they'd killed who they assumed was the high priest, but the night was still young; maybe there were other people to kill and things to desecrate.

They eventually discovered a wide stair case, but just as they began their descent a group of twelve armed and armored skeletons emerged, loudly marching towards them. Normally Czernabog didn't mind the dead, but these were immune to his ability to command them. Gygor charged and shoved the ones in the lead back, causing all of them to go clanging and clattering down the stairs.

While the skeletons regained their footing, Gygor and Unathi waded into their midst, smashing and scattering their bones. Czernabog continued to hang back, pelting them with magic missiles. Unathi constantly leaped about, knocking her victims over and preventing the skeletal templars from surrounding her. Gygor floated just out of their reach, using his liberated crossbow to take them out from a distance.

Once the skeletons were destroyed they pressed on, and soon found a large chamber that contained twelve sarcophagi, all opened and predictably empty. At the back was a desiccated skeleton, vertically hung and clad in crumbling robes. Its arms were crossed over its body, and in Czernabog's guttering light a gold ring glinted on one of its fingers.

Gygor touched it, and as with the church's door it burned him. In frustration he tore the arm off and stuffed it in a bag: a fitting gift to their god. When they returned to the hall, they saw a mob of villagers enter the nave from the front door. They wielded torches and a variety of weapons, only some of which were improvised: apparently they knew what the ever-tolling bell meant, and came more than prepared.

Heavily wounded and exhausted, the Three retreated to the belltower, leaped or flew to the graveyard below, weaved through a throng of quickly rising dead, and fled the village. They killed a high priest and stole what they presumed was a sacred relic. All in all, not a bad night's work.

Behind the Scenes
This was kind of weird and silly. The characters started out by going to a random commoner's house, and then very carefully planning their course of attack. I honestly don't know what they were expecting to happen, but maybe next time I'll make him a retired monster slayer with a magic sword and trap-laden house.

Shane really enjoyed this one shot, to the point where he wants to play a rakshasa in A Sundered World. Given all the insane dwarves they unleashed upon Hell's Precipice, he might get his chance. Personally I was just happy to see both the rakshasa and spider at the table: Melissa and Shane had a lot of fun, and there wasn't anything about them that made us think they needed tweaking.

I've considered running a monster-only campaign since 3rd Edition's Savage Species, though if I went that route I'd take it a step further than Eberron, and just swap out all the "major" races with monstrous ones. We're going to convert all of our stuff to Dungeons & Delvers (yes, that includes A Sundered World) when the core game is done, so I might wait until then for that.

After only a couple hours of design and writing, The Swordmage is good to go. If you want a solid fighter/wizard hybrid with twenty-five advanced moves to choose from (in addition to some other extras), pick it up.

The monk won are latest class vote, beating out the fighter and cleric soundly. Oddly, therianthrope and beastmaster/trainer were the second and third choices: there's just no love for the fighter and cleric.

Lichfield is available for public consumption. If you want a concise adventure with a Silent Hill feel, be sure to check it out! Primordial Machine is also out, so if you want to catch a glimpse of A Sundered World, now's your chance! Finally, we've updated If These Stones Could Scream.

The Dungeon World GM Screen is currently available in pdf and landscape insert formats. No matter which you choose, you get eight sets of pdfs that let you have access to the screen in both landscape and portrait orientation, in color or black and white, and with or without art.

We're waiting on the portrait inserts. Assuming they look good, they'll be available soon. They're now available.

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