For those who are looking for more Dungeon World goodness, might I suggest taking a look at the Inverse World kickstarter. If it hits $8000, I will be writing a handful of adventure locations for the game; These locations will be similar in execution as the locations in Take on Establishments, but with additional questions and rumors regarding each location.
What follows is my use of Inverse World playbooks, but does not necessarily reflect the Inverse World campaign setting.
Tonight, I ran a quick one-shot scenario for four players. And for one of the players, I believe it was their first table top RPG* session.
- Malakhai - a Survivor that had endured the wrath of an angry Sola.
- Jordan - a Priest of Veldrun, God of luck, travel, and earth; tasked with requisitioning art (the Priest is from the Dungeon World Alternate Playbooks by Jacob Randolph).
- Feng - a Walker, master of physical movement.
- Tyrell - a Lantern, a now owner of a piece of Sola
As the game began, I had little clue where it was going to go. But slowly, as the sheets filled out, ideas were popping.
Feng had a drive to “drop someone from a great height” so I figured why not have this center around an airship. (In Inverse World, Drive replaces Alignment and is what you can use to mark XP* at the end. It was also determined that he was a secret member of a cult of walkers.
Jordan was a priest of a religion proscribed by the monotheistic Alliance (the Alliance worshipped Sola). Jordan’s god required him to liberate art.
Malakhai and Tyrell were comrades in a failed rebellion against the Alliance (quick borrow stuff from Firefly). Malakhai had the blaster of his former mentor, whom they had learned was being held on Widdershins, an Alliance dreadnought.
Tyrell had stolen a piece of Sola, and as such could claim authority amongst the Alliance, even though he had no backing.
So it was going to turn into a caper. And sure enough, it did.
So it Began
Jordan, Malakhai, and Tyrell had secured an air skiff to fly up to the Widdershins and attempt to break out Malakhai’s mentor Burk - a high-ranking political prisoner. Jordan was primarily in it for the “liberating of fine art.” Feng was the air skiff pilot’s assistance and had gleefully volunteered for the position.
They were going to dock at the Widdershins - it had a hull inspired by the Battlestar Galactica - and attempt to blend in with the coming and goings of the various support craft that were also coming for the Gala.
What ensued was absolute chaos. It began as expected, with Tyrell escorting Malakhai as a prisoner – after all he the telltale burning eyes of someone who had committed horrific crimes and Sola had marked – and Jordan acting as the man servant.
Feng, unloading baggage from the skiff, seized the first chance to throw someone off of the makeshift peers attached to the Widdershins. And rolled snake eyes. He failed and things quickly escalated with Feng taking a few blaster shots to the shoulder, raising an alarm all the while with Tyrell, Malakhai, and Jordan bluffing and conning their way deeper into the belly of the dreadnought.
The remander of the session was split between the two groups.
While Feng was evading detection, he stumbled upon a massive set of explosives hidden on the hull of the Widdershins. He proceeded to run a line of oil along the hull and then ignite the bomb.
Meanwhile, the others had begun working their way to the brig; Always pulling rank on guards, even managing to get one of the guards to escort them to the brig. Until eventually they made it to where the brig. And kabloom! The Widdershins had lost one of its two cargo bays. And rolled 90 degrees.
Malakhai used this opportunity to kill their escort, and they began their attempt to take the brig. It was a messy firefight that quickly shifted to a knife fight, and we had to wrap up so one of the players could leave.
I really need to ditch the idea of having everyone take turns during a combat. There was a point where it simply made sense, after a bumrush by the player, to ask them what they were doing. I recognized this after another player had went, but momentum of the moment had been lost.
The four playbooks were an interesting combination, with the Walker being predisposed to a lone-wolf character – especially since my 15 year old son was playing it. I also liked the dichotomy of the religious undertones of the Lantern, and the very religiously focused Priest.
We are all getting more used to helping intertwine our characters, especially to figure out how the hell things are going to get started. On that note, I still haven’t started a session En Media Res; It is something that is perhaps a bit more challenging when you say “Here choose from these 26 or so playbooks.” But let me reiterate that I really like having everyone choose the playbook they want to use and meshing the tables desire into a cohesive unit.
Walker: If you are interested in a ninja, thief-acrobat, Spider Man, or Nightcrawler, this class is where it is at. The selected Drive – “Drop someone from a high height because you can” – defined the session. The moves are all about mobility and taking advantage of superior mobility. Look for future derivative classes.
Survivor: The name sums it up; They are a tough nut to crack and have plenty of moves to make sure you know about their suffering. If you are interested in the grizzled war veteran with a story to tell, this class would suit you well.
Lantern: I really like this class. You have control over light, and control over the masses, but not with the religious overtones. And they have quite possibly the most fictionally awesome move of any class - Twilight Reckoning
Twilight Reckoning Requires: Twilight Blade When you deal damage to a surprised, defenseless, or damaged enemy with your Twilight Blade, you may sever anything from the target – their life, their limb, their relationship with someone, their most prized possession, their thoughts on a topic, anything. If you do, deal no damage.
Priest: Somewhat of an alternate Cleric with the need for explicit spells and levels stripped out. You build your god’s domain by defining what it controls, represents, its worshippers, enemies, and demands. Your invocations, that you craft on the fly, can interact with those concerns. Quite clever, and extremely flavorful.