I started a new Dungeon World campaign last weekend. It’s online with a bunch of people I only know through Google+, but they seem like good folks. We rotate GMing, so one person will GM for 3 sessions, then the baton is passed. Whatever fronts you develop as a GM you can either hang onto or share with others in the Wiki. Obviously, the GM’s character doesn’t participate in the GM’s adventure, but at the end of your 3-session run, your character levels up.
Rory was supposed to GM the first run, and had established that he wanted to start the party on a privateering ship on their way to a land where they would meet up with his PC. However, Rory had other obligations and needed someone else to step in. I volunteered.
In the party last weekend, we had:
- Father Brennan, a priest of Maskius, the god of civilization
- Maka, a fighter with a background as a ship’s rigger
- Admago, the psion
Not present were:
- Kexane the mage
- A bard, name unknown, who specializes in undead lore
- Mea A’a (my character), a pygmy (halfling) druid from the savage Sapphire Islands
Keep in mind that the initial setup– on the Windbreaker traveling to a distant land– was Rory’s.
We started on a privateering ship, the Windbreaker, which was in the middle of a ferocious and unnatural storm. The captain had been rendered unconscious, and the party had to fight the storm with a skeleton crew (that’s an understaffed crew, not a crew of skeleton pirates). The storm had a weird, chemical stench to it, and Maka steered the ship around a “ship-breaker of a whirlpool” before getting us out of the storm. Father Brennan set a beacon towards “the nearest civilization” and they steered towards that.
In the morning, Admago learned that the captain had been poisoned. Father Brennan discovered that the cook had been killed. And Maka discovered that half of the gunpowder was missing, presumably during the storm.
This set off an investigation in which the party talked to crewmen, not all of whom were honest. They found a small shrine to a sea god in the cargo hold, and Maka set a trusted friend (Shivers) to secure the cargo. Their chief suspect is a crewman named Finn.
They decided to make landfall at an island, but were warned that this is the Isle of Wastes, a common stop for pirates using its reef-protected cove, but certain death to anyone who sets foot on it. Just as they were coming around to the cove, the gunpowder on board blew up.
Kaboom! Chaos ensued. Admago bailed out rapidly as did most of the rest of the crew. Maka steered towards the reef, hoping to scuttle close enough for some salvage later. Father Brennan dove off, but saw a fire elemental demon leaping along the side of the ship, so he climbed back aboard to fight it. Maka fought it for one round, realized that his fists would do nothing to the fiend (elementals can only be harmed in special ways), and bailed out as well. Father Brennan faced the demon, one-on-one, for several rounds, giving cover to the cabin boy (Mouse) and Shivers to get off the ship and to safety. Finally, also realizing he would not be able to harm the demon without using the demon’s own summoning glyph (an act the good father is not willing to perform, ever), he tackled the fiery beast, going into the water, at which point it was promptly banished.
On shore, Admago focused on the future and saw a near-future event in which they would all be captured by enormous humanoids. He called to everyone to take cover, and we ended the session with their ship burning just off shore, and the remaining crew and adventuring party hiding in the trees in a cold camp, hoping the giants don’t find them.
In one session, I broke the other DM’s ship and marooned the party on a hostile island with giants, a fire elemental who is much too interested in the priest, and a possible murderer.
And those are just the dangers they know about.