Session played 8/31/13
So with a couple players out this weekend we set Hackmaster aside and tried Dungeon World a game I have been raving about for quite some time. Character generation was quick and easy, requiring only the character sheet and about fifteen minutes.
Once characters were mostly made we moved on to working out some basics of the world and setting. We came up with an Empire governed by Titans, where the humans and halflings are at best considered tools but more often considered vermin in the eyes of their betters. Each of the ten Titans rules from a major city, controlling that city and all surrounding towns and villages. The wilderness in between the major cities is the domain of small pockets and communities of non-affiliated humans, halflings and the odd dwarf here and there. They live in constant fear of the machinations of the Titans and thus these communities are almost always located some distance from the Titans domain of control.
The reign of the Titan’s is young only three hundred years old. It was built on the defeated corpse of the old Empire which was dominated by the Djinn, a society where humankind suffered even worse degradation. Today the Djinn have been scattered with only the Marid nearby, lurking below the waves in an Atlantis(esque) kingdom. They have fought to reclaim some of the land, dragging it down below the waves but have met stiff resistance from the Titan’s of the coastal cities.
The land of the New Empire is a long and narrow Peninsula that juts out of the main continent east to west for one thousand miles. Temperate in climate the Empire is mostly coastal plains and foothills with a core of jagged and broken mountain tops that retain snow all year long. The southern coasts are the less populated as they border the domain of the Marid. Only three of the ten Titan cities are on the southern coast, and those are all within three hundred miles of the connection with the main continent leaving broad expanses sparsely populated by barbaric humanoids who were once the Thralls of the Titans or the Marids but whom have broken free from the yolk of slavery. In these scattered communities lie the only active pockets of resistance against the Titans and the Marid.
Within the Titan held cities their are several tiers of servitude, ranging form the rather wealthy administrators and bureaucrats who have found a niche where they can survive and prosper, often at the expense of the less fortunate below them. Their is the clergy who worship the titan of that specific city as a demi-god. They are essentially self-important sycophants as they are awarded no divine benefit from their adulation and patronage and work essentially to maintain the status quo. Below that are the hard working tradesman and skilled laborers who provide for the needs of the Titan and his enormous bureaucracy. And finally below them are the unskilled and destitute of society who can only work doing the dirtiest and most dangerous work. They step lively though as squatters and indigent humans in the city are swiftly collected and placed within a forced work camp toiling away the remainder of their short lives under a taskmasters whip. The only exception to this are humans that show an aptitude for magic. The Titans themselves have their own magic but it is so powerful that it has been since the Empire wars since the deadly power was unleashed. Therefore they need the skills of Wizard Thralls whose power is not as dangerous often these wizards are used to explore the unknown mysteries left over from the Old Empire and to provide magical services in support of their Titan master’s city.
As for the other races.
* Dwarves are in decline, and resent the rise of the Titans. They live only in the steep snow-covered mountains of the Peninsula’s central core and claim ownership of all the land where snow covers or falls all year round. The Titan’s have not challenged this mastery leading some to suppose that the Dwarves may be the key to defeating the towering overlords.
* Elves have been thralls to the Djinn for eons and it is their failing that the surviving Marid blame for the collapse of the Old Empire. Thus the elves have been cursed and their once majestic line has been corrupted into wicked green skinned goblins. The occasional “elf” character or npc is not a true elf but some kind of half-breed.
* Halflings are a nomadic forest people that live among the sparsely populated lands beyond the Domain of the Titans. Halflings lean towards druidism and revere the legends of the elves and their fall. Many of the Halflings druidic orders are dedicated to reversing the Curse of the Marid and restoring the elves.
* Dragons are considered an extremely tasty delicacies by both the Marid and the Titans and as such are extremely rare in this region of the world.
Once the world was created or at least generalized the players finalized their characters and we came up with:
* Baldric the Bard native of the city of Stillwater home of Lavrentios. He is an agent of his Liege but only slightly in reality he works for wealthy administraitors in Lavrentios’s bureaucracy.
* Cassious the Paladin also a native of Stillwater and charged with maintaining the law of Lavrentios throughout his domain.
* Vitus the Thrall Wizard of Lavrentios also from Stillwater.
* Thistle the Druid, rural champion of all that is natural.
The party has formed up to investigate a goblin infestation at the long since abandoned Erhur Slave-Pits. An old Iron mine known for its unusual iron ore that when forged into weapons crafted weapons that were better suited for fighting the Marid and their Fey thralls. The Mine has been abandoned for seventeen years because it is rumored to be haunted by the restless spirit of Dao (earth genie). The party is to discover why and what the goblins are doing infesting this ruin and to deal with the problem, or at least that’s the party line. They each most likely have their own interests to serve as well.
They set out from the small town of Tinhome about a day away and trekked up into the forested foothills, it was not long before they found that their pass had been completely blocked by an old landslide, causing them to have to leave the beaten path and forge their own way through the rocky slopes and dense forests. Cassious did his best to find away around, unfortunately it required much backtracking and they very narrowly avoided becoming lost. The alert and ever-watchful eyes of Thistle detected movement in the air ahead and they took cover just before a massive abomination took up a roost some one hundred meters away at the top of a rocky boulder field. With three heads, massive bat wings and a lizard like tail this could only be some sort of abomination left over from the Old Empire. Cassious new immediately that this creature was evil and that he had not only a right but a duty to pass sentence on it. A plan was hatched and Thistle the Druid took on the form of a spotted jaguar and made his way out into the field of stones to draw the attention of the winged terror. Meanwhile back in the treeline Cassious, Vitus and Baldric took up positions to ambush. Moments later Thistle was hustling back into the trees with the chimera flying after breathing gout after gout of flame from one of it’s two dragon heads.
Cassious choked up on his steel halberd and decapitated the second dragon head, the bronze head. Meanwhile Vitus uttering arcane words of power unleashed a torrent of swirling balls of energy striking the beast multiple times. The beast struck out at every thing that moved knocking Cassious to the ground and sending his halberd flying off into the brush before circling around to menace the wizard who launched another blistering salvo of energy blasts into the creature. In the end it was the true and deep stike of Baldric the Bard who placed his rapier right into the beasts soft underbelly and brought it crashing to the ground.
Victus informed the group that their was much that could be harvested from the horrid amalgamation of beasts. It’s hide for certain was worth a great deal, as were the dragon teeth and the heart, if prepared correctly and eaten could permanently increase a man’s strength.
With much council Thistle was able to skin, detooth and remove the heart. Following Victus’s instructions the heart was roasted in the burning bronze dragon skull and then Thistle consumed the muscle. He found himself revitalized and stronger, yet at the same time less patient and erratic. Noticing that the change in his patience would not be permanent the group agreed to give him the proper rest so that he could recover.
During this time Cassious hiked all around the nearby country side looking for better routes but could come up with nothing. On the marrow they came up with a plan to communicate with the birds as it was revealed that Thistle could understand the incessant chatter and Cassioius’s voice was imbued such that any thing hearing it can understand it. What transpired was a silly game of telephone that eventually revealed a much shorter and closer route that would cut at least ten hours from the journey.
Back on track the crew made it to the old ruins high up in the barren hills. An Oak tree has grown over the enterance to the mines and sitting high up in the branches a pair of goblins prepared a sharp welcoming ceremony. Cassious with an air of total confidence stood up straight offering his chest as a target and dared the creatures to take the shot. Both goblins did and the shots were true and on target but both crumbled like tin foil when they made contact with his heavy armor and devoted mind.
The two goblins were easily dispatched in a manner that involved a butterfly, falling halflings, scampering bards and a disarmed Paladin. Upon looting the corpses an ancient elf medallion was found, made of white steel or platinum the brooch glows a faint white light.
End of session 1
Cold Steel Hot Blood
Session 10 - Dungeon World Episode 1 - The Bird Whisperer