“YOu must be a good guy. YOu must be a hero when playing this game.”
“OK Daddy,” said Akiva, “But I want to be… a dark necromancer.”
Thus began the adventure of Sauron, a Wizard played by Akiva, and Luke, a Paladin played by Kenza. We played The Slave Pit of Drazhu, a two hour intro adventure for Dungeon World. Their first time playing RPGs. My first time with Dungeon World. Here is basically how it went.
First gave a “Power Word” list of mostly adverbs, with two nouns (Dexterity and Constitution… pretty necessary they understand these words). Explained that if they use these words during a roll to describe what they are doing, they get a bonus. (that’s not a Dungeon-World thing… it’s a using RPGs for teaching thing). Spent about 30 minutes explaining what different classes are. Akiva wanted to play an evil necromancer. I Said that they need to play good guys. He insisted on rolling a wizard… called him Sauron. Kenaz chose the name “Luke”. I ask them to describe something special about their characters. Sauron is powerful…. Luke is cool. OK. How did they become friends? “I know… Sauron was fighting undead and almost died, then Luke came and saved him”. “NO” says Sauron, “I was learning how to raise skeletons and then found Luke and we became friends.” Argued for 15 minutes about background story.
They went to an inn in the small village. Women comes in crying… “orc raiders kidnapped her little girl brought her to Drazhu’s slave pit to the east.” says me/the woman.
“I kill her.” says Luke.
“You need to play a character, do you understand?”I say.
“OK… I go East. Where is East?”
“The direction from which the sun rises. Do you want to do anything before you go?”
“Yeah. I want to go to the noodle store and buy a bowls of noodles and eat”.
“OK Sauron what do you want to do?”
“How much money will she give me if I save her daughter?”
“You know, a hero does not ask a question like that.”
“OK, I climb up onto the rooftop and I yell ‘ How much gold will you give me if I free you from the orcs?!”
“OK. Roll +Charisma.”
“I rolled a 4” “Townsfolk start to throw tomatoes at you.”
I will point out here basic rules of DW in case some don’t know. Players roll 2D6+modifier. 10+ is success. 7-9 is partial success. 6 or less is failure. Only players roll. There are moves like “hack and slash” and others. There are custom class moves too, but I mostly didn’t get into that with these players. This is a rules-lite free-form game.
“OK. I go East to where the orcs are.” say Sauron
“Don’t you want to wait for your brother, er I mean Luke?”
“No, I want to go there first to get gold first.”
“Fine, so you go East along a road and it comes to a forest. Do you continue or wait for your brother to catch up?”
“OK. So you are going through the forest and you come accross a pit trap. Your foot goes through the floor. What do you do?”
“OK. I jump aside.”
“Roll +Dex.” “I roll a 5.”
“No, you fall in the trap. YOu don’t take damage though. The sides are sheer and you cannot climb up.” “OK… well I throw my staff up…”
“OK Luke, what do you do?”
“I follow Sauron East.”
“OK, the road goes east, you follow the road to a forest. You get to the forest and you see a pit in the forest floor. Sauron is at the bottom of the pit. HIs staff is sitting outside the pit.”
“Help me up” says Sauron.
“I take Sauron’s staff, break it into two, and throw it on his head killing him.” says Luke.
“You are supposed to be friends… hello?”
“I don’t care. I hate him”.
“OK. you break his staff and though it at him. does not do damage as its just two pieces of wood.”
“NOW what I’m I supposed to do?” said Sauron. Akiva runs around the table and is about to hit Kenaz.
I stop him. “SIT DOWN!” I yell.
“I jump into the pit on Sauron’s head” says Luke.
“Really? This does not sound like how heroes behave.”
“I jump on him!”.
“OK. Roll +Dex to see if you manage to do this without taking damage.”
“OK I roll 6”.
“Ooo. Well you fall flat on your face. Take 1 damage.”
“I kick Luke” says Sauron.”Then I pick up his sword and kill him”.
“The sword is underneath him… you can’t get to it. And now you are both stuck in a pit with smooth walls. Fortunately… or unfortunately, along comes a bunch of orcs. They throw a flask into the pit. Green gas comes out. The two of you fall asleep.”