We played a session of Dungeon World via Google Hangouts this past wednesday. It’s a mini-campaign I’m calling Into the Fire, loosely inspired by the concepts from Hell Dorado/Claustrophobia. Here’s how it went:
The world is dying. Pieces of the world are vanishing, ceasing to exist. There isn’t much time left. So, the Council of Wizards has created bridge to elsewhere — a portal to another world. One team of explorers has already been sent through the portal — but they didn’t come back.Now the Paladin Targus Fairhand is sent through the portal, along with two hirelings (Daron, a human burglar, and Ramak, a dwarf), along with two conscripted prisoners, Alti (a Shaman) and Nora (a Ranger). Targus is forthright about their mission: they are to explore the area around the portal entrance, and attempt to discover what
has delayed the first team of explorers.
Exiting the portal on the other side, they find themselves in a dark, sweltering hot environment. They can hear something moving in the dark. The dwarf, who can see in such environments, reports that they are in a cave, likely forged from volcanic activity, and that there is some sort of animal to moving behind some rocks to the north-west. While Targus lights a torch, Alti makes contact with one of her ancestor-spirits, Riga. (Riga is not summoned, but communicates telepathically). Riga merely shouts that Alti should “go back! leave this place!” and begins screaming, seemingly in agony.
Targus, having lit the torch, reveals a cavern with three passages leading north, west, and east. The rocks that form the floor, walls, and ceiling are smooth, as though they had been melted and then hardened again. There are some larger boulders, pieces of the ceiling which have fallen, and behind some of these is the beast. Targus steps around the rocks and finds a creature like a maggot the size of a St. Bernard, with a face like a human skull and the horns of a bull, and a scorpion’s stinger at its tail. It gives a piercing shriek as it sees him; he attacks it with his mallet, but the blow merely bounces off
the creature’s rolls of fat, and the thing’s tail whips forward to strike him on the neck. Nora, bow drawn, tries to sink an arrow into into the beasts’ hide, but cannot see it past the rocks and the Paladin.
Alti tries to calm Riga, but only agitates her more. The screams of anguish fill Alti’s head, leaving her unable to act or sense anything around her — and thus she fails to see (or alert the rest of the party to) the second maggot-thing that creeps out of the eastern
Meantime the poison now in his veins weakens Targus, but he holds fast against it. Nora gets her shot and pins an arrow in the beast’s hide, but fails to see the second maggot-thing crawling up behind her. Targus and the two hirelings attack the first beast again, and as the dwarf and burglar stab at it, Targus cracks its skull open with his mallet — sending a spray of black gore into the dwarf’s face.
Nora is surprised by the maggot’s sudden sting in her arm; she cries out and drops her bow so as to attack it with her spear, but before she can do anything the maggot wrap itself around her and begins to crush her. The others, hearing her cry, rush to her aid; save for Alti, who is still overwhelmed by the cries of her ancestor. She manages to sever the telepathic link to Riga, but, seeing the situation at hand, decides that the others can take care of it without her.
Targus strikes at the maggot, but in the confusion as it writhes he hits Daron instead. Nora uses her spear for leverage to break out of the maggot’s grasp, but has to leave it behind as she slips loose.