Dungeon World: The Adventure Begins!

Meet Octavius the WIZARD :DIn a distant world where all land is the skeleton of a giant or manta ray, a group of bold adventurers are out looking for trouble. It doesn’t take long for them to find it. An invasion from the Manta Ray island pits our heroes against monstrous spiders and other threats. In order to delay the invasion, the heroes undertake a risky mission into the depths of the underground. Will their heroism be enough to save the day? Find out in our first session of Dungeon World!

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  1. Starting off with a reference to American Gods AND an awesome picture? This will be amazing.

  2. No, Caleb, it’s alright. When you deliberately choose to drift the rules, that’s cool. It’s only when you guys are lazy or forgetful, or trust that you know the rules 100% correct that we get angry.

    Also, “Unless it’s a move you just do it” isn’t weird, RPGs have been trending that way for at least 5 years, AW hacks are just more explicit about it than some others. You should hang out with grognards and neckbeards less, y’know. “Say ‘yes’ or roll the dice” and ‘don’t roll unless failure would be interesting'”, and all those other trite phrases which boil down a long period of cultural movement.

    (But I’m pretty sure Bards have a “play instrument and do things” move, though it’s probably for more of a specific purpose than to just be rad)

  3. Wow. Well, whatever I said those many months ago that gave offense Omega, I’m sorry. It wasn’t my intention, and I was probably just making a joke.

  4. You made a joke that you were gonna deliberately use some of the rules wrong to make everyone in the comments angry, and I was just returning your facetiousness. You joke, I joke in kind, we’re all horrible monsters.

    (The middle paragraph is me actually saying you’re weird for thinking that “if it’s not a move you just do it” is weird”, though. And then I effectively made fun of you for having different friends and being older than me. I’m only 21 I assume that’s still fair-play, right? I’m not defying society’s expectations of me?)

  5. Everyone should’ve gotten to mark XP for all those failed rolls; when you roll a 6 or under, you get XP. My players absolutely love it, because it makes them feel like they’re still getting something, even though they failed.

  6. Don’t worry, I have a solution. There’s a song for this!

  7. if a GM did the rhyme spell to me, I would say that just as we vanished into the earth my character turned back to face the mouth (pore?) of the cave, dazzled with the glow of the sunset, and say, “look there, friends, daylight’s last orange!”

    also wtf this is the most grotesque world imaginable are there illustrations I want illustrations

  8. I’ve got good news and bad news.

    The good news is that I’ve drawn a map!

    The bad news is that I, meaning me, drew the map.

    I can send a scan to anyone eager to do some absolutely free fan art. Otherwise, good luck making sense of my chicken scratches

  9. Hey, this podcast isn’t working for me. The site’s audio player doesn’t play, and if I try to download the file, it says there is no file. Now, clearly this isn’t a problem everyone is having, but both me and my roommate can’t get it to work. Can anybody help?

  10. I hadn’t even realized this was a Caleb original world when I posted that! I was thinking it was just Dungeon World’s nightmarish default setting. I love it. just…so grotesque. does it count as meatpunk?

  11. If they have role-playing games in Carcosa, this is probably what they’re like.

  12. Author

    @Thomas – try downloading the episode using a different browser or using a different internet connection – also try clearing your cache. You might also try iTunes, beyondpod, stitcher or some other podcasting software to download the episode.

  13. Manta rays do not have barbs or stingers, those are for Stingrays.

  14. Two big things:
    1) You get xp every time you fail a roll, which is really important to remember. Pretty sure most of the party should have levelled as of this adventure, certainly Aaron.
    2) Fiction first. The players need to describe what they’re doing, then the GM decides what move if any is triggered. Mostly you guys were pretty good about this but there were quite a few combat rolls and Discern Realities that were just announced and maybe backfilled with what was actually being done after. It’s a little hard to remember when you’re used to D&D or..well, a lot of other games really. But it’s important.

    Other than that, awesome stuff. I hope more is on the way! (And I’d be interested to see what you guys would make of Apocalypse World proper.)

  15. The world is a bit similar to that of Reign. Which is on the body of two giants as well and a really strange setting.

  16. Brilliant, gentlemen! Brilliant!

    The rhyming was fantastic and I will steal it for when I run con modules. Great stuff. If you guys are looking to spend a little money you could hop on rpgdrivethru and buy a few custom classes, like spellslinger (dirty harry w/ a wand). Can’t wait for!

  17. Ross you are an inspiration to me and all aspiring rainbow spitting wizards.

  18. Ross tastes the rainbow in the worst way possible.

  19. So… are these continents the huge corpses of Steve Irwin and the stingray that killed him? Because it sounds kinda like it.

  20. @timtombimbomb


    Dat’s the map. Steve Irwin comparison was not intentional, but it was inevitable.


    Thank you for the advice. I hope you enjoy us screwing that up for, like, five more sessions. But if I run the game a sixth time and it gets recorded, I’ll fix those rules.


    Little known fact: neither manta rays nor stingrays are the size of continents. I know facts like that can be shocking to the layman, but you’ll have to trust me; I am Missouri’s foremost marine biologist.

    Besides, “House of Manta” sounds badass; “the Stingrays” sounds like an 80’s hair band.

    @crawkill and @Omega

    I was totally going for meatpunk! Thanks!

  21. @Timtombimbomb I’m just glad you mentioned it first

  22. Ok, now that I’ve got the podcast to play via stitcher (thank you for the suggestion, Ross), I can see what all the hullabaloo is about. This game is awesome. What really sells it for me is Caleb’s “ADVENTURE!” voice. Hilarious. Good work, as always.

  23. That has to be the most original world i’ve seen in ages. Awesome. πŸ˜€
    Although I’m waiting for the reveal that it’s just a normal dude’s corpse lying in low water and everyone is microorganisms.^^

  24. @Caleb
    I didn’t think so. And while I haven’t encountered meatpunk (which makes me feel strangely culturally unaware), I do like the idea of taking the mythological idea of the world being the body of a colossal god (living or dead) and using it literally.

    I tried to resist asking, but I just couldn’t help it.

  25. Aaron manages to get through an entire session without doing anything poorly advised, but thankfully, you all worked together to make sure that he was constantly endangered anyways. Now that’s teamwork. *LOL*

    For me, the best part of the episode was how triumphantly Caleb screamed “FIVE!” when you finally broke the rhyming pattern.

  26. Woohoo! Dungeon World!

  27. I love Dungeon World, the Apocalypse World system is my absolute favorite. Thanks for doing a game of it!

  28. Yeah, I kinda figured it was too late to actually do anything based on comments, but hey. It’s not like I’d mind more Dungeon World getting run. πŸ™‚

  29. I think Caleb coined the term meatpunk on one of the non-actual play podcasts to describe some comic or other where there was this weird focus on showing eating on-screen. something about how these warclone supersoldier space marines would blow shit up and then sit down and eat and eat and eat. …I’m like an RPPR archivist wtf

  30. Author

    You’re thinking of Prophet published by Image comics. https://www.imagecomics.com/comics/series/prophet

    It’s not the only story/setting in ‘meatpunk’. Look at the comic Orc Stain, the rpg Low Life, or the video game series Zeno Clash. You can also see elements of it in older stories like NausicaΓ€ and the Guyver. It’s definitely an under-explored niche in fantasy and sci-though.

  31. yesss Zeno Clash. β€œErminia peed on herself and starved to death anonymously, and that is what Erminia did. Because Corwids are not slaves of their needs, of eating or sleeping. There was also Gabel. Gabel ate people, and that is just what he had to do. The Corwids are not slaves to morality or common sense. So if I were like Animasta I would have let Gabel eat me. But I didn’t feel I had to be eaten.” it’s like, like, like Cronenberg’s Dr Seuss.

  32. @Ross Payton and @crawlkill

    Thanks for the explanation. I’ll have to take a look at those comics.

  33. Excellent game guys. It made me thankful that I had signed up for that Learn Goblin course through Rosetta Stone.

  34. I thought it was an absolute blast to listen to.

    As others said, failing rolls = mark xp.

    The only other thing I could suggest is that when a player attempts to spout lore, I.e. Spout lore about the sword ask them “what do you know about the sword?” Then afterwards they roll, and on the fail they believe what they said even though they are way off, 7-9, they are part right and you get the fun twist to screw with them.

    But what you did was still a great fun blast.

  35. Listening to Caleb gm is always a treat. The bazaar community of Lice-back, Combustive twilight maze, rhyming spells, and goblin lute battles. I prey that if this is the beginning of a campaign that it remains so amusing.

  36. Great job, all. As always a treat to listen to, especially after actually coming to the site to see the true face of the WIZZARD.
    I think Storytelling Swine RPG types can be like switching from standard transmission to automatic for us old folks; you get used to the clutch, and your foot keeps going for it even after the hundredth commute. And the Apocalypse World system in particular has a lot of “huh?” bits of jargon that make sense to old fogies if you do a bit of transliteration. Moves are skills, the rolling system as margin of success, etc.
    Really though, anyone who is going to pass by rainbow-vomiting WIZZARDs, Violin Scamming bards and surfing shark-druids to complain about rules needs to take a long, hard look at their lives and ask the hard questions. Like “why do I hate fun so much?” ;p

  37. Caleb does the best goblin gibberish ever. I think you guys need to sneak through some more goblin caves…

    Great performances all around, and the system does sound fun!

    Now let me tell you which rules you screwed up… πŸ˜‰

  38. Oh, man. This is hilarious, and is probably going to cause me to buy Dungeon World. Glowing ticks. Damn.

  39. …and looting a goblin symphony out of a hollowed-out tooth. You guys win. “Duh duh duh duh, duh, duh, dut du-duuh” indeed.

  40. I for one find Caleb’s portrayal of goblins as very racist and demeaning. First of all their language is beautiful and full of light and grace. For example they have 53 words used to describe carrion. They are able to not only articulate the age with of the carrion but identify the particular bacteria causing fermentation/decay/flavors with a single change in tone. It is true it is often appears to exist at a high register that can seem annoying but Goblin hearing has a greater range than our hearing. For them listening to the throaty rattle of a humans last breath is a symphony of beauty we can never hope to understand.

    For shame Mr S. For shame.

  41. @Tim

    The major problem with listening to Caleb speak Goblin is that you wonderful listeners don’t get the visuals that we do. After all, Goblin-sign is a vital part to the language and if you don’t see the gestures to go along with the “Rraaugh!” it’s hard to tell if it’s the “Rraaugh!” that means “Hark! Intruders doth approach from the left flank in standard two-by-two Adventurer formation!” or the “Rraaugh!” that means “Verily, I say unto you that this music do be truly bitchin’!”

    Again, you have to imagine the nuances without seeing the gesture. Speaking for those present at the table, I was wholly satisfied with Caleb’s interpretation of Goblin.

    I will grant you that he had a Gnollish accent, but anyone who can speak more than one language fluently has to be commended for their study.

  42. Great episode. I’ve been listening to RPPR for a few years now but usually do not comment. I really wanted to chime in this time for a couple of reasons.

    First, this is a really cool setting. Is this Caleb’s original setting? If so, kudos. Fantasy is such a well-explored genre that it seems very hard to create a setting that instills a genuine sense of wonder in the audience. I found both Liceback and the broader setting fascinating.

    Second, I’ve been very interested in Dungeon World for a long time but have not yet gotten around to running it for my RPG group. Although I’ve had some experience with Monster of the Week (http://genericgames.co.nz/), which is another excellent Apocalypse World hack, I found the mushy rules-writing in DW an obstacle to getting my own game going. So it’s great for me that RPPR crew is paving the way.

  43. Lots of fun stuff in this one. I have run a lot of Dungeon World in the last year – two of my players have hit level 10 and the other two aren’t far behind – and it’s really interesting to hear other people playing it, especially for the first time.

    I like the setting a lot – using a body as the map makes it much easier to establish locations than in many fantasy settings with the elvish town of Sly’vess’triel.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard Caleb sound as gleeful as when he shouts out “FIVE!” in this episode. I was also surprised how tentative everyone was to grab or use that artifact sword..

    As for XP on failed rolls, that is how the system’s supposed to work but I found for long campaigns that the leveling ends up being a little fast. I don’t think it will matter for a shorter game, which is really where DW shines anyways. I also never considered giving multiple XP for treasures found or monsters defeated at the end of the session – I just do one XP for everyone if they’ve found at least one treasure or at least one notable monster.

    “2) Fiction first. The players need to describe what they’re doing, then the GM decides what move if any is triggered. Mostly you guys were pretty good about this but there were quite a few combat rolls and Discern Realities that were just announced and maybe backfilled with what was actually being done after. It’s a little hard to remember when you’re used to D&D or..well, a lot of other games really. But it’s important.”

    I know this is what the book says, but in my experience only some players will ever get the hang of it. Others feel a lot more comfortable referring to the moves directly and it often doesn’t make that much difference in play. Certain moves (like the druid’s shapeshifting) are basically impossible to invoke without referring to the move itself. For “Discern Realities” too, there are only so many ways to say that you carefully scope out the environment..

  44. Still never managed to get past the first half of this episode despite listening to it 40 times. It’s a lot of fun. Wizard!

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