[Dungeon World] The Spanterhook Slaughterhouse

During the last game, Anthony’s thief died and Aaron’s elf turned evil.  This game, Gunderloch, the master of the newly erected Bloodstone Citadel, sent them on a mission.  The adventurers were to venture into the Spanterhook Thieves’ Guild and steal the Eye of Entrax.  Some thieves had stolen it and brought it to their guildmaster, the Gray Man.

They lit the guild on fire with one of its own traps, slaughtered thieves left and right and then…I stuck by the stats as printed in the adventure’s playbook and slaughtered 3/4 of the party.

The second most powerful thief in the guild is the Extortionist whose stats are as follows:

level 4, 15 HP, 3 Armor, 9 Damage (Mace)

Every other thief had 5 damage tops.  I should’ve corrected the mistake.  Instead, I stuck to the text and killed Aaron’s 2nd level fighter/elf from last game, killed Anthony’s cleric twice and he had to change alignment and change which god he worshipped.  I should’ve noticed it and switched it but I didn’t.  Bummer on me.

If Aaron wasn’t already kinda psyched to play an Ultramarine-inspired Paladin, having seen the Paladin playbook, he might’ve left the game with a very bad taste in his mouth.

That said, I love these playbook dungeons.  They are the perfect amount of information for me to run a fun night of gaming.  The maps are slick, the statted enemies are useful and the intro text is evocative as hell.

“Make characters who would infiltrate a thieves’ guild for Gunderloch, master of the Bloodstone Citadel.”

I was having a discussion about D&D settings often being on an 3 way triangle-axis, between Vance, Tolkein and Leiber and I like it when its tilted towards the sheer weirdness of Vance and Leiber.  My homage to the weird for this game was the Many-Handed Thief-God, whose shrine they found outside the Gray Man’s office.  The M.H.T.G.’s hands are hidden but it has many visible hands on the end of dozens of chains.  Some hands carry knives, poisons, books, etc.

Another thing I really love about DW playbook dungeons is that the dungeons always have more than one entrance.  I adore that; it is an important reason why those adventures work.

In the end, only the Cleric and the Wizard survived the brutal 9 damage mace and the extortionist made his way from the burned out shell of Spanterhook Thieves’ Guild with the Eye of Entrax in hand and the brains of the Fighter and the Thief on his weapon.  The Gray Man turned out to be a woman and she got away.  The Cleric changed to an Evil alignment and now worships the Many-Handed Thief-God.  The Wizard’s eye was burned out with arcane power when he failed a roll and was temporarily possessed by Entrax himself.

Good stuff, good fodder for future games.

I’m ready to write my own playbook dungeon, I think.

I’m not sure if I’m ready to write the playbooks I want: the old school monk, where you have to fight your superiors in order to gain their named levels, an assassin, a bard and the Githyanki Silver Sword Wielder.


11 thoughts on “[Dungeon World] The Spanterhook Slaughterhouse

  1. Wow. I don’t even know what system this it, but it sounds hardcore. I must admit I’m completely unfamiliar with the Vance axis. I shall have to investigate.

  2. ” the old school monk, where you have to fight your superiors in order to gain their named levels,” That. Is. Awesome. I’m also curious to see what people will do with the Barbarian.

    I’ve noticed a couple times the the damage can be HARSH in DW, and the death rules don’t mess around.

    • Thanks, Thomas.

      There are some confusing bits that we’re still puzzling out. There’s a cycle implied between Hack-n-Slash, Defend and Defy Danger that I’m still putting together. I hope to give the book a thorough read-through in the coming week.

      Adding in the Vancian/Leiberish touches has made it more fun for me.

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