Dungeon World: Visiting the Indigo Galleon with a Druid and a Barbarian

Mike was in town for the weekend, so it seemed like a good time to take out the shiny new Dungeon World tome and put it to use. I printed out the character sheets, along with the Barbarian, dropped them all on the table and Janaki and Mike chose their characters while I quickly skimmed The Indigo Galleon.

The skim reading meant I got the basic idea but got many of the details wrong, which turned out to be fine. My Captain-Senator was also a necromancer, with an Imperial Spellbook chained to his breastplate and he marched into town with a squad of 8 Imperial soldiers.

Janaki chose the Barbarian and Mike took a Druid. I adore how fast these AW-derived games steam through chargen while still providing lots of evocative details for the table to dig into.

Priscilla Foehammer and Nigel of the Stinking Mire had just gotten back from the Tomb of the Iron Liche. I asked Priscilla what she was attempting to destroy in the tomb.

“The Iron Liche.”

She rolled her Strength, got 7-9, so I told her that their battle brought down the tombs and gravely wounded the Iron Liche but she was not able to confirm the kill as he slid into a seemlingly bottomless shaft as the stones fell all around them.

I asked Nigel what he wanted to understand in the Tombs and he was seeking out the mysteries of the Iron Liche’s magics and he failed that roll, meaning that he had a hand of the Iron Liche, metal bones, rusted cogs and steam-powered exoskeleton, secreted in his bag like some kind of precious secret.

The adventure is a big glorious mess and it hit a hiccup when Priscilla died fighting some marauders in the abandoned dwarven mines. Rolling a 7 on her Last Breath move (thanks to her Barbarian move that gives her +1 on Last Breath) she confronted death, who looked kind of like one of the White Walkers from Game of Thrones, only he rode a polar bear. Death told Priscilla that she had to kill the necromantic Captain-Senator and stake his head in a high place with her name runes carved into his face.

This is when things got crazy. They rested up and healed for a day and then Priscilla called the imperial senator-captain/necromancer out and confronted him and his soldiers. Nigel turned into a War Elephant (straining the limitations of being able to turn into a domesticated animal) and stampeded the soldiers while the Foehammer cut off the necromancer’s hand and then head while holding on with 1 hit point left.

In the end, after a few more rolls and shenanigans, Nigel had secretly fastened the liche-hand onto his own hand (why do hands always figure prominently into my DW games…Vecna envy?) and was about to summon the Octopus God of the octopus folk so that he could turn the world into a swamp. Priscilla’s questioning of his actions caused him to hesitate and cut off the fell hand of the Iron Liche.

This game came very close to being Moby Dick and the Barbarian vs. Cthulhu but it didn’t get down that road. Nigel leveled up and Priscilla is 1 XP shy of 2nd level. I love the way XP works in this game now, love it to bits.

Pirates, chtonic deties, imperial necromancers, imperial necromancer’s head on a spear in the middle of a small fishing village by a glory-hungry barbarian, shape-changing into an alligator, a poisonous snake and a whale…it was a fine night of gaming.

Looking at their Bonds, Nigel realized that the danger the spirits warned him was following Priscilla Foehammer was actually him. Good stuff.

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7 thoughts on “Dungeon World: Visiting the Indigo Galleon with a Druid and a Barbarian

  1. Okay, now I have to look into this game. Apocalypse World didn’t interest me as a setting or the play examples, but this sounds awesome. I’m getting a “noir fantasy” vibe that seems to be popular right now (see Richard K. Morgan and Joe Abercrombie).

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