Redux: World of Dungeons in… the Tunnels of the Ghoul King!

Originally posted to Google+ in July of 2012, this story doesn’t begin to capture the joy that came to life at our table. My father’s nostalgia and excitement. My mother surprising herself with her own creativity. My girlfriend bonding with the family. This is what these games are all about, and I was lucky enough to live it in its purest, most honest form. I will always have these memories, and I am richer for them.


I played World of Dungeons lat night with my parents and my girlfriend. My dad, as I’ve said around here before, is the guy who made it possible for me to get into role-playing games. He said last night (after I shared some gaming stories with him) that he misses playing D&D and I thought I’d help.

I don’t have any D&D stuff anymore, though. So I printed out the World of Dungeons stuff from the *DW Kickstarter and said I’d run something before he left town.

He made it happen right then and there. Dragged me, my mom, and my girlfriend into the dining room to make it happen.

My dad is in his late 40s. My mom, her early 50s. Dad has only ever played D&D. My mom has never played any RPG at all, her only association is knowing that RPing is what I did every weekend of high school.

It was a great time. My dad rolled up a Thief (Aram) from the Imperium (and explained the Imperium was a Blighted scrubland of dying forests, bandits, and ramparts as the last vestiges of civilization) with Awareness, Stealth, Tinker, and Reflexes.

The girlfriend rolled up a Fighter (Róhildur) from the Northlands (and told me about the clans of the North, and the deadly frozen mountains looming over the green valleys the clans call home) with Athletics, Stealth, Slay, and Skirmish.

And my mom! Total newb — total newb who was fussy about how she didn’t have the imagination to play; didn’t think she could make up answers to my questions. She rolled up a Ranger (Makarios) from Ankhyra & Cythonis with Stealth, Survival, Scout, and Volley. And she told me everything about her swamplands nation, of lofted walkways and bungalow-living, with goats and chickens and MegaGators, and how the nation is founded by two brothers an she’s descended from one making her like royalty and she’s seeking the lost treasure of her ancestor’s brother.

We didn’t let her live it down that her background was awesome. And it provided the basics of the adventure I ad-libbed.

Ró has come from Ankhyrra & Cythonis seeking the lost crest of ancestral blacksmiths who left the Northlands to become lords of the south land. Makarios has see signs of the crest in the swampland ruins and guides her. Aram is along for the ride, in disguise, in-hiding from his reputation in the Imperium. Apparently Aram and Makarios have a bad history, Han Solo/Princess Leia-style.

We played for a few hours and at the end of it, they’d been ambushed by Jumping Leeches, slain some Troglodytes hiding in the water-logged tunnels, hidden from brigands hunting for treasure, made camp and kept watch, descended into a methane-trapped stairwell and lost Makarios’ cousin to the fire trap, killed some brigands with a dumbwaiter and some columns, and solved a trapped door to enter a tomb.

In a basement tomb they discovered the Ghoul King Vulfhammar, with great hammer, and Ró family crest. Rather than fighting him, Ró talked him down and was awarded his lordly hammer and the crest. Returning upstairs some bandits were terrified the place was haunted and were trying to escape with the Lost Treasure of Cythonis! Some arrows, some hammering, some stabstabstabstab… And Aram was skewered and killed by the longsword of a bandit.

He and Makarios shared a moment.

And then Ró rushed him down the tower to the crypt and begged her Ghoulish ancestor to save Aram. Successful roll! Aram is resurrected deathly pale with ghostly white hair and a sick stomach scar.

Returning to their ship with Cythonis’ treasure, they cracked it open to find 2,000 silver pieces to split between them and the crew. Everybody leveled up!

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