Here is a one shot or a start for a new kind of adventure for your group. The PCs are a guild of thieves working the wondrous city of Dragon Hold. This is for Dungeon World and is aimed at 4 PCs. First introductions.
There are four playbooks for The Gang. If you know who wrote these please let me know so I can give credit. Each of these playbooks are thieves but each does it in a unique way. This way you can keep a thief motif without everyone having the same playbooks. If you need more classes (because you have more players or no one likes X, Y, or Z) you can always bring in the thief from the core book or any other class that doesn’t wear loud, clanging armor. In no particular order we have…
The Burglar: This is your greaser. He can get in and out of anywhere. He’s all about going around a problem and sticking the problem in the back with a dagger. This is really close to the Thief class from core, but without poisons. Be sure to talk to your players if they want a Burglar and a Thief. Toes may get stepped on.
The Con Artist: This is your face. The Con Artist can talk their way out of anything. You can make people believe what you want. This is a great class for those who want to mess with NPCs via dialogue and not violence.
The Muscle: This is your…well your muscle. You bring the pain and break things as needed. This is really close to the fighter, but without the heavy armor and you gain the ability to Intimidate those you don’t want to punch.
The Leader: This is your brain. This is the man with the plan. Leader is a great class for those who like to support the group and have all the connections that are needed to get the job done.
Dragon Hold is an amazing place. It’s named after the ancient dragon that is captured and kept chained and bound in its own lair. A long time ago the city of Dragon Hold was simply the lair of the wyrm Kylishtarickth (good luck pronouncing that) but the common folk simply called it The Fury. The neighboring kingdoms kept the dragon happy with tributes of gold and slaves. Eventually, while the dragon was slumbering, a group of heroes hunted the dragon. They had nothing that could kill the dragon because it’s scales were too strong and they couldn’t risk waking The Fury and having it take vengeance against the people of the world. So instead they captured it in its own lair. Using chains of mithril and binding magic usually reserved for demons and unpopular politicians, the heroes were able to bind the creature’s body and lock it’s mind away in a nightmare. This was hundreds of years ago. Now a city has grown upon the ruins of the dragon’s lair. The Fury radiates magic and a powerful wizards guild has taken up residence in town. They leech the magic off of the dragon to power the many wards and other magical constructs that power the city. Every once in a while the Fury will stir and shake the city, but it has never broke so much as one link in the binds that hold it.
Here we can go a few directions. Pick the one that sounds like it would give your group the biggest thrill.
Archbishop Calen the Pious: This target is the head of the greatest church known to man. This is one of the richest and most powerful people in Dragon Hold. He’s been named a living saint and millions of people look up to him as a role model of piety. He’s also secretly one of the biggest bastards and most mean-spirited people the world has ever seen. Calen rose to power in anyway he could and now that he is in power he uses it to build up and tear down anyone he wants. No one becomes a king without his blessing and no king stays in power long if they get on his bad side. Calen also has many relics of power at his disposal that are to be used for only church-related events. Of course when you’re in charge everything you do is a church-related event.
Grand Wizard Helena Starfire: Helena is the single most powerful spellcaster this age has ever seen. She maintains the wards that keep the city safe and also has the power to change the weather to help the farmers in the area. All she asks for is a tower to do her magic and for the ruling body to not ask questions about the screams that sometimes erupt from her place of power. Helena helps the city out in many ways but she also likes to experiment on the less fortunate of the city. Most of them volunteer by heading over to a soup kitchen and getting drugged and dragged off. Her tower is full of powerful arcane artifacts.
Baron Leonard von Schofield: The Baron is the current ruler of Dragon Hold. He has at his disposal the bulk of the Fury’s hoard. He inherited his riches from his ancestors which were some of the adventurers that bound the Fury in the first place. He is a ruthless ruler that will do whatever it takes to keep his city safe and prosperous. Make no mistake. His care for the city is only to help his seat of power. If he was offered a kingdom for his city, he would take it at a moment’s notice.
Regardless of what target you pick there will be common obstacles the group will have to overcome. Be sure to tailor what the group faces based on what classes they pick. The Burglar should be disarming traps and circumventing alarms. The Con Artist needs people to trick. The Muscle needs something to break and someone to hurt. The Leader should have a plan to come up with. There is nothing wrong with throwing something at the group that they aren’t the best equipped for, but this should be done as a hard move only.
Be sure to have your players help come up with what horrible things they will have to get past to reach their goal. Bound demons, golems, and other nasties are always fun throw at the group when they get close to the MacGuffin. Ask your players leading questions like, “When you turn the corner you come face to face with a magical guardian. What does it look like?” or “The hall looks empty except for the body laying on the floor. How does it look like he died?” They will come up with something much worse than what you will and they will have the satisfaction of getting to help build the world. It’s a win/win.
Thanks for reading folks. Let me know if you run this, how it went, and if you know the author of those classes.