by Delos

The Wall: A Dungeon World Quick Start/One Shot

I’ve been reading a lot of Game of Thrones lately and one of my favorite bits of lore is the Wall. In this world the Wall is a huge ice wall built to keep the barbarians and monsters of the north out and away from the civilized people of the south. The Wall is manned by a group called the Night’s Watch. These soldiers gave up all rights to land, title, love, etc to serve the kingdoms of the south for the rest of their lives. Some people “take the black” to escape prison, judgement, and execution. When given the choice between losing your head or serving the Night’s Watch, they tend to get a lot of “volunteers”. This quick start is based off of the above idea. Start at “The Set Up” and just go down the line.

The Set Up

  • First thank everyone for coming and playing
  • Read the following
    • We’re going to be playing a Dungeon World game based on some lore from the Game of Thrones book series. We’ll still make the world our own but there will be a few things that are going to be musts.
      • All of you are going to the Wall. The Wall was built long ago and is used to keep something or someone out of the kingdoms of the people.
      • The Wall is manned by the Watch. When you join the Watch you join for life. The Watch doesn’t owe allegiance to any kingdom. Their only job is to protect the Wall and keep their enemy on the other side.

Who here is…

  • a veteran from the Wall, sent south to recruit more fighters?
  • a bastard born from a noble line, going to the wall to bring honor to your family?
  • a criminal that chose the Wall over death?
  • working for someone to kill the Commander of the Watch?
  • a craven (coward) that was forced to join the Watch by their father?
  • After everyone says who they are let them pick their classes and make their characters as normal.

A raven…

Print these out and hand them to the player that took the above choices.

Dear Veteran,

You’ve been manning the wall for years now. For how long I can not say. Perhaps you don’t even remember. You’re trusted by the Commander to return with troops to man the wall and are sometimes called for your council. I’m going to ask you a few questions about the Watch. Be ready with your answers.

What are the Vows that all of the Watch must take?

  1. I will serve for life, with my life
  2. I will hold no title or land
  3. I will hold no loyalty to anything or anyone but the Watch and my brothers and sisters
  4. Come up with 1 or 2 more vows that all must be beholden to

Who is currently the Commander of the Watch?

What makes him a great leader?

Remember that you have been serving for years. You are loyal to the Watch and will stop at nothing to ensure the Wall will not Fall.

Yours truly,

The DM

Dear Bastard,

Your mother or father is a noble of some importance. Unfortunately for you since you were conceived due to laying with a small folk, you can never take the name of your noble parent. Your noble parent took you in/kept you when you were born. You never knew your other parent, they died shortly after you were born. You’ve lived with your noble parent all your life and now that you’ve grown you decided to take the vows of the Watch. Since you may never inherent and lands or titles, this seemed like the best way to make yourself useful and bring honor to your family. I’m going to ask you a few questions about the Wall. Be ready with your answers.

  • What is the Wall made of? (Ice, Stone, Wood, etc)
  • What makes the Wall impressive and nigh impossible to get over? (Well manned, epically high, magically reinforced, etc)
  • Where is the Wall located? (What biome? Forest, Mountains, Desert, etc)

Remember that you are trying to make a name for yourself. You will prove that you have a purpose and will bring honor to your family.

Yours truly,

The DM

Dear Criminal,

You chose to take the vows of the Watch. It beat the hell out of dying for what you did. Either way this is your life now. You can’t leave the Watch. If you do that’s a death sentence. No one who knows that you left the watch will help you or even want to be seen by you. Looks like this is it. Better keep your head down and stay alive. I’m going to ask you a few questions about the a nearby town. Be ready with your answers.

  • What nearby town does everyone on the Wall go to for supplies, drink, and a good time?
  • What’s that town famous for (other than being near the wall)?
  • What problem assails the town? (Famine, plague, poor, raiders, etc)

Remember that you are looking out for yourself. The Watch was your way out of one bad situation and nothing more.

Yours truly,

The DM

Dear Assassin,

You were hired by someone to take out the Commander of the Watch. Someone will benefit greatly by his death and they came to you to get the job done. You’ve been promised lands, a title, and more money than you’ll ever need. All you have to do is kill some fool who made an enemy of the wrong person. I’m going to ask you a few questions about the Watch. Be ready with your answers.

  • What did you tell everyone was your reason for joining the Watch?
  • What is the Commander’s greatest weakness?
  • What happens when the Watch needs a new Commander?

Remember that you need to blend in and be patient. The Commander won’t be easy to get near and every soldier nearby has sworn an oath to follow him. Be patient and wait for an opportunity.

Yours truly,

The DM

Dear Craven,

Your father has always been disappointed with you. You are the oldest of a few siblings, but you have not become anything like he wanted you to. So instead of passing his land and title to you he instead made you join the Watch. This way his favorite child, the second born, would inherent everything. Now you are on your way to join the Watch. I’m going to ask you a few questions about what lies beyond the wall. Be ready with your answers.

  • What is the name of the people that live beyond the Wall?
  • What are the people that live beyond the Wall like?
  • What horrible monstrosity lies beyond the Wall, spoken only in whispers and in scary stories told to children?

Remember you were an embarrassment to your father. This is you last chance to make something of yourself. You are scared. Let it show.

Yours truly,

The DM

Opening Scene

The journey to the Wall is a long one and there are many things on this side of the Wall that would be happy to kill you. The game opens two days travel from the Wall. Ask these questions to the group. Anyone can answer these.

  • What killed all of the other people that you were traveling with?
  • How did you protect yourself from the attack?
  • What did they take that you need to get back?
  • Where are the attackers now?
  • What do you do?

From here on out you are on your own. If you are doing this as a one shot, don’t spend a lot of time on traveling to the Wall. Deal with the attack, let them travel through the town that the Criminal came up with, then head to the wall. Be sure to give everyone a chance to shine. A few suggestions of things that can happen during this adventure:

  • The Commander falls ill
  • The people from the other side of the Wall have slipped around/over and are coming to attack from the rear
  • The Commander leads most of the Watch beyond the Wall to deal with a threat
  • The Town become besieged by one of the kingdoms, cutting the Watch off from supplies
  • The Horror awakens and begins to stir

I hope this helps and let me know if you get the chance to run this. Happy Gaming and thanks for reading.


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