Under the Dark of the New Moon

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Under the Dark of the New Moon
« on: June 04, 2012, 01:38:54 AM »
I’m running my first session of DW tomorrow night (quite excited). I’ve been reading some of the old Roy Thomas Conan comics of late, which are seriously affecting my thoughts.  Thought I’d put this together, in the spirit of Marshal Miller’s dungeon starters.
Suggestions?  I’d love to hear them. (it feels a little light in the things and custom moves).

  • Aside from its rampant thieves and general debauchery, what is Shadizar the Wicked known for? How does it continue to exist?
  • How did you respond when the guards at the city gate tried to shake you down for a bribe?
  • What is Valleios, that dog, hoping to sell in this cesspit of a city? Why is it so important that you stop him?
  • Who else would pay good money to see Valleios dead?  Why?
  • After last night, which thieves' guild is howling for your blood?  Why?
  • The last time you were in Shadizar, who went missing just before the new moon?  Why didn't you try to find them?
  • Where do you plan to sleep tonight, since you've only paid for your room through last night?
  • Who was it told you that Velleios had been seen in this seedy tavern?
  • What is about that serving wench, aside from the obvious, that caught your eye?
  • What did you say to this half-orc brute to get him so upset?
  • Shadizar the Wicked, a city with a well-named sobriquet
  • Rocky hills surrounding the city, pocked with caves and tunnels
  • A tower of jet-black, topped with a strange, hollowed-out minaret, Temple of the Night God
  • A city watch only interested in lining its own pockets

  • Red-robed cultists of the unseen Night God, collecting "tithes"
  • A tavern filled with thieves, smugglers, and bravos, and the seedy lot that accompany them
  • A young and hedonistic prince, too concerned with pleasure to rule
  • A dancing girl, beautiful and forward, mayhap with ulterior motives
  • A portly merchant of clayware, secretly Oshur, the fence among fences
  • The monthly disappearance of a youth (not necessarily a virgin) of great beauty
  • A well-known secret, that the Cult of the Night God is behind the kidnappings

  • A bazaar swiftly closing as dusk falls, the streets emptying quickly
  • A moonless night in a city bereft of torches and inured to screams for help
  • An alleyway, eerily quiet in the darkness; even the rats are hiding
  • A boarded-up old manor, supposedly abandoned, but connected to secret tunnels
  • Valleois, pockets laden with coin, stumbling through the darkness
  • Curious trilling noises in the distance
  • The flapping of wings and high-pitched chittering in the darkness
  • Screams in the darkness, of pain and terror
  • Short bronze whistles strangely placed holes

  • Strange, high-pitched whistles echoing from the Night God's Tower
  • A dark form blotting out stars as it passes
  • Dozens of chanting cultists in the firelight
  • A haughty, dark-skinned high priestess, adorned in dark robes and platinum symbols
  • A human sacrifice, the missing youth, writhing on an altar
  • Sudden darkness as the braziers are covered
  • Rushing sounds in the dark, flapping wings and horrid, high-pitched squeals
  • A scream in the darkness
  • A giant, horrid bat-thing, not a god at all
Bronze Whistle -- 0 weight
Found beneath the red robes of the cultists (and maybe in Oshur’s hands?). When you play a bronze whistle in the presence of an Eater of Light, roll (+nothing, just roll). On a hit, choose 1. On a 7-9, the GM will pick one as well.
-The Eaters fly into a fit of rage
-The Eaters flee the scene
-More Eaters are drawn to your location

Elfin Chain -- 2 armor, 1 weight
Made for a noble of the elfin courts, but somehow fallen into Oshur's hands. Hides under clothes and makes nary a sound. Should word get out that you have it, though, expect the attention of greedy thieves and indignant elves.

Custom Moves
When you sneak through the streets of Shadizar in the dark of the new moon[/b], choose a leader to roll +Wis.  On a 7-9, pick one. On a 10+, pick two.
- You arrive at your destination
- You don't draw attract any Eaters of Light.
- You learn something useful

When you try to do something without drawing the attention of the Eaters of Light[/b], roll +Dex. On a 10+, no problem.  On a 7-9, pick:
- You do it
- You don't draw their attention

Valleios  (solitary, intelligent, devious)
Instinct: to profit at other's expense
-Slip free
-Steal something
-Cause a distraction or inconvenience
Knife (d6, hand)
HP: 12, 1 armor

Red Robed Cultist (group, intelligent, organized)
Instinct: to give praise to the Night God
-Beat senseless over the head
-Overbear with numbers
-Call or dismiss an Eater of Light
Club, staff, etc. (d8, close)
HP 6, 0 armor

Assassin (solitary, intelligent, devious)
Instinct: to complete its assignment
-Stalk its prey
-Pass unnoticed, in shadow or disguise
-Poison someone
-Take its own life in failure
Knife, garrotte, (d8, piercing 1, close)
HP 12, 0 or 1 armor

Corrupt Watchmen (group, intelligent, organized)
Instinct:  to lord over others
-Shake down for a bribe
-Turn the other way
-Hold someone at spearpoint
Spear (d8, close, reach)
HP 6, 1 armor

City Rogue (group, intelligent, stealthy)
Instinct: to take advantage of weakness
-Lead into a trap
-Retreat from a fair fight
Daggers, cudgels, shortswords (d8, hand, close)

Oshur, Fence of Fences (solitary, intelligent, hoarder, devious, stealthy)
Instinct: to come out on top
-Reveal an advantage previously unseen
-Adapt quickly
-Offer a deal
Crossbow (d8, near, poison)
Dagger (d8, hand/close)
HP 12, 2 armor (elfin chain)

Eater of Light (horde, small, stealthy
Instinct: to swarm and devour
-Attack suddenly from out of sight
-Consume a light source (unharmed)
-Knock someone down
Flies, blindsight
Tooth & claw (d6, piercing 1,
HP 3, 0 Armor

The Night God (solitary, large)
Instinct: to carry off a sacrifice
-Grab someone
-Carry someone aloft
-Screech horribly, and painfully
Flies, blindsight, blinded by light
Claw + fang (d10, piercing 1, close/reach)
HP 16, 0 armor

Blackrat, Fafnir, Nughur, Jowls, The Tooth, Two-Fingers, Mul   
Taurus, Maldiz,  Naram Seen, Raaq, Salfir, Graamis, Jelal, Aras
Arbella, Ninsina, Jasmina, Milta, Hajii, Sonay, Esra
The Two Coppers, Delica’s Inn, the Sign of the Crone, the Swine and Whistle, Old Kellak’s



  • 777
Re: Under the Dark of the New Moon
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 04:18:18 AM »
Jeremy, that's wicked! I'd jump to play in that game! Well Done, an excellent dungeon starter :)

I especially like the sneak move.

Re: Under the Dark of the New Moon
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 09:08:03 PM »
Very cool.

Re: Under the Dark of the New Moon
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 03:50:27 PM »
I am so enamored with this that I think I'm going to run it for my players this week.  :)

Re: Under the Dark of the New Moon
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 12:43:57 PM »
This is awesome! I was trying to find a one-shot thing DW that really grabbed me and inspired me to run it, and this might be it.



  • 134
Re: Under the Dark of the New Moon
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2012, 01:54:15 PM »
Glad you like it.  It was fun to play. 

My two chief self-critiques after running it are:
  • The implied starting situation (pissed-off half-orc) was too easy to resolve. Consider having Valleios show up in the doorway as the half-orc starts making threats.
  • The module as-written assumes (or at least implies) a lot of established detail that the PCs aren't necessarily privy too.  If you intend it as a campaign-starter, I think that's a problem.  If you intend it as a one-shot or mini-series, I think it would work better.  But in that case, you might very well want to create actual Threats, Impending Dooms, and Grim Portents.

Also, I ended up using this custom move. I suspect you might as well:
When you chase someone through the streets Shadizar, roll +Dex. On a 10+, you corner them or catch them in the open, GMs call.  On a 7-9, the GM picks one:
-You're still in pursuit, but there's an intervening challenge or obstacle
-Your quarry goes to ground; you know where they are, but it's hard to get to them
-Your quarry wheels and attacks you unexpectedly
On a miss, they're gone. At least.

If you run it, I'd love to see the AP report.  Here's ours (warning--LONG):