Thursday, August 7, 2014

Playing a wild creature.

Lately I've been playing/GMing games in which my character, or one of the characters in the group is some type of wild beast. Some could even say "monster".

Here are some of the beasties that I've played or I've seen played in my games recently:
A Minotaur
A swarm of ants
A spider woman
A pixie
And an ogre.

While this line up could be game breaking in most traditional RPGs ("how are they supposed to meet in a tavern if the guards would kill them on sight?") it works really well in Dungeon World so long as you and the GM follow a few key steps:
1.  Focus on what drives your monster. This is true for any character and sure you're a big (or very little) monster, but you have needs and wants. Focusing on what your character wants more than what your character is, or what your character can do gives you that extra spice that makes for a fun story. Trust me, it is so much more interesting for a minotaur to try and rescue someone because he needs information on how to track down his sworn enemy than it is for everyone to just pretend that minotaurs normally just step in and save the day.
2. Turn the norm on its head. Stop me if you heard this one before, a group of monsters walk into a tavern... It can be a heck of a lot of fun to see how "normal" situations play out when using characters that are anything but normal. Maybe one of the characters used to live in this particular dungeon. Maybe the pixie knows the chief of the centaurs in the dark forest. Maybe the mayor of the the town is hiring adventurers to get rid of the characters!
3. Get weird. You are playing with a monster here, let's get a little crazy. Make sure your descriptions include all the fun details of your new anatomy. As a GM, avoid the standard dungeon crawl as much as possible. Instead, let's see how the monsters do with a collection of floating islands, or an underwater maze, or in the center of a volcano. Actually this is something you should be doing anyway, but hey, your players are running around like a pack of animals. Let's get weird.

Have fun y'all!