Plundergrounds 7: In One Bite


Plundergrounds is a series of theme-forward zines devoted to Dungeon World adventures. Each 24-32 page issue features a new and different setting with enough content to keep a group of players happy for 1-5 sessions.

This one is a special double-issue, an adventure and an actual play account, both 32 pages.

In One Bite features a super hard opening frame (everyone is on a sinking ship) but then flows (pun intended, as they are washed down the gullet of a Leviathan) into a modular bio-dungeon. The focus is on puzzle-like rooms, some body horror, and general strangeness.

I did all the art for this one, as I did for Beyond the Black Gate, but I used a different style this time. I hope that's a good thing. I'm pleased with the results at any rate.

I also included lots of GM advice. (Way more than I usually would.) It was initially written to run as a one shot at cons to introduce new players to Dungeon World, and I have tested it as such. My largest group during the testing phase was 7 and I finished in 3 hours, including character generation and teaching the game. (Only one person at the table had played Dungeon World before and that was in the previous con session that morning.) I recommend 4 hours, though; 3 is pushing it. At the same time, In One Bite, could easily be played as 3-5 sessions. You should find it to be really flexible.

To purchase this issue, join my Patreon. (Or later, you will be able to get it from the Plundergrounds Back Issues page.)

You can get the Actual Play for free


053 Magic the What Now?

I ramble about using Magic the Gathering cards as inspiration for role-playing. Ideas stolen from the Dragon+ app (free app/subscription).

The online pack generator mentioned can be found at http://mtgen.net/.

[Edit. I was reminded that it was Ben Milton of Questing Beast who came up with tokens idea!)

M19 (Core 2019) Pack - Scenario

  • Foul Orchard - black green land, fertile and fetid*
  • Open the Graves - the swamp has expanded and taken over a cemetery, animating the corpses. Plants versus Zombies? Why not Plant Zombies I say.*
  • Two-Headed Zombie (leader)*
  • Dwarven Priest - bearer or righteous cleansing light*
  • Greenwood Sentinel - elf eco warrior*
  • Salvager of Secrets - merfolk wizard with the book-knowledge to end the cycle*
* Read the italicized flavor text on the cards. (Click to see larger image.)

UMA (Ultimate Masters) Pack - Scroll

  • Double Cleave - flaming blade laughs at your armor, does double damage
  • Desperate Ritual - bring on the lavalanche, but find some decent footing first!
  • Defy Gravity - fly there on a cloud, and return when you feel like it “flashback” 
  • Skyspear Cavalry - summon battle-trained gryphon mount, but only when there’s a fight on. It attacks with you.*
  • Offalsnout - summon grotesque centipede-pig-slug-thing that eats undead?
  • Spider Umbra - clothe yourself in a phantasmal spider suit, for a time you can climb walls, shoot phantasmal webs, move quickly, and get a sting attack. It dissolves when you take damage, hope you aren’t on the ceiling!
* Read the italicized flavor text on the cards. (Click to see larger image.)

The Bonus Pack Scenario 

  • Stampeding Horncrest - working dino that drags big stones to the pyramids, breaks loose and goes on a rampage (event)
  • Silerclad Ferocidons - matched teams of three pull chariots, work best when from the same clutch, one is always dominant
  • Dinosaur Hunter - badass ... uh ... dino hunter. What else is there to say. Probably some kind of ranger.
  • Pitiless Plunderer - cunning but trecherous sea captain who lost his ship, the Trident.
  • Shatter - the aforementioned ship
  • Aquatic Incursion - merfolk planning an invasion of the city. Did they sink the Trident?

The Bonus Pack Scroll

  • Scroll is something a merfolk wizard made and wants back! It is needed for the invasion.
  • Tilonalli's Crown - step 1, a spell to make the dinos in the city run wild/rampage.
  • Crashing Tide - step 2, a spell to cause a tidal wave and swamp the city
  • Shatter - a bomb spell to wreck a city or palace gate, topple a structure, etc.
  • Gruesome Fate - a spell to cage the city's vampire magistrate?



052 Axebane's Deck of Many Dungeons

I review a deck for randomly generating dungeons, Axebane's Deck of Many Dungeons, which you can buy (along with the expansion) for about $20 at Game Crafters.

Short story; I'd buy it again!

Long story; I actually try to use the deck to do a solo thing, which isn't what it was designed for. It is designed as a quick dungeon generator for GM's. It's absolutely bog-standard fantasy stuff in some ways, but it also includes ideas for quests and a way to reach your goals within the cards. Overall, it could really be used as intended.

I personally intend to keep working on a small rules set for using it as a lunchtime-funtime solo play game, and I will keep y'all updated!


051 Revolt on Antares

The one where I talk about the 1981 TSR micrograme, Revolt on Antares. Designed by Tom Moldvay, art by Erol Otus, Bill Willingham, Jeff Dee, David LaForce (Diesel/DSL), Jim Roslof.


041-50 Plundergrounds Show Notes Catch-Up!

041 Roadside Picnic and Into the Odd
Talking about Roadside Picnic, Stalker, Into the Odd, Annihilation.

042 Crossing Lines, Kaiju, Goblintown, WWI
I talk about GMs and players crossing boundaries in play, kaiju movies, the Goblintown design challenge, and Peter Jackson's They Shall Not Grow Old.

043 Call-In Extravaganza
Topics include: time spent on the toilet, self-doubt, the book Annihilation, relating the old to the new/mundane to exotic, Valentine's Day, history books on Audible, Gobekli Tepe, crocodile erections, Melee/Wizard/Fantasy Trip, Delving Deeper, Quintessential and Essential BX...

044 Creative Distractions & Guilt
I talk about doing creative things as a way of avoiding doing other creative things. Squirrel! Guilt and creativity.

045 Gary Con XI Day 1
I talk with Angus of Kirby's Kids about our upcoming day and drop con guest names. Then I joust with Cody M of No Save for You. The day ends with a tired ramble about the day's games.

046 Gary Con XI Day 2
Angus recaps his day, we talk about B/X Essentials, sourcing the table, play culture at Gary Con, and I debrief on my two events (Goblintown and Dungeon World).

047 Gary Con XI Day 3
Angus and I talk Bob Meyer's Blackmoor game and the experience of "Arneson's D&D," Traveller character generation seminar with Marc Miller and his Traveller novels, Steve Jackson's vintage Kickstarters, Elric the AH board game, and the day ahead. Later I cast with Cody M of No Save for You and Larry Hamilton of Follow Me and Die! Then I recap my day gaming with Brett of Gaming and BS and playing at Gary Gygax's house.

048 Gary Con XI Day 4
Angus and I wrap up the week, even though we then hung around for another 4+ hours talking to people, buying stuff, and generally basking in the gamer glow. Topics include world building at TSR, Zeb Cook, Planescape, writing for yourself vs. for the mob, making jump from TTRPGs to computer games, Interplanar Melee, and gaming at Gary Gygax's house.

    049 Encounter Tables, Do Better
    A quick rant about encounter tables that are too repetitive/thin.

    Bonus: Larry Elmore on Fantasy Art: Gary Con XI, March 7th, 2019

    050 Call-In Roundup 
    Random topics including encounter tables, timers, avoiding rust monsters, Dune, Barsoom, bronze age gaming, OGRE, illusions, Revolt on Antares, Tetsuo, the Tripod Trilogy, and establishing questions.