Adventure Fronts: The Crystal Dust Road

This is a short adventure outline using the front system from Dungeon World. If you have are not familiar with Dungeon World’s front system, you can read about it here. Basically, this is a road-map for the GM of what will happen if the PCs do nothing. It also provides a quick reference for the adventure’s main villains, their motivations, and their goals. You can use this outline to run a Dungeon World adventure or as a guide to create an adventure for any system. These fronts are part of the adventure I started in this post.

Introduction

In the middle of the desert stands the surprisingly large town of Stone Fort. Surprising, that is, unless you know that Stone Fort also sits on the cross roads of the Crystal Dust Trade route. Recently, caravans have started to mysteriously disappear nearby. The Merchant’s Guild has put out a substantial reward for anyone who can discover what is happening to them.

Estimated Runtime: 1-2 sessions of 3-4 hours.

Front: Stone Fort

Description: Crystal Dust, the flour of magic, needed by almost every magic-user, grew best far in the North. Mithril steel, the strongest and lightest of all steels, formed in the mountains of the South. Naturally, a trade route developed between the two, carrying valuable Dust to the South and steel to the North.

The Merchant’s Guild controls most of the Crystal Dust trade. The members receive the first pick of the goods, own the best shops in trade towns, and set the price for the Dust. But the Guild is not content being just the biggest game in town, it wants to be the only. To that the end, the Guild, plans to extend its control to the caravans which carry the Dust along the route.

For years, Rydar has worked in the Merchant Guild main office as its head secretary. The lengths the Guild has gone to maintain its tight control over the Crystal Dust trade has disgusted him. So, on the side, he has begun to experiment to find something that will replace crystal dust.

Main Caste:

  • Agatha Confeller. The Merchant Guild Captain
  • Rydarcargemurlite (Rydar for short). A gnome inventor and current, disgruntled employee for the Merchant Guild.

Danger: The Merchant Guild (ambitious organization)

Impulse: To monopolize the crystal dust trade

  1. Caravan and competitors leaders identified
  2. Competitors stopped from traveling the road.
  3. All buyers of crystal dust forced into compliance with the Guild

Impending Doom: Usurpation. The Merchant’s Guild is now the only way to get crystal dust.

Danger: New! Magic (arcane enemy)

Impulse: To supplant crystal dust market with his own invention.

  1. Rydar, an enterprising gnome, begins looking for a way to make crystal dust obsolete.
  2. Rydar gathers a team.
  3. The team invents/discovers a way to make crystal dust obsolete.
  4. The team begins distributing their method and/or new product.
  5. The team organizes its own guild.

Impending Doom: Impoverishment. The entire Crystal Dust Road economy is shot.

Front: The Forgotten Graveyard

Description: See this post.

Main Caste:

  • Ergithia, an ancient gargoyle in the shape of a veiled woman, she stalks graveyards, kills for fun, and collects morbid tokens from her victims.
  • Tribley: One of the captured goblins and an amateur alchemist.

Danger: Ergithia (arcane enemy)

Impulse: To delight in cruelty, to increase her collection

  1. Desires a new addition to her collection.
  2. Builds her army
  3. Marches to find the addition
  4. Finds and obtains the addition.
  5. Harnesses the power of her new collection and army

Impending Doom: Tyranny. Ergithia takes over Stone Fort and enslaves the city.

Danger: The Imprisoned Goblins (hordes)

Impulse: To survive by any means necessary, to fulfill their own hedonistic desires.

  1. The goblins choose a leader
  2. The leader organizes a mutiny against Ergithia
  3. The goblins mutiny and attempt to kill (or at least escape) the Ergithia.

Impending Doom: Anarchy. If the goblins can free themselves, they plunder and pillage anything they can

Stakes:

  1. Who will be the goblin leader?
  2. What does Ergithia desire?
  3. How does the merchant guild control the competitors?
  4. Why is crystal dust so important?
  5. What has the gnome invented?
  6. Who is on Rydar’s team?

Continue the story in Part 2

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