Dungeon World: Dark Heart of the Dreamer

June 5, 2012

Sage and Adam’s already immensely successful Kickstarter campaign for Dungeon World just announced the first stretch goal, my Planescape / Eberron / Everway / Exalted / Earthdawn / Shadowrun-inspired planar adventure/supplement, Dark Heart of the Dreamer, which is zooming in from the outer voids to melt faces.

“Dark Heart of the Dreamer” is a sandbox-style adventure and setting toolkit torn from the pages of the Planarch Codex, the lost gazetteer of the planes. The monstrous city of Dis is gradually consuming the entire cosmos and now hosts refugees from dozens of destroyed worlds. Can a motley posse of destitute freelancers brave the Ocean of Fire and seize the enormous living treasure their slumbers have revealed? And what will their efforts mean for Dis, its inhabitants, and the city’s newest victims? “Dark Heart” points a finger in the direction of epic dangers and then hands you the reins.

Writing and layout by Jonathan Walton with a cover image by the great Jenn Rodgers. Special thanks to Hans Chung-Otterson and Simon Carryer.

While I’m most interested in making an exciting product that people can’t stop themselves from using at the table, my subversive not-so-secret goal with this adventure/supplement (which is about 65-75% done right now, drawing on notes I made for Gamestorm) is to completely change the way people approach writing adventures for RPGs. Because, let’s face it, adventure writing has pretty much sucked since 1985. So whether you just like crazy planar adventures, are interested in presenting a diverse and multicultural world in your games, or want to see my latest attempt to subvert our hobby, I think you might enjoy “Dark Heart.”

4 Responses to “Dungeon World: Dark Heart of the Dreamer”

  1. Rafu Says:

    “to completely change the way people approach writing adventures for RPGs” → This is indeed an interesting goal, Mr. Walton! Even more interesting to me than your reference to Everway.
    What’s the plan re: the publication of Dark Heart? Is it bound to be an exclusive extra for the Dungeon World crowdfunding supporters, or will it enjoy other avenues of circulation?

  2. Boulder Says:

    “…torn from the pages of the Planarch Codex…”

    Are we to expect a full-blown setting/game or is this adventure/setting toolkit for Dungeon World the final product?


  3. If you’re in Europe or elsewhere and can’t participate in the Kickstarter, let me know once it’s released and we’ll work something out. (Maybe I’ll trade you a copy for a custom DW move?) I do have tentative plans for a print version but that’s likely a ways off at this point, since I have other projects to get to first.

    The Planarch Codex is something that Hans Chung-Otterson and I brainstormed up for DW, to do the weird/urban fantasy that we love rather than boring old generic fantasy. It’s impossible to say at this point what other Planarch Codex stuff might be created. I’m tempted to write something else that’s inspired by Ravenloft and maybe something that takes place on the moon (those could also be the same thing, maybe the moon is full of spirits and undead things). So it’s concievable that there will be more Planarch stuff. Still, until we develop a bunch of material, it’s likely to be shorter pieces rather than a 100+ pages.

  4. Rafu Says:

    Actually, being in Europe doesn’t prevent one from funding a Kickstarter campaign (though it does make almost impossible to start one, but competing sites such as IndieGoGo fix this). I wasn’t planning to fund Dungeon World, considering I’m out of money right now, the campaign doesn’t really need my help, and I’m not planning to play Dungeon World anytime soon (it’s good stuff, just not the best fit for me these days). But your goal to change adventure-writing, well, that really piqued my interest and I want to learn more!


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