My current DW campaign is kind of awesome. One of our characters is a Grave Knight and is kind of working out to be almost the bad guy (from the players' perspective) of the story (even though it will be revealed that he is not).

Along that line, I have an idea for a one-shot where the players will instead play literal agents of the Lord of Bones (one of the 3 lords of death) in the underworld and go on a quest to steal back the fragments of the soul of our only PC who has died so far, and resurrect him (sort of) into the corpse of one of the Grave Knight's undead servitors.

For this one-shot I want the players to make new “monster” characters instead of playing their existing heroes. How can I do that? Are there classes that let you play as monsters, like a lich or a gorgon, or is there some other way that the players can play as monsters?

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    \$\begingroup\$ There were three questions in this one post, and the site needs question posts to be about one question at a time. One of them has already been asked and answered before (PvP) in this question: What happens when a PC attacks another PC in Dungeon World?, so I've removed that one from the post. Another is a recommendation (the character sheets) and would be off topic, so I've rewritten that to focus on the problem involved rather than the recommendation. That leaves the question about monsters, so I've cut down the question to just that one. Cheers! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2017 at 0:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KalebChambers - If my answer has been useful to you, can you mark it as accepted (the checkmark under the voting buttons)? Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2017 at 20:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TripSpace-Parasite it's actually usually good practice for a questioner to wait for a while before marking an answer accepted. The question has only been up for 24 hours, and accepting the first answer tends to discourage others from answering. Although your answer is good, who knows how good other answers might be :0) \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Mar 3, 2017 at 23:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Wibbs What I've seen in Meta suggested 12-24 hours, since apparently questions usually get addressed pretty quickly around here, but you make a good point. OP, please wait as long as you feel appropriate, by all means! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2017 at 23:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ If he had waited, I never would've known to click the "accept" button! Thanks for pointing it out, @TripSpace-Parasite!! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 4, 2017 at 0:12

1 Answer 1


Not by RAW, But It's Not Hard

  1. Existing Playbooks with Cosmetic/Minor Changes

    If you want to play a hobgoblin warrior, you can probably just use the Fighter playbook. You'll need to come up with a Name and a Look, and if none of the racial options suit your idea of hobgoblinry then you'll need to steal one from another class or invent one, but so much of what it means to be an elf or a dwarf is left up to the table than a hobgoblin Fighter doesn't require much more work.

  2. Existing Playbooks with Heritage Moves

    Dark Heart of the Dreamer is a short but flavorful semi-official(1) supplement about playing the scum of the multiverse in the wonders of the multiverse. One of the things that makes the multiverse wonderous is that almost any two creatures can hybridize, even ones that you wouldn't think could reproduce at all. PCs use the normal playbooks, but can take a move or two from a monster writeup to represent their ancestry. For example, a dwarf descended from the spiderlords of old would use the normal dwarf option for her class playbook, but could also take enmesh them in webs from the spiderlord as a heritage move. Using it might still trigger other moves, like defy danger, but she can enmesh people in webs unless there's some reason in the fiction why not.

  3. Third-Party Playbooks

    Number Appearing is a semi-official(1) supplement for running a monster campaign. It includes somewhat generic playbooks for small/medium/large humanoids, lycanthropes, and corporeal/incorporeal undead. These are probably fairly balanced.

    There are also dozens, if not hundreds, of unofficial third-party playbooks available on DriveThruRPG, a fraction of which are monsters rather than classes. These are completely unvetted and there's no guarantee that any particular one has been playtested or even proofread, but hacking one into shape is probably still easier than...

  4. Make Your Own Playbooks

    There are a couple of pages on this in the last chapter of Dungeon World, "Advanced Delving" (p349-350 in my PDF). I've never created a class from scratch, so I can't add to what's said there. Good luck!

(1) By "semi-official" I mean that these supplements are not part of Dungeon World proper, but they were produced as part of the kickstarter, so they have some degree of approval from LaTorra and Koebel.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Highly recommend "Number Appearing" for this, especially if your players are into the worldbuilding angle DW gives players. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2017 at 2:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am going to have to use a variation of the Number Appearing supplement. There isn't anything specific about demons. I was thinking one would be like an unholy priest, one would be a Blackguard (which is free playbook =D) one like a demon creature thing and one like a ghost or something lol. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2017 at 15:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth mentioning that though both Dark Heart and Number Appearing were written by third parties, they wrote them as official Kickstarter stretch goals. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2017 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did not know that! Thank you, @SevenSidedDie, I will update my answer accordingly. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2017 at 16:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TripSpace-Parasite For new users, it's not a bad idea. I've seen variations on "If you like my answer and it has helped, please make sure to accept it (the check-mark button under the voting buttons). Thanks!" This, especially, if you are the only answer and ample time has passed allowing for others to also respond to the question, say 12 hours or a day. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2017 at 18:17

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