Dungeon World Zine Submissions Guide

Posted on 16 December 2012


I’m putting together a zine for the Creative Commons Attribution licensed tabletop RPG Dungeon World (see the details here).

Here is the submissions guide:


A few questions have come up:

  • Are submissions unpaid? Yep, I’m afraid so. Maybe if I do this again I’ll look at payment methods, but it’s too much for this summer project.
  • Do contributions have to be CC Attribution or CC Attribution-ShareAlike licensed? Yes. I discuss this a bit more in the original announcement.
  • Is there a maximum contribution length? Talk to me before you write anything over say 10 pages.
  • Will all submissions be published? I don’t think that I’ll reject any submissions, but I might hold some submissions for a future issue if I get swamped with contributions.
  • What format should images be submitted in? JPG, PNG or SVG are probably best, or ask me if there’s another format that suits you best.

DW Zine Written Submissions Guide

The general rule is that if you can imagine it appearing in Dragon Magazine or Dungeon Magazine, it’ll probably be acceptable. However, submissions don’t have to be as long as a magazine article: I’ll accept even single moves, monsters, spells, etc.

The theme of the first issue is The Dead of Winter (thanks to Jeremy Friesen for the suggestion). As with Dragon Magazine themes, it’s up to you whether you write to the theme or ignore it.

Some people would like specific article topics recommended. Here’s some stuff I’d like to see:

Mini Projects

These are options for people who want to contribute without investing a lot of time.

  • Listomania: Lists of names, lists of bonds, lists of alignments – they’re all good!
  • Money  Money Money: Tell me what these coins are all about.
  • Compendium Class: Create a compendium class for one of these illustrations. [1] [2]
  • Silhouette: Choose a silhouette at random from Telecanter’s silhouette collection (in the sidebar) and make a monster for it.
  • AncientBeast: Choose an illustration you like from AncientBeast’s art collection and make a monster for it (under the bestiary folder).
  • Things: Tell me what can be created from or by this bug (option 1).

Larger Projects that Use Existing Art

  • Ecology: Ratkin. Provide more options for ratkin characters (filthy vermin are probably only good for thieving and fighting, am I right?) as well as monster entries: for the ratkin and the things that hunt them in the sewers and alleyways. (There’s already a Ratkin Ranger racial move in Number Appearing: get in touch with me if you don’t have that book and I’ll explain the move to you).
  • Base Class: A necromancer focused on divination through communing with the dead, rather than the tired modern idea of the negative energy channelling master of undeath. Then add compendium classes like the Death Knight and the Lord of Entropy that drag the class back to the undead.
  • Map: Find two friends and together populate these three islands with fronts, monsters and races. Why are the edges of the first and third islands blurred? Mist … or something else?

New Ground

  • Templates: These are an idea that arose on the G+ community. A bundle of templates, as well as advice on how to use them, would be very useful.
  • Traps: Traps, such a big part of D&D, have received little attention in DW. Tell me how you’d tackle them in your games.
  • Different Damage System: D&D has seen dozens of alternatives or additions to HP proposed over the years. Do the same for DW.

By Implication

Find some part of the DW implied setting and expand on it. There’s a lot of implied setting in the recent backer-only classes and monsters, if you’ve got access to those.

  • Ecology: Tell me about Bakunawa and Dragon-Turtle (Swamp Denizens in the DW book).
  • Beyond the Black Gates: Just what are these metaphysical portals about, huh? What do different mythologies say about them, how do philosophers explain them, does anything creep out from beyond them, does anyone worship Death itself, etc.

Expanding Existing CC BY Dungeon World Products

  • Truenaming: The Namer is cool and all, but there’s so much more to truenames. Tell me about the Atavist, who breaks down his own truename, and the Auto-Didact, who restructures her truename to become more perfect, and the Demonologist who knows the truenames of fiends, and tell me also of the monsters who use truenames for their own purposes.
  • Establishments: Pick a place from Take on Establishments and expand it. Who else is there? What plot hooks await? Describe a front that wants the place protected, or changed, or burned to the ground.
  • Monstrous PCs: Give me a dozen more race moves for the Lycanthrope racial playbook in Number Appearing (available as a backer reward only).


  • It Came from the Public Domain: Convert the people, places and monsters of the works of Lord Dunsany or Edgar Rice Burroughs to DW.
  • Gaming Advice: Could be anything, but we’ve recently had questions on Barf Forth Apocalyptica about Shapeshift and how to model a counterspell.
  • WoD Errata: Quite a few World of Dungeons rules were clarified or explained in the Story-Games thread. An article collecting them and written in the author’s own words could be useful.
  • Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better: Find something that never worked well in D&D (grappling, large scale battles, social combat, etc.) and try to make it work in DW.
  • Switch It Up: Design a new fighting class that has resource management like the Wizard or Cleric, a casting class that has the resource management like Shapeshifter, or a scoundrel that uses a dice collecting mechanism like Sage and Adam’s discarded idea for the barbarian.
  • Switch It Up: We’ve seen a couple of takes on the ‘bearer of an artifact’ (The Bastard’s Blade and the Bearer in Backer Classes). Take a totally different approach.
  • New Races: Half-breeds. Create content for half-elementals, half-fiends, half-celestials, half-fey, half-genies, half-ogres and any other sick combinations that you can dream up.
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