Dungeon World: Druid Week Submission “Sacred Groves”

I really enjoy the idea of moves that create adventuring opportunities for player(s). An example of course being “Carouse”, where the players can roll and select things like “hear rumors of an opportunity” etc. Additionally, I like the idea of terrain/location based moves. With that in mind, I put the following move together (Roots of Empathy) for #DruidWeek, though this is more than just a move as I have included some examples and story ideas…

Sacred Groves

One of many Sacred Groves...

One of many Sacred Groves…

Sacred groves are special areas found in natural environments. These areas are usually very important to the creatures found naturally there for one or more reasons. It could be a safe haven, a strong focus of magic or perhaps just an ancient area honored as a special location for a long forgotten reason. Of course, in the world of your players, these areas could be many other things as well.

Druids are especially attuned to these areas. Spending prolonged periods of time in them can offer insights about the world around them, allow communication between groves or in some cases even bestow special temporary benefits. Roots of Empathy illustrates one example of how a Druid can commune with nature in these mystical locations.

“Roots of Empathy” (Move)

When you take the form of a plant in a sacred grove, select one of the options below for each night in a row you were there (up to 3). At the end of the 3rd day (or anytime before that of your choosing) you immediately return to your natural form.

  • You learn what the worst thing happening to nature near you is (examples below)
  • You learn exactly where the worst thing happening to nature near you is occurring (examples below)
  • You may ask the GM one nature-related question about the nearby area; the GM must answer truthfully
  • You are not tasked with watching over and caring for the grove the following night
  • You avoid paying natures price

Examples and Further Inspiration

These are just some examples to get you thinking of the possibilities when it comes to how to present possible dangers and their locations…

EX: “What the worst thing happening to nature” could be…

Remember, even a Desert can have a Sacred Grove...

Remember, even a Desert can have a Sacred Grove…

  • “A fire is burning trees in this forest”
  • “Trees are being chopped down in this forest”
  • “A hazardous material is being poured into this desert”
  • Let the Druid decide

EX: “Where the worst thing happening to nature” could be…

  • “3 miles North of here, nature is facing its greatest danger”
  • “At the foot of Mt. Grimb lies the greatest threat to nature”
  • “Where the Winfell River falls over the Cliffs of Ja’Kurr, a threat to nature is awakening”
  • Let the Druid decide

More Move Ideas/Inspiration

These are just some quick ideas to provide inspiration for more moves. The benefits in some/all cases may not be balanced, but again, this is more for inspiration.

  • “Stepping Stone” – Take the form of a rock: +1 Armor ongoing
  • “Blade on the Wind” – Take the form of a reed: You communicate with another Druid – tell the GM the name of this Druid
  • “Natures Revenge” – Take the form of a badger: 10+(Hold 3), 7-9 (Hold 2), 6-(Hold 1), spend hold to add Damage to unarmed attacks that day


Thanks for stopping in and checking this out! Please let em know what you think here (via comment), on Twitter @theweem or perhaps by replying to this post at the Dungeon World Tavern (G+ Group).

ART CREDIT: The “Elf Druid” art in the header was created by 1oshuart over at DeviantArt.