Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Defeating Adalfridjur

I am a bit worried about the final confrontation with Adalfridjur, the spectre queen. If I am going to stat her, the group will probably be able to slay her with a couple of blows. The fighter has a magic weapon spell on his axe, the cleric has an empowered magic weapon spell on his staff, and Lucius possesses the silver sword that the cleric stole from the sarcophagus of Adalfridjur. All weapons have proven to be effective against incorporeal undead. But so far, the spectre queen hasn't slowed down when Grimdrig hit her with his axe.
Okay, Adalfridjur is a lord of the undead arcane ememy. She is intelligent. She knows that Durgar can easily turn her shadows. So, thinking off-screen, what can she do to get to Rafnar? She can summon more shadows (about 6 seem right). Then she can recruit a follower or toady. Someone whose loyalty can be bought. Someone who can't be turned and who has access to more bodily threats. Overwhelm the heroes with numbers to get to Rafnar. Not strictly one of her moves, but something I could snowball.

Also, I hesitate to let simple "magical weapon" spells be the end of her. I think she can only be harmed by the silver sword. It was designed to bind her and to slay her.

So, finally her stats:

Adalfridjur, spectre queen of the derro dwarves
(intelligent, solitary, terrifying)
Attack: 1d10*b (withering touch)
HP: 20
Armor:0 (permanent magical protection, can only be harmed by the silver sword)
Special Qualities: insubstantial, ignores armor
Adalfridjur was the very first queen of the first-dwarves. It was she who devised the methods for becoming undead and eventually transforming into demon queens. Her legacy was passed to the warrior queens of the derro dwarves in form of the Tome of the Forgotten, detailing the final descent into hell and back. Now she is loosened on the world, seeking to be again the first to complete the transformation and free her sister-queens, daughters and granddaughters from their barrow-prisons in the Skogurhörmulegur.
Instinct: To seek true immortality.
  • Turn their haunt against a creature
  • Bring the environment to life

Notes: To start with, Adalfridjur gets all the abilities of spectre as established by the fiction. Her instinct is taken from her status as arcane enemy of the lord of the undead variety.  She gains the two spectre moves. Then I go the the monster questions. In addition to the spectre stats I give her permanent magical protection as defense (but this is not raising her armor; instead the spectre queen can only be harmed by a very specific weapon: the silver sword she was burried with), she is known for her skill in offense and her uncanny endurance. Her magic mostly derives from the GM moves for arcane enemies. She is as smart as a human, and Adalfidjur is kept alive by something more than biology, and she is terrifying to behold in her ragged undead state. I am going to add her stats to the front.

Adalfridjur is one step away from invoking the impending doom of her danger. If she does, I'll move her to the campaign front and update her status to planar force: demon prince danger. Dungeon World will change for the worse.

If she is defeated, the heroes will be celebrated, but have the dubious distinction of helping Rafnar survive. This triggers the next stage of the dwarven-elven skirmishes.


  1. Maybe you'll find some additional inspirations here:

  2. Thanks for pointing that out. But it really doesn't apply to Adalfridjur. She is not supposed to be invincible, just hard to fight.

    If she transforms into a demon queen, things will be different...