Down the Goblin Hole

In answer to a request for additional information about running the Goblin Hole, this post expands on the details provided in the previous post.

The Goblin Hole is an dungeon starter written by Marshall Miller for Dungeon World. It consists of a series of questions, impressions, dungeon moves, custom moves, things, and monsters. The basic GM goals and agenda are also listed for quick reference. Impressions are basically one liners to provide inspiration for encounters, the rest are fairly self explanatory for those familiar with Dungeon World.

When I attempted to run the Goblin Hole, I grabbed the sheet, and decided to wing it. I was playing with a small group of players who were not overly demanding on environmental details. So I was able to string together a loosely defined dungeon based on a subset of the impressions. It worked pretty well, but it missed a few fundamental elements.

The most basic missing element was a map. Granted, a map for this is not specifically necessary, I could have spent a few minutes sketching out my own, which I should have done, but didn’t. Luckily that never came back to bite me. Had I been playing with my normal group it would have because one of my regular players has to exhaustively search every inch of everything.

The bigger issue was basically that the starter was an incomplete front. I am not sure if this was intentional or not, but it stopped this starter from being a good pick up a play supplement. While most of a front is there, its missing grim portents, and faces. Dungeon World is so big of relationships, it felt weird for there to just be an implicit void. I almost wonder if the format would be better if it was organized like a front with some sections intentionally left blank so the GM remembers they need to fill in those details. In the case of the later I can see these supplements are great resources for games. The GM could grab a relevant starter, and fill it in with details from an existing front that the players are engaging with.

My only real complain is not a show stopper, and that is the formatting. I found the layout, and typography difficult to read. I have bad eyes, so this is probably not an issue for other people.

Ultimately, I was pretty happy with it even though I am pretty sure I did not use it as intended. And, I would recommend the use of the dungeon starters to others with the points I made above.

2 Comments for “Down the Goblin Hole”


We played this game last week and for beginners I thought it was a fun game. The D&D foundations were there but very pickup and go.

The one thing that would have been cool was a larger world map. When we played there was the small printout but something that was a graphical represntation of our location in the area would have helped a lot. I didn’t miss the strategic placing on a tileset for battles.


I should probably do a write up of our game. I’ve been working with the community trying to figure out a better advancement system for the game so we won’t run into the same issues you can Phil had. Poor, burnt, Phil

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