[Dungeon World] Grim Portents 1 sent to contributors, soon public; suggest a theme for issue 2

edited April 2013 in Story Games
Hi folks,

Issue 2

We need a theme! Post your suggestions here or email me (sanglorian@gmail.com)

Issue 1

Issue 1 of Grim Portents has been completed and advance (electronic) copies sent to every contributor. After they’ve had it for a few days, I’ll share it with the rest of the world (if you want an advance copy, I’ll send it to you if you promise to write a review of it).

Reflections on the Process

As you might know, I’d originally planned to release issue 1 in the last weeks of January. Part of the delays were unavoidable – laptop breaking, unexpected full time employment, etc – but the problem was exacerbated by my deciding to do the layout myself, my micromanaging of the feedback stage of the process and the need to develop templates for contributions.

Having learned from that, for issue 2 I’ll be managing the feedback stage differently and asking the community for people keen to do layout (I had a few offers to do this for issue 1, so I’m sure we’ll get a response). I’ll also update the Grim Portents Submission Guide and include templates that people can work off of.

There was a suggestion that we charge for the magazine, either to pay contributors or to donate to charity. I won’t be doing this for issue 2, but I’d like to set up an optional donation button – with contributions going to commissioning an artwork or two.

The Process

2 APR: Open suggestions for the theme of issue 2; alert people that it’s coming.

5, 6, or 7 APR: Release issue 1 to the public; formally open submissions for issue 2; formally request feedback-providers for issue 2.

As people make submissions, they’ll be connected with a feedback-provider who’ll work with them to improve the submission. When the submitter is happy with the submission, they’ll pass it along to me.

I’ll do the basic formatting of the articles (e.g. standardise the styles used in the contribution).

When artists approach me, I’ll suggest articles that they can illustrate.

Around 22 APR: Written submissions will close for issue 2. All those who have already submitted will be asked to submit a final version of their contribution by 29 APR.

Around 29 APR: All articles will be passed on to the layout person. Artists will be asked to submit at least a sketch/outline of their work at this time, and then they’ll have a couple of weeks to complete the final work while the layout person is doing the layout.

When the layout person and the artists are finished, the issue will be released to contributors.



As far as I can tell, it's the 2nd of January everywhere in the world now (except where it's the third of January)! Submissions to the first ever Dungeon World zine are now closed.

What's coming?

3 Base Classes
3 Compendium Classes
4 Races
7 Monsters
New rules for Companions, Templates and playing World of Dungeons at level 0

Plus a drug, an adventure, gaming advice, World of Dungeons material dredged up from the 80s and a way to generate thousands of monsters (and some other stuff that just squeaked in on time).

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted.

Can I still contribute?

You sure can.

You can give feedback on a few submissions.
You can illustrate one or more submissions.
You can work on a submission for the next issue.

Email me if any of these things takes your fancy.

What's the plan?

By the 15th, everyone will have returned their feedback to me, and I'll have passed it on to contributors. Contributors will tweak their contributions according to the feedback, and return their articles to me by the 20th.

On the 21st, I'll send the zine to everyone who's helped out in any way on the project – and they'll be allowed to share it with whomever they like. On the 28th, I'll release it to the public for free.

What's it going to be called?

By popular demand, this will be the first issue of 'Grim Portents'.


Hi folks,

I've given myself the holiday project of putting together a Dungeon World zine by the 21st of January. At this stage, I'm planning to keep it fairly modest: I'd be happy with something six or more pages long, laid out in LibreOffice, with a bit of public domain art to spice it up.

I'd really like to fill the zine with your contributions. One motivation for this project is that I feel like there's a lot of mostly-written to totally-done content that gets lost in the forums or the Google Plus group, and the zine could be an excuse to polish it up and preserve it for posterity. But you're also very welcome to submit never-seen-before stuff too.

I'd also like to make it totally Creative Commons Attribution (EDIT: or Attribution-ShareAlike) licensed. If that's a problem, I'm sorry, but it's not something I'm willing to compromise on at this stage.

Please email all contributions to me at sanglorian AT gmail DOT com

Submissions will close on the 1st of January.

Written contributions
These don't have to be huge. A letter to the editor or a single custom move that you're happy with would be great. Longer entries are also welcome.

I'm happy to publish World of Dungeons content as well. WoD is not licensed under Creative Commons Attribution, so I'll approach John Harper and try to sort something out if we end up getting any WoD contributions.

You can put the contribution in the body of your email, or attach an ODT, RTF, DOC or DOCX file.

If you'd be keen to illustrate an article, please get in touch. You could also provide an existing illustration and ask someone to write an article to accompany it.

I'll publish, for free, advertisements for a DW product if the product is entirely Creative Commons Attribution licensed.

Joining the Editorial Board
If you'd like to look over the contributions and give advice to the authors, please get in touch with me. I think this could be really useful, if experienced monster creators and compendium class creators and so on could give feedback to contributors. I don't feel like I have enough experience with DW myself to give advice.


If you have any comments or feedback, please get in touch!


  • I summon @MikeRiverso to the thread.
  • edited December 2012
    Talk to @Tony_Dowler he has some cool microdungeons that might work well in here.
  • I can probably throw in a bunch of random, eccentric fantasy art, or even a few custom illustrations if I know what needs to be represented.

    ...I can always flesh out some of the ideas I didn't end up finalizing when I was submitting art for Number Appearing.
  • I have a pretty good experience with making a template for Microsoft Word and would probably be able to help you in making a template for LibreOffice as well. A template makes it quick and easy to get the right formatting applied to content you add, making it easier on the editor.

    Let me know if you want my help, I will download and tinker around with LibreOffice if you want a hand with this.
  • Who dares awaken me!?

    Ooo, cool. I assume @UserClone called me to submit my Fourth Page random tables? While I made them for WoD, in theory, they're actually completely generic and can be used for any game. They'll work perfectly fine for Dungeon World, too, and they can be found here:


    CC Licensed, so do whatever you want with 'em. :)
  • Hey folks,

    I'm in a bit of a rush so I'll reply to each of you in turn later this evening (Australian time), but I wanted to let you know that I've written a submissions guide and chosen a theme: The Dead of Winter. You don't have to write to the theme if you don't want to, however.
  • @stupidgremlin, thrown together art sounds great, as does a custom piece. When I get a better idea of what submissions we have I'll get in touch and see if you would be able to create something (or have something already created) if you don't mind.

    @MikeRiverso, thanks, I was going to ask about putting one of your Fourth Page tables on the fourth page of the zine. Which one would you suggest putting in?

    Thanks @Nifelhein, that'd be great. I only have experience with the very basics of layout.

    @Caesar_X, good suggestion! I'll contact Tony when I'm back on my home computer.
  • If John's good with it, I may have some World of Dungeons stuff to share.
  • I'd say take whichever compliments the rest of the zine the best, either working with some of the other articles, or as a juxtaposition. But if you really can't decide, just use Monster.
  • @Hexabolic you should totally have a Dungeon Kids quote of the month or something in there.
  • Hah. That's a great idea. I'm waiting for J to show up, and then we start the next session of Dungeon Kids. I'll have some paper set aside for quotables.
  • Downloaded LibreOffice and will play with it in the next couple of days to get a feeling on how it operates differently.
  • If John's good with it, I may have some World of Dungeons stuff to share.
    Just checked with @John_Harper, and he's given the okay :)
  • edited December 2012
    Hey folks,

    Two things: the first is just a reminder that there's now one more week for your submissions to come in. If you can't make the deadline but you're keen to contribute, get in touch with me and I'll see if we can work something out.

    The other thing is: do you have any suggestions for the name of the zine? So far I've thought up:

    World Magazine (riffing on Dungeon Magazine and Dragon Magazine, but pretty vague!)
    The Front (my current favourite)
    Dungeon World Zine (straight and to the point)
  • How about - Discerning Realities
  • "The Front" is a great name.
  • What's wrong with "Dungeon Magazine"? Ha ha no but seriously, no one suggested Notes From Underground yet?

    I mean, Dungeon World's Magazine would be okay. And then if another one shows up, you can just drop the possessive apostrophe.
  • Slanting Passages
  • "Riches & Wonders", "Delve On", "World of Dungeon World", probably more ideas later but I gotta run now.

    - Alex
  • I like The Front or Notes From Underground.

    Other ideas:
    - World of 'Zines
    - World of 'World of'
    - Codex of Dungeons
  • I prefer Notes From Underground, as The Front leaves it ambiguous as to whether we're talking AW or DW.
  • The Campaign Front?
  • The Front leaves it ambiguous as to whether we're talking AW or DW.
    Also there's already a Front magazine, and confusing the two would be bad.

    There's also the twist of Notes for Underground.
  • The Dungeon Front ?
  • Dungeon Moves
  • The Dungeon Front ?
    That's great!

  • I was also going to suggest The Campaign Front, but methinks The Dungeon Front is significantly better.
  • "Powered By The Dungeon" (a riff on "Powered By The Apocalypse")
    "Many Places To Explore" (from the "Why play?" section)
    "Advanced Delving"

    Okay, I'm done with suggestions. :)
    I'm sure ya'll decide on the best one and it'll be splendid.

    - Alex
  • I like "Advanced." Good pedigree there.
  • Just thought you'd like to know the numerous suggestions that have come in from the various DW communities:

    The Front/The Campaign Front/The Dungeon Front
    Grim Portents
    Notes from Underground/Notes for Underground
    Dungeon World Zine/Dungeon World's Zine
    World Magazine
    Discerning Realities
    Slanting Passages
    Riches & Wonders
    Delve On
    World of Dungeon World
    World of Zines
    World of 'World of'
    Codex of Dungeons
    Dungeon Moves
    Powered by the Dungeon
    Many Places to Explore
    Advanced Delving

    Thanks for the creative responses, folks. I'm leaning towards The Dungeon Front or Grim Portents at this stage, although Powered by the Dungeon might be a dark horse!
  • edited December 2012
    If you do go with The Dungeon Front or Grim Portents for the name of the 'zine, Powered by the Dungeon would make a great name for an editor's note column.

    Also, the more I think about it, the better Grim Portents sounds. That's my vote.
  • Grim Portents all the way!
  • edited December 2012
    Grim Portents makes me want to look at it not even know what it's about.
  • edited December 2012
    oooooh shit this is a good impetus to crank out my heavy metal campaign starter in the next three days!

    eta: seconding Grim Portents as being a totally boss as fuck.
  • Grim Portents. FT(D)W.
  • I hope all you clowns debating the name of this magazine have written a submission for it, too:)
  • Grim Portents all day. Also, naming columns after moves is an awesome idea. I love reading Discern Realities, the one each issue where they describe a few detailed locations of a specific plane.

    As well, Defy Danger, the column with a new mix of traps, monsters, and a villain, is fantastic.
  • I am working on the document model for Libre Office, it doesn't change much from Word so it won't take me long. Have any preference for fonts, Sanglorian?

    I will make it on basic fonts at first but there is a lot that can be enhanced by using free yet good looking fonts.
  • I am working on the document model for Libre Office, it doesn't change much from Word so it won't take me long. Have any preference for fonts, Sanglorian?

    I will make it on basic fonts at first but there is a lot that can be enhanced by using free yet good looking fonts.
    Terrific, thanks! I have a long-standing love of Linux Libertine and Linux Biolinium (http://www.linuxlibertine.org/), but I wonder if they're a little overused. Another option is Adobe Source Sans Pro (https://blogs.adobe.com/typblography/2012/08/source-sans-pro.html), but the lack of a serif option bothers me.

    In terms of headings, I haven't settled on an open source font. Any suggestions?
  • I updated the OP now that submissions are closed. Thanks everyone!
  • edited January 2013
    I believe both fonts work well for the body, given that they are easy on the eyes, the more catchy fonts are better left for the headings indeed.

    On the idea of Grim Portents we can use Abbaddon for the major headings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abaddon_(typeface) but there are more easily read fonts too:

    http://www.ffonts.net/Tolkien-Regular.font?text=Chapter Heading

    Also http://www.fontso.com has a lot of common free fonts that could be used. I will check my wife's laptop for more fonts she used to work with graphical design and has a LOT of them.
  • edited January 2013
    I'm not super-fond of Linux Libertine myself, especially as a replacement for Minion. I did some comparisons and two fonts that I think would do well are Crimson by Sebastian Kosch, and Sorts Mill Goudy by Barry Schwartz (aka OFL Sorts Mill Goudy).

    Crimson is a little shorter and more compact and has a different y, but a very similar question mark and it even has Greek letters, if you care about that sort of thing (like I do). Sorts Mill Goudy has a similar open feel but is wider and has that x thing in the W.
  • Those are both beautiful, Johnstone.
  • Check out the other fonts at The League of Movable Type, where Sorts Mill Goudy comes from. They have a nice collection of open source stuff in several different styles.
  • How many pages is the zine? You could get clever by having page 2 through 6 be threats, monsters, mini-dungeons and good things for the DM, have pages 7-9 be the mixed bag of things, 10 and up be classes, treasure, moves, or other good things for the players.
  • Cool Johnstone, I ended up using Linux Libertine Display in the model I sent to Sanglorian, but those can be pretty good alternatives, I will make a few tests and see which one gives a more easily readable and no strain experience.
  • One thing I noticed about Crimson, though, is that the bold version has a different line height, so you can't use it alongside regular, like DW does with move triggers. It makes whatever line has bold text in it look double-spaced. The bold italic version has the same line height as the roman, though, so you could use that instead, the way AW does. It's an odd mistake for such a good font.
  • Johnstone and Nifelhein, thanks for your comments. I'll bow to your wisdom in this area, though I'd prefer open source fonts (as I see the ones you've suggested are).
    How many pages is the zine? You could get clever by having page 2 through 6 be threats, monsters, mini-dungeons and good things for the DM, have pages 7-9 be the mixed bag of things, 10 and up be classes, treasure, moves, or other good things for the players.
    Ha, I like it - but I'm not sure that it'll work out.
  • edited January 2013
    How many pages is the zine? You could get clever by having page 2 through 6 be threats, monsters, mini-dungeons and good things for the DM, have pages 7-9 be the mixed bag of things, 10 and up be classes, treasure, moves, or other good things for the players.
    Oh my gosh. That's brilliant!

    I may have to make something that can take advantage of that format.
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