Stuck in Jawbone

Where did the missing mage go? What does the little ghost boy want? Where did all those ghouls in the sewer come from? How does the factory mass-produce enchanted gadgets? Why won’t the sheriff pursue the intruders who attacked her daughter?

What is wrong with this town?

It’s time to uncover the dark secrets hidden beneath Jawbone’s less-than-pristine snow. Get embroiled in local dramas. Hunt monsters in the sewer. Take up the retired swordsman’s challenge to a duel. Help that nice young mage find their lost brother. Go see the ghost who appears in the graveyard every night. Or grab your silver bullets and wooden stakes and head on out to the haunted temple.

The Module

Stuck in Jawbone is a Weird West mystery adventure for use with Dungeon World, but should be fairly easy to adapt to the rule system of your choice. It can be played as a campaign starter or a 3 to 5-session self-contained adventure. The central mystery has several possible entry points and intertwined paths that provide interesting challenges for all playbooks. There’s plenty to do, and splitting the party is highly recommended.


  • Version 0.8 coming soon, but not today. August 23, 2019 10:10 pm
    Almost done with v0.8! This version is mostly about making the section organization more consistent and navigable, clarifying and tightening the text. It's not going to look very different; I'm still working in LibreOffice Writer. Once the text is done, I'll move over to Scribus and lay it all out nicely. I absolutely have to get it uploaded by the end of the month, because then I have to get to work on the TWO new games due in September: - Unincorporated , a GMless story game about petty small-town drama and being stuck with a reputation you've long since outgrown. You'll be seeing an early beta version of this in the first half of September. - My so-far-untitled Rainbow Jam 2019 game, which will be more or less a hack of For the Queen . Or at least, that's where I'm starting. I have no i...
  • Gauntlet Playtest 2: Open Table Stress Test August 4, 2019 5:05 pm
    After the first playtest in June, I immediately started another month-long series on the Gauntlet. My players this time were Tom , Scot , Patrick, Adam, Will , Alex , and Brendan. Yes, that's seven players, in a four-session campaign. Each session had 3-4 players, and no two sessions had exactly the same group. This was quite a test for a complex, plot-heavy mystery. It was a challenge, but I like how this series turned out. In spite of many technical glitches, an extremely open table, and my forgetting important details and having to awkwardly retcon, we managed to play out a fairly coherent story and wrapped things up well in the last session. Tom's jaded halfling mercenary, Baldwin, ended up being the heart of the series due to his ties with the NPCs. Patrick's laid-back barbarian, Korr...
  • Playtesting Jawbone on the Gauntlet July 29, 2019 2:08 am
    By June, I had an actual complete draft of the module, and I decided to playtest it on the Gauntlet , a gaming community I've been playing with for a while. I was a little intimidated to run a game there, not because the people there aren't friendly and welcoming (they are! ALL of them are! It's amazing.) but because their standards are high . There are so many great GMs running games there, I was worried about living up to the expectations players there have for all games. I'm not a great GM. I stutter and pause at weird times, and all my NPCs sound alike because I cannot do voices to save my life. Really, my only decent GM skill is tying seemingly unrelated threads together, and I was running a module that already does that . But anyway. A few intrepid players signed up, and, y'all...
  • Stuck in Jawbone public beta! July 22, 2019 4:45 am
    Happy to announce that the first public beta of Stuck in Jawbone is available for download! Version 0.7.20 isn't beautiful, but it's playable, and I think I've caught most of the typos. If you use it in a game, I want to hear about it! Streams and recordings are awesome, but a simple text comment about things that were and weren't useful to you is extremely helpful. Future versions will have more/better maps and art, a nicer layout, and probably some diagrams of clue paths and relationships.
  • First playtest with Dungeon World June 22, 2019 3:10 am
    The problem with playtesting a mystery module is that you have to keep getting new people to play it, which meant that sooner or later I was going to have to GM this thing for total strangers. So I decided to bite the bullet and start there. I put out a Looking for Players listing on Roll20, got replies from five people, sent invitations to four of them. Three of them -- Zinny, Nick, and Matthew -- actually showed up. None of them had played Dungeon World before. Matthew had played D&D 5E, and Nick had played Monster of the Week. Zinny had never played a tabletop RPG at all, though I would never have known from the way they immediately caught on. And by the end of Session 2, you could not tell who had what experience. I think that's a testament to both their willingness to learn and...
  • Playtest with 5E June 5, 2019 1:55 pm
    I recently finished the third ever playtest of Stuck in Jawbone , and it was doubly successful: the players seemed to enjoy it, and I found a few gaps I'd overlooked. This was also my first "beta" playtest, with a completely written draft of the module, and my first with experienced players. But I'm going to go back to the first run-through. It was the only one I've done in person, with some excellent local friends. I had only a very rough outline, and we were playing D&D 5E (a poor choice, for multiple reasons, though I found ways to work around some of the problems). I had never played 5E and never GM'd any game. Of the three other players, only one had played any TRPG at all. Considering all that, the game ran surprisingly smoothly, thanks to patient and good-humored players and w...