Arcane Joe's page

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Any ideas for what may be required in the process of training to be a demon-hunting Inquisitor in the far distant science-fiction future?

I'm wanting to run a few sessions with people training their characters...So I’m looking for some interesting ideas or ideally a few play-session layouts that will mix role-play with a sense of character skill development.

You don't have to know the game to reply - all good ideas welcome.

Hi I'm looking for a quote from Vin Diesal about D&D where he says something about making characters that were an 'ideal self' or something. I think it was on the back cover of a book about the history of D&D. Can anyone provide the quote and say what book it was from?

Many thanks

I'm interested in ways in which the many insightful people here, can or have identified things which they or their group have learned from the experience of playing role-playing games.

Let me backtrack a moment, because this will interest some of you. I use roleplaying games as part of my work in the community with young people. Now before people get too excited about the thought of being 'paid to play' for it's own end, consider this for a moment. D&D can provide a very engaging social metaphor, which is superior almost to any other conceivable tool for exploring choices and consequences in a safe environment.

I'm looking to write some of my practice up, linking it with other learning theory, and may post the results here if it seems appropriate.

While I'm evaluating this process, it would be great to hear from your own experiences. I'm giving no steers as to 'what' may have been learned in your groups. For the purposes of pure research I'd just like to hear simply anything with a real world application that D&D players have gained from the gaming experience.

Your humble narrator,

Arcane Joe

Here's how it works, take a look at some art and suggest what it might be depicting in D&D terms, or what story/encounter (even campaign) ideas spring from the picture.

So here's a good one to whet your imagination:


Take a look and post any ideas. Thanks : )

Which literary novels have people used as source material for role-playing campaigns? I'd be interested to know which books DM's have found useful for settings/adventures.

My own attempts at adaptations have included:

The Prince of Nothing (trilogy) - Bakker
The Book of the New Sun (series) - Wolfe
The Books of Invasions (trilogy) - Mills

Although each campaign was supplemented by much home-grown material, extra depth and flavour were bought to the table by the inclusion of ideas that I never would have conjured, surprising and delighting players with a different 'voice'.

Do others have experiences, recommendations?

High Commander Cohn
In celebration of the
Victorious defence of Vokdar city
Is proud to announce a

Contest of Champions

Swordsmanship - 128 places

Jousting - 32 places

Archery - 64 places

On the last day of the year 24 G.C.


Preparation for the Tournament itself is fairly complete, but I plan to have a break at the midway point where everything stops for a big banquet. If anyone has any interesting role-play ideas for the midway point to bring the day to life, or any other related ideas, they will be most welcome.

Many thanks

Uh well, it's like this...

Within the enemy city of K'Tang a huge uncanny mirror has been erected, the power of which is central to the defences of this Lawful/Evil city-state.

That's as far as I've got so far...

What role does the mirror play in the defences of the city?
What actions would be required to break the mirror?
What would the side-effects be of it's destruction?

The setting is Cursed Empire, which is a little obscure but essentially means: war theme, roman tech level, some sorcery (rune and elemental magic), no Gods (they are dead or distant).

Ideas welcome!

Thank ye kindly : )

Anyone recommend a fun XBOX 360 co-op hack and slash... something in the flavour of the co-op Baldur's Gate games? You know, choosing skills and killing stuff - with a friend? Thanks

Would love to read your ideas for encounters, especially role-play in flavour, for people/things/events met by travellers on the road. Looking to flesh out my campaign, which happens to involve much travel (sound familiar?).

(If such a thread already exists, I humbly apologise and await a link!)


Hell, I'll even throw one in to get the ball rolling...


An erratically driven carriage on the road turns out to belong to Alfred Vundar, brewer extraordinaire. Vundar is a hefty norse-looking figure, who is clean shaven and always has a flagon in one hand. He is always happy to trade with travellers on the road, and particularly keen to speak with anyone who looks like they might have the constitution to enjoy his beverages.

His current stock of inebriating products includes:

All the Way Home
Old Bastard
Kingdom Come
The Great Cataclysm

Each drink is stronger than the last... get yur' saving throws ready...!

I've purchased the core book so I can expand on this a little, cause I think it's a good premise.

In a nutshell:

In ancient times the world was ruled by a superior race know as the Thargians. Eventually their kingdom was overthrown by a union of the other races and they retreated into the deserts. Since then a mighty human Empire has arisen, but that was also thrown from domination after a catastropic sorcerous event, which not only caused widespread destruction but divorced the God's from their influence over the planet.

The Empire is now in decline striving to restore it's once held greatness. Meanwhile new and terrifying cultures have developed and seek to stamp out it's rule once and for all. The setting explores the conflict between the last vestiges of this lingering society and the horrible alternative of the savage invaders (ala 'Fall of the Roman Empire', 'King Arthur', or Cornwell's 'Enemy of God').

There are lots of other cool details, but that's an overview.

It's probably crossed your mind at some point, and maybe you've even run it... The experienced player character/s have effectively retired from adventure and are living in a peaceful kibbutz on the outskirts of Cormyr... for a time they are as happy as a Nam-Vet, fishing and teaching English Lit to the local kids... when danger strikes and they must throw off the guise of the 'friendly Elf chap with the eyepatch' and unleash a maelstrom of violence on some well-deserving super-villians.

I've daydreamed about running such a scenario quite a but, finally the chance has landed in my lap. In a current campaign I'm running for a solo player, they've become so disaffected by the powers that be, that they've escaped to a community outside of society with a very peaceful value set.

Now I'm already having quite a bit of fun, because the NPC's here are so anti-war and anti-authority that the PC is very bemused and un-inclined to reveal their true history as a soldier. However I'd love to be able to run a good few sessions in this peaceful community before it gets raided and the PC's will be forced to start whooping ass. This will get even better because subsequently the PC will learn that a V.I.P. friend is about to be assassinated, and they'll have to journey right back into the heart of the civilisation they hate to rescue them.

If anyone has any ideas for either:

1. Completely non-violent, but worthwhile, role-play activities that can take place in the peaceful community.


2. Ideas for raising the drama.

Then please share : ) Thanks

Yes I’m throwing around yet another campaign idea…

This one based on the ‘Grendel’ comics by Matt Wagner, specifically the 25th Century era stories. With some ‘Dune’ themes thrown in for good measure and artistic license to adapt the material.

Okay here’s what I have so far (ideas welcome), consider this the meta-plot skeleton to hang smaller adventures on:

The PC’s are member of noble CONCLAVE LUNAR (‘the moon’), a governing family that controls a specific region in 25th Century America. This particular conclave controls an area that is on the outskirts of many neighbouring domains, each of which is answerable to an ultimate ruler the GRENDEL KHAN. These various realms often feud with each other. Beyond Conclave Lunar are more disparate territories that do not belong to the United Nations of the World (UNOW).

Conclave Lunar is a fairly righteous House, and yet is involved in some long-term rivalry with its immediate neighbour, ignoble HOUSE SIRIUS (‘the dog’).

The PC’s play the role of warriors within Conclave Lunar. Specifically they are the apprentices to a ‘GRENDEL’. A Grendel is a member of an elite warrior caste, a rank very hard to come by with certain privileges and feared military prowess – comparable with a Samurai in many respects. The PC’s may aspire to achieve the rank of Grendel.

The duties of a Grendel include service to their ‘clan’ (in this case the Conclave), and more general duties including eliminating vampirism (a sometime epidemic) and destroying nuclear technology wherever found.

After initial (Conclave driven) adventures, the PC’s eventually form part of an escort party to accompany the rulers of Conclave Lunar to a meeting with the emperor Grendel Khan. Here certain things become apparent. That the Grendel Khan is insane, that his son Jupiter would be a more level-headed heir but is not of age in any case, and that other senior leaders close to Grendel Khan share his megalomania and are self-seeking, power-hungry and corrupt. The Khan makes demands of Conclave Lunar that are hard to bear.

Soon after this meeting, Conclave Lunar comes under devastating attack by Conclave Sirius rivals. Perhaps a vampire epidemic is engineered and let loose in the City (note: these vampires are mostly psychotic/mindless, more akin to traditional ideas about zombies than Anne Rice characters). The reign of Conclave Lunar is over
thrown; perhaps Conclave Sirius even demand the Grendel Khan destroys the entire territory to contain the plague.

Escaping this calamity the PC’s may find themselves in the wild territories inhabited by little dictators and degenerate Grendel Clans. Here lies the chance to meet with a new mentor, a renegade Grendel who claims he can complete their training (although something of a dark master). He explains that the fighting prowess of a true Grendel comes not from the repetition of martial arts training, but from brain surgery designed to allow the Grendel to access a greater part of the mind’s dormant capacity. However, stranger things may happen to anyone who undergoes such surgery, and a subconscious identity may find its voice and cause the PC to experience a kind of Schizophrenia, thought to be the Devil’s advice.

In time the young Grendels, existing outside the UNOW civilisation, may discover that the Grendel Khan is dead and learn of a scheme to assassinate his young heir before he can come of ruling age. Perhaps they will take it upon themselves to save the hope for the future, in a dangerous rescue and escape journey that would be the major adventure arc… and let's not forget getting revenge on Conclave Sirius.

There will of course be other 'Grendels' in this adventure. For example Grendels allied to House Sirius and the Khan. Tribal Grendel Clans existing beyond UNOW. I would like to explore the idea that these other Grendels are either the servants of their masters, helping the powerful to stay powerful, or self-seeking killers. It would be interesting if the PC's could see they are in a unique position to use their damn formidable skills to act as free and ethical agents, championing those who have no champions... 'helping the helpless' as we say here at Angel Investigations : )

Any experiences, approaches, adventure ideas?

I'm working through the sourcebook and wondering how to approach this...

Sorry about this thread. I haven't had much sleep and in general feel a bit bleaugh! There are some ladies shouting outside the building. I think the left hand side of my brain is over-compensating. Or maybe all those Philip K Dick stories have finally made me paranoid.

Just let it all out...

PC awakes to discover entire kingdom/nation/world is trapped in sleep/dead.

PC finds themselves in the body of the most wanted outlaw in the world.

PC dies and finds themselves in a new world.

PC can see things no one else can – are these things real or are they mad?

PC suffers periods of blackouts, story keeps jumping unexpectedly to new situations and companions they cannot remember.

PC’s dreams have a consistent linear progression.

People seem afraid of or apprehensive around PC for no known reason.

PC is frequently visited by angels.

I recently began running a campaign set in the Wild West. This has been a refreshing change for both me and the players, and has bought with it some new RP situations.

However, so far I've found the process of adventure creation more based around incidents than longer story threads... i.e. encounters with outlaws, hucksters, missionaries and greedy landowners etc. I've been able to develop some medium term story threads but am finding it a challenge to develop more 'meaty', longer adventures in this setting.

I'd welcome any ideas you may have or adventures you've enjoyed in similar settings : )


Hello - some ideas would be great here if you can help.

Just starting a campaign where the PC's are the acolytes of an elite faction of Assassins. This is the kind of extreme Spartan-esque training that begins at a very young age and ends either with the death or graduation of the student after the final dreaded trial.

I would welcome any ideas people might have for training exercises for the aspiring assassins. Feel free to either utilise or think outside the usual Assassin skill set.

Many thanks

Rough outline first session:

Players are youths (ethnicity; Slavic, Finnic, Varangian) being escorted to Novgorod (ruler Yaroslav the Wise), by CASAMIR a patron who would be the equivalent of a Knight. Casamir is the, long absent parent of one of the PCs and he has another reason for this journey as he is on the trail of a dishonourable rival, VOLOS, who has gone into hiding.

En route the party discover Volos encampment, and Casamir challenges him to settle the matter in a duel. Volos’ men at arms intervene when the fight starts going badly and the observing PCs may choose to muck in and help their mentor against the unfair odds.

They pass a community of Turkic Nomads (and are advised to give this community a wide berth, although they will be important later).

They arrive at Novgorod – first impressions

PC’s introduced to ‘The Thousandman’ who is responsible for the City Militia and are offered lodgings and a small wage to become part of the Novgorod Nightwatch. He doesn’t think much of the PC’s but he owes Casamir a favour (and no one else will take the job, but the new arrivals are perhaps too naïve to say no).

They meet two existing Nightwatchmen, who have different views on the task. ARVID who is procedural (L/G) type and MAGNUS who is a Viking-blooded, hot-tempered, break heads first (C/G) personality. (This conflict should satirise the different approaches to the ‘Crime’ fiction genre).

These characters have widely conflicting advice for the young heroes, and each will take the new watchmen out for a night, showing them the City through their (very different) eyes.

In between these evenings the PC's struggle with their poor quarters and discover they have to buy their own equipment (beyond whatever they have looted from Volo's men).

Random Notable NPC’s
Sadko – Merchant popular for his tall tales of mythical beings.
Mulasha – 100-year-old prophetess to the Prince

I hope it's okay to post this here - Mods feel free to cast various spells at this thread if it's in the wrong place.

I've a fair collection of reference pics, but I've been tearing my hair out for two weeks looking for a really good photo, painting or other art for an important Player Character:

She is:

Human Female Warrior (18-25 looking)
Leather or Chain Mail armour (no plate)
Real world (historical) feel, rather than fantastic
Strength of personality in her profile
Black or brown hair

If anyone has a link to an appropriate painting, film still or anything - it just might be right thing : )

Thank ye kindly

NOTE: To add value to the thread, I'm happy to return the favour if anyone wants to throw down any of their own visual aid requests I may well have something suitable from the considerable archives : _

This may be weeks old news in the USA, but I was delighted to find a set of 'customizable dungeons for your D&D Roleplaying Game!' in my local bookshop last night.

I grabbed a set entitled Dire Tombs (DT6) for less than a tenner ($9.99 US price) and was pretty happy with the contents. It also happened to be perfect for todays adventure which takes place in mystical Egypt.

At the price I'll certainly buy more of these - and what a universally useful supplement even for ye olde AD&D player : )

Offering and looking for framework concepts within which to set adventures. Or a reason for the party formation, which can then be used to springboard random or progressive modules.

Here are a handful I’ll throw down:

The Legacy
The PC’s are acolytes to an established order of more powerful adventurers, who disappear leaving the PCs to pick up their formidable duties (example Pete Maranci’s ‘The Grey Company’).

The Watchmen
The PC’s are recruited individually to work together as city watchmen, leading from a deceptively mundane start to more epic and far-reaching stories.

The Prisoners
The PC’s are slaves, gladiators or prisoners, thrown together by the evil schemes of others. Or possibly the unwilling henchmen of an ‘evil overlord’.

The Corrupted Legacy
The PC’s are the inheritors of a base, faction, title or calling that has a poor/negative reputation which must be turned around.

The Regulators
The PC’s share a grievance and desire for retribution after a dire crime has been committed which affects them all.

The Fellowship
The PC’s are the respective champions of different interested parties/families/factions/races, required to intervene in far-reaching events.

More ideas welcome : )

Summary of the Watchmen Campaign so far...

After the breakdown of civilisation, a vigilante network know as the Highway Watch work to bring safety and justice to the dangerous highways of Great Britain.

A Watchmen sub-faction, the Slayers, combat not only outlaws, but corruption within their own organisation. Their work is often horrendously dangerous but they achieved incredible success bringing law and order to no-go areas, like gang-dominated Tor.

The Slayers gained national fame during the pirate televising of the Death Race 2024, where the Slayers masqueraded as competitors and then forcibly removed the outlaw drivers from the roads.

During a routine bounty-hunt, the Slayers discovered the existence of an ancient extraterrestial race, the Annunaki who visited the world 3,600 years ago. The Annunaki are due to return and are already putting plans in motion to create a slave race of humans through bio-technic implantation.

The Slayers found themselves pitted against diabolical alien schemes such as 'False Rapture', an attempt to subvert popular religious expectations and trick people into accepting an Annunaki Messiah. Travelling as far and wide as the Pyramids of Egypt, and semi-colonised Mars, the Slayers used Treasures of Britain such as Excalibur, and their considerable wit and courage, to prevail.

Raiding the memory cells of cyborg Annunaki agents the Slayers discovered that the invasion date is only weeks away.

To prepare for and fight this catastrophie the Slayers had to retrieve the sacred rulership of Britain from it's usurper Mordred, a thousand year old tyrant who had secretly ruled the country from it's spiritual counterpart in the land of Faerie.

With help from the benevolent ancient powers known as the Aeons, the Slayers defeated Mordred and returned Faerie to it's rightful Leige.

The Slayers ready themselves for whatever comes next...