With 1 issue of Session Zero out and the 2nd nearing completion, I wanted to give a rundown of all the planned…

With 1 issue of Session Zero out and the 2nd nearing completion, I wanted to give a rundown of all the planned…

With 1 issue of Session Zero out and the 2nd nearing completion, I wanted to give a rundown of all the planned issues and seek some feedback:

DONE – Issue 1: The Smoldering Swamp (Fire Swamp from The Princess Bride)

Issue 2: The Barrow (Skyrim)

Issue 3: The Dark Forest (Forbidden Forest from Harry Potter books & films)

Issue 4: The Island Prison (Batman: Arkham Asylum)

Issue 5: The Corrupted Mine (Mines of Moria from Lord of the Rings)

I’m still looking for Caves, a Desert (possibly Dune), Mountain Pass, (maybe 300) a Large City (I had thought of using Batman: Arkham City, but went with the asylum for the Island Prison instead) and a Castle. Any ideas where I can draw my inspiration from for these?

I still want to use Final Fantasy in some way too. What iconic setting or region can I find in a Final Fantasy game? I would like to use FFVII in some way because I have some ideas for Materia, and I think there are all kinds of things you can do with Shinra and AVALANCHE… I seem to remember some wicked caves in FF7, but it’s been a while since I’ve played it.

17 thoughts on “With 1 issue of Session Zero out and the 2nd nearing completion, I wanted to give a rundown of all the planned…”

  1. While I haven’t played anything in the Castlevania series, I think that will work great for the castle issue, especially since The Barrow has a faction of “Deathhunters” which is the Dawnguard (a group of Vampire Hunters)…

  2. Here are my votes/crazy ideas:

    Caves – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Party is chased into the caves by something that can easily kill them if it can find/catch them)

    Desert – Dune (yes please!)

    Mountain Pass– Ewok scenes from Return of the Jedi (look up the Alpine Shepherds from Swiss military history to see why this is relevant)

    Large city – Blade Runner (Looking for “imitation people” in a huge diverse city)

    Castle – The Castle of Cagliostro (Fun castle heist)

  3. A fantasy spin on the Battle of Thermopylae story could be fun. I have some strong feelings (negative) about the Frank Miller/Zack Snyder thing. If you go with the 300, give me a chance to explain.

  4. Desert would be amazing. As a middle eastern person, I grew up hearing crazy stories about Djinns, Demons and Guuls. If you’re looking for inspiration in this regard, hit me up!

  5. Thanks Yochai Gal. I still haven’t decided exactly how I want to do a desert yet (or if I will). Get with Logan and he’ll do some great stuff with it in Swordbreaker!

    Logan Howard, you’re welcome to it!

  6. Here’s a small teaser from The Barrow. One section is “Artifacts of the old Gods” (Daedric Artifacts), one of which is “Tears of Sorrow” (Wuuthrad, a large, double-battleaxe):

    Tears of Sorrow

    Tears of Sorrow was forged from the tears of one of the Old Gods. Upon striking the Earth, the tears solidified into one of the strongest metals in the world. A legendary warrior carried Tears of Sorrow onto a battlefield leading his men to glorious victory and hard-fought peace. The warrior died on that battlefield and some say his burial mound is nearby.

    Who was the Old God?

    What sorrow caused the god’s tears?

    What strong metal did the tears create?

    Who was the legendary warrior who carried Tears of Sorrow into battle?

    Where was he/she from?

    What race was he/she battling?

    Why is the metal used so effective against that race?

    Where is the warrior’s barrow?

    Tears of Sorrow (large battleaxe) Close, +1 Damage, 3 weight

    Tears of sorrow deals double damage to the race defeated by the warrior in battle.

    Tears of Sorrow need not be just a battleaxe. Maybe it’s the key the warrior’s barrow, or it’s in the warrior’s barrow and is a key to some other place. Maybe it’s in pieces and you must find each piece and then find a smith to reforge it. An artifact of an Old God is a rare, wondrous thing that is sought by many and fought for by more! Entire campaigns can be founded on the retrieval (or destruction) of such an artifact.

  7. Yochai Gal Let’s make a plan of it! I am running a bit slow on my current issue and have a pretty strong inclination for my next one (Thundarr the Barbarian style). We can definitely start a conversation that can turn into Swordbreaker 6.

    We can chat via email Swordbreakerzine@gmail.com. That way we won’t take over Brian’s thread.

  8. Not sure if it’s too silly, but something inspired by Monty Python and the Holy Grail could be fun. Lots of stuff that could be serious-ified into an interesting campaign, but might not be castle-centric enough.

  9. Erin McNeilly, I don’t think it would be too silly, but you’re right, maybe not overly castle themed. There’s some good stuff to pull from there though (I’ll have to watch it again; it’s been a LONG time). Top of the list for castle right now is Castlevania, but I’m also considering Beauty and the Beast… animate furniture, a cursed beast… what’s not to love!

  10. Erin McNeilly Neat idea. Depending on the responses, players can really drive those questions and impressions into unexpected places. I’ve seen serious material become absurd and silly material become passionate social commentary.

  11. Logan Howard and Yochai Gal, I am looking forward to that desert-themed Sword Breaker! Also, Logan Howard, uh … Thundarr!? Thundarr?! Be still me beating heart! Yes please.

    Brian Holland, I finally got around to reading Session Zero #1 tonight. Good stuff. I love your sons micro drawings. (How old?) My favorite bit was the Cult of the Grand Mantis. I’ll admit, homage is not really my thing so a lot of the zine hewed to close to The Princess Bride for me. (Though I do LOVE that film! Did you read Cary Elwes book?)

  12. Ray Otus Have you seen the OSR zine Crawling Under a Broken Moon? SB5 will be sort of a DW version of that. Rules for quick mutant creation and lots of science fantasy weirdness. SB4 has some content I think you’ll enjoy too. For airship adventures, I’m throwing in some obvious nods to Ray Harryhausen. I know you’d recognize my “horned cyclops” entry for example.

  13. Ray Otus, thanks! My son is 15, and he was really into some of the drawings, but there are you you can tell he “phoned in”. Yeah my zine is all about taking inspiration from popular media and using it for DW. I actually debated on whether to release it or not because I felt I wasn’t coming up with anything original like you and Logan Howard, (which is probably why you liked the Cult of the Grand Mantis; it was original), but Logan persuaded me to continue lol.

    I haven’t read that book, but I’ll look for it, thanks!

  14. I’m sure there are people out there who loved the strong homages and I enjoyed seeing how you worked them into DW-ese. I think there’s definitely value in that. And once you take something out of context, the homage isn’t so clear anyway. Meaning each individual piece is something I could steal for use at my own table without tipping everyone off that it’s “from the pages of The Princess Bride.” So yeah, totally keep doing your zine!

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