I’m working on some high concepts for the next issue of Session Zero.

I’m working on some high concepts for the next issue of Session Zero.

I’m working on some high concepts for the next issue of Session Zero. The Island Prison is inspired by Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City.

I really love using One-Roll Generators, and I’m trying to get as much out of a single roll as possible. So the next issue will allow a single roll of all dice (d4 – d20) to generate a “general layout” for the island with 6 buildings: Gate House, 2 Cell Blocks, 2 Guard Towers, and an Administration Building. Roll everything on a sheet of paper, next to each die note its type and result, and then circle and remove the dice. Each building is represented by a specific die, and the die result indicates that building’s construction (see Link).

#1 could the “construction” result be called something else, like condition (one of the results I have listed is a condition: Ruined

#2 I’m drawing a blank as to what the “Max” result can indicate (6 on a d6, 12 on a d12, etc.). I’m using “Metal” for the max, but it doesn’t seem right for some reason.

Any thoughts?


33 thoughts on “I’m working on some high concepts for the next issue of Session Zero.”

  1. Max could be “exotic construction material/building”, which might be metal, but could also be something else (a living tree, an extradimensional space, walls of force etc.)

  2. I did some more work on the “map” I attached above. I generated a lot of plot ideas just by asking some basic questions. I haven’t decided how I want to use other aspects of the dice yet. I’m considering a few different things but nothing concrete yet.

    If anyone has ideas I’d love to hear them. FYI The Island Prison issue will focus primarily on NPCs, so some NPC based ideas would be cool. DC has a ton of characters to draw from, several of which weren’t even in Arkham Asylum or City. Personally the NPC I’m most excited about is Mr. Freeze… he’ll show up as a sorcerer specializing in ice magic. There’ll also be a gnome in a small cave on the island making interesting gadgets!


  3. I thought “Reinforced” might be good but I like Robert Rendell’s answer better. I love these one roll generators too. Maybe I can convince you to build one for an issue of Sword Breaker.

  4. Yeah Logan Howard, I thought of reinforced too, because it makes more sense in a progression along with ruined: ruined, wood, stone, reinforced. But I really do like exotic!

    Heck yeah, I’d love to work with you on one for Sword Breaker!

  5. Michael Mendoza yes, but he’s one of the one’s I’m struggling with a bit. I’m wanting to make him closer to the comic Bane than the Tom Hardy Bane, but I’m having trouble finding Dungeon World analogs (Barbarian comes to mind just because of his strength, but Bane isn’t a Barbarian).

    Mr. Freeze = Ice Mage

    Scarecrow = Alchemist

    Catwoman = a feline-hybrid thief

    Poison Ivy = Druid or Dryad (leaning towards Dryad)

    Having trouble with Joker and have a couple ideas for Harley Quin

    Firefly = I’m THINKING was a druid caught in a fire mid-transformation

    from a bird of some type




    Any ideas for DW analogs for Bane or the others I’m unsure of?

  6. Joker is a high INT Bard multi-classed to allow for zany weapons, the performance aspect is key to Joker I think.

    Bane is a Barbarian in the sense that he is strong but also that he is foreign to Gotham and has an appetite for Venom.

    Penguin works for me as Druid controlling birds, or possibly a shitty wizard.

    Two-Face is just a scarred normal dude with back up and a good plan.

  7. Oh wow, thanks Greg Jones. I pretty quickly dismissed Bane as Barbarian because he doesn’t act “like a Barbarian”, but you’re absolutely right. He’s, strong, he’s an outsider, and he has an appetite to pursue!

    I also wouldn’t have thought of Joker as Bard, but I can see how that’ll be a good starting point!

    Good stuff, thanks!

  8. No problem! I always liked the low powered Batman villains too. Zsasz is a favorite just a psycho with a knife.

    I also see a parallel between the concept of Batman fighting alongside the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman and the idea of tight HP that Dungeon World pushes. One minute Batman is taking out a mugger and gets stabbed the next hes fighting a god unscathed.

  9. I think Bane is a lot like a barbarian. Don’t forget that Conan is often presented as King Conan. Barbarians are strangers but they can be resourceful and ambitious too.

  10. So, because [reasons] I want to have 14 DC villains to use as NPCs in SZ4. These NPCs will be presented in such a way that they can be used as Villains, Hirelings, or just straight NPCs (because at various times Batman would work with some of these villains, even when he knew he’d regret it).

    Here’s my list right now (I’ve eliminated Firefly becaue I don’t feel he’s villain-y enough). Can you think of anyone who doesn’t belong on this list, or someone who should be included instead?

    1. Joker

    2. Harley Quinn

    3. Mr. Freeze

    4. Scarecrow

    5. Catwoman

    6. Poison Ivy

    7. Two-Face

    8. Bane

    9. Killer Croc

    10. Penguin

    11. Victor Zsasz

    12. Solomon Grundy (BIG F*****G Zombie)

    13. Ra’s al Ghul

    14. Hugo Strange

    I COULD go as high as 20, but I have a REALLY good reason for the number 14 right now…

  11. Not sure Grundy fits in an Arkham story, as I don’t think Arkham could deal with him. But i guess he could work in other ways like be summoned or something, and I think you need a damage dealer like him. The rest I really like, I envision all these villain’s dishing out debilities.

  12. He was a boss fight in Batman: Arkham City, so I think he belongs because of that AND he’s a Zombie, so there’s a fantasy tie in. Having said that, I have no familiarity with him outside of B:AC. So if he was something that you think is WAY too powerful I’ll look him up and see if I should replace him.

    Some will inflict “core” debilities, and others will inflict “status ailments” which may act like a debility, or act in different ways. Some will just have really evocative moves.

    “Joker” will have will have some kind of acid splash move…

    Ra’s al Ghul means “Head of the Demon” in Arabic, so I’m thinking he will be a demon bound in human form by something (IDK what that is yet). So he will be a “human” and can only do human things, unless he breaks his bonds, then he’ll be a demon…

    Mr. Freeze is an Ice Mage, so if he may inflict a “Weak” debility, but I may make a new DEX ability called “Sluggish” to make it more like ice magic slowing you down…

    IDK, I still have LOTS to think about for this issue!

  13. ooh Clayface would be decent!

    I never played the games so I guess you really should keep Grundy to be close to that.

    Is Clayface in the game?

  14. Clayface “shows up” in Arkham Asylum and plays a much larger role in Arkham City! Solomon Grundy was only in City, but in a really cool way (plus, I really love the zombie aspect).

    Hugo Strange was a major player in the City story, but I feel like I could drop him in favor of Clayface (just because I already have a few really intelligent baddies)

    IDK, I’ll keep all of them on the list right now and narrow it down to 14 later

  15. Love it. Especially with all the work already done with the Fear aspect. I really like that Fear is a one use item as it is potentially so powerful.

  16. The Max result could indicate some kind of exotic material, e.g., silver for containing lycanthropes, blessed material to ward off demons, cold iron for fae defense.

  17. Michael Mendoza, yeah I think I’m going to go that way. That’s another way to player world building into the game by asking the players what material it’s made of!

  18. Michael Mendoza that could be an interesting hybrid because it would be amorphous like Clayface. So now the two options for Clayface are Doppleganger and G Cube. I’ll have to research his lore thoroughly as well as both of those options to come up with the best solution.

  19. Oh dang I should have thought of ettin! I was thinking a Cleric who follows both an evil and good god, and chooses how to act each day by with the flip of a coin. I really like ettin though!

Comments are closed.