This post is a collection of inspirations.
Technical Grimoire recent updated their Hunt generator. I’ve used David’s generators before, for Hot Springs Island, and they are quality tools. As a GM, the presence of more tools makes me more inclined to run something.
Over the Garden Wall. It is Cartoon Network’s highest rated show on IMdb. It’s a “kid’s show” fable about being lost in a wooded purgatory. The central image is essentially what the main antagonist of the show looks like. There’s a lot about hope and twisted deals and wandering aimlessly in the show. Things just kind of happen. If it were an RPG, each session would start with, “After an walking more through the woods, you see _____ in front you. You have no idea how long it has been.”
Manifest Destiny. This is a comic that asks the question, “What if Lewis and Clark explored the Louisiana Purchase and found the TRULY bizarre and wild?” They encounter half-bull, half-horse beasts, moss zombies, and a St. Louis arch made completely of overgrown plants. I haven’t gotten very far in it, but it’s been a blast.
Dolmenwood (Reviews here). This is a series of zines (there are eight from what I’m seeing). From Ben flipping through the pages in his review, this sounds like something I want. Plenty of wooded-fable stuff here.
Magic the Gathering. I remember playing a green and blue deck that was all swampy and dense wooded. Selkies and merfolk and untamed wilds featured prominently. Also green and black magic decks, with graveyard play and mossy zombies. That’s my jam. Like, check out this scarecrow-beast:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Specifically this scene:
It’s a fable told within the world of Harry Potter. Note the excellent animation. It really feels to be of a mythical quality. But it doesn’t stop there. The events of this fable have real consequences for the story. Perhaps my version of this fable wouldn’t be as “earth-shattering” but it would be neat to include lore this way. It also brings up the question of who would tell this fable? What would bring about its telling?
- A world stuck in eternal autumn would jive with the setting. What would be the effects of no winter or any other season? Would anything be allowed to grow again? Or the forest is some form of “time-freeze”? Perhaps the trees could continue into decay and brackish, swampish muck until someone does something about the eternal fall.
- The names “Dolmenwood” (from Wormskin) and “Charhallow” (from Blades in the Dark) strike me as evocative and interesting names.
- Shadow-versions of PC is not a trope I’ve unleashed yet. In a transcendentalist piece, that may be too on-the-nose, but hey, I do love the idea of being challenged by a version of you, but with better stats. How would you outsmart yourself?