June Inspiration for one shots

Welcome all to something that I probably find that I do without really thinking about in great detail but coming up with June Inspiration for one shots. Now it will be a bit of a shorter one but the issue I occasionally find for my weekly adventure isn’t so much coming up with one. But it’s settling down on a single concept.

In the past I have been over the process that I am drawn to. The What, Who, When, Where and Why’s of a good adventure plot. But what I don’t reveal is that there are sometimes multiple story arcs in a single adventure that could be explored.

Now inspiration comes from many sources, as I have gone through before, but tonight I will take a few things that are front of mind.

June Inspiration for one shots: Adventure 1 – Chult expanded

One of the core published adventures that WOTC has published is the Tomb of Annihilation which features the party going to explore Chult. But why don’t we see more of the Chultians come over to the mainland of Faerun? This first adventure concept is a young warrior visiting from Chult but her mount, a noble steed if you will, isn’t a horse but a dinosaur. Now the image of someone riding a t-rex into Neverwinter is amusing but probably not practical. I don’t think the lord of the city would let it stand for long. However raptors, herbivores and other large sized creatures (or even medium) could make decent mounts.

This adventure focuses on what the party may be asked to do and what they will do if a dinosaur appears in their home turf.

This can be an investigation style quest “A large creature has appeared in the woods near by. It’s leaving strange marks on trees and killing all the game. Find out what it is.” Or we can have it be a request for aid from a foreign party. “I need help convincing the Lord that my Bruno here, a Gallimimus, isn’t dangerous. He is just fast and a bit skittish is all.”

Either way for someone who loves both dinosaurs and RPGs its a good mix.

June Inspiration for one shots: Adventure 2 – Bewitched Room

A room in a local manor has been flinging spells randomly at people who enter the library. A opened book that had a glyph of warding placed on the pages from a previous adventurer was laying open on the table. Every time the door opens the corresponding gust of wind turns the pages and triggers another spell.

The party doesn’t know this, nor does the new owners of the Manor. But they will soon encounter the hexed room and the source of the it. This is more of a Role play encounter however the book could summon creatures to fight. Or a creature may be drawn to the constant use of magic and they may contest ownership of the arcane tome from the party and the manor owners.

There is a bit of fun we could have in this adventure

June Inspiration for one shots: Adventure 3 – The grand hunt

A young tribe woman has approached the party and asked them to help her hunt a ferocious beast. This beast can be what ever you want but my mind was instantly drawn to a Bulette

The reason for needing help could be a sad story of being an outcast due to heritage, or something simple of “I was late to the start of the ceremony so the elders punished me by making me undertake this with any fellow from my tribe. However you are not of my tribe so you can help? I don’t think I will survive the trial without it and I wont be able to be seen as a true member, an adult in my tribe until its completed.”

A nice easy one this one. I like it because it may give us the excuse to use any creature. I also believe that having something as mundane as a “grand hunt” is nicer than curses, invasions or malicious acts.

Well that’s it for tonight, three adventure concepts, for June Inspiration for one shots, and one of which I will take for next week. Don’t forget to join me tomorrow for the end of week writeup and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Mixed Bag of Misery

Now tonight I was looking for something to write about, and really the bombardment of ideas was a Mixed Bag of Misery. After spending a day, yup a whole day (well nearly…) Magnetising my currently built infantry for my Hedonites of Slaanesh army and painting nearly all my currently built blissbarb archers (so expect a photo bombardment next weekend) I am tabletop fatigued. But as I looked at the twenty daemonettes in front of me I thought “Well, at least after the content dense blissbarbs these are different kind of misery.”

But this got me thinking, and soon an idea blossomed. Cursed useful items in DnD. Now hear me out. A cursed sword is arguable useful as long as you can resist the curse. A cursed ring can is generally not great at all – in all cases.

But what about a cursed utility item. So tonight I will focus on a Mixed bag of Misery.

Mixed Bag of Misery

Lore – The devil in the detail.

Long ago a devil plagued the house of Rosariae. The little imp pestered the family daily for years. By creating little acts of malice within the home it spread misery throughout the household. Eventually the family noticed that the cause of this misery was an imp, Demsodae (Dems-o-day). Acts to catch or persuade it to leave the house always failed but they noticed a quirk of the diminutive devil. It always took a single egg each night and devoured it. Using this knowledge they hired an enchanter to alter a leather drawstring bag to capture and ensnare the creature if it entered it willingly. So they laid a trap with a large, goose egg as bait.

Sure enough in the morning the bag was full and the family rejoiced in their capture of the imp. Many decades later and the bag fell into position of an adventurer who mistook the bag for one of holding. Upon reaching into the bag they discovered with horror that it was filled with headless mice. And this adventurer hated mice.

The next owner found that the bag was instead filled with centipedes, but when that owner entered the bag again the bugs were gone. The cursed bag has seen a few duplications as the original enchantment was unravelled but all of them contain a tricked imp that tries to give the owner of the bag a daily dose of misery.

Mechanics of the Mixed Bag of Misery

Once per day, the Mixed Bag of Misery will change the contents of what it contains to something the owner finds repulsive, disgusting or something they are fearful of. After the contents have been revealed then the bag is sated. Once sated it acts like a bag of holding, although its storage capacity is half that of a normal one (due to an imp living within…). However, despite the Imps malicious nature it can be persuaded to help.

If the owner offers it something it favours, a goose egg in the case of Demsodae, it will help the owner. This is an infrequent occurrence but it can produce something to help the owner of the bag. This act of helping is infrequent and will normally backfire on the owner.

As this bag is cursed it is not easy to get rid of it. In fact to get rid of the bag the owner must convince someone else to place the imps favourite thing within the bag. Only then can the bag be transferred from one living owner to the next.


Now I have created this bag primarily for role play. However it all depends on how we interpret the assistance of the imp. I may have the Imp may assist the owner by producing rotten eggs that the owner can use. In the right circumstance they could be a great distraction or tasty snack for a hostile beast. The list of things that we can do to make this cursed item a useful one is near-endless. However it’s up to the Role play of the Player, us – the DM, and the situation that its being used.

Thanks for joining me tonight for this weird little item. A Mixed Bag of Misery isn’t quite how I would capture my current tabletop progress. But, there are highs and lows with any tabletop venture and for me I find its focusing and finding the time to focus on painting miniatures. So as we continue on with our weekend consider this. The bag of experiences you take you are always going to be mixed. You can’t always pass that skill check, nor should you. That’s not how adventures are made or how heroes are born. So take what will with what you can and the rest, I guess just leave it up to the dice!

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more Tabletop content and, as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

2023 Campaign Adventure 1

Good evening all and welcome to the night of my first adventure and the brief summary I want to provide for it. Whilst not giving away the campaign, adventure or mystery I will attempt to write up each adventure this year starting with my 2023 campaign adventure 1.

2023 Campaign Adventure 1



As the party, Mordakai and Tater, begin to form they are all survivors of a new horror that is spreading across the land of Faerun. To herald this new era of darkness that has spread across the land strange, feral creatures have been stalking the plains, roads and forests. The roads are no longer safe to travel and so the cities have banded together to create the great Caravans. Several companies have banded together to form caravans of wagons that are guarded by mercenaries as a, some what lucrative, way to travel safely.

Several major Towns and cities have had strange heralds appear in dark purple robes who proclaim to be searching for people who have seen odd creatures around, willing to pay people gold pieces for their stories and tales of such creatures if found to be convincing. Furthermore those who provide a truly convincing recount or have fought these creatures and survived may gain employment from the party they represent.

Those who are interested in sharing their tails can come to Wyrrondeep, a small but bustling city. Our party find themselves as hired mercenaries guarding one of the caravans on their way to Wyrrondeep, each having fought one of these creatures and survived.

Sam’s Wagon- created in Nightbreeder

Trouble Brewing –

However, as they reached the next rest spot after travelling together for a day or so they encountered the lone Guard of another wagon, distressed and obviously hiding something. In charge of guarding a wagon with four paying guests he was attacked during the night by wolves, beasties that set fire to the wagon and dragged his companion into the forest.

Upon investigating the wagon they found the patrons who Westley had claimed was safe were in fact dead, murdered and robbed whilst their wagon has been broken into and one of the bodies taken. After some probing and clever questioning it was apparent that the guard was the cause of this and as night set they discovered more. While they waited at a fork in the road for another wagon to join the caravan train they set up camp. Food was plentiful and after some strong, bad, wine was procured and shared it was revealed that Westley’s father owed a large sum of money to the very people he had apparently murdered.

Camp by the woods – created in nightcafe


But as they lay in wait for Westley to emerge from his drunken stupor they were attacked by Twig blights and a wolf. Each of them felled easily but not all was well. The wolf as unnaturally vicious. It was covered in wounds that would not heal and one of its eyes had its pupil split into two. As the wolf fell to the ground, succumbing to its wounds, Westley appeared and attacked Kai viciously. Tater rushed to defend his comrade and after delivering a blow that would cause any lesser man to fall he was nearly fatally wounded himself. After another deft blow from Taters great axe Westley fell only to have strange, tentacle like work creatures flee his body and burrow into the ground.

Main NPC:

Sam Gustave – created in artbreeder

Not being a warrior or scholar Sam finds himself a single parent to Will. Sam is the owner of the first Wagon that creates this particular Caravan and as such as is deemed to be the Caravan Master. In fact he and his guard, the Head Guard, run the caravan and ensure its safe arrival at its destination. Sam also owns his Wagon, a mobile Tavern that provides food and drink to the passengers. But despite his kind nature he is a business man and is not easily fooled or swindled.

Creatures for combat:

Having the twig blights initiate combat by moving into range removed some of the lethality of having only two party members. However, Westley and potentially the wolf, who died very quickly, posed a much larger threat.

Thanks for joining me tonight and to look at the adventure that initiated the campaign. I have a lot more in store for the party as we travel through Faerun and investigate what is happening across the land. So, do join me as we continue this adventure fortnightly!

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow as we wrap up last weeks adventure. And, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

A moment to breathe

Tonight I wanted to take a moment to breathe as the last few months, weeks even have been fairly non-stop. As I committed myself to pushing out an adventure a week. Some weeks I managed to get through two but rarely have I missed one, in over a year now.

But tonight as I stare at the miniatures built, some with paint on them and the zine ready to be started. I need to take a moment to relax and put it off for tomorrow.

Not everything needs to be be treated like a tournament level movement phase. Not everything needs to be rushed in order to meet a deadline or an invisible barrier that you set yourself. Sometimes taking a moment to breathe is a good chance to assess the next steps and ensure that the next step is the right one.

The same goes for DMing.

As the beginning of a new campaign for me looms on the horizon, next weekend to be exact the excitement and trepidation begins to set in. However, being in this gig for as long as I have the excitement builds and the pressure that I set on myself drives me. Taking a moment to breathe to look at the adventure, or series of them, that I have planned can sometimes be enough.

Now, I have thought of session pre-zero, session zero and the overall plot, secondary hook and twists in the main story. But there is a lot to be done before I can say that the campaign is ready and fit to be consumed. However, I know my ruleset and I know my style. I have a clear guide document that the players can read to understand how I run the game. Having created a few homebrew creatures, magical items and I roughly know the frequency in which to encounter these things.

I have created a semi-Lovecraft inspired campaign where the players can flit between the adventures and the system shouldn’t punish those who can only make it every so often. However I have contingencies in place and a large potential for new players joining mid-adventure. This shouldn’t be an issue.

Having these scheduled, or impromptu moments to breathe and reset priorities helps. It helps me and I can guarantee for the DMs who push so much emphasis on getting it right for their players, our players, it makes it easier. Learn your craft, study what you want out of your session like I have and I can ensure that these nerves will pass.


These moments to pause should help us focus on what we want, like I have made tonight about what I want to focus on. I have decided to tweak the frequency of a few types of encounters or adventures and in doing so I hope to make them much more exciting. Having two veteran players joining me, potentially a third, and a few new ones. I need to balance the base mechanics with what I believe will give my party the biggest sense of amazement and enjoyment.

I always plan to thrill my party, never setting myself a lower target that people asking for the next session. This excitement and enthusiasm drives and maintains my motivation for the craft. I am excited for this new campaign, and a new era of my Tabletop as I shelve one army to pay another, and the future guides me onwards.

So as a closing note I want to encourage you to take a moment to stop and take a moment to breathe. Like what I did, take a moment to think and considers what’s best for you. And, like most posts, I want to remind you that tomorrow is another day, another week really, and so I hope to spend my day off wisely. Creating my end of week Zine for the City of Temptations Zine as well as a new adventure, something a bit out of sequence but fitting for what lies ahead of me this week.

And finally, I wish to encourage you to get back to your tabletop. I managed to even sneak in a game of Wingspan this weekend which was a rare delight. And finally, I hope you don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Challenge one word adventure

Good evening all and welcome to another long overdue speed adventure challenge. Tonight for my Adventure speed challenge one word adventure I have chosen Claw. Tonight the adventure will follow a few key criteria but by the end of it there should be an adventure that should be useable.

The criteria include:

  • Time limit: 30 minutes
  • Word: Claw
  • Minimum word requirement 1000
  • Must have a initial Plot, Secondary hook and conclusion
  • Must have at least one NPC
  • Must have at least one conflict
  • Must have at least a description of a battlefield if no map is produced
  • Images and statblocks can be added after 30 minutes if required
  • Notes on how to run the adventure or the thought behind it
  • Anything done after 30 minutes clearly called out or identified. (red background)
  • Can clean up after the 30 minutes~

Claw – Challenge on word adventure

Time started: 8:00:32


At the edge of the emerald sea there lies a string of villagers, towns and cities that all have been encountering members of the “Worshipers of the clawed god”. These zealots are fanatical in their belief that a great beast, a forgotten deity resides within the large underwater sink hole that lies off the coast. Those who have been captured and questioned claim to have been chosen by this deity to spread their word whilst travelling by ship or boat on the sea.

What has brought this to the attention of the local power and authority is that each report has no ties to the other. However, each one of them make the exact same claim to be chosen. They have reached out to see if they can understand what is going on by seeking assistance from adventurers of some renown.

Clawed God – created in nightcafe.

Causation –

The cult, the Worshippers of the clawed god have all been exposed to a Huge crab. However this crab is far from ordinary as it has ingested flesh of a dying aboleth that had fallen prey to hunting ships. When ingesting the flesh of this sunken aberration the crab obtained some of its psionic powers. As the crab was consuming the flesh the aboleth was using the last of its psionics to corrupt the mind of the crab, in an attempt to enslave it. However the aboleth was just too weak.

The result was a highly intelligent crab with mild psionic powers who had received its hate for humans and ships from the dying creature. In fact the creature now seeks to get its servants, the worshippers of the clawed god, to bring all the ships of the emerald coast to its lair, the Emerald Coast sink hole.

Main NPC:

However, it is not the authorities, the Sea Watch who has reached out to the adventurers. Jess ‘Ironsails’ Smith is the financer of the endeavour to route out the cult and understand what is going on. Jess is the inheritor by mirth of the Ironsun trading company. The Ironsun trading company operation was born out of Wavecrest, the largest city on the Emerald coast, and they started small. A few ships and just as few crew would run trade goods from the Emerald coast down to the Thruul jungles.

However Jess, after protecting the vessels from pirates, took it one step forward and began bringing goods, rare spices, herbs and other trade items from the jungles of Thruul back to Wavecrest. This saw the companies profit increase threefold and through her actions the company expanded. It now has a place in each port along the coat and, in its own right, becoming the largest power in the southern jungles.

Jess is a middle-aged woman who was born on the sea, literally born in a boat. In fact so close is her bond to the sea that she forsake her parents forges to quench her fire for good. However she is a stubborn as raw iron and as honed as steel.

Secondary Hook:

After talking about the job with Jess the party go to leave, a man attempts to push past them, dropping a long blade that thuds into the wood below. The blade is serrated and curved with the cross guard curving towards the blade itself to look like a claw. The man looks nervously between the party, Jess and the blade. However, seeing the party notice the blade the man attacks them, pulling a secondary blade in the process. After the brief but vicious fight the man is identified by Jess as one of the deck hands for her ship, the Wave Blade.

Jess asks the party to investigate the ship first in case there are other members there who have fallen for the uprising cult.

Area for Combat:

The hallway is thin and cluttered with tables, portraits and displays of wealth. The Ironsun trading company came from nearly nothing but apparently now has no qualms with displaying their wealth. However despite the art, fine silver and portraits that line the walls everything displayed has a purpose.

Swords, daggers, spy glasses, everything that is here is a tribute to someone in the portrait. In fact the only thing that is on display that doesn’t have a corresponding portrait is a worn anvil next to Jess’s door.

The floor is well maintained and sturdy. However the creak of wood and smell of salt water underneath the boards gives away the buildings location. Built on stilts on the beach and stretching out across the dock the Ironsun’s office is build into the docks. In fact despite the wood being durable it is also prone to damage. The salt and water has weakened sections that could cause it to fall through.

Creatures for combat:

Giant Psionic Crab

Clawed God Cult members & Enslaved crew members




The party take a single ship to the Sink hole and fight the crab. The weak psionic powers don’t have much affect on the party who are experienced combatants however some of the ships crew may become enslaved. Once the crab is killed the other sea creatures and enslaved crew and cult members are released from the psionic slavery. However, they will suffer for a few days as they regain their sense of self.

Thoughts and notes:

I think its about time for a maritime adventure. The tricky part with this adventure will be balancing actual combat in the water against what we can do on the ship.

I don’t think having a huge sized crab on the ship will be hard. However exploring its movement as it crawls under the keel of the ship to attack from a different side, attempting to both sink the ship and get the combatants into the water will be tricky.

The investigation may take some time however planting a few cult members on the Wave Blade will give the party a good lead. In fact the creature wants to be found, but it wasn’t planning for strong defenders on the boats.

Time finished: 8:30:52

Words: 1140

Thanks for joining me tonight. Tonight was a bit of a fun one and a long overdue test to shape things up. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow as we wrap up last weeks adventure. And, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Easter eggs in TTRPGs

Welcome to a weekend post where the theme is set and its something a bit more advance than what I normally talk about. Tonight I want to talk about the subtle art of Easter eggs in TTRPGs. Now, I can hear your thoughts, I’m not talking about randomly sprinkled treasure under bushes, near couches or on pillows – or maybe its someone else’s… never mind. So sit back, grab a coffee and me roll this concept over you and further into adventure.

The art of Easter eggs in TTRPGs


Little treats

Now I am certain that we have seen many dungeon and game masters do this over campaigns but I need to say it. However, It is very difficult to do. What it is involves the GM/DM adding little bits of lore or a familiar face or symbol throughout the campaign. In fact the very idea behind this is that you set up and build up all these little things for a later big reveal. Whether this reveal is a twist midway through the campaign of the conclusion of the adventure it doesn’t matter. However, I find that the art of getting these just right is very difficult.

Now here lies the difficulty with it. If done correctly, subtle little hints, appearances or non-blatant pieces of information then you give control of the Easter egg to the player, not character. If they are not the type of person to note little things and make connections then this may not have the desired outcome or effect that you were hoping. However if your players that the type that like to play Cluedo and who will recognise the little Easter eggs along the way then this can be an enriching and powerful moment for them.

Laying the eggs

So now that we have explored it a little bit some suggestions and a scenario to try and get it to stick. If the adventure resolves around an order of knights for one of the main deities in the realm. However their new leader is over zealous and has initiated a purge of those who they deem to be going against the natural order. The party may begin to notice little things. Perhaps the bodies of thieves, murderers or monstrous humanoids are all found with wounds from similar weapons. Or, they are laid to rest in a particular way. On their back, arms folded but bound with red cloth and with a copper piece on top of their lips. This may be something that only priests of the religion would know it if they saw it.

If we get to the point where we want to reveal the Easter egg but the party are yet to put it together we can do some little things. Dropping the deities symbol, a book of their prayers or something like that could help hammer it in there. Particularly if the coins have the symbol on them (upon closer inspection) or if the book has a description of the ritual they found the previous victims in.

What ever the option, hint or Easter egg is it requires two things. The GM/DM to know how to implement it and link small things to larger plots. As well as the Players at the table to be able to pick up what we are putting down.


While not something I implement often, most of my players are new, the times I have done this the party have had that Eureka moment that just increases the wow moment. A key takeaway for me is that if they come up with something else, that isn’t farfetched OR is somehow akin to what I wanted them to realise, I normally give it to them anyway. Changing the plot for party enjoyment, changing the flow or even who the bad guy is, as long as it makes sense, can be even more enriching for the players at the table. And heck, I have fun watching them celebrate the their wins even when it wasn’t the one I had planned for them.

Thanks for visiting and having a look at my musings for this Saturday night. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the end of week adventure, our Gibbering heist, and for more tabletop content. And, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

An Adventure in the palm of your hand

Welcome to a weekend post where I want to explore the art of improve with a simple concept. An adventure in the palm of your hand. This isn’t much different from the normal process I captured in my weekend adventure formula with Plot, NPC, Hook, Map/Extra and combat but it helps drive some of the unravelling for it. So tonight I will put down the formula and add will see how it works out. So sit back, grab a coffee and let’s roll into the adventure.

An Adventure in the palm of your hand


The idea behind this is the five things to get the core of your adventure completed in a few moments, something that I pride myself on. The process is quite simple but it does involve some creativity and on the spot thinking so it can take some practice. For this we look at our hand and count down the key components to understand the concept of our adventure. Crossing off fingers as we count down can be a tactile way to keep track and can help cement it in – so I’ll list out them in order of importance.

Thumb – What

Start it off with the most important thing. Think of an item, creature, opponent, location or something that is the core of our adventure. Generally all adventures have a artefact, a wizard, a big baddie or something that drives the party forward to their goal. If we don’t know the what it can be hard but inspiration can come from anywhere.

I use songs, artwork, miniatures or random things my family or friends say. Books, movies and TV shows are also perfect for generating the what of our adventure but I don’t tend to have much time for these so less time exposed to them results in less time to be inspired.

What we have our What we lock that down as our core and use that to drive the other questions.

Index – Why

The Why. This points us (index finger – the pointer) in the direction of the adventure. Taking our what we ask why is it our core. Why would the party want to obtain, learn, prevent or stop or, protect this thing? The why is the second most important item as its driven from what, but it also acts as the catalyst for our adventure.

Why are the party wanting to retrieve the amulet of Frostmoor? Why do they need to stop the wizard Zoltan? and so forth. Why do they want to get involved with the what and why is it a driver for them. This really is driving motivator for the party to get motivated or inspired to get onboard the adventure train.

Middle – Who

Who drives the What and the Why. If the what is a person or creature, who are they. Who is working for or against them and who are they aligned with. A thief lord doesn’t get there over night, who are their backers? Who let them get as powerful as they are now?

Who can be consequential, so its less important. But it can be related to the what and why directly or it could simply be someone who gives you the quest. A farmer could be the who a they give you the quest to investigate the noises from the nearby barn. Or they could be the cause of the noises and not be a simple farmer.

The emphasis isn’t placed on Who, Where or When but they still can add to the story and only require a bit more thought.

Ring – Where

Do you have a map ready? Is there a town the party are in? Do you need a temple, castle, cave, crypt or cemetery that you want this to occur in? The where isn’t important most of the time and it doesn’t drive the adventure but it is fundamental to driving the mood.

The other thing that where can drive is hazards and other map driven obstacles that can help the adventure. Sink holes in a graveyard, boiling magma, spike traps near a goblin encampment, secret doors or passage ways, traps, acid pits and so on. All of these can add another level onto the adventure.

Pinky – When

Now the when isn’t important. It can emphasise a time limit for players or set the mood. The below example can give a limit, a time frame or hint at more to come.

“about three weeks ago, at the full moon I heard a blood curdling howl I did. Right by the city gate. In the morning young Harry was gone but the beast left these claw marks. I tells ya’ that my blood froze when I saw the size of them”.

The when isn’t important – but it can help flesh out the adventure more.

Thanks for visiting and having a look at my musings. I’ll put this to test tomorrow and whip up an adventure using the above and create something that could be used in an impromptu one shot or, to expand upon something monotonous like travel. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the end of week adventure, our Gibbering heist, and for more tabletop content. And, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Pocket of NPCs – Tactile assistance concept

Welcome to a end of week wrap-up and tonight I drafted something up which is the Pocket of NPCs. This is a tactile DM/GM assistance concept that looks to fix a problem I have and I believe many DMs, new and old, would also have. So as a concept art I will see if I can get kick this off into something more as its just a template for now (its perhaps a bit dark) so we will see how I can refine it.

Pocket of NPCs – What is it?

Simply put its a Large format card (Tarot card for those who want to compare the size – think deck of many things…) that has a image, name, brief background, roleplay advice bond and flaw for any one NPC. The problem we have as DMs face on a session by session basis is that we can not predict or control what the players will do. Nor should we. But this leads to situations where they end up on a street, building or place where we didn’t plan for them to be and what’s worse, talking to someone we haven’t made up yet.

Enter the Pocket of NPCs. Slyly draw one card, rolling for sleight of hand and deception. Describe the face you see in more depth (redraw if you need a different gender or race) and then note down the how to roleplay this NPC part. The background, bond and flaw will come into it more as the conversation continues but a brief few lines of text can save you on the spot.

The party can then choose to invest more energy into this NPC interaction and you can expand from the introductory part in front.

Format of the Pocket of NPC cards

The first thing you will see is a colour image of the person you are describing. Then the name, background and more info is provided. The idea is short, sharp notes a brief history to bring up if the situation warrants and what they would be suited for.

NPC Card – front

The back is just a snappy logo, neat right!?

NPC Card – Back

Where to next?

Pending if this would be seen as useful this can be expanded to have additional information on the card itself. Accents (if people want to have a go at that), nervous ticks, trinkets they have, notable characteristics or mannerisms and so on.

The next step of this is using the random NPCs to help facilitate one-shots. However, they would need to probably have a class, Villain, bystander, antagonist, quest giver or something like this. This may be something that’s identifiable oh the back of the card for quick reference and to save re-draws or hunting through the deck for a specific NPC. (But there is nothing wrong with that!)

This also opens up other tactile assistance concepts like cards for plot hooks, secondary hooks, location, item/macguffins etc. which means we could randomly generate a oneshot from cards alone. This is something I may look into.

Closing thoughts

Now… The ease of repetition for this is simple. Artbreeder and nightcafe.studio produce creator owned images that you can download, in decent resolution. In fact after doing this for years I have a library worth of portraits for. The best thing is that to create a new NPC it doesn’t take much time either, and it can be quite fun. However, it’s is still a lot of work to make sure that there is versatility. And the above mentioned software/UIs don’t handle non-human races that well. I have tried (the aarakocra still haunt me).

A bit of a fun one tonight. If you are looking at some one-shots check out the growing library I have of Zines – or have a look through the archives.

This week we will be looking at another Oneshot adventure so don’t forget to come back each day this approaching week. I hope you enjoy what I have in store for you this week. And finally, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

The Dawning of a new campaign

Hello and welcome to some pretty big news if I say so myself, the dawning of a new campaign. That’s right I have a new campaign to write, a new big baddie or event to orchestrate and a world to construct. To be honest it’s happening rather fast and I think it will be one of those campaigns that will teach me a lot more about my own craft.

I have also stumbled into D&D 5th ed wiki which has more of the content for new players. Whilst I have most of the books I need, and access to legitimate copies for the rest of it this will be invaluable for my party, especially the remote ones.

The Dawning of a new campaign


In initial discussions with the players it sounds like the campaign will be hybrid traditional narrative and one-shot driven. A series of one shots like The Trouble with Birds and The Prince of Pine Ridge that interconnect with the overall story line. This means that for the players involved in the adventure that they could miss out on one adventure or the next as long as they have a central adventuring hub.

Since the One shots I create are easy enough to balance for a variety in experience as well as number of players this further helps the goal. But, I still need an overarching plot.

This will require more thought and I may potentially have one or more party members coming to read here I will have to keep them brief.

The Paths

The options I have before me are endless but wrapping high fantasy, flexibility and making it enjoyable for a variety of D&D experience is hard. But the below are basics for sparking that creative flame that will fuel my Campaign creating process.

  1. There is dissent in the lands as rumours of the kings knights pillaging and harming the people of the kingdom have reached the king. But there may be more at play here.
  2. Giant swaths of forest, hills, and even mountains have been carved out in perfectly straight, even and flat lines across the land. The direction and origin all differ to the discovery of a new one but one thing is clear. There are many such lines and they all appeared seemingly overnight.
  3. A vision haunts the party, a cloaked lady bathed in light lies behind shadowy chains and is pleading for help. Images flash of landmarks, some known some yet to be discovered. But each party member feels strongly connected to the woman in their vision and the urge to free her is all consuming.
  4. Rumours of strange creatures have been appearing from everywhere. Beings with multiple heads, distorted limbs (or no limbs) and all of them being highly aggressive have started to sprout up. These may have been brushed off as rumours and tales to fearmonger if such a creature wasn’t encountered by the party seemingly by accident.


Each of the above have something hidden, something obvious and something completely foreign to new and experienced players. They also lend themselves well to my style of campaign building, a hook, sub hook and mid-adventure-plot twist that all help in driving the player engagement.

The next step is picking one, or two (as we know by now there are multiple roads and pathways that lead to the end goal) and fleshing it out. I will also weave the overarching plot and story in with the party’s background and their story will help throw them further into the story.

A name, a map, key places and key NPCs will come later but for now the story and plot will get me started and I am looking forward to it. There is also the potential for me to create more unique creatures and cultures. I am a big fan of creating cultures from scratch.

I hope that you will come back tomorrow. If time permits I will create a Soulbound Zine including the first part and second part of the adventure so far. So wish me luck, I will need all re-rolls and advantages I can muster to get that done. to bring another Zine, and if time permits two. So don’t forget to come back for that and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Free Talk – February

Hello and welcome back to another night here at Brazen Wolfe Tabletop. Tonight I wanted to have a Free Talk – February edition where I look at something that I think we need to address in the Dungeon Master world. Tonight’s topic is perhaps getting a bit real, a bit idealist if you will but it involves a topic that was brought up by some other excellent DMs I had a discussion with tonight. Setting expectations.

Free Talk – February


Setting expectations is crucial to a successful TTRPG group. For a new player this could be a simple as introducing yourself as the new DM and asking people to ‘bear with’ or have some patience as you may not know all the rules off by heart. This is pretty much a given one where you give yourself some buffer by providing an expectation to the kind of DM that you are or what you aspire to be.

But this is another expectation to set. What do you expect yourself to be? We all have a journey in the world of TTRPGs and they all start with a fundamental interest in the game system. Whether its, like me, a family spawned hobby or if its someone you idolise we normally have someone we look up to for advice when it comes to RPGs. For some of us we set our sights high and we look to the figureheads of RPGs.

But this is as much of a topic for new System Masters as it is experienced ones. We can’t be Matt Mercer. We cant be Mark Hulmes. If we aspire to be the exact DM/GM as some of these giants then we will always fail. We may be as great, we may be better in some aspects but what they bring to the table is different and uniquely theirs.

The limit

Understand what our limit is. One experienced awesome DM from tonight’s table doesn’t do voicing for NPCs. This is perfectly fine. Other DMs may love dark-grit fantasy and think that perhaps the current edition of D&D is a bit too PG for them. This is also perfectly fine. What I bring to my table is different to the other DMs I spoke to tonight, new and old. This means my style of Dungeon Mastering is different but I am still here to facilitate a great game which is not only entertaining but enriching for both the players and myself.

How we play our game, how we run our table has to have limits. We can’t be everyone and everything and the Dungeon master and players having that discussion around expectations of each other, the campaign and the general flow of things can make it better. However tonight’s Free Talk – February edition does have a message.


As I do in my professional career. Find what you enjoy. Find something that you truly thing produces wonderment in yourself and others and aspire to do that. Whether its the phenomenal Narrative and storytelling of Mark, or the voices and energy of Matt. Or the ability to keep your players on track (like a few DMs from tonight) find something you aspire to do and set it as a goal. We can’t establish growth without a benchmark.

Thanks for joining me tonight after I have spoken about D&D for more than a few hours today with other fine DMs. If tonight’s encounter (where I failed my initiative check and rocked up late) has a closing message it would be, quite simply this.

Inspire yourself to be the best you. There is only one Dungeon mater you need to aspire to be like and they greet you in the mirror. There will be new DM’s out there, potentially your current players who admire what you bring to the table. You become their aspiration, what you bring to the table becomes their benchmark. So be proud of what you bring. This isn’t an easy gig, its quite challenging at times even for the most veteran of us. So for being willing to give this a shot, to continue to bring your best to the table I want to say thank you for inspiring others to pick up the mantle.

Tomorrow I hope to bring another Zine, and if time permits two. So don’t forget to come back for that and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe