Somehow Dungeons and Dragons is no longer seen as a nerdy game by the mainstream media…and it is fantastic. While playing as a character in a make believe world might be exciting, being the Dungeon Master (DM) is way more fulfilling. You see, as a DM you are essentially the god of the world, in other words: You are the storyteller.
I currently run a campaign with a group of my friends that is heavily inspired by Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series. (There is also a mix of Name of the Wind and the SJM world). I do not want to give too much away about the lore and background of my campaign because I fear my players might read this. (Which is unlikely, but still).
One thing I can tell you, that my players are aware of is the loop.
But enough about that. The real meat and bone here is teaching you how to use the books you love and read as inspiration for your possible D&D world.
For a moment let’s ignore all the rules that come with D&D and DMing. Let us create a world. In celebration of Map of Days by Ransom Riggs, I will use his world as an example. (Yikess, Clarance, Thumm don’t even bother I only used the concept in the game, not the story ;P )
The big mystery and driving plot points of the Peregrine series is the loops, moments frozen in a single day in time, and the people with peculiar powers. D&D is usually played in a medieval-like time period, but it can be played in any world. Space, modern day, post-apocalyptical, a zoo, or the 1920s.
You can make your characters try to chart the loops of your world, much like how Jacob and the gang will do in Map of Days. Or you can send your characters on an adventure to try to protect their loop from being destroyed. Or! Your loop has been destroyed, you must race against time to return to your proper timeline or risk time catching up to you. (Are these all plots to Miss Peregrine? Maybe)
Mr. Riggs has set a perfect skeleton to work off and make your players go on an adventure where they will probably die but enjoy it in the process!
Okay, while you have no control over what your friends may want to play as you do have complete control over the non-playable characters (NPCs). It could be a talking dog or a wise older lady who watches over a certain loop or an old man who sees things others don’t see or an older brother who is keen on destroying everything because he wants power. Let me tell you, creating NPCs is easy. Creating memorable NPCs is a challenge. But never fear, you have a beautiful and diverse cast of characters available for you. Some can shapeshift into a bird, others can bring things to life, others have flaming hands. You can even keep the same name if you feel that your friends won’t catch on.
After all, every group of adventurers needs a mentor or someone to have a chat with while in town.
Don’t want to put in all the work? Okay, I can give you the grounds to a beautiful one shot.
An old man, Jacob Portman, approaches a young group of adventurers. He has a map. A map he started a long time away but needs completion. Each mark on the map has an entrance to a world paralyzed in time. There is treasure, magical items, and powerful beings in each loop. If they finish his map for him, he’d grant each of them with the power of true sight — the ability to see what you normally cannot see.
The map has eight points, Jacob believes there are six more missing. The first mark is a two-hour walk away. There lives an older woman, Miss Peregrine, and she is peculiar.
While on this adventure, there is a group trying to absorb the magic and powers of the loops. Every hero needs a foe after all.
In each loop lives an old bird with peculiar children, who are much older than you’d think.
How do you wanna do this?
There is the skeleton. Now get playing.
Map of Days (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Oct. 2, 2019
Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery—a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe.
Clues to Abe’s double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited—truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop.
Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few ymbrynes, or rules—that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children. Their story is again illustrated throughout by haunting vintage photographs, but with a striking addition for this all-new, multi-era American adventure—full color
Thank you Ursula for giving me a copy of Map of Days!