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Prophecies as narrative tools
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Prophecies as narrative tools

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Have you ever wanted to be able to predict the future? Well, I can’t help you with that... But I can offer the next best thing: a sound narrative for your games! Which is most certainly not the next best thing, or the one following that... let’s just say it’s a good thing and leave it at that, shall we?

Following in the footsteps of, well, myself, I decided to release another document that focuses on narrative soundness and in some kind of tool that helps with that. This time around that’s prophecies. 

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Now, I’m sure that if you’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons for long enough—or if you’re interested in fantasy in general—you’ve come across many different prophecies of all types and sizes. The coming of foretold heroes, the return of forgotten evils, or sometimes even the end of the world, have been a recurring narrative device for a while in fantasy literature and, since most Dungeons & Dragons games are heavily inspired by those stories, well, it’s to no one’s surprise that they have a strong presence in the hobby. But, most of the time, in order for those predictions to come true, one needs either total control over the different elements that could affect the narrative—which is a no-no in D&D—or a great deal of luck. However, if that were true, I’m certain prophecies wouldn’t be such a prevalent element throughout so many games. These thoughts left but one question in my mind: what gives?


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Well, I decided to delve deeper into the subject, and the result is what you see in front of you today. This document covers the different types of prophecies, what can be done with them in role-playing games, how to create your own, and how to implement them into your games without destroying it beyond repair. As well as a few one-page plug-and-play prophecies at the end. And tables! Because I like tables.


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  • Introduction: a small overview of what the document is and what prophecies can be used for in tabletop role-playing games.

    • Ok, but what is this?

    • Prophecies in TTRPGs: is a quick look into the relationship between prophecies and tabletop role-playing games.

    • The tool’s purpose: a few examples of how a prophecy could be used to achieve something in the narrative.

      • Transition

      • Give Information

      • Build atmosphere

      • Moral compass

  • The anatomy of a prophecy: a list of different elements that show up on different prophecies, as well as a few recurring archetypes.

    • Here be the future: are the predictions that cover unavoidable fate.

    • A hero rises: are your typical chosen one prophecies.

    • Evil approaches: cover the everything-is-going-to-get-really-bad-soon type of prophecies.

  • Creating your own prophecy: a small section going over different elements of a prophecy, along with roll tables to help you piece together something you could use in your games, 

    • Poetic Phrasing: guidelines for taking your literal prediction and transforming it into something more poetic using a few creative writing techniques.

  • Introducing a prophecy: will help you with, well, introducing them into your game.

    • The passing of time: goes over a nifty way in which you can fix some issues that could arise when prophecies become a part of your narrative.

  • One page prophecies: gives you three one-page plug-and-play prophecies to use as inspiration, along with tables to help you customize them into something that could fit better into your game.

    • An eerie song

    • To give and to take

    • A promising tale


6-9vi3Zd72Jaydkp_jlrR74gfCCuVD2ZByWxGT1FEvery piece of art inside the document was commissioned from Kyo_Smash (@SmashKyo on Twitter), who outdid herself with some beautiful custom-fitted art! Seriously, look at this:

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Along with that, we made some sweet sweet stickers of the characters in this document for WhatsApp and Telegram for anyone to use! They’re now available for free on my discord server, so come say hi! (I can’t actually link that here, but you can find it at the end of the document or you can figure it out using this: 2MvMxK2).

Finally, I know how it feels to not be able to afford something you like, believe me, I do. If you ever find yourself in a situation in which you can’t afford any of my work and you still want it, DM me on Twitter (@NirDine) or ping me on my Discord server. I’ll see what I can do for you.

Toodles.


Grim Press made a Fantasy Grounds version of the document, so if that's something you think you'd be interested in, you can find it over here: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/322456/Prophecies-as-narrative-tools-Fantasy-Grounds

 
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on July 10, 2020.