Any good Dungeons and Dragons DMs know that inspiration can come from anywhere. TV shows, movies, novels and even real life. Anything and everything can spark ideas for the next great adventure. Comics and graphic novels are one of the best places to find inspiration.
There are thousands of titles to choose from, many of which are available for free at a local library. The medium’s combination of powerful visuals and intense storytelling is an inspiration to DMs looking for their next big idea. Some may require some mastery of the genre to fit into a classic D&D setting, but most will ensure an engaging and fulfilling game.
ten Dawn Of X Event Marauders is a fun naval adventure
Just a small piece of the sprawling event that spanned a century and was Dawn of X, Marauders follows Kitty Pryde and her crew of misfit mutants as they sail the seas to free oppressed mutants from tyrannical governments. Naval campaigns are an evergreen favorite among D&D players, and Marauders makes it more awesome than ever.
Opportunities for swashbuckling heroism abound as players sneak, fight, and fight their way through dangerous locations to free those trapped there. The comic also features the intrigue and politics between Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw, an opportunity to involve role-playing and cheating for players who enjoy this aspect of the game.
9 Marvel 1602 is a vintage frame
A Marvel event written by Niel Gaiman, Wonder 1602 sees all of the classic Marvel characters translated to Elizabethan England. Matthew Murdoch the blind minstrel, Nicholas Fury the head of royal intelligence and a young assistant named Peter Parquagh are just a few of the many heroes who find themselves immersed in a story of intrigue, interdimensional divisions and superheroism.
The clever ways in which each character is adapted to the setting provide a great starting point for players to try the same thing. Whether it’s creating fantasy medieval versions of their favorite superheroes or trying to adapt their own characters to a modern setting, beloved times-shifted characters are a campaign premise for sure.
8 The Distant Sector can bring a little sci-fi to your game
NK Jemisin’s 2019 The Green Lantern Far Sector story is one of the most unique angles on the Corps that readers have seen in a long time. A Green Lantern of Earth is called to one of the most remote sectors of space to offer its expertise to a cosmopolitan world that believed to have eliminated violence.
When the first murder in decades is committed, Lantern Sojourner “Jo” Mullein must try to solve the case and remove the city from the brink. Grooving a D&D the party in this premise is an instant hook, and Jo’s fish-out of the water experience is easily translatable into any tabletop RPG.
7 Sandman would make an epic campaign
Niel Gaiman’s fantasy epic is full of surreal visuals, bizarre monsters and gods, and bizarre planes of existence. A DM looking for inspiration need only flip through any volume of Sand seller to spin the creative gears.
Whether they take direct inspiration from comic book history or simply choose to allow its style to inform a campaign of high magic and plane jumps, this book is sure to provide a wealth of material from which to draw inspiration.
6 I Kill Giants would be an innovative scenario
Joe Kelly’s 2008 limited series released by Image Comics depicts a young girl, Barbara Thorson, facing her anxieties and grief by retreating into a world filled with monsters. She is the hero of this world, using her giant hammer to slay impossibly huge giants.
A group looking to explore another dimension of their characters could use this as a starting point. Who are the frightened little children behind every hero? What are they so afraid of in real life that they have to dive into dungeons and fight terrible dragons to escape?
5 Watchmen would be perfect for a story that allows players to play with morality
One of the most successful comics of all time, Alan Moore’s Watchmen is a cornerstone of the superhero genre. He turns the camera on the classic heroic archetypes, asking questions about who they really save and why.
The classic D&D structure is ripe for this kind of self-examination, with larger-than-life heroes wielding incredible power. Maybe it’s time to ask if their exploits really save what they think they are doing? Watchmen provides a foundation on which to build a serious and grounded campaign that questions the very nature of heroism.
4 Demon Knights would be a classic frame
One of many titles revamped during DC’s New 52 reboot, Demonic knights is a classic high fantasy adventure that will be familiar to most D&D fans. This comic does not offer a huge divergence from D&DIt’s classic structure, but there’s nothing wrong with getting back to shape.
Filled with wizards, dragons, knights, and of course demons, anyone looking to inject a new set of ideas into their high fantasy campaign will find something to shoot for. Demonic knights.
3 Hellboy and the BPRD could lead to an interesting adventure
Mike Mignola’s Hellboy the comics are full of inspiration for monsters and storylines for the characters to test out their monster hunting chops. The Hellboy and the BPRD the books specifically present an overall distribution, a structure more conducive to a D&D campaign than Hellboy’s more introspective solo trips.
This book can almost serve as a manual for a dark, episodic campaign that sees players travel from place to place to fight demons, ghosts, and wizards of all kinds.
2 Runaways: Finding Your Way Home Could Be Great For Role-Playing
Marvel runaways asks teens the ultimate question: “What if my parents were really mean?” The year 2018 led by Rainbow Rowell sees the characters grow slightly taller, for the most part having extricated themselves from their pasts before fate reconciled them.
This setup of reluctant heroes who think they’re out of life is full of opportunities for drama and role-playing, as well as plenty of dangers to keep them on their toes. Plus, any game that features a smart pet dinosaur is sure to be a hit.
1 Immortal Hulk could inspire great body horror game
In one of the more mature versions of the character, that of Al Ewing Immortal hulk sets up a complicated and interesting myth around old Jade jaws involving extradimensional planes, Jungian psychology, and Cronenberg-style body horror.
It’s an exciting campaign premise, with each character being like the Gamma-irradiated characters of the story, irrevocably altered by bizarre magic, and using powerful and terrifying abilities.
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