While flipping channels yesterday, I stumbled across yet another show about Nostradamus's predictions, and it struck me that Nostradamus quatrains could make cool little adventure seeds. Not to mention they sound cool enough for the words of the predictions themselves to be incorporated into the game world.
Take, for example, the passage I clicked haphazardly from the Nostradamus Quatrain Browser:
Before the Empire changesOkay. I had to look up porphyry, but that's half the fun of a Nostradamus quatrain, isn't it? Looking stuff up? From Wikipedia:
a very wonderful event will take place.
The field moved, the pillar of porphyry
put in place, changed on the gnarled rock
- Century I Quatrain 43
Porphyry is a variety of igneous rock consisting of large-grained crystals, such as feldspar or quartz, dispersed in a fine-grained feldspathic matrix or groundmass. The larger crystals are called phenocrysts. In its non-geologic, traditional use, the term "porphyry" refers to the purple-red form of this stone, valued for its appearance.So we have a wonderful event... the raising of a monument or the construction of a building, royal in nature, and it has been placed on what was a gnarled rock.
The term "porphyry" is from Greek and means "purple". Purple was the color of royalty, and the "Imperial Porphyry" was a deep purple igneous rock with large crystals of plagioclase. This rock was prized for various monuments and building projects in Imperial Rome and later.
Now we just have to take this event that has happened and find our inciting incident. (Any of you who've ever dabbled in screenwriting know that the story doesn't really get started until the inciting incident). We could either work out from the event without help from Nostradamus, or poke around again until something makes sense. Like...
The fertile, spacious Ausonian plainOkay. So by the quatrains above, and with a little embellishment, and some help from Donjon's Fantasy Name Generator, the adventure seed we've generated looks something like this...
Will produce so many gadflies and locusts,
The solar brightness will become clouded,
All devoured, great plague to come from them.
- Century IV Quatrain 48
An obelisk honoring King Awfrith was erected at the edge of the Ausonian plains in honor of his victory over the tribes of the Arman. The festivities had barely begun the sky grew black with gadflies and locusts, and so began the plague on the peoples of Baltha. Awfrith's son Waltin, recent heir to the throne, is at his wits' end. He's seeking a group of adventurers to investigate the blah, blah, blah... evil wizard... blah, blah, blah... towering citadel... blah, blah, blah... reward... blah, blah, blah...Or you could just use the d30 Adventure Seed Generator.