View Full Version : fantasy cartoon series to prep the players

06-14-2012, 04:27 PM
One way to prep players for a particular style of fantasy campaign is to show them episodes from appropriate cartoon series.

There have been so many cartoon series that involve fantasy, everything from the goofiness of Dave the Barbarian to the lighthearted idealism of She-Ra: Princess of Power to the pulpy goodness of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon to the planetary romance of The Herculoids or Thundercats to the sophisticated Arabesque drama of The Pirates of Darkwater or the science fantasy of Full Metal Alchemist or Thundarr the Barbarian.

One advantage to using episodes from a cartoon series is that they take up maybe 20 minutes of time and they don't belabor the plots as a way to cut costs on SPFX.

So, name one or more cartoons you might use to prep your players, and tell specifically WHY that cartoon would be the one you choose. (Or it might be a specific episode.)

-- thread inspired by (and credit therefore goes to!) celinasinha (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/member.php/19864-celinasinha)'s thread http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php/22952-What-is-your-Favourite-animated-shows

06-14-2012, 09:27 PM
Personally, I would never show a cartoon to gamers, especially "fantasy" cartoons.


Because there are WAAAAaaayyyy too many plot hooks that can be stolen from them to "waste" them on just VIEWING!!!

I've used SO many Herculoids and He-Man episodes for one-shot adventures that it's beyond silly. The camp-ier and more juvenile the cartoon, the more ideas that can be stolen. Even episodes of Jonny Quest and Pokemon can be used - and HAVE been used. I've even used a one-episode plot to provide fodder for an entire CAMPAIGN!!

I loves me some crap cartoons!!!

06-15-2012, 01:31 AM
surprisingly, or not so perhaps, gummi bears has quite a few nice plot hooks as well.

06-25-2012, 11:11 PM
Because there are WAAAAaaayyyy too many plot hooks that can be stolen from them to "waste" them on just VIEWING!!!

Ah, but once you have derived all possible uses from a cartoon, it's MAGNIFICENT to show them the cartoon and watch their faces as they sputter, "So that's where you got that from???" -- so long as you remember to dodge the pillows soon to be hurled your way!

surprisingly, or not so perhaps, gummi bears has quite a few nice plot hooks as well.

I agree. Some judiciously chosen bits and pieces of the gummi bears mythology can make surprisingly serious additions to a serious mythological background for a fantasy campaign or series of campaigns.

Also, the music has a delicious effect on players if you play a foreign language version for them during a game: they will scratch their heads, certain they have heard an English version of that music somewhere . . .

09-11-2012, 05:59 AM
Surprisingly yes, I do agree to a certain extent. If you are a initial player then you learn from cartoon series becoz it helps you a lot and gives you great experience. Right from fantasy to romance it build up new players for the gaming series.

02-22-2013, 08:08 AM
Well one cartoon that has the potential for great story ideas and perhaps to show the players about questing and team work would be the Smurfs. One great one I remember was the purple smurf episode. I believe it was jokey or clumsy smurf (one of the two) who was bitten by the purple fly and was infected with this disease that made them highly aggressive and pissed off. So this one smurf started biting the others and infecting them (so instead of today's zombies you have a purple smurf apocalypse).

Now the few remaining blue smurfs had to quest for this special flower that was the antidote and etc etc etc. So for the players it can show how to work together and solve problems while for a DM it could be an idea for some strange disease affecting a village or town. None the less it was one smurfy episode!