How-To DM: Where to Find Inspiration

Dear Readers, this is going to be a short post. I had a back procedure today and am in quite a bit of pain. I’m stuck on bed rest for the next 24 hours, so I have the extra time today…

Inspiration can come from many and varied forms. Here’s some places I’ve found:

1) Probably Bad RPG Ideas

This is a wonderful resource for great ideas for one’s game. The name is a lie! Even more so, many of the ideas presented, even if they are technically “bad” ideas, they are wonderful for being turned into good ideas.

2) Books, Comics, Movies, and TV Shows

Game of Thrones (TV Series 2011–2019) - IMDb
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) - IMDb

First of all, I’m not advocating ripping off a resource like this, but I have seen people use the same world and lore to set up a campaign adventure series. I’ve also seen the tropes, ideas, and even general plot-hooks/surprise turn of events. As an example, an episode of the 80’s cartoon Gummi Bears has a plot point where ransom was placed in a container, and the ransom was picked up by digging a hole underneath the container, so that the person getting the ransom could get away unnoticed. Interestingly, this was the same technique used in the movie Speed when the villain gets away with the ransom money via a tunnel beneath the trashcan where the money was left!

3) The Dungeon Master’s Guide

There are tons of plot points, adventure ideas, campaign ideas, etc… It even gives ideas about villains, complications, etc… Just because it’s in a core book and given in a rather generic way, don’t discount it as a resource!

4) Other Adventures

In recent times, yourdorkmaterials was running his Tuesday night game, and my table wasn’t able to meet in full (we had two of our normal 6 players!), so yourdorkmaterials invited my players and I to play.

As you know, I run Rime of the Frostmaiden on Sundays, of which yourdorkmaterials is a player. He asked me if he could run that adventure, modified, as long as he stayed behind our sessions. Of course I agreed. What came next was…interesting.

My group (the new players from my table and I, who was running an elven bladesinger) was lost in a snowstorm and was heading to Dugan’s Hole to find shelter (for those unaware, Dugan’s Hole is like…the town in the movie Deliverance…think banjos and inbreeding…). My group ran into the other, main group, fighting off…something, with the party trying to light houses on fire.

“Uhh….come again? Why are we lighting the villager homes on fire while hiding in the Speaker’s home?”

“Just trust us! This is bad!”

On a leap of faith, we joined. Yay.

It was awesome.

In the end, we prevailed, albeit with a Pyrrhic victory, as the town was infested with wendigos and the townsfolk, hard-pressed as they were by the harsh winter, and also resorted to cannibalism. None of this was in the original adventure. My wonderful partner on this blog added it for flavor.

5) Google search “Good D&D Campaign Ideas”

I cannot stress this enough: Google is your friend for this! Doing this search comes up with tons of lists of hundreds of different adventure and campaign ideas to get the creative juices flowing! Some are good enough and cohesive enough to string together!

Of course there are many other resources for inspiration. I’ve seen adventure written using storm giants to tell the story of King Lear. Heck, I am personally writing a campaign based on a children’s story. Sorry, I will not divulge this particular story, as several of my players read this blog!

I hope you all found this blog entry helpful, if not entertaining. Sorry I couldn’t do much more due to my back procedure, but I enjoyed writing it.

Until next time, Dear Readers…

Published by The Daily DM

I'm just a DM telling the stories of my tables.

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