Generating adventure ideas (Part 6)

2 10 2009

IdeasSome people can’t work in a linear fashion. It’s just not them. They need to be provoked into action.

One suggestion is to put all of your ideas into a bucket and pull three at random and force them into three strands that will eventually link up.

If you get all of the simple ideas from your aforementioned notebook and copy them out on slips of paper, you can luck-dip your way to a starting point.

As with many of these suggestions, what you end up with doesn’t have to be what you started with. Idea generators like these start you thinking. You form an idea in your head and work with it. Along the way a stronger idea comes along and takes the story in a new direction.

Even the most disciplined of writers will admit that, from time to time, the story travelled in a direction they weren’t expecting. Typically it is when they are considering the motivation of the NPCs (or the PCs for that matter). ‘But why would they do this? It doesn’t make sense. But if ‘x’ happened, then they would automatically do ‘y’ and so that would lead them back to ‘z’ again.’

An old friend

Many GMs have adventures that will never see the light of day. Perhaps you have the first pages of an adventure or an outline for a campaign that never got past the blueprint stage.

If no new ideas are presenting themselves, consider dusting off these relics and rewrite them. I’m not saying rework or edit them, but take the story premise and review it.

Consider:

  • What was the idea of the story?
  • What was the inspiration?
  • Strip it back to the bones.
  • What was the basic premise?
  • Who were the characters?
  • What were their goals and dreams?
  • What were their conflicts?
  • What was special about the setting?
  • What if you changed it?
  • Whose story was this?
  • What if you changed the focus or the point of view?

As stated before, resist the temptation to edit.  Start afresh.

Next I’ll cover the difference between an idea and a story/adventure.

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