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dailyadventureprompts · 2 days ago
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How do you make so many of these so consistently? Do you have a patreon?
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Drafting the Adventure: My Process
I was jokingly going to leave this blank because writers block be like that sometimes, but then I realized the question of consistency in writing is actually something a lot of DMs and other creators who follow this blog can benefit from. Appeals to utility have always been the way to get me to do anything, so lets crack in and see what people can learn from the messy inner workings of my process. 
Step 1: Inspiration
While I often describe my work as “writing down stories inspired by cool fantasy art”, my process actually begins long before I sit down at my desk to actually write anything. Though trial and error I’ve determined that I’m at my creative best when my brain is swimming in stories, even if they have 0 relevance to what I’m going to write about. I’ve almost always got an audiobook or podcast on while I’m doing mundane life upkeep, and I keep a phone note app or actual notebook within easy access at all times.   These last two are essential, as sometimes an idea or story snippet will come to me and then linger around for years, just waiting for some other concept to magnetize to and create something amazing. Every time I get a quarter of a way through a notebook, I transpose the content to a google dock, that way I can have easy access to anything I’ve written down over the ages. 
Step 2: Subject Matter
Choosing the right image is an artform in and of itself, as you need something with enough thematic richness to communicate an idea, while at the same time being vague enough to be flexible, in case I have a particular idea in need of an image. Early on I also made the mistake of just collecting images in my drafts folder, leading to a several thousand image backlog that I had to sift through whenever I knew there was ONE PARTICULAR image I wanted to use for a thing.   I’ve since rectified my mistake and keep a separate blog specifically for art, which I can specifically tag to search through easier.  I also use the “post to tumblr” browser extension to make image acquisition just that much speedier. 
Step 3: Story Seeds
After I’ve got my subject in front of me, I study the image to generate a few base ideas: what’s the mood? the vibe? the unstated tension? where would this image fit in a larger story? these things provide the raw material for my writing and help me fill out details that I never would have dreamed of. I also figure out if any of my several years worth of idea backlog would fit into this in any way, and if changing a detail or two could massage a previously good idea into a great one with accompanying art. 
Step 4:  Gamifying
This is a d&d blog after all, so once the story starts to take shape, I start thinking about how I can turn these narratives into actual adventures. Is there a dungeon involved? a dare to test the party’s skills? maybe a mercantile opportunity to take a gamble on?  The best adventure formulation is about dangling a reward out of the party’s current reach, then figuring out what challenges, twists, and pitfalls they’ll need to navigate to get there, while simultaneously setting them up to go on another adventure with a different reward after they’ve achieved the first.  
Step 5: Actually writing. 
Putting actual words on the page is perhaps my biggest hurdle, both because I suffer from chronic brainfog and because life can so often be too hectic to write. I’ve found that making a habit of writing ( every day for half an hour while I'm having my morning tea) is enough to generally get past my initial hurdle. I triage my projects, focusing on small light ideas when I don’t have the energy saving the big ones that’ll require a lot of work for good writing days or bitesized chunks. Some sessions are about limping along with as much as you can manage, while others are about riding that flow wave and getting as much done as you can. As for making that writing good,  I’ve got a whole tag full of different ways to improve your adventure writing, so give it a read and take what you need. 
As for a Patreon, I do indeed have one https://www.patreon.com/Villain4hire, and a ko-fi at https://ko-fi.com/villainforhire. I'll admit, I've left both of them on the backburner for quite some time both because I had life stuff ( moving etc) and because my ever looming podcast project would necessitate an overhaul of both.
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creativerogues · 9 months ago
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33 Pieces of Weird Dungeon Dressing...
The perfectly preserved body of a humanoid, tied to a throne of charred wood.
The dungeon entrance is a large magical gate that will shut and seal, and not open again until seven days have passed.
Poisonous gas seeps out from nearly invisible cracks in the dungeon’s walls.
A 6-foot-tall, beautifully sculpted man made of crystal and glass.
A circle of obelisks, with a hole in the ground at its centre.
Shelves stocked with rotting food.
The strange powers of this Dungeon Room change Spell Scrolls into other, random Scrolls of the same level.
Scatterings of hay and grass cover the room, building into larger clumps towards the next chamber.
The hallway is lined with mirrors in various states of vandalism, the one at the very end however seems too pristine.
A room slowly flooding with a highly flammable oil.
A gate inside a sarcophagus that takes you to a random location.
A constant feeling of something watching you...
Cracks in the walls seem to suck in the cold air of the dungeon room, almost like the walls breathe...
The walls are literally closing in. the dungeon is getting smaller and smaller the longer the Party stays in there...
Strange bulbous flowers with faces screaming as they come into full bloom.
Coins coated in grime and contact poison!
In the darkness of the underground dungeon room, there exists shadows that should not be...
A fire is spreading from a random room in a lower level of the dungeon, causing smoke to rise up into the higher floors.
A statue hangs from chains, dangling from the ceiling.
All words echo, even a whisper...
It's almost impossible to breathe here. 
The floor is slanted and covered in a translucent oil.
Two talking goat skulls hang over the door, one speaks of a magical giant, while the other speaks of a dragon large enough to swallow the world...
The items found here spring to life, becoming Animate Objects and trying to harm their new owners.
This hallway is decorated with rows upon rows of granite statues. One of which is alive and begs to be released from "The Stony Shell".
The Dungeon itself is scorching hot. As you adventure further in, all metals soon melts like candlewax.
Coconuts hang from a large tree. If a Creature breaks open even one of these Coconuts, it releases a screaming white Spectre!
A large withered tree grows in the room, the fruits of this tree are dozens and dozens of identical heads!
A gateway that, when a Creature steps through it, separates their body and soul as if by an Astral Projection Spell.
A room with an enormous mirror that depicts any creature that looks at it as hideously gaunt and emaciated. 
The entire dungeon is slowly sinking into the ocean, causing the lower levels to slowly flood with cold dark seawater.
Food troughs with poisonous mould and fungi growing within.
A large jewel is embedded within the ceiling, if removed, this causes the roof to collapse in, crushing any would be robbers.
This random list was made with help from Members of the CreativeRogue’s Discord Server. If you’re interested and want to contribute, join HERE!
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thescryingeye · a year ago
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The life of an adventurer is fraught with danger. Around every corner lurks monsters, but the call of treasure and the unknown calls brave hearted heroes like a siren. But even when one finds treasure, sometimes that isn’t all they find.
You can add any of these curses to magical items or even to a trap or spell effect. They can all be removed by casting remove curse on the affected creature.
Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_scrying_eye/
Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/thescryingeye
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oldelvenhomebrewing · a year ago
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A conversion formula for turning lone low CR enemies into swarms. Useful for threatening higher level players with otherwise weak enemies, having large battles, or even to create a Warhammer-like game where the PCs get to be heroes fighting along side an army. 
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dungeonsandcartoons · 3 months ago
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A little book of fun random tables by Madeline Hale I found on Amazon.
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theworldbrewery · 10 months ago
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DM Tool Review: Inkarnate
The site is inkarnate.com, you can find them on Twitter at @inkarnaterpg
I started using Inkarnate in the early fall of 2020. This is a map-making tool, designed for RPGs but flexible enough to be useful for fantasy writers as well. If you opt for one of the paid versions ($5 a month or $25 a year), you get literally thousands of art objects to work with, such as bridges, trees, skeletons, potion bottles, rugs, broken chairs and beds and walls; and they’re constantly updating with new art objects.
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[image ID: a map I made using Inkarnate, designed to look like a vertical cliff side down which the PCs could climb. There are holes in the cliff side for a monster to burrow through and ledges for creatures to stand on. The ledges have snow on them. The cliff side looks like rock in different layers at a slight slant. end ID]
There’s a bit of a learning curve on Inkarnate, as you learn how different features function. The “masking” tool is the first one you’d use, and it creates the “foreground” on top of the “background.” On a combat map, the background might be the rock walls of a cave system or the chasm the players must cross, while the foreground could be the stone towers they’re hopping across or the floor of the caves. On a regional or world map, the foreground is usually your landmass while the background is the rivers, lakes, and oceans.
I recommend using a mouse or a drawing tablet to create your foreground/background, and to paint these features with the textures you want; doing it with a trackpad or a touchscreen can be slow. Inkarnate can also use a lot of bandwidth, and it gets laggy if you haven’t saved your progress in a while. If you don’t have a strong processor, this might not be for you.
That being said, if technology isn’t an issue for you, this can be a huge time-saver for a DM who likes a detailed map. The art objects especially have been wonderful for me, as I always want to establish where players might have cover, hide little set-pieces where they belong, and so on. I have, however, run into issues of scale from time to time; I often want a wall to be much longer than it is, but no wider; Inkarnate only adjusts the size of the art object proportionally. I can’t make a wall longer without also making it thicker. Also, if I’m working on a very large map for an entire dungeon, I often find I reach the lower limit of an object’s size before I get the object to scale, such as a potion bottle taking up half a 5-ft square. Granted, some of this is due to the limits of pixels, but I must admit I still find it frustrating.
Inkarnate has some wonderful features, such as the ability to select all “stamps” (the art objects) from the same category at once, flatten stamps to the foreground or background (so they are permanently fixed there), and adjust the size of a texture so I can make the wooden floorboards smaller or larger in relation to the size of an area. Altogether, it’s much faster than drawing detailed maps by hand, and I truly love the art-styles for the different types of maps, including their stamps. While there are occasional technical snags, I’m overall very happy with the paid subscription.
However, it may or may not be worth it to you to use the free version. You only get 10 maps at a time, and you have a much more limited selection of stamps. You also export at a lower resolution than if you have the paid version.
I almost exclusively use this for battle-maps, but as I mentioned earlier, it has features for cities/regions and entire world maps. There’s definitely a learning curve--the first few maps I made were cluttered and pretty ugly-looking, sadly--but as I got used to the interface I also got better at placing important features and using the paint tool effectively.
In general, I’d compare Inkarnate with Dungeonfog to determine your needs and what’s worth it to you. Inkarnate Free offers 10 maps to Dungeonfog Free’s three, and doesn’t leave a watermark all over your maps, which Dungeonfog does; it also has more assets and more types of maps (Dungeonfog is for battlemaps only, from what I understand). Inkarnate’s paid version is also more affordable; 6 months of Dungeonfog is ~$35, while you can get a year for $25 with Inkarnate. Dungeonfog has more assets and features like Dynamic Lighting, so the increased price may be worth it to some DMs.
[Obligatory statement that I am not sponsored by Inkarnate, Dungeonfog, or anyone else.]
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inconsistentlaugh · 9 months ago
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NPC Database for GMs
I always get caught up when I’m GMing a game with the big picture ideas and how to move the narrative along, and then my players will introduce themselves to an NPC. Suddenly, I need a name and a personality, and my stride is broken. So I made a list of possible NPCs and gave them all the information I need to grab a character and run with them. I thought this might be useful to other GMs, so I’m sharing it here:  tinyurl.com/NPCdatabase 
If this kind of thing would be useful for you, please don’t interrupt your sessions with reaching for a random name and have a bunch of NPCs with identical personalities. Keep your mind working on the big stuff. 
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dogeberrie · a year ago
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CALLING ALL DUNGEON MASTERS!
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This is the tier I've backed, but there are others that give you goodies like tokens and minis and much more!
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Just four more stretch goals to unlock!!!
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SIX days left to get in on this! Please share around with your friends or anyone you think would love to be a backer! <3
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dailyadventureprompts · 13 days ago
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You’ve noted your distaste for the alignment system before, and I was wondering what you thought about using Magic the Gathering color identity in place of it. I’ve started using that in my own game and it feels much better
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Inspiration Station: Magic the Gathering
TLDR: I really like the color alignment system as it can communicate a lot about a character's moral outlook and general vibe a lot clearer than regular alignment can. I like it so much infract that my drafts blog uses MTG color combinations as a sorting system so I can find things that go together easier. That said, its an extra level of game knowledge for new players to understand/have to do be taught. Alignment is supposed to give new players an idea how their character might act, and it's a lot easler for someone who's never roleplayed before to wrap their minds around acts that are "lawful" or "good" than for them to try to guide their character in a particularly "Blue" direction.
While I'm going to go on a bit of a ramble about this, I'm going to start with an explination of what "Color Identity" is for all the members of my audience that haven't lost years of their lives and chunks of their disposable income to a particular trading card game.
In Magic the Gathering (MtG from hereon out), there are five "elements" of magic that encompas the bredth of existance, all with their own emotional and thematic cores and endless interpretations of what they and their combinations represent.
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Anything from creatures to magic to places to civilizations can be found in some combination of these one to five colors, which in turn have relationships with eachother ( harmonizing with their neighbors while conflicting and complimenting with the ones across from them). This makes it a great shorthand from a design perspective, as it links together ideology, iconography, and gameplay into a palate that you can use to paint your characters and settings. There are quite a few "Using the color-pie in d&d" videos on youtube which I encourage you to check out, as they can do a much better job explaining the basics than I could do here.
Advice on how you can use this framework in your own games below the cut:
1: MTG colors as character alignment
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If you take a step back and consider the colors not as basic pokemon elements ( wood, water, fire, life, death) but as embodiments of different outlooks and philosophies, the color pie system suddenly becomes a radically efficient tool for summarizing how a character or culture carries out its beliefs, with the understanding that individuals within that culture will mix in new elements or lean away from others depending on their personal predilections. A character who relies on luck and wits (Blue-Red) may be tempted towards story beats that indulge either of their color synergies, but chafe against systems that would deny a part of themselves ( Such as the rule of a Black-White Authoritarian noble or the simplicity of Green-White peasant life).
2: MTG colors as writing tools
The fun in understanding how characters in your story fit into the color wheel isn't only in assigning them a static position, its in testing to see how they evolve and grow when exposed to external stimuli. Will the Blue/Black spymaster veer towards duty to their state (white) or personal power (red), will the righteous Red/White paladin give up their honor for vengeance ( becoming only red) or achieve some level of enlightenment ( white) after suffering through a crisis of faith.
Through the colorpie, and understanding your characters, you can make narrative arcs easy, or at least pencil some interesting questions as you develop the rest of the story.
3: MTG colors as setting design
The different colors have historically been tied to different types of terrain, and while I tend not to do a 1:1 conversion for all of my settings, its very easy to see how thematic throughlines can be made between setting and environment ( yes, necromancers probably would hang out in places full of shadows and rot, but those that embody Black's aspects of ambition and manipulation probably live in settlements infused with some form of social or infestructure decay, or perhaps a dark history concealed just beneath the surface)
To that end, I like to think of small to medium settlements as possessing a dual color identity made up partially of their land and culture, while larger settlements and nations tend to be two or three colors as they are a composite of diverse groups and interests. By looking at these combinations, finding contrasts between them and synergies with outside elements, you can easily begin to set up political and social dynamics: A White/Red/Green kingdom may have contrasting demographics between a warrior nobility ( WR), a traditionalist peasantry ( WG), and nomads who live on the frontier (RG). The kingdom could be threatened by an invading lich (UB) or by an alliance of nomads and peasants who resent the warrior nobility for their conquest generations ago (BRG)
4: MTG colors as game design
Bo yourself a favor and every time you're struggling to make a dungeon, try to figure out what color identity it has. Instantly you've given yourself a massive dose of inspiration for monsters, traps, hazards, and iconography for you to mine simply by visiting the gatherer and scrolling through the visual spoiler. Generally you can do this by thinking about where it was built and by who, with further richness added by thinking about what sort of creatures from the locality have crept in during the meantime and how their color identities harmonize and contrast with the dungeons own.
Likewise, if you're trying to think of abilities/gear to give a player or npc, think about how the different colors play:
White wants to bolster their allies before clashing head on
Blue wants to be tricky until they get in position to outplay their opponent
Black wants to fight dirty until they can really twist the knife
Red wants to go recklessly and blow their opponent away before they can retaliate
Green wants to level the playing field before getting really strong and stomping their foes into the floor
These playstyles ( and their combinations) can guide you in everything from what loot to give your party to the way monsters behave during an encounter: A (GR) barbarian would probably never want to pick up a (u) wizard's staff, but they might be tempted by a (UR) flaming arcane blade that let them expand their usual toolkit by going ethereal. A pack of hungry (BG) ghouls would lurk in the shadows of their crypt until they could ambush their prey, retreating to let their fetid bites weaken the party before sweeping back in with more numbers.
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creativerogues · 7 months ago
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Mini-Post: Variant Skill Checks To Try In Your Games...
Domineer: Strength (Intimidation) 
If a Character (especially a Barbarian) ever tries to use a display of raw physical strength and might to intimidate a Creature, your DM might ask for a Strength (Intimidation) check.
Endurance/Stamina: Constitution (Athletics) 
Endurance used to be a Skill in older Editions that related to your Character’s Physical Stamina, such as how long they might be able to do an activity like Swimming, Running or Climbing before they risked Exhaustion.
For example, if you have to swim from an offshore island to the mainland, your DM might call for a Constitution Check to see if you have the stamina to make it that far. In this case, your DM might allow you to apply your Proficiency in Athletics and ask for a Constitution (Athletics) Check.
Undercover/Blending In: Charisma (Stealth)
This is how a Character might escape the gaze of wandering eyes by joining in on a conversation between merchants and travellers, or observe another Creature from a distance while still appearing as a ordinary passer-by.
Riding: Dexterity (Animal Handling) 
This is how a Character might control a stolen horse as they flee the city, or calm a frightened steed before they are thrown off it. 
Faith: Charisma (Religion) 
This is how a Character might attempt to call out to a Spirit or Deity in an attempt to gain guidance and advice.
For example, a Character lost in a massive expanse of dense woodlands may call to the Local Forest Spirits for aid, and on a success, they may gain an Omen that guides them out of the forest and towards civilisation, while a failure may cause the Local Forest Spirits to become bored by the Character’s incessant whining, and simply send them in a random direction away from the Spirit’s Home...
Martial/Tactics: Intelligence (Perception)
This is a Character’s ability to examine an Opponent or Creature and attempt to determine the Creature’s abilities and future intentions. 
This could also be applied to Combat, where a Character might examine an Enemy to determine if the Creature is willing to fight until its last breath, retreat, or call for reinforcements.
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homebrewlesbian · a year ago
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pro dming tip: if you need to create a lot of npcs fast, like a council or townsfolk, any sort of group of some kind, make yourself a quick roll table with gender, race, age, and then a few personality values to level on a 1-10 d10 scale! it creates interesting characters quickly in regards to developing a personality and realism fast! i’ve got a  small example of one for a council of warlocks in my homebrew world below the cut
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zipperdraws-andfics · 2 years ago
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Tired of smelly murderhobos? try enchanted soap! only works if they actually take a bath tho
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dope-dm · a year ago
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10 quick adventure ideas #3
Someone has stolen farmer Martin's prize pig, and the tracks lead into the woods
A ghost has been haunting the local tavern for the past few weeks, and it's bad for business.
A giant has laid claim to the town, saying it is within his domain, and requires everyone to swear loyalty.
The nearby lake has had reports of strange monsters lurking in the shore at night, scaring away the local fisherman.
A man calling himself the King of Bees has been attacking citizens with his swarms of insects. (Bonus points if he steals honey)
Deep in the snowy mountains, a ruined city has just been discovered and is rumored to be ripe with treasure.
The town's folk are holding a lunar festival, but during the ceremony the moon vanishes.
A knight in black armor blocks a small bridge nearby, and refuses to let anyone pass.
Everyone in a small village have started turning into anthropomorphic animals, usually in their sleep.
A wizard has accidentally turned himself invisible indefinitely, and needs specific ingredients to reverse the effects.
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hey y'all any tips for a beginner dnd dm bc that's me and ngl kinda nervous
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