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>mfw want to run a campaign
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>mfw want to run a campaign
>no creativity

How do you guys do it? How do you keep things fresh? All I can ever come up with is basically generic stuff like musclebound barbarian smashing evil wizard in medieval land, raiding dragon caves etc. I can't come up with anything new. What do you guys look to for inspiration?
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>>45090296
I meditate on an idea. After long enough more ideas come to me. Just clear your mind of everything but your setting and think about it
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>>45090296
Reading other adventures.
Return to the Tomb of Horrors, for example.
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>>45090296
Do what you love; do what you feel you need to do. Always follow what immediately comes to mind. Do everything that naturally occurs.
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>>45090296
It isn't your job to create brand new material. It is your job to be entertaining.
Even if it's an old standard as far as storytelling is concerned, if you tell the story well and keep your players engaged, it'll be a good time.
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>>45090440

A classic if you love some delicious death
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>>45090523
Absolutely this. Players have a way of making any story interesting
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>>45090552
too true; have them adventure after a princess in a tower guarded by a dragon, and your party will help you discover your setting's rules on gay marriage and slave rights. Possibly at the same time
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>>45090296
It has a lot to do with what sorts of stories you take in--what you're reading, watching. If you are always seeking out the same sorts of stuff, then the stories you create are all going to be the same. If you want to create more interesting stories, then you have to go out of your comfort zone and take in a lot of different inspirations. I've run fantasy adventures based on horror movies, Russian sci fi books, and Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'.
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>>45090580
That's the way. Create throw away NPCs that your players will think are plot hooks, then make them into the plot hook the players expect, then add your own twist to make it seem like you planned the whole thing.
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Your first mistake is assuming you have to do all of the work. It's a shared experience, a group story. Create a skeleton and let the actions of the party fill in the meat.
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>>45090674
>create a skeleton
It can be a lich, too.
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steal from popular culture with a completely straight face.
resist the call of obscurity.
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>>45090296
I read history books.
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>>45090296
Steal ideas from Scooby Doo.
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>>45091020
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>>45091020
That's actually a great idea. Once you get (read steal) a solid skeleton for your story the players and some charismatic NPC do the rest. I often steal ideas from low quality 90s children videogames. My best game ever was heavily inspired on this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbBP6EJfmi4

It's doesn't even exist in a non-meme language.
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>>45090296
By stealing ideas from history, fiction, or other fa/tg/uys.
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>>45090296
Run an adventure path if you ain't got ideas.
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>>45090296
Run a prebuilt until you get the hang of things.

Also, never stop reading, watching, and learning. About everything.
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>>45091084
>a solid skeleton
Seriously guys, it can be a lich, too.
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>>45090523
So much this.
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>>45090296
Take ideas from everything else.

>Books
>Movies
>Video Games

And basically add or take away whatever you want. Re-fluff, make harder, change bad guys out, whatever.
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>>45091143
Skeletons work better fäm
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>>45090296
I take my ideas from history and put a spin things by adding myths etc
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I usually just take an idea and run with it. Just sit and think about it for a while, weave some interesting plot devices, and then take character back stories and go.

If your haveing trouble with creativeness: Find something the party likes (a certain show, book, video game) and just run a game set in it, obviously letting the group know ahead of time. Since you know it well, you kind of have an idea of how a plot would go. A GM's job is almost entirely reactionary. The players write most of it. Just give them the tools.

At the very least, start with a one shot and move further. The ol' event in a hat trick can go well:
>3 piles: Action/Place/Person
>one from each
Example pulls:
>Rob the/ Noble Ball of/Local Mafia lord.
>Assassinate the/King of/Your homeland (pick a play)

Then just stick some story to it.
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>>45091063
It really does work great, I'm not joking at all. Just change the guy in a mask to a real monster or someone controlling the monster. The best part is that the show gives all the hints and clues to make it look like you put so much work into the plot.
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>>45090296

Plagiarize!
Let noone’s work evade your eyes!
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes!
Plagiarize! Plagiarize! Plagiarize!
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>>45091215
Scooby Doo confirmed for ultimate /tg/ show.
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>>45091215
I wasn't being sarcastic. It IS a brilliant idea.
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>>45091215
>>45091237
>>45091255
The best bit is that by selecting the era you pulled the episode from you can choose the tone you want to set for the campaign.

Mystery Incorporated was the best, followed closely by the first two series. Everything in between was filler.
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>>45091255
I didn't think you were, I'm just putting emphasis on how great it is.
>party befriends a woman
>shortly after she's accused of being a witch when one who looks similar to her shows up
>party has to protect her from the townspeople who want her burnt at the stake while also trying to stop the real witch
>turns out the witch is her long lost twin sister who wanted to make her sister suffer for having the good life she was denied
No one will guess that you just ripped off To Switch a Witch.
>>45091311
All of them have merit, although I haven't watched the current so I can't speak to it. What's New is basically just a modern version if the original, 13 Ghosts is great aside from the stupid kid, and A Pup Named Scooby Doo is good too. The only really questionable one is Get A Clue.
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STEAL IDEAS
PLAGIARIZE EVERYTHING
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>>45090296
consume lots of media and mix and match your favorite parts
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I'm just going to say right now that you're a bad person if you're getting ideas from Scooby Doo and you don't use the Harlem Globetrotters somewhere
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>>45090296
If you're running D&D, there's nearly 50 years of shit to steal from, mangle, bolt together haphazardly, and mock.
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>>45091584
And The Three Stooges. And Batman.
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Go through wallpaper threads. Ask yourself, how do the characters get to that.
Steal ideas.
Steal settings.
What are things you'd like to see characters work around.
Read through the books and look at your characters stats.
Be an asshole. No one can disarm or find traps? Time to set up some traps.
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>>45091774
Oh and one more thing. Lots of references to shit the players like.
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>>45091795
My players like memes, so I insert very subtle memery into the campaign. Works gr8.
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Read Dungeon World's GM section. Seriously, just do it.

Also seconding (thirding? fifthing?) the Scooby-Doo idea.
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>>45090552
It's the players job to make the game interesting for you.
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>>45091827
That's a tough door.
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>>45090296
To be honest, a real easy way to get started is by starting with a base setting then divide it up into areas with different cultures and races. To come up with encounters, take inspiration from tv, anime, movies and books you find interesting.
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>>45090296
Steal your material, OP. If the players accuse you of being unoriginal, call them metagaming fag-bags and walk out dramatically.
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>>45090607
>>45090988
>>45091120
>>45091141
>>45091163
>>45091232
>>45091621
>>45091480
This. 90% of the shit I run is shamelessly stolen from something. The players notice at best 10% of the references.
>OMG Anon, I will never be as creative as you.
Fuck mang, there wasn't a single original idea in my last game.
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>>45092165
The last campaign I ran was just paper mario. I literally had the game's maps pulled up on my laptop, and just replaced goomba with halfling, koopa with elf, toad with "frog person", etc. They didn't get it until halfway through when one of the fuckers glanced at my laptop screen
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>>45090296
For me it comes naturally either from "It's X except" and then keep adding more "excepts" until it becomes original enough to be it's own thing because i've come to the conclusion that in order to make something original and have it mark you need to accompany it with common tropes to not make it 100% alien.
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>>45090296
I have 3 approaches to things.

1) I find a game I like, take that as my basic inspiration. I'll run with it to start out and see where that leads me, possibly interweaving other game plots or even just playing off how the players respond.

For example, my current campaign is based off a combination of Mass Effect 3 and WoW with some Diablo thrown in.

2) I will find a series and rip ideas from that. This works particularly well for world building. In my current setting, I have areas inspired in part by WH40K, amongst other things. The multitude of influences makes it hard for the players to track any 1 thing you ripped off, especially if you combine it with real world influences.

For example, I have a zone based on the Armageddon scenario from WH40K in my setting where a group of Orcs attempted to wipe out an Elven civilization and, while they initially failed, its snowballing and drawing in more Orcs on a daily basis.

3) Find a particularly bitching song, ideally one that tells a story. Use this as your starting point and then build from there. This can be good for singular sessions.

For example, from Free Will Sacrafice by Amon Amarth I got a session focused around preparing a village for an overwhelming assault. The players had to evacuate the civilians and find a way to hold back the enemy long enough for the civvies to escape. They chose to do this by recruiting the willing fighters of the village and arming them all. We got a massive, epic battle, a chase scene, a few speeches and 1 badass PC death from that particular session.
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>>45092310
This times 100

I literally just rip off every video game I liked or book characters

I've had a rogue BBEG one game who owned an island of mercernaries and had certain henchmen with supernatural powers. It was just metal gear solid 1 repurporsed in a fantasy setting with just as lenient sneaking

im currently trying to repurpose dark souls into a campaign right now, just having a lot of fun thinking of what to do with no towns but having some amazing recurring NPCS cause of the game
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>>45092165
Meanwhile, in reverse-town:

>finally come up with an original idea
>spill it out to the players
>"OH, JUST LIKE [movie/anime/video game/book that you haven't seen/watched/played/read]?"
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>>45092774
Originality is dead, nigga.
If people are already familiar with the idea you brought up, then you don't have to waste time explaining it in depth. Just have fun with it.
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Encourage your players to feel out their characters and help you build the world. The path that will yield the most fun and best storytelling will present itself. Now if your players are uncreative shits and want everything spoonfed, that's a problem...
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>>45090296
copy the story and setting of your favorite anime

if you love it, then your players will too.
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>>45092774
That's why you should always read/watch/play more things than your players. I'm not saying it's easy, but GMing never is.
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>>45091406
>tfw my players would probably help the people to burn the witch
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>>45093168
this

its not like you write a plot for a book/manga. Nobody will sue you if you copy paste a plot from your favorit book/manga
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>>45093228
Even if they saw the real witch and the kindly lady at the same time and knew they were different people? Even if she was a princess? Or if they wanted to fuck her? Make it work.
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>>45092722
paper mario poster here, i was actually trying to make a dark souls type campaign too, because my players dont fear or expect death enough. if you have any notes you'd like to share, i'd love some inspiration
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>>45092325
There's honestly nothing wrong with copying something completely, it gives the players a sense of familiarity and immersion in the world because they already have some idea of what's going on. The best campaigns I've been a part of were either incredibly simple, or just set in a popular work of fiction that all the players were familiar with. I'm currently working on an undertale campaign, not because I have any great ideas, but because the players will be invested and have a great time.
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>>45093671
Technically that encompasses part of my "X but" philosophy. Because as long as you're not making a carbon copy of the actual source material which would a grave mistake in the case of Undertale you are just making "X but".
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>>45093278
Not that guy but if you want to make your players fear death make sure you put them up against solid challenges and drop the message that resurrection either isn't a thing in your setting or its prohibitively expensive.

A level appropriate challenge should be set up in such a way that there's always a solid chance of 1/4 of the players dying. They don't need to, especially if they play it smart, but there needs to be the risk.

Getting them invested in the character helps too.
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>>45091827
>Read Dungeon World's GM section.
Absolutely this, the DW's view on how to run a game is one of the best things about it. Even if you are one of those guys who thinks DW is shit, this could actually help you in a mayor way.
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steal from history but fuck something up
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>>45090296
There's nothing wrong with running a pre-made campaign like an Adventure Path series. The only big things you'll need to worry about before starting is what setting you're playing and what proper nouns you have to change to make it fit.
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>>45090296
It all starts somewhere, OP. Start simple, and the ideas may flow better once you have been doing it for a while.
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>>45091232
Only be sure always to call it, please, research.
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>ITT uncreative people circlejerk and assure each other its ok to be a brain dead ideas theft incapable of originality or independent thought
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>>45103920
>and here we have an excellent example of someone who is clearly not a GM
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My main setting's some kind of crossover, so I don't have to create that much stuff, and most quests and storylines happen because I just describe the place they're in being lively and having stuff happening in it until they find something they think is a quest hook, which I'll try to create a quest around.

I'm really pulling everything out of my ass.
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>>45103959

Been a GM for years mate. You sound like you give a whole lot of excuses.
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How does one handle a murder mystery where a PC is the culprit. Something like Danganronpa.
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>>45090296

Read. Check out Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser.
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>>45090296

books films shows anime

then just do what you feel

pic related, how I felt when I just stopped caring about impressing my players and just did what came naturally.
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>>45092774
I have that happen regularly.
Most memorably, had a guy with portal powers before Wakfu or Portal.
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>>45103920
Originality is an illusion.
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>>45090296
Find a bunch of shit you like and mash it all together until it's something new.
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>>45107530
Have you ever heard of a barn that can shoot pies when it's horny?

Didn't think so.Originality does exist, just doesn't mean they're good ideas.
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>>45108541
>barn
Already exists
>shooting
Already exist
>pies
Already exist
>hornyness
Oh yes, already exist.

Your "originality" was just a bunch of unoriginal things mixed together.
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>>45107530
>>45108645
man you should write a book
i will now turn of my computer and rethink my life based on your posts
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>>45108666
Thank you Satan.
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>>45090296
I've heard the single greatest cure for writer's block is to be willing to kill off beloved characters.
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>>45090296
>musclebound barbarian smashing evil wizard in medieval land
That's a great start, arguably one of the better stories to go with
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vem7Ie-6iIo
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>>45090296
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlKL_EpnSp8
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>>45108706
Fuck you George.
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>>45090296
Do some thing you and your players like does not have to be the newest idea because no one will play like you and your party
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>>45093850
I dunno, i reckon Apocalypse worlds is better generically.
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>>45108645
This guy gets it. Also, your pie-shooting-fuckbarn idea is garbage in 99% of campaigns run. It's the creative equivalent of the retards who think being 'lolsorandom' is funny.
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>>45090296
Read books people dont know about. Steal story elements and combine with other stolen story elements. Neil Gaiman is a good pick.
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