A blogger’s dozen (Part V): 13 ideas for RPG articles

Hi, RPG fans who write stuff for fun! Do you like to create gaming content for your blog, favorite forum, or RPG magazine (even if no longer Pyramid *sniff*)? 

Sure! That describes a lot of you! 

But do you sometimes run short of ideas for stuff to write about?

Nope! That describes none of you!

Well. Although RPG bloggers/writers never have an empty list of writing topics, I earlier tossed up a handful of posts on ideas for RPG articles: suggestions for GM resources, player advice, or any other fun topics that I myself have written a bit about, or that I’d like to tackle if I had the time, or that I’d just like to read if someone would write it up. Most of my “ideas” are utterly normal stuff you’ll already find all over blogs and magazines; there’s nothing original about most. But who knows. Maybe a couple will spark someone to think “hey, yeah, that’d make a good article”. And if nothing else, it’s mildly fun to toss the ideas out there.

I posted a fourth installment of these ideas two years ago, and promptly forgot that I still had a bunch more on my list. So here’s Part V in a list of (pretty obvious) ideas to spark RPG bloggers’ imaginations. Maybe.

53. It’s Jax Maxxon, spaceport panhandler!

Write up a half-dozen “normal” NPCs: kids, merchants, pickpockets, farmers, whatever. Every GM wants more of those.

54. “No! Not the lost Curse of the Seven Planes!”

Reveal some hidden, forbidden, long-lost, or otherwise little-known spell for PC mages to rediscover (or bury forever). You’ll probably want to note why it’s not part of the standard grimoires. (Dangerous effects like corrupting influence or “Caution: May summon Dagon” are always a good reason.)

55. Potions R Us

Describe a shop for a common game setting. Whether it purveys arms and armor, magic items, adventuring gear, star maps, or just boring old foodstuffs, a shop with a name, colorful proprietor, and a selection of special offers is always fun stuff.

56. “Uh, I think your barbarian just wrecked our Ring-the-Bell game”

Write up a game world festival or other event, with several adventure seeds. A festival is a great place to let PCs show off lesser-used abilities, in situations that are low-stakes, fun, and filled with social encounters.

57. Plant bestiary (herbiary?)

Detail five interesting plants for a fantasy or sci-fi world: say, a unique medicinal herb, a wood with unusual properties, a rare fruit with value to alchemists, a root that attracts a certain creature, and a bush with fruit that repels some monster.

58. Minor location of interest

Create a map and details for a small village, outpost, colony, etc. (Okay, article ideas don’t get much more obvious than this – but I don’t think I’ve listed this before, and it’s the sort of thing that’s always useful to GMs.) 

59. “You see… three angry knights confronting a terrified street urchin. What do you do?”

Briefly outline five interesting encounters for a game setting (medieval city, Western town, spaceport, stretch of highway, etc.). The kind of encounter is useful for spicing up overland travel or making “wandering villager” rolls.

60. The little tomb under the tiny hamlet

Mini dungeon! Make a micro-adventure out of a one-room tomb, a small cave, a big hollow tree (!), etc., good for 30 minutes of play. These are perfect for wayside “lone monster terrorizing the village” interludes.

61. “If I were making a game… “

Well, what if? Whether you are or aren’t tinkering with some home-brew game, what are some features you’d like to include? Write up a few thoughts on bits you’d borrow from other games, features of your favorite game that you wouldn’t care to keep, or just all-new funky ideas of your own.

62. “We set out next Thursday? But it’s the holiest day of the Dwarven calendar!”

Describe some rituals, observances, practices, etc. of a specific game-setting religion (or make something generic enough for use in many fictional religions). Fantasy games in particular can often use some detail in their generic faiths.

63. “Oh yeah? Well, your mother is a łeûmmōżčep.”

Create a few dozen words for a game language –- human or otherwise. (Bonus points if you can avoid the ever-popular a’post’ro’ph’e madness of sci-fi/fantasy.)

64. “Awake, Rangers! To the battle bison!”

Create a new type of mount for PCs, enemy races, etc. (The mount should certainly offer some cool, powerful, or otherwise fun features – but if horses still reign in your game world, consider why that is. The reason could be as simple as high cost, rarity, or difficulty of handling the exotic mounts.)

65. De-obsolescence

Take a supplement or adventure made for an older version of your favorite game system (like these books for GURPS 3e, many never updated for 4e) and offer a conversion guide or other update notes to make the supplement useful for players of the game’s current version. (Needless to say, make sure you’re doing so within the permissions granted by the rights holder.)

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