How To Generate Ideas With Mini-Plots

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0933

Table of Contents:

Here’s a quick and cool plotting tip from fellow Roleplaying Tips GM Jason Brandt in response to my Plot Seeds Generator:

Hi Johnn,

Another way to generate ideas is mini-plots. Short one liners that answer three questions at once:

  1. What is the thing that gets everyone involved?
  2. What is an interesting reason that would cause this to happen?
  3. What is a fun way to resolve this? (Possibly outside of combat.)

Cool beans, Jason. Let’s take this for a whirl. Here are my three hacks at using this framework:

The Feast

(1) A feast held to (2) reward the PCs after a successful service or quest goes awry when (3) victims of PC actions come for revenge/recompense.

Down A Well

(1) Rescue of a drowning victim (2) who fell (was pushed) in a well is complicated because (3) the victim is scared to come back out.

Forest Fire

(1) Smoke rouses everyone from sleep because a forest fire has sprung up (2) during a fight between fire and air mephits, (3) but it can be contained if the mephits help.

Doing these three tests, I found the format works well, it flames the imagination, and it gives us food for thought.

Well done, Jason. Thanks for the tip!