None of us are immune: we’re all crippled by creative block at some point or another! And it’s seldom worse than when you’re staring at an empty doc the day before your next session.
People often tell me that browsing my maps is a good remedy, and that the colorful settings help stir up the creative juices. For example, my Japan-inspired stuff might inspire a tribe of katana-wielding elves, or my arena battle maps may urge them to run a whole gladiatorial mini-campaign. Be it a single encounter or a whole chapter of lore, all it takes is a small seed.
Working with that premise, Adam from Here Be Taverns has recently completed a web tool that I believe to be a cut above. Introducing the Here Be Taverns Landmark Generator!
It’s a deceptively simple tool but – knowing how useful such tools are to me – one that I was glad to provide the artwork for. Let me explain a little about how I use these tools to beat my own blank-page-paralysis…
Adam’s Landmark Generator is a web tool that generates an array of landmark cards each time you hit the “Roll” button, and each card is made up of three evocative elements: a name, a map, and a short descriptive paragraph.
Does it at first seem too rigid, or too basic? The simple trick is this: don’t try and use a single card as if it were gospel, just collect the elements that resonate with you.
Do you like the name “Circle of the Harpy”? You can drop the attached map or the description if you want, and just work with that. Think you’d enjoy expanding on the premise of a struggling port? Go ahead and throw out the “Sazi’s Harbour” name and map if you want.
Your mind will probably be buzzing with ideas after only a few rolls. I for one am already imagining a fishing port whose townsfolk are harassed daily by harpies who nest in the nearby cliffs and fly out each evening to raid the fishing boats on their return journey. From there I might write up some NPCs, a “protect the ship and its cargo” encounter, and another encounter in case the PCs take the fight to the harpy nests. Sounds like a session prepped to me!
In summary: hit “Roll” a few times, keep the ingredients you like, and sweep the rest into the proverbial bin. With the ingredients you keep you can cook up your own unique Dubious Food, just as if you were Link from Breath of the Wild. 😉
All session prep and all worldbuilding is essentially done in this way, so I hope that – along with all the movies, books, games, modules, and subconscious influences you enjoy – this might be a useful new source of ideas for you! I for one find the unpredictability the perfect cure for my own writer’s block.
You can try it out below:
Oh, and Adam’s got more than just landmarks to offer on his website, Here be Taverns! You can click the image below to explore the rest of his flavor-filled generators:
Where to next? You can support me and browse the 200+ map and asset packs that I’ve created over the years here:
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