I recently had the pleasure of sitting down for several hours with a friend of mine and help him plan out an RPG campaign. Not his first campaign, of course, but one that presented some unique challenges. Namely, we needed to create a whole new set of progressively more godlike classes.
And branches withing those classes as they level up.
And it all had to be balanced.
And he only had a few scattered ideas about how it should all work. He was stuck. That’s where I came in. Not that it was his fault, of course; I’ve been there before, as has any other writer. Getting a second opinion is sometimes the only way to work around writer’s block. I’ve noticed that the best games I run usually start with a brainstorm between myself and a friend. It’s easier for someone else to see the flaws in your work, and help you cover those issues. Two brains are better than one, and all that.
Anyways, we sat down and went over what he already had written. Then, we put it all on a table, and took a long look at all the empty places on the tree. With little else to go from, we were able to fill in a few obvious gaps, and start on some others. Then, we turned to media.
Unsurprisingly, it’s just about impossible to come up with something entirely original anymore. Every story has already been told. All that comes now, is how you tell your version. So what do writers do when you’re stuck? Research! Of course, most of our “research” involved watching silly videos online. But just as importantly, we rested our brains and got recharged. Soon, we were back at it, hammering away at those gaps.
In the end, we had twenty-one classes, two races, and an entire new type of magic. All branching from a single concept that started as a joke challenge several weeks before.