Over the last year or so I’ve ditched being active on most social media. The only one I actually visit with regularity anymore is Reddit. Partially this is because I enjoy “consuming” it more than participating in it, but also because the focus there is on the thing not the person. Compared to Twitter / Facebook / Instagram, the focus of the “reward system” is really on the thing. Sure, getting Karma makes you feel good, but no one really checks your karma when you post to see if you are worthy and that makes the focus be on the thing created rather than the person creating it. Grognard rant about social media aside, there are a PLETHORA of cool D&D related things produced on Reddit and it has totally subsumed my prep brain.
There I am, Just Browsing Reddit and Bam That would be cool in my game!
So there I am, just innocently browsing reddit instead of being 100% focused on my day job and I see something, something that sparks my imagination. It may be an image, it may be a video, it may be a battlemap, but whatever it is it grabs me. This thing would be cool to use in my next game (or the game 3 months down the road, or the game I’m envisioning doing next) and I just want to grab it and go. Luckily, that’s super doable with Reddit’s interface. Sharing things out is super easy, especially if I’m on my phone.
Depending on how you curate your reddit threads you may be seeing a lot of D&D stuff already, but there are a ton of interesting elements that could be used without being D&D specific. Nature, “interesting”, architecture, art, character, game specific, video game, media, etc. all have various posts that might just jump at you. The semi-random nature of reddit also means you’ll see some things that you may never have imagined being relevant to your game but suddenly you realize that this little thing might be a perfect fit for that plot hole you’ve got. That’s the beauty of this method, there’s always one more thing and it leaps out at you rather than you specifically searching it out.
Another great benefit of Reddit as an inspiration point is that there are often images attached. Battlemaps are usually shared (and often give you links to new Patreons like CZE and Peku who get too much of my Patreon budget right now solely because they are too damn good), images can be shown to players in Roll20 or at your home games (when Covid is done ruining our gaming) with ease, and videos that spark some joy can be played or soundtracks incorporated with ease.
Subreddits that are Rife for Inspiration
Not every subreddit is going to be perfect for this process but there are a few that are really great. Be warned, there are some cuss words in the following titles. It’s just a trend in some reddits. Reddit itself has some (a lot of) toxic communities, but properly curated there are some really good sources for inspiration, just be warned that while it has it’s Han Solo moments… also
you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy
So, just be warned. There are parts of reddit that aren’t hard to find that are (like any social media) pretty darn bad. Just curate, turn NSFW posts off, and go someplace like /r/mademesmile.
The Whole Process – Click Share, Share To Trello
I wrote a previous article about using Trello for your Campaigns because of how good it is at organizing all the various campaigns in various lists. Well, the combination of Reddit’s Share feature and add card to Trello is super easy to capture things in inspiration lists. The list for my current campaign has about 93 cards in it that link to maps, ideas, videos, or other inspiring elements. On the phone it is super easy as well, almost easier than sharing from the computer where I have to copy and paste the link.
There’s really not a lot to this process, but it’s a way I hadn’t really realized I could use Reddit when I started digging into it. Trello as a backend of inspiration is super easy, and a source of continual infinite scroll inspiration makes coming up with ideas incredibly easy.
You could use Click Share -> Trello with Pinterest, Deviantart, DNDBeyond, etc. any kind of data resource. When you are ready to grab and expand upon the seed of creativity, it’s a simple click to open the original source and jump to it.
What subreddits do you use that could be good inspiration? Do you organize your campaign materials in some other way? What are your best sources for inspiration?