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We all get into those slumps. The one where writers block just slams us and we cannot figure out how to reply, how to start a new thread, how to get our character to interact with another. It can be difficult to get out of them. One of my favorite ways to do this is to come up with a random list of character prompts. Just small one sentence thread descriptions that could be fun, random, silly, hectic, chaotic, or insane for anyone to be a part of.


What are some of your favorite thread prompts?

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Thread prompts or character prompts? It isn't the same!


Character prompt: a smuggler ship captain, former mercenary, with a strange code of honour


Thread prompt: a smuggler, a pirate and a Navy officer have to work together to solve a mystery.

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@Elena I really thought that was going to read as "A smuggler, a pirate, and a Navy officer walk into a bar".



To be perfectly honest, I've never used (or thought of using) any prompts to help myself figure out how to start things off or where to go. I have absolutely 0 to share, but will now be stalking this thread for ideas. lol

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I love action and adventure, so most of the things I come up with fall into this category. Regardless, one important thing to note is that if you're really stuck, throw something at your character that affects him NOW, not something that will affect him in three posts. Sometimes interest dies in the build up, and build up isn't always necessary.


For example, one prompt I like to give is to make characters be stuck in an elevator. Don't have the thread start with them at a coffee shop as they buy their drinks and mosey towards the office for the day. Start in the elevator, coffees in hand. Just go for it. Heck, start after the elevator has already stopped.


I think roleplayers get stuck on "setting the scene" and often lose interest before the meat of the thread even starts.


So here are my ideas. Some are topic starters and some are things to spice up a dull topic. Most can work either way, but it's up to you to decide.


- Stuck in an elevator.

- Haunted house, office, or other building

- Sudden fire

- Witness an accident

- Find injured person or animal

- Spill a secret*

- Mistaken identity

- Wrongfully accuse someone

- Find a lost child

- Power outage

- Locked in a store after hours

- Sudden unconsciousness

- Mugging/theft

- Spill drink on an NPC

- Witness a fight

- See a strange/scary news report on TV


Ideas for characters that are more familiar with each other:

- Bad news: loss of job, death, etc.

- Good news: new job, pregnancy, etc.

- Reunion (between characters or NPC and characters)


*Why tell strangers a secret? Have you ever been somewhere such as an airport and people are over sharing? They take advantage of the fact that they think they'll never see you again and are willing to tell you more personal information.


Another thing to note is that prompts don't have to be at face value. Found a lost child? What if that kid was babbling demonic nonsense? What if the kid had blood on his hands? What if the kid has a tag that says to return him because he's lost again? What if the house the kid leads you back to is abandoned?


Try to look at events as more than just a single thread event. Let them change your character in some way. Let them inspire a new thread between your character and your RP partners. So they see a news report on a television at the bar . . . Make the news report something that will bring your characters together. They see reports of a kidnapping? Maybe they realize that they both know a person who fits the suspect's description . . . And it's the same person. Do they call the cops or go to investigate? Do they call it a coincidence and leave it, only to dwell in guilt in a later thread when they realize they could have stopped the murder?


Be creative, and don't take things at face value.


I hope this helps.

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I've tried using these when I am stuck with an idea for a starter, but I rarely find anything that is relevant, or even unique. Usually a block occurs because I've run out of ideas and would like to start something new but don't want to do something I've done before. (Heck, one of the most annoyingly common starters on twitter is something that surrounds food and it's something I ignore/try to avoid now because it's been done a million times already.) Why do I find they don't help? When coming up with prompts, they usually centre around something in the 'modern' world, which, if you're rping something in a high fantasy or medieval setting, it just wouldn't work, (they may work in a futuristic sci-fi one, I suppose) and this is even when I've looked through tumblr blogs dedicated to Middle-earth characters. I've tried using Dnd plot generators for an idea, and although there are some interesting ideas, if you cycle through them enough times, you usually find that the 'plots' it comes up with are variations on the same thing.


Writing prompts that are vague enough that can be done in any type of setting are more useful that those which are more specific.

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@Icewolf, can you give examples of prompts that are vague enough to work for multiple settings? I'm not familiar with high fantasy settings, so I don't really have any ideas except excluding the prompts that involve modern technology.


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