I have lots of terrible ideas. I mean mind-boggling stupid ideas. What do I do with them? I write them down in a little notebook (hereby referred to as the “Idea Notebook”) that I keep with me.
The ideas that go inside are disorganized and diverse. NPCs, dungeon rooms, world-building, villains, magic items, monsters, etc all go in the Idea Notebook. I try not to filter my ideas and let even the most ridiculous ideas go in. For example, I have thought of a monk antagonist based on this video of “Diemon Dave”.
The way I see it, if even 5% of my ideas are good or usable, I should write them all down. I write down 20 ideas and I will have 1 good idea. I write down 100 ideas and I will have 5 good ideas. Of course if I only write down a few ideas, then the chances of a good idea making it to paper are minimal.
The obvious use of the Idea Notebook is for preparing adventures. However, it is useful at the table as well. If the session drifts into strange territory that you were not prepared for (which it should), you can quickly whip up something from the Idea Notebook. It might be weird, it might be out of place, but it will be something!
In conclusion, “JUDY CHOP!”
P.S. You have my full permission to use my Diemon Dave idea. Here it is:
A low-level Monk and 2 commoners (his disciples) is blocking the road that the party is traveling on. The Monk has low stats all around.
The Monk is not dressed somewhat shabbily dressed in a way that suggests that he is a low-class individual. Once he opens his mouth, the party will know that he is a low-class individual. The 2 commoners are dressed normally, but are enamored by the Monk’s “wisdom” and “teaching”.
The Monk addresses the party and asks who they are / where they are going. If they insult him or otherwise address him in any way that is does not show him the proper respect that he thinks he is due, he attacks suddenly by throwing a small object at the nearest party member as a distraction. As he attacks, he loudly announces the attacks. “JUDY CHOP!”, “KUNG FU KICK”, “NINJEE CHOP”, etc.
When brought to less than 25% hp, he surrenders. The commoners do not fight, but watch the battle with rapt attention. If the Monk actually lands a blow or actually brings down a member of the party, the commoners clap and cheer.
If the party does address him respectfully, he insists on taking an hour of their time to teach them some of his techniques, because they have proven themselves worthy of his wisdom. Should the party ever attempt to use any of his techniques in battle, give them a penalty of some sort. Seriously, he does not know what he is doing.