For some finding inspiration for their next Dungeons & Dragons character can be difficult. A way to solve that difficulty is to find some part of our actual reality as a starting point, and then give it a twist. Maybe add something magical, or heroic, or tragic — and then smash something else from reality into that idea as well.
Over on my Twitter account I ocaissionally present my every day life as inspiration for D&D characters. This series always starts with “My next D&D character is“.
Let’s take this Propagandist (or Bard) concept.
I had recently been gifted a knife for which I had no sheath. When searching for a way to protect both it and the family I remembered my Field Notes notebook from the End Pages series. It was the perfect length. Then, springing from that secret spot in the mind where inspiration resides I thought of a character who stored their blades inside notebooks.
They certainly write in the book as well, because they must — tracking those who have wrong them or those they care about; jotting down a possible secret; picking up the stories during their travels. Basically they use the notebook the way normal real people do, except it also has a dagger in it.
While helping my wife prep homes for sale my mind sits within itself and wonders what magic would be helpful to complete this act. My latest idea was for someone who isn’t smart, but they are either lazy or overworked. So they took the fast way out and made a Pact with the Great Old One. Their Tome is full of rituals to help make living life easier. This warlock isn’t evil. They just needed a way to make living life easier. Now they are on a quest for a mighty power.
Or, maybe your character studied to learn Prestidigitation because that’s what they needed to do in order to be better at helping the family business. They dreamed of being a warrior. Then one day those things combined.
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During the winter you see an ice sculpture — your next PC is a Water Genasi that carves Ice Sculptures. When the weather is too warm they create the ice that’s needed for sculpting.
I’ve been a sports writer spanning from amateur to semipro to pro (you can hire me), so many of my ideas revolve around sports. Each with nuance and difference, and yet all come about through following sports.
During this whole pandemic period I came up with the idea that the party healer also heals the mind. This was entirely a creation due to my own personal mindspace during the pandemic. I needed a party healer that heals body and mind. The mind of adventurers is inherently broken. Like Special Forces soldiers they see some shit and though they work for noble cause (often) there are still mental scars.
What would the heroic version of my time as a linguist look like? A Mastermind or Inquisitive Rogue, halfling (duh) who studies the cultures and communities of the world, granting them a bit of insight when they fight, but also able to operate as the party face.
Inspiration is everywhere. It’s in beer, in mushrooms, in trees, in walks down by the river, in your trips to the thrift shop, in the social media you consume. Our life is filled with interesting characters and characteristics. These can be your next PC or NPCs.
A few of them I’ve statted up over at DnDBeyond. Feel free to use them. If you do just kindly share that you got the idea from Full Moon Storytelling.