Dungeons & Dragons Online

Brainstorming posts deserve upvotes too

I'm very aware of the irony of the tag, but it's been on my mind for a while.

There's a pattern on this sub of attention being given to posts that offer advice far more than posts that ask people to brainstorm ideas with them. While there's really great advice out there, stuff that's helped me directly, I think this misses the full potential of what r/DMAcademy can be. A sub that has such a broad collection of DMs from all over the world should be the perfect space to ask for help brainstorming scenarios/monsters/NPCs etc.

DMing is isolating; you can't talk to your players about your ideas, and if you're anything like me, talking through ideas with other people almost always leads to things you would never have thought of on your own. 9 times out of 10 I see these posts floating at 3-20 upvotes, or only upvoted 88% of the time. Why people would go through and downvote other DMs asking for that kind of help is beyond me. It should be one of the things this sub does best.

The corollary to this is people who DO respond, but only to tell OP that they shouldn't even be worried about whatever their idea is in the first place, or they just shouldn't do it at all. This is a really easy trap to fall into; I've caught myself doing it several times. One time someone was asking how they could nerf a lich to throw at their level five party. I got halfway through a comment about how that was a bad idea and realized I wasn't being helpful at all. They were asking for something specific. They wanted ideas, not rejection. I personally might not do that. I might think it's better to let liches be the powerful badasses they are and give players the satisfaction of getting to the point that they CAN face them at full power. But all was doing was saying "no". It's the opposite of brainstorming. Instead I opened the post saying "Consider these factors before you decide to do this, but if you still want to here are some ideas."

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New DMs will do things that they later realize maybe wasn't the best idea. We've all done it. We all still probably do. But if they're not asking "SHOULD I do this", maybe allow experience to be their teacher instead of just saying "your idea sucks and if you were better you would never have thought of that." That may not be your intent, but the impact is still demoralizing.

Look through the new posts and not just the front page. Offer ideas. Work with them rather than against them. And bump their ideas up. It takes courage to put your ideas out into the wilds of reddit. To put it mildly, it's not always a very nice place.

There are always exceptions to every rule and I'm sure someone will point them out below. But as a general rule, I think it would make this sub a more supportive and helpful place to be.

TL;DR Upvote and engage in good faith with posts asking for help with design, and stop outright rejecting ideas without offering something positive as well.


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