Thursday, March 21, 2019

30 Day 5 Minute Challenge: Day 1

So... We'll see if I actually stay true to this, but I've decided to turn the "5 minute challenge" into 30 day challenge. Every day, I will do at least one 5 minute challenge. Depending on my mood I may make it category-less, or pick a specific category, or if people suggest categories in the comments I'll do that. I'll try not to skip a day but if I do I'll make up for it asap.

In my last 5 minute challenge post I did category-less, worldbuilding, and bestiary. I think I'll start this one off with category-less again, but after that we'll see.

Hopefully I'll be able to make a new "real" post this weekend, but in the mean time... Go!

  • A restaurant that serves only foods that are cooked or cut alive at the table
  • A flamethrower made from the organs of a dragon
  • White blood cell slimes
  • Juggling baseball bat energy ball spiking villain / NPC
  • A mage spreads life onto new planets from the bacteria on meteors casting meteor bombardment spells
  • Optimization function over atom-collisions to reverse engineer a hash function to extract "meaningful" data out of "nothing"
I will admit, a couple of these were poorly fleshed out ideas I was already sitting on. Didn't come up with as many as I would have liked, but I think some of these are pretty cool.


  1. Some ideas for future five-minute challenges:

    1. Encounter table for an area which builds its lore/character through implication and reference

    2. Traps

    3. Making monsters/spells/enchanted objects from superheroes/villains, or vice-versa

    4. Take five one-line prompts from your slush pile and spend a minute on each fleshing it out a bit more

    5. Non-adventurer professions which could only exist in a fantasy world (maybe a particular fantasy world)

    1. I'm not totally sure I understand what you mean for 1, 3, and 4, but I'll try to do these, thanks for the suggestion. I feel like these more specific prompts are going to be more difficult, might need to build up to them haha.

    2. For 1: Just a themed/flavourful encounter table done in 5 minutes

      For 3: Gotta be honest, didn’t really think about this one too hard. Something like taking an existing character to inspire a D&Dish thing (the Joker => a monster that can only be harmed by slapstick and pratfalls) or the other way around (what kind of origin story might result in the powers/general appearance of a displaced beast?)

      For 4: Take some of these slush pile ideas you’ve posted, such as “White blood cell slimes”, then spend part of the five minutes on each developing them further, or riffing on them (e.g. the wbc slimes are green slimes converted by a rite to turn a dungeon into a living thing, like real white blood cells they become more effective the more they’ve encountered you before, a specific form of dungeon life (viral goblins?) can be used to destroy the slimes although this makes more of that life as a consequence)

      I’m kind of the opposite creatively, find it easier to work within more defined constraints (e.g. faster with coming up with ideas for “elf-knights” than for “warriors”).

    3. Ah I see what you're saying now for 1/3/4. Ya, for these 5 minute challenges I'm mainly free-associating, so I feel like having constraints adds this layer of effortful inhibition that it probably would be good for me to practice, but that I struggle with. My ideas tend to come as a reaction to things I experience, and then whatever builds "logically" from that, so to have to top-down start from a constrained position is difficult, but I'd like to try...