I agree with this. It got me thinking: if you have to exercise your imagination - if it's a muscle as much as your triceps or glutes - then why not do more formal imagination training? Here are my patented daily routines for becoming a better imaginer.
This is for use during busy periods, illness, or for beginner imaginers to get into the habit. Roll up as many D&D PCs as you can in five minutes (using 3d6 for stats, in order). Just do the dice rolls. Then spend 10 minutes coming up with a name, personality, class, and distinguishing feature for each one. Do six sets, with five minutes rest in between. Increase the number of sets as your speed and fitness improve. Allow yourself one day of rest a week.
Imagination Circuit Training
The key to proper circuit training is rotating through between 4 and 8 different exercises without resting in between. A standard routine might run as follows, with each 10 minutes for each set, repeated three times.
- Imagine a new monster. Give it stats.
- Imagine a new NPC wizard. Equip him with treasure and two assistants.
- Draw the top level of a dungeon.
- Pick four monsters at random from a bestiary of your choice and give them each a replacement ability for an existing one.
- Invent a new magic item.
- Invent a new spell.
- Pick four monsters at random from a bestiary of your choice. Invent a society comprising those four monsters.
- Create a mini-hex map of six hexes.
- Create a random encounter table for a type of terrain.
- Create a d30 table for a means of randomly determining something of your choice.
- Think of a new PC race or class.