(a broadside)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

[RPG Blog Carnival] "What Inspires Your Games?"

From the very nice Campaign Mastery comes the titular topic of discussion.

Specifically, "what non-game media has inspired your game and how?"

While I can easily trot out any number of novels, fantasy and otherwise, or point to a  selection of films that I've filed free of their serial numbers, these don't have quite the depth of material to plumb as our world's own written history.

As a history major, I'm sure that I'm biased. However, the fact that our history is so chock full of madness, murder, and monstrosity, of political maneuvering, quid pro quo and backstabbing, that there is more than enough material to contribute to any number of campaigns from here to eternity.

Let no one tell you that history is boring. History is nuts. It's full of epic tales and heroes and villains, each one more brilliant or mad or zealous than the last.

Need a passionate leader to stir up the common man against rapacious nobility? Look no further than Father Hidalgo of old Mexico. I could probably put together an entire campaign from his history, changing only names and locations.

Need a setting? I like to mix various places from the past into a blender with another culture or a novel/film/lone idea and see what happens. For example, I had an idea that involved mixing Pre-Tzarist Russia and The Pirates of Dark Water. Instead of one vast rocky wilderness, break up the continent into a massive archipelago ruled by a horde of petty princes, where life is only worth a blood price, and replace the horsemen Mongol invaders with a massive fleet of pirates. Bam. Skeleton of an idea. Could be fun.

The plots and personalities of history can be skewed and reinvented in a practically infinite number of ways. I can and do appropriate history for settings, the people who live in those settings, their cultures, and the plots that drive them.

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