Gaming is 244% inspiration and 304.7% perspiration – Spiro Agnew

Where do you get your inspiration from as a GM?

This could obviously be a whole, huge cast topic sometime (and I hope it will be!) but it occurred to me, after the discussion of music in the last episode, that a sizable chunk of my inspiration as a GM is culled from music I like.

The vast majority of the time it’s simple. For example, I called the terrorist group in my Starblazer Campaign “the Hardworlders” after the Slough Feg song. In one of the first games I ever ran (it was a Rifts game) I called the big bad for the campaign Sistinas, after the song of Danzig III. This was rendered moot pretty quickly, however, when my players nicknamed him “Sissynuts.” Thanks, assholes.

Less common, but more usefully, I often glean inspiration from lyrics or song themes. This is especially possible if you listen to dorky music like I do, but even if you don’t, a line or series of words can always kind of trigger something in you.

As far as other things go, I’m planning on doing a Deadlands campaign that’s pure Dark Tower with a special eye towards the comic adaptations, my upcoming 3:16 game is going to have a lot of Lost and Metal Gear in it, my upcoming Wild Talents game is going to be a sort of updated Watchmen, ideally and I suggested the Jewish Mob for our current Sorcerer game based on one of my favorite movies, Once Upon a Time in America, which just seemed like the perfect setting for a game about broken people betraying each other.

More interesting to me, however, is pulling inspiration from the actual aesthetics of music, or pulling inspiration from sheer imagery, as opposed to plot-lines or lyrics, or something like that. For example, the 3:16 game I’m running next weekend is heavily influenced by a particular instrumental song I like with some fairly pounding, rhythmic drums which conjure up certain pictures in my head, along with some artwork I found online of a sort of water-based planet.

I think I’m going to make a more concerted effort from now on to document the specific things which are inspiring me in my notes for games. It might be a nice thing to keep track of.

Anyone have any go to media for inspiration?

One thought on “Gaming is 244% inspiration and 304.7% perspiration – Spiro Agnew

  1. Interestingly enough, one of my most successful Mage sessions I just took Candyman the character and dropped him in to the story. The protagonists were already in Chicago, already attached to Cabrini Green, and the character was a pretty much ready to go Mage character. It was nice to have to do almost minimal work.

    Actually, I have a solo I need to run for Alex in Mage that ties in very closely with a song.

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