Monday, August 15, 2016

RPG a Day - Day 15

Today's topic: What is your best source of inspiration for RPGs?

In general? Television.

It's actually a great medium for pilfering ideas. Most of your stories are either set up to be resolved over a 30-60 minute episode, or in bits and pieces over the course of a season. That's a very similar structure to most RPGs, which will either resolve plots over a single game session or over the course of several sessions that form a campaign.

Of course, it also depends on how you're swiping from the medium. Things like pacing, structure, or general plot lines can be great ideas to pull. Get too specific about the details, though, and you could end up with problems. You might end up expecting your players to respond the way the characters in the show did, which is never a good strategy because it's risky to expect the players to respond in any given manner.

Another problem you might run into is the players actually recognizing the source of your inspiration. If you borrowed too liberally, it can spoil the entire outcome for them. For example, for my short-lived Sentinels of the Multiverse RPG, the plot was essentially the first season of Young Justice, abbreviated to fit into six sessions and adjusted to be specific to the Sentinel Comics setting.

It was a fun game, to be sure, but one of my players recognized it right away, which definitely had a deleterious effect on his enjoyment of the game.
The members of Young Justice Sentinels

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