#RPGaDay2015 Day 26 - Favorite Inspiration For Your Game

As far as my gaming inspirations go, I think I've a number that are pretty normal. I like listening to music while I'm prepping for a game, with my choice varying wildly from jazz to industrial. I like jotting ideas down, sometimes electronically and sometimes in a high quality notebook, armed with my Pilot Vanishing Point fountain pen - yes, my technology varies from old school to the latest and greatest.

One thing I really rely on is history. I love learning about the past. Sometimes about the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Sometimes Colonial and Revolutionary America. I've read much on the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The post-World War I period, the Great Depression.

I especially enjoy learning about how people lived their lives in different periods. I pictured people similar to my great grandparents when I visited the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in Manhattan. I've had a blast getting into debates with character actors in Colonial Williamsburg (they love it when they learn you're from the colony of Massachusetts Bay...) I imagine I only take a small portion of what I learn to my games - it would not make for an entertaining game to inflict a gazillion little historical details on my players, details which actually detract from the game. But little anecdotes and events help bring the past to life. And sometimes you find an obscure event, like the 1919 Molasses Flood in Boston, that just screams to be used in an adventure. Even when I'm in a fantasy setting not grounded in our world, I enjoy borrowing from our history. In Eberron, which I wrote of a few days ago, the inter-World War period is rich with inspiration. Historic empires give great inspirations for what might happen in a fantasy or science fiction setting. Often you'll find minor players in history who, with a few changes, make for great NPCs.

And it's something I'd be interested in whether I was gaming or not. So why not make use of it?

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