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Discuss three setting ideas or ideas for elements of settings that you got from movies/books/TV/etc. that you have read or seen recently. These do not need to be full-fledged settings, but can be single elements that could be incorporated into existing games.
Well, I have borrowed quite a bit for a few games from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.

In our D&D world, Lou and I have taken the Aes Sedai and made them the priests of our chief god of Light (aka good), The High Lord. The High Lord knows the Beginnings and Endings of All Things, and isn't really concerned with people as anything other than tools to get the outcome.

So the priests, divided into their ajas like the books, each have their own purpose toward that end (Blues with causes, Yellows with healing, Grees with fighting the Dark, Reds with destroying evil in any way shape or form (and probably would get rid of neutrals too, if they could manage it), Whites with diplomacy, Browns with knowledge/learning). One change we made was to allow both male and female priests, which isn't that big of a deal since it really was the structure we imported rather than the whole concept.

I also borrowed his Tel'aran'rhiod, the World of Dreams, for my WEF Amber game. It wasn't until well into the description of the world to the player who is involved in this that I realized I was taking the concept from the WoT books. Basically there is a World of Dreams that sits sort of above ours (and in Amber, it parallels shadow). When people dream, they can sometimes touch this world. And anything that happens to someone in that world happens to them in Real Life. If you die in your sleep, likely you touched Tel'aran'rhiod and were killed there.

And lastly, from Wheel of Time, we took the concept of the Age of Legends. A time when magic was used for everything, empires were great, what would be great magical artifacts today were then simple child's toys. And of course, the Age had to end, and end it did.

I also borrowed, for my ATF game, the idea of floating cities, specifically from the anime, Laputa, though that's not a sole reference for flying cities. I just liked the concept.

I'm really not big on adding influences and elements like that into my games. I've always thought it was a neat idea, but I can't do it on the spur of the moment. I am a spur of the moment GM; many of my game sessions just happen because of how things flow from my mouth, so I really don't take a lot of time to craft other ideas into the adventure or setting.

If I think of any others after reading the posts linked here, I'll be sure to update.

Comments (2)

For me it's always quite the reverse: read a book and think, "Oh, I'll file that away and use it sometime later." The bathhouse thing I read six months ago, and it still hasn't come up in the game. But I know it will.

Our D&D3E game's a hodgepodge of worlds too, with great influence from Feist. His "Mockers" thieves' guild is in our Middle Lands as the Valantee, at least in structure, and the Assembly of Kelewan that he and Janny Wurts worked on, in our continent of Amber. Thari's even the name of the diplomatic tongue...

Mark Rein-Hagen is quoted as saying, at least in the RPG industry, "Originality is in hiding your sources."

[Of course I think Bill Gates said that once, too...]

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