I have a fun little trick to help me come up with inspiration from time to time for my games. If I am out of ideas I will sometimes hop onto the internet and head to a few of my go-to resources for off the wall inspiration. A few minutes on these sites is usually all it takes to get my creative juices flowing.
Satire New pages & YouTube and Paranormal/Cryptozoology sites I find are often much better than any plot generator program. It is rare that I can not find in a matter of minutes something that would make side quest, plot or rumor to toss out for my players in any game session.
If you run a Monster of the week style game these resources can provide you with everything from News Clippings to Video footage that you can bring to the table depending on your games setting.
For example, I logged on over to Paranormal News clicked the tab for Cryptozoology. And there it was.
Sightings of eight-foot werewolf known as Old Stinker spark panic across city
Residents report seeing the beast on SEVEN recent ocassions
As I mentioned earlier it is likely that I could put it in any setting or a one-shot game such as a story plot or a hook for my players. For the most part, this story can be delivered into the hands in many ways.
- Now obviously in a modern game or a monster of the week session, I likely would just use this article as is for a jumping off point for my players.
- In a Fantasy game, I might have a Town Cryer or a post on a job board draw attention to the story.
- In a 1920 story, a news stand or radio broadcast would be my vehicle of choice to get the hook to my players.
- And so on..
But is that all I could get from this ? I mean it does spark some creative ideas but maybe if I look past the headline there is more that I could mine from this. As it turns out yes there was a lot that I could make use of.
Rumors? (Tweaked for example of game notes)
- A centuries-old legend states that the foul-breathed creature is on the prowl.
- Locals claim to have spotted the creature on the loose in an abandoned (industrial area, graveyard, woods whatever suits your needs.) outside the city, which they fear has now become its habitat.
- One eyewitness claimed to have seen it morph from a man to a wolf as she watched from a bridge above.
- Locals are gearing up to go on a werewolf hunt.
Quotes? We got plenty of these as well !
“It was stood upright one moment. The next it was down on all fours running like a dog. I was terrified.
“It bounded along on all fours, then stopped and reared up onto its back legs, before running down the embankment towards the water.
“It vaulted 30ft over to the other side and vanished up the embankment and over a wall.”
In the end, this quick example turned out a cornucopia of stuff I could bring to use in any game. Granted if you are running a Fantasy game to tweak quite a bit of what you would find. But given this example, you might come to see that you really do not need to change much to use these in any setting.