RPGaDay 2015 – Day 26: Favourite inspiration for your game
Short Answer: Weird news stories.
Long Answer: Truth, they say, is stranger than fiction. If you’re short on ideas for an adventure, check out the Weird News* section of various news websites. Once you filter out the Kardashian articles, or anything else that’s blatant click bait, you’ll usually be left with a decent selection of stories from way out of left field. You especially want to keep an eye out for list articles. They aren’t all excellent, but you’re bound to get at least one or two ideas out of each.
Every so often, I’ll get lucky and find an article so rich in potential it’s could be turned into more than one adventure. One example of this is this beauty from Cracked.com: The 7 Most Terrifying Archaeological Discoveries. It covers Egyptian mummies, scary animal remains, buried temples, and enough skulls to make Games Workshop consider a cease and desist letter.
Each of these stories has gaming potential, though some are easier to adapt than others. The key is knowing which parts of the story to keep and which to discard in the name of keeping the adventuring fun.
* You don’t have to limit yourself to Weird News. Depending on your game, you may want to check the Politics, World, or maybe even Sport sections.