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10/05/2017 7:54 am  #1


Your sources of inspiration

Last week I visited the British Museum and saw their excellent new exhibition ‘Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia’. This instantly set my mind racing with ideas for a BoL game of nomad horse archers, and then I remembered that in our Heroes of Hellas game, my wife plays an Amazon horse archer (must revisit that game sometime – I loved HoH, and a Mythic edition HoH is in the works). The Amazon was totally badass – those poor Thracians didn’t stand a chance!

 In the last session of my Ancient Egyptian campaign the final location for the fight with the big bad (and monster there which attacked everyone on both sides) were stolen from a great short story called ‘Mouth of the Jaguar’, by Evan Dicken. This is available for free on the Heroic Fantasy Quarterly website – it can be found on Issue 20 in the archive.

Our very own G-Man had a story published in HFQ, set in Bronze Age Mesopotamia, which I confess I have yet to read. If it’s anything like his rpg stuff, it must be good.

Ideas and tropes from REH’s Conan stories have been ripped off by me many times for games set in BoL’s Lemurian setting, as have bits from detective novels and stories by Lovecraft. We live in a visual age, and tv and cinema have also inspired my BoL gaming – ‘The Wire’ informed the ways criminal gangs operated in both my Lemuria game and in the current Egyptian one.

So… books, films, tv, museums, computer games, paintings – what has inspired your BoL gaming? I’m not talking about straight hacks of BoL to play in a particular setting, but more monsters, tricks, traps, scams, organisations, villains, heroes, tropes, plots, and other ideas that you have stolen to fit into your BoL games.

What did you steal?

Last edited by Gruntfuttock (10/05/2017 7:55 am)


My real name is Steve Hall
 

10/06/2017 10:33 am  #2


Re: Your sources of inspiration

I'd always wanted to use a "Kick Murder Squad" in a game ever since I first saw Blade Runner. I finally used the KMS in an Agents of Oblivion (Savage Worlds) campaign I ran a while back. The players, who were working as a cell for the Oblivion organisation, had become bitter enemies with a NPC nick-named "Burn Face", It eventually led to a showdown when they heard that Burn-Face was leading a KMS unit for Pandora (the enemy of Oblivion) and they were hunting the PCs down. The players researched KMS units and it basically made them start to panic. The players decided they had to face the KMS on their terms and set a trap. When the showdown finally happened it didn't disappoint - I nearly had a TPK on my hands but the players just managed to survive and they still talk about the scene years later.

I just showed one of my players the Blade Runner movie (he'd never seen it before) and he did a double-take when he heard Zhora being described by Bryant http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png


Needless to say I plagiarise from movies, books, music...in fact, anything and everything is fair game to me...but the KMS was my favourite.


Wealth can be wonderful, but you know, success can test one's mettle as surely as the strongest adversary.
 

10/12/2017 12:51 pm  #3


Re: Your sources of inspiration

Yesterday my wife and I went to Tate Britain art gallery, and saw a rather lacklustre exhibition. The day was saved however, by a free exhibition at the gallery that we didn't know about - The Art of Ray Harryhausen, As well as sketches and drawing that Harryhausen had made for his various films, they also displayed three of his original models used in the making of those pictures - Pegasus, the gorgon Medusa, and best of all a skeleton warrior - always my favourite as a kid!

​The exhibition also features painting and sketches by the Victorian artists who inspired Harryhausen in the look of his landscapes and cities. 

​Even better, they had film trailers played onto one of the walls, all the Greek myth films and also the two Sinbad films. So, not only the original models but Caroline Munro as well!

​Now I'm really pumped to run some more Heroes of Hellas games.


My real name is Steve Hall
     Thread Starter
 

2/21/2019 12:58 pm  #4


Re: Your sources of inspiration

Gruntfuttock wrote:

The day was saved however, by a free exhibition at the gallery that we didn't know about - The Art of Ray Harryhausen, As well as sketches and drawing that Harryhausen had made for his various films, they also displayed three of his original models used in the making of those pictures - Pegasus, the gorgon Medusa, and best of all a skeleton warrior - always my favourite as a kid!

​The exhibition also features painting and sketches by the Victorian artists who inspired Harryhausen in the look of his landscapes and cities. 

​Even better, they had film trailers played onto one of the walls, all the Greek myth films and also the two Sinbad films. So, not only the original models but Caroline Munro as well!

I enjoy all of Harryhausen's fantasy films, but The Golden Voyage of Sinbad looms especially large among my fantasy RPG inspirations, whether BoL or D&D. 

 

 

2/22/2019 5:28 am  #5


Re: Your sources of inspiration

Those old films have a weird charm all of their own. I think I love the Sinbard ones the best, despite the skeletons being my favourite Harryhausen monsters. And while the scripts and dialog might be a bit clunky in places, the actual relentless forward momentum of the stories is, to me at least, pure pulp sword and sorcery.


My real name is Steve Hall
     Thread Starter
 

2/22/2019 5:49 am  #6


Re: Your sources of inspiration

For me, real history often provides inspiration. I like to have the feel of a real world moving along in the background in games, while the main focus is the PCs. So if the PCs are roaming around the world's biggest empire, I like to know what political and social trends are happening in the background. Real world events are a good source of ideas here:

Barbarian invasion on the borders?  - Germans crossing the Rhine to ravage Roman Gaul

Aging ruler with unacceptable heir and ambitious bastard son (a succession crisis)? - King Charles II of England (ruler), James, Duke of York (heir) , Duke of Monmouth (King's illegitimate son)

Magician sends demon to kill a succession of noble young ladies clearing the way for his patron's daughter to marry the royal prince - the Jack the Ripper killings

PCs might be hired as scouts or mercenaries/work as spies for one side or another (or both!)/be dragged out of jail to solve the demon murders and face the rope if they fail.
 

Last edited by Gruntfuttock (2/22/2019 5:50 am)


My real name is Steve Hall
     Thread Starter
 

4/23/2019 8:20 am  #7


Re: Your sources of inspiration

I'm currently reading 'The Lost Ten' by Harry Sidebottom. It is an adventure story set in AD 265, about a squad of Romans sent to free a 10 year old Persian prince from a prison in the mountains south of the Caspian Sea (where the King of Kings and stashed the boy prior to probable execution). 

The Romans have no idea why the young Prince is being rescued or what the Emperor intends to do with him. Once they have him, they have to get home with the help of some friendly nomads who will get them to the Black Sea, from where they can sail back home. 

But there is a member of the group who has been ordered to make the mission fail, and who has started to kill his comrades. (No spoiler, as you are told this more or less from the very start - as the reader you know why the mission is being compromised, but not the identity of the killer.)

There is some good detail on the frumentarii (the Emperor's spies and assassins) as the author teaches Ancient History at Oxford University. The publicity for the book makes it seem like a special forces tale from the Iraq war, but on reading the synopsis I was reminded of 'Where Eagles Dare', which sold it too me.

I can see quite a bit of this novel making it's way into various of my games in future!


My real name is Steve Hall
     Thread Starter
 

10/18/2019 9:25 am  #8


Re: Your sources of inspiration

I have been away in other realms for a long time but I stumbled upon this little gem that got my attention.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conan_the_Adventurer_(1992_TV_series)
It is 90s Saturday morning fodder but it seems to have had some thought behind it and feels well researched in the Conan lore.
It being a kids show there is no bone crunching and blood letting and it has the obligatory comic side kick but it serves as personified Hero Point so I only wince a little.
The inspiration? It actually has a story arc that I hope to use when we get back to Lemuria.
You can find the series and a bunch of other stuff for animation fans (Thundarr anyone?!) on AnimeDub (watchcartoonsonline)
Have fun.

 

11/14/2019 9:34 pm  #9


Re: Your sources of inspiration

History inspires me a lot.  And sometimes it is little things.  Reading a paragraph about scribes in ancient Egypt or beer in Sumeria.  Right now I'm working in a frontier motte and bailey castle as the home base for the characters in a Basic D&D campaign after reading how William the Bastard had a prefab wooden castle made and shipped over with him when he attacked England..

Last edited by Narmer (11/14/2019 9:36 pm)


Where's my axe?
 

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