What Inspires You? October 29, 2016 15:31 38 Comments

Last week I posted a question on the Tephra subreddit. I asked members of the community to share their greatest Tephra inspirations and the community answered!

The first inspiration comes from Rozial who writes: “What inspires me is the characters and the world. Particularly, as a narrator, I listen to music and I picture moments that would go with the music. Those often turn into major moments of any campaign I run. I could provide a soundtrack to nearly every campaign I've ever run. Songs with lyrics inspire characters and orchestral songs inspire campaigns and moments.” I can directly relate to this, Rozial. I also find that music gets the creative juices flowing. I find that classical music resonates best with me, so that’s what I use most often.

Our next inspiration comes from Keegan Troye who writes: “As a player or GM I like to twist cliches into something new and creative. There is always a lot of room to expand old ideas and it isn't easy coming up with anything that hasn't already be done. So I'll watch or read things in a similar setting and see something that interests me and ask myself how can I take this and make it my own.” Keegan, borrowing ideas from other media is something I like to encourage for two reasons: 1) The stigma against clichés is something I disagree with. Clichés are catchy and enjoyable for a reason. 2) Borrowing can work for someone new to creating stories just as well as someone who has been plotting narratives for years.

7StarSpanner writes: “I personally tend to draw my inspirations from a lot of different sources, previous games, old cartoons and tv shows, video games, music, books. It's one of the things I love about Steampunk and this system, it's really easy to pull inspiration from a variety of different sources and remix them to suit the aesthetic.” 7StarSpanner, I do this all the time too, especially when it comes to dialogue. I like to mine quotes from movies or shows I’ve enjoyed and see if my players catch on. Plus it helps to visualize your setting when you use another story as your foundation.

Our final inspiration of the day comes from ObligatoryTankGal who writes:, “Personally, as a narrator, I let my players run the show. Players do the darndest things, and I've never seen a better source of inspiration for future quests and plot hooks. Once I had a player rescue and attempt to redeem the villain of an adventure instead of killing him. He is now dating said villain in character, and is working on establishing a new life for the fellow when he's not adventuring. I could never plan a flavourful storyline like that, without his unexpected actions. Even characters and actions my players have taken in other games, systems, and even worlds become sources of inspiration, and make appearances. Mechanically, I'm also a big fan of building on our RPG elders. I've borrowed ideas from a lot of old adventures from old editions of D&D, and other games for inspiration on dungeons, quests, and other adventures for my Tephra party.” ObligatoryTankGirl, I love this response, and I know people who do this all the time. Your prioritizing the players’ histories is wonderful because it gives players a sense of contribution beyond their immediate character’s choices. How fun would it be to play the villain in one campaign and then face off against that same villain in another?

Thank you all for reading, and thank you guys for your input. These are great responses and I love hearing from our wonderful community. Check out our Tephra subreddit here if you would like to join community discussions. I will be posting more community blogs in the future. Until next time, Cheers and Gears!