Sunday, October 06, 2013

30 Days of GameMastering--Day 5!

It's Day 5 of Lindevi's 30 Days of GameMastering challenge; let's do it!

Stealing like an artist:  what inspiration have you drawn from other games, books, movies, etc.?
I'd be an utter liar if I didn't say that I steal ideas shamelessly.  When I come across something interesting, I find a way to toss it into my games.  I use maps from adventures with NPCs from other systems and plot points from random campaign settings.  Anything that makes my game more fun is fair play.

One of my most successful intellectual thefts came in appropriating Stephen King's The Dark Tower mythos and pulling it into Deadlands.  Roland's quest, Blaine the Mono, and Maerlyn's Grapefruit fit into the Deadlands universe like a hand in a glove, with my players meeting a number of movers-and-shakers in both mythologies.

However, the entire point of that campaign was the crossover there.  In terms of stealing an individual element, let me go back to a campaign from long ago:  the Heroes Unlimited game that inspired Cold Steel Wardens.

A must-own for any
Call of Cthulhu fan!
One of the major NPCs that I had intended on using extensively was a bar owner known as Stephen Alzis.  Stephen Alzis was the owner of the Shining Star Bar and Grille in Hub City and actually employed L-Train's vigilante, Lockshanks, as a part-time dj.  Alzis was an enigmatic figure whose most notable interaction with the party occurred when Lindevi's psionicist, Scheherazade, attempted to read his mind.  Wracked with visions of horrific madness, Scheherazade passed out from sheer psychic overload and was plagued by dreams of otherworldly vistas for weeks afterwards.

Stephen Alzis, as a character, comes word for word from the fantastic Delta Green sourcebook, and will soon be its own game.  Alzis's stat block, in its entirety, reads as such:
"Stephen Alzis is many things.  Vulnerable is not one of them."
He's a Cthulhian wild-card of the highest order, able to be whatever you need him to be...and I couldn't pass that up.  While I couldn't appropriate such a character for Cold Steel Wardens--that'd be a huge disrespect to Delta Green, which I love--Alzis' influence can certainly be felt in CSW's seedy underbellly...

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