Q & A Week, Pt 1

I found some ttRPG-industry-related Q&A items that have never made it onto my blog, and thought this week, when I am so distracted and overloaded, would be a great time to offer them up.

Q: When you are writing lore for a new system, where do you go for inspiration?

A: Generally, the seething pool of psychic acid that is my brain.

Now, I feed my brain a lot of raw and distilled ideas. I read up on things like satrapies of the Achaemenid empire, the Trackless Tank Corporation, Mansa Musa (ruler of the Malian empire and arguable the richest man who has ever lived), quantum computing, the political history of the pocket, and whatever else catches my eye.

I read books from as many authors as I can find time for (recently The Shattered Queen, by Jaym Gates). I watch speculative fiction movies, ranging from Gojira and the black & white Spanish language Dracula (that was filmed at the same time and on the same sets as the Bela Lugosi version) to Cloud Atlas to Train to Busan to Lord of the Rings.

I watch a lot of Discovery channel, anime, procedurals, and televised contests.

All that stuff goes into the psychic acid, and becomes an idea soup that rarely lets me down.

And when an idea does slop out of the acid, I do some research on it. What are the real-world analogs? How did the idea turn out historically? What societal pressures arose from it, and how was it taxed?

Just enough to know that if I am reinventing the wheel, I’m not adding it to the Inca Empire without good cause.

I have a Patreon. It helps me carve out the time needed to create these blog posts, and is a great way to let me know what kind of content you enjoy. 

About Owen K.C. Stephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens

Posted on January 19, 2021, in Game Design and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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