Travels, short and long, have often inspired me, both as topics for writing fiction (something I enjoy and don’t do enough of) and gaming. Over the last fourteen years I’ve traveled all across the island of Puerto Rico for business and found lots of things that made it into my games one way or the other.
While the island is small, the topographical diversity never fails to inspire me, from beaches, to mountains and valleys. In Puerto Rico the Yunque Rain Forest, the Camuy River Cave Complex and the El Morro and San Cristobal Forts inspire me in new ways every time I go there.
I’ve finally been able to use many of these vignettes, ideas and locations now that I’m running two pirate themed campaigns. One a tabletop Pathfinder RPG game and a Play by Post Microlite20 game set on a tropical archipelago in my fantasy homebrewed campaign.
When I’ve traveled abroad new places and new experiences always inspire me; whenever I describe a vast opulent temple complex I remember my visit to the Vatican. New York City has been the setting of more than one adventure and that’s one place I never get tired of visiting.
Now as I begin a weeklong vacation in Las Vegas, I can only think of the new inspiration I’ll draw from it. While on previous visits I expected to come away with a feel for a gambler’s paradise that could color my description of an intergalactic casino or a gambling den in a prosperous port, in the past Vegas has left in me the feeling for a tourist trap, a safe show town and been a little short on the inspirational side.
This time however I plan to do new things, like helicopter rides and finally a trip to the Grand Canyon; things I believe will not only be fun but give me many new ideas. Don’t get me wrong, I like Vegas, otherwise I wouldn’t go! I just think I need to look at it from a different “gaming” perspective.
When I come back I’ll post about the trip and what inspiration I drew from it.
For and excellent take on travel from a gamers’ perspective I have to recommend my friend Daniel’s The Gamer Traveler Blog and Podcast it is excelletn! Tip of the hat to the master… He even has a podcast about Vegas!
See you in a few days. In the mean time, tell me about your trips or visits to different places that have inspired your gaming.
Do you think that "Google Tourism" (surfing real places on the web) can help too? For those of us for which travel is more difficult.
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Rob I think it's ideal! I have been fortunate enough to travel a lot in my lifetime, but when I ran a prequel to TORG using D20 Modern, the characters visited a lot of locations I've never visited and the Internet was essential. From descriptions, to names and pictures of places. Virtual tourism, that would be another great topic.
Speaking of Puerto Rico… I wad totally inspired by the bioluminscence bay in Las Cabezas. I'm still trying to work that into a game (the idea is that biolumiscent waters can lead a party to treasure… Or something)
Since I am not that well-traveled I have to rely on "Google Tourism" all the time. My players don't mind. 😉