There are many ways and places to seek inspiration for gaming. I’m going to discuss one that I find a great source of fantastic plot hooks for games, the news. While people in some corners will insist that it’s all fake, news is a vital part of people’s daily lives.
Where this is interesting for games is that headlines can be amazing plot hooks. For examples, NASA may have funding removed for the International Space Station. Well, that’s a surprise. Why? In a game the ramifications could be interesting. While there is a clear political/diplomatic side to this, interesting for games without combat, the possibilities don’t end there. What if the characters are given the chance to prove the station’s usefulness? Where might something like that lead? Could be interesting.
What about the fact that Jupiter is hot? Pluto has a blue sky. A doomsday asteroid may strike any time. A world-renowned scientist has called for the colonization of space to ensure the safety of the species.
There are a variety of paths a game can take, and the news of a lot of fascinating possibilities, and I haven’t even touched on conspiracy theories or grainy photographs! Add in some fringe theories and you’ve probably got material for a long time to come.
While I’m a strong advocate of a well-informed public, the news is a gold mine for the gaming table. There’s just so much going on in the scientific community that there is great material to use for campaigns. When you have the chance, try changing up the settings on your browser so that “Space” or “Science/Technology” are the kinds of things you want in your news feed. You won’t be disappointed.
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