Thursday, November 8, 2012

Creative Inspiration: Hot Dog, Jumping Frog

Or I should have turned left.

One thing that always inspires me when coming up with adventures, and more specifically locations, is travel. International travel is always more inspiring than local travel, but both work well. It's the visit to a new location. Absorbing a new, or at least slightly different. Seeing new sights and hearing new sounds.

So at the moment I find myself in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the United States (anyone guess that from the hints?) It's early November and during the day it's too hot for me, not to mention dry. Hey, I currently live in Canada where it was pretty much freezing point when I left only to be thrown into what I would describe as mid summer. I'm here attending the AYE Conference as part of my day job, but that's not of much interest to you (though some of the topics could be applied to role playing very nicely.)

So what do I learn while travelling? Well I have a new image in my mind of a couple of hotel styles and layouts that can be of use in any game from the 1920s onward. I now see the expanse of the desert  in this region of New Mexico, at least from a distance. I love travelling to new airports as they are always useful for modern games.

I get to see the local architecture that I can use to build up a local flavour. The feel of the streets, the look of the people, and the names and types of local businesses all serve to increase my repertoire of descriptions for my games that you just can't get from a guidebook. Even if I never set a game in Albuquerque the experiences here can help in the creation of any town or city in the southwest United States, something I would have had greater difficulty with before my trip here.

It's a shame I don't have a car, or the time to really explore. Driving along route 66 would have been a nice trip. Going to Santa Fe would have added a huge amount to my box of GM tools. Getting into the desert rather than just seeing it from an airplane window would have been invaluable to me for almost any game, but especially useful since I've been on a bit of an Old West reading kick lately.

So get out there and travel. If you can't travel internationally then just go to some towns near you that you've never been to. Never been to a forest, then find one and go. Every trip should be used as a means of improving your descriptive arsenal as you never know when it will come in useful.

No comments:

Post a Comment