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Not sure how useful everyone will find this stuff. I'm not that good at keeping track of my inspirations, so I'm probably missing some of the better ones, and many of my best ideas are simply results of creative synergy with my friends.

Video Games

  • Planescape: Torment. Yes, it's a D&D game. It's also the best D&D game ever created, IMO. It's an amazing example of epic plotlines, creative characters, and making the system fit the game, rather than vice versa.
  • Final Fantasy (and other Square RPGs). Yeah, yeah, cliche as all hell nowadays, but I played the first three that were released in the States as they came out, before the cliches ate the interesting storylines. Whether you like them or not, my idea of what "fantasy" is has been shaped heavily by 8- and 16-bit RPGs.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics. Almost totally different from the rest of the series (and the only one after FF6 that I'd consider inspirational), so it gets a separate entry. The story is simply amazing. To say anything more would be a spoiler, cause I couldn't shut myself up if I get started.
  • Diablo. Not the game itself, but the community of gamers I found who refused to let the game's simple mechanics stop them from being creative as heck with their characters. Their philosophy was that, if the game's too easy (and it was), let's make it harder for ourselves. The exact logical inverse of powergamers.
  • Fallout 1&2. Excellent examples of single-player chronicles. Also directly responsible for my interest in post-apocalyptic settings.
  • Vampire: the Masquerade: Redemption. Think of it as the ultimate example of how not to run a chronicle if you want everyone to have fun.

Books and Authors

  • Piers Anthony. He's written some amazing stuff, just don't read the Xanth series (his best-known and inexplicably most popular) for too long - only the early books are any good. Besides that, I can recommend the Incarnations of Immortality series most highly, though I've read several of his other works.
  • Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" series. I can't run games the way this guy writes, but some of the weird logic he uses is good training for understanding Rebecca Borgstrom's writing - and they're hilarious, too!
  • Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's "Deathgate Cycle" series. Seven books of pure fantasy goodness that breaks largely away from "mainstream" fantasy.


I don't watch movies enough to draw from this genre very well. I do recommend Miyazaki films, though - Princess Mononoke in particular is good Exalted material.


Another genre I neglect. I tend to collect music from video games (the Final Fantasy series, in particular), though. Also, Richard Searles has done some simply amazing work.

Special thanks

Amanda - for introducing me to the Storyteller system by running the only game that would pull me away from my youthful D&D fixation: Transformers.

Brian - for running two of the best chronicles I've ever played in, period.

Alec - for introducing me to Exalted and for putting up with my bad habit of rules-lawyery.

Rachel - for providing the most amazing creative synergy ever in RPG brainstorming.

Sean - for giving me that old, beat-up copy of Werewolf 2nd edition, starting me on the long, dark road of collecting every White Wolf book I can get my hands on (120+ at last count)