Finding Inspiration in Television

Sons of Anarchy
Sons of Anarchy

I just finished watching the premiere of Sons of Anarchy and I was pretty impressed.  In fact it has now officially become part of my weekly line-up.  The boys over at FX has assembled quite the ensemble cast including Ron Perlman.  The down and dirty is about a Californian Motorcycle Club that serve as gun runners to the criminal underworld.  There is plenty of personal drama, violence, and intrigue which could all be transplanted into a modern action RPG, or when broken down to its base elements, a plot for a game of any genre.  And they have a pretty decent soundtrack to boot.

I keep a little notebook that I like to jot down plot elements and ideas I extract from television shows, movies, books, and comics.  One of these days I might go as far as creating a database to store these plot elements in and then be able to build adventure and campaign story arcs by pick & choose or randomization.

Until SoA premiered, my favorite current cable series was Burn Notice, and depending on how SoA pans it may continue to be, but it has some fierce competition.  Burn Notice also has a great cast, including Bruce Campbell.  It also sports some kick ass adventure ideas and awesome soundtracks must be par for the course with new series this year.  BN is about a spy that the CIA has turned its back on.  Now he is helping people out with while trying to figure out why he was ousted.  This would work great for some Spycraft games.

Eureka has returned for another season and along with Burn Notice and now Sons of Anarchy round out my must see list.  I could see some of the high tech gone wrong stories being adapted to a d20 Modern game, and Iron Kingdoms campaign, or even translated into high sorcery hijinxes in a traditional D&D game.

Some other current series that are rife for ripping off and inserting into your campaigns include:

  • Supernatural [CW]
  • Heroes [NBC]
  • Fringe [Fox] (premieres soon)

Hell, if you are home during the day and can’t figure out something new to lead your players through, just tune to Sci-Fi and watch a few of the old shows that are in re-run mode.  Here is a small selection:

  • Dresden Files
  • Firefly
  • Farscape
  • X-Files
  • Dark Angel
Listening to: Vision of Disorder – From Bliss to Devastation – Southbound

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