Ryan Stoughton started a thread on SG called, “Hey Pa, why do we live next to the husk of an enormous interplanar ship?”:
“The town of Husk lies near the center of a rocky badlands. To the north and west lie mountains, and to the far south the badlands give way to scrub and grasslands. To the east, more badlands.
Husk is named for the strange, ancient ship that crashed there long ago. This ship provides certain natural benefits that outweigh the creepiness.
But I have no idea what they are. Any suggestions?”
I like threads like this and responded:
“Son, we live near the ship because people come from all over the world to see it for themselves. Your grandma, who built this tea-house with her own hands, said that people came from other worlds to see it. They are travelers and dreamers. They are prophets and holy folk.
“And while they stay with us they have the dreams. None have ever dreamed of the ship actually setting sail. But we dream of a time when people thought it might run again, before its engines cooled, before birds used it as a place to roost and moss grew on its hull. We dream of a time when the ship sent out agents all over the worlds to find what their mothership needed to sail again.
“Maybe those travelers are the descendants of that crew and it is some ancestral memory that brings them back. Either way, they drink our tea and pay in foreign coin but solid coin none the less.”
Before I was a forum-user, if I needed some ideas for a game, I’d e-mail the friends who were not playing in the game. I’d e-mail a dozen people and ask for children of Midnight’s Vildar Esben. Just as valuable as the good ideas that I would use in games were the ideas that just did not work.
The ideas that didn’t work made me really think about what I wanted in that game element and kind of galvanized my thoughts.