Lately my wife and I watched season 4 of Game of Thrones, and I have been playing Dragon Age. I beat Dragon Age Origins, Dragon Age II, and am currently playing through Dragon Age Inquisition which has had me thinking a lot about my Tabletop RPGs. I told my gaming groups I was taking the month of March off from running any games due to my wife and I expecting our son on March 17th. Taking time off from running RPGs has given me time to play video games a little more than normal.
For me watching a Game of Thrones makes me want to give my players the type of emotional immersed feel that the show has made me feel. I have loved and hated characters only to find my opinion changing within a few episodes. That show is great! The different factions also inspire me to put some more though into my home brew world as well. A Kingdom that is allied with Dragons, Giants and Barbarians aligned, a fire Sorcerer aligned with a Lord. Then the political jockeying for position. So many ideas I have been looking to pick from this show and place in my world.
While I was playing through the Dragon Age series not only am I always thinking about adventures I could use from the game at my table. I also think about what I can cherry pick from the main themes to place into my home brew world. Mages vs Templars, Grey Wardens vs the Blight, and the Qunari in Kirkwall. The Qunari for me almost seem the most intriguing at the moment. The thought of creating a complete rip off of them for my world seems like such a fun idea. Taking the Qun and revamping it in a way that I could enjoy it more would be the way to go though. I think it would be simple enough to take the Dragonborn race, and swap out the breath weapon with a horn attack maybe? Placing them in a Desert would work I think.
The things I will be stealing from these things and other movies like Lord of the Rings, or the Hobbit I will not just pick it and place it exactly as it is in the movies, books, or tv shows. I will make it my own because I don't want my players to feel like they are in those worlds interacting with those characters. I want my players to think my world is amazing. If they notice a thing or two that is fine. Ultimately though I want them to feel like this is all fairly fresh ideas and themes.
Some of my favorite things to steal are magic items, and locations. When I steal a location I take inspiration from something I thought looked amazing. Then I change it up some. When I switch most things up I feel like I do a good enough job that nobody notices where I got my inspiration from so that is a plus.
Don't be afraid to steal things for your table from movies, shows, video games, or even other tabletop rpgs. It can help you with your prep, and make the games more enjoyable for you in the process. I always encourage new game masters to steal from as much as they can. When I am getting ideas from these different sources it rejuvenates me for my tabletop games.