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I'm just wondering how many people here use older stories like the Aeneid or Paradise Lost to influence their games. Or do allot of yall just plan an adventure like blow that up and then go for it? I apply a little of both. I recently ran a D&D game based on The Divine Comedy by Dante. For those who have seen Seven you know Dante's Inferno. It ran pretty cool and freaked the characters out. I plan on doing something similar for SR but I'm running out of good classical reads. I've stretched Sun Tzu's Art of War as far as it can go for small tactic purposes for the PCs and I can't find a way to use the Aeneid as a whole to influence my players.

Man entire reasoning behind running my games like this is just because it works, it's fun when I plot the story right and it lets the PCs see what the other books were about. It's kinda like that movie Unbreakable, using the PCs to tell stories instead of comic books.
I don't lean so much towards classical literature. But I use Lovecraft/Blackwell regularly, and I don't mind sticking in some religious creation myth as background.

Truth be told, I don't think I totally understand what you're asking. I can't run a game off of Dante's Inferno really without putting the characters into Hell, which is too far out there for me. I can have religious themes, like in Seven, but I wouldn't say Seven is based on Dante in any way.

Most of the themes in classical literature are universal. Just because I have two people who are in love despite their different cultural backgrounds doesn't mean my story was 'influenced' by Romeo in Juliet. If I have a mishmash of characters travelling from point A to point B, it's because it's a popular theme, and even if I read Cantebury tales, it's hardly based OFF Chaucer's work. Since classical literature rarely references guns or cyberware, its hard for me to tie it in more concretely.
Dream a dream my friend. I do stuff like giving the PCs a dream of futuresight. I manipulate the pcs, mostly awakened ones, with a muse-like dream, this a good way of driving the story. Using Dante's Inferno, I could of thrown them in hell, but you gotta remember the story was a vision of a journey of enlightenment. I use stuff like this for those quests the initiates might go though.

All I'm asking is that: Do you people use your games to tell stories similar to the books you have read? Or do you just Plan a "Hey let's go get this for Nuyen" game?
I think that putting a symbolic underlayer in an adventuire is a good thing even if it doesn't have to be explicit. According to Joseph Campbell, there is only one archetypal myth and all stories and legends are just variation on this single universal why not use classical stories to give that substance you're talking careful not to yield to such a pretentious view as in Vampire and other White Wolf games...wink.gif

I haven't used "classical" stories so far , but rather themes inspired by current events...a few years ago, the media were in a (just) frenzy about child abusers and other pedophils...and so I wanted to create a run which would be an echo to this theme and that's how I came up with the adventure introducing Otakus in my campaign. I think that even if our favourite RPG is just that, i.e. a game, iyou can give it more depth by grounding its foundations in current or classical themes, not as a pretentious way of having your players think about such and such issue (which is not your role as a gamemaster) but as a way of giving them opportunities to express certain aspects of their characters personalities when confronted to issues such as the one I mentioned or racism (a theme easily woven in a Shadowrun game with its metahumans), environmental concerns, religion and so on...

But first and foremost, don't forget to have fun
I think (I hope) most people have story arcs in their games. Personnally, I usually do "non story" runs at first to let the players develop their characters. Then I usually pick up on NPCs or events created during that time, which inspires me to plot a story arc. I don't rip off movies or books, because at least one player is bound to pick up on it and figure out where the story is heading. Besides I like to create my own stories.
Being a bibliophile who owns some 100+ books, I find that just reading multiple genres and as many books as possible helps with the creative process.

Now granted, I fall into the metaplot genre of GMs (I am a stickler for the timeline and use current events to shape what's happening to the runners), but I find that using an element I found fascinating from one book and an element from another helps keep the runner's environment alive. Some of the techno-scifi elements fit SR really well, but taking classical stories sounds like a fun way to keep people guessing.

Of course, it also helps if you've had classes in writing short stories... *grin* That way you know the elements of plot, conflict and resolution, methods and development...All the things a good GM should know or already does instinctively.
QUOTE (Xavroc)
I'm just wondering how many people here use older stories like the Aeneid or Paradise Lost to influence their games.

Er...does Night of the Living Dead count as a literary classic?

Or do allot of yall just plan an adventure like blow that up and then go for it?

It depends on the game.

When inspiration and muses stay away from my brain and I have to develop a run by brute force, I methodically chart out the plot, figure out the goal, fill in the details and drink a lot of beer to lubricate the rusty gears in my brain.

When inspiration strikes (usually when watching TV and I see a whole plot laid out before me), I copy that classic and translate it to SR.
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