What types or source of inspiration do you turn to most often for RPGs?
I’m always passively looking for neat ideas. Whenever I bungle into something that I think would make a neat campaign idea, like the Year Without a Summer, I make a note of it. There’s no specific place I look for things like that.
When I’m actively looking for ideas, the walls of my office are covered with pictures and posters from various forms of media. If I’m stuck, I’ll just look around the room. A single poster can remind me of an entire movie, or all the characters in a show, or a comic arc I really liked, and from there I can strip it down to its component ideas and get a plot, a character, a setting, or something else I can work into my campaign. It’s important to me to have a large number of works represented so I can work through as many ideas as possible; a picture of Ryu from Street Fighter doesn’t give me any more ideas than a picture of Zangief, because when I see Ryu I’m already thinking about the rest of the cast as well. I also prefer pictures to something small, like DVD cases or book spines, because it forces me to consider each of them instead of letting my eye pass quickly to the next. There’s no point to having something for inspiration if you’re not going to give yourself time to consider it.