I posted the original Finding Inspiration in Odd Places as a result of reading a fantastic entry from my 2008 the Zombie Survival Guide desktop calendar. This newest one comes from what many consider to be one of the worst Stephen King books, The Tommyknockers. I have not actually read the book since 1993 or so, and didn’t even remember this plot all that well, but I saw the miniseries on TNT a few nights ago, and just had to watch it. It was just as shamefully terrible as I remember the book being, but it did give me some ideas for a local or regional fantasy-type disaster which could take place in a campaign.
For those of you who blessedly have not read the book, here is the basic gist. In some town (probably in Maine), someone discovers underground the remnants of an ancient ship. Once it is discovered, strange things begin to happen in the town, starting with all radio communications to and from the area being cut off, and ending with the town’s citizens beginning to evolve into the alien beings who originally piloted the ship to earth centuries ago.
In my fantasy version, there is an old, long-boarded-up well at the north end of town that has always been off-limits. Some naughty kids (are there any other kind?) break into the well and find old, dried tunnels. They explore and go missing. Soon, a strange mist settles over the town, and the regulars of the town find themselves taking on strange shapes, and evolving into different beings. The town is magically quarantined, and the PCs are sent to investigate. Once they enter the mist, they only have a few days before they also will begin to show symptoms. The adventurers eventually find the well, and exploring inside, find tunnels that lead deep into the earth. They come to a large, stone door that has been recently opened. The door leads to an ancient city of the mind-flayers (or some other suitably nasty creature), long dead, ruined, and flooded. The “naughty kids” are found, having almost completely taken on the shape of whatever denizen once lived here. Once the door is closed and sealed, the mist will eventually go away – or to make it more climactic, the adventurers may have to travel into the city and find the source of the magical plague and destroy it.
I believe I’ll be using this soon, I’ll let you know how the adventure goes.
What kinds of strange places do you get your inspiration from?