What I have been doing with the time I have had this week has all been about the Viking game. GOT does not give me direct inspiration. My game is something where I could take many ideas and make them work. What it does give me is ideas for staging.
Lord of the Rings has a good strong narrative. There is a reason why it is the best selling fantasy novel of all time. To give players a better experience, you have to give them plenty of options. In LOTR you are going to fight the forces of sauron. If you don't fight, the evil wins.
|Winter is here but what happened to autumn. That's the British weather for you.|
In terms of running an RPG it gives you cause to think. History has a knock on effect on the present. In my game I am trying to create some form of history, It doesn't need to be too detailed. What it does need to do is explain the present and what is going to happen in the future.
Why are you enemies your enemies? Who did what to whom and when and why? I look at what I am doing and it is easy to figure out why the Vikings are not popular. They are traders and everyone needs trade so I guess they pick where to trade and where to raid. Within their own culture their are rivalries. Vikings probably loved their feuding like everybody else. Then there are external forces, monsters, weather and gods to name but a few.
So I have tried to come up with something of a timeline. I haven't put dates on any of them because I think these are the kind of details that get you bogged down. So there are recent events, events sinec your children were born, when you were children when your grandfather was alive and going all the way back before the times of legend.
Players need a place in the world. Preferable that place should be unpleasant enough that they have some motivation. It may be oppression, imprisonment, some external force or just the desire for a slightly wealthier lifestyle.