A stray comment left on post at Gaming Brouhaha[1. A post and comment which I can't find now, alas.] led me to a gem of the internet hitherto unknown to me: Strolen's Citadel. It's a community where creative GMs and writers can post, comment on, improve, and rate ideas for setting elements, creatures, plots, and everything else that goes into a game except for the actual play at the table itself. The data is categorised and tagged for easy searching, and their user account system encourages people to submit their own things and to comment on others' work, enriching the material there.
I can't emphasise enough how massive is this community-created store of great ideas, nor the evocative quality of the pieces. There is so much that you could create an entire campaign world of impressive richness just by carefully choosing and combining pieces from Strolen's Citadel.[2. This is something I'm actually contemplating doing.]
A few of my favourites so far which I've found just browsing around:
- Pegoran Doors — Round, tricky doors that guard special places and which are works of art unto themselves.
- The Twelve — In a vast plain, eleven indestructible statues to ancient gods are slowly chipped away by criminals and the enemies of the twelfth god who overthrew the rest.
- The Dolmens of Swaiar — Creepy shrines to a forgotten god, with subtly sinister influences.
- The Bastion - A Light Tower — An abandoned, automatic lighthouse in the middle of the ocean, with the lost refuge of a dead race beneath.
- One Hundred and Twenty One Islands! — A collection of uncharted, odd, dangerous, and interesting islands.
There's so much inspiration to be gained from Strolen's Citadel just by clicking around. In that way it's kind of like a deviantart for game masters.