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Cracked.com’s top 12 top 10(ish) lists to inspire your games

Posted By Matthew J. Neagley On November 6, 2009 @ 4:30 am In GMing Advice | 3 Comments

Those of you who are old fogies like I am will remember when Cracked Mazagine was a poor man’s alternative to Mad. The rest of you may remember it’s failed 2006 re-imagining as a men’s magazine and subsequent cancellation three issues later (though if you blinked, there’s a good chance you missed it). These days Cracked exists solely as Cracked.com, a website dedicated mostly to humor articles, “top 10″ lists and funny videos. It’s history as a humor magazine and brief stint as a men’s magazine are apparent in it’s content, so a lot of it’s articles are tongue in cheek and punctuated by the occasional boob joke, but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of stuff that’s great to incorporate into your game. For your convenience, I’ve compiled a top 12 list of the best top 10(ish) lists that are game inspirers, but don’t just read these. There are plenty more where these came from, and more being written every day.

#12: 5 Horrifying Apocalyptic Scenarios That Have Already Happened
Looking for a setting for your next post-apocalyptic game or just a disaster to drop in your regular game? Take a look at these.

#11: 7 Vampires Worse than the ones in Twilight
Every culture in the world has it’s own version of the vampire. Here’s a list of 7 of the more bizzare ones. Granted, you may have to take a red pen to them to fit them into your game, but it’s still seven new takes on the vampire.

#10: How about some animals?
You could do a top 10 list based only on Cracked’s  animal lists, but here’s a small selection:
7 Terrifying Giant Versions of Disgusting Critters
6 Biggest Assholes in the Animal Kingdom
6 Cutest Animals that can still Destroy You

#9: Urban Legends
Everyone loves a good urban legend, and these are all true. The original was so popular they re-did it twice!
5 Creepiest Urban Legends that Happen to be True
6 More Creepy Urban Legends that Happen to be True
6 Creepy Urban Legends that Happen to be True Part 3

#8: 6 Best Towns to Live in if You Have a Death Wish
From the hottest and coldest towns on earth, to a town with poison water, drop these places into your game for an unforgettable location. 

#7: 13 Real Animals Lifter Directly Out of Your Nightmares
Yeah, we already did animals, but those are normal animals. This list is a solid block of WTF that will give your players permanent nightmares.

#6: 5 Species That Seem to be Trying to Take Over the Earth
Need a nonstandard evil empire, or something commonplace to turn into an ever-present nightmare for your horror game? Here they are.

#5: 6 Real Islands Way More Terrifying than the one on Lost
From Snake Island to Garbage Island and everywhere in between, they aren’t joking when they call these locations terrifying.

#4: 6 Natural Disasters that were Caused by Human Stupidity
Let’s face it, human stupidity has been responsible for more than it’s fair share of tragedies, and when your game needs a lake or a town to completely disappear, check this list to see how it’s been done in the past.

#3: 7 Awesome Acts of Nature that Science Can’t Explain 
Next time you need a magical unexplained event for you game, look no further than this list. Everything from rivers that shoot fireballs, to Aurora Borealis that occurs only over earthquakes, not only are these all beyond believable, they all really exist.

#2: 6 Creepiest Places on Earth 
A list of bizarre locations across the world that will take your breath away. If every one of these doesn’t inspire a scenario or location in your game, go back and read it again.

#1: 6 Insane Discoveries that Science can’t Explain
6 discoveries that will boggle your mind and enhance your game. Each entry on this list cries out for placement in your game. If you have mercy on your players and allow them to discover a reason behind what they discover they’ll be one step ahead of modern man.

About  Matthew J. Neagley

First introduced to RPGs through the DnD Red Box Set in 1990, Matt fights on ongoing battle with GMing ADD, leaving his to-do list littered with the broken wrecks of half-formed campaigns, worlds, characters, settings, and home-brewed systems. Luckily, his wife is also a GM, providing him with time on both sides of the screen.




3 Comments (Open | Close)

3 Comments To "Cracked.com’s top 12 top 10(ish) lists to inspire your games"

#1 Comment By deadlytoque On November 6, 2009 @ 9:42 am

Great post. I have tapped this vein myself, specifically the suicide tree from the first Urban Legends list.

#2 Comment By Tyson J. Hayes On November 6, 2009 @ 11:56 am

I love the idea behind this take a couple of urban legends to blend in to your campagin.

I like the idea of an early burial especially in a fantasy setting as it’s likely to happen on occasion and it’ll creep the players out.

Or start an adventure or campagin where you wake up in a coffin alive and not sure how you got there The ideas are now flowing forth thanks!

#3 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On November 7, 2009 @ 9:56 am

I will probably get some game mileage out of these in the future, but I’m definitely getting some laughs right now.

Thanks for the links, and the history lesson.


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