I read a lot of gaming books. I picked up this habit from reading books on computer programming, and more specifically from the fact that I found as I bounced between reading books on Java, Groovy, and C#, I gained a deeper understanding of the other languages as well. So this is as much my hobby as playing them is, and there are certain games that continue to inspire me and change the way I think about gaming. These are the systems that I keep going back to read or will read multiple implementations of a system. And while I may never play these systems, I feel like they have been of value to me when I play Savage Worlds.
The first one that I encountered was the Fate system with the Dresden Files Role Playing Game. From there I branched out to pick up Diaspora and Fate Core. This also led me to supporting a Fate Bundle of Holding and getting a number of other Fate settings. From these books a found a number of implementations for how to include the players in setting creation, such as the Dresden Files city creation and the Diaspora system creation. This is also the system that gave me the idea about how the monsters don’t need to have the same skills as the players, and how to model multiple things as characters. At some point when I get caught up on my backlog of reading, I need to go back and read a couple of these books again to see what other inspiration strikes me.
The second system that has provided a wide range of inspiration is the Apocalypse World system. The first set of rules that I read for this was Dungeon World, and then I got the revision of Monster of the Week. From there I backed another Bundle of Holding for this system and picked up a number of different implementations, of which the only two that I was not terribly happy with were the original Apocalypse World (though this might have been because of the layout of the pdf) and City of Juda (I really just did not like this one), but there were others that I particularly enjoyed such as Legacy Life Among the Ruins and Deniable. These are the systems that inspired me again with encouraging more player participation in setting creation, the Countdown Clock (one of my favorite concepts), and the idea of Fronts. I also like the various knowledge and research rolls work.
One of these days I also intend to pick up the Cortex Plus system since I have heard good things about it and see if it provides as much inspiration as the others. And while the previous two systems have provided the most inspiration, I do get inspiration from the other games that I read as well such as Pulp Cthulhu, CthulhuTech, 7th Sea Second Edition, and even the different versions of Dungeons and Dragons.