But a lot of my inspiration comes from pencil and paper mechanics. A lot of ideas I have for my CRPG come from looking at table top rules and thinking, "It'd be cool, but unplayable if we add an additional roll here, or if this table went up by .25 level increments rather than whole numbers."
The inspiration for this post is that I recently picked up the Dungeons and Dragons supplement Races of Destiny, and for the first time in a long time have been tempted to use a bit of fluff whole cloth. (Fluff being the extremely technical term for non-rules related material.) Specifically the Illumian race is pretty neat concept. I wouldn't use in a CRPG, but for a table top session, they would rock.
I don't even know why I think they're so cool, since most artificial magical races in RPG source material usually just get a yawn from me. I'll have to think about it for a while.