Once upon a time, I ran a fantasy rpg campaign (GURPS, of course!) set in the capital city of a great empire called Daedalos. This is the journal and newsletter of that campaign, which ran off and on for about ten years.
As I recall, the main influence on this campaign was Harry Turtledove's Videssos Cycle, an excellent fantasy series featuring a Roman Legion transplanted in a fantasy world. I borrowed (read: stole) names and plot ideas directly from the books. Then I stole from other sources: Romeo and Juliet (the family clash article), Thieves' World (the rumor about the drug in the silk caravan), Savage Sword of Conan (the rumor from the Outremer) and who knows what else?
The players were featured in this issue (and in every issue thereafter) as well: they were the cause of the "unholy display" that lit up the "Temple on the Fount". (See, I even stole from real places!) And I set the stage for the next adventure with the article about the Midwinter Feast. If the players wanted, any item in this paper was actionable--they could have investigated anything they liked.
Except for "Dear Abbess". That was just silly.