Author Topic: Adapting Novels to RPGs  (Read 2896 times)

CSmythe

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Adapting Novels to RPGs
« on: January 21, 2009, 10:53:46 PM »
I am about half way through Brent Weeks' Night Angel Trilogy and have decided that I like the setting enough to try using it as an RPG setting.

For those not familiar with the series it is about an orphan who becomes a "wetboy," which is basically an assassin with magic powers. I don't want to say much more about the series since I don't want to spoil anything but suffice to say that there is a relatively undefined system of magic that seems capable of pretty much anything though it is limited by the concentration and imagination of the person wielding it. Within the world there exist a number of magical traditions who all learn how to use the magic differently but with one pretty notable exception all magic seems to work pretty much the same way.

As I said I am not finished the series yet so the magical system may indeed become more codified by the end of the final book. And if so I will simply have to adapt.

My problem becomes one of system, I don't find that 4th edition of D&D to be particualrly suited to most fantasy novel settings. It is just a little to rigid in the way it works. I also don't think that the D20 system will fit quite right mostly because of the way the magic system works.

I could attempt to adapt the SAGA edition of the Starwars rules but that still feels like not quite the right feel.

So I think what I am looking for (after all that rambling) is a leveless system, with a pretty fluid magic system and a nice ability to customize it. I would also like a system that is readily available, and reasonably priced. Simple is better since it may be a system with which I am not familiar and my current playerbase is pretty new to gaming in general.

Has anyone got any suggestions of a favourite system for this kind of adaptation? And just to prehijack this thread what other fantasy novel settings have you tried adapting for your own games?

Thanks all.

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Re: Adapting Novels to RPGs
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2009, 01:24:15 PM »
There are a lot of flexible systems out there you could use.

True D20, Mutants and Masterminds, Storyteller, GURPS, and Champions could all work for what you want. You would have to put some work into making the combat system how you want it. The most adaptable rules systems often have the fewest restrictions (and the most options). I have found that it helps if you write out your house rules for your players. It lets your player's get a better idea of how you plan to play things.
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CSmythe

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Re: Adapting Novels to RPGs
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2009, 05:46:55 PM »
I have played Mutants and Masterminds but frankly was unimpressed. It has a really great creation system but I found that once you got into combat it was all pretty static. I like variable damage rather then the M&M static damage.

Champions I am not really all that familiar with so am not sure how well it would work, though I hear nothing but horror stories about the character creation in that one.  I'm thinking of going with the Scion system from White Wolf. If I drop off the built in fluff it should be good for it.


MisterM

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Re: Adapting Novels to RPGs
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 02:53:53 AM »
If you want a customizable magic system, White Wolf's <i>Mage: the Awakening</i> is designed for magic that can do...well, anything. It wouldn't be too hard to yank the mechanics and alter the setting to whatever you want.

Miyabi

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Re: Adapting Novels to RPGs
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 06:32:25 AM »
ha ha.  Mr. M you used an HTML tag instead of a BB one.

But yes, the White Wolf Mage books are great for this type of thing.
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The Jade Knight

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Re: Adapting Novels to RPGs
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 05:40:37 AM »
Riddle of Steel also happens to have a pretty open-ended magic system.  Riddle of Steel is a brutal RPG, though, with groundings in realistic martial arts, so...
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