Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A with X, B with Y

Sometimes I really dig on an RPG setting but don't want necessarily want to run it using the attached system.  Here are a couple of examples. 

I love the original BattleTech material but the attached MechWarrior RPG doesn't do much for me.  Sometimes I think about adopting a bunch of material into Mekton Zeta, using the Japanese B-tech artwork and running a game about the brave large-eyed heroes of House Kurita fighting evil across the Inner Sphere.  One of the background themes of the campaign would be the way American and Japanese culture appropriate each other.  The foreground of the campaign would be about giant robots exploding.

Andy Hopp's Low Life is one of the few gamebooks out there perfectly blends good writing and great art.  Also, it is one of the stupidest settings you'll ever find.  It's a Savage Worlds book.  There's nothing wrong with Savage Worlds that punching Smilin' Jack in the face won't fix.  In fact I once used some old Gangbusters material to run a pretty dang fun Savage Worlds-powered gangster game.  But I don't want to teach it to my current crop of players and I'd just as soon use Mutant Future for most post-apocalyptic shenanigans.

S. John Ross's nifty Uresia: Grave of Heaven was originally written for Big Eyes, Small Mouth and later adapted to BESM d20.  However, if I were to ever run D&D 3.x again I would seriously consider Uresia for my setting.  Here's how it would work: The campaign would start in Rinden, the land of fairy tale style knights and princesses and dragons.  As far as the players are concerned, it would be "the Rinden campaign" at first and all they know about the world beyond the borders is those places are weird.  Initial PC choice would be limited to a handful of classes and races, fewer even than in the 3.x Players Handbooks.  Then we'd slowly introduce new classes and races that align with the other regions of Uresia, until you can send the party out into the world with some rough idea of what some of the other places on the big map are like.

Incidentally, S. John has been working on a systemless 3rd edition to Uresia for a while now.  In the meantime there are some goodies for the setting over at his Cumberland Games & Diversions website.

I've long been surprised that I've never encountered anyone who ever ran ICE's Space Master in the 3rd Imperium setting of Traveller.  Seems like a perfect combo to get a rich setting and lotsa wicked critical hits.  Maybe I'm the only person who wants both in a game.

Anyone else have any settings they'd prefer to yank from one game and import into another?