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Best authors' worlds in which to run an RPG?

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  • Best authors' worlds in which to run an RPG?

    I'd like to someday combine Moorcock's multiverse with Roger Zelazny's Amber universe. Infinite worlds combined with infinite shadows of those same worlds....

    What other authors have created worlds in which you would like to run a RPG of some sort? Doesn't matter whether they've been used in published RPGs or not. Both of the above worlds have had RPGs based on them, for example.


  • #2
    I've always been fond of Fritz Leiber's world of Nehwon. A little iconoclastic a place for my current taste perhaps, but Lankhmar especially is a great place for adventuring. TSR did a nice supplement for it called Lankhmar City of Adventure in days gone by.


    • #3
      Howard's Hyboria and Atlantis. Even doing Soloman Kane would be
      kinda cool.

      Any of the Eternal Champion stuff.

      Thieves World (Chaosium made a great boxed set for Sanctuary, complete
      with stats for the major RPG systems out at that time).

      Ringworld - again, Chaosium did a fantastic job here, Niven recommends
      the game as core Known Space lore.

      I never got into Lankhmar/Newhon - maybe I should try again?

      Although I've played Amber, and love Zelazny's original Corwin chronicles,
      as an RPG setting, it can get very tough. I mean, everyone is a god just

      Diplomacy: The ability to tell someone to
      go to hell so that they will look forward to
      making the trip.


      • #4
        In general, I tend to think it's better to create your own world's than to try to place adventures in an author's. It's hard to live up to the work that one wishes to emulate and you run the risk of creating a cartoon version of a great literary invention.

        That said, I must admit that while reading Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, I constantly kept thinking what a great background his multi-species inhabited city of New Cruzobon would be for gaming. Still I don't think I'd try to pull it off myself. Maybe if there was a GM who worshipped the book or something, I'd be into playing there.
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        • #5
          I agree with the thread above generaly better to create your own world, keep characters guessing and stops anyone knowing more than the GM. Saying that however I have always like the idea of running in David Gemmels Drenia world. Not too much info on it which gives scope to the GM


          • #6
            A really interesting possibility, though perhaps too complicated to run, would be David Brin's Kiln People setting. Basically it's similiar to "cyberpunk" in grittiness (the book's a detective story), but rather than everybody doing thing virtually they are able to make golem copies of themselves complete with total consciousness.[/b]
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            • #7
              I also generally avoid running RPGs inworld's that are based on book authors works.

              Witht the exception of Stormbringer.
              But for me I feel that MMs work is very open ended and free and easy to run games in.


              • #8
                For two years i mastered a campaign set in Hyborea ..... roughly 350 years after Conan departure .......

                In general i agree with the idea of an autonomous word but i did an exception .....

                I have a long term project of creating a world as a game aid ..... slowly advancing !


                • #9
                  Have to recommend Amber diceless rpg - it's the best RPG I've ever played bar none.

                  The mechanics are graceful and focus on storytelling and character. And the setting is quite frankly anything imgainable - that's pretty much the premise.

                  Ran a game there for 10 years, and yes, a certain runesword did make an appearance at one time - one of the players went looking for it, and the character by definition can find anything they can imagine out in shadow if they look long enough.

                  The funny thing was, the character that sought out Stormbringer didn't know the full history of the blade, as a demon in sword form. He later took the blade with him to a shadow with different physical properties, and the demon awakened and shed it's sword form... Ah, fun times. :)

                  There's so many great ones.

                  I'd really recommend the Lankhmar/Newhon setting by Fritz Leiber. There's some decent old D&D source books on it, and Mongoose is publishing a new game in that setting with it's runequest rules, which has a lot of similarities to the Stormbringer rules.

                  George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones has a great sourcebook out - one of the best I've ever seen. Haven't played it but it's extremely impressive.

                  And of course one oldie but goodie - the ICE Middle Earth setting. I particularly like the expanded Middle Earth, they projected some really interesting material past the border of the northwest. In the far south there's some great new settings drawing on previous themes, including a dark elven court dedicated to the destruction of the sun and moon that is opposed to Sauron which is based on extrapolations from the Silmarillion, a great southern fortress led by Akhorahil the Ringwraith, descriptions of the Far Harad and Umbar, and a southern Numenorian colony that rivals Arnor and Gondor. Add in a visit by the remaining two Blue Wizards of Middle Earth, and you could have a really interesting 4th age adventure based on ambassdors from Aragorn's court in Gondor.


                  • #10
                    One of the matter when using a book and a known universe as source of a RPG is that you are sometimes limited by the world if you want to keep the consistency with the sources and the line story .....

                    Universes as Amber or Lords of creation have the advantage of being infinite ....

                    I failed as a game master in Harn for this reason and i am very reserved about Tolkien universe for the same reason .....

                    If i had to be game master in tolkien universe, i would choose to set the game after the departure of the comapny from middle earth !
                    Last edited by Morgan Kane; 01-17-2007, 09:04 AM.


                    • #11
                      Morgan - yeah, running a LOTR game set in the third age or the time of the novels would be very hard, especially as there are so many knowledgable fans that could compress you into their person version of canon.

                      Never ran the LOTR game that I was suggesting, but one of the reasons that I thought of it was it allows you to take the styles and themes of LOTR you want and project it into a new venue - as this was game designer territory, not the official works, obviously it would be easier to fit and mold as needed. However, being able to link the opening of your story to a seer of Aragorn's court who has had visions of the rise of a new darkness to the far South through the Palantir, accompanied by a cousin of Meriadoc serving as a page in Gondor and curious to find clues to the disappearance of the Ent Wives in this new land, or a dwarf from the Glittering Caves in Rohan, or an Elf from Thranduil's palace... that gives such a strong opening association for so many role players that it's very attractive. When they realize they are going on a quest to a land beyond Umbar and the Far Harad, you should have sufficient leeway to introduce those elements you desire that it's almost like working in a brand new campaign world.

                      Anyway, that's what I thought - some day I want to play the darn thing! LOL. If I do so however it will likely be with diceless mechanics - I love detailed character creation systems so you know what your character can and can't do, but I'm not a big fan of whipping out the dice any more. It's normally more engaging to just involve the character in the story, allowing their decisions to have far more effect than the arbitrariness of dice.


                      • #12
                        I combined Pat and Angie Mills' Slaine world from 2000AD (Tir-nan-og, the Land of the Young/Albion) and superimposed it onto the Pliocene world (as Julian May described it) with some Celtic 'bits' thrown into the mix. Plus some terrible 'pilfering' from Mike's second Corum Trilogy. Both Slaine and Corum fought the Fhoi Myore/Fomorians so they were heavily involved as very serious 'wandering monsters' on occasion. Scared the pants off the players, which is always fun.
                        It worked for my AD&D games. I liked being able to walk from Scotland (geographically of course,)to Cape Town without having to get my player's feet wet! The map eventually ended up as A0 size, taking in all of Europe as far east as the Volga and south to the Equator. It gave 'em plenty to do, Ha ha!
                        Last edited by Kipper; 01-23-2007, 12:18 PM.
                        He's well smoked


                        • #13
                          Amber and Elric's multiverse are easy to deal with as a GM...all you have to do is say, *this* is the way it works in this shadow/world. As for Amber, you don't have to let PC's be members of the royal family; my compromise was to cast them as distant relatives of Oberon's brood, not as powerful as the Princes but still having some ability to work Shadow. I ran and loved both Amber and Stormbringer campaigns.

                          Nehwon is a *gorgeous* RP world...the mere thought of some of the vivid scenes from the Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser stories sets my RP juices running.
                          TSR's Lankhmar, City of Adventure supplement is, sadly, out of print but there seem to be a few copies for sale on eBay.

                          Earthsea could be good too. LeGuin's spare storytelling leaves plenty of room for improvisation and invention.

                          ...and, freely associating:

                          The Land (Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant)
                          Glorantha (Runequest)

                          That oughtta holdja...


                          • #14
                            Being a planetary romance sort of guy, I 've thrown tons of Leigh Brackett Martian goodness in my Space:1889 games.
                            Martian amazons! Dead Races from Beyond! Erik John Stark!

                            And Jack Vance's Dying Earth is not half bad to deal with problem players - the sort that will shoot first and ask questions later tend to fall down and cry like babies after a few games in which long words count more than long swords...

                            I do not draw my own worlds for my games for the simple reason that I use my imaginary worlds for story-writing.
                            Playing in the same venues somewhat complicates the writing process, for me.