Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Role-Playing Game I'd Like To Play

A few years back, I was trying to figure out how to do Oz as an RPG. No, not the HBO TV series. L. Frank Baum's setting.

I think most of us have seen the movie, but the movie is not the book, which is in the public domain. As are most (if not all) of the (more than you think there are) Oz books. Project Gutenberg has most of them in a variety of formats. And they're worth reading.

Yes, they're aimed at kids. This is actually one reason I abandoned the project - the setting was too saccharine to make an effective game. Good always triumphed over evil, who - really - never even had a chance. Most of the character background elements that GM's use to hang story hooks on just don't fit in an idyllic setting such as this.

I gave up completely. Tossed my notes.

Then I watched SyFy's "Tin Man" film. It wasn't spectacular, but it was entertaining and grownup. And got me thinking about Oz again.

Then I saw this a few weeks ago. Go. Watch it now. I'll wait.

Suddenly, the land of Oz doesn't seem like quite as idyllic a setting, and I'm pondering pulling the project off of the back burner.

I can see it run as a Sorcerer game, with each PC haunted by their own demons, as it were. After all - the classic four characters were all deeply flawed in some way. In the first book. After the first book, they were just as flawed, but they didn't let their flaws get in the way - and they had different flaws.

Or maybe it would be playable in Fate - after reading through Spirit of the Century, I think it could be a good match. After all, each character had a number of distinctive traits that could easily be picked as Aspects.

Maybe it could be done in The Burning Wheel. I'm not sure which flavor of BW - it'd either have to be the core BW game or a Mouse Guard hack. Burning Empires isn't really as translatable to a different setting. I just got the core game, so I don't know how adaptable it is, yet (based on what I've seen so far, it's very adaptable). Mouse Guard, on the other hand, has an entire forum devoted to hacks such as this one.

I may have to think about resurrecting the project, which means reading the books again, looking for shadows I can amplify.

Sounds like a great way to spend a few days - reading.

1 comment:

  1. Be sure to check out ZORCERER OF ZO.

    Review here: