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Thread: Looking for ideas for a modern pan-fantasy game

  1. #1
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    Looking for ideas for a modern pan-fantasy game

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    So, my last pan-fantasy game (Play whatever you want, from any genre) didn't work- the rules were, "play any character from any fantasy genre, even one you made up", and me as the GM would get the group together somehow. Industrious as I was, I couldn't get the Arthurian Druid and the Japanime Magical-Girl to work in the same party... Go figure...

    My next venture in the pan-fantasy genre would be to restrict the game to Modern Fantasy- Your character can be from any fantasy genre (even one you made up), as long as you're at least somewhat savvy about the contemporary world, and the basis for your genre is magic, not tech (No Superhero!). So, wand-wielding British teens alongside Washingtonian sparkly vampires alongside immortal Scotsmen after each others' heads... it's all good...

    Now that the bulk of the fantasy literature coming out is modern and not Medieval, this is where fantasy is heading, so- What would you do with such a game?

    And, what rules system would you use for such a crazy endeavor?

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    I would draft up a "framework" for some archetypes I was expecting to see in my game. The whole "do whatever you want" always ends in disaster. Players don't need a wide open field, they need the ability to customize and personalize a character to fit what they want to play.

    I would do something like this;

    Archetypes:
    1) The plucky witch - wants to uncover the secrets of witchcraft to empower themselves against the unknown.
    2) The reluctant adept - learned to channel energies into their martial discipline, but has reservations about their new-found power.
    3) The magical genius - curious and ever reaching for more knowledge, seeks the secrets of the magical-verse.
    4) The troubled sorcerer - infused and patronized by an otherworldly power, works toward controlling impulses and influences of this strange benefactor.
    5) The repentant monster - this human-looking creature from the "other side" has shed their alien ways seeking redemption for past deeds.
    6) The inspired rogue - magic and mystery are keys to unlocking the hidden fortunes of the world, both tangible and not.

    Then, you can design a campaign, motivations, hooks, around these archetypes.

    I personally am really digging Unisystem these days; a nice compromise between crunch and rules-light. Traditional approach. Look at Withcraft (classic) and Ghosts of Albion (cinematic) for ideas.
    Last edited by trechriron; 06-29-2012 at 01:40 PM. Reason: grammar, puncuation.
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    Industrious as I was, I couldn't get the Arthurian Druid and the Japanime Magical-Girl to work in the same party... Go figure...
    Not sure how you would have trouble with that, particularly since there are comparative folklore articles noting similarities between Celtic fairy lore and some aspects of Shintoism. Belldandy would have made a great innocent goddess friend of Rhiannon or Epona, for example, and Aisling (the fairy named after the visionary poem genre) in the Secret of the Kells is surprisingly similar to a magical girl.

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    Hi, guys. Just off the wall, you could get yourself a copy of PDQ rules. Check Atomic Sock Monkey to locate a copy. You can convert any game style to match and a single die roll covers any interaction. I use it often.
    Last edited by spotlight; 06-30-2012 at 04:14 PM.
    Sure, Life IS like a bowl of cherries, but how SWEET they are depends on how much crap your willing to take to fertalize your DREAMS. Michael L. Cross

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    Good idea, trechriron- personas rather than backgrounds will give the players more to play off of...


    Thematically, anime and low fantasy may have a lot in common, but they were being played at the opposite ends of the seriousness spectrum, so things never really held together...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    but they were being played at the opposite ends of the seriousness spectrum, so things never really held together...
    Ah, I should have noticed you wrote he wanted to play a japanime magical girl (like the silliness of a badly dubbed Cartoon Network Sailor Moon) and NOT an anime magical girl (like the depth of a subtitled Puella Magi Madoka Magica).

    That seems less a genre problem than a mood problem, though.

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    that sounds like the classic straight man - funny (girl) combo to me. too bad the players did not click into that and pull it off.
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