Sunday, June 27, 2010

Porting Over Fantasy Elements

There are several tropes of fantasy gaming that I especially like, and I keep finding ways to port these over to supers gaming in reasonable ways. Here are a few that I particularly like, and how they’re making their way into Resolute.

1. The Mega Dungeon. I’ve always felt that fantasy RPG worlds were defined in many ways by their mega dungeon. For Resolute Earth, this is the ruins of the Citadel of Tomorrow. The Citadel has all of the requisite elements: various factions, tons of different creatures, mad schemers, portals to other realms, strange, powerful devices, and winding passageways. At one point, I toyed with calling this the ‘fortress of disquietude’, but went with the Citadel of Tomorrow for the ‘fallen world’s fair’ vibe it gives off. An entire series could be set within the Citadel, with the heroes trying to recapture this in the name of order. It’s a big task.

2. Races and Cultures. By tying ancient mythological gods directly to the core setting (rather than having these serve as an add-on or a secretive, behind-the-scenes sort of affiliation) I bring that element into the game world. The general population is aware of the existence of Atlanteans and Norse immortals in the same way that humans in a fantasy world may be aware of elves and dwarves; you know they’re out there, but it’s still a little freaky to have dinner in the same restaurant.

3. Magical Items. The powers of supers are already over the top to begin with, so including elements in the game that make them even MORE over the top starts to get a little crazy. Fortunately, the way Resolute scales makes this not as big of a deal as it could be. In many ways, technology is modern magic, and gadgets become the replacement for potions and limited-use magical devices. This isn’t a direct parallel, but it gives the same sort of flavor to the game and mixes things up a bit. With the Echo City Sourcebook, I even toyed with the inclusion of a ‘cursed’ item, showing how this concept could work in supers gaming.