I’ve been obsessing over HBO’s Watchmen lately, and it has me thinking about whether or not there’s any way to capture the spirit of the show/book’s storytelling in the RPG space.
I’m thinking less about the story’s specific themes (deconstructing superheroes, who wields power and how?, etc.) and more about the style of storytelling. The way both the book and the show utilize recurring motifs and symbols, information density, rewarding worldbuilding, and clever/intentional structure. It gets my brain whirring in all sorts of interesting ways. And I’m wondering if it’s possible to capture that energy in a ttrpg.
My instinct is: No. Game stories are almost by definition looser than something like Watchmen, and games’ strengths are almost entirely antithetical to this kind of storytelling.
But… can it be done? If so, how would you handle it? Are there games that already exist that scratch this itch for you?
And I guess one more question: If Watchmen the comic was designed specifically to be a COMIC and utilize that medium’s strengths while exploring its possibilities, and Watchmen the show is doing the same for TV… what would be the game version?