What piece of media do you wish was an RPG?


Most of the time when I start designing a game it’s right after experiencing a piece of media and as a result of me going “wow, I’d love to recreate that experience.”

What experience would you recreate if you could, in game form? Try to be specific. Also, feel free to ignore the “if you could part” - let’s not get hung up on how we’d actually go about designing it (unless you want to in a reply thread or maybe in the game design section of the forum).

For my part, I’m currently working on a fantasy horror game, which is way out of my comfort zone, after I was inspired by the Prince of Nothing / Aspect Emperor series by R. Scott Bakker.

I really wanted a game that had mechanics that gave me clear goal posts to hit and specific ways my character might realistically change when confronted with existential horror in a fantasy setting (I know lots of games already deal with this - trust me this will be different and pretty darn cool).

Folklore and Fable Inspiration for Big Bad Jam?

I just finished season 3 (part 1 I guess?) of “Into The Badlands” and I’d love to see that world in RPG form. The factions, history, and sweet super Kung Fu hit all the right notes for me!


Oooh, good question. I feel like I have answers, lemme think on that…

I think it would be really cool to have a game that delivered on the Life is Strange sort of story: a kind of slice-of-life story about exploring people’s lives, but one of them has a superpower that escalates events. You’ve got this exploration of major events that impact the town, but you also have these lovely quiet moments where you get to take in a location, or a character.


I would love a system optimized for narrative in the vein of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s “Cemetery of Forgotten Books”. Quite introspective gameplay in an era of ‘interesting times’. A city, that is a character of it’s own, with books that are like spirits. You’re never quite sure if magic is just trickery, a state of mind or for real.

I’d imagine Itras By or Archipelago would go a long way. But I’d be keen to have some mechanism or rituals for reoccurring characters, that delve into strange personalities. Actually, in Itras By the setting seems surreal - while in Zafón’s books it’s the people.


I had to scour through my dvd and book collection to find the right answer, many of my favourite book/shows have already been made into games.

So my answer is… The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman.

Not sure what system would handle it, guessing something simple like the Black Hack?


Planetes, the manga/anime.

The easy part would be the mission structure with a piece of space junk at the centre that either has its own story to tell or ties into a character background.

The hard part would be modelling the way going to space impacts/reflects the characters psychologically.


Groundhog Day/Day After Tomorrow/Happy Death Day/Russian Doll style ‘relive the same day’ narrative.

I’ve kicked this around for years, and the utterly brilliant Russian Doll has me thinking about it again. I’m sure there’s a way to do it that’s compelling and cool for a really great one-shot, but I need someone way smarter than me to figure out how to get at it mechanically.


I just started playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney for the first time yesterday and already started drafting what could be a fun way to replicate the experience as a TTRPG. It would probably be a one-shot short game where we would deal with a single case. I love the way elements are added to the story and you have to make sense of them and find holes, and can’t stop imagining it as a collaborative experience.


Jack Chalker’s Well World.

(I ignore the terrible system from 1985.)


How much I would love something like this!

I’m tinkering around with some innerpersonal time travel ideas - adding elements of Butterfly Effect and About Time. There’s really some nice crossover with theater practice in this stuff. So some of my rules would be inspired by that.

As for core mechanics, I’m thinking about different randomizers. You’ll be abled to pick the amount of details/precision of your goals. The more details you’re forcing (i.e. manipulating the present/future by changing the past), the more chaos should also come into play.
Maybe a set of cards… but I believe jackstraws would be very fitting.


Nobilis is very much in the vein of Sandman.


I think @Curubethion is developing a light-weight Sandman-inspired game that was very promising.


Princess Bride.
Pirates of Dark Water.
Master of Orion, and similarly, Master of Magic.
Quest for Glory, which is based on a whole lot of personal D&D stuff in the Coles’ world but never really published.

I got more but there’s so much. I’d add Labyrinth but that’s in development right now!


This one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ck3rDu3Xtw


I feel like I’m going to make a list and then anyone watching my creative output for the next 10 years is going to be feeling spoilered :wink: Especially since that is exactly what I did with Bite Me!

But the two big ones are probably Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (no idea how to extract the thing I love about that book and gamify it though) and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (I know exactly what to do with that - I just haven’t gotten around to it yet!).

I think it is probably also the time that I mention that the thing I love in a media isn’t always gameable. For example I adore Terry Pratchett - I started reading his books when I was 11 and I’ve read them ever since. But his witty turn of phrase, biting satire and gentle philosophy isn’t something I can see replicated at the gaming table and I have no desire to play in an Ankh Morpork flavoured FATE game or similar.


Right you are! At this point, it’s like a token-based World of Dungeons hack with a very different scope. I should probably playtest it, and it’ll eventually get on the forums once I’ve honed it somewhat and probably polished it up.


Hopefully we can soon add this to the “what are you working on” thread. :grin:


So the obvious (and true) answer from me is “Battlestar Galactica” because I’m writing a game inspired by it.

But a couple of others are:

  • Neverwhere, Kraken, and other weird urban fantasy. See forthcoming game by @BeckyA and me, which is going to rock.
  • Joe Abercrombie’s stuff. Ahhhh, I really want to write the game of his stuff. (I’m mostly thinking the First Law trilogy, but I loves it all.)


The TV show based on that in the 1990’s is one of the few TV shows I’ve ever watched which has actually led me to change my behaviour. I’d love to see that again.


I’ve always loved the Earthsea novels by Ursula LeGuin (well, the first three anyway) and I’ve often thought that there are many untold stories which could be played in those islands.

I’ve recently enjoyed watching Travellers on Netflix, and the interesting take that brings on time travel stories could prove an interesting and fertile setting for a game - the integration with 21st century, the unexpected gaps in the knowledge the future had about your host, changing priorities in the future because of the ripple effect of your work, and the essentially hidden nature of the future. Lots of possibilities.