Decades spent in any hobby will result in the accumulation of a lot of stuff. Modules, maps, campaign books, you name it. A gamer can accumulate great stores of materials for games they no longer play.
The most direct way to re-purpose gaming materials is to ignore the mechanics and adapt the setting and story material to a newer preferred system. This is pretty easy to do.
Adaptation of RPG Materials
Slightly more involved is adapting material from one genre to another. Set a dungeon crawl aboard a derelict spacecraft, or in a World War II bunker complex.
A third, and potentially more interesting use is to run a game that slips from reality to reality or world to world. These campaigns sometimes center in environments where multiple settings converge. They can include everything but the kitchen sink.
Ready-Made Kitchen Sink RPG Campaigns
There are a number of games out there already set up for this kind of thing.
- Rifts is perhaps the quintessential kitchen-sink setting.
- Torg is another system, though perhaps a bit older.
- Feng Shui allows for the existence of as many alternate realities as you might need.
- Jumpers directly shunts players from world to world.
Custom Kitchen RPG Cabinets
More ambitiously, you can come up with some kind of narrative framework that involves the spread of setting and situation encompassing the breadth of your collection. Some ideas:
- Players are gamers playing in an elaborate high-tech gaming park. (Like in Niven and Barnes’s Dream Park)
- Players are gamers playing in some form of virtual reality. Maybe there’s a system’s error, or maybe they are playing competitively.
- Players are normal folk spinning helplessly from reality to reality (Like in the TV show Sliders)
- Players have some kind of conveyance allowing them to travel between realities intentionally. These realities might be other dimensions, or other planets. (As in Doctor Who)
We’ll develop some of these frameworks in the next few posts.