Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stranger in a Strange Land

What do...

Have in common?*

They are all characters from 'the real world' who, for various reasons, find themselves in a strange new world.

It is a trope that is used a lot in fiction, but not one that is used often in roleplaying games (the only one I can think of offhand is 'Earthdawn').

The problem with well know roleplaying games (Star Wars, Krynn, WoW) is that the players often know as much, if not more than the gamemaster. The problem with homebrew worlds is that the players have to know something, which can result in an enthusiastic gamemaster infodumping for an hour, or prepping pdfs, or wikis that no one really reads, anyway.

The way around it is the Stranger in a Strange Land method. Let the players make a character from a system they are familiar with and then (via wormhole, time travel, magic hubcap etc) have them transported into a strange new world. (I did something similar once where I lead a party of D&D characters through a witchgate into Talislanta). I really like this idea and am going to work on formalizing it in Extinction Level Event.

*In Order: John Carter of Mars, Miles Monroe of 'Sleeper', the children of “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’, Joel of ‘MST3K’, Neo of ‘The Matrix’ and John Crichton of “Farscape’.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Apologies for the off-topic comment, but I couldn't find a contact email for you.

    I've recently put out an ebook of my writing, called 'The New Death and others'. It's mostly short stories, with some obvious gamer-interest material. For example I have a story inspired by OD&D elves, as well as poems which retell Robert E Howard's King Kull story 'The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune' and HP Lovecraft's 'Under the Pyramids'.

    I was wondering if you'd be interested in doing a review on your blog.

    If so, please let me know your email, and what file format is easiest for you, and I'll send you a free copy. You can email me ( or reply to this thread.

    You can download a sample from Smashwords:

    I'll also link to your review from my blog.