During the month of August, I’m participating in RPG a Day 2017. Each day I’ll answer a question, or my interpretation of a question, about tabletop roleplaying games. For those who have wanted your beloved UncleBear to get back into RPG blogging, this is the closest you’re going to get.
Which RPG Do You Enjoy Adapting the Most?
My honest answer to this question is admittedly self-serving. The reason I created the Lighthouse Roleplaying System was so that I could adapt it for the settings I want to create. Rather than using an established rules set, I scratch-built something that suited my preferred style of play and my taste in mechanics. I enjoy games that have a focus on cooperative play, storytelling, and actual roleplaying. All of the gaming material that I create going forward will use Lighthouse.
One of the reasons I enjoy this so much is because no one can tell me the correct way to adapt it. Having published material for other systems under the Open Game License, I found that people have certain expectations. They want your Pathfinder thing to look like everyone else’s Pathfinder thing. There’s a demand for your Fate supplement to follow the same format as every other Fate supplement. You’re allowed to be different, but not too different.
On one level I get that. Consistency promotes ease of use. Familiarity is comfortable. How far can you reasonably change a thing before it fundamentally stops being that thing? As a third party publisher, you are dependent upon the original publisher and their audience for support.
Yet on another level, I find it frustrating. That sort of thinking can limit or even block innovation. You can’t explore the possibilities of a system if you need to appease the audience. With my own system, whatever I choose to do is canon. Anything I do to alter or expand the rules to suit a genre or setting is official. And because it’s official, the audience is far more accepting.
Check Out the My Games
If you haven’t checked out Lighthouse yet, it’s reasonably priced. You can also download the first game built on the system, Revelations in Cold Iron. There are currently five more games in the pipeline, the next up being the space opera epic Starlight Manifesto.