Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Tonight, the Buffyverse is in turmoil. And not the fun in-character kind of turmoil either, but the grumpy-inducing out-of-character kind.

Here's why.

Look, if you want happy, go read my Doctor Who blog. It's a birthday over there.

But in a feeble attempt to scratch a bit of silver lining off this big old cloud, let's look at the idea of reboots as they relate to media-type games. They could make for a fun session or miniseries with the same players, as well as the obvious example of running the same game premise for a different bunch of people and using your old game as prep.

Of course, with the same players, a fairly straight retelling wouldn't be much fun, so go with one of the weirder reboot ideas...


That Was Then

The simplest reimagining looks back at a real-world or other dynamic setting and moves the characters from the then-present to the now-present. Play up changes in style and attitude.

This is probably funnier done in reverse. What would your modern Vampire game be like in New Wave Requiem, with the players taking on the roles of their normal PCs' sires, and the Prince talking on a phone the size of a book?


Darker And Edgier

Hey, it worked for Battlestar Galactica. Look at a grim, dark, or even GRIMDARK element in a less gloomy premise. So a Buffy game becomes World Of Darkness monster hunters, fighting horrific and at times sympathetic horrors in a rainswept city, but turned up to at least 11.


Brighter And... Rounder...?

Or go the other way - take a doomy and brutal game and run the cartoon spinoff or not-previously-mentioned cheesy 70s original show, where the characters are happy-go-lucky types and the villains don't kill anybody on-camera.


The Summer Blockbuster

Throw your game through some other kind of genre shift for a week or so. For example, crank up the Weird Level and the special effects budget, blow more stuff up, up the pacing of the session drastically. Use a more action-y ruleset. Or do a session of the game as Tim Burton would direct it.

This could even fit into an ongoing series, but might lead to a Jump The Shark moment as the players feel like nothing that follows can top it. (Could you accept Scully rationalising things for another three or four years after The X Files movie with her being stuck in an alien birthing pod in a giant Gigery spaceship in the Arctic? Really?)


A New Creative Team

What would the game be like if one of the other players was the GM? There's a danger of learning more than you wanted about how your settings, plots and NPCs are viewed, but seeing your world from the other side of the screen is bound to teach you something. Decide in advance, or in retrospect, if it's canon or not.


What If...?

There's got to be some turning point where you had an idea for what would have happened if X hadn't done Y or the PCs hadn't blown up the bridge or... A session looking at the effects of such a change could be interesting, as long as the players involved don't feel like their effect on the game world is being lessened.

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