Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The key appeal of something you're adapting

After the success of Sherlock, the BBC are apparently looking at modernising... The Three Musketeers.

Now, the basics of the plot work fine - military men get mixed up in the power plays of the ruling elite - but I worry it might lose something in the translation... something about... how to include swordfights?

Because I think those are kind of key.

Sherlock works (a) because it’s done really well overall and (b) because the modernisation doesn’t affect the core of the stories, which is a slightly mad detective solving mysteries. There's plenty of room for “slightly mad detective solving mysteries” shows, as anyone can see by looking at Channel 5 in the UK any evening.

But if you’re adapting The Three Musketeers I want swordfights!

Unless they go really alternate-world there won’t be much chance of many of them. And if they start looking for excuses that will get even more grating.

(Edit for those reading a year or more later - The Musketeers has swordfights and a period setting.)

Something to consider when adapting a plot, or running a game based on something. A current RPGnet thread asks what’s a good game for The Avengers and while the new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying is the obvious suggestion for the action, would it encourage the interplay between the characters?

I’m looking at this at the moment as well with my future Star Wars game. No Empire, no Sith, no Stormtroopers - I can understand why The Old Republic made its setting so samey but I think it’s too easy. Hopefully the new bad guys I create will be engaging enough, as long as I keep things like blaster fights, space battles, lightsaber duels, chases, monsters, and arguing in the middle of combat. Fingers crossed.

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