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Converting a book to a campaign?

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namenlos
Vagabond
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Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#1 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:07 pm

Perhaps the question mark was deceiving. I am more interested in stating a book that I'd like to see done or would like to do myself and would be interested in hearing the input of others.

Just a few that inspired me to want to post this:
Sherlock Holmes
The Count of Monte Cristo



I know there are others out there that must? probably? feel the same, please share your ideas!

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RPG Dinosaur
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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#2 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:47 pm

For myself, I'm not sure about any as an ongoing campaign, I'm thinking more like as a one off themed module. I'll have to think about it, I'm going on my fourth hour online as I write this. Brain is starting to get foggy :crazy: Break time!
_Matt_

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#3 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:42 am

Yeah, that would probably be the best way to go about it. Both of those I mentioned would be interesting with added fantasy elements(like magic) or done sort of as is, in my opinion.

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#4 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:01 pm

Ok, I am refreshed and can put forth coherent thoughts.
One idea came to me late last night and seems like a natural. Journey to the Center of the Earth, which I just finished reading last month. I see a couple of different possibilities. The whole thing would be an uppermid to high level one off module. Of course all the characters names would probably be changed to fit the D&D theme, but Professor Hardwig would be cast as a high level Mage and his nephew Harry would be his student, approximately three levels lower. The plot of the book would be modified slightly so that instead of merely following in the tracks of Saknussemm (who would have also been a high level Mage when he was still alive) for glory, they would be after a certain treasure or book/parchments that he wasn't able to carry out and/or didn't want. Professor Hardwig would hire the player characters to help him and his nephew make the journey, which of course would be in a deep subterranean location. I see the Hans the guide character from the book being an optional NPC to go along with the group. If the DM felt the group needed more firepower I see Hans being a ranger who could also provide tracking, directions etc. If one of the player characters is already a ranger , he could be changed to an ordinary fighter. If the DM feels the group is strong enough without him, Hans could simply be omitted.
One important characteristic about Hans would be, like in the book, his unwavering loyalty to Professor Hardwig, no matter what the Professors plans are, and he would never need to check morale. This could come into play because I'm thinking that the Professor would be cast as insanely obsessed (again, very similar to the book) with getting all the way to the end, ignoring grave wounds, seemingly insurmountable threats, and even deaths (like the PCs, Hans, but maybe not if nephew Harry perishes, or Harrys death only absolutely strengthens Hardwigs resolve to finish the quest 'in Harrys memory'). I'm thinking that he demands the party keep going, no matter what the circumstances. At first he threatens to withold payment from any PC who dares leave early, then if the whole PC party decides to bail he attacks them, and if Hans is there orders him and Harry to do the same and Hans does! I'm thinking that Harry is a wild card. Set up some kind of loyalty roll for Harry before the adventure, and depending on the success or unsuccess prospects of the group reaching the treasure looks, Harry could either reluctantly help his Uncle fight the party or join the adventurers in fighting his uncle. The loyalty roll would have modifiers like how many people are badly injured, or if one of the PC Clerics healed Harry, etc. Or an unlikely possibility is that he might just take off and leave everybody else to fight it out. The Professors obsessive madness causes him to try to fight to the death.
Alternatively, this scenario could not occur. Perhaps the group reaches the treasure with only moderate wounds and the Professor doesn't have to browbeat anybody into continuing!
A similar adventure in terms of location without these characters has been done with White Plume Mountain.
Thoughts?
_Matt_

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#5 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:14 pm

I... just wrote out a whole long reply to you... and then was logged out /sigh. Took too many breaks I guess, Oh well. I suppose I'll try to rewrite it as best I can... It's just hard to get that level of excitement back up after such disappointment :( lol

I started by saying that I've now realized I posted under the welcome wagon forum, whoops but no ones told me no yet!

Journey to the Center of the Earth
I've yet to read this yet (or if I have can't remember) but I really enjoyed "Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea" when I read that, his writing style is intriguing to me. Your description of the story brought up in my head the book "The Lost World" (By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, not Crichton) which as it turns out was done about forty years after Journey to the Center of the Earth( I will refer to it as Journey from now on, if I need to) so probably drew some inspiration from it, who knows. The point being is that I liked "The Lost World" and find that to be another reason why I should find the time to read "Journey".
The way you described the Professor acting seems like an excellent way of adding in a time table for the players that they would have to manage, which I've never done or been party to and think it would make a good way to up the suspense/anxiety.

Sherlock Holmes
I made sure in my Homebrewed campaign to create a detective agency to at least provide this option, using original cases in the beginning at least. I think a campaign with Holmes and Watson as the PC's would be an interesting attempt at least, going through a case and then skipping the interim to the next one. More people interested would require more creativity from the Dm or players, figuring out what other PC's there would be, giving someone a chance to give Mrs. Hudson more character could be good or one of the street urchins part of Holmes' irregulars. Just some thoughts I had on that.

The Count of Monte Cristo
I think a literal translation of book to campaign for this one may be the hardest because there are so many time gaps. It gives a lot of options though, this really could become a long drawn out campaign if you were to explore the options of what each person was up to. The time between the opening and ending is around twenty years I think, it may take some commitment :D. This book gives a whole bunch of PC options as well, in my opinion; by which I mean are you: Dantes? His allies? The other families involved?

I had more the first time around but am finding that it is slipping my mind now, so I'll let you off the hook here! By the way, thanks for the response. I enjoyed reading your description of "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and your ideas for it as a campaign, I look forward to reading the book myself.

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#6 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:06 pm

Your welcome! Once I got the idea for the specific book in my head it was fun to run with it! I've come up with some details about the physical aspects of the subterranean adventure, but don't want to spoil the book for you as some of them are based on things right out of it.
I haven't read The Lost World, but seems to me like it would be a natural to convert into a campaign or module. Since it has those time lapses you describe, maybe a series of modules would be best. I think you have a good idea in just going straight to the next mystery from the last one with no interim time in between for the Sherlock Holmes portion. In terms of 1st edition, which is what I'm most familiar with, I see Holmes as being a Fighter/Mage, using spell capabilities to help solve mysteries. Isn't that what Mages do part of the time anyway (with trying to identify magic items,etc.)?
The whole reason I decided to read A Journey to the Center of the Earth was that too many of the Classics had been missing from my READ list. I would recommend the book to anybody. Haven't read The Count of Monte Cristo either.
_Matt_

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#7 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:22 am

Hey hey, I'll have a better reply soon, just trying to cover up all the spam. ATTACK!

:charge

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#8 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:25 pm

[quote="RPG Dinosaur" I see the Hans the guide character from the book being an optional NPC to go along with the group. If the DM felt the group needed more firepower I see Hans being a ranger who could also provide tracking, directions etc. If one of the player characters is already a ranger , he could be changed to an ordinary fighter. If the DM feels the group is strong enough without him, Hans could simply be omitted.
One important characteristic about Hans would be, like in the book, his unwavering loyalty to Professor Hardwig, no matter what the Professors plans are, and he would never need to check morale. This could come into play because I'm thinking that the Professor would be cast as insanely obsessed (again, very similar to the book) with getting all the way to the end, ignoring grave wounds, seemingly insurmountable threats, and even deaths (like the PCs, Hans, but maybe not if nephew Harry perishes, or Harrys death only absolutely strengthens Hardwigs resolve to finish the quest 'in Harrys memory'). I'm thinking that he demands the party keep going, no matter what the circumstances. At first he threatens to withold payment from any PC who dares leave early, then if the whole PC party decides to bail he attacks them, and if Hans is there orders him and Harry to do the same and Hans does![/quote]

I have to revise the Hans character if I am to run a scenario where he would follow the Professors instructions to attack the party. I would have to make him an ordinary fighter because a ranger following those orders would be working against the Good Alingment and be stripped of Ranger status. Hans would have to be a neutral.
_Matt_

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#9 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:10 am

I'd suggest some form of variant to fit his character maybe? I'm guessing you're using a Pre 3.0 edition(3.5 allows rangers to be whatever without experiencing a loss of abilities) or perhaps a later edition that I'm unfamiliar with?

An idea I had would be perhaps that his attacking the party would be the cause of his break in alignment. So if he were to be a higher level NPC some of that would be negated as he suffers the penalties. Just an idea.


---
The following is just an opinion and should not be misconstrued as fact :D If you are not interested in the following let me know and I'll edit it out and forget it hehe.

I'll start this by saying that instead of a book I'd like to see as a campaign this is a book I'd never want to take part in as a campaign.

I've recently read another review proclaiming Game of Thrones to be the new Lord of the rings. I cut my teeth on Tolkien as a child and can only express disgust at this comparison(once more just an opinion, I still respect those that like it :P ). I suppose this is all just opinion really so my apologies if I offend, I've read that there are die hard fans for this(perhaps just as I am of Tolkien! lol). Only reason I'm even bringing this up is out of curiosity, I wondered how alone I am in my thinking.

I will avoid going into specific points as that would require quite a bit of typing and my intent is actually to see if you'd be interested in talking about it further. My end desire would be to discuss what I think is done poorly(a sort of a what to avoid piece) while listening to your opinion whether for or against.

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#10 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:20 pm

[quote= RPG Dinosaur I would have to make him an ordinary fighter[/quote]
Not that there's anything wrong with that! I've enjoyed playing fighters.
Yeah, I've only played mostly 1st Edition, with a little bit of second. I had those systems in mind when devising everything for A Journey to the Center of the Earth, but you could use the theme for any system.
I did think of the possibility of Hans losing his alignment by attacking the party. The Professors mad obsession to reach the end could be matched by Hans mad loyalty to him, even at the expense of losing his ranger abilities.
I haven't read any of the Game of Thrones books so I can't really offer an opinion about that, but to say they are the new Tolkien books is a bold statement!
_Matt_

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#11 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:19 am

Fighters have often been my favorite class for most games, they are the most relatable for me(I think). Not that I'm some want to "fight all the time" kind of person, I think of them(and there are many other varieties) as the consummate professional soldier. Wizards may blow the heck out of everyone in a flashy show but a fighter molds the battlefield to his specifications so that he has the advantage. Hehe, just more opinions.

The wonderful thing about these RPGs is that there are so many possibilities for what happens to Hans(or what makes him do this and how it effects him), I often get caught up just exploring those ideas without writing anything down, they all seem good in their own way.

---
I do dislike Game of Thrones immensely but probably should hold my ranting to a minimum :D. I chalk it up to not having anyone to share this opinion with(those that like it don't want to hear bad things and middle grounders just don't care, lol), I should probably just start a blog... but blegh, not something I really enjoy. I will recommend watching the show if you enjoy interesting scenery(the one thing liked. see, I can say good things about what I don't like :D)... the books have become a sort of "word-salad"(this is a common opinion I've read) plus "kitchen sink"(specific to me opinion). Kinda wrote more than I wanted to about this... for shame!

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#12 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:52 pm

Don't know if you want to keep going with this, but I came up with another one. Actually, I'm pretty sure you or somebody else following this already thought of it, but didn't mention it: Robin Hood. Can't remember where I read this, but Gary Gygax allegedly based the 1E edition of the Ranger on Robin. Sounds believable to me. When it first occurred to me it seemed like a no-brainer, but with more thought many issues (at least in my opinion) come up.
For instance, say you're thinking of putting one of the PC's as Robin. I don't think the other players would enjoy being cast in the role of his Merry Band. At the very least, I think the DM would have to have a discussion before deciding to start such a game and see if the players would be okay with taking the lead from one player. That kind of occurrs with the Player caller, but this is different. Who knows, maybe the concept would be intriguing to enough of them that they wouldn't mind.
And if you cast an NPC as Robin, you might encounter the same thing with ALL the players. In this case, you have to find an entire group of players willingly to follow the lead.
I suppose that a creative DM could form something where the Players stay independent of Robin, and work with him cooperatively while he still pretty much directs the Merry Band.
_Matt_

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#13 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:20 am

Many apologies but I'm still around!

When I read your post about Robin Hood my first thought went to the archery contest. Robin does win by himself but the whole scene seems more about the Merry Men as a group than about Robin himself(outside of winning the shot). I guess I sort of see the actual tournament as the build up, and the ensuing chaos would be the interesting part where the PCs could put plans into action?

I see a way to do a Robin Hood story with a couple of easy "fixes". One being that his stories are hyped and that he did less than is told and relied more upon the Merry Men. My first thought here is that Robin is actually a raging drunk and never does anything and his men dress up as him, or prop him up, etc. to keep the legend alive :D ... that my favorite Robin Hood is by Mel Brooks might be influencing my thoughts here! haha.

Recently, I've just watched Hogans Heroes and am desperately wanting to bring these characters into a game... because :D

Also, did I mention Lovecraft in this thread already(I know someone(Stik? brought it up somewhere)? I think I'd have trouble making many of his stories into good campaigns.

I watched a recent series called "Penny Dreadful" and would really like to incorporate the atmosphere/vibe the show has into my darker campaign.

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#14 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:01 pm

My final thought concerning the Robin Hood possibility is that, again, it is an interesting prospect at first thought and probably difficult to pull off. Up to now we've been discussing the ideas of the PC's being Robin and his Merry Band or working with Robin and Co. I gave some thought to the idea of going the opposite direction: Have the Sheriff of Nottingham contract with the players to serve as his enforcers and try to 'deal' with the Robin Hood thorn in his side. But that brings it's own set of problems, it would probably be a conflict of alignment to set many of the the Players off on that course. UNLESS:
You have the Sheriff try to deceive the players. Of course, who isn't familiar with the Robin Hood story? So the only way this is going to work is if the DM renames everything (Sherwood Forest, Sheriff of Nottingham etc.) and doesn't literally copy the story. Throw in some poor villagers to try and provide a clearer picture than the propaganda that the Sheriff feeds the party. Will they listen, start doing there own investigating and their own thinking? If they don't, have the Robin character himself at some point before a confrontation occurrs try to reason that they aren't serving the cause of justice. Will they ignore him as well and just blindly try to subdue him and his band. Could be interesting.
_Matt_

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Re: Converting a book to a campaign?

Post#15 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:20 am

I have a very old Robin Hood book that is mostly written in the old English style and may include different versions, since the story is not true but passed down from an unknown source(I can't find the book at the moment or this might be a better post, sorry)
If you have the people interested in playing it, a Lawful Evil version of it may be interesting even allow them to explore the morality of it... a little, might just end up being heavy handed, heh.

I'd like to try "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" though it would take some addition as well as some messing with classes and setting... might be more difficult than it's worth.

"A Tale of Two Cities"? or a similar story, to navigate the French Revolution or just "the Reign of terror" period... I'm not a history buff so I'm definitely missing some information but it could end up being an interesting Campaign(I think).

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