Sunday, March 22, 2015
Further Thoughts on Converting Established Settings to the Far Away Land RPG
Now, I say "further thoughts", as this was one of the questions brought up on the first episode of the Far & Away Podcast - do you tweak the rules to fit the setting or do you pick from the setting to bring pieces to Far Away Land?
I said "leave the rules intact and bring in the setting in pieces" but in retrospect, that answer is a little lacking and depending on the setting, it might not be the totally correct choice.
Case in point: I've got this idea burrowing around my head to use the FAL rules to run a Red Dwarf campaign (you know, the classic British SciFi show). This would require a mostly new set of boons, which is easy enough to do but kinda opposite of what I suggested with my original answer.
So, my revised answer would be pretty much as follows: understand the setting you wish to port over and what defines it. Don't worry about rules so much as history, personalities, geography and the like. Port that over. Tweak the FAL rules by adding or removing boons from the list - allowing one to change flavor without effecting the core rules system.
The core rules of Far Away Land are easy to learn and use, but you don't want to tweak them to make them needlessly more complicated. If you find you can't convert the setting with a light touch, it may not be a good fit for FAL.
As a side note, the power curve in FAL is greatly tamped down compared to most OSR games. PCs remain vulnerable to weaker threats throughout their careers. Settings like Forgotten Realms may not fit well without changing some of the base assumptions of the setting.