Favourite Tie-In Fiction – RPGaDay 2023

The RPGaDay question for today is:

Favourite tie-in fiction

First of all, I pondered how much fiction there is out there that springs forth from a game system or setting. And there’s quite a lot, I guess. D&D aside, there is fiction from PARANOIA, Delta Green, Dragon Age and others on my shelf. All good stuff, but I wouldn’t consider any of them to be a particular favourite.

Really, I look to graze them for ideas. And that’s true in the other direction, where something spawns a game. I read Doctor Who, Star Trek, Lovecraft, and similar to kickstart ideas for one-shots or hooks.

But, a favourite?

The books by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag – which have gone on to become RPGs, board games and TV series – are short, glorious, dark, emotive, captivating, heart-punching tales of alternate nows or near futures.

Stories like The Labyrinth, Tales from the Loop, and Things from the Flood feature gorgeous artwork that juxtaposes the known or familiar with the strange – like giant robots abandoned near deserted roads or weird research facilities looming over rural scenes.

My favourite is probably Electric State – which has been developed and directed as a movie by The Russo Brothers – and I’ve adapted it myself to a game or two that I’ve run at conventions using Electric Schemes. It’s just such a great setting with all kinds of potential for storytelling. And, in itself, a dark journey through a troubled landscape that left me feeling really sad.

The book even has its own handouts (from the Kickstarter edition, I think).

RPGaDay is a prompt-driven experience in tabletop roleplaying, initiated by Dave Chapman of Autocratik and powered by you and me.

The prompts for this year are as follows — and you can find out more on Dave’s website.


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