Tuesday 5 May 2009

Pixel to paper

By now you'll have likely heard that Green Ronin Publishing has been sought out by game developer Bioware to create a pen and paper version of their Dragon Age: Origins game, aimed at further expanding the Dragon Age universe.

Pen and Paper Portal quite rightly pointed out how amusing the situation is, what with Bioware's first popular game being Neverwinter Nights, which based on D&D.

Stepping into the realm of the 'real' RPG is a pretty clever move as it allows for those interested in roleplaying to check the video game out and the gamers who may have never played a pen and paper RPG to have a go at it, which is good for the hobby.

This is not the first time video games have been converted into dice fodder. In 2002 Sword and Sorcery Studios released a D20 Everquest game and shortly afterwards White Wolf published rules for a World of Warcraft game, which was later converted to D20.

Creating p&p RPGs from video games allows a world which was once limited to become a sprawling and unending epic, only limited to the imagination. I wouldn't be surprised if more game developers started looking to the p&p crowd to produce RPGs to provide a more immersive experience to their game.


  1. uhm, they have tried this before...and it is a terrible idea. Folks who come to pen & paper from video games are generally disappointed and dislike the slower paced (less twitch) nature of pen & paper.

    look at the grave of those Print conversions of popular video game RPG's that have come before...

    Diablo from WotC...bombed & dead
    Everquest P&P...dead
    World of Warcraft...dead
    Two Worlds...never had a chance
    Warhammer? RPG was strong before the online game...the two will not cross over
    Conan? same thing pen & paper first...no cross over

    Given the huge Final Fantasy, WoW, Everquest, gaggles of players globally...if there was going to be a cross over, it would have already happened. You cannot translate the immediacy and twitch of eRPG's to pen & paper. Pen & Paper should strive to do what it does well (group play, shared story telling, immediacy of personal interaction face to face) rather than try to translate split second mouse twitches into a 300 pg rule book and die roll.

  2. I see your point Fenway5. I guess it only looks like a good idea on paper. I totally forgot about Diablo having a p&p conversion.

    We can only wait and see what happens with Bioware's baby.