Using one system to play another?

edited September 2011 in Story Games
So I did an experiment this weekend that I have been kicking around for a while. Never thought I would try it until after hearing John Wick talk about Santa Vaca. I thought it would fail horribly, but it turned out to be the awesome.

We took a character sheet from one game and used it to play another.

Example 1:
We used Ars Magica characters, but Houses of the Blooded mechanics.

Example 2:
We used Diaspora characters, but Apocalypse World's mechanics.

It took a few minutes to figure out how everything would translate between all of the systems. What you would roll, how you would roll it, and when, and playing around with the numbers a bit to fit an appropriate range, and a few little mechanics that had to be created in order for it all to work. But, after a few hours of work, and our first play through we had an awesome little game that was uniquely its own.

Just thought I would share this very interesting little experiment in game design.


  • edited September 2011
    We once brought Vampire characters into AD&D. Most of them got their asses kicked because their stats were so damn low. I mean, come on, Strength of 5 and only seven hit points? Big deal! My fighter has a 17 Str and 11 HP at first level! Much later we decided that Exalted characters would work better, because they got so many attacks and did about as much damage. But they still didn't have any HP and the first fireball would take them all out, so we never played it.

    True story.

    (not really)

    Edit: I actually think it's a neat idea; I'm just being funny. Hopefully.
  • I actually think this is something that could work in some cases. I'm in a group that will probably be started up a skype gaming running pathfinder via archipelago. Essentially, we going to use the setting fluff, and create characters as guidelines for story integrity.
  • There was actually a play challenge all about this back in 2007. Maybe it's time for another?
  • Posted By: HumphThis concept is of such basic simplicity I often wonder why I bother to explain it, but there are those who can be a little slow on the uptake - so pay attention.

    A game is comprised of two elemental components - the rules and the characters. The obvious and simplest analogy would be a cooking pot or saucepan containing food in the process of being cooked. The contents are like the characters, and these are contained within the pan much in the same way the rules carry the characters. Just as there are many varieties of rules, so there are an infinite variety of pots and pans and each type can contain all manner of different foodstuffs, or characters. These can vary from simple fare, such as Baked Beans or soup, through to quite complex dishes like stews or Coq au Vin, and they can be cooked (or played) in two different ways - one involves the boiling water of the classical style, the other the hot fat of a more contemporary interpretation. However, beware for the latter has its incipient dangers.

    I can sense you are keen to hear more, so let’s move on to Health and Safety aspects. As you are no doubt thinking, isn’t there some precaution we can take in the event of one of these pots catching fire? Quite right - as every safety conscious cook knows it is vital on these occasions to keep handy a huge wet blanket. At the GM screen is Colin Sell.
    I'm Sorry...
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