Rich Rogers (orklord from Canon Puncture) & I game via Skype every other Tuesday. When we talked about games we could play, we recalled my post about Final Fantasy VII using Beast Hunters. Rich is the Hunter & I'm the Challenger.
Rich never played FF7, but he's seen Advent Children & read up on FF7 on Wikipedia. I played the hell out of FF7 back in 2001 and have watched Advent Children a good half-dozen times. Given that, we set this game a year after Advent Children's events. Rich made a former SOLDIER with a checkered past, Jace Concord. His unit went pretty brutal, as his commander killed the woman he loves, a fellow SOLDIER, in a training exercise. As a result, Jace is a bit socially out-of-touch, which served as the game hook. (I'll leave more about the character to Rich.)
I have given Rich room to make liberties about the setting, since I don't want to be an ass by constraining him into something that he's less familiar with -- that's a fun killer. My rule of thumb is "If it sounds cool and doesn't break the feel of post-Advent Children FF7, it works for me." Example: he wanted a creature-ish pet/animal companion, and we talked about summons in FF7. He was inspired by the shadowy monsters in AC, and described a "ghost wolf" that he has that can appear and disappear at will thanks to some materia he has.
Rich is completely new to Beast Hunters, and my own experience with the game is playing in a pre-negotiated challenge at Go Play NW. So, getting the hang of the rest of the game caused a bit of stumbling for both of us. We did two challenges in the game where I gave, but we were still fairly unsure how to handle role-playing in that formulaic challenge space. I think it's something we'll figure out with some practice, though.
We're still figuring out what hacks we're going to do. We've decided to map BH-beasts to FF-summons. Beast Hunts as-created don't quite fit the right space, because the vibe I get from that is "I'm a warrior looking to prove myself within my culture," and that doesn't quite fit the way our FF7 game is set up. So, instead, I proposed that we call this first adventure a Beast Hunt, but since we're making up this hacks as we go along, Rich isn't sure what he's going to fight at the end. The character isn't exactly questing to kill a beast as per BH -- he's instead tracking leads and getting into fights that's going to lead to him facing down with some sort of creature.
We're also chewing on what to do with Materia -- me more than Rich, since I know more about what Materia is and what it meant in FF7. I definitely want to involve it somehow as something more than just a MacGuffin. The more social & emotional elements of FF -- guilt, love, loneliness, etc. -- are being handled as themes we're hitting on in our playing. Guilt & loneliness are two elements we're really hit hard in our first session.
I'll leave it at that for now. Rich seemed to like how I kicked off the game, but I should leave him room to talk.