15 minutes ago
Monday, March 26, 2012
Like a whole lot of other people in America, I caught The Hunger Games this weekend. I’ve never read the book--I actually kind of avoided it as a young adult, Running Man/Battle Royale ripoff. Apparently, I was a little hasty in my judgement, because I enjoyed the movie quite a bit.
One of the author’s stated inspirations was the myth of Theseus. Young heroes, mazes, and monsters suggest a way that a sort of Hunger Games set-up could be adapted to a typical fantasy rpg set-up.
Sure X-Crawl does some of this, but it's set the in modern day, and seems to view its dungeoncrawlers as celebrity athletes, borrowing inspiration from Running Man to a degree. Things might go a bit differently when (Like The Hunger Games), one plays up more of a American Idol-esque reality show contest aspect. And of course, there’s the sacrifice-chosen-by-lottery part.
Say some great empire (possibly magical or even magitech) demands a tribute of youths from its conquered territories. These teens are given a bit of training then sent into the labyrinth--or dungeon. Other than perhaps multiple monsters, that's pretty much the Theseus set-up, but an empire with D&D-ish magic at its disposal can get a lot closer to the media saturated world of The Hunger Games. Maybe the empire keeps it’s citizens happy bread and circuses style with remote-viewed observation of the dungeon doings.
The set-up would raise some interesting questions. Did the decadent empire build the dungeons for this purpose (and magically create the monsters therein) or are they just exploiting them? Is there a way the young dungeon-crawlers can turn their new abilities and the skills they’ve gained to their advantage?