Saturday, November 13, 2010

How roleplayers see Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is, perhaps, the best known play in the world. We all know many of the lines like: "What's in a name," "A plague o' both your houses!" But have you ever thought about how this play would have turned out, had Shakespeare been a roleplayer? Well, here you go:

If Shakespeare played White Wolf's World of Darkness

Actually, I think he would have written the play pretty much as-is, but the set design would have made it impossible to tell where the actors were standing. Also, he would have instructed them to read aloud the stage direction, "they fight" when Paris dies at Romeo's hands, instead of actually attacking each other. The initial Prologue would be several times longer, side-tracking into a small play within the play about Romeo's father.

If Shakespeare played Pathfinder

Most of the first act would be cut short, but the initial fight scene would take up most of the left-over time with choreography directions for the actors consuming twice the length of the original first act text. The balcony scene would be much shorter, amounting to a quick confirmation that both had lost their will saves, after which Romeo would have to fight several squads of guards as he made is way out of the Capulet estate. In tomb at the end, Romeo would have to fight off grave robbers and a risen corpse of Juliet's grandfather in addition to Paris. When Juliet arrives, she would be killed by a trap which she failed to search for.

If Shakespeare played Dungeons & Dragons

The dialogue would mostly be cut short. The fight scenes would take up most of the play, thought the balcony scene would still exist as a test of skill for Romeo who would demonstrate his ability to hide in shadows and climb. Sadly, Juliet's part would have to be cut for time.

If Shakespeare played GURPS

The play would proceed as expected, but Romeo would have a handgun that a mysterious, time-traveling stranger had handed him and Paris would have telekinetic powers. Their fight would last until a team of men in black showed up to contain Paris and lock him away deep under the Capulet estate where a secret facility keeps the rest of the play safe from the things best left unmentioned.

If Shakespeare played Hero System

The play would never start. He'd still be statting up guard and trying to figure out what Romeo's energy defense came out to.

If Shakespeare played Fudge

The entire play would be improvisational.
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