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Adapting Non-Roleplaying Material


As a lifelong roleplaying enthusiast, I've always been fascinated by the creativity of the hobby. One of the most thrilling aspects of preparing for a game is constructing a vivid, immersive world for players to explore. To achieve this, many gamemasters and game designers, including myself, turn to a wide array of sources for inspiration. These sources include popular novels, television shows, movies, and other media. This essay aims to dig into the art of "idea mining" from these non-roleplaying materials and explore how they can be skillfully adapted to enrich our fantasy roleplaying scenarios.

The importance of adapting various media into roleplaying settings lies in its ability to enhance the depth and authenticity of the experience. It not only provides a reservoir of ideas for plots, characters, and settings but also helps in creating a shared frame of reference among players, making the roleplaying experience more engaging and relatable. This essay will guide fellow gamemasters on how to identify suitable elements from their favorite media, and  how to transform these elements in ways that fit seamlessly into the mechanics and spirit of their roleplaying games. By sharing insights and methods for this creative process, I hope to empower others to broaden their narrative horizons and craft truly unique roleplaying experiences.

Lux Adversaria is a series of informal essays where I dig into different aspects of roleplaying. "Adversaria" refers to "miscellaneous writings" in Latin, representing my personal collections of notes and reflections. The term "lux adversaria" roughly translates to "light of adversity," reflecting my exploration of challenges and difficult topics.

Lightspress believes in keeping roleplaying simple, focusing on useful content rather than flashy presentation. After all, the real magic of roleplaying happens around the table, where creativity and collaboration thrive, not in a book. 

Berin Kinsman is a writer and publisher in the roleplaying community, best known for his work at Lightspress. He specializes in creating narrative-driven resources that enhance storytelling and accessibility in experiences.


In this essay, I explore the process of adapting non-roleplaying material like novels, television shows, and movies into content for fantasy roleplaying. The focus is on "idea mining," where elements from these media are identified and transformed to enhance the narrative depth and engagement of roleplaying scenarios. I discuss how to select appropriate materials and detail the types of content that are most beneficial for adaptation, including plots, characters, settings, and thematic elements. The essay provides practical adaptation techniques, ensuring these elements not only fit within the game’s world but also respect original content boundaries. This piece aims to offer valuable insights and tools for gamemasters seeking to enhance their roleplaying experiences by bridging the gap between various storytelling mediums and the interactive nature of roleplaying games.

51 pages. PDF format.

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June 6th, 2024
Will this also be available in epub format so I can read it through the Kindle app? [...]
May 19th, 2024
I found this disappointing. It's 51 pages of generalities and concepts. I was hoping for examples, techniques, and case studies, but the content labeled as such amounts to a paragraph or two each of generalities and concepts. For instance, we're [...]
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File Last Updated:
April 30, 2024
This title was added to our catalog on April 30, 2024.