The Red Box Blog

Ramblings about D&D.

Reinventing Mythology

Two of my favorite tv series in the past decade have been Smallville and Merlin both of which are based around the same concept – taking an existing mythology and reinventing it with all of the main characters being young adults.

Smallville cast pic from a few years ago.

There are many other similarities between the shows, most notably that both shows reversed the nature of the most important relationship in the show, but then have allowed said relationship to gradually become the one fans of the mythology know (Smallville with Clark-Lex, Merlin with Merlin-Arthur).

Merlin cast photo.

This morning I find myself wondering how this sort of re-envisionment might work as a basis for a campaign. Start with a mythology that all the member of the group are very familiar with, then together reinvent it, by de-aging the characters, and grouping them together; have them all be young, and inexperienced in the same time and place.

Inevitably the result of this is going to be a world that is different from the one of the source material; but that’s the point. The idea of making a campaign like this would be to bring a feeling of familiarity without all the constraints which would accompany basing a campaign around the original world.

For example, one could make a campaign where the members of the fellowship of the ring are all young rapscallions growing up together. The changes you would have to make to Middle Earth for such a campaign to function would be huge, but easily accomplished if you designed the campaign in the same way these shows seem to be made – with no initial preconceived notions of how the world is supposed to be. Basically you would not be figuring out how to modify Middle Earth to suit your campaign, but would instead try to find ways to work elements of Middle Earth into your campaign.

Unlike the some of my other campaign ideas I have shared on this site, I feel quite certain that this would work and work well. All it would need is a group that all know and love a given mythology, but aren’t afraid to change it.

Have an opinion about this article? I love comments. Please feel welcome to leave your thoughts.


December 30, 2010 Posted by | Campaign Ideas, Dungeons and Dragons, Magic Items, RPGs | , , , , , | Leave a comment