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TTRPG Settings That Need a Film Adaptation

This weekend, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was released to theaters. It has been received very well by both critics and audiences. The movie has a solid opening weekend and outperformed the Shazam 2. The success of the film, while not being a huge hit by any means, does indicate that other TTRPGs could be adapted for the big screen. There have even been discussions about TV adaptations and sequels of beloved settings in the D&D Multiverse.

TechRaptor has delved into the settings and worlds of other TTRPGs to see which can be a fun time in a movie theater.

Numenera Rat Monster Lab Artwork - TTRPG Settings That Need a Film Adaptation

Numenera

The land of Numenera is first on the list. The land of Numenera, created by Monte Cook as the first setting for award-winning Cypher System and its debut fantasy world, seems to be a typical fantasy with kings castles swords armor. It’s actually set in our own world, one billion years into the future. All of the magical and fantastical artifacts are just highly advanced technologies from the past. This is a universe that’s inspired many official adventures, as well as and a videogame version.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe, with its battlesuit billionaires and interdimensional Norse Gods, as well as gamma-radiated giant Berserkers is so popular that it’s likely a large audience would be more than willing to accept a fantasy set in the far future. The setting lends itself to social commentary, character driven narratives and more.

Coyote & Crow

The world of Coyote & Crow is a more recent addition in the TTRPG line-up. The setting was published by 2021 and depicts a different history in which the native peoples of North America, South America did not become colonized. The world is in a new Ice Age because of a terrible cataclysm that occurred around the year 1400. In 700 years time, the indigenous population has thrived with its own culture and technological wonders.

This is an incredibly high-concept world that begs for cinematic adaptation. The Black Panther films and other indigenous film like Blood Quantum or Prey have all set precedents for telling stories in different ways. A movie can not only help to highlight indigenous talent in the industry but it can also be an effective examination of the long-lasting effects of colonialism on our modern society.

Coyote and Crow World Artwork - TTRPG Settings That Need a Film Adaptation

Legend of the Five Rings

The long-running Fantasy Flight Games tabletop series Legend of the Five Rings has a rich and expansive setting that is heavily based on Japanese culture and folklore. Seven clans serve as the Imperial Land of Rokugan. It is also a place of conflict between the clans. Natural calamities and supernatural forces threaten to bring down the Empire.

Blades in Dark

The Shattered Isles, from John Harper’s Blades in the Dark, is practically crying out for a film adaptation. The name suggests that players will take on roles as bandits, thieves and scoundrels to pull off elaborate heists. The details are what make the world so unique. It’s a dark and gothic setting with corrupt police and an underworld of criminals fighting for control.

The world is full of sci-fi elements and wild fantasy. A mysterious event known as the Cataclysm destroyed the sun and turned the oceans into dark, unimaginable voids. The remaining civilization was reduced to a moody realm of shadows and storms. There are also occult practices, spirits who attack people, and a power grid powered by leviathan blood.

Deadlands

Deadlands is a work of Shane Lacy Hensley that focuses on alternate history. Deadlands is set in 1876 and depicts an alternate version of Wild West where evil supernatural beings called Reckoners have twisted the land. They have more power the greater the fear of a group. The fear can be anything, from scary trees to zombies or madmen attacking the populace.

This is basically a mix of Tombstone with Evil Dead. Explore the history of American supernatural forces to gain a human perspective.

Call of Cthulhu

Lovecraft’s cosmic horror to the big screen, there aren’t many notable entries. There aren’t a lot of notable adaptations to Lovecraft on the big screen. Guillermo del Toro tried to adapt At The Mountains of Madness in the past, but it is still stuck in production hell. The Cthulhu mythos is in the public domain so any story could be told. The Cthulhu Mythos is public domain, so any story can be told.

Enter Chaosium Call of Cthulhu. Get some detectives. Set the story in the 1920s. The detectives can solve a puzzle that will lead them to discover horrors far beyond their mortal comprehension. The films could also be treated like a loose anthology, with different characters appearing in every story to reflect the high level of lethality. The horror movie industry is experiencing a revival, so give these Great Old Ones a second chance.

The Paranoid Syndrome

Paranoia is transforming from dark fantasy to sci-fi humor. The world of Friend Computer, created by Greg Costiykan and Eric Goldberg in a dystopian far future, is ruled by an artificially intelligent intelligence. The players are the enforcers for Friend Computer. They are part of an underground, forbidden movement and they have agendas.

The game looks like a recreation of dystopian futures such as Logan’s Run or 1944. Paranoia is a dark comedy that is consistent and satirical. It mocks a society based on the contradictory, nonsensical rules of a totalitarian regime. Players are unable to complete tasks without violating Friend Computers arbitrary edicts. This leads to hilarity, and a lot of deaths. It’s basically a property designed to mock dystopian sci fi.

Cyberpunk

Mike Pondsmith’s sci-fi masterpiece is a must-have for any list of tabletop film settings. Night City’s appeal, and its dangers are not worth mentioning. It has been adapted for the screen with the Cyberpunk edgerunners animation. It would only take the right team of creatives to create a film based on these foundations. Imagine the fights that the stunt crew from John Wick could create with cybernetic limbs, deadly mono whips, and multiple cybernetic arms.

Shadowrun

If Cyberpunk was a dystopian hard-science future, Shadowrun would be a gonzo version of the genre. The fantasy aspects are what make this world unique. The return of magic, dragons, as well as elves and other creatures like dwarves, dwarfs, trolls and ogres, is a result of a mixture world-changing plagues and old prophecies. The idea of a dragon-like corporation or dwarfs with shotguns is a bit much for the general public to accept, but it has a lot of creative potential.

World of Darkness

World of Darkness has a lot of urban fantasy lore. White Wolf’s TTRPG universe is full of urban fantasy, including secret societies and ecoterrorists werewolves. tormented spirits are also included. One can make a movie focusing on one of these groups. It’s also a great way to create a shared world with complex conflicts between groups, at the cost of some movie executives getting some good ideas. This should be easy to do if you don’t follow the failed Dark Universe of Universal.

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