Borderlands on the Tabletop

Elsewhere I’ve admitted to be addicted to Borderlands. I had a quick dip into Borderlands 2 last night, and I figure I’ll probably be hitting that soon enough. Other than loads of entertainment, computer games can also give one a lot of inspiration. What am I getting from Borderlands?

There’s not a lot I can draw from Borderlands that I’ll likely use for anything other than a one-shot. The story is pretty basic. I think Fallout: New Vegas has a very strong story that would work well in an RPG campaign, and I can see adapting most of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series as well. The Borderlands plot doesn’t really offer much, at least nothing original or exciting.

Were I to run something Borderlands-esque as a tabletop RPG, I think I’d adapt the attitude and some of the NPCs. The attitude especially is inspirational. This would work well as a crazy, action-heavy straight-ahead game of Vault hunting and escalating fights. That could be a very fun beer & pretzels session.

I could see this working using a form of Nefertiti Overdrive, but I think a tabletop game inspired by the front-end of the character interaction of Borderlands could work and wouldn’t be too difficult. The one thing that I wouldn’t like is the accounting. Rather than increasing based on tracked usage – I think that’s how Borderlands works – I would do it closer to how I did it in Sword Noir, in which a critical failure provides a learning opportunity that can provide advancement. Since the more one uses a skill, the more likely it is one would have a critical failure, it indirectly rewards regular usage.

For a long campaign, though, Fallout: New Vegas gets my vote.

My confession is here.

You can find out more about Borderlands here.

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