The Great Eastern Q6: Gaming

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Have you ever used or seen well known historical or literary characters played in your gaming? How did that work? Was it fun? If you haven't done it - would you?

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    In the One Ring, I've certainly had Thranduil, Elrond, the sons of Elrond, Radagast, and some of the Dwarves from the Hobbit appear - though I've not made use of more prominent characters from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings stories. In one game, one player played the elf Gildor, from early chapters of Lord of the Rings. Oh, and various Nazgul - I suppose they count.

    As for history, I've certainly made use of historical people as NPCs. In a Castle Falkenstein game, the explorer Richard Burton was prominent. In a TimeWatch game, the PCs met Louis XVI, Lafayette, Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Stanley, and a few people involved in the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

    In the Cthulhu Apocalypse campaign, which I recently ran, there's a section in Brighton after the apocalypse where the town is run by Pinkie, and featuring several other characters from Brighton Rock.

    And King Atamrum of Andarik was prominent when I ran Mythic Babylon.

    This sounds like something I gleefully embrace, but it's actually something I use with caution. I would once have said it's something I don't like doing, at least when there's lots known about those involved, but that's clearly not true, at least sometimes. I think for something based on history or existing fiction, a certain amount of this is inevitable.

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    I do it all the time. I use historical settings like AC in a Texas summer.

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    In a pre-internet play-by-post game on an “electronic BBS,” I played in a Robin Hood game, and the traditional characters were in the game. I recall using.a GURPS source book, but I can’t swear we used GURPS as the system. It was too long ago. I remember delighting in the source book, which I probably still have in a tub of old rpg stuff in my basement, but I don’t remember a single thing about the game itself.

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    Keep in mind we aren’t talking about historical fiction here, but taking historical, or much-beloved fictional, characters from their usual milieu and plopping then into another, very different one - especially after they supposedly died!
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    @Apocryphal said:
    Keep in mind we aren’t talking about historical fiction here, but taking historical, or much-beloved fictional, characters from their usual milieu and plopping then into another, very different one - especially after they supposedly died!

    My mistake. I have never done that, and can't think why I would.

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    @Apocryphal said:
    Keep in mind we aren’t talking about historical fiction here, but taking historical, or much-beloved fictional, characters from their usual milieu and plopping then into another, very different one - especially after they supposedly died!

    There's an interesting resonance with Ged summoning Elfarran in Wizard of Earthsea - she's a semi-legendary figure being called into the real world. But of course at the end of the day Ged is also a character in the story, and there is no attempt to cross-connect to the real world.

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