[Peter Pan] Could Neverland work as an RPG Setting?

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[Peter Pan] Could Neverland work as an RPG Setting?

Postby Havard » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:05 pm

Image

No idea where this idea came from, but I was wondering if the setting of the Peter Pan movie(s)/play could work as an RPG setting, perhaps with a few changes.

A book, movie or theatre play has different requirements than an RPG setting. So there are a few things that I would change:

1) Size: Neverland is pretty much a fairy realm, but instead of endless woodlands or other fairytale landscapes, this setting is an island. In order to be able to make room for adventures, I would change it into an island chain though, not just a single island. It could even be an entire Plane of Existence, but I would focus on island based regions.

2) Native Americans: The inclusion of the Native Americans might have worked at some point, but I think today it could make many players uncomfortable. I could just remove them, but the setting needs complexity so I want to keep them with a few changes. Basically I want to change them into another group of Lost Kids (See below), but this group is lead by Tiger Lily. They will not be linked to any specific earth culture and like the other Lost Kids groups they will be of all ethnicities and cultures. Tiger Lily's dad should not appear as the only adult humans should be the pirates.

3) Lost Kids: They were called the Lost Boys in the original, but i would rather ditch the whole "boys only" concept to appeal to both male and female players. The Lost Boys concept seems to be a parallell to the old folklore tales of changelings and the Fey kidnapping babies. As long as the Lost Kids stay in Neverland they will never grow into adults and never die of old age. I would probably also consider Peter Pan to be a Lost Kid. Note that these kids aren't exactly children either. Some of them could be centuries old, but its just that they don't age physically and also remain children at heart. Some Lost Kids will be able to trap or befriend pixies to give them abilities like flying. Very few of them have ever managed to travel back to Earth however, and most of them don't really want to. I think the whole "use Pixies to get magic powers" could add a fun special effects dimension to the game. To add different factions to the setting, I would at least have three different Lost Kids groups:
  • Peter Pan's Lost Kids
  • Tiger Lilly's Lost Kids
  • Rufio's Lost Kids: I think Rufio was introduced in the movie Hook as the kid who had taken over the Lost Boys when Peter Pan went back to earth and grew up. But I think we could have him have his own faction

4) Pirates: Captain James Hook may have been the first pirate to discover a way to sail to Neverland, but he was not the only one. An RPG setting needs lots of enemies. I'm imagining a chail of islands, under attack by a fleet of pirate ships. Several islands may even be under the control of the pirates. What do the pirates want? plunder the fairy gold? Occupy the islands and turn the kids and fairies into slaves? Steal the secret of fairy magic?


Other creatures in this world
  • Mermaids and Mermen: Not sure if these should be allowed
  • Animals: Possibly talking animals too?
  • Birds: Including some magical birds like the Neverbird

I don't know. Maybe this could be a setting that would appeal to kids? Maybe some adults as well? :)

-Havard

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Re: [Peter Pan] Could Neverland work as an RPG Setting?

Postby timemrick » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:57 pm

It sounds like a good setting for Fate Accelerated, with its simple, loose rules and its focus on character aspects to drive play.

I'd recommend checking out Do: Fate of the Flying Temple, which using those rules. It features PCs who can fly, at least at the start of the game. In the short campaign I played in, one of the challenges we faced was that power of flight becoming unreliable, and being in part tied to one's own serenity. That seems very similar to Pan and the Lost Boys deriving their powers from their own child-like innocence and joy, which comes under threat at times.
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Re: [Peter Pan] Could Neverland work as an RPG Setting?

Postby finarvyn » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:43 pm

Sounds like an interesting concept, and I love the depth that you have developed it. I like your basic changes to the setting to modernize it and make it more than a one-shot campaign.

I don't have much to add, as it's been a long time since I watched Peter Pan, but a few semi-random thoughts come to mind.

(1) You didn't say which version of Peter Pan was your primary inspiration. The Disney version was my bet based upon your comments, but you might have had the play in mind. You mentioned movie/play but weren't specific and I'm guessing that the two have some differences that might be worth looking at.

(2) Have you looked at the original book for additional inspiration? I haven't read it, but I think I recall seeing it as a download somewhere on the web. I'm wondering if there are more details or different ideas there than what we've seen in the movies. Are there any sequels? Annotated versions? Anything that can be used to flesh out the setting?

(3) I'm sure you have seen the movie Hook, but you didn't mention it. This added in some details about life outside of the real world, if I can recall correctly. Part of the campaign could be a "real world to Neverland" thing where characters go back and forth, perhaps at their wishes or maybe at random times when it is least convenient. Time rates could flow differently in the two realms.

(4) I have/had a book that looked interesting but I never read. I think it was called "Hook and Jill" or something like that, and I believe it had adventures of Wendy's daughter. I wonder if there are other books like this that extend the storyline in some manner, and if they might contain some ideas to be mined for the campaign.

Nice start. I'll add in more if I think of anything.
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Re: [Peter Pan] Could Neverland work as an RPG Setting?

Postby finarvyn » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:32 am

Another thought is that you could swap out the Native Americans with a group of savage picts (a la Robert E Howard) or reavers (from Firefly) depending upon how adult you wanted the setting to be. I can't decide if Peter Pan makes a better kids setting or adult one. :cool:
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Re: [Peter Pan] Could Neverland work as an RPG Setting?

Postby finarvyn » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:13 am

I just discovered a book called "Lost Boy" by Christina Henry which is a story of Peter Pan as told by Captain Hook. I read Henry's two "Alice" books and they are kind of creepy and bloody, so I expect a similar treatment for this tale. Reviews online seem to be mixed, but they verify that it's definitely an adult story of Peter Pan. It does, however, have a map slightly different from what I've seen online for the Isle of Lost Boys.

I guess the value of this book would be totally based on whether your concept was an actual kids campaign or a dark and twisted adult-themed campaign.
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Re: [Peter Pan] Could Neverland work as an RPG Setting?

Postby Havard » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:32 pm

Sorry for not responding to these earlier Fin!

This is great input!

My introduction to the story was the Disney cartoon, but I have read parts of the original story and play. I have also seen Hook and while I didn't like everything in that movie, I think that some elements can be borrowed. For instance I like having the character Rufio as leading one band of lost boys/lost kids.

I didn't know about the Lost Boy story. I wonder what it reveals on Hook's origins. Was he a Lost Boy too? I know other sources mention him as James Hook, but I am not sure where that originated.

As to whether the tone should be for kids or adult audiences, I think many elements can be used for both, but it is more about how they are presented. I think it is fascinating to explore all the derivative works.

-Havard

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Re: [Peter Pan] Could Neverland work as an RPG Setting?

Postby finarvyn » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:41 pm

Havard wrote:Sorry for not responding to these earlier Fin!
No problem. We all have lives we juggle. :)

Havard wrote:I didn't know about the Lost Boy story. I wonder what it reveals on Hook's origins. Was he a Lost Boy too? I know other sources mention him as James Hook, but I am not sure where that originated.
I bought a copy and read the first couple of chapters before getting pulled back into Chessmen of Mars, which is what I was re-reading before I found this thread. The book seems to have gotten "meh" reviews, but it may be a style thing. The author's Alice books are weird and creepy, and this one looks to be similar. In the story Jamie (Hook) is a Lost Boy, and in fact the first one recruited by Peter. Peter is immortal and seems to be a bit crazed, wanting to take boys on raids against pirates and the like. Dunno if I'll like it or not, but I'm pretty sure I'll go back to it after Mars.
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