Brainstorming Thread on APs as Serial Fiction

Tod's picture

A long-running game campaign is effectively a "serial". In recent years, the connection to the format and pacing of television (serial-series) has become even more pronounced in many games (I often think in those terms myself when GMing), but as a literary artform we can trace the modern serial - with its deliberately crafted cliffhangers and non-terminating plotform - back to the penny books and ragpapers of the Victorian Era. It's an effective medium for a fast-paced society (or people with ADD). Back to games: When you write your APs - provided you write them relatively well - it seems pretty clear that you are in effect creating a collaboratively-sourced work of serial fiction.

So this article made me think "What if we did that purposefully, maybe even with an eye toward selling subscriptions to our campaigns? Could it work?"

Your thoughts? Are there any examples of this yet?

IreneDB's picture

I have to double check my copies of then at home but I believe that pathfinder does this with their adventure paths. But that being said, I can see that as a semi-viable strategy. You drip feed the volumes and then after a few months at the end of the original run, you can sell an omnibus of the AP.

Paul T.'s picture

I’ve seen people producing serial fiction based on their roleplaying games, but never anyone selling that successfully.

However, lots of streamed (video) games are being consumed these days. There’s a D&D game (“Relics & Rarities”) that’s subscription/pay-only access.

It’s an interesting time.

Aik's picture

I've never read one, but from what I've seen they're published similar to light novels - similar size and cover style. I'm pretty sure they have light-novel style art inside as well (i.e. every so often a page with an black and white illustration in 'anime' style). The best known one by far is Record of Lodoss War, which has been adapted in a bunch of other mediums. I think they're pretty niche, but popular enough to have a good amount of space in gaming stores devoted to them.
Looking at the wikipedia article, it seems they've been published since the early 80s