One of the wonderful things about modern video games is how easily some of them convert to tabletop purposes. The downside to this is that many of them either give you a world and no useful plot-related material, or such a narrow band of plot that there’s no world to go and explore. Middle ground, where a solid plot exists but is fluid enough to leave room for exploration in other forms without too much effort on the part of a GM, is relatively rare to find.
Thus why this conversion comes to Path of Exile, a massively multiplayer instanced online game where players take the role of people exiled from one land, cast ashore on a continent that actively hates all who walk upon it. With seven classes each with three thematic branches, there are a lot of options for converting the game to a dice-using format. I’ll be focusing on two specific game systems in this conversion effort – Cypher System and Fate Core.
I’ll be doing this in two sets, one for each system; posts for Fate Core will be tagged with Fate of Exiles and Cypher Systems posts will be tagged as Exile’s Cypher.
We’ll look at converting classes; With Fate, the posts will have suggestions on building the various classes in ways that both fit their themes and also harness the flexible power of the Fate system, then Cypher, with a look at how each Cypher class aligns with the classes of PoE and a selection of Foci for each class to reinforce the thematic aspects of the available selections on the skill trees.
Further posts will look at the primary NPCs and the roles they occupy, and how they can tie in for a tabletop RPG experience; I’ll provide a system conversion for each such NPC in the relevant post, as neither system is the sort of heavyweight mechanically that a D20 system is. Also included will be some suggestions on how to work plot hooks into each of them to lure players in.
We’ll also look at locations around the land of Wraeclast and how to use them for game purposes, ways to detail the eerie and hostile nature of the land, and the ways to introduce the things that each region holds for itself. Special detail will be given to the three hub areas and how to turn an encampment of reluctant exiles and suspicious natives into a base of operations for player characters without falling back too much on the digital game’s structure. The hideouts available as part of the game will be looked over, giving an idea of how to let players create their own personal base of operations, letting them stake a permanent claim to a portion of Wraeclast itself.
Attention will be given to the enemies of Wraeclast, covering them in rough detail and giving suggestions for how to use the basic creature types and how to modify them to give an increasing level of threat and danger as exiles explore deeper into the ruins of the Eternal Empire and the nightmarish ruins left behind by the Vaal. A special series of posts will cover the bosses and elites, with suggestions on ways to vary each to ensure they provide a challenge to players. Other Exiles – the tabletop equivalent to the named enemy Exiles who appear in the game – will be covered in posts similar to those on the primary NPCs, with notes on their personalities, motives, and tactics.
Throughout the entire series, there will be a series of posts on the items and powers of Wraeclast, on ways to codify things like the Virtue Gems and the various unique and exotic items in the world, plus posts on the lore of the game relevant to a given section.
By the end, playing in this world via either the Cypher System or Fate Core will hopefully be easy for any experienced GM, and provide a framework for converting the game to any other systems they might desire.