Convergent Ideas

I think it’s interesting when very similar things come out in close proximity to one another.  It happens a lot in Hollywood.  Sometimes it’s because both of those things are based on a pop culture element that has become popular, other times, it’s because one studio knows what another one is doing, and wants to beat them to the punch.

Most of the time it’s coincidence, but rarely do both similar things end up being successful.  Sometimes you are the GoBot, sometimes you are the Transformer.

The coincidence of some announcements may not strike anyone else, and in the long run, it might not be as significant as it first seems, but one RPG that has just come out in Beta and another one that has just gone to Kickstarter resonate in my brain as “something similar.”

Josh Frost’s Quantum RPG has already gone through the Kickstarter process, and is in the beta phase of existence, with a really slick looking beta rulebook that is available for free download.  The RPG is a science-fantasy game set in the far future on a world that broke away from Earth long ago, whose inhabitants vie for scientific secrets controlled by a cabal of people that lock it away from the common folk, thus keeping them in roughly medieval societal levels.

Monte Cook’s Numenera RPG is just now in the Kickstarter phase, and is a science-fantasy setting set in the far future of Earth where Earth’s inhabitants are in a new era where they view the super science advancements of Earth’s past as magic.

Both designers have worked with d20 rules extensively.  Both are making new rules for their RPGs that are not related to d20 rules.  I’m have absolutely no doubt that both arrived at their concepts independent of one another.  I just find it interesting to have two impending RPGs on the horizon with similar themes.

I also worry a bit that Josh’s effort might be drowned out a bit by this timing.  Unless I miss my guess, Monte’s name is a bit more of a “geek celebrity” draw, which makes me wonder if someone  with limited “experimental” gaming dollars is going to let the name be the deciding factor for their curiosity over far future science-fantasy gaming.

Time will tell, and I’ve got nothing much to add.  Just curious to see this unfold.

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