As I write this, the Kickstarter for Battle Chasers: Nightwar is just out of the gate, and the one for an RPG based on the Infinity Miniatures game should be launching at some point soon (allegedly Tuesday). I find the timing interesting, because these are both cases of properties branching out to slightly different fields. Cross-media is getting me in trouble, but it’s almost always interesting.
On reflection, this isn’t an uncommon transition (although it usually goes Comic->Movie->Game). I was actually directed to this initially without knowledge that Battle Chasers had been a comic. The art (both concept and prototype) is awesome, and I found it a bit familiar. Then I found out that Joe Madureira was the artist and knew why. This one seems to have a few Ex-Vigil staff on board, but it remains to be seen if they can do a turn-based RPG as well as they did Zelda. (I’m not going to listen to any arguments that Darksiders is not Zelda.)
On even further reflection, I’ve seen this one before too, from Iron Kingdoms. Iron Kingdoms is in a bit of an odd place here, because it started as a d20 Campaign setting and underwent this process in the opposite direction. The resulting minis game (Warmachine/Hordes) ended up as the more popular product. Infinity is actually somewhat similar, in that it grew out of a home-brew campaign setting. Aware of this, Tam attempted to work the rules into a workable system, but it didn’t go very far. (This was before the customizable spec-ops rules existed). Some of the unique characters in the Nomads faction were the original PCs.
The current Iron Kingdoms rules are a direct conversion of the Warmachine/Hordes rules, with some additions made for things player characters do that minis usually don’t, like talking to people, or actually recovering from injury. The result is that minis from the wargame are perfectly valid enemies once you give them more than a single hit point. (There are exceptions. Named Casters are generally not going to be reasonable opponents, for instance.) The Infinity rules seem to be going a slightly different route. It’s using a system not based on the minis game, but instead just preserves elements of it. Ability resolution is familiar, but not identical; it still uses d20s in a blackjack-like way, but from there the games diverge greatly. I missed the playtests, so I don’t know that much about it, but it’s a custom system that uses 2d20s to generate a number of successes.
While Corvus Belli (The company that produces Infinity) isn’t directly responsible for the RPG, they are producing materials to go with it. I really look forward to seeing what happens with it. The original Bran Do Castro seems to like it, so here’s hoping I do too.