I’m guessing a lot of people will be talking about The Strange for this post. I have very limited experience with the Cypher System and none with the Strange itself, but I like the feeling of the setting, and how the game works.
So why am I writing about this if I have no idea about it? Well, it has a lot in common with the appendix to the Unearthed Arcana supplement for D&D 3.5 – When Worlds Collide.
Within this part, there’s a few different ideas – worlds-spanning organisations (the example is the Peregrines, which are basically Harpers in some fashion), shifting worlds and Eternal Champions.
I’m going to skip over the Peregrines, since it’s basically a Planescape party – though examples included Ravenloft cleric, Dark Sun psionic gladiator, and some weirder ones like a shadowdancing Roman Imperial halfling and an elven wizard from a world of night.
Shifting worlds is a game along the lines of the TV series Sliders, or perhaps following the background of the Feng Shui rpg of shifting worlds changed via time travel in small or huge ways that only the player characters notice.
The Sliding idea is still very Planescape, since they’re shifting through different worlds, and there’s plenty of ways to make that against their will. It’s also a handy way to throw any and all different adventures at a party, but it’s a lot harder to let players have background knowledge of ANYTHING in this kind of game.
The Feng Shui idea could be fun though.
The Eternal Champions idea was for a slew of alternate realities where the same character exists but in a slightly different way – as an Eternal Champion, such as in Michael Moorcock’s work and the city of Tanelorn.
One character might be a human viking warrior, one might be a half-Orc Waterdhavian noble, one might be a cyborg of some kind, but the kicker is they’re all the same person. Whether that means a party of entirely one person played in various different ways by the different players, or whether a character would be replaced by their counterpart in some way, is left pretty much up in the air.
So, would using these different ideas be a fun way to mesh the Strange into D&D? Well, given how the Strange is actually written, it’s already meshed together via Earth anyway.