Adapting an RP?

Good Bad Bug
May 8, 2009
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For some time, I've been giving consideration to adapting a long-running RP to another medium, be it fanfiction, dōjinshi, animation, or an RPG Maker game. But there are a couple of problems.

  1. Not all of the original characters and concepts strictly belong to me, obviously. I can obtain permission for some of them, but other creators have long since vanished or otherwise discontinued contact with me and/or the RP group.
  2. Especially early on, there's some question as to which character can be considered the "main" protagonist.
  3. Several "chapters" of the RP were never properly finished—that is, there was a skeleton of a plan for what was going to happen, but the scenarios were never actually played out.

So my question is, when dealing with problems of this nature, what would be your approach?
Thesaurus rex
Jan 2, 2010
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The first thing I would say is that you're adapting the roleplay, not transplanting it. I've seen a few of stories directly adapted from a roleplay now, and the mistake they all make is to try and essentially copy the text of the roleplay with a bit of extra description. The needs of the medium have to come before the source material. If there are holes in the story, you'll have to fill them in. If the source material has pacing problems, or dubious characterisation, those are problems you'll have to fix, too. You're almost certainly going to have to make changes: what makes a good roleplay is not necessarily what makes a good story
Princess of Dorkness
Sep 3, 2013
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As far as characters that don't belong to you, just adapt them. Come up with some new names, change a few quirks about their personality, add a thing or two and bam. Even then, it's not like you're lifting a copywritten character out of someone else's work, and that's the only place you'd get into real trouble.