Destiny As A Tabletop RPG?

Since it was first announced I was intrigued by the universe portrayed in the Destiny video games. It’s set into the future long after the golden age of humanity. This golden age started when the Traveler, an alien artifact/entity arrived at our solar system. It shared its technology with humanity, terraformed several planets and moons, and eventually shared its “light” (which allows all kind of magic abilites) with us. But the Traveler was followed by several alien species and a force just called the Darkness. This alien onslaught eventually led to the Collapse, which brought humankind to the brink of extinction and almost destroyed the Traveler. As a last action, the Traveler created Ghosts, small sentient machines, which resurrected people who died in battles a long time ago to protect mankind once again. These now quasi-immortal people are called the Guardians.


In the video games you play one of these Guardians. At its core Destiny is a first/third person shooter with some minor roleplaying elements. While it has many science fiction tropes, it falls more into the science fantasy category, and it actually reminded me a lot of Numenera. Perhaps it’s because the three classes of Titan (fighter/tank), Warlock (mage), and Hunter (rogue) map almost perfectly to the three Numenera types of Glaive, Nano, and Jack. In the computer games a lot of secrets remain unanswered, and there are a few things which don’t seem to make that much sense. Why is Earth littered with remains of 21st century technology (like derelict cars) if the Collapse happened hundred years later? But perhaps that’s another mystery to be uncovered. What or who is the Traveler and why did it choose us?


The question that has been bothering me for a while now, is whether Destiny could work as a roleplaying game. The video games are basically all combat, but the setting offers so many possibilities. Exploration is a strong theme in the game, and there are countless mysteries to uncover. I could also imagine intrigues within the Guardians as another interesting plot hook. But I am not sure if the setting itself has enough depth to support a proper roleplaying game.

I have already thought about what mechanics would be suited for such a game. The Cypher System by Monte Cook could be an almost perfect fit, but the Open D6 System should work fine as well. If I remember correctly I even found a PtbA game inspired by Destiny on the ‘net, unfortunately I don’t remember its name. In my opinion finding fitting mechanics and making some minor adaptions to make things work for a Destiny game is much easier than coming up with good adventures which are not just combat missions.

What do you folks think? Could Destiny be adapted to a tabletop roleplaying game? Or is the background too vague and too thin to make anything like this worthwhile? Please share your thoughts below!

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

2 thoughts on “Destiny As A Tabletop RPG?”

  1. I have been a TTRPGer since 1980, and same with video games. I have put a ton of time in the original Destiny video game (10 characters leveled up to max light). I have been thinking about how to go about doing this for a long time.

    Some thoughts:
    1) How to make an RPG using similar terms and ideas from the video game. (Intellect, Discipline, Strength, Agility, etc)
    2) Make a game that is gear based.
    3) Light levels, how to use this
    4) D20? 3D6? D100? just look at the stats for weapons and gear: attack from 10 to 400, defense from 10 to 400

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