Is the source material suitable for role-playing?Edit
The first consideration is whether the source would make an entertaining adventure. I enjoy Scrubs and The Big Bang Theory, but they wouldn’t make good RPGs. They are character-driven: the events are small in role-playing terms, and the enjoyment comes from the character interaction. Imagine changing one player-character’s shift in your game so that he can’t offer another a lift to work – would that spark off a full and enjoyable evening’s adventuring? If so, I envy you your players!
So the first requirement is that the source provides incidents which make good RPG scenarios. Most action-based sources do that nicely, so next is whether the source’s characters and situations are suitable for your role-playing group.
Balance is more then simply point totals and abilities. In a Supers setting your Superman level powerhouses will totally eclipse the Batman level mystery men but there are somethings the mystery men can do the powerhouses can't. The challenge there is creating something for all the different power levels.
Settings like "canonal" Doctor Who have the issue of the Doctor himself being 900+ years old and for most of his time having a "normal" human companion Even if you use another Time Lord there is still the issue of the Time Lord/companion imbalance to where the companion(s) would not be the ‘stars’, knowing their status relative to the Time Lord. But there is the option of using the Dr. Who variant where the Doctor is a ordinary human with Gadgeteer. Not only does put the Doctor on even footing with the other characters but it removes the mammoth amount of information the Time Lord version has.
Is the genre right for your game? If your players love subtle games with mystery investigations, unravelling a tangled web of deceit by questioning multiple suspects and witnesses, they won’t enjoy a Starship Troopers campaign. Conversely, bash’n’loot types won’t go for the investigative aspects and psychological tension of Call of Cthulhu. Only you can decide whether a particular campaign will suit your players.
- ↑ The exception was the time the fourth Doctor and Romana were traveling together. There are rumors there were plans to turn Ace in to a Time Lord but outside of novels they didn't see the light of day.