August 11, 2017
RPGaDay Question #11
Question #11: Which 'dead game' would you like to see reborn?
So I've got two answers for this question.
First off, one setting I'd really like to see get revived is Babylon 5. I very much enjoyed the d20 version produced by Mongoose Publishing, especially the second edition, even though it did share some of the issues inherent with the 3.X D&D version of the d20 engine. I only got to play in a couple of very short campaigns, with the first one only being called a "campaign" out of charity as it only lasted two sessions, while the other lasted a bit longer at five sessions but collapsed due to conflicting schedules and half the players wanting something a bit more action-packed than the mystery/investigative plot the GM was using.
I did get to play a Ranger in the second one (was set a very short time after the original series ended but largely ignored the Crusade series), which was fun, and had some pretty interesting characters such as a Centauri version of Deep Space Nine's Garak and a Human Telepath (former PsiCorp) that had gotten her powers boosted via some ancient alien artifact of unknown origins. The campaign was centered on a lesser EarthForce operated space station, though pretty sure none of the PCs were actually part of EarthForce; mine was perhaps the closest due to being part of the InterStellar Alliance, but was operating on an extended covert mission. Sadly things were just starting to get good when the game folded. Ah well.
Though if Babylon 5 does make a comeback in RPG form, I'd prefer it to not use a d20-based system but perhaps instead using something like Fantasy Flight Games' Genesys, Modiphus Entertainment's 2d20 (especially the Star Trek Adventures version), or even FATE Core. Just give me a chance to play as one of the Anlashok and I'm content.
The second 'dead' game I'd like to see make a return would be CthulhuTech by Wildfire LLC. It's quite an unusual setting, being a mash-up the Cthulhu Mythos and various anime series, most notably Robotech, Neon Genesis Evangalion, and Guyver. It was fairly bleak, but there were still elements of hope for mankind, though the question of how far would humanity go to survive and would it still be recognizable as humanity often lingered in the background. The art was certainly evocative, and the future setting did some elements that were unsettling. But it also had stuff that was pretty damn cool, such as the Eva-inspired Engels, gigantic monstrous organisms sheathed in armor and perhaps humanity's most powerful weapon against the Migou invaders or monstrous hordes in service to the Old Ones, with my personal favorite setting element being the Tagers, humans that choose to bond with entities from outside our reality to become something more and yet intrinsically less than human, fighting a Shadow War against the corrupt Chrysalis Corporation and their thoroughly inhuman Dhohanoid, monsters that can wear the shape of man but have forsaken their humanity for power. Yes, it's based very heavily on the Guyver series of anime, though the PCs are nowhere near that level of power. I'd had hopes more than once of running a Tager-centric CthuluTech game, but those plans never came to fruition.
Sadly, it was a game hindered by a dice system that was far clunkier than it really should have been. Another problem that plagued the game was the distribution issues Wildfire was having, as they bounced from Mongoose Publishing to Catalyst Game Labs, who from what I can understand really screwed over the folks behind CthuhluTech. I think with a more streamlined dice system this game could do really well if brought back. I know there'd been efforts by Wildfire to create a second edition (I even grabbed the playtest docs), but I've not heard much of anything else on the matter.
So yeah, those are the two main settings/games that had RPGs that I would love to see make a return from the land of dead games. While not without their faults, there was a lot to like about the settings themselves, and for the most part what little gaming I did with those settings, I remember with a sense of fondness.
Come back tomorrow for my answer to question #12, which will probably not surprise anyone that knows my gaming habits of recent years.
Until then... we live for the One, we die for the One.