Wednesday, August 2, 2017

RPGaDAY 2017 #2

From the #RPGaDAY2017 challenge (info here):

[as I'm starting this thing a little late, I shall be doubling up on my daily posts until I catch up. Early posts will be post-dated to the date they were originally supposed to appear]

What is an RPG you would like to see published?

Again, this is a question that's easy to answer with "my own," but I'll leave aside MY various works in progress. and give you something I'll probably NEVER publish, due to licensing reasons:


I am a huge fan of Mark Schultz's work, though I admit to only knowing it as Xenozoic Tales, not Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (I never purchased the Marvel comics, nor did I watch the cartoon that shared its name). Yes, I'm fully aware that GDW put out an RPG for Cadillacs & Dinosaurs years back. I own (owned?) a copy that my younger beagle chewed the corner off. Using the same basic system as the excellent Twilight 2000, I can honestly say that GDW's Cadillacs & Dinosaurs is the most boring RPG ever published. Oh my gosh it's dull...which, if you're familiar with Shultz's setting, you've got to find pretty damn amazing.

Here's the thing: the Twilight 2000 RPG was written for a very specific setting, namely, soldiers operating on their own, wandering through a post-WWIII Europe. It's like a combo of Saving Private Ryan and Mad Max, without the gonzo mutations and monsters found in post-apoc games like Gamma World or Mutant Future. The players' concerns are with finding food, fuel, and ammunition (not necessarily in that order), and unlike more cinematic games, bullet counting is absolutely is receiving the brass shell casings from the floor of your HumVee.

The Cadillacs & Dinosaurs RPG takes T2K's system, strips out all the military trappings (weapons, vehicles, ranks and occupations), all the setting trappings (Europe, radiation, combat stress, etc.) and adds a couple stat blocks for basic dinosaurs plus a synopsis of Mark's world setting. That's it. Fin.

I did not shed any tears for my copy's destruction. Buddy the beagle was simply putting it to better a chew toy.

Come on...this deserves a cool game!
Xenozoic Tales is a fantastic setting with lots of things weird and wonderful to explore, not to mention action and adventure. It's a setting that really cries out for its own that digs into the setting and facilitates exploration of the ideas and concepts it creates, not just a handful of percentile-based skill choices and a bag of hit points. Hell, even Gamma World would make a better fit as a system, if you limited the character choice to pure strain humans and added some (abbreviated) skill system to model engineering and lost science arts.  You could 'port the dinosaurs into the game from your AD&D Monster Manual using the conversion notes in the 1st edition DMG...I mean it wouldn't be that hard to do!

But my preference would be to see a new game, designed from the ground up within Mark's strange and beautiful world. A game designed with consideration for the material, rewarding the recovery of knowledge, perhaps expounding the theme of ecological preservation and natural balance that runs through the setting. Plus giant spiders, subterranean lizard folk, dinosaurs, and crawling telepathic brains.

Yeah, I'd love to see such an RPG get published. Hell, I'd settle for Schultz writing more Xenozoic Tales (where's that kickstarter?). But it probably won't be me publishing it...I sincerely doubt I could afford the license.

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