Harl Quinn
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Future licensed games?

Mon 20 Jun 2022, 18:54

Looking out at the industry, there's a number of smaller licenses that have gone to the 5e version of d20 Modern (Everyday Heroes) - such as Pacific Rim and Highlander. What license would you like to see come under Free League's banner? My own thought is that Ghostbusters would be an excellent one for Free League to publish. The original RPG was a d6 system from West End Games and honestly, I think it deserves a new RPG covering the whole trilogy. Fan content covering the animated series and the reboot would be good too, but I'd be just as happy to see the trilogy covered.
 
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Vader
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Re: Future licensed games?

Tue 21 Jun 2022, 12:20

Interesting question...

One might start by asking what properties are compatible with the type of fairly rigidly structured storytelling that Ligan seems to prefer to utilise in their licensed games. Which, interestingly enough, seems to be rather different from how they structure the storytelling in their own properties, but that is probably a different question...

Looking at what they've done so far:
  • Blade Runner — you play a Bladerunner, period, and you Investigate Case Files, period.
  • Loop & Flood — you play a Kid, and you juggle solving weird tech-induced Mysteries with mundane life as an 80's school kid
  • Väsen — you play a Sighted Society operative based in Castle Gyllencreutz in Upsala, and you travel around the country solving Mysteries around encounters with mythic creatures
  • ALIEN — as far as I can see, the most "sandbox-y" of Ligan's licensed games to date. You play some kind of a space-based "working Joe". What you do ... well, pretty much up to you and your GM. Some of it will involve Aliens.

All of these game worlds obviously contain a much more diverse variety of possible character types and activities, but the scopes of the storytelling in most of these games has been narrowed down to cover a fairly specific "slice", where who your character can be and what he or she is going to be doing is fairly strictly defined from the outset.

Twilight: 2000 and The One Ring are obviously also licensed — and complete sandboxes — but these being merely new editions of pre-existing titles where the scope of gameplay already has been defined by others, I believe they don't really count.

So ... what properties would fit into this kind of structured storytelling?

  • James Bond — you play a British MI6 operative who undertakes missions to battle belligerent superpowers and supervillains around the world
  • Indiana Jones — you play an Adventuring Archaeologist or Sidekick, and you travel the world hunting religious artefacts that turn out to have mystical powers
  • The Matrix — you play a Nebuchadnezzar crewman (or other Zionite) who undertakes missions to bring the machine rule down
  • Men in Black — you play an MiB who investigates weird alien immigrant cases
  • Stranger Things — you play a Kid, and you juggle solving paranormal Mysteries with mundane life as an 80's school kid
  • Space: 1999 — you play an Alpha citizen, and you try to ensure the base's survival in encounters with strange space phenomena and powerful aliens
  • Mission Impossible (TV) — you play a Impossible Mission Force operative who solves missions of puzzle-like intricacy around the world
  • Harry Potter — you play a Hogwarts student, and you solve mysteries to keep the dark forces at bay

I believe it comes down to that formula: you play an X who does Y, with a fairly defined terrain or playground in some sense, episodic base structure, and the span of thematic variation from one "episode" to the next kept reasonably narrow. And with somewhat well-defined values of X and Y.
If the gist of the franchise can be boiled down to that format, it should be a good fit for Ligan.

Ghostbusters should thus be good, while "sandbox worlds" like Conan, Cthulhu, Star Wars, The Witcher, The Expanse, Dune etc — where a character can be anyone and find him or herself doing pretty much anything — may not be the best fit. Apart from that they all already have licensed TTRPGs, of course.

Looking beyond popular screen entertainment:

  • Hornblower — you play a junior Royal Navy officer or a senior rating in the time around the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, and you have adventures around historical events and characters
  • Watership Down — you play a rabbit who has left his warren, and you try to carve out a niche for your group in encounters with a hostile world and culture clashes with strange rabbit societies
  • Hammer's Slammers — you play a member of a Slammers Advance Recon team, and you travel around the galaxy scouting potential employers and missions
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea — you play a "guest" or crew member onboard the Nautilus, and you travel the world undertaking covert missions to advance science, help the oppressed, and right injustices ... while juggling having working under a boss whose grip on sanity is precarious at best ... in a world based on the 19th century's worldview.
Before you use the word "XENOMORPH" again, you should read this article through:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/aliens-throwaway-line-confusion
 
samirvsmachine
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Re: Future licensed games?

Wed 22 Jun 2022, 01:27

I would love to see a neo cyberpunk setting by Free League:

* Ghost in the Shell: You play as a member of one of the many secret/or not so secret agencies facing cyber threats, conspiracies, and foreign governmental agency agents.
* Blame! You play a character (silicone life, memory wiped safeguard agent, electric fisher, net engineer, etc) may be lost or none, looking for a NTG individual, fighting the safeguard, other silicone life, or trying to get to layer N to N+1000.
* Deux Ex-Machina: You play as a member of one of the many corporations, and/or paramilitary units fighting other agencies, corporations or paramilitary units.
Last edited by samirvsmachine on Wed 31 Aug 2022, 21:14, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Future licensed games?

Wed 22 Jun 2022, 08:39

I would love to see a neo cyberpunk setting by Free League:

* Ghost in the Shell
* Blame!
* Deux Ex-Machina

I am well familiar with them all, and love them greatly — but who would you play and what would you do in a Ligan-style TTRPG in these settings?
Before you use the word "XENOMORPH" again, you should read this article through:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/aliens-throwaway-line-confusion
 
Midnightplat
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Re: Future licensed games?

Fri 24 Jun 2022, 02:34

I've joked a few times that T2K, Alien and Bladerunner set a good foundation for a fan-mash up reprisal of GDW's Traveller 2300, eventually retitled 2300AD. It's a game world that uses a global order that emerged from the Twilight War (as depicted in T2K) as the basis for an early human space faring civilization. It wasn't explicit, but once they produced an Earth sourcebook, it's clear the game universe has some cyberpunk elements. Anycase, I'm not sure from Free League picked up the T2K license, but if they could use that connection to gain the rights to 2300, I think Free League's worldbuilding could do some great things with the 2300 world. And the "baddy aliens" The Kaefers, could make some good use of T2K's dice scaling (Kaefers start encounters basically "stupid" but ride of curve of increasing aggression and aptitude when in a violent encounter).

It's an unlikely pipe dream, but it'd be cool if it happened.
 
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Re: Future licensed games?

Wed 13 Jul 2022, 17:56

I've joked a few times that T2K, Alien and Bladerunner set a good foundation for a fan-mash up reprisal of GDW's Traveller 2300, eventually retitled 2300AD. It's a game world that uses a global order that emerged from the Twilight War (as depicted in T2K) as the basis for an early human space faring civilization. It wasn't explicit, but once they produced an Earth sourcebook, it's clear the game universe has some cyberpunk elements. Anycase, I'm not sure from Free League picked up the T2K license, but if they could use that connection to gain the rights to 2300, I think Free League's worldbuilding could do some great things with the 2300 world. And the "baddy aliens" The Kaefers, could make some good use of T2K's dice scaling (Kaefers start encounters basically "stupid" but ride of curve of increasing aggression and aptitude when in a violent encounter).

It's an unlikely pipe dream, but it'd be cool if it happened.

The "Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook" (1989) always struck me as a straight-on cash grab — a shameless attempt on GDW's part to capitalise on the Cyberpunk wave that was crashing over the RPG industry in the final years of the 80's, with companies left, right, and centre trying to churn out Cyberpunk games, with varying degrees of success.

I felt the variation of the setting as presented in the E/CS was a bit at odds with the predominantly optimistic atmosphere in all the other material published; including the Kafer War stuff. Trying to re-vamp (or "retcon", rather) 2300AD as a "Dark and Gritty" Cyberpunk dystopia was never the most brilliant move, to my mind.


I believe Ligan got the T2k license from Marc Miller. I seem to recall he still retains the rights to 2300AD. Mongoose have a bunch of 2300AD supplements for their Traveller Core Rules, but that should also be under license from Marc.
Before you use the word "XENOMORPH" again, you should read this article through:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/aliens-throwaway-line-confusion
 
Midnightplat
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Re: Future licensed games?

Thu 14 Jul 2022, 01:17


The "Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook" (1989) always struck me as a straight-on cash grab — a shameless attempt on GDW's part to capitalise on the Cyberpunk wave that was crashing over the RPG industry in the final years of the 80's, with companies left, right, and centre trying to churn out Cyberpunk games, with varying degrees of success.

I felt the variation of the setting as presented in the E/CS was a bit at odds with the predominantly optimistic atmosphere in all the other material published; including the Kafer War stuff. Trying to re-vamp (or "retcon", rather) 2300AD as a "Dark and Gritty" Cyberpunk dystopia was never the most brilliant move, to my mind.


I believe Ligan got the T2k license from Marc Miller. I seem to recall he still retains the rights to 2300AD. Mongoose have a bunch of 2300AD supplements for their Traveller Core Rules, but that should also be under license from Marc.
I think that's a fair crit on Earth/Cybertech as a cash grab (with everybody else). I wasn't the most critical reader, so to speak, back when i actually read it, so I'll defer on the quality. That said, I think it does give a useful option for tone in 2300AD. I think, and you might be able to correct me, the relationship between 2300AD and 2TK was a shift away from a relationship between Traveller: 2300 and Traveller. In a T2K -> 2300AD continuity you do have a sorta approaching Star Trek: Enterprise sort of world where humanity really messed up in the Twilight War, learned it's lesson .. through a lot of exported French throughout recolonized Africa, ahem (may be mixing that up with the ESA in CP 2020) and is now in one of those Stars, My Destination spaces as a human civilization. And, to be fair, some of Twilight: 2000's modules do give some nods to (very fragile) hope for a more optimistic future in some of its world building. On the other hand I could see a more Bladerunner/Alien verse arising maybe more readily from The Twilight War, with nation states collapsing and private interests of Peter Weylands and Tyrells colonizing society (also traditional cyberpunk, it would be more plausible if the Twilight War took place, well, now, but might still be stretched to reach the existing T2K timeline).

Didn't know Mongoose was supporting 2300AD, good to know.
 
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Vader
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Re: Future licensed games?

Thu 14 Jul 2022, 10:17

I think, and you might be able to correct me, the relationship between 2300AD and 2TK was a shift away from a relationship between Traveller: 2300 and Traveller. In a T2K -> 2300AD continuity you do have a sorta approaching Star Trek: Enterprise sort of world where humanity really messed up in the Twilight War, learned it's lesson .. through a lot of exported French throughout recolonized Africa, ahem (may be mixing that up with the ESA in CP 2020) and is now in one of those Stars, My Destination spaces as a human civilization.

I think the Africa thing was in E/CS, but I'm not sure... Seems to me, Africa and "Highriders" in R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk is a lot about Maximum Mike living out his own personal fantasy of a Utopian, united Africa. Not certain, but he may actually have coined the term "Afrofuturism".


Don't take me wrong — I thought the Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook was a brilliant product on its own merits; it's the attempt to retcon the fundamentally optimistic 2300AD into a Cyberpunk dystopia just to jump onto the Cyberpunk bandwagon that I felt was jarring. Use it as a standalone game, de-coupled from the 2300AD universe, and it's great.


The 2300AD backstory is of course a variation of the Twilight: 2000 "future history". They do not match exactly, but in a very general outline. It may have just been that the T2k product line evolved in a slightly different direction after the Traveller: 2300 backstory had been written. Note however that the 2300AD backstory was essentially unchanged from the first edition Traveller: 2300!

There never was any kind of relationship between Traveller: 2300 and Traveller, beyond the false association created by the badly chosen name. Hence why GDW couldn't rename it fast enough.

It seemed to me that when GDW decided to name the game Traveller: 2300, they were hoping that people would mentally pair it with Twilight: 2000, in some common T:2X00 format.
What instead happened was that people — unsurprisingly — paired it with their existing product "Traveller", and assumed it would fit into that universe/timeline. This caused a lot of initial confusion, likely impacting its commercial success.

I myself shared that confusion when I first bought the game, but fortunately very soon learned better — I quickly realised I actually liked T23, both system and universe, a lot better than Traveller.


As a side note, the very first adventure I ran in T23 (as we called it back then) was a mash-up of ALIENS and The Thing. Always felt T23 was heavily influenced by ALIENS...
Before you use the word "XENOMORPH" again, you should read this article through:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/aliens-throwaway-line-confusion
 
Midnightplat
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Re: Future licensed games?

Wed 20 Jul 2022, 07:14

I think, and you might be able to correct me, the relationship between 2300AD and 2TK was a shift away from a relationship between Traveller: 2300 and Traveller. In a T2K -> 2300AD continuity you do have a sorta approaching Star Trek: Enterprise sort of world where humanity really messed up in the Twilight War, learned it's lesson .. through a lot of exported French throughout recolonized Africa, ahem (may be mixing that up with the ESA in CP 2020) and is now in one of those Stars, My Destination spaces as a human civilization.

I think the Africa thing was in E/CS, but I'm not sure... Seems to me, Africa and "Highriders" in R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk is a lot about Maximum Mike living out his own personal fantasy of a Utopian, united Africa. Not certain, but he may actually have coined the term "Afrofuturism".



Mike Pondsmith didn't coin Afrofuturism, someone academic or highbrow culture critic did and grouped a lot of global African diaspora arts under it including George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic, some Samuel Delaney, etc. Much in the same way when Bruce Sterling coined the word cyberpunk, he was immediately assigning it to Gibson and Bladerunner eventually gets put under it's heading (though folks would more accurately describe it as a precursor to Cyberpunk). Gibson's inclusion of the Rastafarian Zion colony in neuromancer may have taken some inspiration from works that would eventually be grouped under Afrofuturism, and it gave Maximum Mike more ammunition for his world building.

Don't take me wrong — I thought the Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook was a brilliant product on its own merits; it's the attempt to retcon the fundamentally optimistic 2300AD into a Cyberpunk dystopia just to jump onto the Cyberpunk bandwagon that I felt was jarring. Use it as a standalone game, de-coupled from the 2300AD universe, and it's great.

The 2300AD backstory is of course a variation of the Twilight: 2000 "future history". They do not match exactly, but in a very general outline. It may have just been that the T2k product line evolved in a slightly different direction after the Traveller: 2300 backstory had been written. Note however that the 2300AD backstory was essentially unchanged from the first edition Traveller: 2300!

There never was any kind of relationship between Traveller: 2300 and Traveller, beyond the false association created by the badly chosen name. Hence why GDW couldn't rename it fast enough.

It seemed to me that when GDW decided to name the game Traveller: 2300, they were hoping that people would mentally pair it with Twilight: 2000, in some common T:2X00 format.
What instead happened was that people — unsurprisingly — paired it with their existing product "Traveller", and assumed it would fit into that universe/timeline. This caused a lot of initial confusion, likely impacting its commercial success.

I myself shared that confusion when I first bought the game, but fortunately very soon learned better — I quickly realised I actually liked T23, both system and universe, a lot better than Traveller.

As a side note, the very first adventure I ran in T23 (as we called it back then) was a mash-up of ALIENS and The Thing. Always felt T23 was heavily influenced by ALIENS...
Thanks for all that good info. Yeah, I remember reading about Traveller and Traveller: 2300 ads in Dragon and thinking prequel game. It's funny because I was big into T2k then (hence I'm here) and didn't make the connection till much later..

It's a bit of shame homebrew world building wasn't as popular back in the 80s as it is now. I remember "The Great Game" played by GDW to establish the 2300 world and it would have been neat for them to produce a version so groups can determine their own early space expansion power distribution. I guess that would require modules being made more abstract though.
 
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ExileInParadise
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Re: Future licensed games?

Wed 20 Jul 2022, 23:03

While I think Fria Ligan might be getting spread a bit too thin with too many lines... Year Zero Engine supports post-apocalypse gaming well.

Naturally, *any* post-Apocalypse game is worth a look.

My personal favorites that I could definitely see running well on YZE:
Living Steel, Thundaar the Barbarian, and ARK II - would never happen as the potential audiences these days are probably far too small.

Same for Aftermath, Morrow Project, War of the Worlds (victorian and modern)

I would also rather like Star Frontiers on YZE than the d100 system or MSH resolution system it used.

Now, for a game that probably does have an audience these days, why not Eclipse Phase on YZE

And if it didn't already have a recent new version dropped - I would think Blue Planet would work well.

Or how about Stargate / SG1 / Atlantis / Universe?

And finally, why not license HOSTILE from Zozer Games and fold it into ALIEN RPG?

And in other thoughts:
Stranger Things is already a D20 5E game - no need for that on YZE even if YZE is probably a better fit.

I don't think Watership Down will work vs. Bunnies and Burrows ...

And I don't even want to get into the Twilight: 2000 / Traveller: 2300 / 2300AD / EarthCybertech Sourcebook quagmire...
There's already Traveller20, SciFi20, 2320AD, and the Mongoose v1 2300 and I think v2 2300 may be out by now.
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