Last year there was a flurry of excitement around Stranger Things, the Netflix series, mostly in part as the opening and closing scenes were of ourselves back in the 80s playing Dungeons and Dragons.
On several of the blogs I read there was an almost yearning for a Stranger Things RPG and in fact Fria Ligan basically produced exactly that with http://bit.ly/LoopTalesTales from the Loop. Watch the trailer if you do not know this game!
There was a similar desire for a Sense8 RPG as well and the Game of Thrones RPG, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, taps into this same TV hook up phenomena.
I saw a post on Facebook this week about how BBC America bought the rights to Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and produced a card game. The week the game was released the show was axed. Not exactly what you want when you buy into a franchise!
So this is all about settings and genres. These TV shows were highly stylised and all about the setting. Sense8 was the master of this with the scene changing to contrasting locations literally sentence by sentence during the dialogue.
Last week I touched on Cthulhu Rolemaster and Hurin reminded me about the Darkspace source book, it looks like that is a book that is our of print. If I remember correctly it was quite Sci-Fi but I will not have a chance to borrow the book until April.
There are some settings that I just cannot see Rolemaster inhabiting, Supers is one for a start, but is it really that unlikely? Are super powers just talents and flaws magnified in impact? I cannot remember off the top of my head any RM mechanics for ‘always on’ powers or unlimited use powers. Even melee was limited by endurance/fatigue. Magic is limited by power points as were Psions in Spacemaster. I cannot see Spiderman’s spider sense requiring a SCR or The Hulk shrivelling back to Bruce Banner just because he ran out of power points. The only comic book series that RM could really do well would be Watchmen which was intentionally brutal and down to earth.
The beauty of these setting/genre source books is that you can release an unlimited number of them and none of them lead to the system bloat that lead to so much criticism of RM2. The absolute master of this has to be GURPS. There are over 120 GURPS supplements, for every genre under the sun from GURPS: Action Heros to GURPS: Zombies, there is a literal A to Z.
The key missing part is firearms. If Arms Law is pretty much ready to go to print I would implore ICE to start work on or buy in a firearms supplement. If we have guns then we have have pirates, private eyes, spies, the war of independence and the wild west.
Black Powder was invented in the 9th Century and the Fire Lance in the 10th century, according to Wikipedia, So they [firearms] basically predate medieval plate mail; that is a staple of every fantasy RPG of all time.
I don’t think they should be in the core system because I don’t want RMU delayed any longer than it has been already but firearms would open the door to so many possibilities that the deserve a book of their own and as fast as possible.