Thursday, August 21, 2014

RPGaDay #21 Favorite Licensed RPG

I've got a number of these on my shelf right now. I've got Star Wars and Star Trek. Superhero games licensed by Marvel and DC. Licensed games based on TV shows, like Red Dwarf, Battlestar Galactica, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Games based on book series, like the Dresden Files, GURPS Discworld, and Dream Park. I've even got RPGs that are licensed from other RPGs, with GURPS conversions of the old World of Darkness line, Castle Falkenstein, Deadlands and Blue Planet.

Although not technically licensed, I've even written my own RPG based on the Oz novels of L. Frank Baum. Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road. The only Oz RPG mature enough to not feel the need to be so grown up.


I've been a Star Trek fan for as long as I can remember, so I've got nearly every Star Trek RPG (I've got all the major ones, but I hear there was an obscure one from the 70's that's probably impossible to find these days). My favorite Star Trek RPG would probably be the one from Last Unicorn Games published in the late 90's. The other games do specific parts of the setting better (The FASA RPG does bridge crew well, Prime Directive did "planet stories" in a way that made sense, and the Decipher game had strong starship combat mechanics), but I felt the LUG game line was most competent overall. Nothing really outstanding, but there was no point that I felt they dropped the ball.

Among the non-Star Trek games, my vote has to go to the Dresden Files RPG. I've been a big fan of the book series for some time, and it really shows that this game was created by fans as well. I've read some complaints about the in-character footnotes in the book, but I thought they were a clever way to let Harry Dresden's character come through in the book without making the book specifically about him.

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