Today’s topic is a repeat question from last year: Favorite Media You Wish Was An RPG, or, to put it another way, your dream license. To make the question a bit more interesting, I decided that I would disqualify any media property that has had an RPG at one point, even if there is no current game — which removes my two biggest dream licenses: Star Trek and James Bond, both of which have been done in the past, and hopefully will be done again at some point in the future. Disqualifying any property with a previous RPG would also remove Mobile Suit Gundam from contention, as there was a Japanese release, Gundam Senki, apparently using R. Talsorian’s Mekton rules system, released 15 years ago (which I’ve never seen, but would love to find).
Let’s check in with Dave Chapman, for his (obvious to anyone who knows him, or reads his blog) video entry:
…I agree that Harry Potter is an excellent choice, but it is not my choice. As long as we’re talking personal preference, rather than any realistic chance at a successful license, I’m free to be as obscure as I wish.
So my choice would be: Alien Legion.
Alien Legion was a science fiction comic created by Carl Potts for Marvel’s Epic Comics line in the 80s, and has several editions which appeared through the 90s and most recently a limited series published by Dark Horse in 2014. Basically, the concept of the book is “The French Foreign Legion in Outer Space” — criminals, fugitives, refugees and people just looking to disappear, joining a special military force to get a new start. I’ve been a huge fan of this series since the beginning — the promo poster, pictured at right, hangs framed in my office as I write this. I’ve talked with other fans of the series in the game industry about how we’d do it, and at one point about a decade ago, I even talked briefly with Carl Potts about licensing it.
For me, the key to doing an Alien Legion RPG would be that each character would be of a unique species (you’d basically roll up your species as you create your character), and each character would have some Dark Secret (the backstory element that resulted in them ending up in the Legion). Your playing group (the squad) would create a relationship tree during character creation — so each character would have some hook motivating their relationship with every other character (rivalry, hatred, friendship, etc.). Equipment would be identical (you’re all Legionnaires — same armor, same weapons). The system would be perfect for running any sort of military drama you’ve ever seen, but with a sci-fi twist, from straightforward action missions to “Apocalypse Now”-style psychological drama.
So, given the restrictions that I placed on my answer, that’s the media property I’d most love to see as an RPG.
Or, wait. Maybe I’d prefer Planet of the Apes.
Or The Expanse novels.
Or classic Battlestar Galactica.
Well, you get the idea. What’s yours?