Episode 198- What’s Up With Licensed Games?

Hosts: PK, Scott, Todd

In this episode, we talk about licensed properties with friend of the show PK Sullivan. PK knows a little about licensed properties having worked on the Firefly RPG. Additionally, PK and Scott LURVE them some Star Wars properties.

I totally forgot to write down when everything happens in this episode, so no sh’notes.

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4 thoughts on “Episode 198- What’s Up With Licensed Games?

  1. Hi all, great discussion. I think setting is really important and so I’m a little surprised that licensed products aren’t more successful. I’m also surprised that there isn’t more commissioned fiction to support established settings and that so much of what is produced seems of pretty poor quality. Perhaps it’s just not how the creative process works (ooh, topic suggestion – interview Stolze about this). Getting everyone at the table to have a shared a vision of the fiction seems important to me and surely licensed games and commissioned fiction is great way of supporting that. As you discussed, an important element is producing mechanics that encourage the feel of the fiction. I think Mouseguard is a great example of this. When I played it everyone had read at least the first trade before we played our second session and the feel of the mechanics mirrored the feel of the comics.

  2. I had a couple questions about the topics brought up on this episode.

    1) Re: a Conan RPG, have you tried either Barbarians of Lemuria or On Mighty Thews? I unfortunately haven’t yet had a chance to play either, but I know they were both made specifically to emulate the sword & sorcery genre. I’d be curious to hear how you feel they stack up.

    2) DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds are very well received superhero games, but considering that they are derived from the d20 system, how do you feel they stack up to something like BASH!, which uses 2d6 times the attribute, or Supers!, which uses a dice pool?

  3. As a counterpoint to Todd’s supposition that story games can do it better I submit that Mass Effect Apocalypse, Mass Effect the Story Game, and the aforementioned Mass Effect Fate are all three terrible fan adaptations of the IP, mostly due to the fact that the creators placed the system before the IP.

    The most disappointing part of the AW hacks is that Dungeon World is such a good adaptation of the AW engine to D&D that they had no real excuse for keeping it all same-y. Likewise each version of Cortex+ I’ve played bar Firefly, sorry PK, felt very well adapted to the TV shows and comics they were simulating.

    Additionally; and this is directed to mrm1138: Do yourself a favor and hang the DC M&M and track down copies of Smallville and Marvel Heroic. The only way you could make a better (read more complete) supers game would be if you hacked the life path system from Smallville into Marvel Heroic!

  4. Uemei, yeah I was thinking the Cortex+ games (I’ve only played Marvel Heroic and Firefly myself) the whole cast.

    Those games did a great job of emulating the feel of their IPs. The system’s a little too fiddly/complex for me personally (Firefly less so than Marvel), but I’d say they’re the best adaptations I’ve played.

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