Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Missed Opportunities

Over the years, the role-playing industry and hobby has put out many products.  These products have covered and allowed campaign play in all sorts of genres from fantasy to science fiction to just plain weird.  There are also plenty of "I wish" products that never get made but would seem to be ripe for a role-playing game of one sort or another.  Here's some games that I would like to see.

AD&D Second Edition by Gygax
Of course, we will never get this now but Gygax did give many clues to where his design would have went. There have been numerous threads about this on various discussion boards and there is even a person/group working on what they *believe* would be a true Gygaxian 2E.  In the end, nobody knows exactly what Gygax was going to do other than Gygax.  This is probably one of the top hypothetical products I would want to be a reality.  I suspect if this would have been made then we would still be in the third edition era of the game. 

There actually was a Dune RPG released BUT it saw a very limited release after WotC bought out LUG.  At that time, Wizards had Star Wars D20 and Last Unicorn Games had (iirc, of course) Star Trek and Dune.  Imagine, if you will, that Wizards buys LUG and now has Star Wars, Star Trek, and Dune as RPG properties; all 3 products are powered by the same rules system also.  Think about the possibilities!

There are plenty of other hypothetical products that could have been hits in the role-playing community.  Possibilities that come to mind include RPGs based on The Prydain Chronicles, The Chronicles of Narnia, Image Comics, Transformers (powered by Mekton?), and Sliders just to name a few.  Maybe one of these days...


  1. Just found out WotC is release AD&D as a collector set. I really think of WotC was smart, they would support two versions of D&D (just like there used to be Advanced and Basic.) However, instead it would be 1st edition and 3rd edition.

    What I mean is they should follow Gary's blueprint and put out that version. Add in the non-weapon proficiency crap, specialty wizards, and other mistakes that 2E players like as optional rules. Then, they can just mine the old AD&D material for products. It will take little to no time to make those available and make them to support their new line of Classic AD&&D.

    Meanwhile, make 5th edition in a way that appeals to 3E and 4E players. Keep putting out products for that.

    If they do that, then they should be able to keep 95% of people happy. It also brings older players back into the market - because lets face it, most of the older players won't be playing any eddition beyond 2E.

  2. As a first comment posted to this blog, I'd like to start off by thanking you for the work put into the Semi-Retired Gamer; I've found the articles very entertaining and hope to see more to come.

    The first RPG I played was the just released Moldvay box. I was 11, what can I say. I 'graduated' to Gygax's AD&D and then pretty much put that interest in the closet. I dabbled with the 2E rules when they came out, but the system (and the players) started getting too cranky for my tastes. Frankly, Boot Hill was much more to my liking.

    But on the subject of hypothetical licenses, what about Land of the Lost? It seems that the dimensional bubble aspect to the story could lead to some very interesting role-playing opportunities.

    In the process of 'finding a way home', time doorways could open up and out steps Conan, or the 2001: Space Odyssey baby, or even Slurp and Burp from Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.

    And Sleestaks? Their nerf crossbow bolts would require a -1 on a 4 sided dice to hit.

    Pure gold, I tells ya.

  3. You have seen Adventures Dark and Deep the hypothetical Gary 2E?

    If not look it up!

  4. @Darius: Interesting idea and I think it rocks! I like the fact that it would be split into old school and new school versions. I think that could keep a large chunk of the market happy if done correctly AND would make some happy just for the fact that it was "official".

  5. @Eldrad: Yes, I have seen Adventures Dark and Deep and it is a very interesting rules exercise. I can not wait to see the finished product.

  6. @Baker: Thanks for reading the blog and thanks for the comments. It is nice to know that you are enjoying the stuff here. Truthfully, I do not plan most of it and just go with the flow. It's good that it seems to be working out.

    Nothing wrong with that at all. Boot Hill, huh? I've always wanted to give it a spin. I was worried about PC survivability BUT the main reason I haven't tried it is because I do not have a copy. Count me as interested, though.

    Land of the Lost!? Ugh, I can not believe I missed that because I put the intro video in my blog. You are absolutely correct, though. Land of the Lost would be a great game for just the reasons you stated.

    1. PC survivability in Boot Hill is a bit of an oxymoron - but like any system, it's all in how it is run.

      By the book, the first two editions (as I am sure you or your readers know) are little more than vicious little war games; role-playing elements are at a minimum. The third edition, released in 1990, is a RPG proper. In my opinion it suffers for it, but - again, it is my opinion.

      In addition to the second edition box set that I've somehow kept with me all these years, I have collected just about everything Boot Hill related that I have been able to stumble across. If you care for a copy of anything, I would be more than happy to share the love.

      I don't think Brian Blume would mind.

    2. That is exactly what I have always heard about Boot Hill. As far as copies, Hell YES! I have an obsession with checking out games I run across. Consider me very interested.

    3. I signed up to Google+ in effort to privately email you the link, but... meh. I'm thinking home dentistry is less confusing. Certainly less annoying.

      Enclosed within you'll find every edition, every module, and every Dragon magazine article relating to the game. So as to not appear as if I've a blatant parrot on my shoulder, I will remove the file once downloaded.

      Cheers, and enjoy!


  7. Another missed opportunity (in my humblest)...

    Space: 1999!

    The first season of that show was one of the better science fiction television programs up to that point. Once you laughed off the initial 'moon blown out of Earth's orbit' set-up, the concept of free floating the universe in a desperate attempt to find some place habitable was pretty entertaining.

    I never quite understood why no one ever attempted to license that one.

  8. I agree but I admit that I don't remember much more than liking the show. It has actually come up in conversations with friends at work. I have been getting the itch to see it again. I wonder if it's on netflix or hulu...

  9. I once read a forum post (RPGnet? RPGsite?) that claimed that there was a non-English version of an official Narnia RPG.
    It was either a French game, or German, IIRC.

    1. Interesting...
      I would definitely like to check that out but I know enough German from high school (a little over 22 years ago) to put my foot in my mouth...lol.