Licensed Games – Afterthought 1

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Licensed Games – Afterthought 1

Something new for our listeners this week!  While we’d never be able to read fast enough to take System Mastery weekly, we still want to develop more content for everyone.  So we are proud to introduce Afterthought, a biweekly discussion podcast where we talk about… stuff!  No specific game, but generally something about the last review that left us interested in extended discussion.  Additionally, if you send us questions to, we’ll answer them (probably) on this show, so send those in!

12 responses to “Licensed Games – Afterthought 1

  1. For some licenced products, the licensor doesn’t want players to play original characters. Marvel Heroic RPG, for instance, was under one such limitation. Marvel wanted you to play their characters, not your own. So the chargen rules were…well hidden.

    • Yeah, our favorite example of that was the old TSR Indiana Jones box set, which blindsided us on a previous review by literally not containing chargen rules at all. They were later introduced in a supplement, but until then you were playing as Indy, Marion, Willy, Short Round, Sallah, Jock Lindsey, or Wu Han.

  2. I’m pretty sure that when a Harry Potter game was pitched, J.K.Rowling said she would never allow anyone other than herself to “officially” write stories in the Harry Potter world.

    • Hah, someone should have given her a copy of any licensed game, so she could see no one ever officially creates anything new in them. As long as they kept her clear from a few exceptions (TMNT went pretty far off the reservation, as did Starfleet). Oh well. Still a bizarre missed opportunity.

      What do people play when they want to play Harry Potter RPGs anyway? What system handles that the best?

  3. You were joking about it being Fallout Equestria the RPG, but is it Ponyfinder? The first day I logged on to DriveThruRPG and saw a Ponyfinder book in the top items was a sad day indeed.

    • Not quite yet. We took a surprising amount of email heat just for daring to touch Moorcock, I think we’ll avoid kicking the sleeping pony dragon til around episode 50.

  4. I once had a friend who was so hard-core Simulation that she used the “catching the mouse” method to add new rules to GURPS.

    Apparently it takes two turns to operate a doorknob with your off hand, and there’s basically no check that can help you do it any faster.

    • I (this is Jef typing) no joke had a D&D DM back in the old days that made us roll our character stats on the other side of a DM screen so we wouldn’t know our own stats for the realism. He wasn’t good at the “vague descriptions of stats” part that followed up either, so a character with no stat higher than 8 was told “You feel like you’re stronger than any other thing you are, but you’re definitely not very tough. You can be a fighter!”

  5. I always felt like Star Wars was one of those settings that was kind of exhausted by the official material, because what the hell are your PCs ever going to do that is even close to being as important and crazy as blowing up two Death Stars and killing the Emperor?

    I mean, yeah, great, you stopped a Hutt from providing combat enhancement drugs to Stormtroopers or whatever. Were those Stormtroopers about to destroy an entire planet?

    No? Then why should I care?

    I mean, this was always kind of my reaction to all the extended universe stuff, but when I was a kid I was so in love with Star Wars (And the Phatom Menace hadn’t killed that love stone dead yet) so I kind of pushed that feeling down and tried to enjoy things. Maybe that’s the secret with the RPG, too?

    • Oddly, I had the opposite response to a lot of the expanded universe crap, because it tried to go bigger than the movies. Oh no, a ship that can destroy suns, that’s even scarier than a ship that can destroy planets! What will Luke’s apprentice who is both dark and light side and had a triple size rainbow colored lightsaber do?

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