Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Did FFG just declare an invasion?

Yesterday, Fantasy Flight Games formally announced the upcoming release of Genesys, a universal RPG using the proprietary dice system they developed for their Star Wars RPG line.  I know some folks are thinking "no big deal, it's just another GURPS/Savage Worlds/Fate system".  Others might be thinking that FFG doesn't really do RPGs outside of SW and the ending Warhammer Roleplaying Line they had the license for.

To an extent, both of these are right. And given the development of RPGNOW, Lulu, and other POD publishing firms, it's not like there's a shortage of competitors. However, these views ignore two things: first, Fantasy Flight has a LONG history with RPGs, and second, their IP catalog is powerful, and might draw more players into specific setting games.

The announcement lists 5 game type settings. Most likely, there will be some specific rules for each, NPC/race/monsters for each, and a bunch of suggested options that GMs can take or leave for their own game. There are fantasy, steampunk, weird war, modern, and science fiction settings included. There's also supposed to be in depth setting material via supplements. Please keep in mind, there's a LOT of conjecture after this.

What settings can they do? Firstly, there are two they likely can't, though they have boardgame rights. These are Game of Thrones(ASoIaF), and Lord of the Rings. Both of these have other RPG homes, though the TV show and movie rights might play into things.

Other licensed properties they have that MIGHT come to fruition include Doom, X-Com, and the Witcher. I've no clue as to the specifics of the contracts, or if there's been further talk. On the other hand, their proprietary RPG history and other IP list is HUGE.

 From Boardgame/LCG properties:
Android- A fantastic cyberpunk setting, home to three boardgames and the current incarnation of Netrunner. Shadowrun and Interface Zero, look out.

Terrinoth- The world of Runbound and Descent, it's got everything but an LCG. And might become their main fantasy setting.

Twilight Imperium- Yeah, the big 4x game. There was a Discwars incarnation also(bring that back), in addition to the two boardgames. And at one point, an RPG, so this is a recapitulation.

L5R- They bought it from Alderac last year, and the LCG launches at GenCon this year. Why not put out a setting book for this Far East fantasy world? Yes, it's had RPGs, before.

Blue Moon- Yeah. The Knizia game has great art, and might make an intriguing setting.

Anima- A small tactical card game with cool science fantasy Eastern art. It's had an RPG before, though this could bring it back.
Cold War: CIA vs. KGB- A fleshed out spy game, though these options might be in the core book.
Arkham Files- They've got 4 boardgames and are now on their second LCG with this Lovecraftian world. Why wouldn't they go into it against CoC?

From their RPG history:

Dawnforge- Another competitor for their main fantasy setting, and they've plenty of backlog material they could bring back.

Dragonstar- If you want a fantasy space opera, here's the competitor for Starfinder. and DRAGONS IN SPAAACE sounds a lot cooler than Elves in space. They've a lot for this one, too.

Fireborn- Another fantasy setting, where everyone has some relationship to a dragon.

Midnight- A Dark Fantasy game they had during the D&D 3rd OGL boom. Evil runs the world, and you're fighting and hiding. This might make for a good Sword and Sorcery entry.

Grimm- A fairie tale based setting that was originally part of the Horizon line, and expanded to a full RPG book on its own.

Spellslinger- From the Horizon line, this was a Weird West game that could compete with Deadlands.

Virtual- If relevant, it would likely be folded into the Android game.

Mechamorphosis- Because giant robots. Catalyst needs a competitor.

Redline- Jeffro has stated he's always seen Car Wars as properly an RPG. This game started as one, and could easily come back for it.

I don't know how much this would appeal to the OSR crowd. On the other hand, I know plenty of people that have wanted to abandon Shadowrun for an  Android RPG for years.  I've heard a lot of good things about the Star Wars RPGs, and this salvo could launch them fast, especially if they pursue organized play for one or two settings.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

No comments:

Post a Comment