Quite possibly, the most exciting news I have read this year was this announcement from the 2000 AD website.
"EN Publishing, under license with Rebellion, are developing a range of Tabletop Adventure Games and supplements based on the iconic characters and worlds found in the legendary British comic 2000 AD.
“2000 AD has forty years of rich history and storytelling and this worldwide license allows us to explore those characters and stories and bring them to the tabletop” Angus Abranson, Business Manager of EN Publishing said.
The first release will be Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game, a full colour hard-cover book which contains the core ‘Worlds of 2000 AD’ rules as well as setting information enabling the players to not only play Judges, but also civilians and perps, in Mega City One.
“The rules system we’re using is our own WOIN (What’s Old Is New) engine that also powers our N.E.W. – The Science Fiction Role-playing Game which spent some time as the #1 best seller on RPGNow” said system designer and EN Publishing Owner, Russ Morrissey. “The system is incredibly flexible and can cater seamlessly for the Celtic environs of Slaine to spacefaring hi-jinks of the Ace Trucking Co.”
Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD will be followed by a series of adventure sourcebooks giving players and Game Masters the opportunity to play through the story arcs that made Judge Dredd such an enduring character.
“We’ll be publishing a series of books, starting with The Robot Wars, which will not only allow players and GMs to play through the events that took place in the comic arc, but also add to the game setting with additional rules or source material relevant to the period or location. So, for instance, Robot characters will be expanded in The Robot Wars whilst in Luna-1 we’ll be providing detailed information on the moon colony and life there” Nick Robinson, Line Developer for the Worlds of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game said. “The idea is to move chronologically through the classic story arcs in the 2000 AD Progs providing adventures for not only Judges, but for those players who may wish to explore the Dredd universe from a different perspective – that of a Civilian or even a Perp. Each book will contain a core adventure, mini-adventures based upon the other story arcs at the time, as well as expanded setting and rules information.”
In addition to the support material for the Judge Dredd campaign a series of ‘Campaign Guides’ are planned which will cover other 2000 AD settings.
“There is such a vast wealth of exciting characters and worlds to explore in the 2000 AD stable that it’d be criminal not to explore them. By using the core rules in Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD rulebook we can then create a range of Campaign Guides that give you setting information, adventures, new careers, etc, across a host of titles. Worlds of 2000 AD : ABC Warriors, Worlds of 2000 AD : Indigo Prime, Worlds of 2000 AD : Nikolai Dante, Worlds of 2000 AD : Rogue Trooper, with the depth of the 2000 AD catalogue we literally have universes to play with.” Angus Abranson said.
Writing and development is well under way with writer Darren Pearce (Doctor Who; Lone Wolf) working on the core rulebook alongside Russ Morrissey and Nick Robinson, with additional content from Robert Schwalb (Dungeons & Dragons; Warhammer Fantasy Role-play), whilst Andrew Peregrine (Doctor Who; Firefly; Buffy The Vampire Slayer) is writing The Robot Wars."
EN Publishing is the publishing arm of EN World, the leading tabletop RPG news website and community and the company behind the EN World Gen Con RPG Awards ("ENnies"). EN Publishing has published over 300 titles including the critically acclaimed War of the Burning Sky and ZEITGEIST adventure paths, the popular EN5ider online magazine for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, and the WOIN (What's OLD is NEW) role-playing game system. https://www.worldsof2000adrpg.com
About 2000 AD
2000 AD is the legendary weekly British anthology comic and home of Judge Dredd, as well as a galaxy of original sci-fi, fantasy, and horror action stars. As well as producing innovative and provocative comics for 40 years, it has brought the industry some of its biggest talents, from Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, and Mark Millar, to Jock, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, and many more. Published in print and digital every Wednesday, 2000 AD is the galaxy’s Greatest Comic and remains at the industry’s cutting edge. http://www.2000adonline.com/
Okay, so I was intrigued. I was developing a good feeling about these games. But I wanted to know more and so, I downloaded the three free intros to the OLD, NOW and NEW gaming systems. As soon as I read them I knew this was a system I wanted to delve into deeply. The system that intrigued me the most was the sci-fi rules - NEW. EN Publishing had collected the five core rule books for it - Future Characters, Future Equipment, Future Core Rules, Space and Universe Building - into one handy book available as a hardback book and/or PDF file. I ordered the hardback book but also got the PDF as a freebie, as it was on sale. See here - http://www.wargamevault.com/product/191271/NEW-The-Science-Fiction-Roleplaying-Game?src=hottest_filtered
I was expecting a long wait for the book to arrive but it came within four days of ordering it. First impressions were highly favourable. Having read it from cover to cover I can highly recommend it. My yardstick for how good a role-playing game is this, how does it compare to GURPS, my all-time favourite RPG? In so many respects, it is better. It is certainly a lot easier to learn and to play but it still has a level of detail that I love to see.
So, I am delighted that Rebellion and EN Publishing have teamed up. I am extremely confident the 2000 AD franchise is in safe hands and that the new books will all be winners. This will be a much better game to play than the deeply flawed Mongoose D20 rules (superb background material but utter pants gameplay. I played it once with a group of four experienced gamers and we ripped the rules to shreds!).
I don't have a definitive date for when Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD Tabletop Adventure Game will be produced but it ought to be later this year. I would expect the price for it to be around the same price as for the NEW hardback rulebook - roughly £40.00. The sooner it is released, the better as far as I'm concerned.😊
I was going to wrap this post up here, but something else crossed my mind. It was announced a couple of months ago that Warlord Games have acquired the licence from Rebellion to produce 28mm scale figures for all 2000 AD titles, and that they will be producing games to go with the figures. So how does this effect these new 2000 AD game-books from EN Publishing? Firstly, I suspect that the rules that Warlord Games are going to produce will be for skirmish wargamers, pretty much as the current Judge Dredd Miniatures Game is. After all, Warlord Games are a company who specialise in wargames. They are not noted for producing role-playing games. So the products from both companies should sit side by side very well with one company concentrating on the wargaming aspect and the other on the role-playing experience. Secondly, one of the WOIN developers said he was happy to promote the new 2000 AD range of figures from Warlord Games. That is very promising and I'm heartened to see one company supporting the other.
Finally, what impact will the new RPG have on my existing JDMG campaign? Quite simply, none whatsoever. The JDMG campaign is here to stay. It won't be replaced when the RPG rules are released. However, I will run a separate campaign based on the WOIN rules, which will concentrate less heavily on combat and more on investigations of crimes and character interactions and development. I really am incredibly excited about these new developments. Bring it on!