Monday, July 7, 2014

We Made Our Own


My first foray into "role-playing game design" was a G.I. Joe game. I still have it, but I don't know where it is at the moment, but I remember the basics. It was the mid-eighties, my group had been playing TSR's Marvel Superheroes, and dabbling in universal table-based games. They all made it look so easy.

I think it used attributes similar to FASERIP, though instead of descriptively named levels, it used numbers 1 to 10. The filecards on the back of the G.I. Joe packages (and helpfully collated in one place in the G.I. Joe: Order of Battle limited series put out by Marvel) made it easy to adapt the lists of training and qualified expert rating with various weapons into skills.

We played it on more than one occasion. Enough that I was inspired to make a second game using the same (highly derivative system) based around the Transformers. That was even easier because the Transformers packaging even had abilities and ratings:


I don't think we ever played Transformers. We also never got around to playing the Wrasslin' Roleplaying Game made by a buddy of mine, born from his love of the UWF, and (as I recall) based on roughly the same engine.

6 comments:

Chris C. said...

That sounds really cool. I just started rewatching the old 80's GI Joe cartoons a ways back. One of my favorites back in the day, and I can see how it'd make a good game.

Michael Curtis said...

My first step into the field of game design was also a G.I. Joe hack. I used the original Top Secret rules to build it, as that was the only game I had with modern weapons in it. It was never actually played.

Jack said...

My first homebrew game was a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game. It was actually kinda like Risus, but with d20s.

Francis Lee said...

I would have played that!

Trey said...

@Chris - They're not terrible sophisticated, but they're fun when you're a kid.
@Michael - That makes sense. I think we were coming at it from a "comic book" angle.
@Jack - I'd be interested in seeing that!

garrisonjames said...

I used to have a lot of G.I. Joe stuff when I was little...gave it all away to my two nephews. Both of them went and became Marines. Never meant for that to happen, but I'm proud of them.