I play with a group that’s currently pretty heavy into modules. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and there’s a wealth of pre-written material out there to satisfy my carnal desires of quest and tom-foolery. As a GM I find having the course set out for you makes things incredibly easier in terms of workload and semantics. From being on both sides of the table I can see that most pre-written content works, it’s well thought out, incorporates the mechanics, the thought put into the development improves the experience.
It’s like a really nice steak dinner, grilled up just like you like it. But… sometimes… I just want a little more steak. Or maybe I want to have my cake and eat it too. I’ve read some really good content in comics that I wish could, or rather should get modules written about them. So here is the list of comic books I feel could be adapted (with a little elbow grease) for gaming.
1) Squarriors- by Ash Maczko and Ashley Witter (aka. Team Ash)
With the human race mysteriously extinct and the rise of intelligence in the remaining creatures, Squarriors provides a post-apocalyptic/medieval setting to have warring creature clans vying for supremacy. Squirrels versus cat, German Sheppard versus badger. Trust would be tough when your ally is above you in the food chain. Rogue field mice and emperor cats could make this a vicious and brutal campaign. I have no idea what platform this would play well on, maybe 3.5 if you stripped off the magic.
2) Danger Club- Landry Walker, Eric Jones, and Rusty Drake
Where did all the heroes go? With the all of the earth’s presumed KIA on a space mission it’s up to their teenage side-kicks to pick up the slack of a crumbling society and oppressive government. They’re the best of the best of what was left. This campaign would be for those who like to be underpowered and love teamwork. Could work on multiple gaming systems; Mutants & Masterminds, Marvel Superheroes.
3) East of West- Jonathan Hickman
If you’ve never heard of Jonathan Hickman you should have. He’s Captain Picard on Star Trek the Next Generation if Alan Moore was Kirk in the original. East of West is some of his best work. A multi-layered epic based upon an America where the civil war never ended, and technology and magic are on par with each other. The various nation states of: the Union, the Confederacy, Africans, Native Americans, Chinese exiles, and Texan separatists supply political intrigue. The prophecy of the coming apocalypse provides the panic. Play as a horseman of the apocalypse, a techno-shaman of The Nation, or the last Texas Ranger. It would be like Rifts: Chaos Earth happening right after Rifts: Chaos Earth happened, and that’s the platform it would fit into nicely.
4) Hellboy- Mike Mignola
So here’s the thing, and it’s a little embarrassing for myself, but Hellboy already has it’s own game and pre-written module and I’ve never gotten around to playing it. It uses the GURPS universal role-playing system, which I have no experience with what-so-ever, and the module is written by a couple of guys named Phil Masters and Jonathan Woodward who wrote a few other modules for the GURPS system. Apparently you can play as Hellboy and his buddies, or create your own BRPD character from scratch. From the reviews I’ve read it sounds pretty decent and the core rulebook comes with two Hellboy stories to help those not familiar with the characters and the setting. Mike Mignola has pretty high standards concerning anything to do this work and world he created and curates. If his work on Hellboy- Wake the Devil and Seeds of Destruction were any indication then I’m betting this would be a good time.
Maybe some of these would work out like I imagine they would, maybe not, but I hope and I dream. I lack the true creativity it would take to flesh out these modules, but someday I wish someone would. Let me know if there are any comics you’d like to see on a specific platform or if you played Hellboy on the GURPS system. I’d love to hear about it.
Ps. the next character I create will be called Rusty Drake; I mean really, it just sounds badass.
About Ryan: So I try to read about 50 comics a week, depending on my ability to pay the power bill. I try to read as much new and independent works as my tried and trusted favorites, and I’ve been doing this for years. Thus, I can roughly say that I am pretty decent at comicology, however I hold no formal degree. Luckily, degrees are no substitute for common sense and that’s how I got this gig. Read about his thoughts on how Comics Inform RPG Character Death here.
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.