Recently Michael posted about the new game by Robertson Games Weird West. I have never run a western game, and only played on a short (one session) long Boot Hill game that we quickly derailed and ruined in ways that had the GM throwing his hands up and walking away from the table. I’m also not a big fan of Westerns. I loved Western movies as a child, specially the Lone Ranger, but as I grew up I really did not care much for the genre. There are exceptions; I love The Magnificent Seven, the “Dollar Trilogy” and modern Westerns like Unforgiven and 3:10 to Yuma. However, as much as I love the Cohen Brothers films, I was underwhelmed by True Grit and I am NOT a fan of The Duke, i.e. John Wayne.
That doesn’t mean I am not interested in Western themed RPGs. An old copy of Boot Hill sits on my shelf, and I own Deadlands (both the original version and the d20 book, not the Savage Worlds version) and Sidewinder: Recoiled. However I have never wanted to run one until recently. One of my players has been trying to put together a Western game and another player is a HUGE fan of the genre. SO I found myself thinking about what I would do for such a game.
This was a great weekend when my wife came home from a trip to the postoffice with my Green Ronin‘s Mutants & Masterminds (M&M) 3rd Edition Gamemaster’s Kit. I ordered this thing so long ago that I had all but forgotten about it. I pulled out my camera and took some quick photos of the items enclosed in the box. As you can see, true to form Green Ronin has made sure that this produced was packaged with care just like all of the products I have ordered from them.
M&M’s Gamemaster’s Kit came with two items. A black and white paperback QuickStart Character Generator and a full color Gamemaster’s Screen.
Recently I have rewatched one of my favorite films: Ghostbusters! Even though the movie is *gasp* 27 years old it has aged surprisingly well. While some of the effects may look a bit outdated the action and humor work as well today as they did in 1984. The 1984 film has not only spawned a sequel but also several computer games and even a pen & paper roleplaying game.
In 1986 West End Games produced the “Ghostbusters: A Frightfully Cheerful Roleplaying Game” boxed set which was followed later by a revised edition called “Ghostbusters International”. The system used in those games was a predecessor of the popular D6 System, which is now available under the OGL. Alas these games have never been a huge success and are out-of-print for many years now.
As it happens quite often, I was wondering whether a Ghostbusters RPG would actually work. As I see it, it may work great for one-shot adventures, perhaps even limited campaigns consisting of only a few sessions, but I have a hard time seeing myself running or participating in a full-blown ghostbusters campaign, at least not without some major changes.
So what would be needed to make it work? I think Ghostbusters International already had the right idea. Use the background from the movies and let players create their own Ghostbusters teams. The world is a big place and the guys from New York, can’t be everywhere, so why not start some franchises here and there? This approach let’s players create their own teams but you can still use all the common elements from the technology used to hunt ghosts to the implied background.
Since the Ghostbusters RPGs from WEG are long out-of-print it might not that easy to track a copy down, so most players interested to hunt ghosts must look elsewhere. One game immediately comes to mind: Jared Sorensen’s InSpectres. This indie game has pretty much the same premise as a Ghostbusters game and has a very interesting if unconventional approach to conflict resolution that encourages roleplaying and a narrative play style.
Have you ever thought about running a Ghostbusters game? Or have you even played one of the WEG games back in the day? As always I am very interested in your thoughts on the subject. Please share your thoughts below.