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View Full Version : Black Industries announces new DC Role Playing Game



Rathgar
28-05-2005, 17:09
Check it out folks:

Here (http://www.blackindustries.com/announcements.htm)

Baggers
28-05-2005, 20:16
Should be quite intresting to see how it comes out.

inquisitorautry
29-05-2005, 04:35
It can't be any worse than the last attempt at a DC superheros RPG.

t-tauri
29-05-2005, 09:11
Sigh. That's rather disappointing. I'd rather hoped for 40k.

Brother Loki
29-05-2005, 12:44
I'm sure 40k will be on the cards eventually, but I suspect they'd want to use largely the same design team for that as for WFRP as I'd expect it to share a lot of mechanics, and they're pretty fully committed at the moment, what with something like 14 releases this year. I think Simon B has said something like 'we're not working on it YET.'

Doing the DC licence allows them to rapidly expand their product range, capture a different but overlapping customer base and become a 'real' RPG publisher rather than just GW's poor pet child. Diverse product ranges are very good for the stability of a business as they render it less prone to changing trends in the customer base. Even though it's a subsidiary of GW, I expect BI still has to operate as an autonomous business unit and produce good financial results in its own right.

t-tauri
29-05-2005, 13:59
How many times have they released licenced DC/Marvel RPGs?

As the comic buying public shrinks the market for these games keeps diminishing but someone keeps on buying the licecnes and the game lasts a year or two and then vanishes. Crazy.

Baggers
29-05-2005, 15:18
I geuss its a quick buck for companies plus it can help a company establish themselves.

Hercco
29-05-2005, 22:56
We should be glad that there is still new RPGs developed and the hobby isn't completely dying.

Baggers
29-05-2005, 23:04
Well yes that is true, but though I am new to the whole RPG scene I do feel that there is a lot of repetion in settings. There are several Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Marvel DC, D&D (though they are all the same really) annd other popular franchises out there at the moment. I would like to have seen them do something orginal for once.

inquisitorautry
30-05-2005, 01:07
How many times have they released licenced DC/Marvel RPGs?

There have been at least two DC and three Marvel RPGs that I can remember, not counting second editions and such.

t-tauri
30-05-2005, 10:25
Add in all the clicky variations and then you have to wonder why they keep trying in a saturated market with a limited number of potential purchasers.

Inquisitor Samos
30-05-2005, 19:20
Saying that I find this development to be very disappointing is putting it quite, quite mildly......! :mad: I would have much preferred anything rather than another excursion into the realms of the super-hero comics!

Of course, what I'd really prefer is a 40K RPG.

Even though I like "Inquisitor," and I do use it for the purpose, it just doesn't have the amount of "crunchy bits" that many hard-core, detail-oriented RPG players seem to want. Oh, well, perhaps some day........

Rathgar
30-05-2005, 19:36
Of course, what I'd really prefer is a 40K RPG.

I think it'll happen. The demand for it seems huge! BI must have picked up on that by now.

As to the DC game do we know if Green Ronin are developing in?
Any ideas to what sort of system it'll be D20 or something akin to WFRP (all of D10 etc).
I have no idea as to how a Super Hero RPG would work. Would you gain new powers when you level up or do your existing ones just develop? Thoughts?

Brandir
30-05-2005, 19:54
I wonder what rule system BI will use for this superhero based RPG?

Will they make the WFRP system their own 'in house' RPG mechanic (such as Decipher's Coda or Chaosium's BRP) or will they develop a new mechanic?

Sai-Lauren
31-05-2005, 11:31
There have been at least two DC and three Marvel RPGs that I can remember, not counting second editions and such.
1st Marvel was by TSR (they used to do the monthly updates to the Marvel-verse in Dragon, normally with a "yes, such-and-such is alive, it was all a dream/clone/duplicate from another dimension/last-minute escape when we weren't looking". Although last one I saw was around the time of the Jean Grey/Phoenix storyline in X-Men IIRC), can't remember who did DC Heroes at the same time.

There was also Golden Heroes, inspired by all the comics, but not based on any, released through GW and written by a certain Mr Pete Haines ;)

I'm not sure how well it'll do, especially if they're relying on movies to maintain general interest. Spiderman 3's a certainty, a Blade spin-off is a possibility (Wesley Snipes was suing the production company last I heard, because he felt Blade 3 was only a setup for the spin-off :rolleyes: ) and X3 is still on the cards AFAIK, but most of the cast (especially Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman) only had the original and X2 in their contracts (although HJ had an option for a spinoff movie in there I believe). F4 seems to have been put in production solely because of The Incredibles (great movie, but how close are they in terms of their powers? ;)), and Batman Begins and Superman may go to franchise, maybe not.
Otherwise, there's only the vague rumours of things like Gaiman's Sandman and Death, and a probable Sin City sequel, although they're not really superhero movies.

t-tauri
31-05-2005, 12:51
The problem with a superhero RPGs is that the comics don't really support character growth or improvement and everyone wants to be Spiderman, Batman or Wolverine, but gaining new powers through experience doesn't really fit with the comics. Batman and Superman have been almost unchanged for, what, seventy years?

Brandir
31-05-2005, 15:46
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't DC cover Batman and the Fantastic Four?

With new films saturing these critters out over the next few months it does seem sensible to try and cash in on this publicity.

theimp
31-05-2005, 18:12
Batman is a DC title but the Fantastic 4 is Marvel.

The market is kind of saturated in this area. I've played at least six different superhero RPGs and at least five of them are still in print. That's not even half of them either. Branding the product with a DC license will increase sales and get them more of a presence in mainstream bookstores and comic shops, but I still doubt that this is a good move for Black Industries. On the otherhand the scifi RPG market is about as filled out and shoddy books like SLA Industries continue to be published.

Rykion
02-06-2005, 15:26
It definitely seems an unusual choice for Black Industries. I really don't see the need for a DC specific (or Marvel, Image, etc.) roleplaying game. There are plenty of good generic supers RPGs. It would seem to make more sense try to license one of these games and simply make DC related sourcebooks.

theimp
02-06-2005, 17:00
It would seem to make more sense try to license one of these games and simply make DC related sourcebooks.No, then they would be paying for two licenses on a product with no track record instead of one. That's just bad business.

Rykion
02-06-2005, 17:25
No, then they would be paying for two licenses on a product with no track record instead of one. That's just bad business.

DC and Marvel based only games do have a track record, they tend to quickly fail. The Hero system has been in print for years. Mutants and Masterminds, by Green Ronin, is the defining supers game of the D20 system. These games have a track record of success. Official DC sourcebooks for one of these systems would probably sell well and have a low development cost. Trying to develop a new game system that only works for a single company's supers is a much bigger gamble. Most supers RPG gamers that want to include specific companies' heroes have already worked them into existing generic games. If Green Ronin ends up being the developer, it only seems to make sense to use their popular existing system.

Edit: Also, depending on how much of the Mutants and Masterminds system has been designated OGC, it may be possible to make sourcebooks for that system without any licensing.

Brandir
02-06-2005, 17:33
I'm pretty sure that GW did a Super Hero based RPG in the dim and distant past. Can anyone else remember it?

theimp
02-06-2005, 17:41
There are a total of four DC and Marvel rule sets combined. That's not a broad enough sample to indicate tendency. As for using the D20 OGL to develop a line of source books there are licensing terms that DC, BI and GW probably aren't willing to accept. I suggest reading the OGL some time, it's interesting what a company has to do in order to publish D20 material. A specific example of a mandatory licensing term that GW would never accept is that, "No Covered Product may include Miniatures." The only reason that the current Marvel Superheros rules are under D20 is that WotC is publishing them and doesn't have to adhere to the terms that they themselves have defined.

Licensing another system wouldn't be worthwhile either. GW, and by extension BI, has plenty of rule minded individuals to work out a functional set in short order at a low cost. Why on earth would they waste money on a license that could be pulled out from under them on the whim of the owners? And if the product accidentally becomes successful it's a proprietary system that they own and becomes additional profit while a license will eventually cost them more upon renewal.

As I said before, it's not good business.

Rykion
02-06-2005, 18:52
Golden Heroes was GW's supers game. It came out in the early eighties.

There has been something like 5 Marve/DC games (3 Marvel, 2 DC). None have been too successful. Black Industries don't make miniatures, so that wouldn't stop them. There are already plenty of Heroclix DC minis. They are made by a different company and don't use D20 so I doubt they would fall into any such restriction. Also Warmachine is a D20 game with an extensive minis line.

Brandir
02-06-2005, 18:59
Thanks Rykion.

theimp
02-06-2005, 19:10
Black Industries is a subsidiary of GW. There will be minis. In addition to that the Clix figures suck and the random assortment strategy isn't really good for the RPG market. Their existence also doesn't preclude the production of other figures. 2000AD has sold the rights to produce 28mm figures to WizKids, Foundry, and Mongoose concurrently.

Four or five sets of rules, who cares. It still doesn't indicate tendency, only that the franchise has yet to be marketed successfully. Warmachine is not a D20 Game, Iron Kingdoms is. They are still making figures under the IK brand, but I believe that they are getting around the miniatures restriction by making figures of specific characters, which are not considered OGC. Even so, another mandatory restriction that BI probably wouldn't accept is that they must include a statement that their supplement requires a WotC D20 core book to use.

Rykion
02-06-2005, 19:25
Privateer does make a line of, I believe, generic miniatures for Iron Kingdoms that are not named characters. Black Industries have stated on their forums that they are not in the miniatures business, and will not make a line of miniatures to support WFRP. DC licensing the RPG rights to Black Industries in no way confers any rights for GW to make miniatures. We haven't heard anything about a miniatures agreement between GW and DC, so there is no reason to assume miniatures will be made.

I do agree they could still succeed with their own system, but I srongly feel that at least trying to work with an existing system is the way to go. It doesn't show in my posts does it? ;)

theimp
02-06-2005, 19:41
Nope, not at all. Really I'm thinking the guys at BI just don't like D20 and/or would rather not attach their brand to WotC. I can't blame them, I don't like it much myself. I also think relying on WotC and Hasbro to continue the OGL isn't necessarily a good idea. RPGs are still not a very profitable market and Hasbro could downsize the entire operation if the accountants need to work over their ballance sheets. After that maintaining the OGL as a free license would no longer be advantageous for them.

Check out this summary (http://biz.yahoo.com/e/050428/has10-q.html) of Hasbro's quarterly report. They had a 22% decline in game sales compared to last year. While this decline is primarily attributed to Magic the Gathering and Duel Masters going down hill, RPGs are part of that section. Even more food for thought, that 22% reduction in sales accounts for a 94% reduction in profit. If I were looking for fat to trim it would be right there.

Brandir
02-06-2005, 19:58
BI/GW will not produce minis for a DC RPG

BI will not use d20/OGL for any of their games.

theimp
02-06-2005, 20:04
BI/GW will not produce minis for a DC RPG.Well that's just too bad. I'd really like to get some high quality superhero figures. The best ones currently out are from Superfigs (http://www.superfigs.net/) and tend to be more bad than good in my opinion, though still better than the Clix vynil garbage.

Inquisitor Samos
02-06-2005, 20:24
Really I'm thinking the guys at BI just don't like D20 and/or would rather not attach their brand to WotC.Heheh..... after I read that, I immediately said to myself, "They aren't alone in that, I'm thinking!"

Then I read:

I can't blame them, I don't like it much myself. and I said, "Yep, have to agree with that, too!"


I noticed some time ago that the folks at Chaosium had completely dropped any notion of including D20 connections in their "Call of Cthulhu" game materials, and had in fact said it "didn't make sense" to do so...... Black Industries most likely sees it the same way!

Rykion
02-06-2005, 23:22
I noticed some time ago that the folks at Chaosium had completely dropped any notion of including D20 connections in their "Call of Cthulhu" game materials, and had in fact said it "didn't make sense" to do so...... Black Industries most likely sees it the same way!

I do love Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu. Other great business decisions of Chaosium include canceling a lot of planned releases, and stiffing their freelance artists and authors to the extent few people work for them twice. Lets hope that Black Industries doesn't borrow any more business practices from them.

I actually don't care for the D20 basic system for anything besides D&D itself. That said, Mutants and Masterminds does away with classes, hitpoints, and many other conventions of the system. It is a very fun game that shouldn't be missed just because you don't like D20.

Brandir
03-06-2005, 07:49
Wouldn't it be good if BI took over Chaosium; their products would certainly benefit from the superb GW production standards!

Chaosium also have the Elric RPG licence (publsihed as the Stormbringer RPG).

I wonder if this licence will change hands (a la ICE and Harlequin losing their LOTR RPG and Tabletop Minaitures licences when the Peter Jackson was announced) when the 100 million Elric film starts to be made next year?

Rykion
03-06-2005, 14:53
It would be nice to see someone with a pocketbook take over Chaosium and release more material with better production value. The only problem is an established company might try to change Chaosium too much.

If the RPG rights for Elric come up soon, I doubt Chaosium would be able to keep them. A movie tends to drive up literary licensing fees quite a bit.

Inquisitor Samos
03-06-2005, 15:09
Other great business decisions of Chaosium include canceling a lot of planned releases, and stiffing their freelance artists and authors to the extent few people work for them twice. Lets hope that Black Industries doesn't borrow any more business practices from them.

Seems to me that one of the rather poorer business decisions Chaosium made was putting D20 connections into the "Call of Cthulhu" system in the first place. Black Industries is avoiding that particular mistake, I congratulate them.

Not that I mean to necessarily defend Chaosium for some of the negative things it's done to both its customers and its freelancers, but I do cut them a bit of slack: a handful of people trying to run an RPG business and biting off a more aggressive intended release schedule than they can handle isn't all that surprising. They're a long, long way from being the only small gaming house to make these kinds of errors...... it's actually surprising that they survived this long, and it's probably a testament to the popularity of the gaming lines they produce that they've managed to do so.

I don't think we need worry about Black Industries being in the same boat: they do have a considerable "parent" backing that Chaosium doesn't, after all!

No, all we have to worry about with Black Industries is that they don't sell either too few or too many of their products, such that somewhere in the "Corporate Tower" they suddenly seem to be a drain/threat to the "Core" lines....... :skull:

Brandir
03-06-2005, 15:28
The aim of BI is to develop a system that is specific to each RPG they produce, they will not be following the Coda, BRP, GURPS, d20 etc etc etc generic systems with bolt-ons that other companies seem to use.

ScooterinAB
05-06-2005, 03:18
BI to make DC RPG. That's just..... Twisted.

Here's my 2 Gold Crowns.

1) You can bet that the thought of Minis has crossed GW's minds a few times. I'm interested in seeing hiw this plays out. As amusing as it is to see people buying up HeroClix for a GW game (I hate the creator because he started WizKids out of hatered for GW), in the end, it's still money into WizKids' pocket. If there is the slightest hint of miniature support for this DC game, you can bet that GW will be on it like a fat kid on chocolate.

2) It damn well better not be d20 compatible. I swear to god, I die inside whenever a promising project is murder by d20 (Capcom RPG anyone?).

3) As far as system goes, I don't think BI will use WHRP's system. I'm mainly thinking of things like Careers and such, which just don't work in a supers game. The rest of the system should be fine (some 20 years without a rule revision, if I recall correctly), with a bit of tweaking. I'm a fan of what Pinnacle did in their prime (rest Deadlands' soul). The systems between Deadlands and Brave New Worlds were fundimentally the same, but they did change it a bit to help get the right feel (poker chips and Southern slang in a supers game just doesn't have the same impact).

I do have to ask though. Why DC. What not... Well... Anything. I think we can all agree that a GW made supers game does feel a bit out the ordinary. But I'm glad to see that BI is trying to become it's own thing, after some many attempts of GW trying to make sub-divisions (like Specialist Games and all it's wierdness in the last year).

I think that, in the end, this should prove promising, if not unusual. I applaude BI for their efforts.