Geek Native has an exclusive cover reveal of the forthcoming 5e-powered Kong: Skull Island tabletop RPG from Evil Genius Games.
Pacific Rim RPG sketches are available here too, along with pointed questions about Jaegers.
Those are two of eight movie settings that the publisher has licensed in a deal that launches them into the 5e space. At the heart of it is Everday Heroes, a Kickstarter that launches on the 17th of May.
Everyday Heroes updates d20 Modern for 5e. It takes the D&D engine and adapts it to suit contemporary settings, adding 100s of professionals, 18 subclasses and modern-day appropriate backgrounds and feats.
Evil Genius have today announced an impressive roster of some geek iconic action films.
- Escape From New York
- Kong: Skull Island
- Pacific Rim
- The Crow
- Total Recall
- Universal Soldier
These won’t be one-and-done publications. Evil Genius has confirmed to Geek Native that they’ve secured the licenses for 3 years and will support the games.
Kong: Skull Island RPG
The 2017 American film Kong: Skull Island was the second in Legendary’s MonterVerse and a reboot of the Kong franchise. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the movie starred Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson and John Goodman. It was set in 1973 with scientists from the Monarch organisation exploring the inaccessible and deadly Skull Island. The giant ape was the apex predator, the last of his species and surrounded by other deadly creatures.
The final image of the end credits scene shows monsters like Godzilla, Mothra and Ghidorah. The sequel was Godzilla vs. Kong, in which the two boss-level titans clashed.
The Kong RPG starts with Kong: Skull Island World Book and will have several other supporting supplements. I don’t know whether it’s the start of a MonsterVerse RPG line, and Evil Genius wouldn’t confirm, but it feels possible.
I asked D. Todd Scott, the company’s CEO, what makes Kong: Skull Island a good RPG setting.
This is my favourite property because Kong: Skull Island is a world filled with modern day monsters ranging from titans like Kong to the super predators you find on Skull Island. I’ve always been obsessed with the monster hunter narrative, and it will be exciting to bring it to life.”
The role of titans in the game could develop further, and we explored that over a few questions together.
Are there plans to give Kong stats?
Yes. Think of Kong as a Legendary monster in D&D, similar to Tiamat. I’d could also compare him to Lofwyr in Shadowrun. He will be a powerful presence that will influence the world. Since he will have a presence in the world, he will have stats.
Will there be monster v monster rules?
We don’t know if titans or super-species will be playable characters, but they may show up as pets. Do you remember the boy who used to blow the whistle and Ultraman would show up? And if that happens, then there will be monster v monster rules.
Could players have titan characters?
We have been working with the studio to see if we can make the Titans playable characters. So far, they’re open to the idea.
Will Godzilla feature in the Kong series or a standalone Godzilla RPG?
We would hope so. Since Toho owns the rights to Godzilla and his cohorts, we would need to pursue an expanded deal. It has been discussed with Legendary Studios and its on the table.
Monster Hunter class
Geek Native has permission to share the Monster Hunter class description as well.
The Monster Hunters of Skull Island are among the worlds most dangerous individuals. They come for the enormous bounties on offer, but stay for the thrill of hunting the most dangerous animals on earth. Scientists may study the wildlife of Skull Island, but the Monster Hunters are the individuals who truly understand them.
Pacific Rim RPG
Pacific Rim is an alternative timeline where monsters invade Earth and humanity develop giant walking battleships, or mecha, to fight them off.
The first movie was directed by Guillermo del Toro and the second by Steven S. DeKnight and stars include John Boyega, Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba and Ron Perlman.
What are the plans for the Pacific Rim RPG?
The game will explore the entire world of Pacific Rim. We have the rights not only to Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim: Uprising, but also the Netflix series Pacific Rim: Black. This gives us an incredible world to explore above and beyond simply fighting Kaiju.
Will characters be able to solo pilot Jaegers?
We’re still working out the mechanics for pilots, but the pairing of pilots is an important aspect of the Pacific Rim universe. Whether the player is playing one or two characters, that dynamic will be heavily explored in the game.
Will there be rules for the Drift or what to do if characters disagree on what the Jaeger they’re co-piloting should do?
Navigating the drift is also an important aspect of the Pacific Rim universe. Expect rule mechanics around all aspects of the drift such as entering in and navigating within the drift, experiencing side effects, and dealing with the consequences of a bad pairing in the drift. There will also be rules for solo piloting and ghost piloting.
Can players design their own Jaeger builds in the game?
We haven’t designed the mech rules yet, but we are exploring ways to have players custom build their mechs as they would with their characters. We also have a license to make miniatures so expect a modular-style miniature line.
Whereabouts in the timeline will the Pacific Rim universe be set? The Netflix anime has advanced the canon quite a bit.
Since we have access to all movies within the franchise, we will want to make sure to cover all related timelines, including those movies that have yet be released.
The Kickstarter for Everday Heroes will include supporter tiers to unlock the 2023 Season of Adventure. That’s the eight Everyday Hero Cinematic Adventure settings on subscription.
The books will be available in retail after the Kickstarter if the project is successful.
Each of the Cinematic Adventures will be around 100-pages in length and have its own new game mechanics. These mechanics will be compatible with Cinematic Adventures that have already been published and those to be published later. Each setting also acts as a sourcebook to expand Everyday Heroes.
Sam Rappaport, Vice President, Interactive Media at Legendary, told the press;
We’re excited to partner with Evil Genius Production and bring these franchises to life. It gives our fans the ability to create their own stories within our rich and immersive worlds.”
Other movie studios signed up to the deal include Pressman Film and STUDIOCANAL.
Why so many? Evil Genius Productions are positioning Everyday Heroes as the go-to engine for TTRPG adaptations of modern-day films. Scott added;
With so many great movies to choose from, we’re designing a sampler of sorts, to give the players a chance to experience a variety of different adventures and genres. Our goal is to provide a new and exciting challenge for gamers all year long.
Notably, some of the iconic movies from these studios already have RPG homes. Cubicle 7 has the limited license to Terminator, although they cannot show Arnold Schwarzenegger’s likeness and are limited to only the 1984 movie and Dark Horse comic books.
Geek Native believes that Evil Genius Productions can, and will, show Sylvester Stallone’s likeness in their Rambo RPG.
Rand Marlis, the President of Creative Licensing, who represents the STUDIOCANAL films and was involved in the Evil Genius negotiations, said,
Evil Genius Productions has created some great games to take advantage of our rich movie library. It allows fans to revisit why they fell in love with these movies in the first place.”
Everyday Heroes marks the 20th anniversary of d20 Modern. Jeff Grubb, who was part of the d20 creative team, is on the Everyday Hero project along with Stan!, Steve Miller, Chris Ramsley and Sigfried Trent.
Previously, Dave Scott explained to Geek Native that the system is a mashup of d20’s OGL and 5e,
We first took the d20 Modern Open Gaming License and started from there. There were so many amazing concepts in d20 Modern that we knew we needed to pull from the original work. Then we read through the fifth edition Standard Reference Document and began to compare the two. It was a fascinating exercise.
Multiple virtual tabletop partners and SFX specialists Syrinscape are already signed, and Roll20’s new boss Ankit Lal had said;
We’re very excited to be partnering with Evil Genius Productions by providing virtual versions of their adventures through the platform
- Kickstarter alert page: Everday Heroes
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