Monday, August 10, 2015

RPGaDay 10: Favorite RPG Publisher

My favorite RPG publisher?  West End Games.

They are not publishing any more, but West End Games had a very good sense of publishing game material that seemed to match both the source material and how gamers would likely play it.  Some games have a pretty strong disconnect between the creator's original intent and how people ended up playing the game (Cyberpunk 2012, for example), but West End seemed to capture the slightly tongue-in-cheek humor and "Hollywood action" that most gamers seem to enjoy when they sit down at a table.

West End Games published Paranoia, Ghostbusters, and the first Star Wars RPG as examples of their high points as well as lesser-known works such as TORG and Shatterzone.  For a time they acquired licenses to large numbers of sci-fi and fantasy TV or movies such as Tank Girl, Species, Indiana Jones, Men in Black, and the Hercules and Xena TV franchise.  They also did one RPG for DC Comics, which like many licensed superhero RPG featured nice write-ups for the comic book publisher's characters but lousy rules for PC creation.

Two pretty well known names that came out of the WEG stable are Greg Costikyan and Bill Slavicek, the latter of which went onto develop the third edition of Dungeons and Dragons (among many other games).

3 comments:

  1. My favorite of the classic companies as well, followed closely by R. Talsorian Games

    One of these days I will write up my peculiar connection to WEG. It's a tale of very odd coincidences.

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  2. West End Games made a lot of good games, but Cyberpunk by RTalsorian was pretty darned cool.

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  3. I'm with you on this one. I noticed a year or two ago that Cyberpunk 2020 rulebooks were getting sold on eBay for ridiculously high prices (~$100), which I think is a testimony to how enduring the game is and how good a job the publisher did as well. And that's not even counting Mekton and CyberGeneration and the others.

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