01 August 2017

RPGaDAY 2017: Day 01

1. What published RPG [game, world, or adventure] do you wish you were playing right now?


I am in the mood to play multiple role-playing games and settings at any moment, but at this exact moment I feel the urge to play Teenagers from Outer Space by Mike Pondsmith. Published by R. Talsorian Games in the late 1980s, it is "set on an Earth where fun-loving space aliens go to our high schools and party with the Earth kids. In the game you play the part of a teenager — alien or human — and have adventures fighting mutant monstrosities, saving the world from ravening rabbits from the X dimension, and getting your homework in on time." In other words, you engage in sci fi teenage high jinks.

The game system is simple and transparent (features I find very attractive and all too rare), and the writing is whimsical without being forced. The character attributes (or Statistics) offer a clear picture of the flavor of the game: Smarts, Bod, Relationship with Parents, Luck, Driving, Looks, Cool, and Bonk. (Bonk is how much punishment you can take.)

The cover art for the two editions offer somewhat different visions of the game. The first, by Mike Ebert, is suggestive of manga, whereas the second, by Wayne Barlowe, reflects the 1980s America in which the game was written. My own instincts draw me inexorably toward a sci fi 1950s interpretation inspired by the movie that inspired the game's title (plus every other sci fi and/or monster movie of the 1950s). Or a blend of all three.

Teenagers from Outer Space is light, easy, comedic fun, which is exactly what I'm in the mood for right now.

[For more information on #RPGaDAY (or #RPGaDAY2017 specifically), read this.]

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