During the month of August, I’m participating in RPG a Day 2017. Each day I’ll answer a question, or my interpretation of a question, about tabletop roleplaying games. For those who have wanted your beloved UncleBear to get back into RPG blogging, this is the closest you’re going to get.
Which “Dead Game” Would You Like to See Reborn?
Without a moment’s hesitation I can say Victory Games’ James Bond 007 RPG. There has to be a caveat, though. I do not want an official licensed Bond game, whether it’s a new system or the original one. I want the original system updated and repackaged as a generic action/espionage roleplaying game, with no links to the Bond franchise.
Let’s be honest, the Bond canon is problematic. There’s the sexism, obviously, and the smoking and the drinking. The racism is less obvious, but it’s there. I love the films. I love the books. But that’s not what I want to play. That’s not even what I played when I was a player and a gamemaster for the game. We sort of had out own not-quite-the-real-world universe.
The strength of the system was that it was grounded. If you want to do realistic John Le Carre- or Tom Clancy-type stuff, or the less-fantastic Daniel Craig-era Bond, you can. Yet you can also do the loopy Roger Moore-era Bond or the Kingsmen. I would want to run a game that’s closer to Ocean’s 11 crossed with john Frankenheimer’s Ronin. You could do Jason Bourne, almost any Quentin Tarantino movie, John Wick, and any part of the Mad Max canon.
That versatility, and the fact that it is specifically tailored toward more realistic people, is why it still seems essential. No other game scratches that niche for me like the Bond RPG. Everything else feels like a fantasy game with the magic stripped out, or a low-level superhero game.