Power Rangers RPG More Random Threats

This time: Mundane items and Freaky Flora.

I’ve been watching Power Rangers Beast Morphers for inspiration lately.

I’m all caught up on Dino Fury, so I went back and started watching Beast Morphers. I love how new monsters are born from an injection of Morph-X into common objects.

Roll 1d12 for common objects turned monstrous. Please consider powers and perks appropriate for smashing those pesky Rangers.

  1. Bicycle tire pump
  2. Vacuum cleaner
  3. Golf Ball
  4. Satellite Dish
  5. Stapler
  6. Video Game Controller
  7. Lamp
  8. Clock
  9. Fire Extinguisher
  10. Frying Pan
  11. Comb/Brush
  12. Pillow

Combine with other monster types for even more freaky threats.

Bonus Table: Freaky Flora.

Please roll 1d12. Can be combined with monsters from other tables.

  1. Pine Tree
  2. Rose Bush
  3. Carnations
  4. Pansies
  5. Shrubbery
  6. Oak Tree
  7. Grass
  8. Vines
  9. Dandelion
  10. Fruit Tree (Apples, oranges, mangoes, etc.)
  11. Fern
  12. Venus Flytrap

New Power Rangers RPG Random Threats

General Gnarl’s main henchbeasts are on tap today.

Today we’re diving into some of my Lightning Force Rangers campaign bad guys. I’m starting off with the freakiest of the bunch, General Gnarl. His lieutenants are designed around a horror/ooze theme. Not all of the lieutenants listed will be used this season, hence the random table.

A little bookkeeping first. Unless we are specifically referring to a Monster of the Week, all creatures working on behalf of the bad guys are now called, “Threats.” This comes following Renegade Con and the appearance of the “Fan Preview Guide.” Dunno why we’re calling it that, but hey- we’re cool.

Renegade did us a solid.

They also did us another solid with this little tidbit in their FAQ:

We finally have a formula for generating new Threats.

That having been said, here is a list of General Gnarl’s monsters presented here in name only. Stats to follow at a later date if/when we ever figure out how the OGL works with this game or if there even is one…

Please roll 1d12 and consult the table below:

  1. Necrolord Abominus: Raises zombies (Putties, but mud and bone.)
  2. Oozemaster: Slimy abomination determined to spread goo everywhere. Yuck.
  3. Bonehead: Dude is literally a giant skeleton. Shoots cool eyebeams. Hard to hit.
  4. Boiler Belly: Metal monstrosity with a belly full of green fire and a door to blast it with. Superheated when angry, which is quite often.
  5. Zitius Maximus: Rubbery monster covered in small holes capable of spewing nasty slime. Slime turns people into gelatinous masses. Mega mode is volcanic.
  6. Wrecking Ball: Ball of solid metal with arms and legs. Uses the chain on his head as a weapon. Super tough, not necessarily super smart. Arm chain tentacles?
  7. Achoo Chu: Somewhat comical train with a huge nose. (Think Thomas the Tank Engine costume.) Spreads an incapacitating disease called the “Sneezles” causing uncontrolled sneezing in its victims. Disease is cured when monster is defeated.
  8. Double Fist: (Picture Hitmonchan from Pokemon made of solid metal and a smooth head.) Has four arms. Boxing beastie that doubles itself when damaged.
  9. Tri-Cycler: Three headed Centaur with two small wheels in the back and one huge wheel up front. Cannon on the back.
  10. Spawn Camp: A walking, talking miniature log cabin that releases small, bipedal humanoid minions. Has a mortar on its back.
  11. Gas bag: A hot air balloon shaped humanoid biped that sprays sleeping gas everywhere. Its noxious odor is also capable of stunning people.
  12. Gunnarl: Gnarl’s shorter, pudgier version of himself. Carries a gun almost bigger that he is. Acts and talks like Gnarl only in a smaller, cuter voice.

Bonus Table: Serious Damage.
Please roll 1d12 and see what any give threat might be able to shoot:

  1. Heat Ray
  2. Freeze Ray
  3. Lightning Bolt
  4. Laser Blasts
  5. Cone of Fire
  6. “Toxic” Gas
  7. Force Blast
  8. Projectiles (Spikes, arrows, shuriken, bullets?)
  9. Explosive Projectiles (Cannon balls, propane canisters, etc)
  10. Energy Beam (Pure power, plasma?)
  11. Sonic Blast
  12. Acid.

Game stats to follow. Have a great week. Thank you for visiting.

I Need to Make a Spreadsheet for This.

Putting together Monster of the Week stat tables for Power Rangers RPG. Please send help. Lol!

Dear Renegade Studios,

Thank you for finally giving Game Masters a “Fan Preview Guide to Power Rangers Role Playing Game Threats.” This sounds vastly better than just telling us to wing it. I appreciate your efforts. I was glad you mentioned this at Renegade Con.

Here’s what else is needed:

I’m still going to build my own spreadsheet to make things easier to break down as monsters go from normal/Large size to “Mega Mode”(as I call it,) or Gigantic in game terms. Things such as damage, Speed, area effect and Toughness should logically improve. The table on Page 168 of the Core Rulebook is a big help.

I’m still making a spreadsheet that breaks down the formula from the FAQ and the “Fan Preview.” Still not sure why they’re calling it that, but okay. I’ll publish it here and to some of the RPG social media when it’s done. I think Renegade has done an okay job explaining everything so far, but it’s nice to have a visual representation, too.

Oh, and on a side note, why does a 140′ tall chicken need Stealth? Couldn’t those points gone into something useful? I mean, really, guys?

I can crunch numbers all day.

Modern number crunching at its finest. Need Monster stats and an energy drink. 🤪

As I’m planning to. I’ve already got my spreadsheet in motion entering Size, Health, Toughness, Evasion, Willpower, Cleverness, attacks, etc trying to find some correlations amongst Threat Level and experience awards. I’m still trying to extrapolate some sort of experience system for taking down the weekly threats. I feel like there needs to be a bell curve here, but it may slope. Renegade has now given us some kind of indication of threat levels, but no XP awards yet. Much like D&D, it’s still got some growing to do in that regard.

Trying not to turn this article into math class. I’ve crunched and optimized stat blocks in other systems, many of which are miniatures wargames. I can make a peak performing battle mech from scratch or choose based on tonnages and types available. All I need is a calculator and a piece of notebook paper. These days we have spreadsheet programs to do it for us, thankfully.

I’ll post my findings in a somewhat generic fashion when I’m done, since the verdict is still out on any kind of Community Creator program or OGL. Hopefully, Renegade Con Virtual shed some light on the subject over the weekend. I wasn’t able to attend due to family obligations but I’m scrounging around to get filled in.

Until then, game on. Have a great week! Please stay safe, stay hydrated, and pass the slide rule. If anyone needs me, I’ll be swimming in the numbers. Thank you!

Cartoon Villainy at its Finest.

I love designing season villains or Big Bad Evil Guys (BBEG) in the same fashion as Cobra Commander or Rita Repulsa. Is it any wonder I love Renegade Studios so much?

I grew up on Hanna-Barbera and Hasbro cartoons.

Any time I hear a villain in any cartoon utter the words, “Get them!” I can’t help but laugh. I grew up watching Super Friends, Space Ghost, Herculoids, Captain Falcon, Spiderman and his Amazing Friends, Johnny Quest, and a whole host of other cheesy cartoons of the 1970’s-1980’s. Cheesy American cartoons aside, I also remember Robotech, Voltron, and G-Force. Of course, I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention GI Joe, Transformers, Thundercats, and the only live action series of the bunch- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Then Warner Brothers broke the mold with Batman: the Animated Series, Superman, and Justice League cartoons. They had real plot and fewer dopey teenagers and dogs that sounded like Scooby Doo. Oh, I watched Scooby, too.

“I’ll finally have my revenge!”
(Image courtesy of <a href="http://By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Peace_is_contagious&amp;action=edit&amp;redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Peace is contagious (page does not exist)">Peace is contagious</a> – <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&quot; title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=109082090">LinkWikipedia.)

I’m mentioning all this because I’m working on Power Rangers RPG stuff, and it brings back fond memories.

One thing that has always influenced the way I look-at/write for RPGs are those old school, kinda cheesy, easily defeated villains that have an endless supply of lackeys and minions. I also dig the ones who get captured at the end of one cartoon only to show up two episodes later with an all new crazy plan. Admittedly, it’s harder to explain to players in an RPG, but as long as they understand it’s going to happen and it’s part of the genre, we’re good.

The Power Rangers RPG is somewhat similar to Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3. I like both and they have the concept of genre emulation down. (Editor’s note: I really wish Spectrum would develop CAH:S3 more. So much sourcebook potential there.) Both games play heavily on certain tropes. Power Rangers could easily be rolled into CAH:S3 as a set of toys. (You have to know CAH to fully get the logic.)

The Power Rangers pattern is an easy one to follow.

As cheesy villains go, Rita Repulsa had more longevity than most and got smarter as time went on. She’s almost as powerful as Zordon made her out to be originally. Shocking.

We still have that kind of cheesy “Get them!” mentality from the big bosses such as Rita and Zed. They send some poor lackey out who encases everyone in magical bubblegum and a bunch of putties to guard him. The putties end up getting blown to pieces and the lackey gets defeated in his small form only to go Mega mode and have to get put down again. The really lucky ones get teleported away and revived. In later episodes, some of the lackeys/lieutenants manage to survive for a few episodes. Woo. Neat.

One of the best features of a series villain is that they manage to adapt and come back in later series (somehow.) The challenge I find in RPGs is how to do this without making the PCs feel like their actions didn’t count for anything. Goons, lackeys, and lieutenants can stay dead, sure. But what happens when the group offs the series BBEG? What if Darth Vader, Cobra Commander, or Rita Repulsa died way ahead of canon?

Here’s where alternate timelines and other reality shifting tomfoolery enter. Okay, the group killed the BBEG in Episode 7 accidentally-on purpose. Oops. Who’s to say the next poor sop to take up the mantle won’t be better at the job? Or the lieutenant that takes over won’t be better at staying alive and worse at scheming. (Talkin bout you, Starscream.) Who’s to say some other villain from somewhere else in the canon won’t step up. (Remember Serpentor from GI Joe? Or Lord Zed in Mighty Morphin..?)

Food for thought. Sometimes it’s better just to arrest the Joker, bring Cobra Commander to justice, or allow Rita to escape. Let the BBEG fall out of the window during the last battle or have the ever-so-convenient teleporter on standby.

Alternately, as with many Power Rangers series of the past, second season leads to an even bigger, scarier and sometimes smarter BBEG. That of course leads us to shinier new toys in both toy and RPG industries. Woot! New equipment, bigger transformations, new powers, possibly even new NPCs. Good times.

Hope your week is going swell. I’m off to save the world from the weather dominator/take the kids to swim practice and make dinner. Stay hydrated. Stay safe. See ya soon.

Power Rangers RPG More Monsters

Roll 1d12 on the following table. Monster ideas may be combined for more amusing results. Octopus Cowboy anyone?

Roll 1d12 on the following table. Monster ideas may be combined for more amusing results. Octopus Cowboy anyone?

  1. Cowboy
  2. Pro Wrestler
  3. Samurai
  4. Chef
  5. Astronaut
  6. Punk Rock Star
  7. Athlete
  8. Gardener
  9. Knight
  10. Scuba Diver
  11. Barber
  12. Clown

Bonus Table: Weird Ray of the Week

Roll 1d12 on the following to see what the Rangers might be getting zapped with today.

  1. Shrinking
  2. Sticky Goo/Glue/Webs
  3. High Gravity
  4. Sleep
  5. Petrification/Paralysis
  6. Nausea (That could get messy.)
  7. Sensory Deprivation. (Blindness/Deafness, etc.)
  8. Two Dimensional
  9. Love
  10. Polymorph into slugs, crabs, cookies, etc.
  11. Fur/Hair growth.
  12. Uncontrollable Laughter

Actual game effects and a serious ray table to follow. Have fun!

Campaign Design: Episodes

Power Rangers RPG mixes two and a half genres that I absolutely love. You’ve got some superhero elements along with some Saturday morning cartoon drama, and a little bit of anime action sprinkled in. I think it’s a perfect storm. I plan to treat every session like one or two episodes of the TV show.

Today I am back to planning campaigns.

I’m excited because I haven’t really sat down to jam on a campaign plan in a while. For many years I used a somewhat closed episodic format to plan my campaigns. It’s sort of like I imagine planning a TV or Anime series would carry out.

It looks a little like railroading the players, but it’s not. A lot of it is genre dependent. In other words, different campaigns have different styles. I tend to not run a fantasy rpg such as D&D the same way I would run a superhero RPG or a space exploration game.

Some adventures are far more open ended than others.

Luckily, the campaigns I’m choosing to focus on in the near future are GI Joe and Power Rangers RPG. I’ve got a FATE space game in the works, too but we’ll save that one for later.

If it were a fantasy game, like the Dungeon Crawl Classics campaign I’m tentatively building, all I have to do is set it up and plan an an adventure or two to get through the first few sessions. After that, I’m listening to the players and planning mostly location based encounters and NPCs. (Places to go and people to meet.) I might slip in a BBEG and a few dungeons for them to encounter down the road, but DCC plus Hexcrawl is pretty low maintenance so far. It’s a sandbox. I literally need 7 hexes figured out to begin with.

Superhero games are a slightly different animal. Since most of the game is going to take place in the same city, I plan major locations and NPCs before the players even create their characters. I also put together a rogue’s gallery for the team and possibly have some villains in mind to potentially plague certain character types. After the first couple of issues, I leave my plans open and insert new villains as we go. Sometimes I’ll plan a specific villain and accompanying adventure. Supers games tend to lend themselves well to NPC interactions with the group.

Then we come to Power Rangers RPG.

(Evil GM grin.) I absolutely adore any RPG based off of a TV series. I had so much fun working on campaigns for a game called Cartoon Action Hour from Spectrum Games. This type of genre emulation format is simply a dream come true to work with. I’ve built entire seasons (Play Sets) in that system and it was fantastic to work with. Is it any wonder I’m stoked for GI Joe?

Power Rangers RPG mixes two and a half genres that I absolutely love. You’ve got some superhero elements along with some Saturday morning cartoon drama, and a little bit of anime action sprinkled in. I think it’s a perfect storm. I plan to treat every session like one or two episodes of the TV show.

My plan is pretty simple on the surface. Episodes 1 and 2 are pretty much pre-planned: The team is formed. Here’s Zordon and Alpha Four (because I can’t do the cheesy Alpha 5.) Here are the Zords. Here’s the BBEGs called the Triumvirate. They have a ship in Earth Orbit. They’re here in search of the crystal buried deep underneath Ranger HQ.

After the first couple of episodes, we’re going to do some random villain/monster of the week stuff. The team gets to play around with new gear, Zords, etc while the Triumvirate tries to mess with the Rangers and locate the crystal. This also gives the players some time to explore their characters and monkey around with some subplot stuff.

Then sometime around Episode Six or Nine, I have specific villains planned. The Triumvirate are going to get slightly more serious. Suddenly random threats start appearing that they didn’t send. My intent here is to bring the players’ focus back to the main plot. It’s time to think about beating the Triumvirate and send them packing.

Around Episode 12, the plot deepens slightly as the Rangers are going to be visited by a mysterious person calling himself “Lokeen.” He’s not a villain, exactly. At least not yet. He is going to let the group know that there’s a little more going on than what Zordon told them. They’re not alone in the multiverse and there are some much larger threats out there.

Then we’ll probably do a little more Monster/Villain of the Week type things to take a bit of the pressure off. At Episode 18, the Triumvirate are going to escalate their attacks considerably. The kid gloves are off. No more goofy, silly villains. It’s going to start looking a bit more grim. The last six episodes are all planned to a certain extent.

We’re only going 24 episodes in Season One. The generals send down their toughest fighters and trusted lieutenants. By this time the characters should be pretty sufficient level to take on anything. Sometime during the last two episodes, we will probably see Ranger HQ get trashed; the military subplot end; some Zords are possibly going to crash and burn; plus anyone wanting to trade out characters before the next season will have a good opportunity to do so.

This brings us to Season 1 Part 2 aka Power Rangers Super Lightning Force.

More to come as I build it. This is just the rough draft. I’ll have some specific adventures up as they are created. Have a good one. I appreciate you!

d12 Chart Power Rangers RPG Monster of the Week

Please note that the element does not have to be literal. For example, “Wind” might take the form of giant fans on an octopus body. Feel free to mix and match this table with other tables. Alternately, the beast can be a living statue embodiment of the element.

Continuing my series of random monsters of the week. This time: Elemental baddies.

Roll 1d12 and consult the table below:
Please note that the element does not have to be literal. For example, “Wind” might take the form of giant fans on an octopus body. Feel free to mix and match this table with other tables. Alternately, the beast can be a living statue embodiment of the element.

  1. Fusion. Roll twice on this table and ignore further 1’s.
  2. Wind
  3. Water
  4. Rock
  5. Putty
  6. Fire
  7. Slime/Muck/Sticky Goo.
  8. Plant
  9. Metal
  10. Bone
  11. Glass
  12. Radiation. (Probably non-nuclear. Can be a variety of effects.)

Bonus Table: Sea Life

Roll 1d12 and consult the table below.
Beware, Team. These beasties can walk, talk and breathe on dry land.

  1. Turtle.
  2. Octopus/Squid.
  3. Shark.
  4. Manta Ray/Stingray.
  5. Piranha/Barracuda.
  6. Whale/Orca/Dolphin.
  7. Jellyfish
  8. Flying Fish.
  9. Clam.
  10. Lobster.
  11. Shrimp.
  12. Crab.
Photo by Vova Krasilnikov on Pexels.com

Power Rangers RPG Review Continued.

Sorry, Renegade and RPG family, but I’m really gonna harsh this one. I really felt there needed to be an apology for the non player specific parts of the book. You can’t call it a “Core” rulebook and ignore the GM’s needs entirely.

I gave a first take review a while back and I want to elaborate on some things.

The first glance review can be found here. Some discussions on RPG Twitter about freelance RPG writing and just creating RPGs in general got me thinking about this book. That, and my physical copy came in the mail the other day. I’m pretty excited about the game itself.

To sort of echo what I and others have said about the book already, the production quality and the system are excellent. The physical book is marvelous and even comes with a cloth bookmark sewn in. The game mechanics up through what should have been the GM section are outstanding, well-written and easy for new players familiar with D&D to pick up.

Everything from Page 206 onward should have been handed back to the writers, carved up with red ink and exclamation points.

Needs work! Where’s the rest of this?! What were you thinking here? Have you ever run a game in your life? Pages 223-226!?! Where’s the GM Section?! MORE MONSTERS! Did you get in a hurry? Why did you give up?

I feel very strongly about this.

Sorry, Renegade and RPG family, but I’m really gonna harsh this one. I really felt there needed to be an apology for the non player specific parts of the book. You can’t call it a “Core” rulebook and ignore the GM’s needs entirely.

I get that Renegade wants to sell us more sourcebooks. That’s how most RPGs make money. The company produces a main book with solid mechanics and then lots of sourcebooks with more GM advice, monsters, in this case canon characters, and so on. I have a major issue with the way Renegade handled this in a $55 hardcover and charging print prices for the pdf.

If your main book, and this applies to any RPG that has typographical, formatting and text errors on top of entire sections of the book people feel are missing or poorly done? It’s time to have a long chat with your staff before they do anything else with any other books.

*Please note, I’m being a big meanie here and I hope I don’t trigger anyone at Renegade. Notice I said, “a long chat,” and not “fired outright.” The writers did a good job right up to the monsters and GM sections. Then it’s like they just got in too big of a hurry or something? Or they just gave up to go work on GI Joe and Transformers? I just can’t tell what happened.

I feel bad blowing off this sort of steam on the nice folks at Renegade in public. As an editor, I would have the decency to call you into my office and go over everything quietly in person. I admire and respect what you did, we just needed way more of it. If it helps any, I had two different college professors chew my fanny over my lack of compassion and people skills as an editor.

They should have called it “Book 1” or “Player’s Guide.” I would have felt better going in knowing that the GMs Section wouldn’t be anything spectacular. (Or have one in the book at all for that matter.) I would have also liked to know the monsters were only a sample or examples instead of all-we’re-getting-until-???

Here’s a list of suggested fixes.

No red ink on this one. I promise. I’m probably going to rewrite the monster section and post it on my site somewhere eventually. The rest could come from Renegade as an addendum or something? Or more likely go in another sourcebook at some indeterminate time down the road.

First, the monster section is a good rough start.
– You’ve mentioned Threat Level, but we have no definition to go with it. A breakdown of the monster stat blocks would have been useful a few pages preceding the monster stats.
– The included creatures were cute. More example creatures would have been great.
– GMs would benefit from a quick and dirty monster creation system complete with scaling.
– What was the point of including Finster if you weren’t going to do more named characters such as Rita, Goldar or Zed?
– If a creature has the potential to go “Mega Mode,” why not include the stats for the giant version alongside the regular sized one? What’s the point of having Zords and Megazords if we never get to really use them?

Second, you mentioned an experience system earlier in the book, but then never gave the GM any kind of guidelines for giving out experience. How is this relevant to the players? Okay, some characters start out at higher levels. Why not start everyone at Level 3 and enjoy the full benefits of Zord ownership?

Third, that adventure has got to go. I feel like somewhere there’s a GM at a convention game wondering where his ICONS module went. It’s like someone took a convention game for some other superhero RPG and slapped a Rangers nametag on it. It felt very gamey and not very Ranger-y. Where’s the real Putty battle? When does Morphin become a really good idea?
– Why not include an adventure where the teens with attitudes get their Morphers? Or the team meeting their Zords for the first time?
– Or maybe do a section of scenarios that could build into larger adventures.
– Why not include an adventure format? The Power Rangers TV show tends to follow a set formula. Why not use that in the RPG? It might lead to shorter sessions, but it would be a lot of fun!
– Advice and a scenario for the group’s first Megazord battle would have been fun. What’s more gamer oriented than a giant robot battle?

Fourth, You included a great deal of description about Angel Grove. Could this space have lent itself better to other areas such as a Monster section and a GM section? Why go to the trouble and leave out the map? Couldn’t Angel Grove be a sourcebook in and of itself?

Fifth: If you are concerned with new GM’s running the game for the first time, you’re going to have to give them a lot more than three or four pages to help them learn their part in the game. Advice on building monsters and creating encounters would be extremely helpful to new GMs. If other RPGs can do entire books on the subject, surely we can do better than three or four pages.

Until next time, may the power protect you!



Power Rangers RPG Random Monster Table Part 2.

I’m still making random tables for Power Rangers RPG Monsters of the Week. This will eventually lead to a master table and some statistics.

I had so much fun with the first one, let’s do it again!

Roll 1d12 for the Monster of the Week based on American Movies.
(American horror movies were big in the Japanese pro wrestling scene which is where this idea comes from.) The monster’s personality does not have to match the movie character. In fact, it should be far more cartoonish and kid friendly other than the appearance.

  1. Freddy Krueger.
  2. Jason Vorhees.
  3. Michael Myers.
  4. Ghostface (Scream.)
  5. Chucky.
  6. Terminator (T-800.)
  7. Alien (Geiger.)
  8. Predator. (Claws, Invisibility and Tri-beam cannon only!)
  9. Pinhead. (From Hellraiser. Use caution with this one…)
  10. Werewolf
  11. Dracula
  12. Frankenstein’s Monster.

Added table: Kaiju
No sentai game would be complete without kaiju. Please use the character type and not the name. (It may help to Google “Kaiju” for pictures.) Roll 1d12

  1. King Kong. (Or Mighty Joe Young. Some kind of huge ape.)
  2. Mothra (Giant moth or butterfly.)
  3. King Ghidora. (Three headed flying dragon)
  4. The Smog Monster aka Hedorah. (Google this one. It’s epic!)
  5. Rodan. (Vulture-like Dragon.)
  6. Gamera. (Giant dragon turtle. flies by spinning,)
  7. Mecha Gojira. (Mecha Godzilla for Americans.)
  8. MUTO 1 or 2. (Both if you really want to challenge the group.)
  9. Destoroyah. (Demon-zilla? You just have to see it...)
  10. Gigan (One eyed Bird beak-mandibles with hooks for hands…)
  11. Megalon (Giant bombardier beetle with drill hands.)
  12. Gojira. (Godzilla himself or a clone. Pick your era.)

The best part of using Kaiju is you might not have to mess with their small forms. One of these things could march right out of the ocean and attack the town. A desperate military might call on the Power Rangers to prevent having to pull out drastic measures. It’s kind of their thing, anyway.

Pushing My Luck for Free

Fanfic still gets plenty of mileage in most genres/tv shows. I know other fans tend to scoff at one another’s fanfic efforts. I get that sometimes it’s not super popular. I know it’s somewhat frowned upon to insert one’s one characters into canonical works. I like pushing the boundaries with creating my own works in someone else’s world, though. Wait until GI Joe RPG comes out…

I’m leaving the Diablo conversion on the back shelf for now. Although DCC with Diablo characters… aw man. So tempting… I notice Matt Mercer got to run a session or two in Sanctuary. I’m jelly.

Power Rangers RPG will keep showing up on my blog FOR FREE! I’ll never offer a paid product unless by some freak chance I get the nod from Renegade Studios/Hasbro. Otherwise, if I hear from someone’s legal team, it all comes down. Morph em while you got em, I guess.

I’ve got a lot of great ideas…

For other peoples’ intellectual property, unfortunately. For example, Power Rangers RPG is something I’d love to develop all kinds of cool content for. But how far can I go before I start getting blowback from Hasbro and their army of rabid legal dogs? I’d love to do a Diablo 2 or even Diablo 3 conversion for Dungeon Crawl Classics or even 5E D&D.

The magic word: FREE

The oldest RPG content dilemmas involve money, time, and copyrights/trademarks. Two of these are the oldest problems in the world that we even discuss in world design and campaign design. The other issue revolves around the fact that we tend to live in a greedy, litigious world here on Earth.

Money and time are probably the two most valuable assets in existence anywhere at any time. Art costs money. Printing costs money. Marketing takes time if you’re on your own and/or money if you hire it out. Crowdfunding only does so much good.

People gotta eat and pay bills. Honestly, I hate it. And don’t get me wrong, people deserve to be paid well for their efforts. I’m not trying to make a dime off of anything in the RPG industry that’s not my own original content. I just want to occasionally do things FOR FUN! Not profit. Not so much as a single penny.

Unfortunately, free projects, aside from being a labor of love, have to be done on the artist’s own time for fun. That means it takes away time from projects that could be making money. And if you compile a “regular day job” on top of writing/art/cartography/marketing efforts, pretty soon you run out of time for the fun stuff. I’m not suffering from that problem currently, but I am all too familiar with it.

I just want to do things because, wouldn’t it be cool to play a WoW Warlock in an OSR style game? Wouldn’t it be cool to play a Diablo Necromancer in D&D again? (I loved the Diablo 2 books back in the day.) I want to make a massive monster table for Power Rangers RPG and give it away to the public for funsies.

I can do things for fun and free, but…

Alas, people like to profit from their intellectual property. If I ran a company like Hasbro or Activision, I’d want to make sure my people got paid and keep the lights on. And thank goodness we have the Open Game License for D&D. Without an OGL and the accompanying System Reference Document, we’d get into legal trouble just trying to make cool stuff and share it.

We live in a disturbingly litigious world and the RPG industry is well known for lawsuits. Some of them can be pretty dumb and have cost us some of the best content that could have been, but never was. Just in the last year we lost out on some premium Ravenloft villains because of a dispute involving some old T$R properties and Dragonlance. And there was much grumbling from fandom.

There comes a point where free doesn’t keep the ban hammer from coming down. Unfortunately, getting sued takes away time and money not just showing up for court, but the sweat equity invested in the project itself. My best advice legally when it comes to publishing anything anywhere- when in doubt; don’t.

But, with a little luck, I’m a small enough fish with a free site I won’t get noticed or smacked down by any of the big fish. I’m pretty reasonable, too. Sometimes legal trouble stems from people being too stubborn or proud to know when to quit. Here’s a good stop sign- If you’re in court as a defendant- it’s time to stop doing whatever it was that landed you there.

I’m going to keep going until I can go no further.

Fanfic still gets plenty of mileage in most genres/tv shows. I know other fans tend to scoff at one another’s fanfic efforts. I get that sometimes it’s not super popular. I know it’s somewhat frowned upon to insert one’s one characters into canonical works. I like pushing the boundaries with creating my own works in someone else’s world, though. Wait until GI Joe RPG comes out…

I’m leaving the Diablo conversion on the back shelf for now. Although DCC with Diablo characters… aw man. So tempting… I notice Matt Mercer got to run a session or two in Sanctuary. I’m jelly.

Power Rangers RPG will keep showing up on my blog FOR FREE! I’ll never offer a paid product unless by some freak chance I get the nod from Renegade Studios/Hasbro. Otherwise, if I hear from someone’s legal team, it all comes down. Morph em while you got em, I guess.

Keep plugging away. I’ve got some things I want to put up as paid projects that aren’t just fan-having-fun stuff coming up. The paid stuff is probably going to be Pay What You Wish until I’m somewhat established. Some day maybe we’ll be in the $1.99-19.99 range. I have dreams and goals. Some of it’s a long way off.

Hang in there. Have a great week. Please be kind and considerate to one another.

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