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View Full Version : Best System for G.I. Joe?



Roman Virtue
06-02-2009, 08:13 PM
I've been trying with my very limited time to tweak various game systems to emulate the G.I. Joe setting. I first tried with D20, but I've been thinking that maybe Cyberpunk or even WoD would serve as decent games also.

Recently, I've come into possession of a ton of games; oWoD, nWoD, Buffy, Angel, Aberrant, Trinity, Ars Magica, D&D 4e, Heroes Unlimited, SW d6, SW D20, SW Saga, Serenity, Star Trek, Cyberpunk, Shadowrun 4e, Cartoon Action Hour, Gurps 4e, Palladium, DC Heroes MEGS, Marvel FASERIP, Marvel SAGA, and M&M.

Now I seem to have tons of options, and need some guidance! Has anyone ran a GI Joe game? What system did you use, what system changes (if any) did you make, and... can you share any stats of the Joe or Cobra teams? ;)

Thanks so much!
-RV

PhishStyx
06-02-2009, 09:36 PM
I would pick a relatively rules medium-lite point buy or descriptive system, personally. Unisystem has become my "go to" system of choice, but in this case, I would definitely consider the very inexpensive Wushu rules.

Some of your systems, I would immediately count out.
Marvel rules - too high powered, Palladium doesn't work, M&M might do it ok, but the crunch would be too high for me, Star Wars - too much side stuff going on there, DC Heroes has the same problem as Marvel, hrm. . .

Of your list, if I wanted crunchiness, I would definitely go with Shadowrun; it fits perfectly.

korhal23
06-02-2009, 09:37 PM
I suggest trying Spycraft, as it's really only one step off of GI Joe anyway. Start the characters at level 5 (which is where the expert classes come into play). A few examples of pairing characters to classes:

Duke is a Counter-Terrorist
Heavy Duty is a Grunt
Destro is a Politico
Baroness is a Trigger(wo)man
Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow are probably cross classed between Ninja and Raptor (a kind of cybernetic ninja)
General Hawk is a Tactician
Scarlett is probably a Field Analyst with perhaps a bit of Virtuoso
RipCord is a Stuntman
Trakker is a Transporter

And these are off the top of my head. Spycraft is already a modern game, easy to scale to whatever tech level you're after, and is a d20 game tuned to gun combat out of the box. If it isn't exactly what you're looking for, it's a good start. Oh, and all of what I said is out of the main book. Toss in the World on Fire book and you have the Mole, the Forward (a spotter), Medics, the Saboteur, and the Terrorist, to name a few.

Plus, spycraft has a great system for dealing with the minions of the opposition army so you chop through them, and several mechanics that I think you'll appreciate, such as possibly the coolest chase mechanic ever (non-vehicle specific, and even applies to foot chases).

PhishStyx
06-02-2009, 09:43 PM
Well, he didn't list Spycraft, and that would be a hellacious buy in if he doesn't already have it. I listed Wushu, but the buy in on that is about $15 total.

Webhead
06-02-2009, 09:48 PM
Well, he didn't list Spycraft, and that would be a hellacious buy in if he doesn't already have it. I listed Wushu, but the buy in on that is about $15 total.

If you go in the direction of Wushu (a fantastic game if you don't mind rules-lite) I would recommend you go with Wushu Open: Reloaded which is available for free. This is probably the best, most helpful version of the Wushu rules that I have encountered.

Landscape orientation: http://www.story-games.at/wushu/open_reloaded.pdf

Portrait orientation: http://silverpath.pbwiki.com/f/open_reloaded_basic.pdf

Question: what "feel" are you going for? Is it supposed to be a more "realistic" or "gritty" type of game of government super commandos or is it supposed to be more like the cartoon or comic series with over-the-top, zany action with monologuing villains and super weapons that turn babies into gold or blow up the ocean? What "type" of G.I. Joe game you're running will help determine the best system to get your game to "feel" right.

korhal23
06-02-2009, 09:50 PM
True. The Spycraft book is kinda expensive, using checking in around 40$. However, one good thing that company has done is while the main book is a tad expensive, as is World on Fire (the official campaign setting), most of their supplements are 5$ or less, typically around 1$. You're also getting a lot of info with the main book, well over 500 pages if you count indexes. Plus, tweaking the "Campaign Qualities" in the back of the book, I think he'd have an exceedingly easy time making a GI Joe game.

Of the ones you did list, I'd probably have to give the nod to Serenity.

Roman Virtue
06-02-2009, 11:55 PM
Well, as far as the general 'feel' I'm trying to capture, I'd have to say leaning towards the comics much more than the cartoon series. I also like the GI Joe: Resolute mini-series! And I'm hating what I've seen so far for the movie trailers!

Over all I like grit, but am not adverse to rules-lite systems (but the Cartoon Action Hour RPG seemed to go a little too far in the wrong direction). My particular 'flavor' of Joe is RAH, and have not seen (and don't care to) Sigma-6.

I've found Spycraft on Amazon for about $50.00. It's a little steep, but if it does modern better than D20 Modern, then I may consider it. What more can you tell me about Spycraft, and what's with the regular SC and the 2.0?

I just check out Wusu, and yeah, that seems a little too light for my tastes...

Webhead
06-03-2009, 12:01 AM
...I just check out Wusu, and yeah, that seems a little too light for my tastes...

Yes, it's not for everyone, but when you can get your players into it, it turns into something powerful and exciting.

From the sound of it, I would probably recommend (of the systems you mentioned you have) either Buffy/Angel if you want to stay on the slightly "lighter" side or M&M if you're not afraid to get a little more "crunchy".

As far as Spycraft, it may do what you're looking for and it is definately very hefty in the "crunch" department but, as you have discovered, it is rather expensive to buy into.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-03-2009, 12:02 AM
I'm taking a shot in the dark here, but how about Twilight 2000? For lighter rules, may i suggest Mongoose Traveller or Traveller CT.

Roman Virtue
06-03-2009, 12:05 AM
I'm taking a shot in the dark here, but how about Twilight 2000? For lighter rules, may i suggest Mongoose Traveller or Traveller CT.

Hmm, I haven't heard of any of these...
--- Merged from Double Post ---
I just got done checking out the Spycraft pdf, and so far it looks very much like what I'm after (though at 500 pages, it'll take me some time to know for sure)!

And being a D20, I can use options from some other books, play around with the system until it feels right.

Thanks for the advise so far guys! Please keeping feeding me more info if you got any!

korhal23
06-03-2009, 08:18 AM
Ok good you found it on your own. It's not a hard system to learn and tweak to what you need. If ya need help understanding a mechanic let me know, I seem to be the go-to for spycraft around here :P

mnemenoi
06-03-2009, 09:19 AM
What about Recon (Palladium) and augmenting with Ninja's and Superspies, possibly even Heroes Unlimited (Yeah, they are not comic style heroes, but a few did have near supernatural like powers).

I will agree with White Wolf's WoD, the system is great and could lend a lot of ease to the rules.

The old Delta Force RPG would be great to see in action, although I never actually played it. I did hear it shared similarities with Traveller. In the same vein Merc would be an option, although a bit dated for certain. West End's 'Price of Freedom, Roleplaying in Occupied America' should probably mentioned though finding it or any of its supplements might be an act of futility.

Dark
06-03-2009, 11:10 AM
I ran a Palladium Dark Conspiracy set with the party was playing a group of stranded Marines I have also ran a Recon game with the same rules as well another great game.

cliff
06-08-2009, 04:03 PM
I'd say Cartoon Action Hour is really the best bet there, IMO. The rules are light enough to be fast, but complex enough to be able to have a variety of different characters.

yukonhorror
06-08-2009, 04:39 PM
i saw heroes unlimited in there. There are a lot of super soldier concepts in that. Also, if you have it, ninjas and superspies has a lot of "military" builds.

daddystabz
06-27-2009, 11:50 AM
I am making a G.I. Joe campaign as well, using Mutants & Masterminds 2e. I works fantastically for this and is not rules-heavy at all. There are already writeups of many of the G.I. Joe characters and vehicles on the Atomic Thinktank forum, which is the official forum for M&M.

daddystabz
07-08-2009, 06:12 AM
Cinematic Unisystem is another good bet and so is Feng Shui. Both are rules-lite and great systems for this kind of thing.

Dark
07-08-2009, 05:54 PM
Palladium rules system is good Recon or Twillight 2000 are great examples. Another one I like is Blood and Guts: Modern Military by RPGObjects very nice.

Lucifer_Draconus
08-17-2009, 03:48 PM
Try the Twilight:2013 RPG it's the latest version of Twilight :2000 & if what I've read about it it should fit. I'd go with Palladium Ninja's & Super Spies or wait for their new Jungle Warfare RPG when ever it sees the light of day. I'd love to play in a GI Joe game if I could find a group willing to run it as a pick-up game between regular campaigns.

Lucifer_Draconus
08-19-2009, 12:40 PM
I'm tempted to convert Cyberspace to use for a GI Joe game if I get around to it. Simple rules that can easily be used for a modern game with tweaking. It'll be more 'realistic' aka deadly , based more on the Image/DDP & new series of comics (if I like them).

cliff
08-19-2009, 02:15 PM
You must be referring to a different "Cyberspace" than the game I have on my shelf with that name... the Cyberspace I own is essentially the Cyberpunk Rolemaster ruleset.

It's lighter than true Rolemaster, but that's not saying much.

ronpyatt
08-19-2009, 03:19 PM
The Hero System is fantastic for an unlimited variety of martial arts styles, weapons, vehicles, bases, armored body suits, and superscience devices.

The PDQ emulates comics, but is not as grainy but allows more narrative play.

Lucifer_Draconus
08-19-2009, 10:48 PM
You must be referring to a different "Cyberspace" than the game I have on my shelf with that name... the Cyberspace I own is essentially the Cyberpunk Rolemaster ruleset.

It's lighter than true Rolemaster, but that's not saying much.

Yes I am. It'd work for GI Joe with minor tweaks , especially seeing that GI Joe occasionly incorporates in high-tech devices & even robots/Cybernetics (at least with Cobra). Sure it's not a perfect fit as a Palladium Modern based game ( like N&SS) could do it better but I love ICE's games especially RM2/Classic , SM2 , RMexpress & Cyberspace. Palladium Books & ICE are my favorite game companies so if I ran a GI Joe game it'd use those rule systems.

Otakar
08-20-2009, 08:59 AM
I really think M&M works well for any heroic comic concepts. Before D&D4E came out I was using M&M for a Conan-esque game (I never even looked at the Mongoose version). I haven't went on their forum (atomoicthinktank.com) since 4E but they had resources for all sorts of concepts including D&D type monsters for the M&M system. Many of the contributors would construct archetypes for different comic characters upon request. If the GI Joe aren't already out there I doubt you'd have trouble getting some assistance.

cliff
08-20-2009, 03:56 PM
Yes I am. It'd work for GI Joe with minor tweaks , especially seeing that GI Joe occasionly incorporates in high-tech devices & even robots/Cybernetics (at least with Cobra). Sure it's not a perfect fit as a Palladium Modern based game ( like N&SS) could do it better but I love ICE's games especially RM2/Classic , SM2 , RMexpress & Cyberspace. Palladium Books & ICE are my favorite game companies so if I ran a GI Joe game it'd use those rule systems.

heh. I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you where you say "simple rules." To be fair, simple is a subjective measure, but even so.

I think the best ruleset to use for it would be the "Cartoon Action Hour (http://www.zmangames.com/products/CAH/products.html)." It's kind of tailor made for playing G.I. Joe, He-Man, the Transformers, and every other cartoon we used to watch in the 80s. The system is also pretty easy to get into and understand, although of that authors work I really liked "Capes, Cowls & Villains Fowl" better... but wouldn't be quite as appropriate to G.I. Joe.

Lucifer_Draconus
08-20-2009, 04:38 PM
Cyberspace is relitively simple to learn & use. But I respect your opinion. I've never tried that game, I'll have to look it up.

Genetic-Jackhammer
10-28-2009, 10:41 PM
cyberpunk is cool and all, but i think twilight 2013 would make a better gi joe rpg,

Richard Littles
10-29-2009, 06:11 AM
The Hero System would be your best bet since it's a toolkit that allows you to create anything and shows you how to do it.

Roman Virtue
10-29-2009, 12:20 PM
I've settled on Spycraft, and am loving the tweaks they have on the standard D20 system! I've developed a roster and am starting to fill it out, giving stats and all. This project may take awhile since I'm doing this while playing World of Darkness and planning my upcoming Star Wars game while re-familiarizing myself with MEGS for a future return to DC Heroes RPG *sigh*. Once I get this done though, I'll make my work available to everyone.

Game On!!!
-RV

cliff
10-29-2009, 07:20 PM
I still say doing GI Joe in anything except Cartoon Action Hour would be a crime... :D Just about everything else feels too crunchy for GI Joe.

Banshee
11-01-2009, 01:47 AM
Whoa Whoa Whoa... there's a Twilight: 2013???????
I became obsessed with Twilight: 2000 back in the day...
I'm gonna have to look for it now!!!

Jeffrywith1e
11-24-2011, 11:50 AM
To re-affirm Spycraft 2.0 as a choice, there is a G.I.Joe setting for it, already. Real American H.E.R.O.es (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=65785&affiliate_id=71282&id=25382) is G.I. Joe with the serial number (very thinly) filed off.