Question of the Week: Tabletop Games Based on Books and Movies

My three favorite roleplaying games to play (I have several other favorites to read) are Dungeons & Dragons (and its various descendants), Star Wars Saga Edition (which I suppose is also a descendant of D&D), and Call of Cthulhu. The first orbits a vast body of fantasy fiction around the twin axes of J.R.R. Tolkien and R.E. Howard. The second obviously expands (enormously) on the space fantasy films. The third is based on a body of fiction surrounding H.P. Lovecraft’s Mythos.

Few popular RPGs aren’t based on a genre defined by an author or a group of authors who define a subgenre. The World of Darkness owes a great deal to Anne Rice, who of course owes a similar debt to every Gothic novel ever. Shadowrun and Cyberpunk wouldn’t exist without William Gibson and his comrades in the movement. And every Pulp adventure game really should open with a dedication to Lester Dent and the other gods of his pantheon.

What are your favorite games clearly based on a single author or film or TV show? What games have you played that clearly owe no debt to a literary or film or TV source?


4 thoughts on “Question of the Week: Tabletop Games Based on Books and Movies

  1. Warhammer 40k from FFG is not based in movies, but has a lot (and I mean a lot) of books that tie in which came first. Also from the same publisher I like the neew SW, Age of Rebellion looks quite good. And finally the Battle for Oz kickstarter looks quite amazing

  2. Pretty much every RPG under the sun has a literary influence, since we play games to tell stories. But of the least obvious ones, GURPS is a great system, though one I don’t get to play nearly enough.

    Of games that are directly influenced by a single source, The One Ring, is by far the best I’ve played. Though I think there are a couple of minor issues with the rules, the feel of the game gets Tolkien right.

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