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View Full Version : How is the Indiana Jones Game



The Game Guy
03-06-2009, 07:20 PM
I know it's been talked about but as a game, how is it? Do you really have to play Indiana Jones and the characters from the movies or can you make your own characters up and have it work in the setting?

Lee Torres
03-06-2009, 08:06 PM
Not sure what you've heard, but I think you may have been hearing about the Indiana Jones game that TSR did before WEG got the rights. Both the Masterbook "World of Indiana Jones" and its lightly supported D6 spinoff "Indiana Jones Adventures" had templates and all of that for character generation. The old TSR one didn't - just pre-generated character sheets for Indy, Willie Scott, Short Round, Marion Ravenwood, Sallah, Wu Han, Jock (no, seriously!) and so on. It used a pretty basic percentile system cross referenced to the color chart so commonly seen in TSR products of that era. It's up on my Pulp game shelf, but I haven't even opened that box since the WEG versions came out, other than to look for ideas when prepping a Hollow Earth Expedition game a few years back...

To answer your question, though, in both WEG versions you can create your own character and have it work in the setting - the adventures WEG did were really very good, and the movie sourcebooks were brilliant - I just wish there'd been a "Last Crusade" sourcebook - I've got the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and the "Temple of Doom" sourcebooks, and treasure them as if they were rare artifacts themselves... It took some doing and hunting the internet for sellers that had them, but I managed to collect the entire Indiana Jones line. :D

The Game Guy
03-07-2009, 05:36 PM
Well I actually hadn't heard anything but wow, they sound really good.

Are they fun to play? Does it give you enough information where you can create adventures with the information given, or do you really need to use the adventure books?

Lee Torres
03-07-2009, 06:40 PM
Yep - one reason I like the WEG stuff so much is the team that wrote them took the time to put in a good bit of background history to build upon if your players left the main direction of the adventures, and some of that background was vintage pulp tip-of-the-hat stuff - there's an illustration of an office of a adventure safari-type company in one of the adventure books, and hanging on the wall behind the bosses desk is a map of Skull Island... ;)

I can't think of a book from that line I wouldn't recommend - obviously if you're steering clear of certain global areas, then adventures set there wouldn't do much good, but if there's an Indiana Jones adventure set somewhere you're interested in, by all means grab it!

Havard
03-07-2009, 07:10 PM
I am a fan of the MasterBook system(!) and World of Indiana Jones was the first MB box I picked up. I wish WEG had come up with a complementary generic pulp line which could have expanded the setting to include Nile Empire style elements as well, but I guess that is fairly easy to do on your own should you wish to. World of Indiana Jones is a great game on its own too. I was a little confused when I started seeing some of the adventures statted for D6 rather than MasterBook though.

Havard

Whill
03-08-2009, 01:23 AM
After D&D and Star Frontiers, TSR's Indiana Jones game is the next published game I owned and played. But I didn't play it too much because even as kids, my friends and I thought it was corny to play the movie characters in the first place, and no one wanted to be stuck playing one of Indy's sidekicks any.

For Masterbook I have the World of Indiana Jones, IJ Artifacts and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Sourcebook, with Temple of Doom Sourcebook on the way. The fluff is excellent, but from reading through the 3 books I have so far and playing the Mb solitaire adventure in the Raiders Sourcebook a couple times, I don't like the Masterbook system. It's a travesty that something as cinematically adventurous as Indiana Jones didn't have a full-fledged D6 system line.

I also have Indiana Jones Adventures, the attempt to update the world of IJ to the D6 system. Again, the fluff is excellent, and there are some really cool D6 pulp PC template write-ups. I played the solitaire adventure in this book as well. But I say "attempt to update" because there is only one short chapter devoted to D6ing the entire game setting, and the choice of attributes is wacky. This book, really only being a supplement of The D6 System, has the "mandated" attributes of Coordination, Reflexes, Endurance (with only 1 skill) and Strength (with 3 skills), but then finishes out with all of the non-Dexterity and Strength related Star Wars attributes: Knowledge, Perception, Mechanical and Technical. So that's a cumbersome eight normal attributes, for a pulp adventure game? And Technical? In 1930? IMO, that's just silly.

So for all these games, the fluff is great, but most of the game mechanics leave something to be desired, sadly even for the D6 version. But it does inspire me to make my own pulp adventure game (http://www.wegfanforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=744)!


I wish WEG had come up with a complementary generic pulp line which could have expanded the setting to include Nile Empire style elements as well, but I guess that is fairly easy to do on your own should you wish to.

kellhound
03-09-2009, 04:23 AM
One problem I have with (most) "licensed settings" is that, if you don't play with the movie/book/whatever characters, it's not different from a generic game.

Indiana Jones brand sells, but if the movies characters are not around, then is just a "pulp era" setting. The same goes for Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, etc.
It happens mostly on settings centered heavily in character interactions.
And most players I met don't like the heavyweights of the setting running around and reminding them it's "their setting".

Lee Torres
03-09-2009, 02:19 PM
One problem I have with (most) "licensed settings" is that, if you don't play with the movie/book/whatever characters, it's not different from a generic game.

Indiana Jones brand sells, but if the movies characters are not around, then is just a "pulp era" setting. The same goes for Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, etc.
It happens mostly on settings centered heavily in character interactions.
And most players I met don't like the heavyweights of the setting running around and reminding them it's "their setting".

I think it's been discussed in one of the D6 Star Wars threads that there are fun ways to do this without necessarily stomping on what your players are up to - for instance, if you're sending your players after an artifact like the Spear of Destiny, and they intercept a Nazi communique going to a "Herr Toht" with the SS-Ahnernerbe, then you've thrown in a little "hey, that's the bad guy in 'Raiders'" without clubbing anyone over the head with "bow before the mighty Indiana Jones."

Since most of my group isn't into the published novels related to the IJ franchise, there's a plethora of extra characters and situations that can be thrown in the mix, and it doesn't impact continuity too much, if at all. Plus, I tend to set my campaigns a little earlier than the films, between 1933 and 1936, so the events of the films are a little ways off in the future from what we're doing.

The Game Guy
03-24-2009, 02:03 PM
Everytime I go over to Eric (Hellsreach's) house I see in his inventory a few of the black leather covered Master System Books with the BloodShadows and Indiana Jones information in it and I wonder if it would be worth picking up.

Even if I wanted to just take the indiana jones information and transfer it over to the D6 system.

What do you think?

Kansas Jim
03-24-2009, 04:31 PM
Everytime I go over to Eric (Hellsreach's) house I see in his inventory a few of the black leather covered Master System Books with the BloodShadows and Indiana Jones information in it and I wonder if it would be worth picking up.

Even if I wanted to just take the indiana jones information and transfer it over to the D6 system.

What do you think?
If you can get one of the leather-bound ones for cheap, might as well. But otherwise you're probably better off getting one of the regular editions.

The Game Guy
03-25-2009, 12:48 PM
If you can get one of the leather-bound ones for cheap, might as well. But otherwise you're probably better off getting one of the regular editions.

I will see how much Eric will charge me for one. Remember, I am close to the source ;)

Cryonic
03-26-2009, 01:21 PM
Some of the Indiana Jones books were dual statted.

The Game Guy
03-27-2009, 10:17 AM
Some of the Indiana Jones books were dual statted.

The leatherbound Masterbook with the Indiana Jones and bloodshadows information isnt. I looked.

I am still not sure it is worth it for me to buy the book when I am not sure I will even use the information

The Game Guy
03-28-2009, 08:19 PM
I am going to find out on Monday what Eric will charge me for a copy of the leatherbound Masterbook.

I will see if it is worth it or not then

barefoottourguide
04-05-2009, 12:32 AM
I've run games off and on for the last decade, including Star Wars (all systems), Paranoia, but everyone wants to go back to Indiana Jones. In fact, I'm running an original adventure at University of Buffalo's game convention in two weeks, "Indiana Jones and the Blades of Revolution." The Masterbook system adds enough wildness and randomness to replicate a good movie serial. In fact, I got a boxed set of Bloodshadows just for another Masterdeck, but now I'm reading it and love how it covers classic film noir. It's what Masterbook excels at, moreso I think than d6. Plus the modules are incredibly well-written. The best book is "Artifacts," which covers tons of items, tells who will buy them, historic info, where they supposedly are, supernatural powers, etc. Fantastic book. Oh, and I got Karen Allen to autograph the color photo of her in my Raiders sourcebook. She said she hadn't seen that book before. One last note: in "The Golden Vampires" adventure book, there is a module "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull." Better story.
Garrett

The Game Guy
04-05-2009, 12:47 PM
My problem with the Masterbook system and why I perfer the D6 system is because the Masterbook system is too clunky and really just seems to get in the way too much.

The D6 system does what it needs to do without getting in the way of the action. And the D6 system can easily do movie style action without a problem.

My group is playing Star Wars D6 but we are using the D6 Space Corebook for some of the rules (to fix what is clunkying in the revised and expanded 2nd edition) and we have a lot of great movie style action.

Whill
04-05-2009, 04:25 PM
In just playing the Masterbook solitaire scenerio in the Raiders sourcebook a few times and then playing the D6 scenerio in Indiana Jones Adventures immediately afterwards recently, it was easy to see the fundamental differences between the two systems. Masterbook's claim to fame was being a more realistic game system, and so heroic actions (realistically) fail a lot more often. D6 was designed to interpret the cinematic (un)realities of Ghostbusters and Star Wars. I also found Masterbook to be clunky and unecessarily complex for cinematic games. Rolling dice, using that result to look on a chart that gives you another result that adds to something else, and so on. Not very much in the spirit of adventure movies, IMO.


I've run games off and on for the last decade, including Star Wars (all systems), Paranoia, but everyone wants to go back to Indiana Jones. In fact, I'm running an original adventure at University of Buffalo's game convention in two weeks, "Indiana Jones and the Blades of Revolution." The Masterbook system adds enough wildness and randomness to replicate a good movie serial. In fact, I got a boxed set of Bloodshadows just for another Masterdeck, but now I'm reading it and love how it covers classic film noir. It's what Masterbook excels at, moreso I think than d6. Plus the modules are incredibly well-written. The best book is "Artifacts," which covers tons of items, tells who will buy them, historic info, where they supposedly are, supernatural powers, etc. Fantastic book. Oh, and I got Karen Allen to autograph the color photo of her in my Raiders sourcebook. She said she hadn't seen that book before. One last note: in "The Golden Vampires" adventure book, there is a module "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull." Better story.
Garrett

Welcome to the board, barefoottourguide! That's so cool that got Karen Allen to sign your Raiders sourcebook! It was interesting to read your comments about using Masterbook for Indiana Jones. Thanks for contributing your experiences. You may be a minority on this board, but you are not alone - there is at least one other member that likes Masterbook. :cool:

In response to your statement about their being enough randomness in Masterbook, I can only say that in contrast to D6, even without the Wild Die, it provides a lot of randomness in that you have a large range of possible results. For example, with 4D you can roll anywhere from 4 to 24 (very easy to very difficult). Then the addition of the Wild Die introduces a whole other dimension of randomness. For Masterbooks randomness, I assume you refer to the inclusion of the Masterdeck cards you mentioned, but mine are still sealed in the original wrappers so I haven't looked that them.

Game mechanics aside, I must agree that quality of the fluff in the Indy books I have are excellent. The Raiders and Temple of Doom sourcebooks are both very cool hardbacks. The adventures in those and the Indiana Jones Adventures supplement are indeed very well-written. And I love the Artifacts book too.

I think you may be right about Masterbook being a better system for film noir, but I still think that cinematic adventures like Indiana Jones just scream D6! But good luck with your Blades of Revolution adventure and please let us know how the convention turns out. Thanks.

The Game Guy
04-10-2009, 09:54 AM
In just playing the Masterbook solitaire scenerio in the Raiders sourcebook a few times and then playing the D6 scenerio in Indiana Jones Adventures immediately afterwards recently, it was easy to see the fundamental differences between the two systems. Masterbook's claim to fame was being a more realistic game system, and so heroic actions (realistically) fail a lot more often. D6 was designed to interpret the cinematic (un)realities of Ghostbusters and Star Wars. I also found Masterbook to be clunky and unecessarily complex for cinematic games. Rolling dice, using that result to look on a chart that gives you another result that adds to something else, and so on. Not very much in the spirit of adventure movies, IMO.

I agree Whill. While compared to the original D6 system the Masterbook system probably did do things more cinematically. I think the new version of D6 is a huge improvement over the original D6 and I don't feel that is true anymore.

The new D6 is very cinematic and can handle movie action well. I also agree about all the charts you have to reference. When you are slowed down having to reference charts, that means the system is getting in the way which is something I hate.