Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!
  • Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!


    Pinnacle Entertainment Group is running a Kickstarter for their upcoming official Flash Gordon roleplaying game. They've kindly sent along an exclusive preview for me to share! The caveat is that they asked me to mention that this is not final text, and things may change. Below you can see three page spreads straight from the book.






    Seemingly there is no reason for these extraordinary intergalactical upsets. Only Doctor Hans Zarkhov, formerly at NASA, has provided any explanation.

    For those not familiar with Flash Gordon (if such a creature exits), it has been a comic strip, radio series, TV show, and a truly awesome movie. Flash! Aaaaah! He'll save every one of us! The comic strip started way back in the 1930s (around the same time as Buck Rogers) and featured our hero as an Earthman who finds himself embroiled in adventures on strange worlds. His archival was Ming the Merciless, and the strip featured a plethora of rocket ships, ray guns, and all the other accoutrements of space opera. The 1980 movie, with its Queen soundtrack and starring the scenery-chewing likes of Timothy Dalton and Brian Blessed, is a cult classic.

    The upcoming RPG is powered by Savage Worlds. It's being Kickstarted and is in its final few days, and features a foreword from none other than Flash Gordon himself, the actor Sam J Jones. It's a full-colour, 192-page rulebook (along with adventures, GM screens, and the like). There's also a pile of miniatures, including Flash, Dale, Dr. Hans Zarkov, Ming the Merciless, and more).

    If you're willing to spend a little more, there's an awesome boxed set containing the rulebook, GM screen, combat maps, card decks, counters, and more.

    The previews below are not final, but they give you a good sense of what the book looks like. I've seen a copy, and its crammed full of colour comic-strip art.

    What do you mean Flash Gordon approaching? Open fire! All weapons! Dispatch war rocket Ajax to bring back his body!



    Previews - not final text!

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    Comments 21 Comments
    1. Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
      Dannyalcatraz -
      Woot!
    1. Yaztromo's Avatar
      Yaztromo -
      A lot of pulp and sci-fi from that times is being successfully turned into RPGs... I gess because they are packed of action and heroic fantasies...
    1. Ed Laprade's Avatar
      Ed Laprade -
      "Gordon's alive!" (Actually, that should be "Gordon's alive?", but even BB goes along with the 'misquote'.) Is there going to be a paperback? Can I get a physical copy of The Kingdoms of Mongo? At the moment, the answer seems to be no. (I'll buy PDFs if they are really, really cheap, as they are useless to me at the gaming table, and start hurting my eyes if I try to read them for any length of time.)
    1. barasawa -
      I wonder how much licensing that cost them.
      It's probably an entire rocketship of Mingols, but still I'm curious.
    1. TrippyHippy's Avatar
      TrippyHippy -
      Quote Originally Posted by barasawa View Post
      I wonder how much licensing that cost them.
      It's probably an entire rocketship of Mingols, but still I'm curious.
      We'll not be privy to the final details, but unless there is a major movie or TV show in the offing, it's probably not all that expensive. Flash Gordon is quite old, and may well even be in the public domain if it was just based upon the original comic strip. Yet its instantly recognisable, and playable, so it's surprising that no-one else has made a RPG on it before, and it's a clever investment for Pinnacle. Totally suits the Savage Worlds system and tone too.
    1. lxqueen's Avatar
      lxqueen -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ed Laprade View Post
      "Gordon's alive!" (Actually, that should be "Gordon's alive?", but even BB goes along with the 'misquote'.) Is there going to be a paperback? Can I get a physical copy of The Kingdoms of Mongo? At the moment, the answer seems to be no. (I'll buy PDFs if they are really, really cheap, as they are useless to me at the gaming table, and start hurting my eyes if I try to read them for any length of time.)
      There will be a paperback, stated on the KS:

      "The regular, softcover editions of The Savage World of Flash Gordon™ and other accessories won't be offered in the Kickstarter, but will come to YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL GAME STORE instead."
    1. aramis erak's Avatar
      aramis erak -
      Quote Originally Posted by TrippyHippy View Post
      We'll not be privy to the final details, but unless there is a major movie or TV show in the offing, it's probably not all that expensive. Flash Gordon is quite old, and may well even be in the public domain if it was just based upon the original comic strip. Yet its instantly recognisable, and playable, so it's surprising that no-one else has made a RPG on it before, and it's a clever investment for Pinnacle. Totally suits the Savage Worlds system and tone too.
      The trademark is still actively defended in the US, so it's almost certainly licensed.
      Results of a search at USTPO

      Code:
      Serial Number	Reg. Number	Word Mark	Check Status	Live/Dead
      1	75977861	2226811	FLASH GORDON	TSDR	DEAD
      2	75640449	2727431	FLASH GORDON	TSDR	LIVE
      3	75640323	2370405	FLASH GORDON	TSDR	LIVE
      4	75531380	2460050	FLASH GORDON	TSDR	LIVE
      5	75126382		FLASH GORDON	TSDR	DEAD
      6	75067697		FLASH GORDON	TSDR	DEAD
      7	74582998		FLASH GORDON	TSDR	DEAD
      8	71355572	0320414	FLASH GORDON	TSDR	LIVE
      All 4 live ones are registered to Hearst Holdings, including the former King Features Syndicate one.
    1. werecorpse's Avatar
      werecorpse -
      Quote Originally Posted by aramis erak View Post

      Code:
      Serial Number    Reg. Number    Word Mark    Check Status    Live/Dead
      1    75977861    2226811    FLASH GORDON    TSDR    DEAD
      2    75640449    2727431    FLASH GORDON    TSDR    LIVE
      3    75640323    2370405    FLASH GORDON    TSDR    LIVE
      4    75531380    2460050    FLASH GORDON    TSDR    LIVE
      5    75126382        FLASH GORDON    TSDR    DEAD
      6    75067697        FLASH GORDON    TSDR    DEAD
      7    74582998        FLASH GORDON    TSDR    DEAD
      8    71355572    0320414    FLASH GORDON    TSDR    LIVE
      Flash Gordon's Alive?


      .....sorry couldn't help myself.
    1. Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
      Dannyalcatraz -
      Quote Originally Posted by werecorpse View Post
      Flash Gordon's Alive?
      AH-aaaaaah!!!!
    1. Man in the Funny Hat's Avatar
      Man in the Funny Hat -
      Welcome back from the grave... I knew you were up to something, though I'll confess I hadn't thought of necrophilia.
    1. AngusA's Avatar
      AngusA -
      Quote Originally Posted by TrippyHippy View Post
      We'll not be privy to the final details, but unless there is a major movie or TV show in the offing, it's probably not all that expensive. Flash Gordon is quite old, and may well even be in the public domain if it was just based upon the original comic strip. Yet its instantly recognisable, and playable, so it's surprising that no-one else has made a RPG on it before, and it's a clever investment for Pinnacle. Totally suits the Savage Worlds system and tone too.
      Fantasy Games Unlimited published Flash Gordon & the Warriors of Mongo back in 1977. But it wasn't supported with supplements, and was also 40 years ago, so I'm not surprised it's not very well remembered. Flash Gordon, as an IP, is still active property and owned by King Features Syndicate. It's one of the reasons we have the Funko Pop range of Flash Gordon figures. They have been actively licensing the property, not only in the States but globally, over the last few years. They also handle Garfield, Popeye, Archie and a host of other properties that were made famous through newspaper comic strips.
    1. aramis erak's Avatar
      aramis erak -
      Quote Originally Posted by AngusA View Post
      Flash Gordon, as an IP, is still active property and owned by King Features Syndicate.
      The USTPO shows the trademarks all transferred over to Hearst Holdings. All current registered Flash Gordon trademarks are Hearst, not King.
    1. AngusA's Avatar
      AngusA -
      Hearst are certainly the agents in a number of territories.

      (Please note that I may have gotten Hearst and King Features mixed up as to whom is agent and whom is IP owner; only going from memory and haven't doubled checked before posting)
    1. AngusA's Avatar
      AngusA -
      Just checked and King Features is part of the Hearst corporation.

      "King Features Syndicate is a member of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication Group, which combines Hearst’s cable network partnerships, television programming activities, and newspaper syndication and merchandise licensing operations. King Features is the world’s premier distributor of comics, columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games, distributing in print and online some 150 features to nearly 5,000 daily, Sunday, weekly and digital newspapers and other outlets around the globe. From its many popular comic strips and panels to columns by well-known personalities, from incisive editorial cartoons to a wide variety of puzzles and games to newspapers, King Features covers the world with informative, entertaining features for today’s readers.
      King Features is also one of the largest and most experienced organizations in merchandise licensing and entertainment. Among its most beloved and successful classic characters are Popeye the Sailor Man, Olive Oyl and Betty Boop. In recent years, the company has expanded its portfolio and now represents a varied array of pop culture and art properties."
    1. amerigoV's Avatar
      amerigoV -
      As a Savage Worlds guy but not a comics guy, I had to do a bit of back viewing on Flash Gordon to see if I really wanted it. Pinnacle has an older setting called Slipstream that is FG/Buck Rogers/Star Wars with the serial numbers filed off. I have that book, so I was a bit skeptical that I need this setting given its similarities (lets define "need" as in "RPG shiny got to have it need")

      I watched some of the 1930s serials and have been working through the late 1970s cartoon. I have to say based mostly on the cartoon, the Planet Mongo is a D&D-style planet - lots of intelligent humanoid races and monsters of all shapes and sizes. Pulp Fantasy SciFi all wrapped up into one gig. It looks like an absolute blast to play. They have created a Cliffhanger mechanic to further enhance the feel - if you watch the serials or the cartoon (and I am guessing the comics), there is always a cliffhanger that moves the story along.

      So it ranked "I need this" pretty quickly .

      Best part - Pinnacle has the main books in PDF ready to go - once the KS closes and money is collected, you get the core goodies right off the bat!
    1. PEG_Games's Avatar
      PEG_Games -
      Thanks for sharing, Morrus! "Ming is the enemy of every creature of Mongo! Let's all team up and fight him."

      Ed Laprade mentioned PDFs, so I wanted to point out that in these last few hours of the Kickstarter the PDF-only reward levels are a really good deal, especially if you plan to pick up the softcover books from your FLGS later! From our FAQ:

      What PDFs do I get at the $45 Warlord of Mongo (PDF) reward level?


      * The Savage World of Flash Gordon™ RPG (192 full color pages, requires the Savage World core rules to play)
      * Kingdoms of Mongo supplement book (a 192-page full color comprehensive guide to the many diverse lands that can be found upon, above, and even within the great planet of Mongo)
      * Game Master Screen inserts PDF (for use with our Customizable GM Screen, available at www.peginc.com, full color artwork for you to download and print to show your players, and handy reference charts for the GM!)
      * Journey to the Center of Mongo adventure PDF (32 page full color adventure)

      *$20K Stretch Goal Unlocked: Table Tents PDF! Form fillable print and play foldable character cards!
      *$25K Stretch Goal Unlocked: Character Folio PDF! Form fillable deluxe character journal!
      *$30K Stretch Goal Unlocked: Combat Charts PDF! Easy reference summaries of all the combat options!
      *$35K Stretch Goal Unlocked: Archetypes PDF! A complete party ready to print and play!
      *$45K Stretch Goal Unlocked: Threat Cards PDF! Common foes at your fingertips!
      *$50K Stretch Goal Unlocked: Map of Mongo PDF! Fight Emperor Ming across the world of Mongo!
      *$60K Stretch Goal Unlocked: Cliffhanger Supplement PDF! Advice and adventures for Cliffhangers!
      *$65K Cliffhanger Cards in PDF! Not only are the Cliffhanger Cards now available for print and play, but we're adding three more options for your game!
      *$75K Bookmarks in PDF! Four gorgeous bookmark to mark rules, stats, and more!
      *$80K Figure Flats in PDF! Tri-fold print and play paper miniatures!
      *$100K Propoganda Prints in PDF!


      --Jodi Black, COO and Managing Editor for Pinnacle
    1. EonTrinity's Avatar
      EonTrinity -
      I sure wish this was NEW, 5e, or Stars without Number. Just not a Savage Worlds guy. I love Flash Gordon...
    1. johndesmarais's Avatar
      johndesmarais -
      Quote Originally Posted by AngusA View Post
      Fantasy Games Unlimited published Flash Gordon & the Warriors of Mongo back in 1977. But it wasn't supported with supplements, and was also 40 years ago, so I'm not surprised it's not very well remembered. Flash Gordon, as an IP, is still active property and owned by King Features Syndicate. It's one of the reasons we have the Funko Pop range of Flash Gordon figures. They have been actively licensing the property, not only in the States but globally, over the last few years. They also handle Garfield, Popeye, Archie and a host of other properties that were made famous through newspaper comic strips.
      That Fantasy Games Unlimited game was weird. There was like, no game there (but it did make a for a pretty cool little Mongo sourcebook).
    1. dco's Avatar
      dco -
      I don't want another version of Savage worlds with extra rules like the cliffhanger, but as a Flash Gordon fan the Kingdoms of Mongo looks interesting.
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