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GI Joe, Transformers, My Little Pony RPGs Also Confirmed For 2021

Renegade Game Studios and Hasbro confirmed to Forbes that GI Joe, My Little Pony, and Transformers will be coming as official RPGs, following the already announced Power Rangers tabletop roleplaying game.

While they were hinted at in their press release this week, it hadn't been confirmed that - other than Power Rangers -- these other games would be tabletop RPGS.

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Casey Collins at Hasbro told Forbes "“The tabletop and roleplaying games Renegade Game Studios innovated for the Power Rangers franchise have proved to authentically connect with both gamers and the Ranger Nation and we are confident that G.I. Joe, Transformers and My Little Pony fans will love the exciting games coming soon.”

Renegade Game Studios' Scott Gaeta elaborated a little more, confirming that the games would be powered by the D&D 5th Edition rules. "Part of the strategy here is that if we want a GI Joe fan to play an RPG. We want to use the system that’s most common and widely known. Fifth Edition at this point is the common language in RPGs. We went back and forth on our discussions but we landed on Fifth Edition being what we wanted to use to achieve our design goals.”

The games should be released in 2021.

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These aren't the only animated properties seeing new RPG revivals. Recently D&D Beyond owner Fandom announced Legends of Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe Roleplaying Game, and a Dragon Prince RPG, powered by the Cortext Prime system. Additionally, Monolith Edition recently announced a Batman roleplaying game.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

JPL

Adventurer
Yeah, GI Joe gets boring if you take it too seriously.

Like I said, for me, it's all about having a somewhat grounded (or at least informed) version of the U.S. military in the middle, and then all of this comic book craziness --- ninjas and sci-fi and supervillains --- orbiting around it. Get enough verisimilitude going with the Army stuff, and you can throw stuff like Serpentor and Transformers and M.A.S.K. and frikkin' Rom in there.
 

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In April's Fool WotC could publish a planeshift article about a fantasy panzerpunk(/Spelljammer) version of G.I.Joe. where Cobra-La is an alien invader race. (I hope reptilians who live among us may not feel offended :p😜😝🤪)

My suggestion is to create a completely fictional world where to can use the characters of the "hasbroverse", maybe the world of visionaries.

Today not only young adults but also teenages can notice Cobra as terrorist group in the 80's cartoon was too "incompetent" to say it softly. A real terrorist group or a dictator from the third world with an army like this could cause a lot of damage and suffering. Or Spektra and other James Bond's enemies could be worse menaces with the same resources/means. And lots of shooter videogame players can't believe when evil guys can't hit a shot not even with a bullet rain by a militar platoon. And the color of the uniforms. Who would dare to wear anything not even for a paintball game?

The 80's cartoon had got some episodes with supernatural elements.

 

Here's hoping that G.I. Joe ends up being a decent engine for some other modern action games. And I hope it finds a good sweet spot for the Joes, which for me is that Larry Hama combination of real-world military detail, 80s ninja mysticism, and straight-up comic book nonsense.
Oh yeah, that's the right tone for GI Joe:

Military realism and attention to detail. Preferably written by someone who actually served. Relatively accurate and realistic depiction of the military (at least by comic book and TV/movie standards). . .80's Ninja and Action movies mentality. A lot of old cheap ninja movies and big Hollywood action movies. . .and comic books

It's best to remember that GI Joe was basically a SHIELD spinoff comic rebranded. When Hasbro came up with the idea for a new GI Joe line circa 1982, they went to Marvel comics wanting a comic book created to market it. Marvel asked about details of who the characters were, who the villains were, what the plot was. . .and Hasbro really didn't have a firm grasp of that yet. They didn't have a clue about villains, and were fuzzy on characters. They just knew they wanted GI Joes in the 3 3/4 inch scale that Star Wars figures had made popular. So, Larry Hama went to an idea he'd shelved. He'd proposed a comic book a couple of years before called Fury Force, which was Nick Fury leading a paramilitary SHIELD task force around the world hunting Hydra. Marvel declined the concept, but he kept his notes and drawings and such for it around, and he pulled them out, and Fury Force became GI Joe.

A LOT of the original 80's GI Joe characters were basically originally written to be SHIELD agents, just slightly rebranded. Hydra became Cobra Red Skull became Cobra Commander. Baron Zemo becomes Destro. The entire concept stayed the same except instead of an international SHIELD task force, it was an American special operations team.

When you realize this, the tone of GI Joe. . .of basically a Marvel Comics tale of SHIELD vs. Hydra, except without superheroes and more military realism, becomes a lot more apparent.
 

Blue Orange

Explorer
"And you want to join the Zhentarim why?"

"After my colleagues were ambushed by a force of Autobots--they're the enemy, they're a bunch of holier-than-thou types who look down on economically creative types like the Black Network--I woke up here. As you can see, my physical qualities are more than adequate for frontline duty, and as Air Commander I effectively led the Seekers in many battles. I feel the Zhentarim would be the best fit for my strategic skills and flexible mode of operations."

"That's quite excellent. But you do know loyalty to the Zhentarim is expected."

"Oh, I've always been known for that."

"Yes, I'm sure you'll fit in very well here, Mr.--"

"Starscream. I was named for my speed."
 

But GI Joe predates the 80s?
Oh yeah, that's the right tone for GI Joe:

Military realism and attention to detail. Preferably written by someone who actually served. Relatively accurate and realistic depiction of the military (at least by comic book and TV/movie standards). . .80's Ninja and Action movies mentality. A lot of old cheap ninja movies and big Hollywood action movies. . .and comic books

It's best to remember that GI Joe was basically a SHIELD spinoff comic rebranded. When Hasbro came up with the idea for a new GI Joe line circa 1982, they went to Marvel comics wanting a comic book created to market it. Marvel asked about details of who the characters were, who the villains were, what the plot was. . .and Hasbro really didn't have a firm grasp of that yet. They didn't have a clue about villains, and were fuzzy on characters. They just knew they wanted GI Joes in the 3 3/4 inch scale that Star Wars figures had made popular. So, Larry Hama went to an idea he'd shelved. He'd proposed a comic book a couple of years before called Fury Force, which was Nick Fury leading a paramilitary SHIELD task force around the world hunting Hydra. Marvel declined the concept, but he kept his notes and drawings and such for it around, and he pulled them out, and Fury Force became GI Joe.

A LOT of the original 80's GI Joe characters were basically originally written to be SHIELD agents, just slightly rebranded. Hydra became Cobra Red Skull became Cobra Commander. Baron Zemo becomes Destro. The entire concept stayed the same except instead of an international SHIELD task force, it was an American special operations team.

When you realize this, the tone of GI Joe. . .of basically a Marvel Comics tale of SHIELD vs. Hydra, except without superheroes and more military realism, becomes a lot more apparent.
 


Undrave

Hero
"And you want to join the Zhentarim why?"

"After my colleagues were ambushed by a force of Autobots--they're the enemy, they're a bunch of holier-than-thou types who look down on economically creative types like the Black Network--I woke up here. As you can see, my physical qualities are more than adequate for frontline duty, and as Air Commander I effectively led the Seekers in many battles. I feel the Zhentarim would be the best fit for my strategic skills and flexible mode of operations."

"That's quite excellent. But you do know loyalty to the Zhentarim is expected."

"Oh, I've always been known for that."

"Yes, I'm sure you'll fit in very well here, Mr.--"

"Starscream. I was named for my speed."

This could lead to some fun crossover products... There's a Black Arachnia toy coming in the War for Cybertron: Kingdom toyline that would make a good agent of Lolth.. and if they give us a dragon (or re-use one of the Beast Hunters dragon) there could also be some fun stuff.

There's also a new Cheetor! Paint his alt mode black, give him a new head and BOOM: Crossover Drizzt!
 

Not too off-topic:


Do you think we could see a d20 RPG based in EC Comics if these projects work?

---

The G.I.Joe from 2020 can't be as the 80's show. It is not only about militar technology, as the remote-control drones bombing targets from other continent, but also the own fandom, most of this too used to shooter videogames. In the movies the stormtroopers have got an horrible marksmanship but in the videogame they can hit you from long distances, even when the other player is a preteen child. Also many fanboys are used to stealth tactic videogames as the Spanish saga Commandos, Assasin's Creed or Metal Gear by Konami.

And the "Joes" are members of the elite forces, the best soldiers. PCs with low level of Str and Con shouldn't be allowed.

My Little Pony is maybe the easiest option to be adapted into 5e but it's a too innocent franchise for teenages.

It's very hard to create a d20 version of Power Rangers, G.I.Joe and Transformers to be totally compatible for crossovers with D&D, not even with Spelljammer with a right power level.

Could Batman d20 defeat the Cobra troopers d20?
 
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nyvinter

Explorer
The biggest issue is that none of the toy lines are built to be zero-to-hero in the way that DnD is built, they are all pretty much competent from the start. So while power levels for crossovers are problematic, to are the internal competence of the characters you want to play. Are you going to start characters at level 8 or possibly even higher?
 

It would be funny a game-live podcast about Cobra army invading Eberron.

The level 1 transformers could be "pretenders", with medium size, something like the original PC can change into a robot head, and the rest of the body would be something like a "monster mount".

A level 1 Joe wouldn't be a true member of the elite group but of a supporter squad. Later after some special operations they could ascend. Or an alternate earth ruled by Cobra and the Joes are the members of the just created resistance.

Sometimes I wonder about the 6th Ed should use something like a pillar of knowledge and a pillar of opulence. The first would be like the Ego from Eclipse Phase RPG, all the learnt things in your memory. The second would be all the item you can war and use like the RPG videogames where the PCs are like Christmas trees. Then a d20 superheroes would be where the PCs can't leveling up more, or slower very much, because they are just enoughly powerful, but spending storytelling points they could unlock levels of paths to know more things, for example better hackers, or better investigators.

* Will 3PPs can publish in DM-Guild titles based in Renegade's games? Some manga publishers may dare to sell the d20 version of their own franchises of monsters, kaijus and like this.

* After this I would dare to say a Walking Dead d20 is closer to be a videogame than a TTRPG.

* In your next secret missions you have to infiltrate into Hasbro's offices to discover who was the responsable to create a "My Little Pony" version of Hero Quest.
 

But GI Joe predates the 80s?
I'm talking about GI Joe: A Real American Hero, the action figure, comic, and cartoon line that began in 1982.

GI Joe, in it's original version of a 12 inch figure was released in 1964, but sales slumped during the Vietnam War. They tried re-tooling it into the GI Joe Adventure Team, with GI Joe leaving the Army and being marketed as a more generic action-adventure character, but that didn't last and they ended selling GI Joe in 1976.

When Star Wars came out, the Kenner action figures for it really popularized the smaller 3 3/4 inch action figure size. Hasbro thought that between the change in public attitudes towards the military by the early 1980's, and the new 3 3/4 inch figure popularity, they might be able to re-start a new GI Joe product line.

The result was GI Joe: A Real American Hero. As I noted, Hasbro was vague on characters, and really hadn't thought through plots and villains at first. They knew they wanted a variety of figures, and a cartoon and comic book. . .and Marvel Comics had a disused idea for a SHIELD task force they'd come up with a few years before but not made, which could easily be re-tooled into an American special forces unit, and instead of fighting Hydra, they would fight another reptilian-themed terrorist group, Cobra, which was created essentially as a Hydra copy.
 

MidnightBlue

Villager
I hope the best for the Transformers and G.I. Joe fans that the RPGs are a huge hit. Though I do have personal regrets that this wasn't wrapped in the Fandom license using Cortex Prime like He-Man. I could see Transformers and G.I. Joe running under the Marvel Heroic RPG version of Cortex Plus, that you can recreate in the new Cortex Prime. The power set format of character creation would be perfect for transformers in vehicle mode (one power set) and in robot mode (a different power set). I also think it would be a great way to make characters for G. I. Joe based off the old G. I. Joe data cards on the back of action figure packaging...with one power set for the Primary Military Specialty and a second power set for the Secondary Military Specialty of the characters.

Oh well...I can always workout those hacks for myself, but would have been nice for an official Cortex Prime version of Transformers and G. I. Joe.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
My Little Pony is maybe the easiest option to be adapted into 5e but it's a too innocent franchise for teenages.

It's not that easy. Presuming that it's based on G4, the "Friendship is Magic" incarnation of the show, then it's actually closer to a superhero genre than a fantasy one. Leaving aside that the setting ranges from the 1880's to the 1950's in terms of technological progress (with certain things missing, such as telephones and television), there's also the fact that the characters' power levels are fairly static. While you can point to a few gradual instances of them refining skills that they already possess (e.g. Rainbow Dash going from barely being able to perform her sonic rainboom to being able to do it effortlessly), actual permanent power-ups like Twilight Sparkle going from unicorn to alicorn are extremely rare events. Throw in a lack of magical gear and a predisposition for ending conflicts via understanding rather than violence (though the show is about 50/50 on major villains who were redeemed versus those who were simply defeated), and it can be difficult for a 5E-based adaptation to pull off.
 

My theory is it will be not based in Generation4 but in G5, designed to be in the middle between kid-friendly and young adult, the classic: "for all the family", and easy to be adapted into d20 system. With lots of no-lethal spells (dreaming, grease, web, hold creature). Do you remember Hanna-Barbera's cartoon "Wildfire"?

If my memory doesn't fail Renegade said they will be compatible with D&D 5Th Ed.

Sometimes I imagine WotC game designers playing Baldur's Gate 3 with special mods to test future new ideas as monster pets, firearms, powered armours, superpowers by mutations and looking possible failures about the right power balance...

I imagine G.I.Joe d20 more close to cinematic universe than the old cartoons where cobra troops wore those ridiculous pink and purple uniforms. I wonder about players wanting those special gadgets as exosuits, powered armours and mechas and DM saying no to send those expensive vehicles to help with the missions because he says they are too secret.

Power Rangers isn't only sci-fi, but also fantasy, the own Zordon was a wizard. This means Powers Rangers use magic, but not as in D&D.

Have you thought about D&D players wanted maximals(techno-organic cybertronians) as animal companions or mounts for their rangers and druids?

What if I want to create a story about pretender decepticons infiltrated in Cobra-La?
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
I used to love my 12-inch GI Joes (Adventure Team) back in the 70s. It’s because of those and the old “story book records” that I never saw 1980s GI Joe as “real” GI Joe when I was a kid.
EDIT: I had forgotten that those did NOT age well... 😀
 
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Ahahahahahahahahahaha...no wait, this is serious?!?!?!
I mean, there were at least two unofficial MLP based ones

There's a space in the market

I wonder about players wanting those special gadgets as exosuits, powered armours and mechas and DM saying no to send those expensive vehicles to help with the missions because he says they are too secret.
If you're not prepared to deal with transforming tanks, eco-destroying villains, flesh-crafting Yuan-Ti, an accountant who dresses up like a bird, and an entire army of ninjas, then you are not prepared to GM a GI Joe campaign
 

Raptor was one of the coolest Cobra villains. It should be a skin for Fortnite.

In the Spanish 70's years, before Cobra, it was Geyperman the name of the Hasbro licenced toy, and other brand sold the famous Madelman. And today the war toys, soldier figures have got a bad reputation because it is linked with the violence. Sci-fi heroes and fantasy warriors without firearms are tolerated better.

The RPGs by Renegade games should have got their exclusive continuity. I imagine Cobra as a secret lodge, like those from the conspiracy theories about the deep-state (and we add reptilian aliens). The dreadnoks could be an international crime gang with anti-system propaganda. I also would add the other factions (S.K.A.R, Red Shadows, I.R.O.N army..). And I would suggest alternate settings, for example someones where Cobra was an alien invader who conquered some nations on the Earth.

Now I start to wonder if there was a G.I.Joe-Street Fighter "crossover", why not Fortnite? Hasbro should talk seriously with Epic Games.

It would be a very unpleasant surprise if PC Joes discover their favorite war vehicle is a decepticon spy, or the coil (a Cobra spin-off) is a lovecraftian cult what can summon the daikaiju monsters from Power Rangers.

* How would dare for a Gamma World/M.A.S.K crossover?
 


Street Fighters also had a recent crossover with... Power Rangers, where Ryu and, later, Chun-Li, gained Ranger powers.

According to the Project X Zone games, even before we get into space-time hopping shenanigans (which would lead, among others, to the world of Fire Emblem!), Street Fighters is in the same universe as:

Tekken
Rival School
Fighting Vipers
Yakuza franchise
Streets of Rage
Resident Evil
House of the Dead
Dynamite Cop (AKA the sequel to the Die Hard arcade game!)
Dead Rising
Darkstalker
Phoenix Wright
Bravoman
Wonder Momo
Namco X Capcom (it is the home dimension of Xiaomu and Reiji)

Furthermore, Xiaomu knows of 'The World' the virtual MMORPG that is the setting of the entire .Hack franchise! Xiaomu and Reiji are also aware of Segata Sanshiro!

And the characters of Darkstalker seem to have connections to Vallkyrie of Legend of Volkyrie and Arthur of Ghosts & Goblins!

Tekken, incidently, includes a character who is descendant from a character in Soul Calibur.

It's also possible that SNK vs Capcom is canon to that universe as well.

Also, the Transformers used to be in the Marvel canon! In fact, that's where space bounty hunter Death's Head originated from! And in those strip there was a Decepticon that had a friggin' Dalek shell as an alt mode!

I could probably spiral out from there even more but I'll stop from now.
I LOVE The NamcoXCapcom/Super Robot Wars OG Endless Frontier/Project X Zone series.

Don't forget that Super Robot Wars is also technically connected to it as well since Haken, from Endless Frontier, also appeared in Super Robot Wars: The Moon Dwellers as well. And Kos-Mos herself as also appeared in both NamcoXCapcom and Endless Frontier, technically making her somewhat a part of the Super Robot Wars series as well.Endless Frontier is a Spin-Off of Super Robot Wars. While Project X Zone 2 is also a sequel to NamcoXCapcom since Reiji and Xiaomu are the Main OG Characters of that game. (they were ALSO the Main OG Characters of NamcoXCapcom AND party members in Endless Frontier, linking them to Super Robot Wars as well.)

And since Go Lion(Voltron) was in Super Robot Wars W IIRC, then technically that means Transformers and Sentai can also be considered potential candidates for the series too. In fact, I'm surprised by the fact that Transformers or even Zyruranger's Megazord have yet to appear in Super Robot Wars.
 
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