What is the Best Licensed RPG?


I've always wanted to try TMNT, but never got around to it. Don't know if it was good, but it looked fun too. I owned Ghostbusters, but did not play that either.
TMNT runs on the Palladium system which is a weird home modified version of AD&D. I haven't used hte system in more than 30 years, but I had a great time with TMNT back in the day. I really liked how they used a point buy system for players to purchasing different abilities for their creature, up to and including full human looks. You could be a mutant turtle that looked like a regular human.

The thing about TMNT is that it came out right before the cartoon hit it big. The RPG was based off the comic book, which really wasn't for kids, so there was a real dissonance between the RPG and the cartoon. Kevin Siembieda felt as though the overwhelming success of the cartoon kept a lot of people away from the RPG. I don't know if that's true, but it only took a few short years of before Palladium lost the license.

While I don't consider it the best licensed game, and despite my dislike of the game system used, I would have to argue that the TMNT was most definitely a good licensed game. The folks at Palladium clearly cared about the source material and made an interesting game.

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aramis erak

TMNT runs on the Palladium system which is a weird home modified version of AD&D.
It's equally likely to be grounded purely in littlebook Original D&D. Especially since 1979 as a start date¹ for him was before the DMG release, and his HP system is 1d6 hp/level for everyone, rather than the 1d8 standard for AD&D.

The changes are pretty fundamental -- skill driven play, to hit is 5+, armor doesn't stop hits, but it absorbs damage if the to hit isn't high enough, and is another expendable.

The idea that armor has its own HP which get depleted in place of the wearer's is fairly novel - most others where armor doesn't deflect, it removes a low number of points, without being an expendable; his stops a lot, but is expendable.

For the 79-80 timeframe¹ of "Palladium of Desires," it's a relatively good system.

¹: Mechanoid Trilogy, p 8 and p 14. 8 sets year, 14 "one fine spring day" sets it before DMG release. And the PHB release was under a year old.

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