10 Tabletop RPGs Based On Classic TV Shows

video games like Ring of Elden follow the formula established decades ago by tabletop RPGs, and several other similar titles are following suit. These games follow the mold of classic tabletop RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons to bring players captivating worlds full of adventure, secrets, and choice. Tabletop RPGs have also inspired movies and TV, like Amazon’s The Legend of Vox Machina.

While these tabletop game-based entertainment properties are popular, there are also several RPGs based on fan-favorite TV shows. Some of them let players recreate famous moments from their favorite properties, and others let the game play create new experiences in a familiar world.

Avatar Legends: the role-playing game

Tabletop RPG like Avatar The Last Airbender And Legend Of Korra Avatar Legends 2

avatar captions technically hasn’t been released as it continues to be delayed due to paper shortages. The RPG is highly anticipated, however, and has become the most funded tabletop game of all time on Starter. The game is based on Nickelodeon The last air Master and Legend of Korra TV shows. A quick start book has been released with more extensive rules delayed.

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The series has released previews to sate fans’ appetites, and most fans seem to agree that the RPG is a lot of fun. The book contains detailed descriptions and notes on the characters and places of the Avatar universe as well as five different eras. There are three classes, Martial Artists, Tech Experts, and Masters, so players can tailor a character to their preferred playstyle.

Doctor Who role play

The Thirteenth Doctor points her Screwdriver with Daleks and other monsters behind her.

This adventure game is also known as Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space. It changed its name after its recent second edition, which will receive a physical release later this year. This release drastically changes the rules, which is a big shake-up from previous updates which were largely cosmetic. Like Doctor Who is a show featuring a group of adventurers, a board game fits the tradition perfectly.

Game stats are based on difficulty, showing how much trouble a character will have with certain actions. However, players can earn story points to affect the world more substantially. Guides have been published to help players experience adventures in the style of each era of the series.

Firefly role play

A large cast of the Browncoats in the role-playing game Firefly.

Firefly role play is the direct successor of Serenity role play. While both are based on the same universe, the Serenity the game was to avoid mentioning episode-specific storylines. Like its predecessor, it uses the Cortex system, which has been upgraded to the Action Cortex Plus system. It was upgraded to the Cortex Prime system after a crowdfunding campaign.

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The game has been nominated for several awards, including the prestigious ENnie Judge’s Spotlight Award. This was given to his supplement, Echoes of War: Thrillin’ Heroics. The game features a roll and hold dice system that is easy for beginners. The game also features plot points to move space west.

Main guideline

Star Trek box art for the original Main Directive and its GURP version.

star trek took several knocks at the table genre, and perhaps the most interesting is Prime directive, a game with two incarnations. The first was released by Task Force Games in 1993 and used the D6 system for task-based gameplay that drew comparisons to shadow run and more of the best sci-fi RPGs.

Task Force Games eventually went bankrupt and its license was acquired by Amarillo Design Bureau. Since they were primarily a wargaming company, they were lost until they decided to merge Main guideline with the GORPSor Generic universal role-playing system. the GORPS Main guideline was popular enough to receive an additional six books.

Buffy the vampire slayer roleplaying games

Casts of Buffy and Angel appear on their tabletop game boxes.

Two of many games based on Joss Whedon’s properties, buffy the vampire slayer and Angel are called the Buffyverse Roleplaying Games, collectively. They were both published by Eden Studios and used their Unisystem game engine. The games were praised for their accessibility, as the rules were relatively easy for new players to understand.

The Buffy RPG allows the player to play as a white hat, hero or experienced hero. While the latter classes are stronger, the White Hat receives additional drama points. These points can be used to modify the course of the action. Role-playing games are also considered canon for television universes, which is rare among tabletop games.

Battlestar Galactica Roleplaying Game

The two Battlestar Galactica tracks are displayed on a red background.

Another space opera, Battlestar Galactica, offered a midpoint between star trek and star wars. The series adaptation boosted its popularity enough to make it a tabletop adventure in 2007. There’s an invading enemy force in the Cylons, but also plenty of political drama. The game also serves as a midpoint between the popular star wars and star trek board games.

The game was created by Margaret Weis Productions at Gen Con. He used their Cortex system for the table which used plot points. Unfortunately, the game has partly fallen victim to market oversaturation. Battlestar Galactica was the first of three games released over three years using the same system, so the playerbase was a bit split.

Bullwinkle and Rocky role play

Bullwinkle and Rocky and all of their supporting cast appear against an orange background.

Dramas aren’t the only TV shows getting tabletop adaptations. the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show oddly received a tabletop adaptation in 1988 from TSR. It also featured characters from its segment shows such as Mr. Peabody. The game featured core mechanics meant to be an introduction to RPGs.

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The game awarded points based on humor. It also featured a roulette wheel instead of dice. These elements make it feel more like a storytelling game than a true tabletop RPG. However, fans enjoyed it, especially since it came with ten hand puppets of the characters.

Dragon Ball Z: The Animated Adventure Game

Dragon Ball Z anime adventure rpg guide artwork shows Goku charging an explosion.

There are several tabletop RPGs based on anime and manga, but they are usually based on obscure series or mecha. Most of the well-known series do not have tabletop games or never leave Japan. In the late 90s, R. Talsorian Games tried to solve this problem. They came out Dragon Ball Z: The Animated Adventure Game to fairly low reviews.

Not every licensed table will be a hit, but this game had the advantage of running on fusion. fusion is a generic role-playing system often used for anime-like action. Skill-driven systems and character options might have seemed like a natural fit for a show with tons of powers and god-like beings like DBZ. Unfortunately, the game was criticized for having a ruleset that many felt was too loose.

Leverage: role-playing

The leverage-based table cover from the TNT show shows a heist in action.

TNT’s Great Action Drama TV Series Leverage may seem like an odd choice for the table. However, the “cops and crooks” configuration allows for natural and fun gaming experiences. The game used the Cortex Plus system to create a party of up to six crooks. The resulting adventures are very much like a heist movie.

The game was praised for its unique flashback mechanic. Players earn “intrigue points” throughout the game which they can spend on mechanics. One of these mechanics is a flashback which allows the player to change the context of a scene. It’s an extremely interesting mechanic that earned the game a lot of attention when it was released in 2010.

Dallas: The TV Role-Playing Game

The Dallas characters appear with text around them describing the tabletop game.

Without a doubt, the weirdest transition from show to table is dallas. The show is a soap opera that aired from the 70s to the 90s about the drama of the family rancher and oil company, the Ewings. The show was praised for its storylines and ongoing suspense, but it still felt odd to translate it to tabletop. The game was an attempt by Simulations Productions to find a new audience.

Unfortunately, it only seems to have alienated their core wargaming audience. Players take on the role of characters from the series and have a variety of stats like Investigate and Seduce. The game master becomes the “scriptwriter”, leaning into the TV broadcast angle of the game. The game was not very successful and is often ridiculed in tabletop circles, but it was a new attempt.

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