Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Announcing Raiders of the Lost Artifacts

Eagle eyed observer Art Braune noticed a little book called Raiders of the Lost Artifacts on my display at Gen Con. I had made a few playtest copies for my local game group to test out the rules. I had a few copies left over and sold them at Gen Con in order to judge reactions. Well, they were the first to get sold!
Not Final Cover
The genre of pulp fiction is an underserved field in roleplaying games in my opinion. There are no shortage of fantasy and science fiction games. But that exciting period of the early 20th century doesn't have a lot of representation. There has been a few pulpy games, a search through doesn't reveal a whole lot. I'm probably missing something.

There was a game in the mid-80's called the Adventures of Indiana Jones which has unfortunately been maligned as "the worst RPG of all time", I actually like that game quite a bit and have been working on an extensive write up and review about why it deserves more recognition, that I'll publish someday. There was also a d6 System version of the same IP sometime later that I have never played. This brings me to Raiders of the Lost Artifacts, or Raiders! for short. This is a game I have long wanted to make. Mixing adventure, mythology, pulp action, and of course archeology into a compelling roleplaying game experience.

The game is nearly completed. Sections of the character creation are being rewritten that didn't quite come out right. We tried to experiment with skills, but it lost that classic "original edition" feel. Anytime you replace player ingenuity and detective work with a skill roll the game just becomes like d20, or any other roleplaying game for that matter. So we are collapsing skills into the core class abilities to enhance the game and player utility. Once that is done all that will be left is to fill the spaces in the layout with art!

Over the next few weeks I'll be previewing the book, and if all goes well have it out soon! In the meantime, here are some drawings of the character classes:


  1. Yes, The Adventures of Indiana Jones... A game so flawed, that even if the rules were great, could not overcome the game's lack of CharGen and utter dependence on a list of mostly bland and useless side characters! The only thing I can think of make that game at all playable, without making a team of Jones-clones, is to have a mechanic were the players bid for control of Jones on a situation-by-situation basis.

  2. heh, yeah that is the common perception of the game, and you are right, but that's not the whole story. I hope to change a few minds with my eventual review. :)

  3. Oh sorry, I meant "...whatever if the rules were great or not, could not...". I was not ragging on the core rules themselves, but noting the flaw of character options.

    I remember reading the rules sometime back, and I gave it another read-through. It is a good, simple rule system that plays better than a number of game systems I'd seen. It is also full of neat ideas on running pulp adventures (I'm partial to the chase rules, as they are usually overlooked in most game systems; I love the chase chart, as it reminds me of the artifact chart in Gamma World). Although, the rules just never felt to me, mostly due to how the attribute system feels wonky in many ways. But that is just me.

    In the end, the Indiana Jones rules did deserve better than what it got. With the right tweaks, and a fully realized CharGen system, it would be a far better game system.

    Good luck with the Raiders of the Lost Artifacts game.