Licensed games & the stat tease.


Charismatic Separatist
Validated User
I don't know if anyone will care about this or not, but here goes. I've been trying to see if there's any kind of trend emerging with RPG's based on licensed properties, like Star Wars, to use various stats to lure people into buying gobs of supplements.

Here's two somewhat opposite situations. In the Star Wars RPG, there's very few stats within the game itself. There's enough to get you going, but certain things were conspicuously left out. For example, when turning to the Vehicles section you see this big full-color spread of all the Federation war vehicles on route to Theed. Yet ironically, not one of those depicted vehicles has stats within the book. To no great surprise, one of the first supplements is regarding Naboo, and happens to contain all these vehicle stats. Stat teasing? Could be...

Another example of this was the Star Trek TNG game from Last Unicorn. Oddly, the only TNG character to get stats in the book was Spot the cat. Also equally odd was the lack of stats for certain races which played big parts in that series, like Klingons for instance. MERP was another example, as the stats for the different characters, creatures and items were spread throughout a dozen or so supplements. The core boxed set had diddly.

On the other end of the spectrum is something like CoC, which seems to want to pack the core rulebook with every possible creature, spell, book, and anything else that they can find. I remember the old Judge Dredd RPG provided game stats for virtually every character and gadget ever encountered within the comic.

So clearly there's the two different situations. My question is whether the notion of spreading stats out through several supplements in order to help sell them is a growing trend, or if things are really no different now than they ever were. I've only owned and/or read so many licensed games, so I don't know that I have enough info to judge.

And if some of these companies are actually doing some stat-teasing, do you think this is just a horrible, rotten thing for them to do? Or do you think there's no problem with them using their license to help further their sales? A rhetorical question, I guess.

Personally, I guess I don't really have too much of a problem with them using their licensed property as they see fit. It's their right, after all. But on the other hand, I was a bit teed off years ago to find that my newly acquired MERP boxed set had really no sign of Middle Earth anywhere to be found. I wonder what the new game will do?


Staff member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'd extend it even further to include the tendency to spread all kinds of useful (even required) info out across multiple books.

I refuse to buy a game that can't be played completely with just one book. The whole player guide/gm guide works fine for D&D where the PG has all you need to create your own world and go... but Seven Seas? screw them.

And don't get me started on White Wolf.

Nope, from now on I'm voting with my money. I won't buy a game that isn't complete without suplements

I want suplements WHICH ARE SUPLEMENTS not requirements

I won't buy a game where the designers won't answer all my questions about the game on the e-list or through direct email.

I won't buy a game wich lacks essential setting or rules in the 'basic set' yet offers copius free online gimmes

In short, I won't buy a game which isn't up to the standards of GODLIKE... which has spoiled me utterly.

Vox Orbis

I've Always Been Here
Validated User
Bailywolf said:
In short, I won't buy a game which isn't up to the standards of GODLIKE... which has spoiled me utterly.
All just part of our nefarious plan, Baily... give good value for your dollar so you WANT our games!


<looking embarrassed, straightens his collar and looks sane again>

Harlequin Jones

Like most things, this could be used for good or for evil.

It might be good to seperate the various bits into a metric assload of different books. The "core" book should contain at least all of the rules necessary for play, I think. As for specific setting or equipment details, I don't see it as entirely necessary. What if all I want to do is run a one-shot of my own creation, and don't need all the extras? It might mean that I need pay only 16 gold pieces for the core book instead of the 40gp that might be asked for a more complete book.

Definitely a matter of taste, and not easy to generalize.



Registered User
Validated User
I agree with Balthazor. In fact that is one of the reasons for which I believe that CoC is the best RPG book ever, although it is not a that great product, as there is little reason to customers buy other supplements. Perhaps this help to explain why a more honest than average company such as Chaosium can't actually grows.
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