Well here we are with our next whine of the week. This time I set my sights on Dream Pod 9. You may have heard of them or you may not. You may have heard of games like Jovian Chronicles, Heavy Gear or even Tribe 8. These guys were hot in the 90’s. Heavy Gear was coming into it’s own, Jovian Chronicles was sailing on the 2nd edition and a little known setting called Tribe 8 appeared.
I first got to know them via Jovian Chronicles which was a fantastic space opera setting where mankind has begun colonizing space. It’s the 23rd century and there is a raging conflict between CEGA and the Jovians. Having loved the Robotech series of anime and Macross Plus it was a given that I would love it. For a few years we had the occasional sporadic Macross or Robotech Palladium game but to be honest… it’s Palladium. I will save that one for another week but suffice it to say we did not find it a viable solution. So Jovian Chronicles was the next trial. The system itself worked. Character generation was a matter of 10 – 15 minutes and the setting was rich with potential. Our first game ended up being an EPIC game which lasted a long time. We were all surprised and shocked as usually your first game on a new system can be iffy. Kudos to our GM that just ran with it all.
We then tried Heavy Gear and that was simply awesome. It was a bit more gritty and down to earth (no pun intended). I remember a game where we played both the good guys and the bad guys. We eventually loved our bad guys so much that during a battle where they confronted each other, we wanted our bad guys to win. It was an interesting way to play. I also remember a last ditch effort during a combat where I threw my gun (as it was out of ammo) and it knocked my opponent unconscious.
Lastly, Tribe 8 was totally out there. The world was corrupted by demons, the land in ruin. Bartering was your way to survive. Avatars of a goddess existed. It was twisted, it was mature, it was honestly one of the best settings to date that I have seen.
But where did they go? Well let’s be honest. It’s been two years since some releases but it’s been largely shelved since the lacklustre Silhouette Core. It attempted to be like the d20 System where it could be used as a basis for many settings. However it just did not catch on for whatever reason. While the settings were popular I just don’t think they had the exposure that D&D had (obviously) so why invest in a central system, then have to invest in the settings themselves?
Also why they have focused on miniatures, I have no idea. I have literally seen them only once in any RPG store I have been to. I have been to one in Halifax, two in Toronto, two in Montreal and the one place I did see one was in my travel in Sherbrooke in Quebec. It happened to also be in the bargain bin. But people must love it if there is a focus on it. And it makes sense that people do. I know when we played the RPG, at times we wished we had a map available with representations of our space battles.
Also their Core Command and Gear Krieg were bullets in the foot as they were not as successful all around in my opinion. Since then they have put a primary focus on their miniature tactical lines for their settings. I just have to ask why? Obviously they felt a need as the market for them was there. But that doesn’t mean they could not continue these amazing settings right? Yes these are the desperate pleas of a fanboy but I do hope that they get revived from the grave at some point. If you go by their wikipedia entry apparently the RPG’s are simply on the side for now due to the economic difficulties in 2004.
Like other RPG’s that have gone on a proverbial hiatus or just plain disappeared, I want to see some love headed their way soon. Come on DP9, I think we can be buddies again. Let me get back into my Pathfinder and wreak havoc in a civilian colony cylinder. And I’m sure my friend wants try to avoid calling the captain’s daughter a retard.
I just feel like my girlfriend broke up with me for no reason except a whisper in the ear that we could get back together down the road. It’s heart breaking but by the time they do come back (if ever), maybe I will have given up or moved on. Maybe another girl offering me space opera goodness will come along and wow me. What then? What a shame is what I say.