The Last, Best Hope for Roleplaying

True to its promise, Mongoose Publishing has at last revealed the RPG project hinted at last December: a new Babylon 5 RPG. Having received the roleplaying license from Warner Brothers, the d20 game will be available in May. You can click the “Read more” link below for the full press release and Q&A, but here’s the highlights: the main hardback rulebook will be over 300 pages, with full color throughout and plenty of still shots from the series. An agressive support product schedule is already planned, and if the Judge Dredd line is any indication, Mongoose should have no trouble following through. Bruce Graw, formerly of Agents of Gaming (B5 Wars), will be writing a few supplements for the game. Between the B5 RPG, Lone Wolf RPG, Judge Dredd RPG and the Conan RPG early next year, Mongoose is fast becoming a champion of gamers everywhere. Or those that can tolerate d20, at least.

Mongoose press release and Q&A follow:


  1. d20 let’s them sell something to make money. A serious system that was realistic would never sell. That’s the only reason why they use d20. d20 is the future of scams.

  2. You can’t sell a scam this long. If that is the case, Steve Jackson and Kevin Sembeida are good swindlers. Too bad they’re stuck in a comfort level and not actively pushing their wares. I think it’s time they reinvent their products and market them to the mainstream.

  3. Rick, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    I guess it is kinda pointless to say that the owner of AoG is now writing material for the new game. . .

  4. And as a consumer, I should care about the demise of AoG because what, rick? Businesses come and go. I’ve learned that lesson hard when FASA got shut down. These days, you have to be more competitive now than before. If you can’t be competitive to attract more consumers to your products then kiss your business goodbye. BABYLON 5 WARS may have put them on the map, but they can’t solely rely on licensed products. It is also unfortunate that their other original products did not fare well.

  5. “… but they can’t rely solely on licensed products.” – S’funny… that’s exactly what Mongoose would seem to be attempting, no? More than one license at a time, certainly, but licensing all the same. Like *any* game system, the level of success it enjoys is inevitably tied to the quality and variety of its support material – and licenses of cool pop culture properties, if handled properly, can certainly accomplish that.

  6. I guess when you destroy someone’s compnay and then hire him for a pittance, you are absolved of your Microsoft like business practices.

  7. Prior to Mongoose licensing boom (Judge Dredd, Slain, Conan, etc.), they started their d20 publishing business with their own SLAYER’S GUIDE series and other d20 products that put them on the map, at least among the d20 community. They won’t stop doing that. Even now, they’re developing another Intellectual Property of their own, a d20 mecha-based game called ARMAGGEDON 2089. So, Mongoose is doing more than just licensed products, and are doing well on both fronts (licensed IPs and their own IPs).

  8. And d20 is… what? A license. And a *royalty-free* license at that. “Prior to the Mongoose licensing boom…”? Dai, d20 *is* their licensing boom! 😉 Now, have they put out some great stuff under that weird little logo (d20)? You betcha! And more power to ’em, I say. But one has to wonder – if the d20 phenomenon had never come to pass, would there still be moongeese out there with printer’s ink on their little paws?

  9. Direct: Mongooses, actually 🙂 And yes, we would still be here with other ideas – however, we’ll never know how well those ideas would have gone. Rick: You are a twit, looking for gossip where there is none. AoG lost their licence all by themselves, no help was needed from us. Additonally, I find your manner very offensive but I am guessing that won’t bother you much.

  10. You mean it IS “Mongooses”? Ah, nuts! I KNEW I shouldn’t have changed it at the last minute. *laughing* Although “moongeese” does have kind of a nice ring to it… Hey, if you use that in one of your future releases, will I get a byline? 😉 In any event, I think most of us are glad to have MP (and other publishers) around. We might not all be d20 fans, but variety IS the spice of life – and if I can’t take a quality product and convert it to suit my needs, I’ve got no business playing games of intelligence and imagination in the first place.

  11. You can reasonably figure that what happened to AoG is what happened to Precedence: Warner Bros. decided to pull the B5 licenses they had out there and resell them to make the money again. Companies that didn’t have a strong-enough base without B5, died.

    As I’ve always said, “never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence.” Incompetence might be a strong word in the current economic climate, but there’s no reason to presume malice on the part of Mongoose.

  12. You’re right. d20 Trademark License is a royalty-free license. Along with the royalty-free Open Game License, you can make use of both the rules system, along with certain Wizards’ trademarks covered under the d20STL. You can plug Wizards’ product but you don’t have to own one red cent to Wizard. Now why is this company willing to offer that and not Steve Jackson Games’ GURP? I know there are potential GURP writers who would love a chance to market their stuff (in stores) and promote GURP in return. Why won’t Steve Jackson open his rules system a bit? And what about you? Ever consider writing material for your favorite game system and make money off of it? I mean it may not be much, but a little extra pocket change is better than none.

  13. And I may not be a SJG’s GURP fan or a Palladium’s Megaversal fan or White Wolf’s Storyteller fan, but UNLIKE YOU, Direct2Video, I bear no grudge against those companies and any third parties suppporting those respective rules system. No grudge whatsoever. I, however, do wonder why they won’t open their rules system. Think about it. Would you prefer Sony to be the only company to provide games for their Playstation 2? No. You’d like other game developers like Activision, Acclaim, Electronic Arts, Konami, Capcom, etc., to develop games for PS2.

  14. Folks, let’s make an effort to stay on the topic of the Mongoose B5 announcement, or we risk arguing ourselves into a black hole, ‘kay?

  15. I will if Direct2Video and rick agree, too. But wouldn’t wager my life saving, if you know what I mean.

  16. Well, Dai, you may not bear any grudges, but you sure do jump at the chance to make them. *rueful chuckle* Matthew Sprange himself understood both the nature AND tone of my comments and responded to them in the same *friendly* manner which I intended. (My apologies if you thought I was goading you.) Now, then… As Misuba reminded us, the REAL topic here is Mongoose’s B5 RPG announcement. Therefore, here is a new question for Mr. Sprange: What does PPG actually stand for, and what kind of “Guns & Ammo” specs can you give us on it? =)

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