My exploration of the Goblinoid-verse continues today with Apes Victorious, sort of an "inspired by" Planet of the Apes style game that meshes a bunch of 1970's pop-culture sci-fi elements together is a zany, crazy mix of genres and post-apocalyptic fun. This isn't just an Apes RPG style retro-clone, it brings in a cool race of under-dweller humans that seem like something pulled out of Sleeper, the Paranoia RPG, Logan's Run, or THX 1138. There are androids (I wish you could play one but it would not be hard to do that) like something out of the Six Million Dollar Man.
More 1970's Fun!If I were to play this I would make some key expansions and pull in a couple more influences from the 1970's. I would definitely do an android race that either survived on their own or broke off from the under-dwellers, similar to the old Westworld movie's robots (one and two). Perhaps they were the survivors of an old robotic theme park and they are always seeking 'the creator' in some strange 'what it means to be alive' life mission nobody really understands.
I would add a human "utopia domed city space base" like something out of out of Buck Rogers or Battlestar Galactica or Buck Rogers for the astronauts. I would probably make this somewhere far away in an artificial environment that lives in a utopia and contact between old Earth and them is infrequent and forbidden. I would love to have an evil Mongol-inspired evil space empire out there (of limited size, like a rogue moon with several city domes) with an evil queen and her mute but muscle-bound body guards. Make them the mysterious source of expedition ships to Earth every few months and you can have all sorts of fun interplanetary action. Just not too frequent and not too large, the distance traveled is just too great for regular trips.
I would add a race of intelligent alien "plant spores" that create pod people, or perhaps have shambling plant people wander around worshiping the elder alien plant god known as 'Seed'. Their goal is to create more plant-controlled slaves with their alien seed pods, feed their evolved shambling mound forms, and bring their elder plant god from across the cosmos. Anything that creeps the players out and keeps them from wanting to sleep next to these alien pods (check your pillow and under the bed) is such fun I could not resist myself. Plant controlled apes and under-dwellers? Perfect, let them all fight it out, and the players won't really know who they are encountering until the other group all opens their mouths at once and lets out that blood-curdling scream.
Call it Apes Expanded. Anything that fit into a destroyed 1970's world would do. Starships and Spacemen I feel would be a tough fit because I wouldn't want them replacing the astronaut faction with "better astronauts." I would keep Alien, Star Trek, and Star Wars out of it, just because those three cultural juggernauts would also take over the game. This I feel works better with small, campy, out-there 70's sci-fi small box-office only.
None of this would be terribly hard using sources pulled from various Labyrinth Lord books and I feel it would create this fun sort of D&D style 'many inspiration' sort of mini-universe where a lot of ideas could fit in and players could find a niche and a conflict they could hang a character idea onto. It is more a big-tent approach that I feel made D&D so attractive, you could do everything from Conan to Lord of the Rings and everyone would be cool with those character origins and influences.
More soon on this quirky and fun-looking game, and I definately see it as an includive and big-box of campy fun.