Despite the recent movie’s lack of success, Hellboy still has a lot of fans out there. So, Mantic Games and Dark Horse Comics are partnering together to develop a tabletop role-playing game. Though not officially launched, fans can follow the Kickstarter campaign holding page for the Hellboy RPG so when it launches they can help support the game. Sadly, outside of the comics and the original run of movies, Hellboy efforts haven’t been successful in the past. There were two video games based on Hellboy, one in 2000 and the other tied to the film four years later. Yet, none of the games were received very well, with fans citing poor graphics and bad mechanics. Still, there is a market out there for Hellboy fans, and hopefully the freedom of tabletop RPGs will allow the game to do better than its video predecessors.
Mantic Games, on the other hand, have seen success with the Hellboy franchise. They funded a Hellboy board game through Kickstarter. More than 12,000 people raised nearly $2 million (at current exchange rates) to fund the game, about 15 times their original fundraising goal. So, it’s clear that Mantic knows how to succeed with adapting this franchise for gameplay. Also, the miniatures included in the board game will be perfect for players to use in the RPG.
What We Know About The Hellboy RPG Kickstarter Campaign
Image via Kickstarter
We can safely assume that the Hellboy RPG campaign on Kickstarter will be for a game that’s much like other tabletop experiences. You will create a character, roleplay, and go on narrative adventures. Yet, once the campaign officially launches (no word on when that will be), people will get a chance to try out a “quickstart” version of the game. Players can choose from six pre-generated characters and go on a short quest written by Red Scar. Noted game designer Marc Langworthy will lead this project. He brings experience from adapting other comics properties, like Judge Dredd and Conan the Barbarian, for tabletop RPG play.
CEO of Mantic Games, Ronnie Renton, offered a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
“We can’t wait to bring Hellboy back to Kickstarter…. The roleplaying game is going to be a fantastic new way to experience Hellboy on the tabletop. The team at Red Scar has done an amazing job of capturing the feel of the Hellboy universe.”
The game will likely be based on the rules for the king of all tabletop games, Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. A starter set of basic rules can be found for free on many gaming sites and Wizards of the Coast’s web page. If the Hellboy RPG Kickstarter campaign is as successful as the board game’s was, it can expect to go through multiple printings and translations. If you want to sign up to be notified when the campaign officially launches, follow this link.
What do you think? Are you excited for the Hellboy RPG tabletop game? Why do you think these projects are so successful when others tied to Hellboy, uh, aren’t? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image via Lionsgate
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.