Q&A: Pulp-style RPG Daredevils
We recently spoke with Scott Bizar of Fantasy Games Unlimited about the company's classic pulp-themed tabletop RPG 'Daredevils.' Put on your fedora, break out your bullwhip and enjoy!
GaGG: When was the game first published.
Scott: The game was first published in 1982.
GaGG: Who is the creative team behind the game?
Scott: The design team is the same as for Aftermath!: Robert N. Charrette and Paul Hume.
GaGG: What are some of the supplements?
Scott: We have published a number of books of adventures for the game, but these are not supplements. Each such book contains several adventures for varying types of heroes or types of genres popular in the 1930s. The game itself comes with the first such book of adventures and we have published five more books since then. Some of the books are theme specific with adventures that fit into a specific genre of pulp adventure, such as "supernatural thrillers" (that book offers both a supernatural and more mundane solution to each adventure), "lost world tales", and most recently "nefarious plots" with international plots originating with Hitler's Nazis or Stalin's Soviets.
GaGG: What character classes are available?
Scott: As with Aftermath!, Daredevils does not have character classes. The idea is that players can choose to build, through the skill system, the type of heroic character they want from the hardboiled detective, intrepid explorer, government agent, or rich adventurer. The closest the game comes to the old character classes is that player's may select one or more "careers' as part of their character's background and development, each of which might come with certain skills specific to that type of career. The careers available include: Academia, Athlete/Sportsman, Big Game Hunter, Bon Vivant/Dilitante, Business, College, Crime, Explorer, Law Enforcement, Military, Politician, Soldier-of-Fortune, Worker or Tradesman, Writer/Journalist. Again, these do not limit a character as all can learn additional skills and all can become involved in any of the types of adventures.
GaGG: What is your estimation is the appeal of the Pulp Hero genre?
Scott: It is interesting that you refer to a "pulp hero genre" as Daredevils was the first game to explore this possible genre. It was never seen as potentially popular as fantasy or science fiction, but we were fans of the old pulp style adventures and the game sold well enough that we have done support books for it and kept it in print. I guess the fact that you now see it as a genre means that others have "followed in our footsteps" and done games on the same theme, though I doubt any would be the best seller for their publisher. If I were to rate topics or genres as we grade in school, the pulp era would be a B or a C, while fantasy and SF would be the earners of an A.