For me this always comes down to films, books or games that have a magnificent setting, one that i’d love to explore beyond the confines of whatever medium it has been presented in. Most often this ends up being a computer game of some sort, mostly because the majority of books I read already have some kind of an RPG attached to them in some way and because most movies aren’t developed enough for me to really get a feel for them.
In terms of computer games a couple spring to mind, the Fallout series, although to a degree this could be achieved with Deadlands: Hell on Earth and the Borderlands series, although Deadlands: Lost Colony is somewhat similar. In either case it’s pretty apparent that the Savage Worlds system would do both the most justice while maintaining the themes and tones of the setting.
Overall though, there is one game, or more accurately series of games, in particular that i’d love to see developed into an RPG, Mass Effect. I’ve talked at great length as to how deep and involved this setting is and I genuinely believe that if all of the history and information in the in-game Codex was collated into a book it would run to thousands of pages, such is the detail in the games. Add to that the fact that many of the writers involved in the games are RPG industry veterans and that the game is made by Bioware, the company responsible for such landmark RPG titles as Baldur’s Gate, Planescape Torment and the Dragon Age series and you realise that there is a wealth of potential there.
To my mind it’ need a bespoke system. Sure FATE could probably work for it, as could the Cypher System and even a modified Shadowrun, but it’d work best with it’s own ruleset. The rules would need to feel real and physics based, such is the nature of the setting, but still now feel clunky or unwieldy and allow for a multitude of character options, from pure soldiers, to biotics and anything in between.
Given that Dragon Age has it’s RPG books and that the Mass Effect series is one of the most successful computer RPGs of all time i’m actually very very surprised that there hasn’t even been a suggestion that it has been officially licensed. Thats not to say that there hasn’t been a Mass Effect RPG, the 2015 Ennies had a little controversy surrounding a fan made Mass Effect rpg that was so good that it was listed in the Best Game category before being pulled due to it’s unofficial use of the property.
Despite the game being free to download and the writer making no profit, it has since been pulled from general distribution, although i’m sure it’s easy enough to find online with a little effort. However, the popularity of this unofficial title, along with it’s success at a critical level surely proves that there is a market for an official Mass Effect rpg and i can only hope that EA and Bioware took notice and look to fill that gap in the market.