Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thorough Thursdays: FUTURAMA

Prior to this post, I have only mentioned FUTURAMA, the brilliant, oft on-the-air/off-the-air Animated, Science Fiction-Comedy Television Series, by David X. Cohen, and Simpsons creator Matt Groening, in a few blog entries, and its only been tagged on this blog twice before.

That's just wrong.

Welcome to New New York
It's a hell of a hell of a town!
Truth be told I kind of cheated on this one.
I wanted Futurama to be my next Thorough Thursdays entry, so I looked at my list of tags to see how many times I had mentioned it in the past. According to the tags the answer was zero. There was no tag for Futurama.
Certain that this couldn't be true, I did a search for the word, and sure enough, while I had mentioned it before, I had never tagged any entries with the title. I remedied that by adding the tag to the two most appropriate entries, which only further spurred me onward towards making a Thorough Thursdays post about the show.
The concept of the 'Thorough Thursdays' series is not to add new tags, but rather to give some love to ones that have never been given the attention they deserve. Certainly Futurama is deserving of my attention, so this will be one of the rare cases where a subject gets the spotlight when it was previously not a title on my tag list.
We good? No? Well bite my shiny, metal ass!

I love Futurama.
I discovered the show relatively late, having missed its initial television airing. I caught it later when the reruns were shown on Cartoon Network, and later still on Comedy Central.
It was love at first viewing however, as the mix of smart humor, social parody, Science Fiction themes, and its wild, retro-futuristic setting immediately won me over. As time, and episodes, went by, I was further impressed by the surprisingly complex characters.
Voice actor Billy West is nothing short of astonishing in this series, playing main characters Philip J. Fry, and Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, as well as DOOP (Diplomatic Order of Planets) Captain Zapp Brannigan, and Doctor John Zoidberg. How often is this dude talking to himself on the show?!
I've been gripped many times with a desire to explore this setting, mixing my particular brand of outer space adventure and humor with that of Futurama (which in many cases isn't all that different).
If only there were a Futurama RPG. Sigh. Alas...
Yes, one of my many crazy, past, pet projects was creating a Futurama Role-Playing Game.
Originally based on Star Frontiers (no, really. Star Frontiers), the game became something slightly different over time, although its genetic ties to TSR's Space Opera game of the 1980s, could easily be recognized. It was essentially Star Frontiers Light (Maybe very light. Maybe not), with options for character species (called Character Types), and careers that were customized to fit the open ended nature of the show.
For example, instead of having the rules, or stats, for playing an Omicronian of Omicron Persei 8, you play an Alien, with rules for customizing your alien to create a huge variety of sentient species (including Omicronians if you so desire).
Work on the game began sometime in (or around) 2005 I believe, with periodic updates over the next several years. A few years back I went to futz with it again, but couldn't find my most recent notes. I have found only a few pages of some previous edition, and as such, have stopped working on it to pursue other projects.
Pity. I should really get back to it.
Other than the thought of having to rework the whole thing all over again, a number of other factors have set back my enthusiasm for the idea. For one, there is the fact that the show is once again off the air, which is a real downer. I had originally planned to debut my Futurama game at NerdNYC's RECESS Game Day mini-convention, but sadly it seems those are no longer being held
Sweet Gorilla of Manila! I'm starting to get jazzed again. When the heck would I run it? Who could I get to play it?
Here's what I have been able to find/salvage:


Worth continuing?


Barking Alien

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fan appreciation, insomnia, and an overzealous love of RPGs based on TV shows, movies, comic books, and other pop culture media. The creator of this material in no way intends to infringe up the copyrights, and badass legalese of Fox Broadcasting Company, 20th Century Fox, Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, or anyone else with abominable lawyers, and more money than God.

I am not making a dime off this. This is just for fun.



  1. I always thought "Cosmic Patrol" RPG that came out on Free RPG Day last year was a Futurama homage (as a rule-light FATE-esque game)

  2. Good luck. I would certainly play in a Futurama game given a chance.

  3. yes, count me in for the future!