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Fanbase Press Interviews Andrew E.C. Gaska on Launching a Kickstarter Campaign for the ‘Planet of the Apes Role-Playing Game’ with Magnetic Press

The following is an interview with Andrew E.C. Gaska regarding the recent launch of a Kickstarter campaign for the Planet of the Apes Role-Playing Game in collaboration with Magnetic Press. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Gaska about how the RPG fits into the canon of the Planet of the Apes, the creative process of adapting an existing property into a role-playing game, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the Kickstarter campaign launch’s success! For those unfamiliar, what can you share with us about the premise of this new game and how it fits within the larger canon established by the media franchise?

Andrew Gaska: The extensive world of the original series with its tie-in comics and multiple movies and shows created a really in-depth world that has room for a variety of different roleplaying campaigns. The RPG allows you to portray any one of the classic and distinct quota types within the hierarchy of ape society. Play an intellectual chimpanzee garbed in green and brown who seeks to better apekind through science and exploration. Become orangutan statescape robed in tan and orange vestments whose weapons are philosophical debate, political savvy, and the power of the Sacred Scrolls themselves. Portray purple-panted and leather-studded gorilla soldiers who are honor-bound to protect Ape City and lead aggressive expansions into new territories. Or, maybe you’re an ape who defies the old conventions. Be a gorilla academician, an orangutan adventurer, or even a grizzled chimpanzee war veteran!

In addition to apes, you can assume the roles of time-lost astronauts—or as the apes call them, “astro-nauts”—struggling to grasp a world gone mad. You can play a mute tribal human that scavenges for resources as murderous gorillas hunt you on horseback. Rules even allow you to play a mutant survivor and use the power of your mind to turn your enemies against each other.

As far as adventures go, you can search for the remnants of advanced technologies that still survive in the ruins—gleaming metal machines, incredible spacecraft, and, of course, world-shattering weapons. You can explore the foreboding Forbidden Zone and beyond in hopes of finding a paradise untouched by death and destruction.

Aside from the expected setup of the first movie, the animated series shows a future where apes have technology. There are comic books from the 1970s that have an ape society that live on mammoth sailing ships. There are different types of mutant civilizations to explore, and several corners of the Earth that we haven’t even seen yet, allowing Lawgivers (GMs) to develop them as they like.

BD: You are no stranger to having adapted established properties to new mediums, having previously created the role-playing games for Alien and Terminator. What, if any, challenges did you experience in adapting this work in terms of its narrative and interactive storytelling?

AG: Any long-going series that has a developed world in it, and a huge fandom, is right for the RPG treatment. Back in the day, gaming and comic companies would often pursue a movie property as an easy way to make some money. When I was a kid, this treatment never felt like the true experience of that world until the mid-1980s. It was then that games like Star Wars RPG came out, that really embraced the entirety of the property that it was based on. I approach my work making these properties into games by trying to boil down the core of what people love about it and then sprinkling as many details and references as possible.

For POTA, the biggest challenge was making sure that you weren’t stuck only playing apes or only playing astronauts. Finding ways to not only include mutant campaigns, but campaigns that could include all four types of characters. Figuring out play for the mute tribal humans was also interesting, which led to pantomime rules for them.

BD: What makes Magnetic Press the perfect home for this game?

AG: Magnetic has been putting out high-quality books for a decade now, and publisher Mike Kennedy has the same dedication to creating books that are works of art as I do. Together, we made the Carbon Grey RPG Deluxe Boxed Set which was nominated for an ENnie for production values.

BD: In light of the Kickstarter campaign, are there any specific backer rewards that you would like to highlight for our readers?

AG: I’m super excited about the minis! As add-ons, we’ve unlocked the Statue of Liberty Dice tower, and it’s amazing! Next up is the “Higher Calling” set which is more like a display diorama for the atomic bomb that the mutants worship in the second film. We’ve got more minis and set pieces to unlock, and all I can say is people are going to be super excited about them—we just need more backers to unlock them!

On top of that, we’ve added many bonus goals, including a coin, a tapestry map, and a patch that all have built-in game value. We call them Live Action Mementos, and using them at the game table gives you an edge during play. Overuse them, however, and they invite in-game trouble!

BD: In addition to your work on this role-playing game, are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?

AG: My latest Alien work, The Building Better Worlds Sourcebook, is out now and the T2 Sourcebook for Terminator is in the process of shipping to US backers. Aside from that, I’ve got several franchise projects in the works, and, unfortunately, I can’t reveal a single one of them at this time. All I can say is there is a lot to come.

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about the Planet of the Apes Role-Playing Game?

AG: Right now, the Kickstarter page! Fans can also get a look at the canon tiers I developed for the RPG when I was a franchise consultant at 20th Century Studios at my blog. After that, news will develop over the next few months on, the Magnetic Press YouTube channel, and the Magnetic Press Facebook page – all listed below.





Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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