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Official Planet of the Apes RPG claims to be a game-changer

There's an official Planet of the Apes RPG coming, based on the original film pentalogy - with rules that allow you to play pretty much anyone.

Planet of the Apes RPG art showing three apes with guns

Magnetic Press Play is releasing a Planet of the Apes RPG which it boldly claims will “challenge every idea you have ever had about a roleplaying game”. Based on the five-film Planet of the Apes series that came out between 1968 – 1973, the game will let you play as human or ape, with the option of embodying a gorilla warrior, psychic mutant, lost astronaut, or hunted tribesman.

Given the slightly over-excited statement above, you might expect not to see any recognisable DnD dice, character sheets, or indeed any rules at all in this game – perhaps you play only by picking fleas off other participants.

Planet of the Apes RPG art showing three horseback riding apes

Upon further inspection, it seems Planet of the Apes: The Tabletop RPG is not that far outside of accepted norms. But it does seem like the game could play out very differently, depending on your choice of character. The announcement page suggests you could play a scientist chimpanzee, a soldier gorilla, or a debate bro orangutan. Even just examining the ape options, it seems like these characters would lend themselves to very different games.

The tabletop RPG will use Magnetic Press Play’s variant of West End’s D6 System, a rule set that has been used for a bunch of cinema-inspired roleplaying games, from Ghostbusters: A Frightfully Cheerful Roleplaying Game to Indiana Jones Adventures. The ‘Magnetic Variant’ of the D6 System was previously used in Magnetic Press Play’s Carbon Grey RPG, based on a dieselpunk graphic novel series.

Planet of the Apes RPG core rulebook

On the writing front, Planet of the Apes: The Roleplaying Game is led by Andrew E.C. Gaska, a geek polymath who’s written Planet of the Apes novels, and recently authored the Alien RPG for Free League. He’s joined by a team of creatives including David Avallon, Jim Beard, Dayton Ward, and Rich Handley.

As for what physical form the game will take, it seems there are two RPG books in the works. There’s a Core Rulebook, which does what you’d expect, outlining how to play the game and providing setting details. And there’s ‘The Ansa Files’, a reference book full of material “from all of the classic films, TV series, novelizations, and animated episodes”.

Planet of the Apes RPG book The Ansa files

A number of ‘premium exclusives’ may only be available during the pre-order period. These include The Forbidden Zone adventure box containing “game-enhancing tools”, and a set of resin miniatures, as well as physical artifacts (handouts?) “to make your roleplaying experience even more immersive”.

Planet of the Apes RPG minis

No official release date for the Planet of the Apes has been given, but Magnetic Press says a pre-order campaign is launching soon and you can pre-register for more news about the upcoming game on the publisher’s website.

If you can’t wait to start monkeying around, did you know that there’s already a Planet of the Apes board game? It’s true, you can find it in our best movie board games guide.