Last year on #RPGaDAY, I wrote about the Game You Wish You Owned and this year, I revisited the question in the Day 9: A Licensed RPG post. Here’s what I wrote last year:

What game do I wish I owned? That’s pretty easy. It’s an official Crimson Skies RPG.

Originally created as a miniature war game, set in a post-Great Depression no-longer united United States of America, where air travel is the most common mode of transportation, air piracy abounds!

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Real-life pirates of the 16th century. Crazy Nazi prototype aircraft. Old Errol Flynn movies. Swing music. Black Sheep Squadron. The Flying Tigers. The Hell’s Angels. Indiana Jones. Betty Page. Vargas and Petty pin-ups. The golden age of Hollywood. The 1930s in America was the last truly romantic period in modern history.

I would play the crap out of this game.

It’s got to be something slightly more complex than Fate – I want to tinker with my plane, like you did with Car Wars. Yet it’s got to be faster to play than a game like Shadowrun or Pathfinder, so combat actions have to flow quickly – no multiple charts and steps to determine the outcome of fights. Because this game is full of action. Two-fisted action.

It also has intrigue as it is nation versus nation: which means spies, femme fatales, and all that good stuff.

The Crimson Skies RPG is set up so each player has their guy in the game, but not every scene has to have all the characters present at a time. Cal’s character is in there, so we give Emily control of one of the NPCs in the scene. Maybe she’s got an antagonistic NPC to run for the scene. Then after that, we’re at a thing with Emily’s and Ryan’s characters and Cal isn’t there, so maybe Cal gets to help run one of the important NPCs in that scene.

And the dogfights! Not every player is going to be flying a plane, so the dogfights have be quick affairs – fast, crazy blazing battles in the sky. It’s the problem with vehicle chases in other games: you’ve got the driver, someone shooting back, and maybe two other players whose characters aren’t really built for this so they just hang out at the table for twenty minutes while everyone else is driving and having fun.

Half the fun of Car Wars and BattleTech is the solo play of creating the vehicle or ‘Mech. I want that solo play in Crimson Skies to kit out your plane, if you’re playing a pilot. If you’re playing a non-pilot, you get to tinker with the air base you strike out of or the zeppelin you’re flying around.

Yeah, that’s the game I want. And if I can’t have that, I’ll take a game based on Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century novels. Alt-history Dieselpunk, hell yeah.

A mirror of Microsoft’s old Crimson Skies website:http://firedrake.org/roger/csarchive/universe/index.htm

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