Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: When they were still badass

Palladium TMNT

In 1985 Kevin Siembieda was still relatively new to the RPG field, but he still had the vision to begin licensing various IP such as Robotech, and to a lesser impact, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The brainchild of Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman had become something of an underground comic sensation by this period, but it would take a couple more years until it exploded into the mass market success we still consider it today, so Siembieda managed to wrangle a license to produce the RPG with his standard Palladium mechanic.

Now I know that mechanic is tired, and old, and outdated, and broken, but even with all that, it’s still infinitely playable, and has never undergone a revision which is incredible in this industry.  That said, the little book written by Erick Wujcik for TMNT is a fun ride.

It creates a very playable universe that details a great deal of animal archtypes that can be modified into hybrid-evolved characters to mimic that famed Turtles, or players can even play the Turtles if they so choose.  Back in the day, I was very taken with the system, and have played it on a number of occasions before it finally retired to my shelf for good.

Artistically, it is a single source shopping experience as Eastman and Laird do all the artwork for it, most of which I believe was ripped from the comic, although new interiors that link directly to game play also pepper the book as well.  If you like E&L’s style, then there isn’t a problem, and no matter how many times I see the Turtles rendered, I’m always partial to this original pen and ink work.

In all, this is a fun and well put together nostalgic time capsule.

Artistic Rating: 3 [out of 5]

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