D&D and Betrayal co-designer Elisa Teague to head up Clank!, Kids on Bikes and Overlight studio’s RPG output - exclusive
Senior producer talks next year's 5E adaptation of Power Rangers, Renegade’s plans for original games and the potential of a Clank! RPG.
Board game and tabletop RPG designer Elisa Teague has joined Clank!, Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid and Kids on Bikes maker Renegade Game Studios as the senior producer leading the publisher’s roleplaying division.
Teague previously co-designed upcoming Dungeons & Dragons 5E sourcebook Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything - due for release later this month - as well as contributing to the Widow’s Walk expansion for horror game Betrayal at House on the Hill and co-creating party game Geek Out! She was also lead writer for Renegade’s D&D 5E-compatible campaign guide based on kids’ miniatures title Wardlings, released earlier this year.
According to Renegade’s announcement, Teague will head up design and development of roleplaying games from the studio in an effort to grow its overall RPG output.
The publisher recently announced a Power Rangers tabletop RPG based on D&D 5E’s gameplay systems due for release next year. Other licensed RPGs in the works include G.I. Joe, My Little Pony and Transformers titles, all of which will be based on 5E’s mechanics and see releases from 2021 onward.
Ahead of the announcement that Teague has joined Renegade, Dicebreaker spoke to the designer and senior producer in an exclusive interview about the studio’s plans for further 5E adaptations, what the slew of licensed games means for its original RPGs - such as Kids on Bikes, Icarus, Overlight and this year's Alice is Missing - and whether any of its own board game worlds might see a roleplaying release.
Renegade recently announced that its Power Rangers, G.I. Joe, Transformers and My Little Pony RPGs would use D&D 5E mechanics, rather than an original system. Why did you decide to use the 5E system, rather than one of Renegade’s own RPGs - such as Kids on Bikes - or a new system?
Elisa Teague: We put a lot of thought into which system would be best for these properties, as there are some amazing other systems out there, and we have access to some of the best RPG designers in the world to create a new system.
Ultimately, we wanted to use 5E because it is the most familiar TTRPG system out there, it is straightforward and easy to learn, it provides a great balance of rules mechanics and narrative storytelling, and we wanted to build these worlds in which each of these amazing brands reside over a system that would work across all of them, giving way to players being able to possibly cross them over in the future.
These new TTRPGs are not going to feel like your typical fantasy 5E game.
The OGL for 5E is amazing in that it allows designers to create new settings using it, and our plans for these titles fit very well with the epic and heroic nature of these rules.
Are you able to give any details on how the games will relate to their respective IP - both in terms of adapting the settings and 5E gameplay elements?
I don't want to give away any spoilers, but we do plan to dig deep into the existing stories of each IP to provide an immersive in-world experience for players. While each of these brands have their own fantastical elements to them, these new TTRPGs are not going to feel like your typical fantasy 5E game. Players shouldn't expect to be forced into playing existing characters from these brands, either - during character creation, players will be able to customise everything about their character as far as their imagination can take them.
Bringing these licences into TTRPG form will enable fans to engage with their fandom in completely new ways and experiences. Each will have specific adaptations that make sense for characters within their respective IPs, substituting in new rules for modern and sci-fi elements that will allow players to fully experience what playing in a sandbox world of their favourite fandoms would be like!
Given the announced licensed RPGs, what can we expect in terms of original RPGs - such as Icarus, Alice is Missing and Overlight - from Renegade going forward? Will you be scaling back on original systems/settings, or exploring any existing RPG IP with new games/formats?
Original TTRPGs will not be going away.
Original TTRPGs will not be going away at Renegade, and we will be continuing to fully support our existing amazing games. We have plenty on the horizon for roleplaying games at Renegade, and they are definitely not all going to be 5E.
Are there any plans to adapt any of Renegade’s other original IPs into RPGs - including board games such as Clank?
Oh, you know I couldn't possibly spoil juicy news like that at this time! I will say that nothing is ever out of the question!
What else can we expect from Renegade’s roleplaying output as a whole over the next year or two?
Expect some more big announcements and plenty of support on the products that we release. Campaign settings for these are just the tip of the iceberg, and we want to give fans every tool possible to be the hero from their childhood, whether they choose to play one of these titles or all!