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Planet of the Apes’ very real tabletop RPG adaptation will stretch across all five monkey movies

Apes together strong.

Planet of the Apes RPG promotional art
Image credit: Magnetic Press Play

Continuing the trend of classic film franchises being ported into tabletop RPGs, Planet of the Apes will swing onto kitchen tables thanks to a reimagining by Magnetic Press Play. Bringing in storylines and characters from the two original films and rebooted trilogy, the upcoming title will let players portray apes, human slaves or dissident mutants.

Planet of the Apes RPG, as it's simply called, will use West End Games’ six-sided die-focused Magnetic Variant (or, D6MV) to power its mechanical engine and tell stories cooked up by a team of writers led by science fiction author Andrew E.C. Gaska. The publisher currently plans to release a core rulebook containing everything needed for play, along with The Ansa Files - a sourcebook containing notes and materials from all of the pre-reboot films, tv series, novels and comics.

A slightly zealous announcement page proclaims that this title “will challenge every idea you have ever had about a role-playing game.” Whether that ends up true or not, it does allow players to create a wide gamut of apes, from gorilla soldiers and orangutan politicians to a chimpanzee scientist or even human scavenger. There will also be options for roleplaying as mutants scratching a living from the underworld or an astronaut pulled from their own world and into this one.

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Campaigns will stretch away from Ape City and across the surrounding wilderness, intersecting with points of interest such as the Forbidden Zone and the ruined catacombs of human civilisation lurking beneath the ground. If you’re not sure about buying in on a full book, Magnetic Press Play is developing a starter boxed set, the Forbidden Zone, that guides newcomers through the roleplay ropes.

"Planet of the Apes is, without question, one of the greatest science fiction franchises ever," said Mike Kennedy, Magnetic Press' founder. "It is not only an exciting high concept, but it does what great sci-fi does best: holding a mirror up to society. The Planet of the Ape RPG will contain all of that political intrigue while also giving players a vast and dangerous world to explore full of brand-new mysteries and adventures to experience first-hand.”

Planet of the Apes RPG core book mockup
Image credit: Magnetic Press Play

Gaska is joined on the writing and design team by Dayton Ward, Rich Handley, Greg Cox, David Walker, David Avallone, E.L. Thomas, Dave Semark and Jim Beard. Their credits include the Alien and Terminator RPGs, the Star Wars RPG and various Planet of the Apes novels, comics and related media. Gaska himself was lead narrative designer on Free League’s Alien RPG.

Pre-orders for the core rulebook and other material will be available on Magnetic Press’ website at some undisclosed future date.

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