Back in the time of Borderlands 2 there was a DLC where one of the characters ran a fictional tabletop RPG called Bunkers & Badasses for the others. What began then as a joke will now be an actual tabletop RPG which you can purchase and play. Here’s the official description: “Based on the game-within-a-game from Gearbox Entertainment’s Borderlands series, Bunkers & Badasses is tabletop roleplaying unlike anyone’s ever done before!”

Bunkers & Badasses will let you make your own Vault Hunter from one of 10 classes, go on quests, run games as aBunker Master,” and all that other stuff you might expect. The entire 200-page game book also has in-universe commentary from Borderlands character Tiny Tina. It also has three adventures to play, included in the book: A starter adventure about a magic wand, a recreation of the Borderlands 2 DLC that inspired the whole thing, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, and a followup adventure to Dragon Keep called Butt Stallion’s Hunny Heist. (Which I guess is a reference to famous free, viral one-page RPG Honey Heist, though in the context of a $100 premium, licensed tabletop RPG just feels like straight-up appropriation.)

Speaking of $100 games, Bunkers & Badasses looks to have pretty high-tier production values. The standard ($60) sourcebook looks like full color, full bleed printing, but the real product looks like the Deluxe Edition, which comes with a game master’s screen, gun cards, a game grid, vault hunter miniatures, standees of Borderlands monsters, and a dice set including aone of a kind weighted Badass Die.The presence of aweighted Badass Dieand loot cards is the only evidence we have of how B&B plays, for now, but it looks like a very traditional tabletop RPG using d20, or twenty-sided dice, mechanics.

Bunkers & Badasses is being made by vaguely-associated-with-Gearbox company Nerdvana Games, which released a Tiny Tina-themed card game last year. Nerdvana is run by a trio: Kristy Junio Pitchford, Nolan Lee, and Cathy Brown. Bunkers & Badasses is being made in collaboration with popular board games company Leder Games, who are on board for “development & production.

You can find Bunkers & Badasses for pre-order on the Nerdvana Games website. It’s due to release in the first quarter of 2021.

It’s yet another game for the growing pile, I suppose: The popularity of tabletop roleplaying has grown. Now we live in an era of novelty tabletop RPGs. Like that one Wendy’s made. Most of them exist merely to cross-promote some other brand, or wring every last possible dollar out of an IP. Will this one be any different? We’ll see when it’s done.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he’s not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.

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Gearbox Software, Tabletop game, Dungeons & Dragons, Borderlands 2, Role-playing game, Tabletop role-playing game

World news – THAT – Borderlands’ fictional, joke tabletop RPG will soon be a real tabletop RPG

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