2000AD On The Tabletop: Part Two – The Mongoose Publishing Era

December 3, 2018 by dracs

Hot on the heels of my previous article, which looked at the early days of 2000AD on the tabletop, I’d like to continue by focusing on the next big producer to pick up the license - Mongoose Publishing.

After a lull of nearly a decade, which saw Sylvester Stallone’s portrayal of Judge Dredd hit the silver screen, the readership of comics in general taking a nosedive, and not much in the way of 2000AD on the tabletop - the Judge Dredd Collectible Card Game by Round Table Productions being a notable exception - Mongoose Publishing began producing a number of games set in the 2000AD multiverse.

Dredd The Card Game

Dredd The Card Game

The first one I’m going to look at is very special to me, despite the fact I’ve never actually played it.

The Judge Dredd Roleplaying Game For Traveller

Like many comic readers and hobbyists alike, I had drifted away from the scene in my late teens and early 20s. My interest was rekindled when I spontaneously picked up an issue of 2000AD while visiting family in the U.K. and noticed an ad for the Judge Dredd RPG by Mongoose Publishing.

Almost immediately, I was sucked back into the hobby, making characters just for the fun of it (a game all by itself in Traveller), converting the scenarios for the GW version into Traveller and creating new ones - I can honestly say I wouldn’t be in the hobby today if it weren’t for this game.

The Judge Dredd Roleplaying Game For Traveller

The Judge Dredd Roleplaying Game For Traveller

The game itself comes in a gorgeous, glossy hardback book which screams quality. Despite not coming with floorplans, dice or standees, the book contains great maps of Mega-City One and the world it’s set in.

The Traveller core rulebook is still required to play it, but it’s such a simple system (I did play a Traveller game or two back in the day) and comes in a pocket-sized format.

The Judge Dredd Roleplaying Game For Traveller

Players take the role of judges (tough law enforcers in a 22nd-century post-apocalyptic world) and specializations such as Psi, Tek, or Med Judges are generated semi-randomly by rolling on the Traveller style career tables.

Don’t panic if your party doesn’t have a healer. As we saw in the 2012 Dredd film, a street judge’s equipment includes a med-kit as standard, as well as a lie detector and a variety of cool gadgets.

Judges Get The Coolest Toys!

Judges Get The Coolest Toys!

Any good roleplaying system allows the game master to adjust the rules to suit the story and this is no exception. If your party really wants a Psi-Judge the GM can allow a roll or two to be fudged during character creation.

Skipping character generation and giving the players pre-generated characters isn’t recommended though. Rolling up a character also includes story hooks, backstory, possible links to other characters and non-player characters - and most of all it’s fun!

The Traveller system is still published and very much supported by Mongoose. The Judge Dredd setting book is no longer in print but can be found in online bookstores.

Another game I plan to get on the table one day.

Another game I plan to get on the table one day.

If it’s so good, why didn’t I play it? My initial plan was to join a group of gamers and eventually GM a game of JDRPG, but it didn’t work out like that. The group I joined (AtoZ gamers in Yokohama - great people, great facilities, great times), had their own scene happening and I got sucked into miniature wargaming. Which brings me on to another awesome game.

The Judge Dredd Miniatures Game

Using miniatures from the Wargames Foundry 2000AD and Street Violence ranges in my games of Necromunda was my way of getting my fix on the tabletop for quite a while. Judges make great Arbites - let’s face it, that’s where the inspiration came from - and Necromunda was easy to find players for.

I had the Gangs of Mega-City One starter box, a popular game, but was content with Necromunda.

Gangs of Mega-City One, published in 2005

Gangs of Mega-City One, published in 2005

In 2011, things really got going when the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game was released and I managed to get some friends heavily involved.

It’s a skirmish game with each gang consisting of about two to ten models. Judges, being the best equipped, use the fewest models, while other factions include droids, demonic cabalists, apes, Cursed Earth mutants and many more.

The craziness of the comic truly materializes on the tabletop with each faction having their own unique play style. Judges can arrest low-level scum with just an authoritative shout, apes can climb sheer surfaces and cabalists can summon demons. Dabbling in the occult is risky business, though, and we had some hilarious moments seeing cabalists repeatedly devoured by their own creations.

Hilarity ensues when the cabalists dabble in the occult

Hilarity ensues when the cabalists dabble in the occult

In 2013, Warlord Games partnered with Mongoose on the distribution of the game and production of the second edition rules, which came as a starter box with two gangs. The second edition rules were essentially the same but with some clarifications, tweaks to specific units and a very attractive hardback book.

The second edition book is even more awesome than the first.

The second edition book is even more awesome than the first.

Both first and second editions use a simple D10 dice pool system which is fast-paced and quite deadly. Games can last minutes if your models don’t stay in cover and you’re unlucky with your rolls. The wackiness and deadliness of Mega-City One’s streets are simulated extremely well and the rules are very easy to teach.

Having run many demo games of this (including a demo for Warlord Games’ Japan representative) to both kids and adults I can definitely say it’s a great entry level game.

In 2016, Warlord Games took over the licence for 2000AD miniature games and stopped supporting and distributing this game while they worked on their in-house rules and miniatures for another skirmish game - which I’ll talk about in 2000AD on the Tabletop: Part Three - Warlord Games.

Mongoose first published a D20 version of the Judge Dredd RPG.

Mongoose first published a D20 version of the Judge Dredd RPG.

As always, I’ve included a list of Mongoose Publishing products related to the 2000AD multiverse. Let me know if I’ve missed anything.

Games & Timeline

  • 2001 Mongoose Publishing founded by Matthew Sprange & Alex Fennell
  • 2002 The Judge Dredd Roleplaying Game, d20 system role playing game - Matthew Sprange
  • 2002 Rookie’s Guide to the Justice Department, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - John Caliber
  • 2002 Full Eagle Day, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - John Caliber
  • 2002 Mega-City One’s Most Wanted, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - John Caliber & Matthew Sprange
  • 2002 Judge Dredd Game Master’s Screen, Dredd d20 RPG accessory - Matthew Sprange
  • 2002 The Rookie’s Guide to Block Wars, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - John Caliber & Matthew Sprange
  • 2002 The Rookie’s Guide to Psi-Talent, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matthew Sprange & John Caliber
  • 2002 The Sleeping Kin, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - John Caliber
  • 2002 The Rookie’s Guide to Criminal Organizations, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matthew Sprange
  • 2002 Russian Roulette, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - John Caliber
  • 2002 The Rookie’s Guide to Brit-Cit, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - John Caliber
  • 2002 Target: Mega-City One, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - John Caliber
  • 2002 Slaine: The Roleplaying Game of Celtic Heroes, d20 RPG - Ian Sturrock
  • 2002 Tir Nan Og The Land of the Young, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Ian Sturrock
  • 2002 The Fir Domain, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Ian Sturrock
  • 2002 The Invulnerable King, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Ian Sturrock
  • 2002 Teeth of the Moon Sow, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Ian Sturrock
  • 2003 The Way of the Horned God, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Ian Sturrock
  • 2003 The Falians, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Ian Sturrock
  • 2003 The Ragnarok Book, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Debbie Gallagher
  • 2003 The Sessair, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Ian Sturrock
  • 2003 The Finians, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Ian Belcher
  • 2003 The Rookie’s Guide to Crazes, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Marc Farrimond
  • 2004 The Rookie’s Guide to the Undercity, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • 2004 The Awakening, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - Matthew Pritchard
  • 2004 The Rookie’s Guide to Atlantis & the Back Atlantic, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Marc Farrimond & Peter Whalley
  • 2005 Gangs of Mega-City One, miniatures skirmish game - Matthew Sprange
  • 2005 Death on the Streets, expansion for Gangs of Mega-City One - Christopher Allen
  • 2007 Slaine, RuneQuest RPG - Ian Sturrock
  • 2008 Mongoose Publishing became sister company to Rebellion Developments (owner of 2000ad)
  • 2009 Judge Dredd, Traveller RPG - Lawrence Whitaker
  • 2009 Bad Moon Rising, Dredd Traveller RPG scenario - Lawrence Whitaker
  • 2009 Democracy Falls, Dredd Traveller RPG scenario - Bryan Steele
  • 2009 Strontium Dog, Traveller RPG - Lawrence Whitaker
  • 2009 Bounties & Warrants, Strontium Dog Traveller RPG supplement - Bryan Steele
  • 2009 Mega City One Archives I The Justice Department, Dredd Traveller RPG supplement - August Hahn & Aaron Dembski-Bowden
  • 2009 Mega City One Archives II Lawbringers, Dredd Traveller RPG supplement - August Hahn
  • 2010 The Cursed Earth, Dredd Traveller RPG scenario - Simon Beal
  • 2010 Judges’ Handbook, Dredd Traveller RPG supplement - Simon Beal
  • 2010 Mega City One Archives III Lawbreakers, Dredd Traveller RPG supplement - August Hahn
  • 2011 Judge Dredd Miniatures Game, miniatures skirmish game, Mongoose Publishing - Matthew Sprange
  • 2012 Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Block War, expansion, Mongoose Publishing - Matthew Sprange
  • 2013 Rogue Trooper Miniatures Game, Miniatures war game, Mongoose Publishing - Matthew Sprange
  • 2013 Judge Dredd Miniatures Game, 2nd edition miniatures skirmish game with Warlord Games - Matthew Sprange
  • 2014 Judge Dredd Miniatures Game: Blood on the Streets, expansion with Warlord Games - Matthew Sprange
  • 2014 Heroes & Villains of Mega-City One, Dredd Traveller RPG supplement - John Caliber, Matt Sharp, Matthew Sprange
  • 2016 Warlord take over 2000ad licence for miniature games

Signs & Portents Related Content

Signs & Portents was the e-magazine published by Mongoose to support all of their games. The Signs & Portents archive is still available on the Mongoose website at the time of writing.

  • Signs & Portents 1 Taking the Long Walk, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 2 Hot on the Streets, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - ?
  • Signs & Portents 3 Get Your Motor Running, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Marc Farrimond
  • Signs & Portents 5 Get It Right, Punk!, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matthew Pritchard
  • Signs & Portents 6 More Most Wanted: Fergee, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 7 More Most Wanted: Whitey, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 7 Power Beyond Cognition, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Ian Sturrock
  • Signs & Portents 8 More Most Wanted: The Executioner, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 11 Going Underground, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 12 Going Underground 2, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 13 Going Underground 3, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 14 Going Underground 4, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 14 Dark Phoenix Rising, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - Matthew Pritchard
  • Signs & Portents 15 The War Chief, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Vincent Cooper
  • Signs & Portents 17 Training Ground, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - Matthew Sprange
  • Signs & Portents 17 Breaching the Walls, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Vincent Cooper
  • Signs & Portents 20 Merging Judge Dredd & Cybernet, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - Dan Longoria
  • Signs & Portents 26 The Psyker’s Guide to Brit-Cit, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 28 The Nisse, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Stanley Barnes
  • Signs & Portents 30 Murder on the Megways, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 31 Murder on the Megways 2, Dredd d20 RPG scenario - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 32 Born of Madness: The Paressi, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Tim Hitchcock
  • Signs & Portents 37 Mega-City One’s Most Wanted: Judge Giant, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 38 Mega-City One’s Most Wanted: Judge Giant 2, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 39 Mega-City One’s Most Wanted: Rico Dredd, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Matt Sharp
  • Signs & Portents 48 A Wager Lost, Slaine RuneQuest RPG scenario - Nick Robinson
  • Signs & Portents 49 Call Me Robot, Dredd d20 RPG supplement - Nick Robinson
  • Signs & Portents 49 The Cult of Myrrdin, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - Nick Robinson
  • Signs & Portents 57 The Southern Traitors, Slaine d20 RPG supplement - John Foody
  • Signs & Portents 61 The Specialists: Bite Fighters, Gangs of Mega-City One supplement - Neil Edmonds
  • Signs & Portents 76 Mutie Mayhem, Strontium Dog Traveller RPG supplement - Colin Chapman
  • Signs & Portents 76 Judge Dredd Encounters, Dredd Traveller RPG supplement - Nick Robinson
    Signs & Portents 77 Review to a Kill, Strontium Dog Traveller RPG scenario - Lawrence Whitaker
  • Signs & Portents 77 A Perfect Woman, Dredd Traveller RPG scenario, Carl Walmsley
  • Signs & Portents 87 Taking the Law to the Lawless, Dredd Traveller RPG supplement - John R.White
    Signs & Portents 88 Red in Tooth & Claw, Dredd Traveller RPG scenario - John R.White
  • Signs & Portents 89 The Clock’s Ticking, Dredd Traveller RPG scenario - John R.White
  • Signs & Portents 90 Armed & Dangerous, Dredd Traveller RPG scenario - ?
  • Signs & Portents 91 Monkey Business, Dredd Traveller RPG scenario - John R.White
  • Signs & Portents 92 Go Find the Lady, Dredd Traveller RPG scenario - John R.White
  • Signs & Portents 93 Judicial Services, Dredd Traveller RPG scenario - John R.White

Which game from Mongoose' time with 2000AD stands out to you the most?

Article Series Written By Moji

"I can honestly say I wouldn’t be in the hobby today if it weren’t for this game."

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