[Reviews of Games that Don’t Exist] The Dukes of Hazzard RPG

The Dukes of Hazzard RPG

Following the phenomenal success of The Dallas Roleplaying Game, lots of little game companies sprang up and seized licenses various television licenses. Some of these became instant classics (like the Fantasy Island game where the GM plays Mr Roarke). Others were less successful, and left their companies drowning in debt.

The Dukes of Hazzard game is one of the latter group. The basic premise is actually pretty good for a roleplaying game (gamers love being heroes outside the law). And the rules have a few good ideas: every session is about building up resources to use in the mandatory final chase scene.

Unfortunately, the system’s flaws kept it from being a success. The random character creation was wildly unbalanced. (They don’t even stat up Bo and Luke as NPCs? Apparently, they assume you will play additional Duke family members, like the regrettable Coy and Vance.) The resource building phase is easily gamed to generate infinite resources. The “Bridge is Out” card is brokenly powerful, while other cards are ambiguously worded.

In the end, The Dukes of Hazzard RPG failed to gain a foothold against juggernauts of the industry like The Cheers Game or to find a niche among indie gamers the way St. Elsewhere Storytelling did.

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