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Serving justice with Judge Dredd fanfiction

As you may know, I’m a fan of writing fanfiction. I’ve done Batman and Iron Man; Spider-Man and the Hulk; Batgirl and Sonya Blade.

It’s time for a new world — the world of Judge Dredd.

My fanfiction is the perfect remedy for boredom during the COVID-19 lockdowns. It’s something you wouldn’t get from corporate media.

And it’s free!

Fanfiction — Stuff the corps won’t give you

Marvel owns Iron Man. DC Comics owns Batman.

It’d take miles and probably years of legal wrangling to put the two heroes together.

Hell; look at the mess Sony and Disney almost made of Spider-Man — and that’s within the same comic book family!

With fanfiction, I can use those two characters together in a hot minute, with no strings attached.

Sort of.

Fanfiction is when a fan writes a fiction (see what I did there?) featuring intellectual properties they don’t own.

The IP holders don’t mind if the writer doesn’t break copyright laws and try to make a buck off the IP.

I started writing fanfiction to blow off steam and pump the creative juices when writer’s block messed with my original projects.

(Check out the following link for more about fanfiction!)

Enter the tabletop role-playing games!

Cover for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG
Yeah, even Buffy the Vampire Slayer had an RPG (from Eden Studios)!

I’m also a fan of tabletop RPGs. You’re probably familiar with “Dungeons and Dragons,” granddaddy of them all.

There’s a whole slew of other RPGs out there. Some of these games are rules matched to properties licensed from different media IPs. Other games are rules set to original worlds.

RPGs let you and your friends role play (see what — you get it) as different characters and create an adventure together.

I’m kind of controlling and a loner.

Instead of using the RPGs for the social element, I create characters and scenarios and then use the RPG to play them. I chronicle the story in fanfiction.

Remember that Batman/ Iron Man pairing? I crafted that story with the help of Green Ronin’s “Mutants and Masterminds Third Edition” RPG.

I used Fantasy Flight Games’ “Star Wars” system to create that story.

My introduction to Judge Dredd

Batman Judge Dredd Judgment on Gotham cover by Simon Bisley. Scary.
This artwork still gives me nightmares.

I’ve been a Dredd fan since the early nineties. I’m unfortunately not a purist; I discovered Dredd through DC Comics’ crossovers with Batman, “Judgment on Gotham.”

I then picked up the 1994 DC Comics book and cried after the Sylvester Stallone movie.

It was only after all that I realized Dredd was created in the British comic magazine (and megazine) “2000 AD” by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra — in 1977.

I had some catching up to do!

Mixing Judge Dredd with the W.O.I.N. RPG

Judge Dredd RPG from EN Publishing
Judges on their Lawmasters. Not too fascist-looking. (C) EN Publishing and Rebellion

Last year, the folks at EN Publishing picked up the license to “2000 AD” and created their Dredd-based RPG. They used their “What’s Old is New” or “W.O.I.N.” RPG rule system.

W.O.I.N. uses six-sided dice as its engine. EN has three core books. Each book uses the same set of rules and focusing on a specific setting:

  • OLD – fantasy adventures
  • NOW – modern adventures, and
  • NEW – future/ science-fiction adventures

W.O.I.N. also features a series of, for lack of a better descriptor, “world books” that sound suspiciously like unlicensed properties (“Xenomorphs,” a science-fiction setting featuring deadly aliens?).

Hey, it’s no more illegal than “mockbusters.”

So what is the world of Judge Dredd?

In the future, the legal system of cops, lawyers, and trials merges into one thing: the Judges.

Said Judges become the police, judge, jury, and when need be executioner regarding the Law.

Yes, that’s “Law” with a capital “L.” The Law is all the keeps the over-populated, crime-ridden Mega-City One from falling into chaos.

You should check out some “2000 AD” or “Judge Dredd Megazine” comics to get a real taste of the world.

If movies are more your thing, check out the Karl Urban film “Dredd.”  Check out this trailer!

Skip the Stallone film. It’s comic accurate visually and has a fantastic score by Alan Silvestri, but it just… sucks (mostly because of Rob Schneider).

“Demolition Man” is a better unintentional adaption of Dredd, at least in its satire of a future society under watch by omnipotent police.

But I digress.

Bringing the RPG together with the fanfiction

Using the EN Publishing RPG, I came up with a quick fanfiction featuring three original judges.

My effort allowed me to do two things: try out the W.O.I.N. system and play in Judge Dredd’s sandbox.

This fanfiction is gonna be shorter than that “Birds of Prey” epic. I’ll get it started up on Thursday; give ya something to look forward to in this time of self-quarantine.

World of Dredd: On Patrol (this will be a link starting March 26th!)

Click the following link for more of my fanfiction.

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