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This page lists Shout Outs from Tabletop Games.


  • Cartoon Action Hour campaigns are fake series that pay homage to Eighties cartoons. The book itself includes shout-outs to many of these shows, especially in the "game seeds" section, which includes ideas for campaigns based on series such as Transformers ("Transbots") and Thundercats ("Action Cats"). And then there's the full-length game Warriors of the Cosmos, which is basically a love letter to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
  • Warhammer 40000 has tonnes of these, some subtle, some just plain obvious. The Inquisitor Lord Fyodor Karamazov is a Shout-Out to The Brothers Karamazov, there used to be a Dark Eldar character with black and white hair called "Kruellagh the Vile", a Shout-Out to Cruella de Vil, and the entire Necron race is one big Shout-Out to the Terminator franchise.
    • Don't forget Ciaphas Cain. Very likely a Shout Out to Flashman.
      • Originally intended as one. It took on a life of its own.
      • The Cain books are jam-packed with Shout Outs, including a lot of Punny Names.
    • Aliens are generally known as "xenos", but Tyranids have been referred to as "xenomorphs" before. The Imperial Guard have even been known to nickname the 'Nids as "bugs".
    • On the other tiny, subtle and easy to miss end, in the 3rd edition Craftworld Eldar book, the section on the craftworld Saim-Hann has a footnote consisting of an Edit War about how to properly pronounce it that refers to the oft fumbled pronounciation of Samhain.
    • We could list these all day and still not scratch the surface. This troper's favourite Shout-Out is in the backstory of the Night Lords Traitor Legion -- the Legion's Primarch, Konrad Curze, surrenders completely to death and terror, and makes no attempt to prevent his own assassination at the hands of an assassin whose name is none other than "M'Shen".
      • And that's not even considering Kurze's backstory is like an even more GRIMDARK version of Batman if he was mixed with the Punisher.
    • One to note is found in the Dark Heresy rulebook under "Sanctioning Side-effects". One of the rolls gives you the starting condition of "Pain by nerve induction", complete with a fear of bald women.
      • Dark Heresy: Ascension has a quote by Vindicare Assassin cognomen-designate LIIVI, which in itself doesn't sound very weird, but if you snoop around fanon, you'll see that LIIVI also appears in the popular Warhammer 40000 fanfic Love Can Bloom, which ironically is about a Vindicare Assassin named LIIVI who falls in love with Farseer Taldeer from Dawn of War: Dark Crusade.
      • The fan campaign The Guy Who Cried Grendel is referenced on one page of The Radical's Handbook supplement.
    • And then there's the naming of the Dark Angels Legion and their Primarch - Lion El'Johnson. No relation to Lionel Johnson, the poet who wrote "the Dark Angel".
    • Speaking of Space Marines, the Black Templars get a super-grenade-thing called the Holy Orb of Antioch, carried, of course, by Brother Maynard.
    • In the Battlefleet Gothic rules there is a mention of something named Portis Cthulhus.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Battle has a few, too. Special mention to the Lizardmen special character Kroq-Gar - who rides a tyrannosaurus-equivalent named Grimlock Grymloq.
    • One from the Warhammer 40000 Apocalypse rulebook, the Titan Legion stationed on Armageddon is the Legio Metallica.
    • The Damocles Edition of the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer ends with a Rousing Speech that ends with "For those about to fight, I salute you."
    • The latest Imperial Guard codex states that some members of the older members of the Cult of Mars are more machine than man.
      • And then, in the Blood Angels codex, there is a story about a Librarian defending a world from a Tyranid fleet. It specifically states that his "force can't repel a Tyranid onslaught of that magnitude."
    • Commander Farsight was a prominent leader of an Empire's military forces. He eventually led some of his brethren in a rebellion against the powerful ruling caste, whose whims most Tau serve their entire lives. He is also known as O'Shovah.
    • The fifth edition Necron codex makes mention of a planet called Eden Prime.
  • The GURPS Superhero sourcebook International Super Teams has a number of shout outs buried in its text and timeline, including references to The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the Wild Cards novels, John Irving's The World According To Garp and the 1985 film The Legend of Billie Jean
    • Another suggests that reality altering "timequakes" might be especially common in worlds with superhumans.
  • Shadowrun
    • In the 4E Sourcebook Runner Havens, there's a chart of the top-grossing movies in Seattle. Among them: I Hate It Here, starring W. Ellis, produced by Global Frequency Studios; Ninja Princess, starring M. Shiranui; and The Pleasure Dome, starring E. Jarvis, produced by Smash Trideo Entertainment.
    • Also two of the top selling simsense in the 20th Anniversary rule book is, American Gods and... The Road. On that same list is another shout out to Transmetropolitan, with Spider J: A Half True Story by Ellis Alt.
    • Buckaroo Banzai
      • The supplement Tir Tairngire has "Frag you and the horse you rode in on" and the Lone Star supplement has "Frag you and the hog you rode in on". Both are a reference to John Bigboote's line "Damn John Whorfin and the horse he rode in on!".
      • Supplements Sprawl Sites and Contacts. One of the Club Owner's quotes is "Look, I don't care what you done someplace else. When you play my club, you're just another act and I expect to get what I paid for." In the film the nightclub owner tells the Hong Kong Cavaliers "When you play my joint, you're just another act. I want some music outta you characters."
    • Bored of the Rings. Virtual Realities 2.0 mentions a decker who has IC "lusting for her chitlins" (trying to kill her). In the novel, when Legolam and Gimlet draw weapons and are about to attack each other it says that they're "lusting for each other's chitlins".
    • Robert Heinlein's novels.
      • Virtual Realities 2.0 has a quote by a decker named "Hassan the Assassin" (a character in Starship Troopers had the nickname "Hassan the Assassin").
      • The Neo-Anarchists' Guide to Real Life. The semiballistic and Wolverine Security are taken from the novel Friday.
      • Paranormal Animals of North America. The blood kite is taken directly from Heinlein's Glory Road, including its habit of deliberately attacking arrows in flight and being killed by them. Likewise, the firedrake uses a tactic borrowed from the "dragons" in the same novel: using its fiery breath to fry burrowing mammals inside their burrows and then digging up and eating their burned bodies.
      • 2nd Edition main rules. The Tribal Chief in the Contacts section has as one of his quotes: "I have a fine horse, so who needs a car? A horse is a renewable resource. Have you had any success breeding your car lately?" Tunnel in the Sky has the following line: "...which made horses more practical than helicopters, picks and shovels more useful than bulldozers. Machinery gets out of order and requires a complex technology to keep it going but good old "hayburners" keep right on breeding, cropping grass, and pulling loads."
      • The Tir Tairngire sourcebook refers to the Tir's air traffic control network as "No Sparrow Shall Fall". In Heinlein's novel The Puppet Masters this phrase was used to describe the U.S. air traffic control net, and in his short story "If This Goes On" the Prophet's news network was called the "No-Sparrow-Shall-Fall News Service".
      • Man & Machine: Cyberware mentioned hollowing out a compartment behind the navel as a storage container, which the title character in Friday had.
      • Native American Nations Volume 1 has two. The quote "Vox Populi Vox Dei usually translates as 'My God, how did we get into this mess?'" is from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long section of Time Enough for Love. A Salt Lake City police officer is quoted as saying "Can I do you a service, citizen?" Almost the exact same quote appears in the short stories "Methuselah's Children" and "Coventry".
      • Native American Nations Volume 2 has the quote "Inuit hatred makes the blackest, vilest form of hatred you'll encounter in Seattle seem like mild displeasure in comparison". Stranger in A Strange Land has "Martian hate is an emotion so black that the nearest human equivalent could only be called a mild distaste".
      • Lone Star. The Watchers are said to "fight like an angry buzz saw". Heinlein's Glory Road says that candidates to become Emperor/Empress of the 20 Universes were trained in personal combat so they could fight like an angry buzz saw. The phrase also appears in the Aztlan supplement.
      • Nigel Findley's supplements often used words and phrases that Heinlein used in his work, such as "yammer", "no huhu" and "cobber" (from The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress), "slitch" (from Friday) and "biological back pressure" (AKA desire to have sex, from Glory Road). Other writers started doing it too.
      • Denver: The City of Shadows boxed set. Aztecnology places "scuttling charges" in visiting medical vehicles, a reference to the "remote control destruction packs" put in police vehicles in Friday. Also, people use "cubic" as a term for volume, a term taken from The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.
    • Lone Star.
      • The Princess Bride. The first Fast Response Team was nicknamed "The Brute Squad".
      • Monty Python's Flying Circus. After a riot five rioters were declared "Missing believed pacified". In a Monty Python sketch about curing athletes' foot with dynamite, twelve patients were declared "Missing believed cured".
      • Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge. Members of the Department of Psychology have the nickname "The Grey Men", taken from the villains in Harrison's book. Both groups use psychology to brainwash their victims.
    • 1st and 2nd edition supplements had references to a character named Jetblack being dead. The name is taken from Hotblack Desiato, a character in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series who once spent a year dead for tax reasons.
    • Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's novel Oath of Fealty.
      • The Neo-Anarchists' Guide to Real Life. A decker describes a security system with weird layered defenses including anesthetic darts to take out unarmored intruders, sleep gas to take out intruders not wearing protective suits and intense heat to make those wearing armor and suits take them off. This set-up is what the Todos Santos arcology in the novel uses to protect its power plant.
      • The Germany Sourcebook mentions the FROMATES, a radical environmentalist terrorist group that originally appeared in this novel. FROMATES stood for FRiends Of Man And The Earth Society.
    • Sprawl Sites
      • One section mentions the Genom Corporation from Bubblegum Crisis.
      • Running Scared (1986). One quote for a plain-clothes cop is "Que hablo Colt Manhunter?" In the film, while plain-clothes cop Danny Costanza is pointing a gun at a criminal he says "Hablo Smith & Wesson?"
    • Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Requiem for Methuselah". Immortal Elves who lived thousands of years before the time the game takes place were the artists known as Rembrandt, Constable, Van Gogh and Grandma Moses. During the Sixth World they painted works in the same style they used in their earlier roles. In the Star Trek episode, the Enterprise crew found unknown works by Leonardo da Vinci and Johannes Brahms in Flint's home - works created by Flint himself, since he was an immortal who was the original da Vinci and Brahms.
    • Earthdawn. There were many references to Earthdawn, which is not surprising since it was a prequel to Shadowrun.
      • The Tir Tairngire supplement says that the Tir Tairngire government requires all students to learn creative arts. In Earthdawn, being tainted by a Horror prevented a person from being creative. The leaders of Tir Tairngire were immortal elves who lived during the Earthdawn period and knew that the Horrors would eventually return, so they decided to teach everyone creative arts so it would be easier to identify people who had been Horror tainted.
    • The Germany Sourcebook had an ad with an endorsement from Max Hein•Rügen, a reference to Mark Rein•Hagen of White Wolf Games.
    • The London Sourcebook has a couple.
      • Disney's Mary Poppins. There was an ad for the Dawes, Dawes, Munny Grubb and Banks Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. It mentioned "Self-Amortising Canals", from the song "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank".
      • An ad for "Chauncey's Flower and Garden Shop" (Being There's Chance the Gardener).
    • The Neo-Anarchists' Guide to Real Life
      • Chapter "Dressed to Kill". A decker uses the term "Saturday Night Firefight". This is a reference to the combat system of R. Talsorian Games' original Cyberpunk 2020 boxed set, which was titled "Friday Night Firefight".
      • A decker named Ridley calls a decker named Unicorn "ugly one-horned mule". This was a line from the film Legend, which was directed by Ridley Scott.
    • The logins of various products' shadowtalkers include references to everything from Shakespeare to talk radio hosts to Guys and Dolls.
    • In an episode of the old Wormy comic strip that appeared in Dragon magazine, a mage named Gremorly used "Sons of Thunder!" as an exclamation.
      • Shadowbeat. Concrete Dreams' first music trideo (3D video) was for their song "Sons of Thunder".
      • Portfolio of a Dragon: Dunkelzahn's Secrets. Dunkelzahn's will leaves a bequest to a shadowrunner group named "Sons of Thunder". It's possible that, In-Universe, the group named itself after the Concrete Dreams song.
    • Bug City. Truman Technologies operatives dressed up as Eagle Security officers captured Fuchi-employed gang members, lined them up against a wall and ruthlessly murdered them. This was based on the Real Life 1929 "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre", in which killers hired by Al Capone's gang dressed as police officers, captured members of the North Side gang and executed them.
    • Denver: The City of Shadows boxed set.
      • When talking about the U.S. government's attempt to destroy the former Air Force Academy, a decker named Hicks says that they "should nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." This is a reference to the line Ripley and Corporal Hicks speak in the movie Aliens.
      • A decker uses the phrase "un-mutual", a phrase prominently used in The Prisoner episode "A Change of Mind".
      • Another ad with an endorsement by Max Hein•Rügen (see Germany Sourcebook entry above).
    • Shadowtech. A decker named Kent says that he has cyberware that makes him faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound - a reference to the Superman phrase.
    • Awakenings. A decker named Al Phee is a reference to a character of that name in the Callahan's Bar short story "Have You Heard the One...?"
    • Corporate Enclaves had a reference to The Big Lebowski. One of the ten most influential people in Hollywood is one Joe "The Dude" Kliebermann, an unemployed slob who would be otherwise unremarkable save for his knack for stumbling into incredibly outlandish situations while broadcasting his POV live online.
    • in Runner's Companion, one of the options for Changlings is a Thagomizer tail.
  • The early years of BattleTech had a number of brief Shout Outs, from major (Alexsandr Kerensky, named after the leader of the government overthrown by Lenin), to minor (James "The Kirk" Yalos, a mercenary captain, named in honor of Star Trek.)
    • And before FASA got hit by a barrage of infringement suits, there was Team Banzai and many of the game's Battlemech designs were directly taken from Mecha Anime, primarily Macross.
  • The Magi Nation card game contains many shout outs, from things ranging to The Princess Bride to the infamous "Boot to the Head" comedy sketch to, oddly, many members of the Disney Animated Canon. One card even has an ability called "Phenomenal Cosmic Power."
  • Dungeons and Dragons

 Word of God: Interestingly, Nimbrese have no word for "Wood" or "Forest," because, despite some open meadows and cleared farmlands, they regard all of Nimbral as a place of trees.

So, in essence, "The Word for World Is Forest" (or vice versa), right?

    • The Dungeonmaster's Guide for 4th edition points out how jarring it would be for the characters to meet Tim the Enchanter in most fantasy settings.
    • Many 1st Edition and Classic D&D adventures had them too.
      • DA1 Adventures in Blackmoor: Moorcok (Michael Moorcock) and two horses: Cirdan (Cirdan the Shipwright) and Bill (the pony), both from Lord of the Rings
      • EX1 Dungeonland, which was based on Alice in Wonderland, had the character Charldos (CHARles Lutwidge DOdgSon, Lewis Carroll's real name).
      • GAZ3 The Principalities of Glantri: "Freeze! Glantri Vice!" (Miami Vice), diamond loyalty forehead implant (Dune's Suk Doctor diamond forehead tattoo).
      • H2 Mines of Bloodstone: Ruggedo the Gnome King (from the Oz series character).
      • H3 Bloodstone Wars: Adair and Arthur (Norm and Cliff from Cheers)
      • I3 Pharaoh: "My name is Maniozimus" ("My name is Ozymandias", from the Percy Bysshe Shelley poem Ozymandias)
      • I9 Day of Al'Akbar: baking brownies Kieb-Lar and Kieb-Lor (Keebler elves)
      • I12 Egg of the Phoenix: Mikael Gorchaboff (Mikhail Gorbachev), Fflanidor Fflem (Fflewddur Fflam in the Prydain Chronicles) and Mersyn Olan (actor Merlin Olsen)
      • I13 Adventure Pack I, adventure "The Weird Woods of Baron Orchid". A sign says "I'd turn back if I were you", a reference to the sign in the woods near the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
      • IM3 The Best of Intentions: The Warren (Paranoia's Alpha Complex) and Yertle the turtle king (from Dr. Seuss)
      • L2 The Assassin's Knot: a dwarf named Gilmi (Gimli in The Lord of the Rings)
      • N4 Treasure Hunt: the Island of Tetris (from the Video Game)
      • WG7 Castle Greyhawk: The Plane of Silly and Unused Monsters (Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer), bats being used to send messages (Mad Monster Party), the three cooks Larifyne, Mowlenhowad and Kurlenshembes (The Three Stooges: Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Jerome "Curly" Howard and Shemp Howard), Poppinfarsh the Dough Golem (Poppin'Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy).
      • Not an adventure, but the default orcish pantheon from 1E included deities whose holy symbols were a fiery eye and a white hand.
    • 2nd Edition had a few as well.
      • Al Qadim setting boxed set A Dozen and One Adventures (1993) had two of them.
        • The beautiful pahari (mermaid) Salana had red hair and was forbidden to have any contact with surface dwellers because she was too young. She rebelled against this order and tried to learn about their ways, including investigating shipwrecks. She didn't bother to wear clothes when in human form as she was oblivious to the demands of modesty. Disney's The Little Mermaid (1989), anyone?
        • Adventure "Eleven baneful Gates". In the city of Al-Anwahr there's an inscription on the remains of a statue: "I am Azaltin! See my works, ye mighty, and despair!". It's from the Percy Bysshe Shelley poem Ozymandias.
    • Module X2 Castle Amber. The weird and powerful Amber family members who lived inside the title castle were engaged in constant infighting. They and the castle were inspired by the Amberites and Castle Amber in Roger Zelazny's Amber series of stories. Some specific references:
      • In the module, one character uses magical Tarot cards. In Zelazny's Amber setting, Amberites use the Trump deck for fortune telling as if it were a Tarot deck.
      • The module introduces Grab Grass, which can grab hold of creatures. In Zelazny's work, the Courts of Chaos have grass that does the same thing.
  • New World of Darkness:
    • World of Darkness: Innocents features a Shout Out that's actually downright disturbing. In the combat chapter, the examples consistently use a pair of siblings named Charlie and Lola.
      • Less disturbingly, one adventure seed revolves around a character who is very, very obviously modeled on the villain of The Night of the Hunter -- Word of God is that he was even going to be named Harry Powell until they realized that might cause legal issues.
    • The rulebook Skinchangers has fox-shifters possessed by spirits. The sample character is a gentle, long-haired Japanese boy named Shuichi Kurama, who made a deal with a fox spirit named Yoko.
    • The Mekhet clanbook for Vampire: The Requiem has the main character seeking out various Mekhet in London for information on the clan's history, one of whom is an occult charlatan who uses New Age mysticism to lure in targets. The first comment on his side of the conversation is, "No, Frances, the M25 is not a demonic sigil."
    • The Mekhet book is full of shout outs. The main character is named Frances Black (Frances after a friend of the author, and Black for the lead singer of the band The Pixies), and the aforementioned occult charlatan she met with was either going to be named Vincent Moon or Howard Noir (the author went with the first one, in case you're wondering).
    • The Free Council book for Mage: The Awakening features a Legacy known as The Blank Badges, who use persona-masking magics to subvert authority and push the borders of reality. Seeing as The Invisibles shared a lot of themes with both the Free Council and Awakening's predecessor game, this seems like a logical Shout-Out.
    • Mage's Chronicler's Guide, when discussing plots for high-gnosis players gives the example of the gods of Ancient Egypt appearing in a floating pyramid above Paris.
    • A shout out to this very site can be found in the Seers of the Throne book, where a Chessmaster NPC has the skill "Xanatos Gambit".
    • In the core book for Hunter: The Vigil, there's a conspiracy called Aegis Kai Doru. The picture accompanying it (to represent a typical member) is almost exactly the same as the cover of Devil May Cry 3 -- the only difference is that "Dante" is holding a rifle over his shoulder instead of Rebellion.
      • It's debatable whether or not this is a shot-out and not a piece of plagiarism. The artist for the picture was fired for it.
    • Half Life. In the section of Hunter dealing with the Scientist profession in the main rulebook, there's also a statement that "more than one theoretical physicist has taken up a crowbar to beat back a swarm of living dead."
    • Millennium. There's a department of the FBI that uses psychic flashes to track down serial killers.
    • Men in Black. In the Witch Hunters book there's a phony Men in Black organization watched over by the Panopticon that goes by the name " Division Six". Its mission is to pursue "reality deviants".
  • The first and second edition Unknown Armies corebooks both feature shout-outs to Kenneth Hite and Tim Powers, both of whom were inspirations for the game's setting.
  • Many of the factions in the collectible miniatures game Monsterpocalypse are based heavily on famous sci-fi franchises, sometimes to the point of Expy. G.U.A.R.D. is an homage to Humongous Mecha anime, the Terrasaurs and the Planet Eaters are clearly based on the Godzilla movies, the Shadow Sun Syndicate's monsters are based on Ultraman, the Martian Menace are based on alien invasion films such as the 1953 film version of War of the Worlds, and the Lords of Cthul are based on the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • The "Freedom City" setting for Mutants and Masterminds superhero RPG. There isn't a single aspect of it that isn't a Shout-Out to Marvel or DC. One example: Not only are the Grue shapeshifting aliens reminiscent of the Skrulls; not only is there a Meta-Grue, equivalent to the Super-Skrull, not only is their Meta-Mind leader a Shout-Out to the Supreme Intelligence of the Skrulls' enemies, the Kree; but their home planet is called Gruen-World, in homage to the late Marvel Comics editor Mark Gruenwald.
  • Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot thrives on these. The "Bunnies In Black" card has bunny versions of Agents Jay and Kay from Men in Black. "Rainbo" is a shirtless, muscular man wearing a red headband and toting a BFG. Surrounded by happy butterflies and flowers of course. "Bunny to the Future" has the DeLorean with the wing doors open to make it look more like a rabbit. The weapon "Torus Ring" is a shout out to geometry. And much, much more.
  • Munchkin veers seemingly at random between Shout-Out and Affectionate Parody. Although creating a hurricane-looking monster named Katrina was rather bad taste.
  • Teenagers From Outer Space features a number of shout-outs to Urusei Yatsura (such as the gender-bending Boy/Girl Gun).
  • German RPG Das Schwarze Auge (The Dark Eye) has unbelievably many. Besides the countless that work only in German, there are things like the towns "Camparisodano" and "Wodkalemonis", "Sylla" and "Charypso" (Scylla and Charybdis, two obstacles for Odysseus). The dwarf Gargi, son of Gax wrote the book "Dragons and Demons" (Gary Gygax, Dungeons and Dragons), another book is called "Der ringende Herr" (compare the German title of Lord of the Rings: Der Herr der Ringe), Gandolf von Gareth wrote the books "Ringkunde für Anf änger" und "Ringkunde für Fortgeschrittene" (Rings for Beginners and Rings for Advanced Learners). For more go to this (German) site
  • Maid RPG has too many to list them all. A few include ones to Neon Genesis Evangelion, Variable Geo, Basket Case (Only in the Japanese version), Krull (Only in the English Version), Doctor Who, Clock Tower, Aliens, Urusei Yatsura, Terminator 2, Fist of the North Star, El Mariachi, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord and Battle Royale.
  • Brikwars has a lot, including Indiana Jones, Romeo and Juliet, Warhammer 40000, and James Bond.
  • In the revised Nosferatu clanbook of Vampire: The Masquerade there is a section entitled "Interview with a Vampire," set in New Orleans, wherein a Nosferatu confronts an unnamed author of vampire books, asking:

 "Killing humans onstage in Paris? Vampire rock stars? What the hell were you thinking?"

    • As well as:

  This is especially useful when a Lunar finds human form imprudent, but wants to tell someone that [...] her child is trapped in a collapsed mineshaft.

"Let's do it again!"
-- Squee, goblin cabin hand
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh Card Game has references to both Ganondorf ("Garlandolf, King of Destruction"), and Solid Snake (Tactical Espionage Expert).
  • Monsters and Other Childish Things was never exactly shy about Shout Outs, but the sourcebook Bigger Bads probably wins for sheer volume and diversity, with references or homages to everything from Godzilla, to H.P. Lovecraft, to Sentai shows, to Ultraman, to the Chick Tract Dark Dungeons.
  • d20Modern, being set in a world of modern pop culture, is littered with Shout Outs.
  • Champions. Early adventures had a substance called Questonite, a reference to Jonny Quest's Omnidisciplinary Scientist Dr. Benton Quest.
  • FATAL has references to The Lord of the Rings (the One Ring is actually a magical item, known as the "Ring of the Lords"), Army of Darkness (a mirror that creates tiny copies of you), and Highlander (there's a magical book that makes you immortal unless beheaded.)
  • R. Talsorian Games' Cyberpunk.
    • Supplement Home of the Brave (1993)
      • A TV Guide page from the year 2013. One of the entries is for a game show called Deal With The Devil, with host Sam Neill. The actor Sam Neill once played Damien Thorn, the son of the Devil, in the 1981 movie The Final Conflict.
      • The leader of an anime poser gang kidnaps a woman, has a biosculpt job done on her which gives her huge eyes, a tiny mouth, weird hair color and tiny horns on her head, and makes her wear a tiger print bikini - thus making her look like the character Lum/Lamu in Urusei Yatsura. This is Lampshaded by a character saying that "It had something to do with some old Pacific Rim export cartoon."
      • A man buys a computer system that was owned by Fort Meade (AKA the National Security Agency). It has a file on it called "NORAD I" which consists of a huge list of 10 digit numbers. This is a reference to the movie War Games, where the W.O.P.P.E.R. computer at NORAD ran through a list of 10 digit numbers to find the code that would allow it to launch all of the U.S. land-based ICBMs against the Soviet Union.
  • Amber Diceless Role-Playing, based on Roger Zelazny's Amber series of stories. The supplement Shadow Knight has a mini-adventure called "Quest for Frakir". During the adventure the PCs enter a Shadow of the Forest of Arden and encounter spiders that spin webs throughout the trees, have poisonous bites that cause paralysis and pull away paralyzed victims to be hung from trees. This is a clear reference to the spiders of Mirkwood in JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit.
  • Everway supplement Spherewalker Sourcebook. The Soulseekers have the ability to remember their past lives, with masters of "true recall" able to remember dozens. However, some Soulseekers are not able to handle all of these past personalities. Some go mad or are possessed by one of the stronger personalities. This is a reference to Frank Herbet's novel Children of Dune, in which Alia was almost taken over by the personality of Baron Harkonnen and was possessed (and driven insane) by the memories of her ancestor's lives, and Leto merged with the personality of one of his ancestors.
  • Heavy Gear
  • Hollow Earth Expedition
    • Supplement Secrets of the Surface World
      • The Paranormal Investigator archetype Men in Black uses an "Amnesia Ray" to remove the memories of supernatural encounters from the minds of innocent citizens (the Neuralyzer in the Men in Black franchise).
      • The Wandering Hero archetype is a monk from China who is half British and half Chinese. He wanders the Earth fighting against injustice and helping other people (Kwai Chang Caine in the Kung Fu Live Action TV show).
      • A Lost World plateau exists in the Amazon rain forest. It says that a British expedition reached it and returned, without any proof of their findings but with a fortune in uncut diamonds (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World).
      • The alien city that Admiral Richard Byrd finds in Antarctica (H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos novella "At the Mountains of Madness").
      • The spire on top of the Empire State Building is covered with mystical symbols and parts of it are made with a strange orange metal, making it an antenna for mystical energy. This is a reference to Ghostbusters, where Ivo Shandor's building used girders with cores of pure selenium and was a "antenna...designed expressly for pulling in spiritual turbulence."
  • Eclipse Phase owes a great deal to Altered Carbon - the term "cortical stack" is lifted directly - and they made sure any fans of the novel knew it by having a character in the opening fiction get annoyed that the body he'd been installed into was a smoker, much like Takeshi Kovacs.
  • Starblazer Adventures, based on the 1970s-80s British Comic Book. In Chapter 10 "How To Do Things" the Supplemental Actions section mentions "composing a sonnet while fencing", a reference to Robert Heinlein's Glory Road. In that novel the protagonist Oscar Gordon has to come up with poetry while dueling the Never-Born (who was himself a Shout Out to Cyrano de Bergerac).
  • Dark Dungeon RPG, supplement Samaris, Island of Adventure. In the Backstory the giant city covering the title island was destroyed in a war between the demonic wizard king Acecerax and the demon witch empress Vekna. Both Acecerax and Vekna are references to characters in 1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons: Acecerax from the demilich Acererak in module S1 Tomb of Horrors and Vekna from the lich Vecna of "the Eye and Hand of Vecna" fame.
  • Time Lord RPG (based on Doctor Who), supplement Journies.
    • There's an example of a Hyper Intelligent Alien with pointed ears and a bowl haircut, a reference to Mr. Spock in Star Trek: The Original Series.
    • The sample alien is a Gleep, an amorphous blob-like creature. Just to make it clear that it's a reference to the Gleep of Space Ghost, the picture of the alien is clearly the Gleep from the show.
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