Thursday, December 20, 2012

The 7 RPG Meme

I don't know who started it, but there's been a lot of RPG-themed bloggers talking about their top seven RPG's played and/or run.  So here's my lists.

RPG's played

  1. Robotech.  Some time I'll write a lengthy post about how the Robotech: the Sentinels campaign I played in college was one of the best of all time.  I know Palladium Games gets a lot of grief about their rules, but this campaign is for me the gold standard.
  2. Champions 4E.  This was really the big game of my college career.  There were lots of fits and starts, but we were all superhero fans and this was the go-to game when it came time to roleplay.
  3. Dungeons & Dragons 4E.  My feelings about the game mechanics and general theme of play are pretty well documented here, but this game just gets points on longevity.  I've been alternatively playing and running this game for over the last two years in a single campaign, and that's a record unto itself.
  4. Stars Wars (WEG).  When we weren't playing Champions in college, we were playing the original Star Wars game.  This game is so good at doing fast-paced space opera that it is probably the only game my wife would consider playing.
  5. Morrow Project.  Actually this is the Star Trek/Traveller/Morrow Project mash-up we use for EOW. I've been playing this game for about four years, but only once a year for three days straight, and I'm sometimes running one of those days.  It's a lean, lethal system in which I've played many different genres.
  6. Star Trek (FASA).  This one is a purely sentimental choice.  Star Trek was the first non-D&D RPG I played, having been invited by this girl I was absolutely smitten with to play.  The game was run by this scary, bearded Gygaxian figure who probably shouldn't have been gaming with eigth graders.
  7. Cyberpunk 2020.  Back in 1988 the vision of a dystopian future was a good outlet for young adult pathos.  Now it seems naive, quaint, and a hair too realistic.  Plus they really underestimated telecommunications.  Huge props to the GM, though, who managed to get two of the PC's to agree to sell out the others, then misdirected the other PC's into suspecting an innocent one was the traitor.  At the climax of the story there was this great "guns all pointed at each other" moment.  Then we all died.
RPG's run (see above for duplicate entries)
  1. Champions 4E
  2. Dungeons & Dragons 4E
  3. Star Wars (WEG)
  4. Morrow Project
  5. Vampire: the Masquerade.  This game was the big shift away from "great big heroes" to a more roleplaying, interactive, and adult game. (I'm not alone in this, apparently.)  Many of the players in my group stayed with this game for years after I was done running it.  The end of my game came after some players brought some real-life drama into the game.
  6. Castles & Crusades.  After a brief try with D&D 3E, I picked up this early OSR entry, but it never really clicked with my group.  I think that most of the players did not play earlier editions and found it low-powered and slow, but I would be interested in taking another stab at it.
  7. Marvel SAGA.  In the post-Champions era, this was the supers game we landed on.  It had a funky card-based mechanic and we were still of the mindset that there should be some means by which powers could be defined and valued one over another in terms of effectiveness.  But it was a great supers campaign set in the future like Legion of Super Heroes.
Creating this list made me realize that while I own shelves and shelves of games, I've actually ran very few of them.  There's a couple that didn't make the list: valiant attempts at games that never really took off or worse, never got started.  It also made me realize that there are, like Barking Alien showed on his blog, certain "eras" of gaming that correspond with various chapters of my life.  I'll get them on paper (so to speak) sometime soon.


  1. It's been over 20 years since I have played the Morrow project, the original, that is. One of these days I think I am going to just have to make the time. Have a great holiday season. Cheers.

  2. A curious and interesting mix of genres with a nice segway into how old school can become new school or even 'merged school'.

    Thanks for the mention by the way. I look forward to your autobiographical analysis of your personal gaming history.

    And not just because that line was fun to write. ;)