RPGs I’ve Played

09:03 Tue 15 Dec 2009
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While talking to my friend Jeff recently, I realized that I’ve played quite a few different roleplaying games—by which I mean Sit Around The Table roleplaying games, and not MMORPGS, LARPS, or computer ”RPGs” like the Final Fantasy series—and my list-making tendencies more or less decided at that point that a blog post would have to be made.

So, a list of roleplaying games. That I’ve played. Asterisks denote games I’ve GMed, hashes games I’ve played.

  • D&D *# (various editions). Still a classic game in my opinion, although I’m rather skeptical about 4th Edition.
  • Traveller *#. One of my all-time favorites, and possibly the game I’ve run most often and with the most success.
  • Marvel Super Heroes *#. Quite a lot of fun at the time. I probably had more fun making up NPCs in this game than any other.
  • Paranoia *#. Fantastic game, but had the major problem that most of its books and modules were more so funny to read that playing them paled in comparison.
  • Shadowrun *#. This had definitely mechanical issues, but the cyberpunk/fantasy crossover was just an unbeatable concept.
  • Hero System #. Jeff won’t be pleased to hear that I’m still unconvinced by its rule system.
  • Call of Cthulhu (various versions) #. I love the concept, and have had some fun games, but while I love the harshness of a game where it’s more or less understood that the player characters are eventually going to go insane or die (or both), I don’t think it’s ever quite lived up to its promise.
  • Warhammer FRP #. Somewhat like a fantasy version of Call of Cthulhu. This has a great reputation, but I only played it a few times. (I’ve never GMed it.)
  • Mechwarrior #. I like the setting, but it’s a game based around piloting a huge robo-exoskeletal war machine. If you’re not doing that you feel like you’re missing something, and if you are doing that, you feel like you should be doing it using the rules of the boardgame it’s derived from, Battletech.
  • A homebrew cyberpunk/postapocalyptic game based on an obscure FASA supplement called the Book of Mars *. I think my best idea for this was a future religion based on Knight Rider.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #. I think this was reasonably lightheared fun.
  • Middle Earth Role Playing #. I still remember that one of the lines for critical hit results using a blunt weapon was “try a spatula”.
  • Cyberpunk 2020 #. This seemed like it had better mechanics than Shadowrun but never seemed as popular with people I knew.
  • Judge Dredd (Games Workshop versio) #. I recall that this was somewhat limited in scope, although the connection to the comic gives it tremendous source material.
  • Vampire *. I used the rules for a variant game I ran called Dusk, which was the last game I GMed (last session was in early 1995…).
  • Mage *. I used these rules for Dusk as well.
  • Star Wars (the West End Games version) #. I think this suffered too much from the weight of the movies and larger universe—if the GM stuck to the famous events and characters there wasn’t enough freedom, and doing otherwise made players feel as if they were bit players in someone else’s story.
  • GURPS #. I’m sure I’ve played it, but can’t remember any details.
  • Rolemaster #. I Don’t remember details here either.
  • Star Trek (the FASA version) #. This didn’t have the same problems as Star Wars, but I recall that roleplaying around things like military rank and discipline was cumbersome.
  • Twilight 2000 #. I recall the premise—postapocalyptic survival—being more interesting than the games themselves.
  • SLA Industries #. Like Cyberpunk with some early New Weird elements thrown in, and it was laudably dark in tone.
  • Maelstrom *. I loved the rules, but this really needs the right group of people to play—Renaissance history buffs who like highly realistic (and hence deadly) RPGs, essentially.

There’s one more, which was in paperback book format and which I had before I played D&D, but I cannot recall its name. I’ll update this if I figure out what it was. Not Tunnels & Trolls; may have been British.

My favorites, and the ones I’d be most likely to run again, are D&D, which benefits from its classic status; Traveller, which I had some great times with; Paranoia, because when it works it’s so much fun; and Dusk, the Vampire and Mage homebrew that I never managed to properly finish a campaign of. In theory I could see myself trying to run Call of Cthulhu—at least, that’s probably more likely than the others.

2 Responses to “RPGs I’ve Played”

  1. micahsaul Says:

    Rolemaster and MERP are, IIRC, the same system. MERP was basically a skin over the basic core mechanics from Rolemaster. So, “use a spatula” was most likely common between both.

    I have had more fun playing MERP than any other game, simply because the group I was playing with was so ludicrous… at one point, we created characters by rolling for everything, including name. I was Kibgrub, a dwarven scholar who fought with a battle mattock.

  2. 2BiT Says:

    Heh….played quite a few of those myself. Probably with you :D

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