Sunday, December 30, 2012

My top 7 games

Swords & Dorkery didn't start it, but it's the first time I'm seeing this (edit: not true, I also saw this at Over the Misty Mountains, still don't know who started it, though) and I'm happy to oblige: here are the 7 games I played the most.

Source: Midgard-Wiki
1. Midgard- Das Fantasy Rollenspiel

Was my first love. 5 years of ongoing campaign, nearly every friday for at least 5 hours. Those were the times!
As far as systems go, it's a very skill-heavy and low fantasy roleplaying game made in Germany. And one of the oldest at that. Other than the newer/better/faster approach in current game design, a new edition Midgard was always about growth without bloating and not about "the new different".
Maybe I will be playing/DMing it again some time in the future.

2.  Vampire: Die Maskerade

Cover (German version)
It was innovative at the time and we played it before the hype. Our way of playing this was more punk than goth (with a little bit of Rammstein and Tarantino in the mix) and we had a lot of fun for a year or two.
One campaign in Hamburg and one weird german road-trip thingie with human characters (later on one found out he was a werewolf, the other became a vampire, they were brothers, it got complicated...), a heritage, some mafia involvement and the end of the world.
If I ever were to DM an urban fantasy game again, I wouldn't go for the V:TM rules. Instead I would loot whatever I can carry and run it with Witchcraft (it's free, check it out!)

Rammstein - Asche zu Asche

3. Cyberpunk

Source: drosi
What a game! It introduced me to William Gibson and Akira, that alone is reason enough for tribute. I was young at the time and didn't bother thinking about the rules, so we played it RAW. And a lot of one-shots whenever there was an opportunity. But never a campaign (which is a shame, I know).
Two of my favourite scenarios to run were "The Delivery Guy" (get the package delivered, whatever the cost!) and "The Health Inspector" (red tape vs. urban brutality).
Most remembered scene. The characters (a health inspector with some backup) try to enter a diner. Some heavy shooting on the parking lot, one manages to get inside only to be confronted by a crazy gun-wielding clerk.
Clerk: What THE FUCK do you want!
She: A Currywurst? (made me laugh hard and gave her the advantage in the end)

4. D&D 3.0

Source: D&D Wiki
A bad time for gaming. I had some experience (not a lot, mind you) with AD&D as a player and thought the 3rd edition was rad. I loved it for all the wrong reasons and soon after hated it for all the right reasons (my opinion, really).
The good: Rappan Athuk. It was brutal, it was evil, I loved it. They came down to level three ("Beware the purple worms!") and fought some legendary battles (some players are still haunted by it...). All the players bought the handbook.
The bad: Mostly I didn't like the combat rules, the time consuming preparation and the flood of D20-material (I bought way to much of this stuff).
The ugly: Too much power gaming.

5. HackMaster

Source:  wikipedia
Some time during my D&D 3.0 experience I discovered Knights of the Dinner Table and loved it for all the truth in it. As soon as they started publishing HackMaster, I was all over it.  A complete and new set of rules, basically AD&D in a funny dress, quirks and flaws, exploding dice and they gave all that classic modules a rerun! What's not to love? It is a bit heavy on the rules, but it was coherent and it never felt as bloated as D&D 3.0 (and friends).
My weapon of choice at the time was The Temple of Existantial Evil (they were funny like that). We played it a little over 3 years. The final showdown in the moat house was a 12 hours game with 8 players. Very good memories...
I probably won't DM it again, but I stole all the rules I liked and use them in my houseruled D&D aberration.

6. D&D Rules Cyclopedia

One day (maybe 3 years ago) we met for a game without having a plan what to play. HackMaster was to much of an effort (as were most other games I could propose). Around that time I had discovered the OSR-blogosphere for me and the D&D Rules Cyclopedia I had owned for something like 10 years now (but never really used) was my new favourite book. The only other Basic-D&D-thing I owned was the adventure DDA 3: Eye of Traldar and we decided to play it RAW (going as far as reading the flavour text aloud, crazy, I know).
It's not a very good adventure, to be honest. But we had a blast playing the game fast and easy and kept meeting doing so. And soon I started tinkering with it.

7. Bastard RPG (this doesn't exist yet)
Yeah, I'm working on it

Yeah, this is some kind of trick, because I forgot to mention Runequest (I DMed it for a very short time and loved it, my players didn't). So as my 7th top game, I have to blame the OSR for the unlimited supply of houserules, design ideas, tips and tricks, gaming philosophy, setting inspiration and various clones. The game we play today does exist in one form or another in this small corner of the internet. Ever changing and evolving. And one day in the future I will present my very own collection of borrowed and/or altered rules to my players, printable and free for all. A bastard as complete as possible. Blogging is one way of achieving this and contributing to the community that made it possible. So thanks guys, this game was made by you :)

Well, this was a trip down memory lane and I think a good way to close for the year. I hope to continue posting that regular in the months to come. After all I have to create a world engine, some monster advancement tables (ghosts should be next), a few new classes (Dwarves need to be done, a Undead Hunter is almost finished and I have a somewhat new take on the barbarian somewhere to exploit, stuff like that) and some rules to tinker with (weapon mastery is long due, more about magic and maybe some CSI: D&D...). Anyway...

...I wish all of you a nice start into the next year!

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