Sunday, February 16, 2014

Regular, Irregular and Memorable

This past Wednesday was my birthday, as well as a day of great conversations and some sad losses in the entertainment word.

We'll talk about that last part a bit later, but for now...

I had a lovely and interesting talk with WQRobb Wednesday night in which we discussed, among several related subjects, the fact that a good number of gamers own far more games than they've played.

Robb himself has a fair number of games in his collection that he's never had the chance to run or play. (Which he discusses on his blog. Check it out!).

I don't. If I purchase a game, I will play it.

Over the years, I've played more games than I can accurately remember at this point ( Didn't you read? It was just my birthday. I'm getting old). Still, just because I have played or run hundreds of RPGs, doesn't mean I own hundreds of RPGs. On the contrary...

Let's take the statement, "If I purchase a game, I will play it", as a definitive truth. It should also stand to reason then that, "If I run or play a game, I will purchase it". The latter isn't quite so guaranteed. If I run or play it often I will likely have bought it or will end up buying it. If I played it once at a convention and didn't much care for it, then no, I will not be buying a copy.

Although I am quite proud of the diversity of my RPG experiences, I am sad to say my actual collection of games is surprisingly small for a gamer going on 37 years in the hobby. Many of my friends are astounded by what I don't own.

I can pretty much file every game I've ever run or played (and let's face it, I've probably played only a third as many games as I've run) into one of three categories:

Games I've Run or Played Regularly, Games I've Run or Played Irregularly and Memorable One-Shots.

Technically there should be a fourth category for everything else, such as one-shots that were not so memorable or short campaigns I enjoyed but for some reason I've forgotten.


Games I've Run or Played Regularly

In this first category are games I've either run or played three or more campaigns of, with each campaign being at least a dozen sessions or so. The category includes some of my favorite games and some that I just ended up GMing because it's what friends wanted to play. Those with an asterisk '*' are games I own. You'll notice, I own all the games in this category.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Edition)*
Champions (4th Edition - Hero Games?)*
Dungeons & Dragons AD (My personal variant)*
Mekton (All Editions - R. Talsorian Games)*
Mutants and Masterminds (All Editions - Green Ronin)*
Space Opera (FGU)*
Star Trek (FASA)*
Star Trek (LUG)*
Star Wars (WEG D6)*
Teenagers From Outer Space (R. Talsorian Games)*
Toon (Steve Jackson Games)*
Traveller (Classic and MegaTraveller - GDW)*
Villains & Vigilantes (FGU)*

Games I've Run or Played Irregularly

These are games I've probably only run one or two campaigns of and they were likely short campaigns. It also includes situations like being in a single, longer length campaign, but then never again in 36 and change years. Finally, this category covers games in which I've run a plethora of one-shots. Here, while I own the vast majority of the games on the list, I have misplaced some over the years or simply never owned my own copy.

Ars Magica (3rd and 4th Editions - Mostly - Lion Rampart and White Wolf)*
Basic Dungeons & Dragons ((I can no longer find my copy)
Boot Hill (TSR)
Bushido (Kitbashed with Land of the Rising Sun - FGU - I can no longer find my copy).
Call of Cthulhu (Edition Unknown - Late 80s-Early 90's - Chaosium)
Changeling: The Dreaming (1st and 2nd Editions - Mostly 2nd - White Wolf)*
Cyberpunk 2020 (R. Talsorian Games - I can no longer find my copy)
DC Adventures (Based on M&M 3rd Edition - Green Ronin)
DC Heroes (Mayfair Games)*
Faery's Tale Deluxe (Firefly Games - Green Ronin)*
Gamma World (Various Editions - TSR - I no longer have any copies of any version)
InSpectres (Memento Mori Games)*
James Bond 007 RPG (Victory Games)
Mage: The Ascension (1st and 2nd Edition)*
Marvel Heroic RPG (Margaret Weis Productions)*
Marvel Super Heroes (TSR)
Metal Head (Japanese RPG)*
The Muppets RPG (My personal homebrew)*
Paranoia (Several Editions - WEG)*
Pendragon RPG (1st and 4th Editions - Chaosium - Green Knight)*
Red Dwarf RPG (Deep 7)*
Shadowrun (1st-3rd Editions - FASA)*
Sketch! (Corsair Publishing)*
Space: 1889 (GDW)*
Star Frontiers (TSR)*
Vampire: The Masquerade (1st and 2nd Editions - White Wolf)*
Wares Blade (Japanese TRPG)*
Werewolf: The Apocalypse (1st and 2nd Editions - White Wolf)
World of Darkness (Original WoD - Various Supplements - White Wolf)

Memorable One-Shots

These are games I've played only once or twice, ever. Maybe, just maybe, I can recall a three to five session 'mini-campaign'. Even so, for the brief time I spent with them, they left a lasting impression on me, whether good or bad. There are a lot of these. Most I do not own.

Apocalypse World (Lumpley Games)
BASH! (Basic Action Games)
Blue Planet (Biohazard Games)*
Burning Wheel
Castle Falkenstein (R. Talsorian Games)*
Crash World (Japanese TRPG)
Doctor Who RPG (FASA)
Dread (The Impossible Dream)
Fighting Spirit (Japanese RPG)
Heavy Gear (Dream Pod 9)
Hunter Planet
Golden Sky Stories (Star Line Publishing)
GURPS (1st and 2nd Editions)
Labyrinth Lord (Goblinoid Games)
Lord of the Rings RPG (Decipher)*
MAID The RPG (Japanese RPG translated into English)*
MechWarrior/Battletech (FASA)
Men In Black (WEG)*
MERP (Iron Crown Enterprises)
Metamorphosis Alpha (1st and 2nd Edition - TSR)
Mouse Guard (Archaia Studio Press)*
Mutant Future (Goblinoid Games)*
Rolemaster (Iron Crown Enterprises)
Runequest (Early Edition - Exact one unknown)
SATASUPE Remix (Japanese RPG)
Starships & Spacemen (FGU)*
Steal Away Jordan (Stone Baby Games)*
Street Fighter The RPG (White Wolf)
Tales from The Floating Vagabond (Avalon Hill - I can no longer find my copy)
Traveller: 2300/2300 AD (GDW - I can no longer find my copy)
Twilight: 2000 (GDW)

And so many, many more...

No seriously. Many, many, MANY more.

"How is this possible?", you are asking yourself. "Is he some sort of time traveler?"

No. Well, maybe, but that's not how I did it.

You see, back when I was much younger and living through the grand heyday of RPG publication, each of my friends and I shared this love of trying new games. At the same time, we each had our favorite genres and styles of gaming so we each purchased those games we wanted to run or wanted someone else in the group to run. As my groups changed over the years, various members brought different loves into the communal pot and therefore different games, all the while still sharing a desire to sample something new.

Kinda hippie no?

Anyway, I'm sure I left out a ton of games in each category (but especially the latter two), but if I wanted to be 100% accurate to the letter, let's just say we'd be here a while.


We very recently said goodbye to the master of ceremonies of Your Show of Shows, the one and only, Sid Caesar. Lovers of the early days of television, when TV personalities were both a part of the family and yet larger than life, my parents and grandparents were all big fans of Sid Caesar and I certainly followed in their footsteps.

Mr. Caesar was once quoted as saying, "People come up to me and they thank me: 'I thank you for the many, many hours of laughter".

Thank you, from my family to you and yours.

Just a day prior, I learned of the final departure aboard the Good Ship Lollipop of the talented and iconic Shirley Temple-Black. No words are quite right to describe her contribution to the American Motion Picture industry. What many do not know is that in later years, long after she had left Hollywood behind, she was the first woman to serve as the Chief of Protocol for the United States and was the United Nations Ambassador to both Ghana (1974-76) and Czechoslovakia (1989-92).

Goodnight Little Princess. Sleep well.

A final note: John Paul Henson, youngest son of Jim and Jane Henson, passed away February 14th, 2014 of a heart attack at the age of 48. John Henson was often the performer of Sweetums, taking on the role following the death of puppeteer Richard Hunt in 1991.

My condolences to the Henson family and the family and friends of the Jim Henson Company and Muppets fans everywhere.

Barking Alien


  1. Thanks for the shout-out! That's quite the exhaustive list!

  2. Indeed. I perused yours as well. Interesting similarities and differences.

  3. Happy birthday! That is quite some list. When I get freetime again I'd like to start a Bucketeers on Constantcon to play all the games gathering dust on my shelf and hardrive.

    Are you still doing the anime gaming posts? Just went back through those - interesting stuff.

  4. Hi Tedankhamen and welcome!

    No, I stopped as I didn't get a lot of feedback or interest. I will probably do a few in the near future as a desire to revisit and run Mekton or TFOS has me thinking about the subject again.

  5. I forgot a couple of keys ones so I updated a bit.

  6. You don't own a copy of James Bond 007? I have like 4 of 'em, could send you one if you need it.

    1. LOL That would be awesome but I'm afraid funds are tight right now. I will keep it in mind. Oddly, I do have the Q-Manual on PDF.

  7. I didn't expect you to have a large World of Darkness collection, although Mage and especially Changeling do seem to suit you. Nice list!

    1. Thank you sir!

      Yeah it was weird, I bought the Vampire game but wasn't really into Vampires (I'm still not). I just liked the way the game was done and noticed it had a following. My friends bought some of the supplements and Werewolf and such and I ended up running a World of Darkness game that merged everything.

      I was especially fond of Mummy and The Risen.