Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Storm Before The Calm Before The Storm

So, in about 15 minutes or so I'm going out into New York City's winter wonderland once more. When I return I have a very cool post I want to make. But before that I want to make this somewhat less cool, slightly snarky post. Teasing and humor is involved. If your Wisdom and Constitution do not add up to at least 22 you may want to avoid this post.

I periodically mention various RPGs I've played, run and loved on my blog. These are not quite reviews and not quite retrospectives but they come close to both. Some are obvious discussions of a particular game like
Mekton, Teenagers from Outer Space, Star Wars or Star Trek. Some are mentions of lesser known but very cool games and how I'd like to play them more than I have. Examples include Faery's Tale Deluxe, Hunter Planet and Apocalypse World.

When it comes to the comments section of these entries I often see things like...

"I never picked up TFOS as I knew there was no way it would ever get run in my rather hardcore gear-headish group."

"Never played Mekton, but I do remember the ads for it"

"Star Trek is always something I wanted to play. Way back in teh day Dragon ran an article on GMing tips for FASA's Star Trek and I was all inspired. Perhaps someday..."

And its not just here on my site but on other sites as well. People mentioning cool, not-so-obscure games and others going, "I always wanted to check out that game that was really popular 10-20 years ago but I never did."

Now comes the snarky part, purely in jest (if you are an immature dipstick with no sense of humor who thinks I'm somehow mocking you personally, please look away from my blog site now and go read the nutritional information on the side of a cereal box or something equally non-antagonizing)...I have to ask...

What the Hell were you People Playing?!?

Are you seriously telling me you've only ever played one game? Has it been D&D or the highway since 1976? There's a whole wide world out there my friends, just waiting for you to explore it. It won't bite. And if it does that'll be a learning experience. Come out now...don't be shy.

OK. Snark Wave Generator deactivated.

I'm just teasing but seriously, has anyone been playing RPGs for 15 years or more played fewer than 3 games? I'm just curious.

Barking Alien


  1. Less than fifteen years. I've played some Shadowrun, some D&D, a touch of Villains and Vigilantes... My biggest problem has been finding a group.

    Capcha: Nobull

  2. Heh, I haven't played many of these games but I either had a copy or saw an add, etc. As for what I have been playing? AD&D 1e, Marvel FASERIP, Palladium Robotech, Palladium Fantasy, Villains and Vigilantes, Toon, Top Secret, Star Grontiers, Gamma World, Boot Hill, Mechwarrior, Shadowrun to name a few. Mostly it just boils down to whatever I could get a group interested in playing. I have far more games on my shelf than I'll ever be able to play (sadly).

    OK, now you've made me cry ;).

  3. Well, in my group we have played many different games over the last seventeen or so years (in the last year, for example, we had games of Trail of Cthulhu, Deathwatch, A Song of Ice a Fire, the new Gamma World and D&D 4th), but only a few "main" games -those which we play recurrently and/or in long campaigns-. Chronologically, they are: Star Wars d6, Vampire, and D&D (3rd and 4th; they are different enough that I consider them as separate games). As you see, not too many, so it is coinceivable to play only a few different games.

    Other games I have played: Anima, Buffy, Dark Heresy, Fanhunter (spanish game), Legend of the 5 Rings, Mage, MERP (and Lord of the Rings Adventure Game), Mutant Chronicles, Mutants & Masterminds, Star Wars d20, Rune Quest, d20 modern (actually, NSd20, another spanish game), 7th Sea, and probably some others I don't remember right now. Note there is a notable absence of classic/old school games like AD&D and Call of Cthulhu, probably because I'm from a later generation. And, of course, many of the more obscure games never made it to Spain.

  4. Thanks for the feedback gang and for being good sports. I appreciate both of those things immensely.

  5. My main gaming group has played only my homebrew and D&D(mostly Mentzer Basic), of some varying stripe, or my homebrew and WOD, with overlaps between the two on occasion.(With one or two throwing in short campaigns of Earthdawn, Deadlands, Call of Cthulu, Chill, Mutant Chronicles, Star Frontiers[for Star Wars, before D6's availability!] The One True Star Wars(Her words!), MERP, and one-shots of Dogs In the Vineyard or Puppetland)In only one case, did the group have greater than an average of 3 or less games per 15 years or so! See a pattern, BA? :-) And sadly no Trek... :-( I WILL introduce them to R. Talsorian's Dream Park, when they're ready! :-D

    Loved the post, some things need to be said, you know. I don't understand the poor exposure of some games, either. Especially really good ones like Trek, Twilight: 2000, James Bond 007, SLA Industries, Tunnels And Trolls, Ninjas and Superspies, Underground, Street Fighter, Mekton, Dream Park, Dark Conspiracy, etc.... D&D truly was the 800-pound gorilla in the room, due to their extensiv distribution network, financial backing and assisted by a reluctance to learn new games, it seems....

  6. Wow, you just remembered me that I did play James Bond 007, so long ago...

  7. In the 80's it was everything TSR did + Traveller, Star Trek, Champions, Marvel, Twilight 2000, Runequest, Warhammer FRP, Battletech/Mechwarrior, James Bond 007, Timeship, Lords of Creation, Car Wars/Autoduel

    In the 90's it was AD&D 2E, GURPS, Hero, Warhammer, Battletech/Mechwarrior, Shadowrun, Traveller, Dark Conspiracy, Rifts, Twilight 2000, Star Wars (d6)

    In the 2000's it's been D&D 3E, Shadowrun, Rifts, Traveller, Twilight 2000, Savage Worlds, and Star Wars (mostly d20)

    Looking at that it's amazing how the diversity in my "regular" games has narrowed considerably each decade.

    I've had one or two stable playing groups at a time pretty much constantly for 30 years and some of the people i play with now have been in those groups for most of that time. The way it typically works is that there's a regular D&D game and then there are 1 or 2 other games going on as well on different nights or on different schedules. So D&D is the constant and then other games come and go over the course of a year or two.

    D&D is the one game everyone can agree on and then others are usually attractive only to a subset of that larger group. There were plenty of games I wanted to run that I could not get 2 other players interested enough in to set up a regular night. Sad but true...