What Campaigns & Games has everyone played?
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:34 am 
 

I played AD&D throughout the 80's as I'm sure most everyone here has.  I know that many collect non-TSR (non-AD&D/D&D) items, but I have been curious what games others have actually played?

For myself, the games I played were other TSR ones:  Indiana Jones, quite a bit of Marvel Super-Heroes and a Star Frontiers Campaign.  

I played a 1st edition Traveller one time, played one Gamma World module and one or two Twilight 2000 adventures.

The only other notable was Warhammer Fantasy - which I ran a campaign for a couple years while my friend ran an AD&D campaign.

So - I am trying to gather up some of those that I missed out on.  I have read a little of the Space Opera rules and they seem pretty cool. . . wish I had known about that instead of Star Frontiers. . .

I am particularly interested in finding out about Runequest and hearing who has played it, what versions are best, etc.  

What else?  There are so many out there. . . Who played Harn? Rolemaster? MERP? Bushido? etc.


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:51 am 
 

Hmm … I'll limit this list to RPGs or I'll be here all night.  Here's the ones that left an impression:

Aftermath
Battletech / MechWarrior
Beyond the Supernatural
Call of Cthulhu
Car Wars / Autoduel
Castle Falkenstein
Chivalry & Sorcery
D&D
Deadlands
Divine Right
Dune
Gamma World
GURPS
Man vs. Man
Mercenaries Spies & Private Eyes
MERP
Pendragon
Rolemaster
RuneQuest (I like Chaosium best)
7th Sea
Space:  1889
Star Frontiers
Stormbringer
Top Secret
Traveller
Vampire (got out in 1992 when it got big and went the wrong way)
Warhammer FRP

  


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:05 am 
 

I'd have to add my $0.02 for GDW's 2300:AD. The first edition rules (1986) were a bit sketchy, but if you pick up the 2nd edition (1988) box set (easy to do on eBay), you're in for a real treat. Lots of great supplements and adventures are out there too. Think of it as Twilight:2000 - just 300 years later. I'd have to rank it as my favourite non-TSR RPG. And apparently there's a new (d20?)version coming out soon called 2320 AD.

Beyond that:

    AD&D (obviously)
    D&D
    Pendragon (always one of my favourites)
    Palladium FRPG (I stopped when Rifts came out and Palladium became a munchkin-fest)
    Space 1889 (great concept)
    Marvel Super Heroes (Basic only, never played Advanced)
    Warhammer RPG (love the detail, rules weren't as much to my liking)
    MERP (rules needed some modifications, but the detail was awesome)
    Rolemaster (too rules-heavy for my liking - only played it once or twice)
    Traveller
    Twilight 2000
    Gamma World
    Toon (very underrated and great for a one-off night of gaming)
    TMNT RPG (don't laugh, it can be lots of fun. Really!)
We never played Star Frontiers, but a friend had the Knight Hawks box set and came up with some great house rules for the boardgame.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 6:23 pm 
 

hmmmm, as well as AD&D...

played>>
MERP
Rolemaster
Call of Cthulhu
Vyberpunk (once)
Paranoia (once or twice)
Star Trek (character creation takes AGES)
Vampire
Dragonquest
Palladium
Space Opera
Space 1889 (this really does have a fantastic setting and I am amazed someone somewhere isn't able to take this to a larger audience)
Stormbringer
and a hybrid Runequest/D&D campaign set in Thieves World

run>>
Call of Cthulhu
Chivalry and Sorcery
Gamma World

Not bad.  Thinking back now we did a lot of experimentation with different rules systems.   One friend ran a Greyhawk campaign with MERP combat and character creation and AD&D spells - good stuff.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 10:07 pm 
 

I've probably played around two dozen or so rpgs; some more than others with AD&D 1st Ed. of course far and away the most.

Others:
Champions rpg by Hero Games - The best character creation system and combat system game ever devised. I am not talking about the bastardized game 4th edition plus. I refer to the first few years when Aaron Allston was still with Hero.

Call of Cthulhu - loads of fun

Chill by Pacesetter - we had a blast with that one

Traveller - way back in '78 it was cool

Top Secret (1st edition) - It was more like the Pink Panther movies for us, even though we tried to be serious. TS SI ruined it - too much commando and not enough espionage.

Gamma World - DM killed us off so fast we never got too far into the game.

Boot Hill - Great one-nighter game.

Non RPG:
Star Fleet Battles - Played every Sunday for two years straight - for those who know about the game, we fought the entire General War using SFB rules for each battle and used F&E for overall campaign. Still one of the best board games ever.

Micro Armor - WWII tank miniature battles on a "sand" table.

BattleTech

Man-O-War - I still own the entire game and miniatures. Talk about huge resale value. Crap. I could make a mini mint selling this game off.

Divine Right, Dungeon, Wizards Quest, various SPI WWII games and few others from that time period. Then the ever popular Escape from New York - play it once a year at Gen Con on Sunday before we pack in our cars and head home. A tradition that goes back about 20 years!


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:53 pm 
 

I've played a few over the years.  I'm sure that I've forgotten various games I played once at a con, etc.:

  • Age of Empire (played and ran)
  • Amber (played)
  • Ars Magica (1e, 2e, 3e, no 4e yet; mostly ran this)
  • Babylon 5 (played the icky 1e version from Chameleon Eclectic)
  • Blue Planet (1e not GURPS; played it, ran it, wrote for it)
  • Call of Cthulhu (all editions, played and ran)
  • Castle Falkenstein (liked a lot but haven't played except at a con once or twice)
  • Cinemaction system (Hong Kong Action Theatre!, Swords of the Middle Kingdom---we published these, so I'm not sure if that counts ;-) )
  • D&D (mostly AD&D and 3e/3.5e, with some OD&D and Basic/Expert thrown in, no 2e)
  • Fading Suns (played 1e but not 2e)
  • Gamma World (1e; played and ran)
  • Gangbusters (1e; played it, and I learned GB at GenCon East II with EGG as our DM)
  • Heaven & Earth (1e not the GOO abomination; we published this too)
  • Highlander (playtest only, it was never published)
  • Marvel Super Heroes (1e, played and ran)
  • Metamorphosis Alpha (1e, ran it)
  • Paranoia (1e, 2e, played and ran)
  • Periphery (played, mostly against my will)
  • Star Frontiers (played and ran)
  • Star Wars (played WEG, neither played nor ran the WotC d20 version)
  • Storyteller (played and ran 1e Vampire and Mage predominantly)
  • Top Secret (played and ran 1e and 2e, not SI)
  • Warhammer FRP (played this, and co-DM'd an Ars Magica/WFRP cross-over game)

I own more games that I haven't played, of course :D

Alas, I haven't yet had a chance to play RuneQuest (though I picked up a copy of the 2e rules @ ConQuest's flea market last year) or Villains & Vigilantes (I loved those Dragon Magazine ads back in the day!).


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 5:23 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:I played AD&D throughout the 80's as I'm sure most everyone here has.  I know that many collect non-TSR (non-AD&D/D&D) items, but I have been curious what games others have actually played?.


Over the last 25 years my group and the guys I gamed with outside of it tended to be pretty insular.....when we weren't playing D&D of some sort, we only ventured into a few outside games, mostly TSR published.  In reverse order of how much we used the system, from most to least:

AD&D (Of course)

Call of Cthulhu---probably the best RPG ever published, by far the best horror RPG ever.  I have had more memorable events, characters and campaigns in this game system than in all the D&D campaigns I've ever run put together. Some of the best published adventures for any system.

Gamma World---we played a bastardized version of Metamorphosis Alpha using the GW rules.  Never got to play the 4th edition although it looked like the best version of all.  Mostly ran through home-brewed adventures taking place on the giant ship Warden, but worked in modules GW1, GW2, GW3 and GW4 also.  Just started a new campaign using the 2nd edition rules and my old plans for the starship Warden!

Top Secret---the 1st/2nd  edition was by far the best, we used every published module plus lots of home brewed action.  We ran a Mission:Impossible styled game where each player had 3-4 characters and had to choose the best one for each mission they got sent on. We played Top Secret SI for awhile, using just the rules system as the published adventures were awful dreck. Haven't played in years but my brother keeps threatening to run some adventures someday...

Villains and Vigilantes----I thought the system in Champions was better, but this was simpler, and frankly the adventures were loads better than anything Champions published.  Played this one off and on for many years through the 80s.

Crimebusters (?)---I think this was the name, this was the simple pull out campaign game rules from an old issue of Dragon magazine, where players were pulp characters from the 20's and 30's, long before games like Indiana Jones, Daredevil or Danger International.  I ran the game one entire summer every weekend and just used recycled plots from Doc Savage and the Avenger. A testament to how much fun you can have with just a small flimsy set of rules as long as you use your imagination. We used this an entire summer and had loads of fun, just goes to show you don't need endless supplements and rules variations to have a good time.

Games I have and would love to play or run someday:

Space: 1889---great premise, very original, I love the old Burroughs Venus and Mars books
Middle Earth Role playing---great supplements, love the setting detail
Warhammer---looks like a fun, dark, deadly game, I've stolen some of the adventures to use with D&D
Runequest----Again, never actually played but stole stuff like Griffin Island and Pavis to use in my own campaign
Pendragon---I have all the supplements because they are a blast to read.  I'd like to play this someday
Harn---I don't know if I'd like to use the rules, but it would be fun to play a more "realistic" type of fantasy game and setting.
Boot Hill---I have all the rules and supplements, my brothers and I love westerns, and we've never even rolled up a character or had a simple gunfight with this system?  Hopefully we'll get a campaign going someday.
Daredevils---Have the rules and all the supplements, everytime I come across this in my stuff I have an urge to break out the old Doc Savage and Avengers books.
Twilight 2000---looks interesting, just never had a chance to play

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 9:19 am 
 

Badmike wrote:AD&D (Of course)
Twilight 2000---looks interesting, just never had a chance to play
Mike B.

I played this one once.  It was fun, although we were doing things all wrong.  I ended up killing the last "bad guy", moments before he launched a mini-nuke, by balancing an HK-CAW shotgun on my shoulder and firing it with my toes.  I had lost both my arms to their body part-based hit point system already.

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 10:36 am 
 

Grodog---

Is that an admission...chuckle...chuckle...of you playing Amber!!!! 8O

Please say it isn't so... :wink:


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

New modules for your Old School game http://pacesettergames.com/

Everything Pacesetter at http://pacesettergames.blog.com/

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 10:52 am 
 

Hey, umm. . .  what's Amber anyway?  :oops:


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:02 am 
 

I collect FGU games, but ironically enough I've hated most of them since the layout and rules were so absurdly bad.

I think Runequest is one of the best FRPGs of all time, primarily because it included such a great world (Glorantha).  RQ 2e is considered, by most, to be the pinnacle -- when Avalon Hill/Chaosium had their little, um, spat, the RQ rules got stapled together with generic settings, at which point there wasn't really much of a difference between it and any of the other FRP of the time.

To be more precise, the Glorantha setting is what made RQ great (IMO).  I own most of the RQ stuff (Chaosium/AH) published and I still consider it my favorite FRPG of all time.  I'm not all that attached to D&D, since I think it had this strange schizophrenic "very specific rules not tied to a specific universe" syndrome that always felt cognitively dissonant to me (doesn't stop me from collecting though =) ).

I'm also a massive fan of White Wolf stuff, particularly Wraith and Werewolf, which are the two best settings I think of any RPG universe, ever.  Even better than Glorantha -- the latter was lush and detailed, but Wraith, Mage, and Werewolf were wide and deep.  There was a strong consistency and depth to them that made their worlds feel very real.

However, I don't think any of those really enjoyed much critical success since they lacked identification with a typical player (it's very hard to get "into" character as a Werewolf or Wraith for most players, whereas pretending your some barbarian of elven archer or superspy is much easier).

Twlight:2000 was a fun RPG...good old Cold War, how I miss thee. =)  Traveller was classic, but overrated in hindsight (horrible mechanics...you could die during character generation!)

I think Legend of the Five Rings is the best of the faux-Asian RPGs out there.  I haven't tried Sengoku, but I do have Bushido and Land of the Rising Sun and L5R to compare against.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:54 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:Hey, umm. . .  what's Amber anyway?  :oops:


Amber Diceless Roleplaying, published by Phage Press. This was based on Roger Zelazny's "Nine Princes in Amber" series.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:01 pm 
 

Chivalry and Sorcery, Tunnels and Trolls, Traveller, Runequest (pre-AH), Dragonquest (1st ed., pre-TSR), The Fantasy Trip (the precursor to GURPS), Champions, Shadowrun, Amber, Divine Right, En Garde, Gamma World, and too many others for me to remember   :)

  


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:30 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:Grodog---

Is that an admission...chuckle...chuckle...of you playing Amber!!!! 8O

Please say it isn't so... :wink:


As a matter of fact it's so :D  I was never active in the very-active Amber online MUSH/MUD community but one of my old roommates from grad school was, and I've played in games that he ran (which were quite fun).  

From what I understand, Guardians of Order (boo hiss) are reissuing Amber sometime (kind of like they're reissuing Tekumel sometime), but I'm not holding my breath (they're converting it to their gods-awful Tri-Stat system...).


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 3:22 pm 
 

Ok, time to sound like Arthur Dent here.

"I don't understand."
"What?"
"Where's the tea on this spaceship?"

Seriously, what is it about Tri-Stat that you don't like?  I found it to be a rather flexible system, especially when they linked die type to game scales.



  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:01 am 
 

We had a lot of fun with Paranoia.
Otherwise we played Civilisation quite a bit - the original one - not the Sid Meier stuff. Great game!

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 4:32 am 
 

Thanks for everyone's input. . . now what I am wondering is: What sustained campaigns have been played with other RPG systems?  

As indicated by my original post, I haven't played near the amount of other RPG's that some of you have.  However, I do read a lot of other game systems.  Obviously, I am limited to imagining gameplay mechanics in my mind, but the more I read, the more I am led back to one recuring thought:  Whether or not the rules seem solid or weak, no RPG system (other than AD&D) seems to be set up for a sustained, long-term campaign.  

This seems to be particularly evident in character development - Dungeons and Dragons (even 3rd edition) provides a detailed and comprehensive format by which characters can be developed and advanced.  Level progression is balanced by new skills/powers/spells and the DM has many options to introduce a wide variety of magic items of increasing power.  Monsters, too, are abundant and increase in strength proportionally to the characters ability to defeat them.

As an example, Warhammer Fantasy was one of the few other games I seriously played.  I really loved it - the dark and doomed world, the rich setting that combined real history and fantasy, the "magic poor" emphasis and even the character generation and combat system.  However, it was this very thing that seemed to "bog" down as the game continued.  The career paths were more finite in their progression and at a certain point one was caused to ask themselves why they would possibly want a powerful Witch Hunter to make a career change to a Charlatan (or whatever) just to try and get a few more advances they needed.  There also was a real weakness in the combat system that I found caused it to be harder and harder for PC's to survive greater dangers (the limited increase in Wounds, toughness and Armor Points  did not compensate for the greater power levels of opponents).

Similarly, other RPG systems seem to have their owns flaws in regards to long term development and don't seem to have a balance whereby campaigns that last for years can be played (or rather, the enjoyment of playing would decrease).  

So, what input can others give?  Has anyone played in any long-term campaigns that weren't AD&D?  If so, were the rules set up to encompass things well?  Were there serious flaws?   Would you recommend any?


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 6:03 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:As indicated by my original post, I haven't played near the amount of other RPG's that some of you have.  However, I do read a lot of other game systems.  Obviously, I am limited to imagining gameplay mechanics in my mind, but the more I read, the more I am led back to one recuring thought:  Whether or not the rules seem solid or weak, no RPG system (other than AD&D) seems to be set up for a sustained campaign.  

This seems to be particularly envident in character development - Dungeons and Dragons (even 3rd edition) provides a detailed and comprehensive format by which characters can be developed and advanced.  Level progression is balanced by new skills/powers/spells and the DM has many options to introduce a wide variety of magic items of increasing power.  Monsters, too, are abundant and increase in strength proportionally to the characters ability to defeat them.



eh?  I am sorry - have you been reading the posts above?  Look I love D&D as much as anyone (actually 1st ed. AD&D with Unearthed Arcana is may particular preference) but there are *plenty* of systems which are well balanced up to a high level - Rolemaster being just one which comes to mind, and I am sure that the wider played posters here can name others.  BUT, the secret to a long campaign lies not in the game mechanics but in the campaign setting.  Even Cthulhu (where characters tend to live a short and doomed existence) can be run as a long term campaign (with the right approach).  An experienced DM will be able to tailor his (or her) campaign world accordingly.  If you are looking for a system to commit to for a long campaign - just pick what you find fun playing and then make the campaign world fit in.  Best of luck :)

  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 6:24 am 
 

red_bus wrote:eh? I am sorry - have you been reading the posts above?


Yes, I have been reading the posts quite carefully - I am not denying that virtually ANY game system can be made into a long-term successful campaign - I am simply saying that many do not seem to be well set-up for it (at least from reading the rules).  If you have played in any long term campaigns, please feel free to give a little detail. . .

I am sure the many posts above are indicative of what others have played, but that does not necessarily mean they devoted extensive time and many, many gaming hours to developing an ongoing campaign.  I imagine that many flaws have been exposed, many systems "bogged" down either through lack of play-testing before release or lack of foresight by the creators.  That does not necessarily indicate carelessness in the creation process, but even the best play-testing can not equal what hundreds of gamers over a period of years might discover.


If any have had any postive or negative experiences - please feel free to share. . .  8)


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 10:08 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:So, what input can others give?  Has anyone played in any long-term campaigns that weren't AD&D?  If so, were the rules set up to encompass things well?  Were there serious flaws?   Would you recommend any?


I've played in a ton of campaigns that have survived long periods of time.  Runequest, Vampire, Mage, etc.

I think one key point you're missing is that you're equating "mechanics" with "longevity".  In Vampire, there aren't really magic items, and character progression CAN be slow or fast depending on the Storyteller.  The role-playing is spent ROLE-playing, not ROLL-playing.

This doesn't mean it's superior, only that it achieves its goals in a less numerate form.

  
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