Thursday, July 16, 2009

Best of the Bunch (P. 1)

So I made a list of all the true RPGs (no Mordheim or Blood Bowl, for example) with which I have experience. Direct experience from playing or knowledge of from owning, reading, and prep. The number came to 88…and I’m sure I’ve left some off the list!

Putting together a Top Ten list requires the question: top ten what? Games with coherent design? Games played that were the most fun? Games that I most want to play, but never have?

One problem is, different games work better or worse for different game groups. Prince (the musician) was once asked why he would break up a band when its popularity and cohesion seemed sound, simply to put together a new band. The maestro explained that different bands played music different ways…each had a different style, some with more rock, some with more soul, some with more funk. He loved all of ‘em: the Revolution, the Times, the NPG…but Prince is a great lover (and creator) of different types of music.

I’ve played with groups that were incredibly proficient with Palladium games and AD&D2E. I’ve played games with groups that loved-loved-loved White Wolf’s World of Darkness and could play it to death. I’ve been in groups that played nothing but AD&D and Marvel that should have been playing something like Sorcerer or The Riddle of Steel, but those games had yet to be created. And I’ve certainly “crossed wires” with folks in the past, trying to get Toon players into Vampire the Masquerade for example.

Me…I’m a bit like Prince. I enjoy a wide variety of games, depending on my mood or a particular week’s inspiration. My eclectic tastes as much as anything else has led to estrangement from past gaming groups in the past. So to consider which games I’d want to play or games I’ve enjoyed, I have to imagine an ideal gaming group first: people that are adventurous, people that are open-minded, people that are serious, and people who have a diversity of life experience outside of the RPG hobby. It’s a tough combo to find…someone with an intensity for gaming, who can still “let go,” realizing it’s just a game?

I suppose I’m looking for a group of middle-school kids. Hmm…

Anyway, after much debate with myself and careful consideration, I offer my TOP TEN RPGs I WANT TO PLAY. If someone offered me the chance to play (or run as GM) any RPG I wanted, these would be the top 10 up for consideration in my mind:

(of you care to see the reason behind my choices, that's the follow-up to this post...I decided to break it up because it was too long)

#10 Vampire the Masquerade (1st edition)
#9 Mutant City Blues
#8 Maelstrom
#7 Gamma World (2nd edition)
#6 Traveller (Mongoose edition)
#5 Top Secret (1st edition)
#4 Hollow Earth Expedition
#3 Ars Magica (4th edition)
#2 Dungeons and Dragons (B/X edition)
#1 Boot Hill (2nd edition)

Might be some surprises on the list, might be some games ya' haven't heard of. If you want more info, check out Part 2.


No comments:

Post a Comment