Halloween

Halloween
5% of All Sales go to Support The Tavern

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What are the Most Neglected "Old School" Games?

I'm not necessarily referring to D&D and it's clones when I speak of neglected "Old School" games, although some of it's rulesets might be included in the list (Dark Dungeons, Mazes & Perils and the like). I'm also including things like WFRP 1e, Timemaster, Gamma World (TSR), Traveller (GDW), Swordbearer, MERP and the like.)

As a fan of the older games (although I do have a number of "newer" games in my collection) it seems to me a number of them do not get the attention they deserve. Or, for that matter, any attention at all on social media, blogs and the like for a large portion of them.

Are there games you are a fan of that you feel should be getting more attention? If so, why?

51 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. good one I have that game and it was so ambitious...sadly I never played it.

      Delete
    2. Excellent game, badly presented. Such a simple system explained so badly.

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. But at least you can still buy it at the same price from the same publisher!

      Delete
  3. Star frontiers rarely gets talked about any more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ack. Star Frontiers needed a flavor injection. I did run it for a while, and played a bit, but it just never did it for me.

      Delete
    2. Actually, Star Frontiers still has a dedicated following: http://www.starfrontiers.us/

      Also, there's two free fanzines on DriveThru: Starfrontiersman and Frontier Explorer. Star Frontiers was the first SF RPG I ever played, and I still occasionally need a fix.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, it's always had a small but dedicated following. Starfrontiersman is an excellent fanzine. One of the best.

      Delete
  4. Of course I would throw in Dragonquest as not only a neglected game, but also a neglected system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know about that man. Played second edition recently and after the ordeal of making a character and the quadratic equations required for combat resolution I just quit halfway through the session. Although YMMV, at a local con around here they played a living campaign of Dragonquest for about 20 years straight, some strong adherents to that game, so perhaps I'm the odd man out. Respect.

      Delete
    2. I second this, Padre.

      I have long contemplated an OSRICification of DragonQuest, cleaning up some of the language and re-stating some of the mechanics to alleviate some of the sense of complexity that Jason described.

      I've played a lot of DQ over the years and written a lot of house rules for it but I'm not sure my writing chops are up to the task of creating a clean presentation.

      Delete
    3. Speaking just for myself. I would certainly give the game another chance if a cleaned up clone existed. Color me interested.

      Delete
  5. For D&D-clones Spellcraft & Swordplay is oft neglected.

    For other systems. MERP.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mesmerized by Sirens has made it his mission statement to shed a light on all of the "OSR" systems that have been forgotten. Check out his blog if you want to go down the rabbit hole.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Replies
    1. Always wanted to see that one. The reviews were very mixed on it.

      Delete
    2. oh ya back when getting hit by a battleaxe meant something!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. I second this. Even the dedicated listserv only gets rare traffic as does the G+ or FB pages.

      Delete
  9. Chivalry & Sorcery doesn't get nearly enough attention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seconded. Also why I'm writing a C&S-style magic system for the OSR.

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Isn't Harnmaster still in print?

      Delete
    2. By two companies simultaneously at that.

      Delete
    3. It's still neglected. Flashing Blades and several others mentioned are still in print (well, PDF) too.

      Delete
    4. Flashing Blades is still in print and still the same price.

      Delete
  11. Man, Myth & Magic the RPG by boardgame company Yaquinto.

    We played a campaign of it, and I remember having a lot of fun. Don't really remember the rules-used percentage dice for at least some of it.
    It was set during the Age of Rome-so that was different. Dogs were scary opponents-at least you didn't want them chasing you. And I killed a guy by throwing my sandal at him-so it had some sort of critical hit system.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Heroes of Olympus" from Task Force Games.


    ReplyDelete
  13. Star Wars D6 RPG from West End Games fast paced space opera without the metagame hassles of class/levels, hit points, and NO FREAKING PROPRIETARY NOVELTY DICE!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And a huge catalog of products. One of the best-supported games of its time.

      Delete
    2. Not very popular online, but I know at least 2 groups in my area that are still playing it; this makes it one of the most popular games in my niche area. I know it's still my favorite sci-fi game, but most only care about the newest version.

      Delete
    3. I didn't care much for the system. It was okay and did have some gems, but overall was pretty meh.

      The sourcebooks were excellent. Especially the Imperial sourcebook!

      I do want to try space battles with it. I only ran one and realized later that I'd screwed it up.

      Delete
    4. Is a game from '87 "old school"?

      Delete
  14. There are many different rpgs I played in the early days that would fall under this definition of old-school; ones that are no longer around or played.

    But I would have to say Traveller is most neglected simply by virtue of how huge it was "back in the day". Traveller was THE sci-fi rpg. It was the first rpg to seriously contend and draw people away from D&D (or at least in my perceptions at the time, and I never played it). It had multiple fanzines and a steady stream of supplements from many of the first 3rd party publishers.

    Now it is a pale shadow of its former self. Other sci-fi and generic systems have eclipsed it since then. Of all the rpgs I feel it has "fallen" the farthest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And multiple versions are still in print, and still it is neglected.

      Delete
  15. I don't hear much about Twilight 2000, especially the original version.

    I wouldn't mind digging deeper into it for grimly nostalgic reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1 on Twilight 2000. Just picked up Mongoose's Traveller 2300 and the fluff talks about the "Twilight War". Would love to see T2K done in by Mongoose using the their Traveller rules. As long as they kept the original backstory and not an updated world goes to hell 2020 thing. Something about the Cold War gone hot 80s vibe. Nostalgia I suppose.

      Delete
  16. Other obscure RPGs & semi-RPGs from way back when... some of which I still have, some of which I remember fondly, and some others.

    Bunnies and Burrows
    Creeks and Crawdads
    The Morrow Project
    Aftermath
    Boot Hill
    Warriors of Mars
    En Garde!
    Heroes
    Star Probe



    ReplyDelete
  17. Lords of Creation, Tom Moldvay's other game.

    Swordbearer, which you mentioned.

    Villains & Vigilantes, currently in print in a new edition.

    Of course, I'll always advocate for Megatraveller, which is wrongly overshadowed by other editions. Partly, that's because of the flawed rollout when it first came out.

    Definitely agree with others on C&S and the various Tekumel systems. Similarly, Flashing Blades (which is in actual print, by the way, not just PDF) has some recognition, but should have a much wider audience.

    I would have said Top Secret, but Merle Rasmussen has a new adventure in the latest Gygax magazine, which is pretty damned cool.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Finnish old school tends to be neglected, I suspect many other countries have their own local almost forgotten games that perhaps deserve another chance at the spotlight.

    I have recently participated in translation of old Finnisg game called Acirema to bring it to english speaking world and larger audiences.

    ReplyDelete
  19. One game I haven't seen mentioned here is High Fantasy first published by Fantasy Productions and later by Reston Publishing. We didn't play it often, but we did enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wizards' World. I am glad Gobliniod games got the rights to this over looked classic from 1983 or so.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I should also add Fantasy Wargaming to my list. I really do think that, underneath the lack of polished editing and lack of proper development, there lies one of the great almost-was games of the pre-'85 era. A true diamond in the rough.

    ReplyDelete