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Friday, April 10, 2015

What is Your Non-D&D-esque Old School Game of Choice?



Even those of us ass deep in Old School D&D and it's derivatives and offspring have a special place in our hearts for other Old School RPGs. It's OK. Really. You can have more than one true love.

For me, the other Old School systems that hold that special place for me are Tunnels & Trolls and RuneQuest - 5e and the Chaosium versions respectively, but I can make allowances for later editions. Oh, and Traveller too. Not Mega, not 2300AD, but the true Traveller of the little black books.

If they are going to find any modern love, it would be in Old School Quarterly, which should have an issue Zero this summer.

Ya gotta share your Old School love +Jason Paul McCartan . You never know what the future may hold. Tell us the Old School games that hold a special place in your heart.


45 comments:

  1. Where do you draw the "old school" line?

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  2. I've got a slew of old school games that I still have a special place for in my heart. WFRP 1e, Judge Dredd, Classic Traveller, Runequest 3, Rolemaster 2nd Edition, the original Shadowrun and up 3, B/X and games that flit around there, WEG Star Wars, FASA Star Trek, Dark Conspiracy, Earthdawn, Fantasy Hero, Cyberpunk 2020, and many others.

    But I'm also a fan of many newer games that plug into the feeling of those old-school games which is why Dungeon Crawl Classics, Barebones Fantasy, Dungeon World, Savage Worlds, and even FATE have great appeal to me because I can leverage a lot of the same ways that old school games are played with newer systems. Mechanics are only part of the old school experience. Layered on top of that is the interactions between the GM and players and how they interface at the table with the setting and the culture in which they were subsumed. The culture of old school games is from around that time of post-punk early/post-heavy metal period when science fiction and fantasy really was crossing over all over the place to create what eventually would become science fantasy and speculative fiction. So for me, the first 20-25 years of gaming is a blending of mechanics, culture, and what happens at the table. That's what a lot of the OSR captures and then enhances by embracing technology to allow greater sharing and communicating between those who take part in it. The world is no longer small, and we all are able to share in each other's world far easier than we could in the past, and this is A Good Thing (TM).

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    1. And I'll be putting up a blog post at oldschoolquarterly explaining what the definition of "old school" is for the purposes of the magazine. Some people are going to like it. Some people are going to hate it. I hope most people will appreciate it.

      For those that don't, well they can stick it in their craw. If they don't like it so much they can shut up and make their own damn magazine instead of having Permanent Bitchy Gamer Face.

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    2. Is Bitchy Gamer Face a treatable condition? Some kind of cream?

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    3. Doug, alas, most cases tend to be long-lived and untreatable. And a common co-complaint is BadWrongFunitis, an inflammation of the Fun Gland.

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    4. Doug, the treatment for it usually involves a Tree Surgeon, Colorectal Surgeon, a barrel of vaseline, and a wood chipper. Usually the patient refuses treatment.

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  3. I really want to say pacesetter but I haven't had a chance to play it, so it'd have to be early edition Shadowrun, Fudge (is it old school?) or T&T.

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    1. Also Villains & Vigilantes. Classic Traveller (3 LBBs plus Supp 4 and Striker) or MegaTraveller with the Imperium stripped out. Lords of Creation. Space 1889. 2300AD. Chivalry & Sorcery (1st or 2nd).

      I like a lot of roleplaying/adventure games.

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    2. I've read the system in that book, but never actually played it.

      Hmmm... *notes down idea for article of OSQ*

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    3. If you're talking about Fantasy Wargaming, I wrote a several-part overview and discussion about the game around three years back, beginning here if you're interested.

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  5. Where to start: Chivalry & Sorcery (Red book with the impossible to read font), still use it as a campaign creation resource; Traveller, little black books & Striker. Space 1889; Shadowrun 1st Ed (Elven assassins are cool), probably a half a dozen more in the infamous box in the basement.

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  6. Classic Traveller (before the Imperium), Chivalry and Sorcery 1st edition, The Fantasy Trip, Champions 1st or 2nd edition (before they went all Hero), Land of the Rising Sun, and Metamorphosis Alpha.

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    1. And d6 Star Wars though I only played it once.

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    2. And d6 Star Wars though I only played it once.

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  7. Classic Traveller (before the Imperium), Chivalry and Sorcery 1st edition, The Fantasy Trip, Champions 1st or 2nd edition (before they went all Hero), Land of the Rising Sun, and Metamorphosis Alpha.

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  8. The Fantasy Trip: In the Labyrinth and Runequest 2nd ed.

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  9. Chivalry & Sorcery, Rolemaster 2nd edition, Powers & Perils, Fantasy wargaming, and others

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  10. Ringworld. BRP rules for hard-sci planet adventures.

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  11. Ringworld. BRP rules for hard-sci planet adventures.

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  12. FASA Trek, 1st WEG Star Wars, Flashing Blades, Superworld, Golden Heroes, Call of Cthulhu, V&V, Pendragon, James Bond 007, TSR MSH, DC Heroes, 2nd Ed. Champions, Traveller, Bushido...all games I'd rather play than any version of Dungeons & Dragons.

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    1. Matt, and that's why there's going to be more than just fantasy/D&D in OSQ.

      Details on Issue Zero contents here: http://oldschoolquarterly.com/issue-zero/

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    2. The first thing that caught my attention was that there were other games included, which puts it miles ahead for me when compared to zines that see D&D as the be-all and end-all of roleplaying games.

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  13. Mutant Future/Gamma World (1st and 2nd ed), Champions 1st & 2nd ed, Top Secret, and Star Frontiers. Yes, I was largely a TSR nut back in the day.

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    1. How could I forget Top Secret? I love that game.

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  14. WFRP and Runequest. Love me some d100.

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  15. Top Secret SI (never had the original) and Twilight 2000 (the original).

    And best for last, Sandman: Map of Halaal

    Someone has to finish this series!!!

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  16. At the top of my list is The Atlantean Trilogy, then Rolemaster Classic, then Fantasy Hero.

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  17. Rolemaster 1st and 2nd ed. (MERP)
    Space 1889(which I reskinned and named Western 1879 ... I read a LOT of westerns back in 89 ... :) )
    Mekton II
    Cyberpunk

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  18. Rolemaster 1st and 2nd ed. (MERP)
    Space 1889(which I reskinned and named Western 1879 ... I read a LOT of westerns back in 89 ... :) )
    Mekton II
    Cyberpunk

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  19. Star Wars .... I almost forgot Star Wars :-)

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  20. (of old): The Morrow Project, Call of Cthulhu

    (of late): Dark Outpost/Dark Visitor (Lance system from Eldritch Ent.)

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  22. Rolemaster 2, extensively house ruled as any old school game should be!

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  23. As a young-un it was a real struggle to find people who would be willing to play these games, and when I did it was usually D&D.

    I did enjoy Paranoia & Shadowrun, for brief periods, until the campaigns fell apart.

    I'd love to try old style Traveller, but I can't understand the rules.

    For someone like me, I think the primary value of a game that runs the gamut of old-style games would be introducing me to the feel, style, and vocabulary of the games I never played (by adventure/content example useful to everyone, of course).

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