Saturday, March 3, 2012

200+ Tavern Followers Contest - Name Your Favorite Non-OSR RPG

Yep, we've been sitting at 200+ at the Tavern for about a week, so it's time to get the contest started.  Besides, I want to get the most of the GM Sale discounts that I can use towards it ;)

First, the contest:  Tell me about your favorite Non-OSR RPG System.  As I'll be running a series of posts detailing the Original 7 RPGs, I want to know about games that aren't one of the 7 I'll be posting about.  Tell us why your choice rocks!

Now, here's the gifts that will be given out to random commenters:

1 - $10 Gift Certificate to OneBookShelf

1 - Dead Tree (Print) copy of Castle of the Dead - A Tunnels & Trolls solo for 7.5e by Andy Holmes (this gift is only for U.S. postal addresses - I gotta fork over the postage - I'll find a substitute if you are from outside the States ;)

1 - Red Tide: Campaign Sourcebook and Sandbox Toolkit - PDF copy - For LL but useful in any OSR campaign.

10 Random Folks that add a comment to this post will get their choice of One (1) Toys For the Sandbox Adventure (you can look them up here).

Contest runs from now through 830 PM NYC Time on Monday, March 5th, 2012.  Yep, the time is only 48 hours, so don't wait.  Recipients of gifts will need to look on this blog Monday night to see if they won.  PDFs must be claimed by the end of the GM Sale at RPGNow on March 7, 2012.  You'll need to provide me with the email address you use at RPGNow to get your gift.  Recipients of a Toys For the Sandbox Adventure will also need to email me their choice, or I'll choose a random one for ya'!

I'll make a separate post announcing the winners on Monday Night.

There ya go!

Start commenting!

(edit: also accepting entries at the corresponding Google+ thread)


  1. Traveller!

    My compadres and I have played out scenarios that mirror some of the best (or worst) SciFi movies and novels using Traveller as a basis.

    I ran an Outland-based scenario back in the day that had the player's characters as law enforcement vs the hired thugs of the mining operation manager. The funny thing was that they never caught on what film I was taking the plot from ;)

  2. I was thinking about this and have to choose GURPS. I've played it just as much as any game I've played and plan on getting into another game of it soon. So GURPS it is.

  3. Talislanta - I think maybe the 2nd edition. I love the simplicity of the system, the great race/classes, and the creative setting. My only regret ... I've never had a chance to play the darn thing. Which reminds me, if anyone is running a Talislanta game on Google+, let me know.

  4. Top Secret. This was the game that I played the most, after D&D, back in the day. I still consider it one of the best examples of a sandbox-style game system. The game contained little advice on how to play it; what it gave you was a whole lot of tools then got out of the way.

  5. Amber Diceless Roleplaying!

    Based on an incredible series of novels by Roger Zelazny (who was mentioned in the famous Appendix N), the Amber DRPG was created by the great Erick Wujcik, who I hold in equal estimation with Gary Gygax.

    The game has a simple and unique diceless system that paradoxically offers quite complex gameplay. Besides D&D, this is the game I have played the most in my life. It can be a challenging game, but all the more rewarding for all that.

  6. Flashing Blades - twenty-eight years after its release, it's still one of the best cape-and-sword games available.

    And it's still in print!

  7. Marvel Superheroes (aka 'FASERIP') is the clear winner in my book. Basics simple enough to teach a child - but some surprisingly deep subsystems for more advanced players (the optional 'Realms of Magic' magic system still can't be beat for flavor). The entire system seems designed for playing on-the-fly by modeling characters, powers, gear, and everything else based on the charmingly-goofy yet surprisingly-intuitive adjectives of the universal chart. And since it's superheroes, it handles pretty much any genre and makes for really easy pickup and cross-dimensional gaming.

  8. I had the most fun with WFRP 1st Edition. I played a Norscan Pit Fighter, named Kevlar, of all things. He was fun and the crit system in WFRP is a blast.

  9. My choice isn't one of the Original Seven you've selected for review, but I'd certainly count it as an old-school game. Then again, I would count Traveller as old-school and that's not in the Seven either.


    My pick is Call of Cthulhu. Much is made of its clunky ruleset nowadays, but I still find it light and elegant in al the right ways, ie, it gets out of the way when you're trying to evoke a bit of cosmic horror. The sanity mechanic is simple but brilliant, and the general premise of average folk holding back the dark is, to my mind, much more heroic than most other rpg settings. I love it to bits and it's my favourite rpg, old-school or not.

  10. West End Game's Star Wars. This is the game of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or rules laden as a modern RPG; an elegant rules set for a more civilized age. For over a thousand rolls, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the old RPGs. Before the dark times... before the Wizards of the Coast.

  11. Jorune, 2nd ed. Never-mind the rules were changed half-way through that edition, Skyrealms of Jorune had amazing art and really cool non-humans on an alien world with a "magic" system and culture that were alien. Sure the alien-nature could keep people away but it sent thivver-trills of joy up by trid-nodes.

  12. GURPS. The latest edition has grown a little too complex for my taste but GURPS works for just about every genre, especially historical ones, and once you get the hang of character generation it's very simple -- all the math is done before you begin playing. I've played in more awesome GURPS campaigns than anything else.

    The only genre it doesn't do well IMO is superheroes. It's great for a different kind of fantasy than D&D too, but not really ideal for a dungeon crawl type game.

  13. I would have to agree with Erik, Marvel Superheroes (aka 'FASERIP') is probably THE game that taught me everything I know and hold dear about gaming. It was amazingly forward thinking in the rules-lite method of dealing with situations that rely on a fast thinking GM to hold together a game where a normal human with a few gadgets might stand up against a world-wrecking god.

    If ever there was a game that I would go back to in a heart beat, it would be Marvel.

  14. Here's another for the FASERIP Marvel system. Much love.

  15. 14 entries here and 9 on g+ by my count - not bad, and over a day to go :)

  16. Attempting to stick to "completely not old school", Hollow Earth Expedition would be my pick. I feel like it properly captures the pulp action style. The rules are light enough for players to pick up on it quickly. I've found character generation to be a bit daunting (and as such, I've only run it 4 or 5 times as one-shots with pre-gens), but have had a blast playing. Any game where you can feed Nazis to dinosaurs is okay in my book.

  17. I'll put in another vote for Call of Cthulhu. It has 30+ years of longevity, with no major rules changes, and a strong but small base of core players.

    One thing that differentiates Cthulhu play from D&D is how the nature of heroism changes. It's great fun to mug kobolds and stab goblins in the face and rob them of their coppers, but taking on the role of an asthmatic University professor and facing down occult horrors to save the world is a whole different matter. It's an acquired taste to play regular folks striving against the horror, when everything else in the game views you as a victim, or food.

  18. RPGs I played in high school besides DnD (well, played many more hex and chit games than RPGs but we were busy gamers):
    Ars Magica (only once, 1st edition)
    Gamma World (is that one of the seven?)
    Top Secret

    College began as a return to Dnd, but then we again stretched out:
    Rolemaster (my go-to game for a long time)
    GURPS (can't even recall the genre, think it wasn't fantasy but what was it?)

    Game I've always wanted but never played:

  19. Dragonlance 5th Age/Marvel Superheroes Adventure Game. It has a rocky reputation, but I really enjoyed the SAGA system--it made me feel simultaneously very heroic and very threatened, in a good way. And I thoroughly enjoyed the freeform magic system it implemented. And I could see it changing genres very easily, which was the final big requirement for me.

  20. For me, Rolemaster. It was the first fantasy system I played after 2nd ed splat/crap mania drove me from D&D. It was granular and crunchy. It let me make all the characters I imagined. I would play it today if I could find 3+ willing Austinites. Today there is choice of RM Classic, RMSS, & HARP.

  21. 7th Sea. It has a great system for cinematic combat, elegant mechanics for other game elements, and an incredible alt-earth setting and background.

  22. Sandman, from some publisher I can't remember. Maybe Mayfair games?

    But I don't remember, and if I were a character in the game I would be on a train, with amnesia, wouldn't be able to look it up and not know who I was either. When I played this game I was pretty young, and stupid, and didn't think of checking my pockets. The GM gave us a hint, otherwise the story would have stalled. I probably spoiled one of the first challenges in the game.

    I remember seeing this game advertised in Dragon, and talked the GM into buying it. I don't remember getting very far, but I'll never forget the game. I don't even think there were character sheets, so this would make it one of the first "Story Games".

    A 2nd runner up for me would be Twilight 2000. The hardest game I've ever played, every session was a TPK because the party was used to power-gaming D&D (things haven't changed much.)

  23. HeroQuest, because it is both versatile (you can play any genre, any time period) and scalable (you can use the same mechanism to describe contests between people, armies, guilds, cities, and even nations -- just find a key word and add a mastery level).

  24. Dangerous Journeys.

    I like the way it encourages adventures that emulate the stories in old pulp magazines from the forties and fifties.

  25. "Chill" by West End Games is near and dear to my heart, as well as its brother, "Call of Cthulu."

  26. Hmm. Always love free stuff. But here's my choices for some great old games:
    Top Secret: It started my love of espionage games.
    Daredevils by FGU: My first ever Pulp game.
    Pendragon the early editions: Because it was just a fun way back when.

  27. Tom Moldvay's Lords of Creation published by Avalon Hill. Fantastic game where anything goes, from stone age to spaceflight, with simple action resolution and skill systems. I loved that each game session could involve a completely different genre. The interior art also did a lot to help set the mood of the game for me as it did in 5th edition Tunnels and Trolls.

  28. Top Secret. I'm not sure if I would care for the detail of its combat systems (both armed & unarmed) today, but at the time, it was perfect escapism for a nerdy pre-teen.

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