“Make every song you sing your favourite tune.” – The Rolling Stones, Shine a Light
I’m late to the party on this one, but just for fun, this is what I would have posted day by day if I’d been paying attention to the challenge…
1st – First RPG Played: Original D&D. We’re talking the 1974 edition of the white box here, although I didn’t actually start playing until 1976.
2nd – First RPG Gamemastered: Original D&D.
3rd – First RPG Purchased: Original D&D.
4th – Most recent RPG purchase: Interface Zero 2.0 cyberpunk setting for Savage Worlds.
5th – Most Old School RPG owned: Original D&D. Although I have lost the box and quick reference sheets now. C’mon, WotC, re-release the PDF already. You know you want to.
6th – Favourite RPG Never get to play: Fortunately, over the last 3-4 years I’ve been able to play pretty much whatever I like; the only limitation has been what we can fit into our schedules.
7th – Most “intellectual” RPG owned: A tie for this one: Vampire the Masquerade, Dogs in the Vineyard and The One Ring, all of which take me a long way out of my action-adventure comfort zone, deep into narrativist territory. For some reason, I associate “intellectual” with “narrativist” (and Ingmar Berman films; I feel sure Vampire is the RPG Bergman would’ve played).
8th – Favourite character: Volshen, the Favoured of the Slug. A barking mad, slug-worshipping, thief-hating wizard with a slug familiar. His NPC sidekick was, of course, a thief, who lived in terror of his secret being discovered. Many years of bizarre fun were sadly terminated when I failed to realise the artefact under construction in the dwarven city was a primitive atomic bomb. Oops.
9th – Favourite Die / Dice Set: I have a set of percentile dice from 1976, NavWar I think, which I’ve used as d20s for nearly 40 years now. My wife bought me a pair of small, silver d6 as a gift some years ago, which have great sentimental value, but are too valuable to be "working dice".
10th – Favourite tie-in Novel / Game Fiction: The Man of Gold by M.A.R. Barker, set in his game world of Tekumel. Very close behind that, Oath of Swords by David Weber – not explicitly game fiction, but by the end of it you’d be able to identify the class and approximate level of all the main characters under D&D, and take a good guess at what the spellcasters had memorised.
11th – Weirdest RPG owned: Amber. I don’t really get diceless RPGs, I’m afraid. I have nothing against them, they are just a language I don’t speak.
12th – Old RPG you still play / read: Original D&D. Most years, the old D&D crew from University days gets together for a marathon weekend session. These days, a few of our kids join in too. It’s the highlight of the gaming year for me.
13th – Most Memorable Character Death: My fighter facing off against an ancient red dragon while the rest of the party ran away. And then hiding behind a rock once they were out of sight… it didn’t help.
14th – Best Convention Purchase: Original D&D. I got the white box and all the supplements then available at a con in London in 1976 for £20, which was serious money in those days.
15th – Favourite Convention Game: Playing the NPC mad scientist in one of the scenarios at AmberCon, a long time ago. The PCs had decided I was a harmless old man, being unjustly persecuted, until they realised what I was building in the basement could destroy the universe if my calculations were off by a smidgen. It was FOR SCIENCE, you philistines!
16th – Game you wish you owned: SpaceQuest. I used to own this, but it went walkabout a few years ago. I keep meaning to replace it and Savage the setting.
17th – Funniest Game you’ve played: Paranoia. There are only two games that have made me laugh out loud just from reading them; this is one. The other was the Dying Earth RPG, in case you’re interested.
18th – Favourite Game System: This has evolved over the years… In sequence, OD&D (1976), Classic Traveller (1977-1985), 2300AD (1986-2006), True20 (2007-2008), and most recently Savage Worlds (2009 to date). Dates in parentheses are those during which I would’ve said it was my favourite game system. Now that I look at that, the one that held sway the longest was 2300AD, which is not what I would’ve said if I hadn’t checked my records.
19th – Favourite Published Adventure: Death of a Tyrant (GRAmel) for Savage Worlds. We had an absolute blast playing that.
20th – Will still play in 20 years time: Yes, but I’m not sure what; it will depend on who I’m still playing with, since that matters more to me than what we play. The older I get, the more my gaming interests drift from science fiction towards fantasy, I’m not entirely sure why, so most likely some kind of fantasy setting using D&D (9th edition no doubt) or Savage Worlds. Let’s see when I get there.
21st – Favourite Licensed RPG: Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing, 2nd Edition; or if you want something licenced from outside gaming, the West End Games version of Star Wars.
22nd – Best Secondhand RPG Purchase: SpaceQuest. A little-known gem whose concepts can still be seen in Space Opera and Stars Without Number, if you know where to look.
23rd – Coolest looking RPG product / book: AD&D Second Edition. The internal artwork in this was just superb.
24th – Most Complicated RPG Owned: Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing, 3rd Edition. I would never GM this, because it’s too complicated and has too many fiddly little bits; I only play it because that’s what the main gaming group I play in now prefers.
25th – Favourite RPG no one else wants to play: Again, I’m lucky here; the group I’ve been GMing for will try anything, it’s just a question of what we can fit in, as we only play every few weeks.
26th – Coolest character sheet: The sheets for the pregenerated characters in the Pathfinder Beginner Box. Normally, I create my own, and practicality generally trumps coolness.
27th – Game You’d like to see a new / improved edition of: I’d like to see a Savage Worlds science fiction setting done properly, one that inspires me as much as the Beasts & Barbarians fantasy setting. I hope that either Nova Praxis or The Last Parsec will do that; but there really ought to be a licenced setting for the Dumarest Saga, ideally for Savage Worlds or Traveller.
28th – Scariest Game you’ve played: Games don’t scare me personally, but my group stopped playing All Things Zombie because it was giving one of the players nightmares.
29th – Most memorable encounter: There are so many of these, but if I had to pick just one: Persuading a group of ogres in Moria that they should give us all their gold to save themselves from heavy metal poisoning.
30th – Rarest RPG Owned: The original 1977 edition of Classic Traveller, at least since my copies of SpaceQuest and Ringworld went walkabout.
31st – Favourite RPG of all time: Original D&D. The most fun and the best memories came from playing this in the 1970s; I’ve been trying to recreate that ambience ever since, but I suspect the feeling was more about being young and playing with those particular people than it was about the game itself, so I doubt that even going full-on Old School would help.