#RPGaDay

“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.

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8 thoughts on “#RPGaDay

  1. OK, here’s my list

    1st – First RPG Played: Original D&D. the white box with the wizard on the cover. Bought in 1977; first dungeon run was in November 1977 after I’d moved house.

    2nd – First RPG Gamemastered: Original D&D. November 1977; two players. One hated the concept so much he has NEVER played another rpg to date!

    3rd – First RPG Purchased: Original D&D.

    4th – Most recent RPG purchase: Spycraft 2.0 PDF and hardback book 3 weeks ago

    5th – Most Old School RPG owned: Original D&D. Only the three books now, Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry and Gods (etc.) went missing years ago. Shame really as they’re worth quite a bit now.

    6th – Favourite RPG Never get to play: I love Everway character generation and the whole ethereal ‘thingyness’ of it. It’s like roleplaying a YES album from the 1970’s. Also Eclipse Phase, setting is fantastic, books are beautiful, character generation is a bad toothache.

    7th – Most “intellectual” RPG owned: Probably Everway (I have two copies of the boxed game plus two sets of the expansion cards). Diaspora is a close second.

    8th – Favourite character: Graawolf, aka Growly. A Vargr I played in the Traveller Adventure (I love the Vargr and have transplanted them into Mindjammer and Stars Without Number). Growly was the archtypical small dog, always believing he had better Charisma than his peers. He nearly blew the whole adventure on Jesedipere because he kept challenging the Alpha.

    9th – Favourite Die / Dice Set: 12 x d6 in Traveller colours (black with red spots). Unfortunately the dice don’t always like me.

    10th – Favourite tie-in Novel / Game Fiction: Mindjammer by Sarah Newton, author of the Mindjammer RPG. This novel is a page-turner and is a must read for a Mindjammer GM

    11th – Weirdest RPG owned: Hollowpoint (by the creators of Diaspora). We tried playing a simple set-up but couldn’t get our heads round what was happening

    12th – Old RPG you still play / read: Call of Cthulhu (I have the original boxed set, the GW printing and the 6th Edition, plus Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, Masks, Beyond the Mountains of Madness etc.). I never get tired of reading the scenarios. Unfortunately, my players are not yet ready (the stars are not right)

    13th – Most Memorable Character Death: A PC in one of my Games was caught at Ground Zero of a nuclear explosion. He asked if the two hand grenades he was carrying had exploded. The reply was: – possibly, but I doubt anyone would have noticed.

    14th – Best Convention Purchase: Starblazer Adventures and the GM Screen for £25

    15th – Favourite Convention Game: Sometime back in the 1980’s at Birmingham Univeristy, playing Golden Heroes with Simon Burley and Pete Haines (the authors). I played my own character Silverknight ( an Iron Man type of guy). I don’t remember the outcome, but I do have signed copies of the GW rulebooks (I also have the original rules printing with the cover by Jez Keen).

    16th – Game you wish you owned: SpaceQuest! Yes! “Survive the void with your mind and molecules intact”

    17th – Funniest Game you’ve played: Paranoia. Has to be the right group of players though. It really doesn’t work IMO if the players try to work against the GM rather than with them.

    18th – Favourite Game System: Too many. Savage Worlds in the Beasts and Barbarians setting, Stars Without Number (currently solo), Spycraft 2.0 (currently running, players loving it)

    19th – Favourite Published Adventure: The Traveller Adventure. I played in this for about a year or so until the Game died a death

    20th – Will still play in 20 years time: I’ll be 75!. Probably will be playing Codgers and Creatures.

    21st – Favourite Licensed RPG: The West End Games version of Star Wars. I have a huge collection of the books and supplements; however it has never been a hit with my players

    22nd – Best Secondhand RPG Purchase: Space 1899 (GDW) from a charity shop for 50p. And, bound issues of White Dwarf 1-40 for £5 (in the red folders). The WD issue 1 was the 1979 reprint. I also have the 1977 original.

    23rd – Coolest looking RPG product / book: Eclipse Phase The internal artwork in this was just fantastic.

    24th – Most Complicated RPG Owned: Eclipse Phase. I love the setting and the books are superb. However, character generation can take a good two hours; all wasted and having to be redone if you resleeve.

    25th – Favourite RPG no one else wants to play: Diaspora. I love the concepts and the shared cluster generation. However, my players are just not interested

    26th – Coolest character sheet: Stars Without Number; they are basic and fulfil the requirements.

    27th – Game You’d like to see a new / improved edition of: Empire of the Petal Throne perhaps, although the only published setting I’ve used for years is Beasts and Barbarians

    28th – Scariest Game you’ve played: There is some pretty gruesome stuff in Masks of Nyarlathotep

    29th – Most memorable encounter: Playing Danger International (Hero System) in the 1980’s. A PC was held hostage by a bad guy; I tried an Aimed Shot; blew the roll and killed the PC. The player was not happy at all and left the Game, never to return

    30th – Rarest RPG Owned: The original 1977 edition of Classic Traveller, in the black and red box

    31st – Favourite RPG of all time: Savage Worlds. The players love the Game-System and it is easy to write adventures for.

  2. Hmm, saw a couple mentions of 1977 Traveller as rarest RPG. Thinking about it for my own collection, I guess that would depend on whether one includes self-published games (and then what constitutes “published”?). Are there any good sources for print runs of commercially published RPGs? I’m sure I’ve got some rare ones (and my 1977 Traveller is probably NOT the rarest one)?

    • And I suppose my list to the best of my ability:

      1st – First RPG Played: Holmes Basic D&D.

      2nd – First RPG Gamemastered: Holmes Basic D&D.

      3rd – First RPG Purchased: Probably OD&D.

      4th – Most recent RPG purchase: Torchbearer (last year)

      5th – Most Old School RPG owned: OD&D.

      6th – Favourite RPG Never get to play: Torchbearer

      7th – Most “intellectual” RPG owned: Chivalry and Sorcery

      8th – Favourite character: Rik Osterhout, a Burning Wheel Gold strider with a Great Wolf companion.

      9th – Favourite Die / Dice Set: My Lou Zocchi octohedral D4s

      10th – Favourite tie-in Novel / Game Fiction: I haven’t read too much game fiction, some of the Forgotten Realms novels probably were my favorite reads of what i have read.

      11th – Weirdest RPG owned: Bunnies & Burrows

      12th – Old RPG you still play / read: OD&D

      13th – Most Memorable Character Death: I have played so little compared to my GMing, that it’s hard to say. My most recent character death was the cleric Zsolt in an Makofan’s OD&D play by post.

      14th – Best Convention Purchase: Maybe Adventures in Fantasy (other than way too much D20 stuff, I have a hard time thinking of what else I’ve purchased at conventions)

      15th – Favourite Convention Game: A Paul Gazis Traveller convention run.

      16th – Game you wish you owned: To mirror above… SpaceQuest! Yes! “Survive the void with your mind and molecules intact” I regret selling this.

      17th – Funniest Game you’ve played: Hmm, I don’t play things like Toon or Paranoia, probably some session of D&D

      18th – Favourite Game System: Burning Wheel Gold, OD&D, RuneQuest, or Traveller

      19th – Favourite Published Adventure: Apple Lane

      20th – Will still play in 20 years time: OD&D, Traveller, RuneQuest, Burning Wheel

      21st – Favourite Licensed RPG: I’m pretty much out of licensed RPGs

      22nd – Best Secondhand RPG Purchase: Swords & Glory boxed set for $10 or a pretty complete RQII collection for $50

      23rd – Coolest looking RPG product / book: I’ve always been drawn to the RuneQuest cover.

      24th – Most Complicated RPG Owned: Chivalry and Sorcery is my first guess, but there probably is something more complicated in my stash

      25th – Favourite RPG no one else wants to play: Cold Iron (a college friends RPG)

      26th – Coolest character sheet: RuneQuest or Burning Wheel Gold

      27th – Game You’d like to see a new / improved edition of: I’d rather see reprinted original games rather than new editions, I’m tired of seeing endless new editions. Ok, how about supplement: Monster Burner updated to Burning Wheel Gold.

      28th – Scariest Game you’ve played: I don’t play horror type games, so I guess I’d go for the deadliest which wou

      29th – Most memorable encounter:

      30th – Rarest RPG Owned: As above, what’s the criteria here? I’d have to see some print run numbers to know which is my rarest. I do have 1977 Traveller, but I’m sure something else that I have is rarer. Other POSSIBLE candidates: Chivalry & Sorcery 1st ed (also the oldest game (by printing – OD&D is of course older, but my OD&D printing postdates C&S) in my collection, though not my first purchase, I now own my friend’s copy which was HIS 2nd RPG after Holmes Basic D&D), RuneQuest 1st ed, Adventures in Fantasy, since it was mentioned Ring World (also have Elfquest)
      ,
      31st – Favourite RPG of all time: at this point Burning Wheel Gold

    • Not so far as I know. iCV2 is only interested in the best-selling handful and splits and merges data in strange ways. ENWorld tracks RSS feeds, but that only tells you how much a game is being talked about, not how many copies it sold. Most publishers don’t release data. Finally, a lot of the oldies-but-goodies are being re-released under OGL or as PDF files. So it’s subjective at best, sorry.

      I’m not sure how rare 1977 CT is in absolute terms, but it’s probably the rarest one I have in hardcopy.

      I’d guess the rarest commercially-published RPG is the Last Unicorn Games Dune RPG, of which only something like 3,000 copies were ever printed. If you’ve got one of those, hang on to it.

      • I think the DGP (as opposed to GDW) Megatraveller material (which I personally like a lot) is probably a lot rarer than CT in that it’s impossible, due to a copyright bust-up that makes the break-up of the Beatles look like a minor tiff, to reprint it. Or I think that’s the case. Old Traveller stuff went through a phase of being incredibly expensive to get hold of, but most of it having been reprinted in different forms I don’t think it’s worth much these days.

        I do have the Ringworld RPG (and Companion) somewhere and I remember that being more than a little difficult to track down.

  3. I too would like to see a copy of Tyr Games Spacequest. Is the only rpg game i have ever played solo. The designers follow up games Bushido and Aftermath weren’t bad either

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