2014-08-27

#RPGaDay 27

Day 27 — Game You’d Like to See a New/Improved Edition of…

This is a tricky question, just because the resurgence in popularity of RPGs, the groundwork laid down by the OGL, and the willingness of old IP holders and new publishers to work together to revisit classic product means that a ton of games already have new and improved editions. Want to play a better AD&D, OD&D, or any of the original versions of Basic D&D? You’ve got about a hundred different options.

Two things I would like to see, though:

First, properly legal and authorized PDF editions of every game every made. All companies, all editions, all games. If it existed at some point, give me the opportunity to buy a nicely scanned and text-searchable PDF. Wizards of the Coast has taken a huge step in the right direction with their D&D Classics program, but there’s way too much TSR and WotC stuff that should be in that pipeline but isn’t yet.

Second, an exact reprinting (with acceptable corrections and errata) of the original Traveller box set and supplements (Mercenary, High Guard, and the like). Not the original books reprinted in bigger formats (which we already have in spades; see “tricky question,” above), but actual reprinted little black books. Original 5.5 x 8.5 size, original cardstock covers, original fonts, original (lack of) artwork. Take my money. Seriously.

2014-08-26

#RPGaDay 26

Day 26 — Coolest Character Sheet

Numenera all the way. It’s a rare occurrence when a character sheet can make you feel like you’re already in the game even before your first stats are set down.


Honorable mention goes to AD&D. Because AD&D.


2014-08-25

#RPGaDay 25

Day 25 — Favourite RPG No One Else Wants to Play

Any of them, really. I would play pretty much anything, anytime given the opportunity.

I’ll take it upon myself to twist this question a bit, though, and say that the thing interfering most strenuously with my ability to play anything, anytime, isn’t a lack of willing players; it’s a lack of willing GMs. I’m pretty sure I could fill a table (either in real life or online) seven nights a week if I announced I was running the game each of those nights. But not only does that way madness lie, I really like to simply play sometimes — just me and my character.

2014-08-24

#RPGaDay 24

Day 24 — Most Complicated RPG Owned

This one’s a toss-up between two different versions of Dungeons & Dragons: AD&D and Pathfinder.

AD&D stands atop this category because its various systems, subsystems, and rules arcana made it pretty much impossible to play without constant reference to the rulebooks, frequent interruptions to look things up, and a strong sense that every time you tried to accomplish something task-based, you were pausing your main D&D game and starting up a mini-game to resolve whatever needed to be done. (The fact that the game was awesome in spite of all that speaks volumes to the power of the underlying paradigms, I think.)

Pathfinder is an honorable mention here because Paizo Publishing has done such a phenomenal job of building a new game on top of D&D v3.5 — but in the course of making sure the original core of v3.5 was kept intact, everything that’s been added to it has increased the complexity of possibility in the game. All the core Pathfinder expansion material (and much of the third-party expansion material) is excellent. But taken as a whole, it creates such a wealth of options for play (the original classes, new classes, backgrounds, new prestige classes, alternate class features, new races, archetypes, and on and on) that it  too often and too easily leads to a kind of analysis paralysis. Especially for new players, it’s impossible to figure out what you want to do with your character because there are simply too many options.

2014-08-23

#RPGaDay 23

Day 23 — Coolest Looking RPG Product/Book

Too many to choose from.

Old-school stuff:

Two maps of Greyhawk — the original World of Greyhawk folio and box set map (left and right), and Paizo’s four-part version that came with Dungeon magazine 118–121. I own multiple copies of the former and pristine copies of the latter, and I desperately need more wall space in my office.

The Planescape box set.

Newer stuff:

The Numenara corebook. (I suspect the Strange corebook should also be in here, but I haven’t had time to crack it yet.)

The 5e Player’s Handbook. A few illos are a little bit too retro for my taste, but across the board, the art direction in the book creates the sense that you’re looking at illustrations created within the world itself. And that’s what an RPG book should do.