Friday, April 16, 2010

Survivor: RPG Island

The other night I was perusing my collection of RPGs, and while not as extensive as many that I have seen, my collection has two closets and several additional shelves dedicated to it. Every few months I lovingly rearrange the books, moving those that I find the most interesting to me at the time to "The Shelf of Prominence", where they are made easily accessible. Sadly the collection has become unwieldy. This is not to say that I have any plans to reduce the size of my collection. Far from it. It just got me to thinking about which of those games are the most important to me. If I could only keep one RPG, which one would it be? Well, that was just a ridiculous question as I could never possibly settle on just one. But what about three to five? That would seem like a more reasonable number. Reasonable, but by no means simple.

Slot 1: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: (1st Edition) plus the Holmes and Moldvay Basic D&D sets. Yes, this is cheating, since it's technically 2 or 3 games, but these are such an integral part of my childhood that I can't let them go. Besides, it's my list and my rules. ;-)

Slot 2: Savage Worlds. This was a tough fight with the Hero System. I need a generic system and while I love Hero (at least up to 5th edition), I'm old and don't have as much time as I used to, so Savage Worlds wins here.

Slot 3: Labyrinth Lord. Yes, it's just a retro clone of Moldvay & Cook's Basic and Expert D&D, but I still like it. The artwork is cool and players can buy a copy without going to ebay. For a quick, fun dungeon crawl with easily replaceable characters, this is my game.

Slot 4: The Dying Earth Roleplaying Game. This is the weird one of the bunch. I'm quite fond of Jack Vance's Dying Earth stories and Pelegrane Press did a wonderful job capturing the feel of that bizarre and doomed world. It's a shame that it's out of print, but they are in negotiations to reacquire it. The Scaum Valley Gazerteer remains one of my favorite RPG reads of all time. Definitely not a game for those who love combat. In fact, the game tells you that if you find yourself in combat, something has gone very wrong. Deadly, ;-)

Slot 5: Dungeons and Dragons (4th Edition) Hey, it's grown on me.

Slot 6: Justice Inc. Whoops! I did 6. :-)

Slot 7: Tunnels & Trolls. I've always loved this game, but rarely been able to find players who were into it enough to play it with me. Take That You Fiend!

Runners up:

Hero System (5th Edition)
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying (2nd Edition)
RuneQuest II (Mongoose Edition)

Dishonorable Mention:

Powers & Perils What was up with this game? Seriously.

I should really just have made this a top 10.