Unlike many of my blogland compatriots, I’m not much of a gamer. That might read strangely, coming from someone interested enough in D&D to write this blog, and play RPGs at all (especially as a referee, given the time required). But it’s true. I don’t play board games and haven’t played any video game extensively since Final Fantasy XII. I find myself getting bored by most games other than D&D, and most of the time I would rather be reading or at the gym.
I don’t really have gamer ADD either, though I am a bit of a perfectionist and because of that sometimes feel the urge to start a new campaign from a blank slate. Even now I’m working on my next campaign in addition to the campaign I am currently running.
I haven’t played any tabletop RPG extensively other than D&D. I played a few White Wolf games in the 90s during high school, but no real campaigns. I owned several of the books, but have since sold them. I had a brief experience with RIFTS and hated it. I read most of the Nobilis book because it came highly recommended by a friend, but never played it. Cool ideas, but two high-powered for my tastes. I tried Ars Magica once, but the chargen took longer than the one or two sessions we ended up playing.
What’s the point of this? Following the ongoing OSR commentary, I’ve actually had my interest piqued regarding several other game systems. Specifically, the Stormbringer domain hack, over at Hill Cantons, Small But Vicious Dog (D&D mashed up with Warhammer), and the Lovecraft-inspired work at Secret Antiquities. Not to mention the continuing retrospectives of older games at Grognardia. SBVD is one of my favorite products that I have seen come out of the OSR, and I have zero experience with WFRP. I’m not sure if I would actually like to play them, but I think I would like to read them, for historical knowledge if nothing else. I’m sure they would also be a good source of ideas, even if I only continue to play D&D. Here are the games I am considering:
- Elric! or Stormbringer
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
- Call of Cthulhu
- Burning Wheel (recent, I know, but still looks interesting)
- Some other Chaosium games
- Chivalry & Sorcery
- Gamma World
- Spirit of the Century (also recent, I think)
However, I don’t really know where to start. Most or all of these games have multiple editions, and the first edition is not always the best. I’m really interested in classic versions, not cleaned up new school editions. So, readers, where would you recommend I begin? Any suggestions regarding versions to seek out or avoid? For Gamma World, I would probably start with Mutant Future, based on how much I like Labyrinth Lord, but for the others I’m really not sure. Which game would you pick to investigate first, for someone who doesn’t currently own a single RPG product that is not D&D or a retro-clone?