Thursday, December 20, 2012

The 7 Games You've Run the Most

This article over at Gnome Stew got me to thinking about this, and I thought it was interesting enough to do myself. Anyone who has been reading the blog for any length of time can probably figure out most of them but I wanted to go through it myself and see if there were any surprises. I did the played yesterday so today is "DM'd"

The 7 Games I've Run the Most: 

1 - D&D 3rd Edition - There's no doubt about this one. I started running it in late 2000 and barring a few short gaps over the years I ran it almost continuously until the end of 2009. It's easily my longest urn as a DM and the greatest number of hours spent on any one game. It was during this time that I shifted into being pretty much a full-time DM, playing a lot less than I had in the past. Most of his was one large group that stayed together for the entire time. Settings included Greyhawk (return to the Temple of Elemental Evil), Kalamar (various published adventures), and the Scarred Lands (lots of Necromancer Games and Goodman Games adventures) as interests came and went and various TPK's occurred. It was a good long run and it's been long enough now that I could probably enjoy running it again.

2 - D&D 4th Edition - The most recent edition didn't get rolling until late 2009 for me as I initially disliked it a lot. Once it got going though, I've been running it for most of the last 3 years with a few gaps here and there for two different groups. I really like it but I and skeptical that it will dethrone the one above as the all-time most-run. I've talked about these on the blog but I've been doing a lot of conversions of older material to the new game and it's been a lot of fun.

3 - Rifts - Yeah, this surprised me a bit too. I've run about 2 years worth of Rifts, most of it in one 18-month campaign back in the 90's. Somewhere between "Masochist" and "Most awesome DM ever" lies the guy who says "I'll run Rifts" and sticks with it for more than a year. That was me. Not sure I would do it again but you never know. This is all homebrew stuff,  and the majority centered around a quest across a ruined America.

4 - AD&D 2nd Edition - I ran some of this but I played more. Most of my game was set in Greyhawk, partly because I like it and partly to distinguish it from my friend's Realms campaign. We spent a lot of time around the Nyr Dyv moving between the City of Greyhawk and Dyvers, from capturing a dragon to intervening in a gang war. This covered about 2 years of sessions, though somewhat spread out.

5 - Shadowrun - Including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Edition I have run multiple short campaigns since the game came out, the longest lasting about 6 months. These were always set in Seattle to take advantage of the numerous resources published for that city. I ran a few published adventure, I think DNA/DOA was the first thing I ran in the game after Food Fight, and it's always been fun. I'm not sure I'm in much of cyberpunk mood these days but lord knows I have enough material for it. 

6 - Star Wars (d20) - one several month campaign, one short follow-up, then a couple of short Saga edition games and that's all I've run for Star Wars, but some of the moments were pretty memorable. I've detailed most of them on the blog.

7 - Savage Worlds - I've only run a few different games in this system but I think it still adds up to more time than some of my other candidates. Most of it was Necessary Evil, but I've done some Deadlands and some 50 Fathoms as well. 

After this we get into a lot of games where I've run one medium-length campaign or a few short runs over the years: Fantasy Hero, Champions, Deadlands, Deadlands HOE, AD&D, B/X D&D, Traveller, Warhammer, FRP, Babylon 5, Twilight 2000, Dark Conspiracy, and probably others I am forgetting.  As I noted yesterday, this batch is even more evidence that there is always a D&D game, and then there are the other games. Fortunately I now get to run more stuff than I used to. Having a captive audience helps.

ICONS and M&M are the two candidates likely to overtake the lower elements of this list. Icons I've only had ICONS for about a year and a half and though we've played it quite a bit the sessions tend to be shorter than other games. M&M has only recently become part of the rotation but I expect we will play more of it over the next year too. I'm happy that the top items in this list are the thing I run now and the thing I ran before what I run now, with some newer stuff moving into the lower ranks. I think that's a pretty good mix.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The 7 Games You've Played the Most

This article over at Gnome Stew got me to thinking about this, and I thought it was interesting enough to do myself. Anyone who has been reading the blog for any length of time can probably figure out most of them but I wanted to go through it myself and see if there were any surprises. I'll do the "played" today and the "GM'd" tomorrow.

The 7 Games I've Played the Most: (this assumes "DMing" doesn't count as "playing")

1 - AD&D  - I spent a LOT of time on this one, getting my DMG about 1980 and the rest of the books  the next year and a regular set playing group the year after that - one that stuck around for decades. This was THE game for me in the 80's, all others were secondary, and I obsessed over it like nothing since.

2 -AD&D Second Edition - Yeah this kind of surprised me, but we had a full 11 year run on this as we started the day it came out in 1989 and played it regularly until the 3rd edition launch in 2000. The center of this time was a nice long ongoing campaign set in the Forgotten Realms that a friend of mine ran pretty much this entire run, which was basically "the 90's".

3 - Gamma World  - I'm cheating a bit by lumping all editions together here but it was really one ongoing campaign that started in 2nd edition with one set of characters about 1983 and continued through 3rd edition (convert and move on!) and 4th edition into the 1990's. Run by the same friend, this was set from the ruins of Louisiana up to the Great Lakes over the years.Part D&D, part Western, part Superheroes, we had a lot of fun with this game.

4 - D&D 3rd Edition - I'm going by hours here, as over the years I played this quite a bit but never in a good long sustained campaign. Added up it's probably the fourth most-played game but it tended to be in very small chunks here and there. The biggest problem here is that I was running so much I didn't have time to play 

5 - Mechwarrior - I am again lumping all editions together here. This game came out in 1986 and we jumped on it immediately, having a fondness for the giant robot war story campaign that never really went away. Again, a friend of mine ran it, and a group of about 4 of us played it in sustained bursts for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd editions, through the original succession wars, and into the clan invasion. We painted the mini's, read the novels, and waged war on a planetary scale at times. Most of our Battletech games were tied in to our Mechwarrior campaign, wherever it happened to be at the time. It's a whole different way to play the game as having to consider "what happens next" gives one a different perspective on combat, from character fates to repairs, to transportation - it was a lot of fun.

6 - Twilight 2000 - I was pulled into a campaign of this in the late 80's run by one friend and it became a regular part of the rotation with another friend running campaigns of it as well. It's a fairly realistic game - there are no magical healers, radiation kills you instead of granting superpowers, and there are no giant robots, zombies, ninjas, or wizards.It's just a group of relatively normal humans trying to make their way in a broken world. Overcoming those challenges makes for a fun game though not  everyone likes that kind of thing. We played 1st edition, 2nd edition, 2.2 all back forth from about 1987 into the 90's and even had a short run of 1st edition just a few years ago.

7 - Star Trek - Fasa edition. Besides the various D&D's this is the only entry that covers only one edition of a game but it was a lot of fun. Creating a single character and running him over most of a decade (on and off) is something I have not done before or since. There have been other Trek games but this is the only one I experienced as a player.

After this we get into a long tail of Traveller, Boot Hill, Marvel Super Heroes, Champions, Shadowrun, Warhammer FRP, Rifts, Gurps, B/X D&D, Star Wars, 4E D&D etc. I've played a lot of games but the ones listed above form the core of my playing experience. One thing should be clear from the above: There is always a D&D game, then are the side games or temporary diversions. I don;t expect that will change anytime soon.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Overreaction Tuesday

  • There's a little EN World retrospective here with some comments from both the originator and the current keeper of the site. I remember finding it in 1999 and soaking up every tidbit of information on the coming edition. That makes it about the same age as one of my kids, which simultaneously feels like a long time ago and yesterday.
  • State of the Mongoose for 2012 - I really like these articles as they are straight from the source - not a rumor, not a press release, but a status report from the guy running the company. Mongoose has had its ups and downs but as a fan of Traveller and Victory at Sea I'm glad to see things are going alright. He does mention that the RPG print market ain't great. I don't think that's a surprise to most of us but it's somewhat sobering to hear from a guy with real skin in the game.
  •  New D&D Playtest packet is out. Might have to give this one a chance over the break.
  • New article on D&D: Moving Target Edition specifically covering Prestige Classes and stating basically the same goals for them that 3E originally stated for them, which lasted until about the first supplement, if that long. As stated, I like the concept - but I liked it in 2000 too and I saw where it went and didn't like that much at all. Maybe it will be different Next time  - but that's a tall order. As long as I get my Frenzied Berserker then I will give them a chance ...
  • Obligatory national article on D&D coinciding with The Hobbit. Sure, I expect D&D to go mainstream any day now. 
  • And if you missed it here is the Paizo 2011 retrospective. The main item of interest for me was the tale of the Beginner Box. I think it's a big deal and I liked reading the backstory on how it came about.

A Superhero Nugget

City of Heroes Nugget: Titan Networks has published a means to unlock the CoH character creator - YES! Check it out here.

Motivational Monday