The March Madness – Non-D&D OSR Blog Challenge came on my radar as I read other blogs. Just having come off the D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Challenge in February, I was not up to scheduling another month. I will do as many other have done and do one post for all the questions.
March Madness 31 day Obscure Game Blogging Challenge
1 What was the first roleplaying game other than D&D you played? Was it before or after you had played D&D?
It was either Metamorphosis Alpha or Gamma World that came after Blue Box (Holmes) Basic D&D/AD&D.
2 In what system was the first character you played in an RPG other than D&D? How was playing it different from playing a D&D character?
Playing a mutant or human with high-tech gear was in line with a lot of the Science Fiction movies and stories I had read. I was more of a science fiction guy before getting into D&D. I think I comfortably move between genres in my reading. I haven’t played anything other than D&D for decades.
3 Which game had the least or most enjoyable character generation?
It has been so long, I just don’t remember. I have read about other’s talk of Traveller and death as a possible result in character generation, but I don’t remember it.
4 What other roleplaying author besides Gygax impressed you with their writing?
I liked a lot of the regular authors in The Dragon. Kim Mohan comes to mind. I’m drawing a blank as I write this. I no longer have my collection of Dragon Magazines.
5 What other old school game should have become as big as D&D but didn’t? Why do you think so?
Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World, Boot Hill, Top Secret, Gangbusters, Villains and Vigilantes, Star Frontiers, Marvel Superheroes, and Traveller were all games that I played back in the day. Part of it may have been not every kid in high school could afford or had parents who could afford to just buy whatever we wanted. I earned the money for all but the AD&D Player’s Handbook, which was a Christmas present the year it came out. I also had to get the others in my group interested in a game. The only RPG that I encountered in college was AD&D. I am sure there must have been others playing other RPGs, but I didn’t have time to go seeking them out. I think the bulk of the hobby was pre-teen and teenage boys back in the day and by the time they were in jobs, real life altered their style. I didn’t pick a wife based on her interest in RPGs. In hindsight, I probably should have.
6 What non-D&D monster do you think is as iconic as D&D ones like hook horrors or flumphs, and why do you think so?
I don’t recall a specific monster/creature from other games, as it has been too long since I last played them.
7 What fantasy RPG other than D&D have you enjoyed most? Why?
The group I played with did Boot Hill and Top Secret the most.
8 What spy RPG have you enjoyed most? Give details.
I have to say Top Secret, since that is the only one I played.
9 What superhero RPG have you enjoyed most? Why?
We played Villains and Vigilantes and Marvel Superheroes. I don’t recall specific game mechanics. I liked the Marvel as it had all the comic book characters, but you could stat them in other games.
10 What science fiction RPG have you enjoyed most? Give details.
Traveller seemed clunky to me and had too many different books. I liked Star Frontiers, but I struggle to recall specifics. The homebrew SF game we made called Scout was my favorite, because it borrowed from every other game we played for different features. I don’t have any materials. If I had any survive to my adult life, they were lost in the water leak incident. My brother, Robert, wrote a series of short stories about Scouts that kept us all enthralled and we kept bugging him to write more after we had our turn of reading his hand-written story.
11 What post-apocalyptic RPG have you enjoyed most? Why?
Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World seemed to be the same game in different settings. I know that character generation, etc. was not the same, but that’s how I remember them. You have characters that don’t know what the stuff is that they find and have to figure it out without killing themselves.
We also had Escape from New York. I don’t recall if that was really an RPG, or a boardgame with RPG qualities.
12 What humorous RPG have you enjoyed most? Give details.
I bought Toon but could never get anyone to play. In the groups I have played with, there is always something humorous that happens intentionally or not. In D&D I have played gnomes that were quite the instigators of humor. There is also the hilarity of too much caffeine and not enough sleep. Things that no one else would find funny still bring guffaws and giggles to grown men who were kids and young adults when some said or did something really funny.
13 What horror RPG have you enjoyed most? Why?
Call of Cthulhu is another one we played. I did not like that there was no avoiding going insane. That was before I had read any of the stories. My brother, Robert, did and told me so much detail, I did not read them until the last 6 or 7 years.
14 What historical or cultural RPG have you enjoyed most? Give details.
I never played any of that style RPG.
15 What pseudo or alternate history RPG have you enjoyed most? Why?
I see all RPGs as fitting that category.
16 Which RPG besides D&D has the best magic system? Give details.
I don’t recall the specifics of T&T, which I played once. I think it was Runequest I played once.
17 Which RPG has the best high tech rules? Why?
I don’t recall, it has been too long.
18 What is the crunchiest RPG you have played? Was it enjoyable?
There were a few times we played some other games only once, but I don’t recall the one I am thinking of. It had so much detail it was crazy. I believe it was a fantasy RPG, maybe Runequest.
19 What is the fluffiest RPG you have played? Was it enjoyable?
20 Which setting have you enjoyed most? Why?
MA and GW made the biggest impression on me, other than D&D. I think that is because I grew up in the Cold War when the idea of nuclear annihilation was a common theme in real life, not just books and movies. I was born a few years after the Berlin Wall went up, and I never thought it would come down in my lifetime. I was amazed when it came down when I was in college. The idea of the U.S.S.R collapsing was far from everyone’s mind. The made for TV movie “the Day After” occurred in the Kansas City area, where I grew up. That was one weird and compelling movie to watch, knowing it was new my home. I did love to play MA & GW. I guess trying to find joy in spite of the horror is what we were doing.
21 What is the narrowest genre RPG you have ever played? How was it?
Top Secret and Boot Hill would have to be the narrowest.
22 What is the most gonzo kitchen sink RPG you ever played? How was it?
I don’t know what this means.
23 What is the most broken game that you tried and were unable to play?
I don’t think there were any broken games. GM’s that didn’t know the rules and/or how to run a game were the biggest issues.
24 What is the most broken game that you tried and loved to play, warts and all?
With a GM that knows the rules, but more importantly, HOW to run a game and make it fun for all would do the trick. But I can’t think of a game with broken mechanics.
25 Which game has the sleekest, most modern engine?
Does that mean a post-OSR style rules, or OSR clones of original games? I think old school style rules, like the original games of the 70’s and 80’s were pretty sleek. I like the idea of ascending AC and fewer books and tables needed to play a session.
26 What IP (=Intellectual Property, be it book, movie or comic) that doesn’t have an RPG deserves it? Why?
I can’t think of one. I am sure that there is at least a homebrew set of rules for every little niche.
27 What RPG based on an IP did you enjoy most? Give details.
I guess it would be Marvel Superheroes. The only other would be Call of Cthulhu, which was ok, but not my cup of tea.
28 What free RPG did you enjoy most? Give details.
I haven’t played a free RPG, other than our homebrew. I do have S&W and have read the white box and complete rules and it is a game I could play.
29 What OSR product have you enjoyed most? Explain how.
I like the abundance of free and low cost materials available on the internet, like tables, maps, modules, and other tools to facilitate the job of GM.
30 Which non-D&D supplemental product should everyone know about? Give details.
I don’t know as I have not looked at other genres for supplemental material.
31 What out-of-print RPG would you most like to see back in publication? Why?
I always had a soft spot for Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World, but I understand those progressed into newer versions and MA 1e is still on DriveThrough RPG, and I picked it up just last week, mostly for nostalgia sake.
Boot Hill and Top Secret were others I enjoyed. I wouldn’t mind having copies just for nostalgia’s sake.