After this blog post, which points to this list of RPG’s everyone should try, I thought I’d reprise the content of a post I made a long time ago (1998). That post talks about games I’d played at the time, and a little bit about them. Here’s my list of 5 games every roleplayer should play and why.
- Dungeons and Dragons (basic and expert boxed sets)
You really should play the original D&D. I’ve played all the versions, and while they all offer something different the raw simplicity of the basic and expert editions of the original boxed sets are just so refreshing. Inconsistencies abound, but the scope is endless.
- Call of Cthulhu (original rules)
If you get the right group of people and the right person running Call of Cthulhu, it has to be one of the best shared storytelling environments ever created. The capacity to drag you in, gasping for breath amidst the knowledge of sure and impending doom, and still leave you wanting more is unparalleled, in my view. The rules were mostly very simple and the environment was rich. I’ve never enjoyed dying so much as I did when we played Call of Cthulhu. I’ve never enjoyed torturing my players so much as when I ran Call of Cthulhu.
Done right, and it’s not easy, this game system and world setting provides the chance to really dig deep into some roleplaying muscles. If your players are always trying to out sneak each other in regular game settings, let them play this for a few weeks to sort the sneaks out from the snitches.
- Shadowrun or Cyberpunk
I never played Cyberpunk and I think the Shadowrun rules had some seriously major issues, but as a setting I loved it and I think every gamer should have a shot at Fantasy-meets-SciFi crossover ‘net running big blazing gun action every now and then.
Because it was so simple and evocitive and engaging. You should try it.
- Bonus Game – Xena & Hercules.Swords and Thongs, made to go together.