Wednesday, October 7, 2015

RPG Top 100 (Part One: 76-100)

I follow "The Dice Tower" on YouTube. They have a host of contributors covering a range of board games, though I really only watch a couple of the reviewers. For the last couple of weeks two of my favs have done their "Top 100 Board Games" lists. One, Tom Vassal, mentioned that he'd arranged his list by individually writing down the games he liked and then breaking those into a top and bottom 50. He then split each subsection again and again until he came up with a final list. 

Because that got into my head, I decided to see if I could come up with a Top 100 RPG list. These are games I want to run or play right at this moment. Likely my picks will change by next year. I've played some of these; more I've only read. Some of these aren't games exactly, but closer to settings. Anything I've marked with (*) means I wanted to play that setting or concept, but not with those rules. I'd use some kind of homebrew or hack. Final caveat: I don't think these are the 100 Best RPGs. But they have my attention right now. 

100. Iron Edda
99. Ryuutama
98. Castle Falkenstein
I own most of the supplements for this game and I've written reviews about all of them. But I've never gotten to play beyond a couple of stabs at character creation. I went through and prepared a campaign years ago that never got off the ground. It still seems like a cool game, though the card-based resolution present an additional challenge for running it online. That can be overcome, but the tools aren't as simple as dice-rollers.

97. Legacy: Life Among the Ruins
96. The Warren
95. Magic, Inc
94. Kagematsu
93. Night Witches
92. Leverage*
I have a hard time with the Cortex system. It doesn't click for me when I've read it (Firefly, Smallville, Leverage). I kind of got it when I played the Marvel version, but that was at the table with a decent GM. When I went back later to actually read and maybe run it, the rules completely lost me. But I like the idea of a flexible caper game. There's some great ideas on how to do this in the Fate Worlds article written by one of the showrunners. 

91. Deadlands/Deadlands Hell On Earth*
90. Star Trek (FASA or *)
89. Motobushido
I waffled back and forth on this for a while it was among the twenty other games I cut from the list. But going back and looking at how well-constructed the game is makes me want to run or play it. Normally it wouldn't be my cup of tea, but I can already imagine great stories.

88. Nobilis
87. Psi Run
86. GURPS 3e
85. Dread
84. Tenra Bansho Zero
83. Urban Shadows
82. Mice & Mystics
OK, so it technically isn't an rpg, but a board game. But it's really fun. It's the best pseudo-rpg bg I've played. And there's room there to easily hack it and develop the game further. It feels like something that would work with Fate or another light system. Mouse Guard's an obvious choice, but I think the tone's different enough that I'd want to try something more open.

81. Atomic Robo
80. Owl Hoot Trail
79. Cairn*
78. Cyberpunk 2020*
77. Fringeworthy*
I played this a ton back in the early 80's. I loved the idea of being able to switch between settings and genres, while keeping the same characters. They'd be outsiders experiencing new places, so you had a real chance for wonder and discovery. Of course we never played the game strictly according to the highly complicated and arcane rules. If I wanted to do this again, I'd hack it with something simple and try to keep it from feeling too much like Stargate SG-1. IIRC someone had a solid Savage Worlds hack of this out there.

76. Crimson Skies*

Part One 76-100
Part Four 1-25