Wednesday, October 14, 2015

RPG Top 100 (Part Two: 51-75)

Here's the second part of my rundown of my Top 100 RPGs. As before, these aren't necessarily the 100 Best RPGs, but they're ones I want to play. We'll see if that changes in a year. Games marked with (*) mean I want to play the setting/premise, but I don't want to play with the existing rules. In some cases, there aren't any rules right now: I just want someone to write up a cool game based on that. 

75. Wandering Monsters High School
74. King for a Day
I still have to write up a review for this campaign frame. I've tried five or six times to come at it, but it still defies me. It's a campaign premise I both do and don't want to run. It would take a lot of effort: the GM has to take command of many loose threads. That would mean working through and annotating the book heavily. It's also low-fantasy and kind of dark, which isn't something my f2f players really want to play. On the other hand, it requires a strong investment of time and attention, making it more difficult to run online. This may end up simply being a grail game. 

73. Over the Edge
72. Dungeon World
71. Dragon Age*
70. Orpheus*
69. Birthright*
68. Iron Dynasty*
67. Monster Hunter*
Keep in mind I've only played about ten minutes of a demo for the Monster Hunter videogame before realizing it lay completely outside my skillset. Well outside. Despite that I love the concept, especially its idea of a group of people working together to take down a beast. I want a game that has four major areas of play. First, village life. Dealing with NPCs, building up a reputation, making alliances. You take missions in town for bounties and your ultimate goal is to aid the community. Second, scouting and planning. The players discover secrets about their quarry, track it, set up tricks and traps, learn its ways. Third, the actual hunt. Players have to work together. The monster's huge- made up of many parts which must be climbed on, disabled, or avoided. Actions by one character should support others, with players taking on different necessary roles (like Ghostlines?). There should be a push your luck aspect to it. Fourth, item building and alchemy. There should be a cool sub-system for converting what you harvest from the monsters into new weapons, armor, and other equipment. 

66. On Her Majesty’s Arcane Service*
65. Monster of the Week
64. Wrath of the Autarch
63. Day After Ragnarok*
62. Hollowpoint
61. Star Wars*
I like Star Wars, but I don't love it. Up until the Edge of the Empire one-shot we did for the podcast, I'd never actually played an SW game. I ran one purely homebrew campaign I enjoyed. I think I'd want to go back to something like that. If I did, I'd take one of two approaches. Assuming I could get a good number of the players from the first campaign back, I'd do a sequel- a second film in the trilogy. If not, I'd probably do something much more narrow. Rich Rogers talked about doing a kind of criminal underground game, ala one of the cancelled SW video games. That has a certain appeal- I like the idea of a narrow campaign concept within the setting. 

60. Cybergeneration
59. Midnight*
58. Kerberos Club*
57. The Black Company*
Not necessarily The Black Company exactly, but I'd like to play a mercenary game. I ran a version of this, putting a wandering force into Planescape and hiring them on with various factions. My attempt to run D&D 3.5 (for my first and only time) undercut my efforts there. We had fun, but it lost focus. I definitely want to abstract the fighting and make the planning and logistics part interesting. Blades in the Dark has some concepts that might work to simulate that. Reign's an obvious choice, but there's something about that system that doesn't work for me. I've tried to read through it several times. 

56. Grimm
55. Cold Steel Wardens
54. Ars Magica*
There's much I like about Ars Magica and much I don't. I've been buying products for it since the 1st and 2nd editions. Those had a loose feel and an almost anime art design. Many of the illustrations remind me of Amano. But that would change as the game become more and more historical, embracing the Medieval setting. Notre Dame has a strong Medieval Studies program and so in the heyday of Ars Magica, the folks who played it could be a little pedantic. Early '90's online user groups for Ars devolved into arcane arguments over minutiae and realism. 

I kind of don't give a shit about that. I love the core concept of the game. Wizards live in Covenants. They come from different diverse traditions and have to work hard to get along. They're selfish and have put upon servants. Covenants have to deal with growth and survival- they're a community which can be tracked and developed. They have problems, move through seasons, have to deal with ornery neighbors, and answer to a higher council. I dig those elements and that's what I want. 

53. Jadepunk
52. Esoterrorists
51. Rolemaster Classic

Part Two 51-75
Part Four 1-25