07 February 2014

Non-D&D OSR Blog Challenge

This is from a list of questions in the Tomb of Tedankhamen:

1 What was the first roleplaying game other than D&D you played? Was it before or after you had played D&D?
Tunnels & Trolls 5th ed. And that was after I had played D&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?
Tunnels & Trolls 5th ed. It wasn't really that different from playing a D&D character because at the time all we did was dungeon crawling.

3 Which game had the least or most enjoyable character generation?
Least enjoyable: Space Opera. Or the French rpg called Légendes. What a pain in the arse.
Most enjoyable: Any that didn't require hours and hours of calculations. I think I quite enjoyed creating
AD&D characters.

4 What other roleplaying author besides Gygax impressed you with their writing?
Steve Perrin, Ken Saint-André.

5 What other old school game should have become as big as D&D but didn’t? Why do you think so?
RuneQuest 2 (the original, Chaosium edition). It had a vastly superior system (hit locations, no character classes, no levels, no HP inflation), it had better products— Griffin Mountain, Pavis & Big Rubble, Borderlands, those are in my opinion the real OSR stalwarts, not Against the Giants or the Tomb of Horrors. I think the reason it failed was the über-stupid move from Chaosium to Avalon Hill just when the game was at the peak of its popularity. Or perhaps the crash of RQ:AiG.

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?
The Gloranthan Troll.

7 What fantasy RPG other than D&D have you enjoyed most? Why?
RuneQuest 2.

8 What spy RPG have you enjoyed most? Give details.
None. I would have liked to try out Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes.

9 What superhero RPG have you enjoyed most? Why?
I think I played Villains & Vigilantes once, but I don't think the super-heroic narrative translates well into role-playing.

10 What science fiction RPG have you enjoyed most? Give details.
Méga (a French role-playing game) because it was really what the GM made out of it, and I GM'd it really gonzo.
Star Wars (D6) because, well, Star Wars, and because the engine was quite good.

11 What post-apocalyptic RPG have you enjoyed most? Why?
I haven't played any post-apocalyptic RPG.

12 What humorous RPG have you enjoyed most? Give details.
I haven't played any humorous RPG, unless you count T&T in :)

13 What horror RPG have you enjoyed most? Why?
The Call of Cthulhu because of its engine (BRP), because of the setting (the 20s), and because I adore Lovecraft.

14 What historical or cultural RPG have you enjoyed most? Give details.
For historical gaming, BRP is best, but since this post is about old school I must admit I used AD&D for historical gaming before the various new versions of BRP (BaSIC, the BGB) came out.

15 What pseudo or alternate history RPG have you enjoyed most? Why?
I haven't really played pseudo or alternate history RPGs. I like my history to be accurate.

16 Which RPG besides D&D has the best magic system? Give details.
RuneQuest, with its battle magic that everybody has access to, even non-spell-casters, and with different cults getting access to different spells. And that was waaaaay before the priestly 'spheres' of AD&D2.

17 Which RPG has the best high tech rules? Why?
No idea. I'm not a big fan of sci fi games.

18 What is the crunchiest RPG you have played? Was it enjoyable?
19 What is the fluffiest RPG you have played? Was it enjoyable?
I don't tend to use those categories.

20 Which setting have you enjoyed most? Why?
Glorantha. Because myths are real.

21 What is the narrowest genre RPG you have ever played? How was it?
The narrowest genre RPG I've ever played is D&D. To me "D&D-ish fantasy" is a very narrow genre.

22 What is the most gonzo kitchen sink RPG you ever played? How was it?
Méga. PCs can be space- or time-travellers, and one of the official adventures featured a world made up of different shards from various epochs of the Earth, with the GM being encouraged to exaggerate the clichés about its inhabitants and their accents when playing NPCs.

23 What is the most broken game that you tried and were unable to play?
Oriental Adventures. It was so un-East Asian I wanted to cry.

24 What is the most broken game that you tried and loved to play, warts and all?
Call of Cthulhu. If the PCs survive the first adventures and start acquiring explosives, magic, etc. it becomes a very broken representation (to say the least) of Lovecraftian horror.

25 Which game has the sleekest, most modern engine?
Tunnels & Trolls 7.5.

26 What IP (=Intellectual Property, be it book, movie or comic) that doesn’t have an RPG deserves it? Why?
Space Usagi. Laser swords and dinosaurs. In space.

27 What RPG based on an IP did you enjoy most? Give details.
Star Wars D6. I found it really close to the atmosphere of the original trilogy.

28 What free RPG did you enjoy most? Give details.
Er, if the BRP Quick-Start Rules count as a free RPG, then that's the one.

29 What OSR product have you enjoyed most? Explain how.
Cults of Prax (1979). Best "religious" RPG supplement ever.

30 Which non-D&D supplemental product should everyone know about? Give details.
Cults of Prax, as a lesson in writing an RPG supplement about religious cults.

31 What out-of-print RPG would you most like to see back in publication? Why?
RuneQuest 2. Because it is the best fantasy role-playing game ever. Period.


  1. (je voulais répondre quand tu as posté ça, mais j'ai oublié...)

    23 : Oriental Adventures : on avait pourtant dit "pas de (A)D&D" ! ;-)

  2. Ah, mais tu as raison ! Bon, je le laisse quand même ; il "paiera" pour tous les autres jux de rôle pseudo-orientaux qui enfilaient les clichés comme des perles. Des perles pêchées par des ama (海女), bien sûr :)

  3. Merci d'avoir repondu a toutes mes questions! Je suis ravi que tu as accepte mon 'defi', et que tes reponses etait si illuminant. Je m'attends a ce que les autre bloggeurs diront.

  4. Cults of Prax pretty much defined RQ for me. I was 13 and just peeking out of the dungeons in Tunnels and Trolls. I remember asking " What colour are the walls of the houses ?".Sweet , naive Superterranean exploration.