Thursday 20 January 2011

My top 10 RPGs of all time

Clearly I'm running low on inspiration, but I wanted to do a post and dammit I'm going to. I've been playing roleplaying games for the best part of 10 years, but much more regularly in the last year. I've definitely not played anywhere near as many as a lot of you guys have, and I'm looking to remedy that. However, I just wanted to post my top 10 RPGs to show you what my tastes are and perhaps you could give me some reccomendations.

10.Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition

9. Icons

8. Tales from the Wood

7. Risus

6. 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars

5. Dungeons and Dragons 4e Gamma World

4. Swords and Wizardry

3. Barbarians of Lemuria

2. Call of Cthulhu

1. Tunnels and Trolls 5th edition

Now, I have to qualify these and say that this is from both a player and GM perspective. I adore GMing Call of Cthulhu, but to be honest I haven't played it much as a character.


  1. While not my "number one", Tunnels and Trolls 5th edition is my favorite edition of T&T.

  2. My 10(Hope it's not too long!):
    Dunno if you've heard of some, so:

    1. Homebrew System(Obviously no-one knows of this one!)(Free ;-)):
    The game I came up with before I ever played a pen-and-paper RPG(near-miss with Mentzer set in 1985, though); originally derived as a mash-up of Ultima II(NES edition), Faxanadu, NES Final Fantasy I(Actually III)& Dragon Warrior I.

    2. Tunnels and Trolls 5.5 Edition(With tweaks):
    There was a reason this reigned for nearly 30 years as the stsndard rules set. .5 adds some more tips from Ken St. Andre and Mike Stackpole
    3. Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game(Cloned as a game called Thrash[Free]):
    Embrace the Awesome! Actually easy to learn and fun to play. Especially in Campaign mode.(I don't use the arcade heroes much, though.)

    4. Gamma World, played with the rules from Mutant Future(Scaled down to 4th Edition TSR level.)

    5. Labyrinth Lord(with mods[I also play Ravenloft/Greyhawk with this!])(Free):
    Moldvay/Cook/Marsh D&D Rises From Its Grave! Play Classic D&D, Original D&D and AD&D with the
    same simple rules. Fast Fun and Furious. Get ta Crawlin'.(And more, of course! Whatever you want: City, State, Dimensions, etc...)

    6. Call of Cthulu, 6th Edition.
    Same rules you know and love; minor changes. Once More Into The Breach: That Way Lies Madness! Defeat was never so inevitable, nor so enjoyable!

    7. Underground
    Cyberpunk Superheroes in a Post-Dystopic World. Brainwashed Vets. Endless War. Constitution used as Ad Copy. Scientology on the Rampage. Only the 4 Color Creed can save us now. But can they stand the strain?(Superpowers Ain't Free!) Actually has rules to effect political change.(And you can go crazy on the operating table.[i.e. PC creation! Sweet]Also has Peter Chung's art!

    8. Encounter Critical(Free):
    A Triumph of True Scientific Realism! Warped as Hell, and loads of entertainment. A 'lost artifact of another time', just like:

    9. Mazes and Minotaurs(Free[I use Original]):
    What if D&D was based on Ancient Greece instead? Comes in Original and Advanced Flavors.(The notes from the fictional designer are hilarious.) Now has Vikings & Valkyries variant.

    Hollow Earth Expedition(Powered By Basic Roleplaying[my go to for everything else not covered here[BRP has free, playable intro game!]):
    Nazis&Dinosaurs in an Alternate Earth opposed by The Rocketeer, Sherlock Holmes, Miss Victory, Miss Fury, The Spider, etc....(Though I object to killing Dinosaurs on principle ;-D)
    Tremendous fun.

    Honorable Mention:
    AD&D 2nd Edition(My fav of AD&Ds):
    Powers Ravenloft, Dark Sun, and Greyhawk in more traditional campaigns.(I.e. friend's campaigns.)

  3. I'd like to hear more about that home-brew game Valaran... Is it available for download? You did say it was 'free'...

    My fave RPG is usually the one I'm playing right now. That's Call of Cthulhu (5E). I find T&T 4E most playable (less dice) and therefore more adaptable.

  4. Good list, now I'll throw my 2 cents in.
    10. d20 Call of Cthulhu
    9. d20 Modern
    8. Hollow Earth Expedition
    7. Icons
    6. Villains & Vigilantes
    5. Cortex System (Serenity/BSG/Supernatural)
    4. DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds
    3. Sword & Wizardry White Box
    2. AD&D 2e
    1. Pathfinder/D&D 3.x

    Of course some items on this list are likely to change from day to day or as other games come to mind.

  5. Here are my Top 10 favorites:

    Honorable Mention: Serenity-Cortex (I haven't been able to play it yet, but the system looks very good.)

    10. Rifts (terrible rules system, but the setting is fun)
    9. DnD 3.5/Pathfinder
    8. Earthdawn
    7. Shadowrun
    6. Champions/GURPS: Supers
    5. Dresden/FATE
    4. Savage Worlds
    3. AD&D: Dark Sun
    2. Gamma World (any edition)
    1. Star Wars D6

  6. After reading Aaron's comment I realized that I had completely left Rifts (love the setting, hate the rules) and Starblazer Adventures off of my list. I also realized that I didn't mention any Unisystem games like Buffy or All Flesh Must Be Eaten.

    BTW Aaron if you get the chance to play Serenity/Cortex it is a pretty fun system and RPGNow has the pdf for several Cortex games (mostly BSG and Serenity) on sale. I believe this is the last month you will be able to buy pdf for BSG and Serenity. Now sure why, but I'm assuming that MWP lost or gave up the license to those properties, but that is just speculation on my part.

  7. Glad to help!

    And don't worry, I'm a Browncoat, so I got the Serenity books the moment they were released. Shiny!

  8. Sorry to join the party late, but here is my list:

    Honorable Mention: Pathfinder / D&D 3.5 (rules too cumbersome for me, but had fun playing it for a couple of years)

    10. Serenity (agreed, it's fun!)
    9. Marvel Super Heroes
    8. Traveller (original)
    7. Top Secret
    6. Star Wars d6 (by West End)
    5. Crimson Blades of Ara (homebrew system, read about it on my blog if you care)
    4. AD&D 1e
    3. Mutant Future
    2. T&T 5.0
    1. Labyrinth Lord

    word verification = conan