Wednesday 6 April 2011

What is the worst tabletop RPG ever?

In the community we talk a lot about what the best roleplaying games are (according to opinion), but rarely do we look at the dregs of the hobby, the games that are really, really terrible.

Now, I don't want to diss someone else's work that they've spent hours and hours on, but there must be games out there that are just, well, crap.

Probably the most infamous game is F.A.T.A.L, a RPG that focuses on sexual violence and other such uncool things. This 900 page tome is a testament to awful game design and would test the will of even the most die-hard gaming adventurer.

Rifts has always had its opponents, as have Palladium games in general, but they're probably nowhere near the worst games.

So tell me, what is the worst tabletop RPG you have ever played or come across, a game that has made your blood boil and your knuckles white?


  1. Rifts isn't bad, just horribly unbalanced. Once you house rule around that, it plays fairly well.

  2. I agree, Tenkar. I really love the idea behind it.

  3. RaHoWa, or Racial Holy War. A game about the forthcoming racial war between the All-American white race and the legions of everybody else (Latrinos, Niggers, Yids - those are in game terms). Full of stats for different types of firearms. It's as offensive a premise as it sounds. Also, while in theory a group of masochists could play FATAL by the rules, this game leaves out one crucial thing, which is how you calculate your base to-hit chance. Without it your white hero may have some problems shooting down his racial inferiors.

    Now I need a wash to get over the memory of this game.

  4. The worst game that we ever seriously tried playing was Torg. Cool concept and fun characters but terrible mechanics and combat killed it for us.

  5. Immortal. It's a game that I, at first glance loved, and then I started to read the rules and went "WTH?". I still think there is some good things in it, but its a mess.

  6. One of the worst reads is the Aliens Adventure game from Leading Edge Games. (Also makers of Phoenix Command) I've never actually played it, but I own it and it's just a mess to try to comprehend. I can't even imagine attempting to play it.

    Rifts and Torg have enough redeeming qualities that I wouldn't call them the "worst." The nice thing is that you can always port the settings to other game engines and solve a majority of the playability issues.

  7. I am far more insulted by the ponderous game design of F.A.T.A.L. than I am by the sexual content. But both are pretty awful.

    My vote for worst game is anything that has Kevin Siembieda's name on the cover.

  8. For me, it was Powers & Perils, an expensive, yet nearly unplayable game. Obviously F.A.T.A.L and especially Racial Holy War are worse games, but these are minor independent games with very few buyers. Powers & Perils, was a major release by a large game company (Avalon Hill)and many people wasted money on it.

  9. deadEarth.

    I go on about it at length on my blog. I've aggregated the pain in one post here (along with links to where you can download it all - legally!)