Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Discussion: Which RPG Has Inspired You The Most?

Every Friday, we here at RPG Blog II rage, rage against the dying light of the fading blogosphere of the weekend by engaging in a bit of old-fashioned gaming talk. Nothing too heavy, just a little bit of back-and-forth discussion about the hobby we love.

This week's topic is one inspired by a topic over at RPG Haven:

Which RPG has inspired you the most? Be it in matters of game design, campaigns, play style, what RPG has had the biggest inspiration on your participation or the way in which you interact with the hobby?

A little bit more in-depth of a question than we usually have here, but I extremely interested to hear your answers. We've been having some great participation, and I'm excited every Friday to read the responses. Have a superb weekend!

21 comments:

Alex Schroeder said...

I think I was first shocked out of my Fantasy D&D-based dreaming when I opened Mutant Chronicles (1993).

Vampir said...

For me it is Exalted... so many options, even the craziest things can be fitted in nicely into a coherent plot...

DNAphil said...

For me it was Amber:Diceless. Up to that point I was the GM by Default; the only guy willing do to the job.

Once I read Amber:Diceless and realized that the fate of the whole story was in my hands, and that the player's enjoyment was going to be a direct function of my rulings (no dice to fall back on), it revealed to me what the responsibility and role of a GM was.

From that point on, I stopped thinking of myself as the guy who has to be the GM, and starting to think of GMing as a craft.

Wyatt said...

Probably D&D 3.5, in that I try very hard not to make any design choice it made. Probably 4e in that I like nearly all of what it did to the game. Probably Storyteller (except for the Exalted and Scion versions which can go choke on a basket of nuts) because I like the roll-success-keep mechanic and "everything is 5 dots" stuff.

My play and GMing style is more influenced by anime, video games, Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams though.

Jeff Rients said...

While D&D continues to be the biggest influence on my gaming, S. John Ross's Encounter Critical was like a kick in the pants, except to my brain.

Daniel M. Perez said...

For me it has to be Basic D&D (Red Box). It was my first and it opened worlds to me which I am still discovering. Many games after that have fired me up, but the one that lit the pyre was that beautiful and powerful red box.

jamused said...

OD&D. It was the first RPG I ever played, and it created the hobby. The next twenty years of my game design were largely a reaction against what I perceived as inadequacies in its rules, though lately (meaning the last ten) I've come to appreciate its more and more, even if it's still something I wouldn't run as written. But part of the beauty that I had forgotten was that nobody ran it as written; it was darn near impossible to do so.

HinterWelt said...

Palladium and AD&D. If I had to pick one I would probably say Palladium and AD&D. ;)

Rick said...

AD&D Dungeonmaster's Guide

Alex Schroeder said...

Hm, thinking about it some more, reading Burning Wheel and realizing how different a game it was from all the other roleplaying games I knew when it comes to prep time and setting was quite a revelation as well.

Dave The Game said...

Mage: The Ascension. It takes a damn good RPG (or any book, for that matter) to change the way I think about everything. Plus the creativity necessary really changed the way I thought about RPGs. A shame that I've never been a truly satisfying campaign of it :)

Mad Brew said...

It's hard to narrow down which RPG has inspired me the most, but I would have to say the World of Darkness. I love horror, and being able to take on those archetypes is awesome.

Here is how my ist breaks down:

Game Design: Storytelling System, D&D 3.X, Mutants & Masterminds, Deadlands

Campaigns: Iron Kingdoms, Ravenloft, Dark Sun (really just settings)

Play Style: D&D 2nd Ed., Savage Worlds, Mutants & Masterminds

MJ Harnish said...

Dogs in the Vineyard - it taught me that I don't need to try to prescript scenarios and that, as the GM, the ending could be just as big a surprise to me as the players.

Blotz said...

Definitely Champions. It was the second RPG I ever purchased. It really changed the way I looked at the whole hobby, and I think its probably the reason I still play rpg's today.

clash bowley said...

I couldn't possibly pick one. Many games had a great amount of influence on me through the last three decades.

-clash

Olman Feelyus said...

After the initial inspiration with the whole roleplaying deal (which blew my young, geeky mind), it has to be Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes. It was the first game that made me realize I didn't have to be tied to any one specific setting and that I could game in the "mundane" present world. It just seemed so ripe with possibilities. You could play a journalist!

Ravyn said...

Exalted. Partly because of the world's level of detail, partly because having the mechanics reward my descriptive talents was a sweet incentive to work--but mostly because it was the first time I'd ever played a game with a characters-first story-oriented GM and a group of fellow players who leaned closer to the improv acting side of RP than the mechanics. I realized that was the style I was looking for, and the associations carried through.

(Which could, I suppose, explain why I'm so much more picky about my expectations of games in that system...)

Mark said...

WFRP 1st edition, for both the mechanics and the setting. After having played and GM'ed several systems that revolved around the d20, and many tables and charts, it was refreshing to find a system where there weren't a lot of charts and tables to memorize (except for the critical hit tables, of course) and that revolved around percentages. PC's want to do something off the wall? Pick an attribute to test against, and set a percentage level of difficulty.

The setting also was something I had not encountered up to that point in my young gaming career. The low magic "dark and gritty" fantasy mirror-world to early Renaissance Europe really struck a chord with my friends and I.

James V said...

RIFTS, because it always serves to remind that the game is not worth playing if we're not having fun playing it. My group and I have a lot of fun with the game even when the rules are trying, and that's what really matters.

Sean said...

Basic D&D is where it all started for me, and all props for that.

Stormbringer was the second RPG I ever saw. The system was so natural and intuitive I didn't need to have the book with me to GM. PC's who were the product of whatever skills they chose to focus on rather then restricted to a class seemed so much more realistic to me.

Later I discovered Hero, (and GURPS). For a long time (even to today) that approach to building characters and even parts of the game setting (like magic or gadgets) as part of an integrated system was my holy grail of campaign design.

Now, with not much time on my hands, I like a simple system I can tinker (like Stormbringer) with that gives me and my players flexability (Like Hero). Savage Worlds is good, Unisystems is good. I can't really say I'm inspired by anything though.

Scott said...

Mine would be HERO. It was still just Champions at the time I first picked it up, but it was the system itself that changed the way I thought about RPGs.

Previously, I'd played D&D, Tunnels & Trolls, Gamma World, and a variety of other games... games in which characters were defined pretty specifically, along with what they could do or not do. Magic-Users couldn't wear armor. Clerics couldn't wield swords. Fighters couldn't cast spells. Magic Missile always did X amount of damage. A longsword did 1d8.

HERO let you build exactly the character you wanted. Down to defining the special effects of the powers. Energy Blast could be a fireball, a lightning bolt, a laser gun, or even a thrown rock. Its damage and effects were whatever I paid the character points for.

That floored me, at the time, and it's informed almost all of the gaming I've done since.