I’ve decided to add a little something to the site: namely, a permanent list of the games that I’ve enjoyed the most over the years. Most of the games on this list are older, and with good reason; this isn’t a fly-by-night list; these are games that were proven over time to help give some of the best gaming memories I possess.
After some good thought, here’s the inaugural list of the twelve games I think I’ve had the most fun with over the years:
I miss Erick Wujcik every time I think of this game, but his brilliance shines undiminished through the years.
Castles & Crusades
A fantastic meeting ground between more recent d20 games and classical gaming. Great for using a wide host of old D&D products and retro-clones products with a minimum of hassle. A system that truly clicks for me, and probably my go-to system when I need to put something together quickly.
Added because the two tended to blend together for me. Although far from my ideal system, it served admirably as the lingua franca of gaming whenever it was needed.
Epic Role Playing
Epic will always remind me of classic games at Gen Con, plenty of rolling to see what my character’s background and social station were, and some of the most unique magic systems I’ve ever seen.
In Harm’s Way
I have perhaps planned more games and sessions never played for IHW than any RPG I can think of. And it was still an absolute blast.
My first game, and still a favorite. Palladium did a great job of making their fantasy world open to monster races that felt like they could be played. The various magic systems were no slouch, either.
Puts a tiny nuclear kitchen sink inside a larger adamantium kitchen sink, which itself resides in a kitchen sink the size of a middling galaxy. Crazy, wild, occasionally maddening, never afraid to jump the shark eight times in each direction, it just keeps going and going as one of the most gonzo games ever imagined.
If I could have written any game, I wish it would have been Risus. It includes some of the best GMing and plot advice out there. One little game sure can do a lot!
The critical hit charts of Rolemaster might still be the single most-discussed/remembered game feature from any I’ve run.
Rules Cyclopedia D&D
My first encounter with Dungeons and Dragons, and still the best single-volume rules compilation for a game I’ve ever seen.
One of the best put-together RPGs I have ever run. Combat is hugely entertaining, magic feels mystic, and the underlying concepts of the system are laid out quite nicely. Count me a fan.
Stars Without Number
Probably one of the best free RPGs in gaming history, and one of the simplest, best sci-fi RPGs I've seen.
Over 30 years have passed since Traveller came out, and it’s still the hallmark of sci-fi RPGs.
Probably one of the lesser-known RPGs on this list, Two-Fisted Tales is simply the definitive pulp RPG as far as I’m concerned. It hits all the right notes, no matter if you’re trying to do the Venture Brothers or The Shadow.
Keep in mind this is just for RPGs, not supplements. For example, Triple Ace Games has made such amazing products as Hellfrost, but that’s a setting, not a core RPG. Maybe there will be another list down the road for that, but for now, it’s main RPG products.