I'm especially eager to play in games where the GM has a laundry list of banned items and house rules. Usually these masses of house rules are carefully curated, with things like "CORE ONLY" and "Greater Trip is OP."
This essay is about some 1990s games I'm calling "fantasy heartbreakers," which are truly impressive in terms of the drive, commitment, and personal joy that's evident in both their existence and in their details - yet they are also teeth-grindingly frustrating, in that, like their counterparts from the late 70s, they represent but a single creative step from their source: old-style D&D. And unlike those other games, as such, they were doomed from the start. This essay is basically in their favor, in a kind of grief-stricken way.
I think Pathfinder is a fantasy heartbreaker. It tweaks the rules of 3e a bit here and there, but it's the same game under the hood. That's the intent of the rules, but it seems that Pathfinder could break away from that and becomes its own game.