Okay how about little know RPGs that you just love!


Other RPGs

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Shadow Lodge

The real BESM isn't a d20 system.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Zombieneighbours wrote:
Christopher Dudley wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Oh, before I forget, there is also the supremely cool night's black agents.

I'm going to guess you're a fan of the Role-Playing Public Radio podcast. A bunch of the games you've mentioned I've originally heard of from them. I've been wondering how Base-Raiders plays.

Other games I've played and enjoyed because I heard of them there first:
Monsters & Other Childish Things
Godlike/(the modern version whose names is escaping me now)
Eclipse Phase

it plays like fate, which is to say, that if you get it, it is easily the most rewarding RPG experience you can have, but if you don't I imagine it is pretty rubbish.

First Fate game I played was Spirit of the Century, which I played at Origins (2009 I think) where it was a John Carter clone. I played an airship pirate competing with the Carpenter analog (played by my friend and podcast co-host) for the princess's affections. The GM was excellent, and the story was great. I'd gone to Origins to play new systems I'd never played before, and fell in love with Fate.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Baker Street: I don't know if it's in mass commercial release yet, but I played in a demo at the last Origins Game Fair, and they had just recently completed their Kickstarter campaign. The game was fun, and I recommend giving it a try.

QAGS, also something we played at this past and the previous Origins, was a lot of fun. But I think it takes a good group.

Tracy Barnett ran us through a short game of his then-new RPG School Daze, which was a lot of fun. Like a cross between Fiasco, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and just about every high school anime.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Tinkergoth wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
There was actually a game on Kickstarter a while back called Busty Barbarian Bimbos which I was hoping would turn out to be a sort of traditional fantasy equivalent to Hellcats & Hockeysticks. It seemed like it was all in good fun, deliberately playing off tropes about portrayal of women in both fantasy and contemporary setting media.

...which of course reminds me of the parody RPG, Macho Women With Guns!

...and its vehicles supplement Renegade Nuns on Wheels...

... and its fantasy supplement Bat-Winged Bimbos From Hell.

Hopefully they were more on the "harmless fun poking" end of the scale than this one was.

Not familiar at all with that "Barbarian Bimbos" game, but if it came out of 4chan, it can't be good. (Aside from LOLcats, has anything good ever come out of 4chan?)

It's been well over 20 years since I've looked at the Macho Women With Guns rules. The original 1988 edition was intended as a parody of RPGs, and wasn't actually intended to be a playable game. It was clearly comedy/satire. For example, some of the skills were "Do Technical Stuff" and "Scream."

I recall that the game was kind of sexist, but it was the casual/systemic sexism that suffused culture in the '80s. I don't recall the game being malicious or misogynistic at all. But, again, I was in my early 20s last time I read the rules, and there may have been a nasty undercurrent in the game that I didn't get back then. (My copy was destroyed in the Great Cellar Flood of 1995.)


Kthulhu wrote:
The real BESM isn't a d20 system.

I was one of the few that got the BESM 3rd ed. in hardcover, just after Guardians of Order folded and White Wolf snapped up the property. I was on the pre-order list for 2 copies plus all the pre-order swag. WW refused to fill all the extras, and instead simply doubled your pre-ordered book amount as compensation. So I ended up with 4 copies!


MWWG (the first edition) was more of a board game, generally well done parody of sexist crap in games. In particular, their monster table was magnificent, with Gnarlyhotep, Isaac Azathoth, Yoko Uggoth (That which screams without a voice) from the Lovecraft mythos, and Mental Midgets, Drunken Frat Boys, and so on.


Deadlands: Weird West was incredibly fun. The Wasted West just wasn't as fun for me. I also really liked Houses of the Blooded. All the players generally hated each other but knew that they needed each other or else they would die. Great system, lots of flavor, and a great way to make your players feel like they've contributed even if they really couldn't.


Hard to believe I haven't mentioned Torchbearer in this thread yet, since I never shut up about it. But I'm really enjoying it


haruhiko88 wrote:
Deadlands: Weird West was incredibly fun. The Wasted West just wasn't as fun for me. I also really liked Houses of the Blooded. All the players generally hated each other but knew that they needed each other or else they would die. Great system, lots of flavor, and a great way to make your players feel like they've contributed even if they really couldn't.

Have you had a look at the Savage Worlds version of Deadlands. I've got the sourcebooks for Deadlands, Hell on Earth Reloaded and Deadlands Noir. All pretty solid if you're interested in giving it another go.


Haladir wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
There was actually a game on Kickstarter a while back called Busty Barbarian Bimbos which I was hoping would turn out to be a sort of traditional fantasy equivalent to Hellcats & Hockeysticks. It seemed like it was all in good fun, deliberately playing off tropes about portrayal of women in both fantasy and contemporary setting media.

...which of course reminds me of the parody RPG, Macho Women With Guns!

...and its vehicles supplement Renegade Nuns on Wheels...

... and its fantasy supplement Bat-Winged Bimbos From Hell.

Hopefully they were more on the "harmless fun poking" end of the scale than this one was.

Not familiar at all with that "Barbarian Bimbos" game, but if it came out of 4chan, it can't be good. (Aside from LOLcats, has anything good ever come out of 4chan?)

At first glance it seemed pretty harmless. Basic concept of the game is that all the fantasy tropes are exaggerated to ridiculous levels, while also reversing the roles. Men are brutish, ugly, aggressive and generally violent and unpleasant, women are the beautiful rulers of the land, powerful and strong and heroic (no damsels in distress here).

Unfortunately then I found the mechanics. Originally I thought the stats had just been given jokey names to fit in with the nature of the game. Combat stat is Slap, athletic activity stat is Legs, social stat is Uhm, and the final stat was T#*+, which was basically a charisma equivalent... then I noticed the acronym. Thought it must have just been a coincidence, until I read the intro properly and found that yes, they're referring to the underlying mechanics as the SLUT System. My heart sank at that point. The thing that really annoys me about it is that it did have the potential to be a harmless parody game, and the mechanics themselves are solid, it's just the bloody attitude behind it that ruins it.


I have, and I'm not a huge fan of the Savage Worlds system over classic Deadlands. The only Savage Worlds game I really enjoy is Necessary Evil. Oh, Labyrinth Lords and Hackmaster are systems I've had a lot of fun with. More with Hackmaster because it's a fun game that my buddies and I can bust out when none of the gm's running games have anything prepped. We all have our own characters with large numbers of flaws and randomized dungeons because we all have fun with our adventurers who are going to die.


haruhiko88 wrote:
I have, and I'm not a huge fan of the Savage Worlds system over classic Deadlands. The only Savage Worlds game I really enjoy is Necessary Evil. Oh, Labyrinth Lords and Hackmaster are systems I've had a lot of fun with. More with Hackmaster because it's a fun game that my buddies and I can bust out when none of the gm's running games have anything prepped. We all have our own characters with large numbers of flaws and randomized dungeons because we all have fun with our adventurers who are going to die.

Fair enough. I can't remember a lot of the old rules for Deadlands, but I like what I've seen of Savage Worlds so far. I've got a few games for it that I've been thinking of running, Necessary Evil was on the list.

Another one worth looking at is Better Angels. Just for concept. Everyone plays someone who's playing host to a demon in exchange for power... One of the people sitting next to your is your demon. Don't do enough evil to keep the demon happy, prepare for some punishment. Go overboard on the evil, start losing control to the demon. One of these days I'll take a better look at the mechanics and see if I want to run it, or steal the idea and run it with another system.


Fallout. It is a free release from the early 2000s and use a d100 system. By far one of the best rpg's I've ever played. It would be nearly unplayable without a virtual table top because the math is brutal, but inside the proper framework it runs nearly flawlessly. The game I ran on it was probably in the top 3 campaigns I've ever ran (out of a lot).


Some more obscure than others...

Arcanum by Bard Games
Dragonstar by Fantasy Flight Games
Spycraft 1st Ed by Alderac Entertainment Group
13th Age by Pelgrane Press
Paranoia by West End Games
Earthdawn by FASA
Star Trek RPG by FASA and by Decipher
TORG by WEG
Kobolds Ate My Baby (& Knuckle Sammich) by 9th Level Games
Talislanta
Sengoku by Gold Rush Games
Villains & Vigilantes
Castles & Crusades by Troll Lord Games
Top Secret/SI by TSR
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/After the Bomb by Palladium
(see also Ninjas & Superspies)
The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen

Probably a few that I am missing... I've played dozens of RPGs, but the above are all pretty good and not as known as D&D/Pathfinder, World of Darkness, GURPS, HERO System, Star Wars (every iteration from WEG to FFG), L5R, etc.


Sengoku was interesting. I don't think I'd ever bother to use the rules of the game. They're okay, but nothing interesting IMO. On the other hand, the book makes an amazing RPG style reference for that period of Japan. The breadth and depth of the information covered is pretty amazing. I'm sure there are plenty of errors and misconceptions, but it still serves well.

I wish I still had my original copy of the book. I only have a later printing which was done in the 6x9 size. While more portable, to make it fit all they did was literally resize the pages in what looks to be MSPaint.


Jezred wrote:

Some more obscure than others...

Arcanum by Bard Games

Is this based on the video game? Because I'd totally play that.

Liberty's Edge

Teenagers from outer space

The Mechaniod Invasion


Calex wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
The real BESM isn't a d20 system.
I was one of the few that got the BESM 3rd ed. in hardcover, just after Guardians of Order folded and White Wolf snapped up the property. I was on the pre-order list for 2 copies plus all the pre-order swag. WW refused to fill all the extras, and instead simply doubled your pre-ordered book amount as compensation. So I ended up with 4 copies!

4 copies? Wow. Until drivethrurpg got it to be print on demand, I couldn't even find one for less than, like, $300.

Do you still have any extras? :3

Edited to actually talk about the topic:
One RPG that I really like that hasn't been mentioned yet (unless I missed it/forgot about it) is Anima: Beyond Fantasy. Really crunchy, poorly indexed, with important rules tucked away into a single place only kinda related to said important rules. Kinda like Pathfinder, really. :P

Silver Crusade

Technoir-This game is DEVOTED to the idea of hardboiled cyberpunk, and it really shines when run correctly.


Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
Jezred wrote:

Some more obscure than others...

Arcanum by Bard Games

Is this based on the video game? Because I'd totally play that.

It was published in 1984, with revisions later on. The wiki page goes into better detail than I can provide.

I have fond memories of my druas witch hunter.


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terraleon wrote:

Ars Magica, all the way.

But I'll second Delta Green and Cthulhutech, but I don't think those two are very unknown. Hell, none of them are very little known any more, I think.

-Ben.

I'm going to second Cthulhutech, on the last legs of a two year long campaign with the system. I wish they had been able to release more material for it, I know they had a lot of production problems.

The Exchange

Cralius the Dark wrote:

Burning Wheel.

Cool character creation, "strategic combat", character story driven.
Highly recommended for something different fantasy-wise.

Agreed. Burning Wheel is good. I especially love its take on the traditional Tolkienistic races, which are more Tolkien than Tolkien.

Another game I really like is Strike!, a game of tactical combat and heedless adventures. It's basically all my favorite bits from D&D 4e's tactical combat mixed with something heavily inspired by Mouse Guard and Apocalypse World on the non-combat side. It's fun, quick and really supports my preferred style of GMing, being seat-of-the-pants improvisation and crazyness.

Also, Apocalypse World deserves a mention. Even though there's a bunch of hacks of the system out there now, Apocalypse World is the original and it's an amazing game. Really looking forward to 2e.


In my opinion, Burning Wheel is kind of a hot mess compared to its little siblings: Mouse Guard and Torchbearer.

I've been meaning to give it another go 'round, and I probably will when the new Codex comes out. But for the time being, everything I like about Burning Wheel is present, and in fact better-executed, in the other two games.

I really enjoyed it as an RPG design manifesto with some really innovative ideas, but when it came to actually running a campaign it turned out to be too mechanically intense; often without any return to justify the efforts.

Just for example, most BW games have a mechanic where skills accrue XP individually every time you roll them. In Burning Wheel, this involved referring to a lookup table for every skill roll, and not one that is easily reduced to an algorithm either. In Torchbearer and Mouse Guard, there is a simple rule about how many tests you need to advance in a skill, no chart necessary. Both methods ensure that the player is deliberately challenging themselves in order to advance, but the latter is just 100% more playable as far as concerns me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Necro'd thread that I posted in two years ago! Awesome!

I'll add Dungeon World to the list. I was just invited to join a new campaign, and picked up the rulebook. Nice rules-lite system, IMHO!

Lords of Gossamer and Shadow by Rite Publishing. It's the diceless game system from the out-of-print Amber Diceless Role-Playing without the Roger Zelazny intellectual property.

Don't forget the various D&D retro-clones that are out there...

Swords & Wizardry (retro-clone of the original 1974 blue book edition of Dungeons & Dragons.)

OSRIC ("Old-School Reference and Index Compilation"), a retro-clone of 1st-edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons from 1978.

Dark Dungeons, a retro-clone of the 1982 Tom Moldvay Dungeons & Dragons (i.e. "Basic Set and Expert Rules")


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Probably some repeats here...

Grimm

Unhallowed Metropolis/Necropolis

Hong Kong Action Theatre

World Wide Wrestling (which I see as a successor to HKAT, even though I know that wasn't intentional)

Ehdrigohr

7th Sea (coming back for a 2nd edition via Kickstarter!)

Legend of the Five Rings (I don't consider this one "little-known," but may as well cover my bases) and its weird, never formally updated to the most recent edition kin, Legend of the Burning Sands.


I've been running a World Wide Wrestling game for the folks at the VGCW forums sporadically every Saturday morning. With school done, I plan on it being more often.

Adventurer, Conqueror, King is becoming my new goto game. I've always loved the kingdom building aspect of roleplaying games and was always sad that few games ever did anything with it. While I love Pathfinder's Kingdom building, ACKS has a fresh and different take on it that I like. And their Domains at War books are incredible. It's easy enough to run but has enough stuff for a simulationalist like myself to chew on.


Let's see. Two that came immediately to mind:

Aftermath (post apocalypse from same company that did villains and vigilanties)

Justifiers. (basically furries in space)


1st edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Where else could you legitemately be able to chose the 'rat-catcher' as a character! So many happy memories.


Haladir wrote:


Lords of Gossamer and Shadow by Rite Publishing. It's the diceless game system from the out-of-print Amber Diceless Role-Playing without the Roger Zelazny intellectual property.

Amber isn't quite obscure, but it's definitely one of my all time favorites.

I haven't had the chance to play LoG&S, but I've read it and it looks like a worthy successor. I do think the default setup would be a little harder to make work, since the natural connections between PCs don't exist the same way they do in Amber.

The Exchange

Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

In my opinion, Burning Wheel is kind of a hot mess compared to its little siblings: Mouse Guard and Torchbearer.

I've been meaning to give it another go 'round, and I probably will when the new Codex comes out. But for the time being, everything I like about Burning Wheel is present, and in fact better-executed, in the other two games.

I really enjoyed it as an RPG design manifesto with some really innovative ideas, but when it came to actually running a campaign it turned out to be too mechanically intense; often without any return to justify the efforts.

Just for example, most BW games have a mechanic where skills accrue XP individually every time you roll them. In Burning Wheel, this involved referring to a lookup table for every skill roll, and not one that is easily reduced to an algorithm either. In Torchbearer and Mouse Guard, there is a simple rule about how many tests you need to advance in a skill, no chart necessary. Both methods ensure that the player is deliberately challenging themselves in order to advance, but the latter is just 100% more playable as far as concerns me.

Yeah, even as a huge Burning Wheel fanboy I agree with all of this. I personally think that Burning Wheel is a great game and a great piece of technology, but Torchbearer (I haven't played Mouse Guard, sadly) really refined on its design to make it even better. It's also a lot more consolidated in its design in many ways.

You mentioned the way skills advance already, but Torchbearer further improves (IMO) on Burning Wheel by consolidating all conflicts into one system based on the most simple and elegant of the various conflict systems in Burning Wheel (duel of wits) and by consolidating all Traits to do the same thing mechanically (in Burning Wheel you had a weird grab bag of Traits where some had no mechanical effect beyond being tags for players to get bennies for acting according to those traits to their own detriment while some were pluses to certain types of rolls).

Having said all of that, even with Torchbearer available as a simpler and much more elegant version of the game, I still kind of just love Burning Wheel and still occasionally run games with it. My main problem is that my friends are kind of tired of traditional fantasy so I've only gotten to use it for semi-historical settings when I'd really like to see what magic and the non-human stocks bring to the game.

Oh, and to add to the discussion of cool little-known RPGs that are cool and good, World of Dungeons is pretty great: it's basically a Dungeon World demake, where the point was to write a simplified version of Dungeon World, kind of like an OD&D to Dungeon World's AD&D. I actually prefer it to vanilla Dungeon World these days for some strange reason, part of it being the aesthetic it gets across but partly because it does some interesting things with rules.

For an example, spell-casting in World of Dungeons is pretty neat. There's three talents that unlock different types of spell-casting: Cantrips, which gives you shadow, light, and sound cantrips for a bit of free-form simple spell-casting; Rituals, which unlocks the ability to cast spells from ritual scrolls and books; and Summoning, which unlocks the ability to summon spirits and have them do your bidding. The latter is actually the closest to D&D style spell-casting in the game: when you summon a spirit it comes with a couple of keywords pertaining to its domains (like fire, time, shadow, life) and you can command it to produce a magical effect within any of its domains. So, if you wanted to cast a fireball spell you'd probably summon a spirit with fire as one of its domains and then command it to cast a fireball-like spell.

The best part of the latter type of spell-casting is that summoning requires either an hour of meditation, ingesting mercury, or having a magical item with the spirit in question bound to it. Ingesting mercury is definitely the easiest and quickest path to spell-casting, but there's a soft limit on the number of times you can ingest mercury before it has an adverse effect on you: you can ingest mercury once per character level per day without it carrying any negative effects, beyond that each time you have to roll with Con to see if you suffer an adverse effect (there are no hard rules in place for what happens, but as per the game's normal rules 10+ means you do it without any adverse effects, 7-9 means you do it with some cost, and 6- means something bad happens).

It also acts as a perfect Rosetta stone for adapting old-school adventures to the mechanics of Dungeon World, and I've been wanting to run Scenic Dunnsmouth (by Lamentations of the Flame Princess) using it for the longest time.

It's also available for free for those of you who are wondering what an old-school version of Dungeon World might look like: http://www.onesevendesign.com/dw/world_of_dungeons_1979.pdf


Forgotten Futures


Quite a few I remember fondly:

Villains and Vigilantes
Bushido
Swordbearer
Twilight 2000
Star Frontiers
Boot Hill
Conan RPG

You can actually get many of these in PDF, some even for free. Although they may be outdated in their systems, it might still be useful to read about these systems because most of what I listed were the best of their genre.


This threads back? Third time I believe. Well, time to contribute... not so much obscure as just fun and fondly remembered. Besides my D&D fixation.

Empire of the Petal Throne. And later games set in Tekumel right up to the new game, Bethorm. Incredible setting. I miss Professor Barker. If you liked Jeff Dee's art, Bethorm is his game btw...

Elric / Stormbringer. Moorcock. Angst. Philosophy. The Lords of Chaos. And I love the armor as damage reduction rule using a dice by armor type rather than hit location.

Mekton Zeta. I used it to run a Star Wars campaign. Used the vehicle construction rules to build everything from TIE Fighters to the Death Star. Star Wars fits anime themes very well.

Bushido. Feudal Japan. Great stuff. And ninja. I tinkered with a Tekumel / game using Bushido rules / ideas. Never got to run it. *sigh*

Space Opera. An rpg that came out of a set of miniature rules (rather like D&D did), Space Marine. The game was a bit of a mess, but it had a campy sci-fi flavor. A nice break from the "realistic" feel of my favorite sci-fi rpg, Traveller. I still love Traveller, and I swear I will finish reading T5 some day. And speaking of Traveller feel...

Stars Without Number. Sandbox sci-fi retro rpg goodness. Like Original D&D and Traveller had a child together...

Severe nostalgia attack oncoming. I feel the need to unpack some boxes... the wife will kill me, but the urge is strong :)


Played and enjoyed Boot Hill, Rolemaster, MERP, Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP system), DC Heroes (MEGS) as well as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.
Unfortunately lost most of my old stuff in a house fire and have only been able to replace some of it.

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