Wednesday, 19 August 2015

RPGaDay2015: Genre Strikes Back!

I'm getting a little ahead of the curve here, but what the hey.

19. Favourite Supers RPG?

I have a lot of supers games, because it's far and away my favourite genre. I'm a big comic book fan, even at my advanced age, and supers was the first genre outside fantasy that really "clicked" with me as a gamer. That game was, of course...

...VILLAINS & VIGILANTES! A game that proceeded from the glorious premise that player characters would be based on the actual player, turning them into superheroes and sending them into action to protect Our Fair City. What teenager wouldn't love that? I played the hell out of this game, and it's probably my sentimental favourite to this day.

There are other great supers games I love a lot, though. Especially WILD TALENTS...

...which is serious and crunchy stuff, but elegant and easy to play. It's also got a terrific alternate timeline for a world changed by superheroes, advice on creating your own superhero histories from maestro Ken Hite, and Greg Stolze providing the rules and the "how to play/GM" advice. Essential reading.

MUTANTS & MASTERMINDS is the other really amazing modern supers game on my "best" list, and although I own all three editions the first was the one I played the hell out of. Steve Kenson sleeks down the d20 system into a familiar but powerful new form, and has only refined it over the years. Absolutely great stuff, with unbeatable setting support.

20. Favourite horror RPG?

It's gotten a lot of flak over the last few years, but for me there is only one horror RPG that towers above all the others: CALL OF CTHULHU.

It's simple, easy to learn and run, and it's been the single best-supported RPG product for the past thirty-some years. The supplements for CoC are absolutely magnificent in terms of quality and quantity. There are awesome adventures set all around the world in several eras, including gaslight (a favourite of mine!), and they're full of terrific historical detail, grisly episodes, and depth.

Are there more modern games that do what CoC does? Yes, including Ken Hite's excellent TRAIL OF CTHULHU, which refines the investigating part of CoC adventures in sensible and necessary ways. TRAIL is probably more handsomely produced than CoC, but I suppose Chaosium's tentacled monstrosity will always be my go-to game for squamous gaming.

More's the pity, my wife hates it. 

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