12 games you should play before you become overly morbid

There’s a meme going around about the 12 rpgs you should play before you die (and as an aside, I loathe that expression; here are the things you do before you die, die, die). Here’s my list, with the caveat that it’s really just ‘twelve games that are interesting and worth playing.’

  1. D&D: It’s the ur-game, the core text, the lingua franca of gaming. Plus, killing things and taking their stuff is fun for all. 
  2. Call of Cthulhu: Investigation and historical gaming; the scenario as narrative.
  3. Traveller: Career-based character generation, ship design, a universe with a life beyond the player characters.
  4. Nobilis: Collaborative design of major campaign elements (something I’ll be returning to in detail later), crazy gonzo philosophy action.
  5. Any WoD game: Faction-driven gaming.
  6. Baron Munchausen: Rambling with rules.
  7. Paranoia: Because it’s great.
  8. World of Warcraft: Because it’s huge.
  9. In A Wicked Age: Zero-prep collaborative gaming.
  10. Over The Edge: Rules-light weirdness.
  11. Blue Planet: A realistic and coherent future setting, plus you get to play distinctly non-human characters.
  12. The next game you’re going to play: Because it’ll be the best one yet.

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6 Comments on "12 games you should play before you become overly morbid"

  1. Charles
    21/11/2008 at 1:37 am Permalink

    1. D&D: Because you should, at least once.
    2. Call of Cthulhu: Because this is where intelligent gaming starts.
    3. Traveller: No. Just no.
    4. Nobilis: The best almost-game ever written.
    5. Any WoD game: Not ANY Wod game.Check them out, but do try them.
    6. Baron Munchausen: Not with Farrell. Or Fiki.
    7. Paranoia: “Because it’s great.” No it isn’t.
    8. World of Warcraft: “Because it’s huge.” So is Canada, not a good enough reason.
    9. In A Wicked Age: “Zero-prep collaborative gaming.” How is this a good thing?
    10. Over The Edge: Rules-light weirdness. Agreed.
    11. Blue Planet:Coherent, yes, realistic, no. And the trouble with playing non human characters in any game is that you are a human playing non human characters. Not good enough to be actual sci fi and they expect you to play in it.
    12. The next game you’re going to play: Because it’ll be the best one yet. Aren’t they all?

  2. David
    21/11/2008 at 11:34 am Permalink

    1. D&D because if it wasn’t your first game then just once to show how lucky you were never to have played it.
    2. CoC. Intelligent? No. Fun? Yes.
    3. The BIGGEST SFRPG background ever and a great game no matter which of the myriad of systems you use to play it. Awesome.
    4. Meh! A game for accountants.
    5. WoD; ponderous, sanctimonious crap. All of it. WW iz teh suxxorz. ;)
    6. Not played, no comment.
    7. YES IT IS.
    8. Canada is lovely, ergo I must play WoW.
    9. I love zero prep, this is why 3:12 is genius.
    10. Just did nothing for me. Nothing wrong with the system though.
    11. Chuck, your comments also apply to WoD Vampires, D&D Dwarfs etc. I really get irritated by idiots that go on about the rubber suit alien in RPGs but have no problem with non-human characters in fantasy games.
    12. Not always. I might end up in a game of Living Steel. That would be a nightmare.

  3. Cerandor
    21/11/2008 at 12:32 pm Permalink

    Hmm. I’ve played 1, 2 (currently), 3, 5 (with varible results), 7 (likewise, but more amusing), and 10 (briefly). I would have thrown Pendragon into the list though…

  4. Woesinger
    21/11/2008 at 2:26 pm Permalink

    I’d add (or substitute):

    Pendragon – because hating Saxons is scientifically proven to reduce cholesterol.

    Dogs in the Vineyard – rules-light narritivist gaming that gives you an excuse to play lots of apocalyptic Johnny Cash and Nick Cave songs (if you need one).

    Burning Empires – rules-heavy narritivist gaming, which, terribly designed rulebook notwithstanding, will jolt you out of your RPG comfort zone.

  5. Charles
    21/11/2008 at 3:34 pm Permalink

    “Chuck, your comments also apply to WoD Vampires, D&D Dwarfs etc. I really get irritated by idiots that go on about the rubber suit alien in RPGs but have no problem with non-human characters in fantasy games.”

    Wrong: Vampires = undead humans, elves = pointy eared humans, dwarfs = short humans. All the WOD nasties have a human side etc.
    Dolphins are Dolphins. Fish are Fish. Thats the problem.

    Anyway, this isn’t me starting a flamewar, just clarifiying a point. Haven’t been to Canada, so will take your word its lovely.

    This was a personal meme, mostly, I mean, we can all write one about the worst games we’ve ever seen. (Chill anyyone?) But, Its a good sign that there is such debate about what a good game is. Will post my own twelve sometime. :)

  6. Brian
    25/11/2008 at 6:27 pm Permalink

    Charles, you whiny git, in which case you should take exception to people playing characters with a higher intelligence than theirs, as thinking better than you do is impossible.
    Oh wait, you do. Never mind then.

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