Monday, December 31, 2012

The Top 7

I stumbled across the top 7 role-playing games meme that was going through the gaming blogosphere recently.  I have read the following posts about their respective top seven games:
This type of stuff always interests me because it gives an inside look at what other people in the hobby were doing at the same time.  The summer of 1980 was when it all started for me.  I received the Holmes Basic Set and the three AD&D hardbacks from my uncle David.  I have played a ton of games since then but I am not going to do a separate list for games I played and games I ran.  Both lists would basically be the same but the games would occupy a different spot in both lists. 
1. AD&D: My buddies and I actually started off with Holmes and followed the references to the AD&D books I also owned.  We really liked the additional rules and restrictions offered up by AD&D.  It was pretty common for us to use D&D stuff with AD&D; it did not matter because it was all Dungeons & Dragons as far as we were concerned.  No one game got more play time from our group than this one.  I never moved up to 2E but I did game a little with 3E.

2. Palladium Role-Playing Game: Out of all of the stuff that has come and gone in my collection this is the one item that I wish I still had more than anything else.  This is the one game that made us all stop playing any form of D&D to play it instead.  It almost seemed like an upgrade to AD&D with the similarities in the rules systems; that made it easy to use stuff between the two systems also.I have the second edition around here somewhere but it just has not grabbed my attention like the original.     

 3. D&D: It all started with the Holmes Basic set but over the years AD&D got much more play out of our group.  We were under the mistaken impression that using AD&D meant we were playing a more "sophisticated" game.  I know, the folly of youth and all that jazz.  If I was starting a new campaign today I would probably just go with Moldvay or Holmes and some of the fan expansion material. 

 4. Talislanta: I stumbled across the second edition of the Talislanta Handbook and Campaign Guide on a random trip to the local game store.  We were instantly intrigued by the out of the ordinary races and campaign setting.  I always liked using one of the Gnomekin character options.  As cool as some of the more recent editions have been, I still feel like the slimmer manuals from that time were better at capturing your imagination.

5. Villains & Vigilantes: This was the first and in many ways still the best supers game I ever played.  V&V seemed to emphasize fun more than anything else.  This was the first game that had us actively building connections and relationships between various character and stories in the campaign. My old V&V folders are somewhere in storage with a ton of character write ups.  I would like to find them someday and post some to my blog. 

6. Marvel Super Heroes: I played quite a bit of the old Marvel Super Heroes game from TSR but I was not a big fan of the basic game.  It was cool because it was Marvel but I always felt like it was a little "too basic" in presentation.  When the Advanced Set was released, I became a big fan of the rules.  In fact, we used them for doing things other than supers.  There was a short GI JOE campaign that added a list of MOS options to the character creation process.  We had stats for a ton of the official characters also.  We also did a Transformers campaign. 

7. Nightlife: I do not remember much about this game other than we played several sessions.  I know it was one of those "monsters in the modern world" games but that is about it.  I believe it was released several years before White Wolf began the World of Darkness.  It remains the only horror type game that I have ever played but I would definitely like to try Call of Cthulhu.
There you have it - the top 7 games I have participated in as a player or game master.  I may be late in posting it but I made it.  


  1. I think it is interesting that you described AD&D as more restrictions. My impression has always been that it was less restrictive. I suppose that really comes down to what your first impression focus was on. To me, it was no more "Elf" and instead it was replaced with a full class system. That to me made it less restrictive.

    White Wolf stole a lot from Nightlife. There is only 1 year difference between them. Make me wonder if WW rushed their product to market after copying Nightlife, or if they knew about Nightlife while it was still being developed.

    The settings and rules are different, but the same concept is there. You both play monsters. Monsters have different factions. Edges/flaws. Both have humanity and the loss of humanity as game concepts.

    Nightlife is still available as a PDF from

    If it wasn't in print, I would probably try to publish it myself. Any other old games you know of that I can buy up to reprint :P

    1. Yeah, restrictive probably wasn't the right word to use. Hmmm....I am trying to convey the inclusion of requirements for certain classes and stuff like that. In a way it is a restrictiion but probably should be more realistically considered a minimum requirement to choose that class. That's what I was getting at. :-)

      Now that you mention it, those concepts you mention refresh my mind a tad bit but that is really all I remember. I know I had fun and I would play it some more but we were just stuck in fantasy mode at the time. I did own the supplement IN THE MUSICAL VEIN or something like that. I would play it now if I still had it. Thanks for the link. I may just purchase it soon.

      It's interesting to see that Vampire and Nightlife were released that cose together and shared that many similarities.

      Hmm....interesting question. I'll see what I can think of!