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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2012 - 06:15 am:   

... in which I'll include myself, though I've not gamed in years (though a friend is trying to drag me into his Traveller game—but I digress....)

So I'm going through old boxes and I find an old gaming 'zine. It could be any old gaming magazine, but this one happens to be this one; and it is, specifically, Fantasy Gamer #3 (Dec/Jan 1984).

I've seen it there before going through this box, but for the first time in forever, I decided to actually open it up, and flip through the pages. And I was amazed to discover, and rediscover, the existence of all these other RPGs and such that seem utterly forgotten... Hell, were they ever even on the radar at all?! At least, I don't remember these (not that that means anything).

I mean, everyone thinks of D&D, CoC, etc. (which, btw, make up the vast bulk of the content of articles in this particular magazine; which tells exactly, what was and was not popular). Then there's the second tier, they usually classify as "forgotten" RPGs, like say, Gamma World or Runequest or etc. But those are surely but also-rans, compared to the completely unknown artifacts I see advertised all over in these pages....

And there must have been many more such RPGs, fantasy-games/supplements, and PBMs (play-by-mails), since this is but one sampling of one magazine in one year. But I mean... did anyone here actually play any of these things?! Like:

-- Hârn by Columbia Games, a fantasy world campaign bragging "more than five years of R&D"
-- Jack The Ripper, by Aulic Council Publishing, the exciting fun-family game of the Whitechapel Murders
-- Witch Hunt, by Statcom Simulations Inc., role-playing in 1692 Massachusetts during the witch trials ("become Witches or Magistrates"!)
-- Undead, by Steve Jackson Games, based on Dracula ("You have the power to change shapes—wolf, bat, mist.")
-- Dark Cults, by Dark House, the "game of the supernatural, where horror and evil cultists stalk the city streets by night."
-- Cluster, by Otto Schmidt II, the PBM game of "command management writ against the stellar vastness" (come again?)
-- James Bond 007, by Victory Games, the role-playing-game of... guess
-- Sanctuary, by Mayfair Games, the fantasy boardgame based on Robert Lynn Aspirin's 80's fantasy anthology series (not too bad a series of fiction, if I remember correctly... some were better than others....)
-- Warlorld PBM, by Phoenix Publications ("Choose your birthright: Good King, Evil King, or Mercenary Captain [neutral].")
-- Bug-Eyed Monsters, by West End Games, Inc. ("They Want Our Women!")

Anyway. Just an odd artifact documenting a phenomenon seemingly (to me, scanning these pages) far more ancient than all the decades and centuries and eons that preceded it: gaming in the 80's.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.29.112
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2012 - 02:55 pm:   

I've heard of Harn, I believe it still has some ardent followers and I still have the James Bond 007 RPG. It had a great system that really captured the flavour of the movies, for instance it was impossible to die in hand to combat, the worst that could happen would be a knock out unless your opponent had an insanely high strength stat - so only an Oddjob or Jaws type character was a real threat without a weapon.

Never heard of the rest of them though.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2012 - 10:28 pm:   

Wouldn't that make for some dull RPG-ing, David?... I mean the Bond game, where you can't die in combat, though it could be wacky. The only spy game I can (nostalgically) remember, is of course, TSR's Top Secret, though I've not laid eyes upon it in literally decades.

Having seen the superb recent version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, I think now how really great a true spy RPG could be, or have been? Even a video game, but I mean a decidedly adult one: all detection, intrigue, politics, subterfuge, etc. Like CoC except sans Lovecraft's sanity-destroying creations. Too bad no one's working on this kind of thing... right?...

Good thing. Last thing I need's another time suck.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.29.112
Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 - 01:10 am:   

No, sorry, I should have been clearer, you can die from guns, knives etc., just not in a good old fashioned punch up, unless it's with some man-monster henchman :-)

I've heard good things about John Wick's spy RPG, Wilderness of Mirrors. http://wickedthought.livejournal.com/472689.html

It seems to be available here: http://johnwickpresents.com/market/products/wildernessofmirrors.html
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.29.112
Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 - 01:16 am:   

There's also an RPG based on Charles Stross' Laundry setting out now, which is CoC with added espionage, of course :-)
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Jamie Rosen (Jamie)
Username: Jamie

Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 173.32.63.252
Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 - 04:24 am:   

With the dawn of pdfs and POD technology, there's now RPGs about darn near everything, up to and including non-anthropomorphic prairie dogs -- so there's actually plenty to choose from for spies, from action-oriented games to player-driven games of intrigue and betrayal.

I believe Harn (which, IIRC, was a system-free setting) is still ongoing; I know Runequest and Gamma World are -- GW got a new edition from Wizards of the Cost in the last few years.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Saturday, June 09, 2012 - 02:42 pm:   

Worlds within worlds ad infinitum...

I was a major 'Dungeons & Dragons' geek back in my late teens/early 20s and still have great memories of some of the most exciting gaming experiences I ever had in my life, in any format.

I always loved to be the Dungeon Master rather than a player and really went overboard in my preparations, map-making and atmospheric descriptions, etc. My favourite part was in translating the dice rolls verbally into graphic action set pieces with specific injuries incurred, etc - vivid torture sequences were a speciality of mine. I really got quite carried away at times. I liked to see that I had captured my mates imaginations during these weeks long (sometimes months) gaming adventures and many the all-nighter we had sat rolling, moving pieces and mentally sparring with each other into the wee small hours. Them trying to second guess my devious traps while I sat with my best poker face and blandest of voices, until... I reckon they could always tell from my eyes that they'd just opened the wrong door. Happy days!

In the end the whole process was just too time consuming though and other social activities, such as drinking and womanising, soon eclipsed the world of D&D. One needs to remain a permanent geek to survive in that world, sadly. I tried once since, in my 30s, to sit in on a game with a crowd of eager young students and it was not a fun experience. They were just no bloody good at it. Not enough blood 'n' guts for my liking and a bit too much actorly behaviour and, ahem, dressing up. They wouldn't have stood a chance in one of Stevie's dungeons, hur hur...
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.155.144.90
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 11:05 am:   

I've just won a D&D board game from the 90s, 'Dragon Quest'.
I never played these games. I keep reading the instructions and trying to get my family to play. I love the sound of them, though. I'm nostalgic for them even though I never even saw one played.
I found out - and here are words I never expected to hear or utter in the same sentence - that Vin Diesel loves D&D and introduced Dame Judy Dench to playing it.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.112.124
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 11:44 am:   

Ha! That last bit HAS to be true.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.155.144.90
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 11:53 am:   

It is! And it restores my faith in humanity.
(I'm a bit sick of saying that)
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.34.16
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 01:36 pm:   

I haven't played in years but I still like to read about and collect games that catch my interest, particularly horror ones. It can actually be quite inspiring to read about settings and creatures and ghosts outside of a narrative. Kult still has one of the best horror settings ever devised in any medium.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.155.144.90
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 02:06 pm:   

It's mad, but the 'idea' of things like these games is interesting to me, even though I may never get involved in them. It's closer to theatre than literature, I think. There should be a Mike Leigh game.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.112.124
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 02:37 pm:   

That's it! I've always been drawn to the creative aspect of RPGs, the theatre. Wish I'd figured this out before so I could have just JOINED THE THEATRE.

Instead I spent far too long looking up numbers in tables and rolling dice in a group of people whose only creativity was in deciding which limb of their imaginary enemy to lop off. Gods, the wasted time!
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.112.124
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 02:39 pm:   

I ran a Hallowe'en murder mystery dinner which was a combination of nice nosh, theatre and a game. It really worked. The audience were the actors.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 02:51 pm:   

You lot are getting me all nostalgic for long nights sat absorbed in epic fantasy quests with my mates back in the day. I just know you'd have lapped up D&D, Tony. It is the very stuff of dreams and inspires the imagination to make the leap into another world and another soul like nothing computer gaming can even begin to rival.

The only other RPG we got seriously into, you may not be surprised to learn, was 'Call Of Cthulhu'. Seeing those sanity points ebb away with each new encounter with some shambling eldritch horror from beyond, lovingly hinted at by the gamesmaster (Sean), sure was fun!
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 03:34 pm:   

Some of the old CoC campaigns read like rollicking post-modern pulp-horror novels. The late Keith Herber was a fine creator, and his The Fungi From Yuggoth and The Spawn of Azathoth are classics of Lovecraftiana. And then too bad Horror on the Orient Express (not by Herber) is but a game supplement, because it would have made one hell of a movie....
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.112.124
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 05:04 pm:   

There's this. But it doesn't get a good review here.

http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10479.phtml
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.34.16
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 06:32 pm:   

I got that when it was released as a pdf. I thought it was very disappointing, no real discussion of what was unique about Ramsey's tales and how to roleplay in that style, just things ripped out of context and statted up as monsters.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.34.16
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 06:48 pm:   

Oh, I'd also like to point out that site, rpg.net, has some excellent forums. The Other Media one in particular for usually intelligent and mostly polite discussions of genre movies, books and television.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 82.18.174.156
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 08:47 pm:   

Craig, I can't remember any of the names of individual modules as my mate, Sean, was the one who ran the CoC games. I was more immersed in the D&D universe at that time and only dabbled in other games as a player. I loved the atmosphere and the concentration on painstaking investigation over action in CoC - it really got the grey cells working.
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Jamie Rosen (Jamie)
Username: Jamie

Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 173.32.63.252
Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2012 - 03:58 am:   

If you think Horror on the Orient Express would've made a cracking movie, you should check out the audio recordings made available at yog-sothoth.com. They played through the campaign and recorded it, and it was every bit as good as you'd imagine. Although you'll want to set a few weeks aside to listen to it.

(They've also done the Walker in the Wastes, Masks of Nyarlathotep, Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, and fairly recent The Tatters of the King campaigns, and are in the process of playing through Beyond the Mountains of Madness. They tend to get about one done a year, depending on schedules.)
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2012 - 05:24 am:   

Wow, those are all great campaigns, Jamie! I've read MASKS and SHADOWS, perused WALKER, and have yet to secure TATTERS, which I've heard is quite good.

You know, someone oughta, if you're saying it's that good, someone oughta do what they did with "The Ricky Gervais Show"—just find an animator to illustrate the podcast. Could be both engrossing and funny at once....

You know, tangent, but the odd thing is, you can have these strange wide vast audiences for game campaigns like this—over the internet, podcast, video, etc. And the odd thing is, this new internet age has created a strange bubble in copyright issues: the copyrights were opened to these works for people to take and play with, with other participants. But no one foresaw the wide range of the internet; so, someone could figure out how to implement a many-player country-wide crazy campaign with lots of viewers and a big audience and such, for free, without remunerating the authors... yet never once infringe on the copyright, because it was all expressly allowed in print beforehand, and unanticipated. Just a weird aside.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - 03:22 pm:   

I've just been up in the loft and found an old Dracula game by Steve Jackson from 1980 - The Undead. The characters are tiny pieces of card and some resemble people like a white Mr T, and Holmes and Watson are in there. There are tiny card desks and safes and armchairs, but sadly no instructions...
It's a very odd thing. How strange these games are. They have such an aura.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - 04:01 pm:   

Ha - an advert for a game on the back reads 'Invade Iran'. Also there seems to have been a whole line of these figures known as 'Cardboard heroes'. How sorry that sounds now, these days.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - 04:03 pm:   

I once had an idea about people who take the RPG to the level of *becoming* their characters for a time, enacting the stories out in the real world.
Wasn't there a movie years ago about a group of kids playing D&D? Wasn't it based on a true story?
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David_m (David_m)
Username: David_m

Registered: 07-2011
Posted From: 95.147.192.153
Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - 04:28 pm:   

For those interested in Gothic horror RPGs, Tim Franklin has reviewed Dark Harvest: The Legacy of Frankenstein for Twisted Tales:

http://twistedtalesevents.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/dark-harvest-legacy-of-frankens tein.html

Admittedly, it isn't old-school, but I was involved in the game he ran and think that it will be of interest. I enjoyed it as good Hammer Horror fun.

Also, I'm moving back to Liverpool this summer and have joined a CoC campaign that is leading to Horror on the Orient Express. The friend who is running it knows the Mythos and game system inside out and the first session was superbly macabre and atmospheric.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.97.32
Posted on Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 01:48 am:   

"I once had an idea about people who take the RPG to the level of *becoming* their characters for a time, enacting the stories out in the real world.
Wasn't there a movie years ago about a group of kids playing D&D? Wasn't it based on a true story?"

It was called Monsters & Mazes I think and RPGers hated it because it cast them as mentally unstable. It might not be a fair interpretation of the film's intent, but there was a virulent and hysterical lobby against D&D by adults who didn't understand it and thought their kids might end up insane or in a cult.

I remember the revised D&D rules being ridiculously explicit in separating the character from the player (rather than "I open the door", "my dwarf character opens the door"). RPGs can be wonderful but are the biggest time sink I know of.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 03:24 am:   

Good Lord, David! That Legacy of Frankenstein is wildly imaginative, and riveting! I'm only reading the review of it you posted, and haven't really gamed recently—better to say, I'm out of what RPG-ing even is, nowadays. But that book really kind of excited me, thinking: I wonder if RPG-ing is about to evolve into something else? Finally, after some 30 years, many of which it sort of went dormant: a next level is achieved. That book sure made it seem like a whole other kind of RPG-ing altogether, from what anyone's used to... or maybe it's just ignorant me. It's like something that's like a movie, and like a novel, and like an old-school RPG, and yet something wholly other, as well....

Tony: I have that game! The rules, too. Steve Jackson made some great games in his time. Indeed, indeed, like old paperbacks, they do have an aura about them.... Actually, my favorite non-RPG game—and I had gotten many people who detested utterly RPGs, taking to this one—was GDW's The Fury of Dracula: easy to grasp, and levels of ingenuity. Of course, I've not played that one in oh so many many years either, so....
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 03:27 am:   

Yeah, Proto, Mazes & Monsters, based on a novel by Rona Jaffe, starring Tom Hanks (!). I myself, couldn't have been less interested in D&D or any other RPG, and I had friends begging me at the time in school to join them... until one day, true story, my dad absolutely forbade me to get anywhere near them and their evil maliciousness. That's when I had to, had to, play.

Parents ruin everything, don't they?
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David_m (David_m)
Username: David_m

Registered: 07-2011
Posted From: 95.147.192.153
Posted on Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 08:57 am:   

Craig, RPGs are undergoing something of a renaissance in the internet era. If you are interested in Lovecraftian horror and want a system that focuses more on narrative and investigation than stats, you may like Kenneth Hite's Trail of Cthulhu:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trail-Cthulhu-Kenneth-Hite/dp/1934859079/ref=sr_1_1?ie=U TF8&qid=1341469663&sr=8-1

If the idea of an occult underground, urban horror, and magic that relies on loss of sanity appeals, try John Tynes, and Greg Stolze's Unknown Armies:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unknown-Armies-G-Stolze/dp/1589780132/ref=cm_lmf_tit_1_r srssi0

Want something weirder and darker? Try White Wolf's Promethean: The Created, which takes Frankenstein's creature as the template for a race of unnatural beings whose very presence incites hatred in other conscious entities and corrupts the ground they walk on:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Promethean-The-Created/dp/158846606X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books& ie=UTF8&qid=1341469955&sr=1-1

A lot of these game systems require input from the GM and players to really bring them to life. For example, I'm currently playing in a game of Vampire: The Requiem that has a heavy noir influence, in which we are rewarded for adding to the tone and mood through our actions and interactions.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 05, 2012 - 09:34 am:   

Craig - would it be difficult to scan those rules and email them me?

What was the basis of the Monsters and Mazes book? I wish I'd been into it. When my mum and dad suddenly decided to move down to Sussex in 1980 I remember meeting this kid at work (who must have been the first geek) showing me how it worked on some scraps of paper. But I was too shy to get to know him properly. In fact for almost three years I didn't know anybody at all.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Friday, July 06, 2012 - 04:30 pm:   

Tony - I will see what I can do (the rules are in a little pamphlet), but I might be able to find the rules another way for you....
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Friday, July 06, 2012 - 04:56 pm:   

Woo hoo!
I've just seen this game going for really god prices you know. £50 in one place. Did you ever play it, Craig?
(BTW the cards representing the characters - they're crazy! I think Mr T's even in there.)
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Friday, July 06, 2012 - 04:57 pm:   

Good, not god.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Friday, July 06, 2012 - 05:05 pm:   

No, actually, I have it unpunched. Guess I never got around to it....

Check out these others in the "Pocket Games" series: http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/PocketBoxGames.shtml

I still have Ogre—but wow, I actually had all those Car Wars at one time!
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 07:06 am:   

All those games look fascinating, David! It's great to see the internet age has finally done some advancement in the world of RPGs. And a whole new Lovecraft system in Trail—with Lovecraft long being in public domain, it's surprising actually it hasn't been done before!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 09:16 am:   

Just bought a twenty year old D&D Dragon's Quest game for *99p* off eBay. It was odd, i felt bad winning it and so drove to the guy's place over in Newcastle. I used to have relatives there and haven't seen it in ages. Before setting off I Google earthed the area and saw all these trampolines in the back gardens. The chap was nice and sort of showed me this game (and the spare - the same game but with pieces missing) in quite thorough detail. I felt like a ghost dipping into another life for a moment - you don't often get to meet the faces at the other ends of these little transactions.
(The game is beautiful by the way! I don't care if I never play it - it's nice just to open and peruse. Such a hug, lovely board - it's like an abstract form of literature, broken down into component parts...)
I think I'm a pseudo intellectual. I've been hearing fun poked at them from all corners, and think I fit the picture.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 03:45 pm:   

That eBay-buying story of yours, Tony, was starting to unsettle me, especially in the light of my reading The Count of Eleven....

I too find these old games the same way you do: the look of them, contents, etc. Supplements and systems and board games and card games—there is indeed a fascinating mystique about them.

It's hard to believe, now, that there were entire shops devoted solely to these games! Just within the last year, in fact, one of the oldest "gaming" shops I know of in the Los Angeles area, The Black Watch, which concentrated on table-top miniature wargaming (sure, it's part of it all), finally shuttered. This place on Reseda Blvd. walking distance from the University, it was there before the boom (I hear: I wasn't around), rode the crest, and long, long after its immense popularity collapsed, survived. Now, I think it's a vacuum store of some kind... the passing of something significant, to someone (I hope), and no one ever even noticed.... (Well, I hadn't been there in well over a decade myself, so I shouldn't really talk.)
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 03:54 pm:   

Thing is, there were sad touches in the games I bought; unpunched figures, half painted figurines, a slip asking who taught me to play and how old was I, how many D&D novels did I buy. I was never into D&D but the whole thing makes me sad, the passing of something I never knew.
It's just change, isn't it? We should accept it and mourn it a little, maybe no more. :-(
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 04:05 pm:   

Tony, this is turning into a Steve-Carell-in-one-of-his-more-serious-turns indie movie.

I got a finger pointing me in the direction of fantasy literature, which eventually led me by a circuitous route to horror, all thanks to the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide: flip to the back, and you find Gary Gygax's list of novels and writers that influenced him. That was my assigned reading list, for a time....

(Sometimes you just have to step back and say, whoa. I mean, early 1980's, these massive hardcover tomes filled with microscopic print... and it's all a game? A sweeping and popular game?! And more vital than I think people give it credit—I'll bet most of society's more creative and influential "geeks," were playahs at one time or another....)
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Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.4.146.163
Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 06:04 pm:   

Screw change. Tonight I'm continuing with our AD&D campaign, in which I'm playing a 1st level Paladin. Ridiculously old-school but fun. Regular gaming sessions are what helps keep me vaguely sane.
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Jamie Rosen (Jamie)
Username: Jamie

Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 173.32.63.252
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 05:02 am:   

Ah, but Jonathan, is that 1st or 2nd edition AD&D? :P
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 05:45 am:   

1st or 2nd?... How about, is it Chainmail?
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Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.4.146.163
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 09:56 am:   

2nd ed AD&D.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 10:12 am:   

Craig! Ha - yes, I do get a little deep into my feelings about small things.
Maybe Carell should spoof his indie films? :-)

I see in Bengal they've built a Harry Potter village. It's illegal and so might be being closed down. But the village is better looking than much of Bengal and the characters are more popular than the Hindu gods so it makes me wonder; are people desperate to enter their dreams?
It's like a Ballard novel, only lighter perhaps.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 04:37 pm:   

Speaking of 2nd ed AD&D, and for you further Tony: I've always been fascinated by the supplements published by Judge's Guild, back in the late 70's/early 80's. They were pretty awful, production-wise (printed on some kind of cheap newsprint, with almost uniformly terrible artwork) and content-wise (the adventures were mostly brainless hack-n-slashes, one-monster's-room-then-another's)... and yet, there's something weirdly nostalgic about them, along the lines of what Tony's been speaking about: the whiff of aged ruins, of lost innocence, a vanished sincerity. And does anyone even remember their massive, sprawling campaign, Verbosh?

Geez, why is it I almost feel like I'm revealing deep dark sexual proclivities, even talking about these things...?
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 193.113.57.161
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 04:53 pm:   

I've just noticed this thread. Yes, i too was that hyper imaginative teenager (as Stevie mentioned already above) and have a huge box full of old D&D and CoC scenarios. Along with a collection of the British mag 'White Dwarf' (back when it was good).
Craig, I think there's a Judges Guild book in there too.
Thing is i would be terribly embarrased to show these to my teenage sons for fear of ridicule. Having them find a stash of BDSM porn would somehow seem more 'normal'. They do not read for pleasure at all so have no idea.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 05:05 pm:   

My kids have been mystified by my digging up these games and buying them. The less sexualised one likes them, though, and is intrigued - he, like me though, has no real desire to play them, just ogle and touch them. Just looking is enough to stir the imagination, really.
Heck - I sound like the perve one, not my thirteen year old with the 50 girl friends on FB...

Craig - I'm going to write about this as a story. I can feel it growing too much as an idea.
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.180.229.75
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 09:13 pm:   

I know exactly what you mean Tony. I too sit for hours perusing these old books soaking up the atmosphere they exude. I think the pleasure comes from allowing the character and plot germs they present come alive in our mind's eye for a while. Even the brilliant covers or titles of some of these scenarios were enough to get the creative juices flowing. There is no real desire to 'play' anymore just an urge for some physical contact with relics of my lost youth. 'The Ghost Tower of Inverness' was my first D&D title. 'Shadows of Yog Sothoth' my first CoC campaign book.
I have however been eyeing up the recent 'Arkham Horror' and 'Mansions of Madness' boardgames from Fantasy Flight Games. These things are huge with hundreds of pieces and beautifully illustrated boards and cards. I know I will never actually get to play these but to open the boxes and examine the components would be a joy.
You hit the nail on the head Tony. It IS an abstract form of literature broken down into component parts.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.43.121
Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 11:48 pm:   

Arkham Horror looks nice, but the HUNDREDS of little pieces and the intricate gameplay, I can't be doing with. It doesn't have to be chess - I just want some atmosphere. Why can't we have simple atmospheric games?
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Jonathan (Jonathan)
Username: Jonathan

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 80.4.146.163
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 12:33 pm:   

Arkham Horror is great fun. But, yes, you need a whole afternoon to play it and a really big table.}
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 02:00 pm:   

I wonder, wouldn't it be ace to plan a novel, then instead of writing it turn it into a game? Imagine a board game - a long, complex, thoughtful board game with plastic pieces and picture cards - of, say, Catcher in the Rye, or To Kill a Mockingbird.

My heart has gone to goo just thinking about it.

I'd LOVE to do such a thing - but how?
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 02:04 pm:   

http://boardgamegeek.com/image/79602/the-darling-buds-of-may-game
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 147.252.230.148
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 02:06 pm:   

God, that image depresses me.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 02:06 pm:   

Sean - 'I think the pleasure comes from allowing the character and plot germs they present come alive in our mind's eye for a while.' That's it. Brian Eno created a series of 'idea development' cards. I think these board games act in the same way. In many ways it must all go back to the tarot, that mechanism.
'The Ghost Tower of Inverness' sounds amazing as-is.
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 02:07 pm:   

Proto - that's hysterical!
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 02:07 pm:   

It might have been exactly what I had in mind...
;)
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.21.241
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 04:32 pm:   

I don't think the artist really did Catherine Zeta-Jones justice in that one :/
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 05:30 pm:   

Tony, there's two old games I know of that sort of shade into something not quite RPG and not quite table-top, not quite this or that: Sleuth Publications' Consulting Detective (1981), where you are competing in Victorian England with Holmes, to solve various cases—handsomely produced at the time, with a number of boxed supplements. Sleuth went on to create the even more fascinating (by the many details/game pieces that went into it; just look at them: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3365/gumshoe ), is Gumshoe (1985). These are difficult thinking games, that fade naturally into an RPG like CoC; but it's too bad more of them weren't created.
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 86.180.229.75
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 09:32 pm:   

'Gumshoe' and 'Consulting Detective' I would snap up in a heartbeat if reprinted. Imagine this format applied to a Lovecraftian plot.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 10:54 pm:   

I've them both, Sean, and then at least one of the supplements for Consulting Detective. They were handsomely crafted; Gumshoe (based on Hammett's Continental Op stories) seems to have been a tad sloppy in its creation, though hell, it was attempting a lot; and the meticulously detailed game aids overwhelm Detective, which had few hand-outs.

You have a real point there... that format, for Lovecraftiana... because as you know, they're both non-die games, relying instead wholly on intellectual ability. Someone should develop something! Maybe it shall be... I?... whew, I'm exhausted even thinking about it....
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 213.233.153.17
Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 11:48 pm:   

There's this, a mixture of role-playing and short story writing. Jonathan kindly sent me a copy eons ago. You've got to be completely sane to play it, though.

http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/reviews/rev_6859.html

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/17148/de-profundis
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.21.241
Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 - 02:23 am:   

Ha, I was just going to post about De Profundis, actually. I still have the first edition on a pile of battered, torn A4 print-outs. The pdf file is long gone on some old junked PC. It was quite an atmospheric read as I recall. It's almost like a bare-bones precursor to the collaborative story-telling of memes like the Slenderman mythos.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.21.241
Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 - 02:25 am:   

Speaking of old junked PCs I found a backup CD full of files from one just a few weeks back. It had a file on it named AncientEvil.zip and I couldn't for the life of me remember what it might have been.

Turned out it was just a game, somewhat disappointingly, but for a couple of fun minutes I felt like I was living a crappy horror movie.
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Jamie Rosen (Jamie)
Username: Jamie

Registered: 11-2008
Posted From: 173.32.63.252
Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012 - 04:56 am:   

You have a real point there... that format, for Lovecraftiana... because as you know, they're both non-die games, relying instead wholly on intellectual ability. Someone should develop something! Maybe it shall be... I?... whew, I'm exhausted even thinking about it....

Well, there's Cthulhu Live: http://www.flamesrising.com/cthulhu-live-3rd-edition-review/
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.152.62.175
Posted on Monday, July 16, 2012 - 08:20 am:   

Yesterday I bought something I've been meaning to buy for ages - a set of I Ching cards (not the stones). These are tiny cards with lovely mysterious paintings on them. The effect is so strange and imaginatively inspiring I cannot help but feel the same buzz I get from looking at D&D board games. I wonder what's going on? In the instructions it says 'just perusing the cards will induce a state of meditation'.
I think I'm onto something. But what?
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.44.186.70
Posted on Friday, October 05, 2012 - 12:55 pm:   

This is doing what I wanted! A book that is almost a board game. It looks mind-meltingly beautiful.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/9571426/Building-Stories-by -Chris-Ware-review.html
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 193.113.57.161
Posted on Friday, October 05, 2012 - 01:46 pm:   

The game is afoot!

I was completely unaware that a new reprint edition of 'Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective' was even being planned. It's released this month apparently. It looks absolutely gorgeous.
http://us.asmodee.com/ressources/articles/sherlock-holmes-consulting-detective.p hp
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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.44.186.70
Posted on Friday, October 05, 2012 - 01:57 pm:   

http://msmedina.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/catcher-in-the-rye-board-games/
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Friday, October 05, 2012 - 03:46 pm:   

I saw that Building Stories noted in the latest ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, Tony, and was blown away by how intriguing it looked....

But I've even more blown away by the updated Consulting Detective, Sean—wow! That looks just amazing. Gosh, it'd be great for them to bring back Gumshoe now, too.

I'm going to have to scrape up some money this holiday season, it seems....
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 193.113.57.161
Posted on Friday, October 05, 2012 - 05:03 pm:   

I agree Craig. We can only hope.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 2.96.207.30
Posted on Sunday, October 07, 2012 - 08:41 pm:   

This looks quite interesting, it's a Lovecraftian horror game, but seems to be more about mutually creating a story between the group rather than the GM coming up with a plot beforehand. It's a Kickstarter project but the funding has all been met already.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1227949612/tremulus-a-storytelling-game-of-l ovecraftian-horro
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 193.113.57.161
Posted on Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - 02:44 pm:   

This does tick all my narrative driven gaming boxes David. A pity it's all funded. I'll keep an eye out for the final published product though.
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David_lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 92.22.35.223
Posted on Tuesday, August 06, 2013 - 11:58 am:   

I just found out about this game, it's a Lovecraftian sci-fi RPG but interestingly they're giving away the core rulebook for free and hoping to make money on the supplements: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/117563/The-Void-Core-PDF

The Stars Were Never Meant For Us

2159 AD. It is a good time to be alive. The nations of Earth still exist, but they have become more civilized, and humanity has expanded into the rest of our solar system. But, alas, it is not to be our time. Something approaches, a thing on an orbit from far away. Seemingly a mysterious shard of dark matter, this object is known in obscure prophecy as the Chthonian Star. It is awakening things long thought lost or dead, things that have slumbered awaiting its return. The Unified World Council sends out special teams of sanctioned Wardens, whose job it is to ascertain the new threats to human life, to learn everything they can about them, and fight them wherever they are found.

The Void is an original Lovecraftian hard sci-fi horror setting.

The Void Core:

Designed with accessibility in mind. A short overview and introductory adventure can have you playing within an hour.
Uses simple but satisfying d6 dice pool mechanics.
Introduces exciting new rules to ratchet up the survival horror.
Gives Characters many options for diversity and customization.
Provides an exploration of our fully colonized solar system in the near future – and the things that threaten it.
Created by the award-winning team that brought you CthulhuTech.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 07:42 am:   

That is great! I hope it does well.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 01:54 am:   

Well, they finally made one. A movie about this.

And it looks like it could be anything from truly inspired to... utterly wretched.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtgoAt7ZTyE
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David Lees (David_lees)
Username: David_lees

Registered: 12-2011
Posted From: 176.26.69.174
Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 02:58 pm:   

Yeah, it's hard to tell from the trailer. It did have a couple of funny moments. It's got to be better than Mazes and Monsters though.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 212.183.128.135
Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 05:45 pm:   

Watch 'Wizard's Way' and laugh yourself sick instead!

It really is the best film about RPG and computer gaming geekdom ever made.

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