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Author Topic: Forgotten RPGs  (Read 3039 times)

brettmb

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Forgotten RPGs
« on: September 22, 2020, 06:44:01 PM »
I've started a new series on my blog about forgotten RPGs. I kicked it off with 6 fantasy games that I bet most people never knew existed: Dawnfire, GateWar, Of Gods and Men, Quest of the Ancients, Shades of Heroes, and The Essential Fantasy Earth. I'll probably focus on sci-fi games for the next entry. Have you heard of these games? Have you ever played them? What did you think of them? Any favorites?




Here's the link: https://www.pigames.net/store/blog.php?entry=2828

Steven Mitchell

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 09:37:33 PM »
I saw Quests of the Ancients in a used bookstore once and noticed it enough to remember the title.  That's the extent of my exposure to your list. :)

lordmalachdrim

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 09:57:26 PM »
Owned a copy of Dawnfire, never ran it, can't even remember anything about it beyond having a copy that I sold off years ago.

Joey2k

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 10:06:31 PM »
Pretty sure I used to have Shades of Heroes. In fact, I started a thread on it right here 14 years ago asking if anyone had heard of it, but apparently no one had :D
The word "problematic" is problematic

Thornhammer

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 10:18:47 PM »
Damn...printed on newsprint.  That rings a bell.  There was something else.


A DC Comics game, I think.




brettmb

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2020, 11:49:29 PM »
Damn...printed on newsprint.  That rings a bell.  There was something else.


A DC Comics game, I think.
I think you’re right. West End Games’ DC Heroes.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 10:06:20 AM by brettmb »

brettmb

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2020, 10:07:30 AM »
Pretty sure I used to have Shades of Heroes. In fact, I started a thread on it right here 14 years ago asking if anyone had heard of it, but apparently no one had :D
It’s amazing how many games are really out there.

Marchand

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2020, 10:21:10 PM »
Not sure if it counts as "forgotten" but I noticed Albedo is now available again on drivethru. I only know it vaguely by reputation as a weird mix of military hard scifi and furry.

RandyB

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2020, 10:51:18 PM »
Sci-fi: Legionnaire, by FASA, set in the same universe as their Renegade Legion board games.

Razor 007

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2020, 11:15:10 PM »
Forgotten, would be a great name for an RPG.
I need you to roll a perception check.....

brettmb

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2020, 11:36:13 PM »
Sci-fi: Legionnaire, by FASA, set in the same universe as their Renegade Legion board games.
I didn't know they did one.

Omega

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2020, 05:31:52 AM »
Dragonroar: a rather obscure RPG that had berserker hedgehog people in it.

brettmb

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2020, 08:14:58 AM »
I've been trying to get a copy of Dragonroar, but it's very hard.

Panzerkraken

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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2020, 09:46:28 AM »
Brett, you inspired me to poke through my collection for what I'd consider "forgotten."


I have Hahlmabrea, Ravenstar, Periphery, Spacetime, and Journeyman that I'd suggest for future posts on the blog. Brief summaries:


Hahlmabrea: By Daniel A. Fox (not Daniel D. Fox of Zweihander) is a pretty generic fantasy game published by Sutton Hoo Games in 1991. Percentile skills. No classes. Different spell lists for Mages, Sorcerers, Wizards, and Witches. Playable Centaurs and Two-Headed Ettins. The Dread Pigasus. I've never touched it, not even to mine ideas from. Just doesn't click with me.


Ravenstar: By A. Siddiqui is a space-based cyberpunk type game by Raven Star Game Design in 1994.  (I think I picked my copy up at GenCon '94). Uses a d20 for skills, but d6s for damage. Thinly veiled fantasy races as aliens, including Bear People. Lots of cybernetics. Lots of gear. This game appealed a lot to 18-year old me, and reminded me of CP2020 at the time. I haven't opened it in a while, but the production quality for 1994 small press seems pretty good. The art is a serious mashup of some pretty decent pieces and some of those mid-90's "I want to be a comic book artist when I grow up and learn to draw hands" characters, as well as some early "futuristic" 3d digital pieces. I don't regret having it.


Periphery: science fiction roleplaying on the edge. (sic) by Gareth-Michael Skarka and published in 1993 by Epitaph Studios. This was apparently (based on the dedication) his first work. "Gritty" sci fi that seems to include wizards and people in lots of cloaks. Percentile skills, but calculated from 1-10 stats and low skill number ratings multiplied by difficulty to determine the skill rating for that task. Wound-based damage system in combat. The art...across 3 pages you get early computer line-art (think MS Paint), a photo of an unpainted mini, and a scan of someone's hand-drawn art that looks like something out of early HoL or Battlelords. Lots of tables. Not much use, tbh.


Spacetime: 1988 by Greg Porter/BTRC. Greg Porter's Guns! Guns! Guns! gets a lot of love in the hard-numbers crowd, but this is the only version of the TimeLords rules I've ever seen in the wild. A time-travelling sci-fi game with BTRC's classic unified weapons and technology theories. Stats are 1-20. Skills the same range. There's a table for calculating modifiers, and you use a d20 for success rolls, but everything translates to nice percentages and he says "Use those if you like." Point-based character design, single interior artist (Thomas Darrell Midgette) that leads to a nice, clean and unified late-80's line-art scheme that's always appealed to me. BTRC's stuff is phenomenal to the people who like that sort of thing (engineers and mathematicians... think about Traveller Fire, Fusion, and Steel. If you're not having a PTSD-like reaction, you'll like this).


Journeyman: 1989 by Frederick Goff, Infinity Games. A Traveller/Space Opera clone Sci-Fi Heartbreaker with a different skill system. Much more succinct than either of the inspirations, but it has some wonky effects like die-based skill levels (as in "roll for your starting level in the skill") and hit-point based damage with a d10+skill task system. Quite a bit of effort went into his planet and alien generation systems, though, and I've had occasion to pull the results of those for translation to Traveller before. The art is.. small press. It's the same two guys throughout, and their styles are very similar,  but there's aspect ratio issues and a general graininess that puts me off it. The real gem is in the back of the book, where there's simplified formulas for just about everything sci-fi related. Need to know the orbital period of a given planet?  Right there (T= sqrt(15,750(R+(d/2)^3/d^2g)/3600 ...isn't that simple!) Equation to determine payments when financing? Also there! Theory on the Nature of Hyperspace, complete with Einstein and the author's own formulas? Boom. (essentially, his theory is "Take the complement of our universe" which means 1/x for all rules and formulas. I won't scare the normies with more math though...) So I both love and hate the book.


Anyway, my quick recommendations if you're wandering through your stacks thinking about what to pick next, Brett.
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Re: Forgotten RPGs
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2020, 09:53:59 AM »
This thread reminds me: Does anyone know anything about the Dreamtime game Iron Crown was advertising in Dragon in 1991? I'm quite sure it never saw the light of day, at least from ICE.