This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The message boards have been upgraded. Please log in to your existing account by clicking here. It will ask twice, so that it can properly update your password and login information. If it has trouble recognizing your password, click the 'Forgot your password?' link to reset it with a new password sent to your email address on file.

Author Topic: Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?  (Read 4090 times)

Doc Sammy

  • All Antifa Are Bastards
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2670
  • Mordred Did Nothing Wrong
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2017, 12:05:34 pm »
Wow, a lot of great information is to be had in this thread. I like what I'm reading and I find this stuff to be fascinating, interesting, and useful for my upcoming story.
Sic Semper Tyrannis

ffilz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 555
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2017, 12:11:40 pm »
I'll add a bit more... (I also should clarify that in 1977 I was a Freshman in high school).

One thing that was really cool about gaming at MIT was mentorship from older players. I was invited to join the club after running a D&D game at that convention where my friend had recruited 16 players for me. a couple of the D&D regulars from the club were so impressed they invited me to join. I was also mentored my Glenn Blacow (who wrote one of the first articles on different play styles -Aspects of Adventure Gaming (that's an edited version that appeared in Different Worlds, it was first published in The Wild Hunt and I suspect Alarums & Excursions).

That brings me to another aspect of gamer culture in the 70s, the APA zines. I became a subscriber and contributor to The Wild Hunt, and started attending collating parties (and then playing with the older gamers that participated in that scene, Sundays at MIT as opposed to the regular Saturday gaming).

As to game stores, Hobby Bunker in Malden is the descendant of my FLGS Excalibur Hobbies. There was also The Compleat Strategist in Boston, and The Games People Play in Cambridge (also both still existing, though looks like the Compleat Strategist has moved). The toy/hobby store I first purchased Tractics from may or may not be the ancestor of The Learning Express in Bedford MA (in the same location, but I don't know if there's any connection). Like others, I was also into board games and miniatures gaming, though those were quickly set mostly aside for D&D. The owner of Excalibur Hobbies was also somewhat of a mentor and he hooked me up with Glenn Blacow (actually, before I started gaming at MIT, even though I would later game with Glenn a lot at MIT).

The ebb and flow of players from game to game kept things fresh and lively, even if sometimes it was frustrating that everyone wanted to play in another game (i did manage to land a pretty regular gaming group).

There were also cool things like running my game while the older players were perusing the brand new DMG that I think one of the players received in advance of them showing up at the stores having been a play tester, and realizing that the DMG might have an answer to a rules question... I also remember switching to the AD&D combat tables when they were published in The Dragon (and The White Dwarf - which actually had a better layout for photocopying).

I'm happy to try and answer specific questions, but that WAS 40 years ago...

Frank

jhkim

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8568
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2017, 01:25:04 pm »
Personally, I was born in 1970 - so I was in pre-school and elementary school during the period - so I can't give a lot of personal details in terms of wider scene. It was clear to me that the 1970s was in many senses the peak time for D&D - when it exploded onto the market and had enormous growth, to the point that it made a significant splash in popular culture. I knew that a lot of the big kids tried it around that time. I had little idea how the rules worked at first, but played pretend and tried to read and understand them.

There is a good ethnographic book about the RPG scene researched in the late 1970s, and published in 1983, called "Shared Worlds" by Gary Alan Fine.

https://www.amazon.com/Shared-Fantasy-Playing-Social-Worlds/dp/0226249441

WillInNewHaven

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • W
  • Posts: 658
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2017, 01:27:59 pm »
I played the first time after the monthly meeting of FRED (The New Haven Science Fiction and Fantasy Club) Halloween night, 1979. Jon Leyland was a medievalist grad student at Yale and very involved in the SCA. I played weekly at his place after that first session. He ran different rules in different parts of his campaign world and we mostly didn't know the rules. You said what you were trying to do, rolled a D20 and Jon told you whether you had succeeded. He wrote his own adventures and had a large following of players. We spent a great deal of time talking in character and the game was all house rules, so that was what I was used to. When I encountered others who played differently, I was surprised.
A few months later, I got an incomplete copy (it must have been incomplete; the rules covered so little) of the OD&D rules and my friend Simon and I worked out how to play after bridge games at the bridge club. We made lots of house rules for those games, generally one of us played multiple characters and the other GMd. By the way, that is the only gaming group I was ever in with no women in it, because it was just the two of us. It didn't take long for a few other players to learn the game and join us, mostly from the SF club.
I got AD&D when it came out but made very few changes in the games I ran. Simon went to total AD&D. We played in one another's games and the rest of the crowd played in both games and the players were happy with both. Characters moved back and forth between the games.
Simon ran some modules, although the adventures he designed himself were brilliant. I ran one module, "Keep on the Borderlands," although I bought them and read them and mined them for ideas. We both read and used parts of "The Arduin Grimoire" and other Arduin material. A young fellow I met ran RuneQuest (his nickname became RQ) and I enjoyed playing it. I would have converted my campaign to (heavily modified) RuneQuest if I had not written my own system by then.
Everything after that is not quite "the old days" that were asked for. Simon and I still play together, although we have to use SKYPE these days.

-----------------
https://sites.google.com/site/grreference/

estar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9632
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2017, 02:26:24 pm »
I just want to note that everything you see in game stores was present back when I was growing up. It manifested differently due to the fact that there no organized play. For example the optimized builds you see with D&D 3.X and Pathfinder were present with AD&D except the focused was on magic items and people went for optimized "load outs".

Over reliance on the rules as written, editions wars, and all that was in full flower in my neck of the woods. What has changed that there that it is organized and advertised so people who like that stuff now have a place to go to. And the since the session are held not at Joe's House but in the game store itself or conventions it becomes highly visible.

In my first year of college I went to my first convention. It was actually more  of a AD&D "fight club" event where you were handed a packet of character creation house rules made up a 7th to 8th level character and fought in a round robin tournament. Everything that people complain about organized play was in full flower at this event. I wasn't bothered by it because I recognized it from the days of campaign hopping from my hometown. (Although they were just so many of them there.).

As for the tournament itself I won it :-) Earning for myself a very nicely painted paladin miniature which I still have. When I got there I didn't know what to expect. When the rules were explained to me, I pointed out you know that the AD&D druid is totally broken for this kind of thing. The organizer dismissed me "No we got it covered."

No they didn't. As my druid proceeded to wipe the field. The key thing about the druid is his ability to shape shift. Not so much the forms you can transformed into but the fact you get healed while doing it. When you pile it on the top of the druid's spell list, second best set of hit dice, reasonable melee ability, etc it makes for a character that is totally broken for one on one AD&D combat when both characters have the same "budget" for magic items. The only major weakness is armor which can fixed by acquiring Bracers of Defense.

My observation is that when there is a "Golden Age" of roleplaying for an area is because there is a pre-existing group of people that enables it. Because of their attitudes towards gaming and ability to effectively mentor new players it makes for a fun and exciting time to game. From reading Hawk & Moor, and Playing at the World the biggest take away for me that Minnepolis and Lake Geneva was such a time in the late 60s and early 70s. I personally been through enough "booms" and busts to see that if you want something like that you have to do what it takes to do your part in making it happen. That it doesn't come free and something that has to have a little work put into it to make happen.

tenbones

  • Poobah of the D.O.N.G.
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4701
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2017, 02:59:36 pm »
I think geography and respective local culture has a LOT to do with this. I make ZERO pretense that my experience in Los Angeles circa 1978 was exactly like what Estar (or anyone else) went through. But LA was pretty far from the epicenter of Lake Geneva, but it had the benefit of population density, so even in the nascent era of gaming (relatively) - in LA it wasn't too hard to find or create new players.


I remember thinking that a lot of the older war-gamers only "dabbled" in D&D as an oddity to their more arcane pursuits. Their arguments about rules in their respective games sounded a *lot* like the bickering we'd have about rules interpretation in D&D and AD&D - "You can't cast Levitation Disc under your feet to allow you to fly up, just because it says it rises to your waist!".

The "golden era" for me was when AD&D took hold of me, I never looked back. I don't think I'd ever run a strictly OSR-ruleset (pre-AD&D style) but I'd surely play one if someone else did.

Just Another Snake Cult

  • White Trash Archmage
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 921
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2017, 04:11:01 pm »
Quote from: tenbones;977856
I think geography and respective local culture has a LOT to do with this.

YES. Before the Internet,everything (Music, movies, games) was very regional. Games would take off in one area and utterly flop and be unknown in another.

This is early 80's, rather than 70's (Sorry) but in my rural neck of the Midwest, RuneQuest was completely unknown, and SPI DragonQuest was the "D&D alternative"  for gamers who wanted a system that was "More realistic". I would see ads and articles in Dragon Magazine about Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World and I thought they looked really cool, but I never once saw them for sale at any store or con and never even met anyone who owned or played them until the 90's.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Zevious Zoquis

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Z
  • Posts: 265
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2017, 04:40:16 pm »
Oh yeah Gamma World was another one I had.  I seem to recall it being pretty popular in my area...it was readily available anyway.

Steven Mitchell

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • S
  • Posts: 2335
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2017, 05:13:54 pm »
I wasn't gaming until 1981, but it's funny reading these posts how much some of my experiences map to it.  Part of that was that we were a mostly isolated group with little money that had a tenuous connection to the older scene from the 70's.  Mainly, the (slightly) older gamers from the 70's in our area were trying a wider variety of things and would sometimes pass off the older games they weren't currently using to us to experiment with.  But we had these fragments, very little help or advice, and mainly had to puzzle it out on our own.  So we ended up making up our own dungeons and then campaigns, mixing systems, and so on.  I think our benefactors had the attitude:  "We had to do this the hard way on our own.  You should too."  And it wasn't a bad way to learn.

tenbones

  • Poobah of the D.O.N.G.
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4701
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2017, 05:53:34 pm »
Another interesting phenomenon that I have no idea if anyone else experienced...

It was a "thing" not just for my group, but for many other groups I loosely associated with to try and convert *everything* from other RPG's they happened to be into, into D&D. I distinctly remember the moment "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" landed* and it became in our minds, tacit approval (remember - TSR was the Papal Church) in our misanthropic heads that St. Gary wanted us to start putting in Torque-Grenades, Healing Cannisters, and Black-Ray guns right alongside our Holy Avengers, Defenders, etc.

I remember some of those early campaigns started to look and play *eerily* like proto-Rifts. There was this thing where I'd be sharing my conversion rules from entirely different games into the D&D/AD&D ruleset, which mutated the mechanics of those games dramatically. Did anyone else do this? Or was it just a local thing for me and the nutjob-kids in SoCal?

*I also remember when each module released from TSR, along with Dragon Magazine - the excitement and buzz around the store, it was like a much-anticipated movie just released! I remember as a young punkass kid thinking - "Yeah... someday I'll get published in Dragon." and all my friends laughing at me. hahahahaha ahh! the good ol' days.

Anselyn

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 99
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2017, 06:04:02 pm »
At some point late in 1977 I was invited to play a neat new game at a school friend's house with some of his friends.  I'm not sure he named the game but told me how in their last session they had been fighting orcs called Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious. Overall, I was intrigued, attended and was hooked. I remember little about that first session apart from not knowing how to read the dice and that we were swallowed when a tunnel became a throat for the dungeon.  I don't remember if I rolled up a character or was just given one to play. There were certainly no tricky decision to make or careers to plan as an obstacle to start playing.

My first purchase was the Games Workshop version of Holmes Basic - although I remember being told to wait for the forthcoming book (PHB) rather than spend money on it. But - it gave me something to pore over and immerse myself in. The most dangerous monster was the purple worm. I note than neither then or later did we ever really encounter dragons despite it being D&D.

I'm not sure how my friends had come across D&D but they were involved in wargaming. We all lived in Southampton (England) and one of them had done some figure painting for Don Featherstone. See Peterson, Playing at the World for the influence on the hobby of Tony Bath and Don Featherstone via wargaming. So - I assume they had seen the wargaming to chainmail transition.   Equally, at school in the year(s) before I ever heard of D&D people played a game where one person had a maze drawn on a piece of graph paper and a friend then tried to navigate around the maze to escape it by describing their actions without ever seeing the map. I don't know if that was some odd chinese whispers mutation of the idea of D&D or just a parallel evolution of part of its makeup.

We added some extra players with time and in 1978 we played Gamma World which was fun and had some interesting idea - like the chart mini-game on how to work out the function of found artefacts.  Mostly we played D&D and the details of new classes in the AD&D PHB was exciting but we were without to-hit charts until they were included in White Dwarf 13 (June/July 1979).

Southampton was lucky to have the Minifigs [1] shop and so we could get some books from there. I later borrowed a bike to cycle down there from school at lunch time to get a DMG before they sold out of their limited number of copies. The important thing to get was a copy of White Dwarf - as that had reviews of new games, adverts for shops and things available by mail order. So, I bought a space based ship assault wargame (think start of Star Wars) out of interest that way.

My big change in gaming came on 27 August 1979 when I bought Traveller.  I was on holiday with my family in Wales and they agreed to take me to a games shop in Cardiff, which I knew was there care of an advert in White Dwarf.  I bought Traveller and was reading it, coping with the glare of the sun on its white white pages when we heard on someone else's radio that Lord Mountbatten had been assassinated, which is why I can pinpoint the date.  We then largely transferred over to playing Traveller until I went to university (1983) - where D&D was what the club was playing so I reverted to that lowest common denominator until I was fortunate enough to be asked to try a new game The Call of Cthulhu.

I don't really remember any house rules but we did have discussions - and sometimes heated arguments - on how to correctly interpret the rules which were not always models of clarity. So - more rulings than house rules. We did grab new monsters and even classes from White Dwarf.  A friend wrote new careers for Traveller including memorably CI5 from The Professionals and a weapon for Gamma World from 2000AD. They were not things that I remember being problematic.

Hope this is helpful and/or interesting for others.

[1]  http://www.miniaturefigurines.co.uk/About.aspx

Just Another Snake Cult

  • White Trash Archmage
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 921
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2017, 06:12:19 pm »
Great thread! I love reading this stuff.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

ffilz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 555
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2017, 06:23:37 pm »
Quote from: tenbones;977905
Another interesting phenomenon that I have no idea if anyone else experienced...

It was a "thing" not just for my group, but for many other groups I loosely associated with to try and convert *everything* from other RPG's they happened to be into, into D&D. I distinctly remember the moment "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" landed* and it became in our minds, tacit approval (remember - TSR was the Papal Church) in our misanthropic heads that St. Gary wanted us to start putting in Torque-Grenades, Healing Cannisters, and Black-Ray guns right alongside our Holy Avengers, Defenders, etc.

I remember some of those early campaigns started to look and play *eerily* like proto-Rifts. There was this thing where I'd be sharing my conversion rules from entirely different games into the D&D/AD&D ruleset, which mutated the mechanics of those games dramatically. Did anyone else do this? Or was it just a local thing for me and the nutjob-kids in SoCal?

*I also remember when each module released from TSR, along with Dragon Magazine - the excitement and buzz around the store, it was like a much-anticipated movie just released! I remember as a young punkass kid thinking - "Yeah... someday I'll get published in Dragon." and all my friends laughing at me. hahahahaha ahh! the good ol' days.

Oh, we definitely did some of that conversion stuff, maybe not as much as you did, but at least some. The conversion notes in the back of the DMG were an inspiration. I do remember a treasure of some Gama World weapons (in fact, I still have an index card that has the Magic Shop inventory showing some of those after the players sold a bunch to the Magic Shop in exchange for some other goodies). And yea, the appearance of a new module or Dragon issue was always exciting.

Frank

Anselyn

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 99
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2017, 07:02:17 pm »
At some point late in 1977 I was invited to play a neat new game at a school friend's house with some of his friends.  I'm not sure he named the game but told me how in their last session they had been fighting orcs called Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious. Overall, I was intrigued, attended and was hooked. I remember little about that first session apart from not knowing how to read the dice and that we were swallowed when a tunnel became a throat for the dungeon.  I don't remember if I rolled up a character or was just given one to play. There were certainly no tricky decision to make or careers to plan as an obstacle to start playing.

My first purchase was the Games Workshop version of Holmes Basic - although I remember being told to wait for the forthcoming book (PHB) rather than spend money on it. But - it gave me something to pore over and immerse myself in. The most dangerous monster was the purple worm. I note than neither then or later did we ever really encounter dragons despite it being D&D.

I'm not sure how my friends had come across D&D but they were involved in wargaming. We all lived in Southampton (England) and one of them had done some figure painting for Don Featherstone. See Peterson, Playing at the World for the influence on the hobby of Tony Bath and Don Featherstone via wargaming. So - I assume they had seen the wargaming to chainmail transition.   Equally, at school in the year(s) before I ever heard of D&D people played a game where one person had a maze drawn on a piece of graph paper and a friend then tried to navigate around the maze to escape it by describing their actions without ever seeing the map. I don't know if that was some odd chinese whispers mutation of the idea of D&D or just a parallel evolution of part of its makeup.

We added some extra players with time and in 1978 we played Gamma World which was fun and had some interesting idea - like the chart mini-game on how to work out the function of found artefacts.  Mostly we played D&D and the details of new classes in the AD&D PHB was exciting but we were without to-hit charts until they were included in White Dwarf 13 (June/July 1979).

Southampton was lucky to have the Minifigs [1] shop and so we could get some books from there. I later borrowed a bike to cycle down there from school at lunch time to get a DMG before they sold out of their limited number of copies. The important thing to get was a copy of White Dwarf - as that had reviews of new games, adverts for shops and things available by mail order. So, I bought a space based ship assault wargame (think start of Star Wars) out of interest that way.

My big change in gaming came on 27 August 1979 when I bought Traveller.  I was on holiday with my family in Wales and they agreed to take me to a games shop in Cardiff, which I knew was there care of an advert in White Dwarf.  I bought Traveller and was reading it, coping with the glare of the sun on its white white pages when we heard on someone else's radio that Lord Mountbatten had been assassinated, which is why I can pinpoint the date.  We then largely transferred over to playing Traveller until I went to university (1983) - where D&D was what the club was playing so I reverted to that lowest common denominator until I was fortunate enough to be asked to try a new game The Call of Cthulhu.

I don't really remember any house rules but we did have discussions - and sometimes heated arguments - on how to correctly interpret the rules which were not always models of clarity. So - more rulings than house rules. We did grab new monsters and even classes from White Dwarf.  A friend wrote new careers for Traveller including memorably CI5 from The Professionals and a weapon for Gamma World from 2000AD. They were not things that I remember being problematic.

Hope this is helpful and/or interesting for others.

[1]  http://www.miniaturefigurines.co.uk/About.aspx

Anselyn

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 99
    • View Profile
Gaming in the 70's: What Were the Early Days of RPG's Like?
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2017, 07:21:55 pm »
At some point late in 1977 I was invited to play a neat new game at a school friend's house with some of his friends.  I'm not sure he named the game but told me how in their last session they had been fighting orcs called Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious. Overall, I was intrigued, attended and was hooked. I remember little about that first session apart from not knowing how to read the dice and that we were swallowed when a tunnel became a throat for the dungeon.  I don't remember if I rolled up a character or was just given one to play. There were certainly no tricky decision to make or careers to plan as an obstacle to start playing.

My first purchase was the Games Workshop version of Holmes Basic - although I remember being told to wait for the forthcoming book (PHB) rather than spend money on it. But - it gave me something to pore over and immerse myself in. The most dangerous monster was the purple worm. I note than neither then or later did we ever really encounter dragons despite it being D&D.

I'm not sure how my friends had come across D&D but they were involved in wargaming. We all lived in Southampton (England) and one of them had done some figure painting for Don Featherstone. See Peterson, Playing at the World for the influence on the hobby of Tony Bath and Don Featherstone via wargaming. So - I assume they had seen the wargaming to chainmail transition.   Equally, at school in the year(s) before I ever heard of D&D people played a game where one person had a maze drawn on a piece of graph paper and a friend then tried to navigate around the maze to escape it by describing their actions without ever seeing the map. I don't know if that was some odd chinese whispers mutation of the idea of D&D or just a parallel evolution of part of its makeup.

We added some extra players with time and in 1978 we played Gamma World which was fun and had some interesting idea - like the chart mini-game on how to work out the function of found artefacts.  Mostly we played D&D and the details of new classes in the AD&D PHB was exciting but we were without to-hit charts until they were included in White Dwarf 13 (June/July 1979).

Southampton was lucky to have the Minifigs [1] shop and so we could get some books from there. I later borrowed a bike to cycle down there from school at lunch time to get a DMG before they sold out of their limited number of copies. The important thing to get was a copy of White Dwarf - as that had reviews of new games, adverts for shops and things available by mail order. So, I bought a space based ship assault wargame (think start of Star Wars) out of interest that way.

My big change in gaming came on 27 August 1979 when I bought Traveller.  I was on holiday with my family in Wales and they agreed to take me to a games shop in Cardiff, which I knew was there care of an advert in White Dwarf.  I bought Traveller and was reading it, coping with the glare of the sun on its white white pages when we heard on someone else's radio that Lord Mountbatten had been assassinated, which is why I can pinpoint the date.  We then largely transferred over to playing Traveller until I went to university (1983) - where D&D was what the club was playing so I reverted to that lowest common denominator until I was fortunate enough to be asked to try a new game The Call of Cthulhu.

I don't really remember any house rules but we did have discussions - and sometimes heated arguments - on how to correctly interpret the rules which were not always models of clarity. So - more rulings than house rules. We did grab new monsters and even classes from White Dwarf.  A friend wrote new careers for Traveller including memorably CI5 from The Professionals and a weapon for Gamma World from 2000AD. They were not things that I remember being problematic.

Hope this is helpful and/or interesting for others.

[1]  http://www.miniaturefigurines.co.uk/About.aspx