Saturday, June 13, 2009

My top 5 tabletop RPGs

I have been playing tabletop rpgs for decades and I've seen many games come and go. I've played an awful lot of them and I definitely enjoyed some more than others. In listing my favourites, I must account for different editions of D&D which is the one game line I have played throughout my entire gaming life. In that vein, I see D&D as three games. There is so-called "old school" D&D which is often described as including Original D&D, AD&D and Basic D&D. I would argue that AD&D and 2nd ed. AD&D are sufficiently similar to be essentially the same game. Therefore, I would define old school D&D as any version that predates 3rd edition. The other two D&D games would, of course, be 3/3.5/Pathfinder and 4e. So, having explained all that, my list of my top 5 rpgs.

5. Rifts - I'm the first to admit, the Palladium system is broken in many ways. Half the character classes in any supplement are unplayable and the Mega-Damage system makes character equipment far more important than character abilities. However, the campaign setting for Rifts is just so damned cool.

4. Star Wars/Space d6 - The West End Games d6 system is a long time favourite. I was first exposed to it with the original Star Wars rpg and I have rediscovered it as an elegant, generic sci-fi game system.

3. Call of Cthulhu - Classic game mechanic, awesome campaign setting, though I must admit, I like it more as a DM than a player.

2. d20 Modern/d20 Future - Possibly the most perfect rpg game system ever published. If it had a decent campaign setting to accompany it, it would be in the no.1 spot.

1. D&D 3/3.5/Pathfinder - Despite its flaws, this is my game of choice. It's fun, it's elegant, it has a huge number of options for players and DMs. Best of all, idiots can't figure out the rules and quickly switch to something less mentally taxing.


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