Reality is the playground of the unimaginative
Home Of Swords, Sorcery, Superheroes, Sci-fi, Star Stuff, Silliness, Scares, and the Supernatural

Friday, 15 June 2007

My Life And Roleplaying (part two): The Countdown Begins...

10. Top Secret (TSR) - although this didn't come out until 1980, I seem to remember it being one of the first games (other than Dungeons & Dragons) that I played regularly. It was an early attempt at tackling a 'realistic' genre, but games always ended up a cross between a James Bond movie, a D&D dungeon crawl and an episode of the A-Team. In fact I recall one adventure where my top assassin (the one-eyed Matt Tallon) stumbled through some mystical portal into the world of Dungeons & Dragons!

One of the frequent faults of early role-playing games was their use of multiple mechanics for different aspects of the rules. Top Secret had a really good gun combat system - with the first use of 'hit location' that I had encountered - but it's brawling system was some 'choose an attack/choose a defence/cross reference on a table' nonsense that jarred with the rest of the game and was utterly slow and useless in multiple combats.

I haven't seen a copy of this since the 80s, but still have fond memories of many adventures in the world of espionage. The game had a complete overhaul several years later and was revamped as Top Secret/SI with more logical mechanics and an adaptability to other genres (such as Pulp: their Agent 13 supplement being possibly the first Pulp roleplaying game), but it lacked the raw appeal of the original.

9. Bushido (Phoenix Games) - another classic from 1980. This was our bread and butter at school and we played the heck of it, with one particularly memorable campaign seeing my samurai character engineer a coup - via playing both sides of a civil war against each other and using ninjas to plant stolen sacred artifacts on key opponents - that saw him become shogun ... thus bringing the campaign to a satisfying, if grinding, halt!

Of course 1980 was also the year Shogun was screened on TV, all of us had read the massive book by James Clavell, learnt a few 'useful' Japanese phrases, and feudal Japan was the hot topic for 14-year-old boys.

I look back on my treasured copy of the rules now and they are just a mass of acronyms and numbers, but I guess we had a lot more time on our hands then and were more tolerant and willing to adapt. I think if we were to revive it today as a game, we'd need a very flexible gamesmaster who was willing to invest an awful lot of time into establishing a campaign background.

8. The Fantasy Trip (Metagaming) - 1980 was obviously a golden year for roleplaying games as it also the publication of The Fantasy Trip (TFT), a rules-lite system from Steve Jackson, that would eventually morph into the monstrosity that is GURPS. But back in the day, this little game completely turned round our thinking on fantasy role-playing games ... with the introduction of concepts like 'skills' and 'quirks' to personalise our characters.

Steve, Pete, Nick and I played a lot of TFT at the time, with Steve as our 'totally out there' gamesmaster, winging it to his heart's content. Our party, which included my ranger Farthorne The Wanderer, was aided by a djinn (modelled on Robin William's character in Disney's Aladdin) with a penchant for anachronistic summonings (such as DJ decks and complete disco light systems).

Farthorne was one of my few genuinely 'heroic' characters in this Golden Age of roleplaying. As you will learn from future entries in this list, I might talk a good game, but my roleplaying skills barely rose above: "let's kill it and take the treasure".

We were always being told: "Don't go to the Land Of The Orcs." One day we went to The Land Of The Orcs. We were slaughtered within about five minutes of crossing the border. We should have listened!

Next time, we remember the James Bond RPG, d6 Star Wars from West End Games and the mother of them all: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your interest in HeroPress.

Comment moderation is currently on again because of annoying spammers!

My apologies to genuine commentators for the inconvenience.

As ever I shall endeavour to acknowledge, and respond to, your comments ASAP.

However, if you're just looking to post spam, please don't bother. It's neither big nor clever. And will just be deleted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tags

10th Doctor (220) 11th Doctor (237) 12 monkeys (3) 12th Doctor (119) 13th doctor (60) 1st Doctor (107) 2000AD (85) 2nd Doctor (81) 3rd Doctor (83) 4e (46) 4th Doctor (130) 50th birthday (14) 5e (92) 5th Doctor (81) 6th Doctor (72) 7th Doctor (80) 7th Voyage (5) 7TV (24) 8th Doctor (57) 9th Doctor (66) A41 (17) Aaron Allston (11) abney park (26) academy of heroes (10) Acrobatic Flea (59) action figure archive (10) action figures (156) Adam Buxton (10) adam eterno (3) Adam West (30) addams family (40) adventure time (20) agent 47 (4) Agent Carter (68) AHS (19) airship 27 (1) aladdin (11) alcatraz (4) alec (58) alice (163) alien rpg (5) alita (2) all out war (16) almost human (5) alphas (20) altered carbon (6) amazon streaming (96) American Gods (6) Amy Dallen (22) anchor (6) Ancient Aliens (40) anime (77) annabelle (7) anniversary hop (35) ant (1) ant-man (78) Anya Taylor-Joy (20) Apama (4) aquaman (105) arabian knights (1) arduin (49) arrival (2) arrow (215) arrowstorm (48) artist appreciation (133) ask heropress (1) assassin's creed (2) asterix (4) AT-43 (21) atlanta (5) atlantis (41) atticus institute (1) audio (309) auton (12) Avengers (359) Aviator (12) Axanar (8) Babylon 5 (23) babymetal (23) bailey (1) baking (8) banana splits (3) band maid (5) banshee (15) Barack Obama (17) bards of greyhawk (2) barney (61) Baskin (5) bates motel (19) batgirl (30) bathroom watch (15) batman (744) Battlefield Evolution (8) battlepug (4) Battlestar Galactica (89) batwoman (30) Beacon Point (5) bedlam (7) beowulf (6) bettany (17) big hero 6 (7) biggles (1) bill and ted (5) Bill Willingham (11) birthday (101) black guardian (3) black hood (3) black lightning (28) black mirror (1) black panther (75) black pudding (5) black sails (35) blackest night (28) Blackmoor (25) blade (4) blade runner (33) Blair Witch (34) Blake's 7 (21) Bloat Games (29) blood drive (10) Bloodshot (21) blumhouse (24) BMB (64) BMG (9) boardgame (91) BoL (5) bollywood (5) book (1110) book of the month (67) borgias (7) boston legal (5) bottom of the pile (30) bournemouth (36) brave (10) breaking bad (17) brexit (22) brighburn (5) bright (5) britannia (3) britbox (1) broken swords (2) brothers barbarian (1) BtM (25) BTTF (5) BtW (19) Buck Rogers (19) buddy (8) buffy (239) buffy campaign notes (4) Bukowski (10) Bushido RPG (4) c (1) C and C (83) c and t (133) Caity Lotz (54) Call Of Cthulhu (123) calvin and hobbes (18) Camp Blood (5) canterbury (1) Caper (11) Captain America (379) captain britain (24) captain marvel (52) Captain Scarlet (9) cara (2) Cara Delevingne (18) carcosa (9) card game (30) carnacki (1) carnage (2) carnevale (3) carnival row (9) Carnivàle (1) Caroline Munro (16) Carrie Fisher (15) castle (21) cataracts (5) cathryn (4) cats (5) charity (54) Charlie's Angels (25) charmed (37) chimney watch (1) chin scratcher (30) China (120) chitty (1) Chris Hadfield (9) Chris Notarile (12) christmas (419) christmas village (3) chucky (13) Cidri (140) clangers (6) clare (281) Class (2) cloak and dagger (26) clone wars (50) clovenstone (16) cloverfield (10) clown (41) Cobra Kai (3) cody deal (3) CoE (12) Coggershall (15) colin (3) colliders (3) colour out of space (13) comic-con (36) comics (2869) comics without context (82) community table (14) competition (49) computer (99) Conan (210) constantine (69) cool website (4495) copper (4) Cortex (10) cosplay (770) cosplay goddess (55) CPP (3) creepypasta (11) Crime Nation (1) crimson peak (7) critical role (28) crone (1) crossbones (1) Cyberman (77) D and D (1050) da vinci (26) dad's army (8) dalek (189) damage control (1) damien (4) Dan Abnett (15) dan dare (9) daredevil (156) dark agnes (4) dark crystal (13) dark fable (11) dark matter (2) dark places (19) dark tower (12) Darkseid (25) darna (1) David Bowie (35) DC Fancast (4) DCC (6) de strange (1) deadlands (16) deadpool (82) Deathstalker (17) Deathstalker Week (6) decorating (113) defenders (33) defiance (20) dejah thoris (10) demons (15) desolation (2) devil's rejects (12) devo (3) Dexter (19) Dick Garrison (7) Dickensian (20) dilbert (3) dining room watch (5) dinosaur (125) discworld (10) disney (248) Ditko (10) doc savage (28) doctor omega (3) doctor steel (1) Doctor Who Skirmish (27) dollhouse (18) dolls house (41) dominion (3) donald glover (4) Donald Trump (5) doom patrol (39) Dorian Gray (14) Dork Tower (9) Dr Horrible (22) dr mirage (1) Dr Strange (132) Dr Who (1366) DR WHO RPG (165) draconians (8) Dracula (75) dragon prince (8) dragon age (8) dragon warriors (5) dragonlance (14) Dresden Files (58) duckquest (2) dumbo (2) dune (8) dungeness (1) dungeon bastard (67) dvd (1323) dvd of the week (432) e-space (4) EAP (5) eBay (153) Egypt (71) Elementals (6) eli roth (16) elm street (62) Elric (44) elseworlds (14) elvira (4) Elvis (13) enormous (2) episode IX (12) episode VII (68) episode VIII (22) equipment (2) ercia (7) erica (85) Erik Menard (14) eternals (1) eureka (8) eurovision (14) Evil Dead (78) EWDG (2) exorcist (44) Facebook (437) faction paradox (14) Fahrenheit 451 (1) faith (25) FAL (1) falling skies (1) Fantastic Four (301) Fantazia (7) farscape (6) FCBD (40) FDTD (11) feedly (12) felicia day (23) FEMM (15) FFL (1) fiction (4) film (4632) film night (33) Firefly (78) firestorm (41) flash (425) Flash Gordon (64) flashback (1319) fleamarket friday (782) fleapit (86) Flintloque (6) fmj (10) FoG (14) for all mankind (1) Formula De (26) foxy friday (5) France (42) Frankenstein (50) freelancers (15) fringe (49) fu manchu (1) funky dice (29) funny (1608) GAFDOZ (37) GAH (1) gal gadot (36) galavant (1) game of thrones (387) gamesroom (149) garage project (1) garden room (7) garden watch (36) geek god (5) geek pin-up (175) Gen Con (51) generator (23) Gerry Anderson (15) GFT (16) ghost (282) ghost in the shell (8) Ghost Rider (10) ghostbusters (97) Gillian Hills (3) glee (36) godzilla (36) good omens (2) good place (3) googleplus (60) Gor (8) Gotham (83) Grant Morrison (64) graphic audio (4) green hornet (6) Green Inferno (17) green lantern (197) greywulf (9) grimm (20) grindhouse (18) growler (1) Guardians (191) Guardians RPG (10) gublin (21) guest post (13) gunther (2) hack slash (27) Hackmaster (35) halloween (246) hammer glamour week (8) handbooker helper (17) hangman (1) Hannah Spearritt (9) hannibal (46) harbinger (17) Harley Quinn (115) Harry Potter (72) harryhausen (70) Hattie Watson (8) Haunted Mansion (2) Hawk The Slayer (100) Hawkeye (55) Hawkgirl (27) hawkman (38) HCC (6) HDM (9) he-man (6) health (299) helix (8) hellboy (14) Hercules (34) hero kids (21) HeroClix (22) Heroes (63) HeroPress (801) Herstmonceux Castle (10) Hever (15) HEX (126) HEX campaign notes (6) hey kids (4) HHGTTG (40) HIMYM (27) HMP (5) hobomancer (1) holiday (30) Hollyoaks (17) hollywood me (3) hook (3) hornets' nest (5) horror (1874) hotel artemis (2) houdini & doyle (1) houserules (60) HOW (184) HOW spell (6) HOW treasure (4) howard the duck (24) hrumph (2) hulk (196) human alice (1) hump day dreams (55) hunger games (18) Hunter S Thompson (7) ice warriors (15) ICONS (77) ID4 (15) IHMN (2) illuminati (9) ilyat (2) Immortal Iron Fist (55) immortals (1) impulse (3) incredibles (14) indiana jones (74) infographic (25) ingrid pitt week (7) inhumans (77) InspiroBot (5) instagram (28) interview (41) into the odd (5) IRBKM (77) iron man (278) Ironclad (7) irrepressible (1) iTunes (50) izombie (12) Jack Herman (61) james bond (94) James Purefoy (12) Jane Seymour (12) Japan (244) jason (1) Jason Statham (9) Jason Voorhees (63) jason xmas (12) Jeff Dee (88) jekyll and hyde (15) jeni (12) Jeremiah Bourne (1) jericho (1) Jessica Alba (4) jessica jones (71) JLC (31) Joanie Brosas (2) jody mills (11) joe 90 (2) joe gilgun (5) John Carrigan (8) john carter (68) john carter RPG (7) John Wick (14) Josh Trank (12) Josie and The Pussycats (4) Joss Whedon (69) JSA (16) Judge Dredd (76) Judges Guild (11) judoon (26) jumanji (7) jungle book (4) jungle cruise (1) Jupiter Ascending (6) jupiter's moon (2) Jurassic Park (18) justice league (170) Justin Isaac (54) K9 (78) Kai (9) Karen Gillan (61) Keanu Reeves (10) keira knightley (26) Ken Hulsey (9) kevin (152) Kevin Bacon (16) kevin smith (20) key to time (7) KFC (9) Kickstarter (495) killjoys (2) king kong (26) kirby krackle (6) kitchen watch (17) Klingon (19) Knight City (150) knight fight (4) knightfall (6) Knightmare (7) knights of badassdom (6) kom (12) Korea (15) KOTDT (64) Krampus (13) Kree (14) krod mandoon (6) krypton (16) labyrinth lord (58) lady christina (8) Lady GaGa (8) larp (39) laser disc (1) Lauren Cohan (4) Legends of Tomorrow (78) legion (15) LEGO (28) lena (5) leopard from lime street (3) leverage (19) Life on Mars (14) light city (19) limitless (6) Lindsey Stirling (4) livewire (10) LoA (44) lodoss (9) loft conversion (30) Lois Lane (51) Lost (109) LotFP (38) LOTR (216) LoTS (25) lou (5) lounge watch (13) love and rockets (3) Lovecraft (382) LSH (88) lucy (7) luke cage (78) Lulu (44) mack bolan (8) mad max (32) Maelstrom (3) magazine (338) Maleficent (18) man in the high castle (1) mandalorian (2) mapamonday (152) Marama Corlett (11) Mars (141) Mars Attacks (19) Mars McCoy (1) marvel rpg (6) mary poppins (16) Matrix (27) matt (22) max neptune (12) maya hawke (1) meerkat (8) megan fox (24) meredith (97) merlin (201) Merlins Miscellany (18) mermaid (12) MG (4) midale (12) midsommar (3) mike the knight (1) Military Odyssey (9) mindprobe (9) miracleman (3) Misfits (29) miss peregrine (2) misty (5) MLP (18) mob city (1) Moby Dick (6) MoC (11) model train (29) model village (1) modiphius (15) mojo (7) monkey (160) monster (1083) monster mash (66) monsters (1) monty python (50) moon knight (5) moorcock (46) mor (1) morgan (1) mortal engines movie (27) Most Wanted (2) mr robot (4) mr rogers (2) ms marvel (19) MSP (18) MtG (2) mummy (53) muppets (59) murdoch (9) murmurs (1) music (815) musical monday (471) musketeers (4) mutant future (6) Mutants and Masterminds (45) MV (7) My Chemical Romance (9) my first (8) my life and roleplaying (34) Mythica (40) narnia (17) nashville (14) natalie dormer (16) natalie portman (19) Necronomicon (29) Neil deGrasse Tyson (5) Neil Gaiman (43) nemesis (2) nemo (5) nerf (1) netflix (341) new spell (17) nick g (25) nick l (271) Night Blogger (7) night shift (2) nightflyers (1) nightwing (9) Ninjak (18) NOF (7) noggin the nog (12) nosferatu (3) NPH (11) NSFW (30) Oats Studio (6) OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE CHALLENGE (47) Oculus (6) odd thomas (2) officer downe (1) Olivia Cooke (16) Olympics (24) olympus (4) on the bubble (5) Once Upon A Time (26) one ring rpg (11) operation declutter (3) opinion poll (56) orange is the new black (11) Orin Rakatha (4) orphans (1) orville (22) ouija (9) outcast (2) outcasts (16) OVC (20) oz (26) ozombie (8) pacific rim (24) paradise hills (2) paradox comics (34) paranoia rpg (4) parks and recreation (16) Pathfinder (31) Patreon (31) patsy kensit (1) paul (123) pembury (20) Pendragon RPG (11) penny dreadful (29) pennyworth (2) peplum (7) peri (23) period slang (8) pete (358) Philip Reeve (145) philosophy (50) picard (2) pick of the pods (30) picture parade (288) pig-faced orc (14) Pink Floyd (27) pirates (118) Playboy (36) playmobil (2) PMF (4) podcast (229) Pointless (7) poldark (7) polly (5) Poltergeist (8) poppy (11) portals (1) PotA (99) power pack (1) power rangers (12) powerless (4) preacher (15) Pride and Prejudice (24) primal (3) Primeval (45) primeval RPG (21) Prince Valiant (15) Prisoner (9) professor howe (2) Project New Home (50) project z (23) prometheus (10) psi-lords (1) Pulp (275) punch puppy (1) Punisher (80) purge (10) pushing daisies (3) PVF (10) QB (10) quantum and woody (4) quatermass (25) Quentin Tarantino (38) rachel (884) railhead (15) rambo (3) Raven (50) Ravenloft (29) reading list (16) real life (3193) reaver (3) rebellion verse (2) rebels (56) Red Dwarf (17) Red Knight (1) red sonja (43) REH (67) rendel (10) Resident Evil (12) resistance (4) retro comic (222) rev (1) reverie (1) Richard Sharpe (12) rick and morty (21) riddick (4) riese (4) rip hunter (13) Ripper Street (13) riverdale (174) roan (1) Robin Hood (38) robocop (15) robotech (5) rochester (4) rocket age (12) rocket raccoon (78) roger corman (16) rogue one (16) roleplaying review (45) rom (6) round-up (57) roy of the rovers (3) RPG (3175) rpgaday (33) Ruby Rose (15) runaways (18) Runequest (13) Russia (108) Ryan Devoto (2) Ryan Reynolds (11) s and s (1) s w (114) sabrina (41) salem (3) Salute To The 40s (8) sara jean underwood (8) satine phoenix (10) saturday morning matinee (503) savage worlds (112) SB (6) scarfolk (3) scooby-doo (63) scorpion king (6) Season 10 (5) Season 16 (6) Season 18 (6) Season 19 (6) Season 22 (5) Season 26 (4) serial thrillers (32) sevenoaks (15) seventh son (2) shadowman (8) shadowrun (9) shakespeare (48) shang chi (5) Shannara (3) shark (82) sharknado (46) shazam (61) Shedward (18) sheep (5) sherlock (48) shield (254) shitlist (3) show me the mummy (9) Shyamalan (20) sick (12) sick week (9) sidcup (1) silurians (21) simon (179) sinbad (70) sinbad week (7) siren (2) SixoftheBest (86) SJA (108) skrull (23) slaine (28) sleepy hollow (10) sls (11) smallville (85) smurf (7) snake plissken (2) snoopy (19) snow (59) snow white (21) sns (2) soap box (98) society of virtue (1) solo (10) solomon kane (14) sontaran (39) space 1889 (112) space 1889 library (3) space 1999 (10) space force (1) spam tasting (7) spartacus (86) Spawn (9) spectaculars (5) spellfury (34) spelljammer (6) Spider-Man (478) sponsored post (2) sport (109) Squadron UK (4) st trinians (2) stacks (1) stacktastic (6) staghind (5) staircase watch (1) Stan Lee (125) Star Trek (453) star wars (879) Stargate (58) stargirl (6) statistics (126) steampunk (130) steed and mrs peel (8) steve (147) Steve Costigan (3) STO (1) STP (3) stranger things (50) stroke survivor (34) strontium dog (5) subbuteo (1) sucker punch (7) suicide squad (64) Sunday Funny (495) sunday specials (88) sunflower (5) Supergirl (261) Supergirl Sunday (42) superhero 2044 (3) superman (718) Supernatural (391) superteam (159) survivors (14) Sutekh (4) swamp thing (26) swing (11) sword master (2) sybil danning (7) syr edvard (10) t and t (11) t-shirts (44) tales from the loop (9) tales from the vault (4) tales of the gold monkey (9) tarzan (34) TBBT (65) TCM (38) Teen Titans (112) tekralh (212) tekralh reborn (17) tekumel (31) teletubbies (4) Terminator (49) terra nova (3) terrifics (1) TFT (46) Thanos (44) the 100 (4) The 4400 (14) the alienist (1) The Asylum (77) The Atom (52) the boys (8) the cape (8) the conjuring (17) the following (34) the gifted (35) The Guild (11) the hobbit (85) the hoff (8) the last god (3) the librarians (9) the lighthouse (2) The Lurking Fear (3) The Mist (7) The Outpost (10) The Princess Bride (8) the quest (3) the ray (5) the river (2) The Shadow (13) the turning (1) The Watch (1) this defiant earth (1) this is england (3) Thomas Jane (5) Thor (297) thrilling locations (11) throwback thursday (79) Thunderbirds (10) thundercats (4) Tick (15) Tim Peake (2) timeless (3) tina guo (12) tintin (14) TMNT (27) Tom Hardy (15) tomorrow people (4) tomorrowland (2) Tonbridge (167) Toni Darling (6) top of the pile (218) Top Secret RPG (128) top shelf (12) Torchwood (145) torn from the headlines (275) trailer (3253) transformers (19) Traveller (50) treasure trove (57) Trial Of A Time Lord (5) trigan empire (2) trope tuesday (2) True Blood (45) True Detective (15) Truth and Justice (4) tuesday knights (569) tumblr (79) Tunbridge Wells (158) tv (3818) Twin Peaks (65) ubiquity (81) umbrella academy (6) unisystem (52) unpopular opinion (1) Urban Exploring (8) urban knights (3) V (30) V and V (378) vaesen (1) Valerian (16) valhalla (2) valiant (90) Valorie Curry (5) vampire (340) vampirella (53) van allen plexico (6) vandal savage (10) vault (1) venom (25) venture bros (9) Venus (31) Victor Crowley (9) video (37) vigilante city (16) vikings (57) vixen (24) voltron (3) wales (8) warcraft (42) warehouse 13 (50) wargame (524) Watchmen (103) wayward pines (3) wayward sisters (1) wedding (77) week in geek (111) week in TV (47) Weekly World News (93) weird wednesday (152) wentworth (6) werewolf (112) western (238) westworld (14) WGA (12) whispering road (5) white canary (38) wii (6) wil wheaton (40) wild cards (17) wild dog (13) Wildthyme (14) william shatner (25) Winnie The Pooh (20) witcher (17) WoH (6) Wolverine (112) wonder girl (21) wonder woman (773) wonderland (44) World of Darkness (9) WRC (18) wrinkle in time (3) wuxia (61) www (480) wynonna earp (1) X-Files (66) x-men (307) x-o manowar (24) xena (55) yggdrasill (3) yora (1) zatoichi (1) ZD (9) zelda (5) zenescope (19) zine quest (10) zombie (538) zorcerer of zo (4) zorro (2) zot (1) zygon (19)