01 September 2014

#RPGaDay: Day Thirty-One - Favorite RPG of all Time

Not your typical fantasy setting.
This is something of a tough question for me to answer, but when I consider all the games I've run over the past twenty-eight years, I can narrow it down to a handful of settings and systems. I'm going to focus on settings, rather than mechanics, though, to answer this question. The setting, in my opinion, has always been more important than system mechanics. Well, unless the system mechanics are utterly terrible and/or impossible to use. Anyway.

After playing AD&D for a long while, I grew tired of the traditional D&D tropes. I focused more on science fiction and horror settings rather than anything even remotely fantasy-oriented. I was also, for a time, totally done with class-based/level-based systems. I absolutely abhorred them. I even modified my Cyberpunk games to omit the Roles (ie, classes) that, to me, restricted the character creation process.

I don't know when I first heard of Dark Sun, but it was late in the game. It was well after the 2nd edition had been released, I know that. For some reason, I found a used copy of the 2nd edition Dark Sun boxed set on a used shelf and bought it. I took it home, started reading, and suddenly my hatred of class- and level-based systems was a thing of the past. It was a game I had to run.

Our old stomping grounds. Man, I miss this place.
I started a Dark Sun game not long after that. I tested a few things out using my wife as a guinea pig (ask her about the fight with the ankheg sometime) before I really got into it. About the only thing I couldn't stand in 2nd edition AD&D was the psionics rules. Luckily, no one wanted to be a psionicist, and the only thing I had to worry about in that regard were wild talents.

In any case, the players seemed love the game. It went on for a long while, and we managed to finish it off with a bang. I don't remember the highest character level in that crew, but I think they got to around 7th or 8th level. I tried to bring it back once 3.0 came out, but there was something about that edition that got under my skin. 3.5 fixed most of those issues for me, but I never tried to run Dark Sun again with any system.

I realize there's a bunch of stuff out there that adapts Dark Sun to 3.5. Now that 5th edition is here, I'm thinking I might have a go of adapting it to Dark Sun on my own. I'll probably wait until all the core books have been released, so I've got some time. If I ever get around to this little project, I'll be sure to let you guys know about it. However, if the freelance train gets rolling here pretty soon, I probably won't have time for it. Such is life,

Brom's art really sold the world of Athas.
In closing, Dark Sun was the setting that brought me back to fantasy RPGs. If not for Dark Sun, I might never have looked into Midnight, a setting that runs a very close second to Dark Sun insofar as my favorite fantasy worlds go. You also know that I'm a huge fan of the Star Wars RPGs that have been released, as well as The One Ring and Cyberpunk 2020. Like I said, this wasn't an easy decision to make.

I guess this wraps up #RPGaDay, given that August is over and September is here. I'm sort of surprised I stuck with it (though I was late on a couple of occasions). Feel free to follow me or my blog. You can even find me on Twitter @BarrierPeaks. I can't guarantee I'll update daily, but I'll do my best to keep this thing alive.

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