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Least essential RPG


Pure Rock Fury
okay, continuing on the trend,

what are the LEAST essential RPGs you have had the misfortune of coming across in your gaming careers?

I'll start things off with...

DALLAS, the role-playing game (nuff said)
The Price of Freedom (what should have been only a Twilight 2000 scenario, someone decided deserved a whole game)
Star Frontiers (sorry. Traveller did it first, and better.)



It's all in your head
Validated User
Gareth-Michael Skarka said:
ALL of them.

Fer chrissakes, folks....they're GAMES. Nothing about them is even remotely essential.
Noted, but I'm still gonna answer the man's question. :)

- Dallas indeed (bought it cheaply just for the fun of it but boy, did it suck monkey ass)
- The TSR Indiana Jones RPG (no character creation at all, just premade characters *sigh*)
- Alma Mater (is there anything appealing about playing highschool students? I haven't found it yet...)


David Johansen

New member
Awww...Gareth...You're almost getting as bitter as sjohn!

Now Starfrontiers did several things quite well, Unheilig, not characters, combat, vehicles, or space ships, but the races and equipment lists were quite nifty.

My list for least influential would include:

Kabal: as one more over done D&D clone from the eighties

Rifts: as one more over done WH40K clone from the nineties

Feng Shui: as one more over done TORG clone from the naughties

In the honorable mention category, I could add anything from Wizard's realm to Albedo or perhaps Sword Bearer (which I love but flopped like a whale coming off of a tidal wave)



Cooler than Carrottop
I have a matematical proof somewhere that shows without RPGs the world would stop spinning and the final days would be upon us.

Anyway ...

There are LOTS of RPGs out there that are blindingly awful. As with everything, there is a way to do RPGs right and a way to do them wrong. Synnibar (incoherent babbling), Bushido (neat setting ... now WHAT are the rules?) , Indiana Jones (everyone who wants to play Indy raise their hands. OK, now who wants to play short-round?), and many more.

Sometimes I get the feeling people aren't writing RPGs, they're just typing as fast as they can.


Social Justice Ninja
Validated User
unheilig said:
okay, continuing on the trend,

what are the LEAST essential RPGs you have had the misfortune of coming across in your gaming careers?
Essential in what sense? Influential? I gotta have it in my collection? To the industry or personally?

To the industry, the question is almost meaningless sense there are a flurry of also-rans and flashes in the pan... but would disagree that Star Frontiers or RIFTS are anywhere among them.

Personally? Again, the list of impotent pretenders is also immense here, too, but I'll narrow it down to the ones I was lunkheaded enough to buy. The Indiana Jones RPG by WotC (actually, it was influential to me in a way, as it taught me to find out about a game before you buy it. I returned this baby to the store. When asked for a reason why I was returning it, I replied that the packaging was misleading... it's not an RPG.) Monsters & Slayers (lame D&D knockoff.)

Even High Colonies had some use (I stole its autofire mechanic.)


5859B7 Age 48 7 Terms
Validated User
Judge Dredd.


Being a super-fascist lawman carrying out on-the-spot executions after a bit of flimsy investigation. You play a judge. That's all. That's it. I was disappointed.

ICE's Cyberspace.

Yes, you too can own the near future road accident that is Spacemaster and Cyberpunk 2020!!! Again, why? Not disputing some interesting cybermods and some nice megacorp and background ideas, but talk about the bandwagon ..!!

Keith Burkhead

Least essential?

Well, after agreeing with GMS' rooted-in-real-life wisdom,

Legendary Adventures seemed sorta, well, redundant.

And the point raised above about the Indy game is exactly why I never bought it. I know I don't want to play Short Round.;)



Pure Rock Fury
o-k-a-y gareth...

I say "least essential" in homage to The Onion's year in music reviews.
Its a nice way of saying "lame, suck-ass drivel".

and they are important. They're putting food on your family's table, right? ;)

If you don't want me on your lawn, old man, put up a fence or something!

love to ya,


Social Justice Ninja
Validated User
BiggusGeekus said:
Bushido (neat setting ... now WHAT are the rules?)
Again, this begs the question: industry or personal.

In the industry, Bushido was mucho influentail. Read the sources and reading list for Rokugan for example, and its influence on the 1e OA book (which in turn influenced 2e OA) is clear.

Personally, I found it influential as well. I cribbed their training system for use in D&D, and I think their initiative system is way cool. Their progressive task system got cribbed in both my homebrews and as an adjunct to my personal D&D games. Further, the system for "encounters during mass battles" was a very neat way of handling heroic PCs in military conflicts.

Now it was a monument of bad organization, but had a lot of very neat/useful mechanical tidbits.

Indiana Jones (everyone who wants to play Indy raise their hands. OK, now who wants to play short-round?), and many more.
Yup. Named that one myself.
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