Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Memories: Early non-D&D Games

I has been a long time, so my memory is fuzzy at best, but I seem to recall that for me, RPGs were D&D and AD&D…and that was it for several years. However, I do recall a few of the first non-D&D games I dabbled in, though few memories of actual play exist in my mind.

Champions/Hero System
I have a vague recollection of being in either 6th or 7th grade, and hanging out with some kids who played RPGs. And at one point we discussed playing something that they referred to as “Time Lords” (though I doubt it had anything to do with Doctor Who). The images I have in my head are of discussions about making a character from one time period, and having them fight alongside characters from other time periods. I believe my vision of a character was an Army soldier from Vietnam, carrying an M60 machine gun, and fighting against Roman Legions. I dunno. I do remember the Champions character sheet (with the cool blank superhero drawing in the corner), so I’m pretty sure they were using the Hero System for this. But, I never actually made a character or played.

Conan Role-Playing game (TSR, 1985)
I never owned this one, but one of my friends bought it, and we set out to play at one point. I know for a fact that I made a character. He was an Aesir, and he looked like Dolph Lundgren. But, other than that, I don’t think we ever did anything with it. We certainly never played it. The system, created by David “Zeb” Cook, has been scrubbed of any Conan elements, and put out on the web as ZeFRS. I hear tell it’s a solid system, and one of the first and most faithful retro-clones out.

DC Heroes
I know I have mentioned this one before, in my discussion about Feline. DC Heroes was probably the first non-D&D game I ever actually played. Though we never got a chance to play much. I do recall after the aborted game that included the afore-mentioned Feline, we did go through a phase where we were making up characters for hopeful future play. They were all over the board, and reflected my limited knowledge of comic book lore at the time. I think we managed one other game where I had a French cat-burglar name Le Chat (how original, right?), who somehow knew Hwarang-do. I was in the throes of my early martial arts obsession, and the latest issue of Inside Kung Fu had a nice article about the Korean art. Either way, I recall nothing of the system, but do remember having fun playing it.

Even with forays into these other games, I always came back to D&D. And that’s pretty much where it has always been since. No matter who I am gaming with, with the exception of my current group, we have always stepped out of the D&D box for short periods, only to return to the old standby.

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