Forgotten RPGs

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Joseph Wolz

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I always thought White Wolf's 'Adventure!' deserved to get more recognition.
It only had the core book, but it was quite good.

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Onyx Path is kickstarting the new edition of Adventure! next month, according to their latest Monday Meeting blog post: theonyxpath.com/i-only-need-two-things-dragons-and-cthulhu-monday-meeting-notes/
 

Lofgeornost

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Witch Hunt, which shows up in the latest list, had an entire thread about it back in August here:

So, as much as I am a fan of quite obscure RPGs, every once in a while I still come across one that completely managed to fly under my radar

Today that was this amazing-looking thing:

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It's by a company I've never heard of, but it looks absolutely fantastic.

What's even better is the advertisements I chanced upon while googling it

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So, anyone here own it/ever play this? I can find very little in the way of information about it online. What kind of system did it use? Was it as cool as it looks?
 

TristramEvans

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Witch Hunt, which shows up in the latest list, had an entire thread about it back in August here:


Yeah, I tried to track down a copy to no avail (there was one on Ebay in the UK for about $300, too much for simple curiosity)
 

TristramEvans

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looking back to the time period it was published, it could have been a stealth RPG about roleplaying people who hunted roleplayers...

"This one has Gone Snake! Time to put him down!"
"Watch out, he's throwing dice!"
"You Fools! I've accumulated all the Skills of the thief class! You can Never defeat me!"
"Your thief skills are no match for the Glory of Jesus, fiend!"
 

Gringnr

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Not sure if this is "forgotten". or not, but it's definitely now very well known, even though it's currently available in PDF. I've mentioned it before on this forum, but it fits here, too.

Stuperpowers! It's a game powered by coin flips, and/or Rock, Paper, Scissors (yes, really) in which the players have terrible, gross or useless powers. There are no stats, each player randomly rolls 3 powers, and that's it. I can understand why it never took off, I mean, what are you going to do with powers like "Make All Of The World's Telephones Ring At Once", "Create Subtitles", or "Turn Things Plaid"? That having been said, It's a pretty funny read. And it's VERY complete for a "joke" game. There's a setting, NPCs, a campaign, and four "Insta-Ventures", which are short, one-page adventures your group generates, Mad-Libs style. There are also rules for using it as a LARP or a drinking game. I've put it in queue for my group, we'll see how it goes. It's twenty years old, so some of the humor is dated. And while people might take offense to certain things in this book, I think you'd have to be a fool not to see the obvious satire of an old, retired Captain America type hero called "Jap Smasher". I mean, if you don't want to play a game that has in its setting a group called The Legion of Disgruntled Postal Workers, I don't know what to tell you.

You can get the PDF here for 5 bucks, it's well worth it.

Anyway, sorry if this doesn't really belong here, but it's relatively unknown, at least in my experience.
 

Ralph Dula

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Part 11 in my Forgotten Games series on my blog.
https://www.pigames.net/store/blog.php?entry=2890

I looked at your blog post again and blew up the picture for Holocaustic Dungeons, and now that I see the publisher I finally realized where I’d seen it before. Silverline published a comic (or at least an ad for it; I don’t know if it was ever released) that used the same artwork. I’ve no idea if it was a simple recycling of art, or if it somehow tied into the game.
 

Black Leaf

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I own It Came From the Late Late Show and several supplements. As you say it's very niche (and the system is dated for modern sensibilities) but it's a solid little game that does what it sets out to.
 

David Johansen

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It might not meet your criteria but there was a "Nuts and Voltz" rpg by the author of Top Secret published in White Wolf Magazine. The PCs were robots, androids, clones, and cyborgs trying to protect their hapless human masters. I've always wondered if there was some connection to the TSR vaporware Proton Fire rpg that previewed in Dragon Magazine but was never published.

There was also a "Vampire Hunter$" rpg published in Shadis magazine.

These might not qualify being published in magazines rather than as stand alone products and that would open up the various d20 rpgs published in Dungeon magazine.
 

brettmb

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These might not qualify being published in magazines rather than as stand alone products and that would open up the various d20 rpgs published in Dungeon magazine.
Yeah, I'm only doing stand-alone printed books.
 

Rich H

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Alternative Armies was always considered more of a miniature games imprint, but they released a couple of forays deeper into the world that one of the miniatures battles rules (Flintloque) was set in. This was one of those. It was supposed to be followed up with Empire, and I really wanted that to happen, but it never did that I know of.

I definitely had a copy of that years and years ago but (a) can't remember what happened to it and (b) can't remember anything about it. So definitely qualifies as a forgotten game for me! :thumbsup:
 

lategamer

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Last I checked (a long time ago in 2003) the project was between the hands of Jason Blair (author of Little Fears) Source.

"JUSTIFIERS: OMEGA EDITION is slated for release in Summer 2004".... But there was a german version released in 2010.

I did a Savage Worlds conversion at the time (which is sitll lying somewhere on a hard drive).
Well, with Jason Blair, you'll never see it.

Jason was at Key20 when they absconded with all of the remainder of my RPG books and all the money from the US sales. I still have the emails.

Mine are "forgotten" RPGs too. Would be considerably less forgotten if not for those miscreants.
 

lategamer

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I was thinking of running DOMINATION as a Twilight 2000 4th ed campaign. I really like it - though I don't think it's that playable.

Can probably add "The 23rd Letter" to the list of forgotten games. Good reviews.

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Ravenswing

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And while people might take offense to certain things in this book, I think you'd have to be a fool not to see the obvious satire of an old, retired Captain America type hero called "Jap Smasher". I mean, if you don't want to play a game that has in its setting a group called The Legion of Disgruntled Postal Workers, I don't know what to tell you.


Anyway, sorry if this doesn't really belong here, but it's relatively unknown, at least in my experience.

Vivid flashbacks to when my ex- and I were doing a riff on the Legion of Superheroes, with the "Legion of Superfluous Heroes" ...

Bifida Boy! With the ability to make his enemies' spines collapse!
The Lumberjack! She has all the power of HEWN WOOD!
Captain Candlepin! With his stainless steel candlepin bowling balls, he smites illdoers in the cause of justice!
Explodo! The mighty hero who can detonate with the force of a ONE MEGATON NUCLEAR WARHEAD ... once.
 
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Bunch

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Well, with Jason Blair, you'll never see it.

Jason was at Key20 when they absconded with all of the remainder of my RPG books and all the money from the US sales. I still have the emails.

Mine are "forgotten" RPGs too. Would be considerably less forgotten if not for those miscreants.
What games are yours?
 

Black Leaf

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I definitely had a copy of that years and years ago but (a) can't remember what happened to it and (b) can't remember anything about it. So definitely qualifies as a forgotten game for me! :thumbsup:
It's essentially a one on one skirmish wargame. Alternative Armies promised more supplements for it but it never really happened.
 

Jenx

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I have more obscure crap/forgotten gems/what the hell were they thinking (delete as applicable) games on the shelves but my eyes were dangerously glazed over as I plucked these coiled steamers/literary masterpieces (your mileage may vary) from their place.

Chimaera.jpg


No amount of glitter could polish this turd up. My guess is that English isn't the authors first language and the author is also the editor, which can't help. The art ranges from pretty good to crap and the game looks to be based on a D100 mechanic.

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Looks to be based on Robin Hood. A labour of love probably and is only lacking the words 'fantasy heartbreaker'. Someone somewhere probably has a pallet of these things in their garage. Looks to be quite well researched and may be usable for the fluff.

everlasting-book-of-light.jpg


This looks to be some kind of Vampire type knock off. It came as a series of four books and I think I have three. Beyond the glossy cover and blurb extoling the virtues of the 'Interactive Legendmaking Experience' the art ranges from reasonable to good and the layout is... busy. The fact I've never seen or heard mention of it from anyone ever suggests it wasn't the roaring success the author hoped it might be.

Everlasting-Book-of-spirits.jpg


I bet his garage is full of a stack of these things.

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Two words: Crushed Dreams.

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Looks like an OGL shovelware type thing. The OGL was brilliant in many respects and gave us the kick up the ass WOTC needed to release scans of their TSR back catalogue when they realised people wanted to spend money on it. Of course, it was a kick in the balls too when Pathfinder became a thing. Then there was everyone and his dog churning out OGL variants on D&D and I've got a few of Mongooses' efforts on the shelves too. They all do a job - murder hobos wander around hacking, slashing and burning their way to something or other level then you run out of stuff to do unless you make it yourself because the core rulebook was it.

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Another fantasy heartbreaker. 12 stats, 26 races and beefcake vs cheesecake on the cover. I bet this guy (and his wife or sister as co author) can't get into his/her garage because of unsold pallets of these things.

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I like Fantasy Games Unlimited. The art was pretty non existent, the rules range from low to high crunch and they always spoke to me as being a 'plucky underdog' in the RPG scene. Knowing that you won't become millionaires (hell, selling a few hundred dollars worth of books was more likely the aim) they still churned out dozens of RPGs. This one has one stat (Fighting Skill number) and the 'player provides the intelligence and wisdom'. Yeah? With teenage testosterone powered boys, some dice and the urge to slaughter, it won't come as a surprise that the Aegean sea ran red. And yet... as a rules lite game with ship to ship combat rules and all the basics you need, it wouldn't be too hard to fill in the gaps.

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The German rock singer with the sword and dagger is clearly distracted because the 80s headband dude is about to slash him/her with wolverine claws and a sword. The guy with the gold ball is probably thinking 'thank god I wore my leg greaves. They surely saved me from that vicious foe I vanquished'. Without getting any blood on his shiny sword. I get it. Someone has an itch they have to scratch, they drag their friends into it and after some 'mom, can you remortgage your house for this cool idea I have to fund' then end up living in said house with a no longer functioning garage because it's full of pallets of unsold books. It does beg the question 'How did I end up with so many of these things?'

Super-Villains.jpg


An art free skirmish type game with some roleplaying elements apparently. I was sold on the cover and the rules are an impenetrable text wall.

underground.jpg


I was not sold on this cover! Suffers from the 90s grunge art style. Ray Winninger clearly wanted to do his own thing with the DC Heroes Exponential Game System (each point double of the last, except in this one its double every 2 points). This is cyberpunk set in 2021. Wonder if it has lockdowns in it. Much of the technology listed in the game doesn't exist whilst other bits are behind the times. This was not a cheap book to turn out. Glossy pages full colour art and clearly influenced by the cyberpunk wave (Shadowrun, Cyberpunk etc). If you are interested it's available as a PDF and they churned out a bunch of stuff to support it. Not my cup of tea but I thought I could mine it for ideas about the mechanics.

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More OGL stuff. Glossy and with nice art. Can't say I had any interest in the WoT series of books and haven't touched the TV show yet. Worth the watch?

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Made for the D&D 4e game so I wouldn't have a clue how to play it. Looks more like a fluff book than an actual game.

There are others but I will spare you the commentaries on OGL Shovelware and Garage Filling fantasy heartbreakers.
 

Imaginos

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I was thinking of running DOMINATION as a Twilight 2000 4th ed campaign. I really like it - though I don't think it's that playable.

I liked Domination but yeah, not real playable. T2K may be an option for it.
This looks to be some kind of Vampire type knock off. It came as a series of four books and I think I have three. Beyond the glossy cover and blurb extoling the virtues of the 'Interactive Legendmaking Experience' the art ranges from reasonable to good and the layout is... busy. The fact I've never seen or heard mention of it from anyone ever suggests it wasn't the roaring success the author hoped it might

so the Everlasting series consisted of:

Book of Unliving
Book of Spirits
Book of the Light
Book of the Fantastical
Codex of the Immortals
The Magicians Companion
 

Warthur

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I don't know if it pulled itself together in later releases, but I remember reading the Book of the Unliving - which was the first release for The Everlasting - and it's hilarious. Imagine a World of Darkness heartbreaker which decided that the one thing it really needed to beat out White Wolf one was the sheer level of utter pretentiousness and overestimation of one's own cleverness and erudition. Mid-1990s White Wolf, at their most eyerollingly hubristic, look positively humble next to The Everlasting. Unfortunately, the most hilarious bits got cut from the DTRPG PDFs because people razzed them so much. My review is here if people are curious.

How's this for another forgotten RPG: Principia Malefex. Imagine a horror game written by people who think that what horror really needs is more stuff about small claims court disputes and middle-class feuds in the British suburbs, and they go out of their way to make it as pessimistic and spiteful as possible. Oh, and as boring as possible. Just completely dull as ditchwater.
 

Luca

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How's this for another forgotten RPG: Principia Malefex. Imagine a horror game written by people who think that what horror really needs is more stuff about small claims court disputes and middle-class feuds in the British suburbs, and they go out of their way to make it as pessimistic and spiteful as possible. Oh, and as boring as possible. Just completely dull as ditchwater.

Well, that sounds pretty horrific to me...
 

Ralph Dula

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I don't know if it pulled itself together in later releases, but I remember reading the Book of the Unliving - which was the first release for The Everlasting - and it's hilarious. Imagine a World of Darkness heartbreaker which decided that the one thing it really needed to beat out White Wolf one was the sheer level of utter pretentiousness and overestimation of one's own cleverness and erudition. Mid-1990s White Wolf, at their most eyerollingly hubristic, look positively humble next to The Everlasting. Unfortunately, the most hilarious bits got cut from the DTRPG PDFs because people razzed them so much. My review is here if people are curious.
Good review! My only disagreement would be with regards to sharing player characters, as the Torg game I ran for years did that, and the players enjoyed being able to sample different character types while still having characters to fall back on with what drew them to the game.

Random bit: Last year during lockdown I was wandering the weirder parts of the internet, and in a non-gaming forum someone was talking about The Everlasting. They seemed to be wuite into it, but they also said someone was dead, and this was causing issues with the entire line being on PDF. At the time I thought they might be full of it, since I thought one fellow did the entire game, and they kept saying “co-owner.” But then I saw in your review that the game had been sold to someone, and now I’m curious about their claims.
 

Sosthenes

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Underground is worth it mining it for some innovative layout details alone plus the community improvement mechanics. Although I guess for the former the Monte Cook books post-Ptolus are probably more recent examples of this lineage (I was expecting a lot more of this, considering that we have the web now for 25+ years, but the industry barely escaped the hot lead and/or mimeograph era).
 

chuckdee

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underground.jpg


I was not sold on this cover! Suffers from the 90s grunge art style. Ray Winninger clearly wanted to do his own thing with the DC Heroes Exponential Game System (each point double of the last, except in this one its double every 2 points). This is cyberpunk set in 2021. Wonder if it has lockdowns in it. Much of the technology listed in the game doesn't exist whilst other bits are behind the times. This was not a cheap book to turn out. Glossy pages full colour art and clearly influenced by the cyberpunk wave (Shadowrun, Cyberpunk etc). If you are interested it's available as a PDF and they churned out a bunch of stuff to support it. Not my cup of tea but I thought I could mine it for ideas about the mechanics.

Cover is actually by a great artist with some great work - Geof Darrow. It's a commentary type of game, just like many of the comics he illustrated with Frank Miller. Ultraviolent and over the top are putting it mildly, and it's a commentary on ultra consumerism, ultra violence, and consumerism.

But it's great stuff, if you know what you're getting into, though like many things, it's a product of its time.


wraith-recon.jpg


Made for the D&D 4e game so I wouldn't have a clue how to play it. Looks more like a fluff book than an actual game.

There are others but I will spare you the commentaries on OGL Shovelware and Garage Filling fantasy heartbreakers.

It's a setting book for D&D, and works very well. As I love Black Company/Malazan type stuff, it was right up my alley. It has been republished in Savage Worlds and 5e (though there was a whole can of worms with that).

 

Agemegos

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I think this one is definately a forgotten rpg...(and perhaps it should remain forgotten!) :grin:

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I played in a demo game run by the designer at Arcanacon, IIRC, or maybe Cancon, and couldn't make anything of it. The scope seemed to be limited to one bizarre but dull scenario, and the rules seemed too feeble to actually represent or resolve anything.
 

Ravenswing

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More OGL stuff. Glossy and with nice art. Can't say I had any interest in the WoT series of books and haven't touched the TV show yet. Worth the watch?

So far. The production values are amazing, the acting's good, and if you haven't read the books, the ways they're deviating from canon won't piss you off. (None are yet, IMHO, egregious.) Hopefully, they won't lapse into the big literary sin that Jordan fell into, and what led me to abandon the series several books before the end.

EDIT: I should probably explain. Five of the protagonists are young bumpkins from an isolated, insular frontier village with so little connection with the outside world they're faintly surprised to learn their home is part of a large kingdom. The series had some major bonus points, and one of the key ones for me is that the characters changed -- and not just in the typical oh-they-all-became-war-veterans-with-thousand-yard-stares style -- in ways predictable for teenagers to change. This isn't the norm for fantasy, and I appreciated seeing it.

But the big millstones? Alright, those five went off in different directions. So right there you've got five storylines from five different POVs. And then there were more. And more. And more. Every book added more POV characters, and it just got too dizzying. (One madman actually counted up the number of named characters in the series. The total: 2782.) And the series didn't bloat to fourteen books because there was all that much to say -- the plot arc bogged down in side quest after side quest after side quest. Whole books based around "oh, the Big Bad did something new and big baddish, so we have to quest for the dingus that will foil this particular big bad thing." Jordan badly needed an editor, except that I figure that Tor was making too much money off of the series, and they'd have made it 30 books if they dared.
 
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spittingimage

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Underground is worth it mining it for some innovative layout details alone plus the community improvement mechanics. Although I guess for the former the Monte Cook books post-Ptolus are probably more recent examples of this lineage (I was expecting a lot more of this, considering that we have the web now for 25+ years, but the industry barely escaped the hot lead and/or mimeograph era).
Emphasis mine.

I was at a sci-fi conventions several years ago and one of the dealers in the market square had a copy of a supplement for underground. It wasn't for sale, he enjoyed it too much as a souvenir. He asked me if I could spot the big issue with using it the way it was intended. It wasn't hard - the pages were punched for ring-binding, but the holes weren't on the edge that was bound into the spine! You'd have to cut the pages out of the book to use them that way.
 

Gringnr

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According to rpggeek, one of the contributors to The Everlasting is someone known simply as "Stan!", with exclamation point and everything.

Mods pls change my name to " Gringnr!" TIA
 

Ralph Dula

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According to rpggeek, one of the contributors to The Everlasting is someone known simply as "Stan!", with exclamation point and everything.

Mods pls change my name to " Gringnr!" TIA
Not to long after I joined up here Facebook started recommending that Stan as my friend, so at first I thought Stan Stan was the same Stan. It took me a bit to realize my error.
 
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