What's a noncritically acclaimed RPG that you like?

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Mankcam

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I think the PDQ system was very under-rated for a rules-lite 'narrative' set of rpg mechanics, and was probably overshadowed by the spotlight on the Fate rpg at that time

For PDQ I really like Questers of the Middle Realm, Zorcerer of Zo, and Legend of the Six Serpents :thumbsup:
 

David Johansen

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Well, my affinity for Rolemaster Standard System and Space Master Privateers is well known. I also love Mutant Chronicles though it had some mechanical issues in every variation. Traveller the New Era. I'm prone to liking games other people don't. I liked High Fantasy and Wizard's Realm both little games with some neat ideas that were ahead of their time. Sword Bearer was cool if under supported.
 

Simlasa

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I've only heard of Noumenon, and don't remember what I heard about it
Noumenon is by far their oddest duck, and only kindasortof a game unto itself. IMO it's more like a dungeon with its own set of rules... because it's a strange dungeon and the PCs are made strange by being there.
Each room in the place was written by different authors... each is its own puzzle, a bit of divination/mystery for the PCs to interpret or solve... or not. An interesting place to send PCs who fall into a crack between worlds, or engage in some mystical transition to a different state of being (such as becoming demigods or archmages)... like visiting the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks.
 

TristramEvans

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Noumenon is by far their oddest duck, and only kindasortof a game unto itself. IMO it's more like a dungeon with its own set of rules... because it's a strange dungeon and the PCs are made strange by being there.
Each room in the place was written by different authors... each is its own puzzle, a bit of divination/mystery for the PCs to interpret or solve... or not. An interesting place to send PCs who fall into a crack between worlds, or engage in some mystical transition to a different state of being (such as becoming demigods or archmages)... like visiting the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks.

Sounds cool, what kind of system does it use?
 

Voros

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I'm a fan of 1%er, a simple yet quite complete rpg about playing an outlaw motorcycle gang.

It strips down PbtA quite well, is quite amusingly written and captures its genre really well.
 

Simlasa

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It's a fairly trad system but it uses dominoes.
For an action, the GM sets a difficulty and draws a random domino.
PC draws a number of random dominoes and tries to make enough connections to satisfy the level of difficulty... but there are group actions where other PCs can draw dominoes as well and increase the chance of success.

Theres a fair bit of jargon and mechanisms that I might otherwise call 'pretentious', but IMO they play into the disorienting nature of the setting.

PCs are referred to as Sarcophogi... "souls trapped in chitin" (they're bugs). A group of PCs is a Colony.
The rules push reliance on the Colony. They may or may not be aspects of a single being.

Traits (Attributes) are: Awareness, Violence, Activity, Wisdom, Personality, Chitin, Metamorphosis, Communion and Rapport... some of which map onto the usual STR/DEX/CON attributes.
There are also individual skills/talents (Birthrights... wings, probiscis, stinger...).

Oh, and the GM has a GMNPC called The Logos... who PCs can call on for advice. He appears as a well-dressed gentleman with the head of an elephant.
 
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Agemegos

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I am still pretty fond of ForeSight, a 1980s SF RPG that covered everything (including spaceship design and construction, space combat, star system generation, and society generation) except for magic in 124 pages. Though I do have to complain that recently gnomes have been sneaking into my study and making the type smaller.

ForeSight was a bit of Frankenstein design, with features collected from James Bond 007, Universe, Commando, etc. But I think it came together pretty well.

In 1988 ForeSight acquired a fantasy supplement, HindSight.
 
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Silverlion

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Truth & Justice
Providence (XID Creative, great world, horrid system)
Waste World
Hellas
Not sure: OVA, Farflung, Stellar Adventures, Cryptworld, Iron Kingdoms
 

Sharrow

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I wonder how 'lesser known' a game has to be to count. At the time Traveller: The New Era probably wasn't 'lesser known', though 'under appreciated' understates a fair number of Traveller fans' view of it at the time. It's one of my favourite games ever.
 

Stumpydave

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I still harbour dreams of running Heretics:Asylum Earth. It came out in '96 from Wasteland Games. A gnostic horror using their STOCS LITE system, its like a more grounded and concise Kult.

There was talk of a sourcebook but I believe whatever notes may have existed are lost to time.
 

raniE

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The Fantasy Trip, Steve Jackson’s first foray into rpg design. Sure, it’s a bit better known now with the new edition, but it’s been one of my favorite systems for decades and is almost completely unknown in Sweden. The game is a delightful blend of tactical skirmish game and full fledged rpg, with basic rules that lead to deep tactical thinking in combat but also allow you to do all kinds of things outside of combat.

Most BRP games. I love BRP, but see it derided as an old and clunky system a lot elsewhere. I love how intuitive it is, everyone understands percentage chance of success. I love how modular it is, with variants going from very rules light to very rules heavy. Thus the same basic system can support several different play styles. I love how it fades into the background until you need it.
 
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Trippy

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I wonder how 'lesser known' a game has to be to count. At the time Traveller: The New Era probably wasn't 'lesser known', though 'under appreciated' understates a fair number of Traveller fans' view of it at the time. It's one of my favourite games ever.
It did however win the Origins Award for best RPG of 1993.
 

Black Leaf

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I'd wager more than half of the gamers in my generation got into RPGs through Lone Wolf adventure books
This is the RPG version and it's as good an entry point as the original. One of the reasons I think it's massively underrated is how well it introduces new GMs to the concepts gradually without being patronising.
 

Savage Schemer

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I think the PDQ system was very under-rated for a rules-lite 'narrative' set of rpg mechanics, and was probably overshadowed by the spotlight on the Fate rpg at that time

For PDQ I really like Questers of the Middle Realm, Zorcerer of Zo, and Legend of the Six Serpents :thumbsup:
Totally agree. Jaws of the Six Serpents and Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies remain favorites to this day.

I think my own contribution would be OVA. With a few small rules tweaks, it has become a lightweight powerhouse that occupies a space somewhere between PDQ and Mini Six for my group. I actually got a short game in last night and was reminded just how fun this little game can be.
 

Ralph Dula

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According to the terrible owner of the local game store back in the day, the first edition of Torg. Over 60 supplements, novels, and translated into multiple languages, but according to him it was a terrible game that nobody was playing. Never hesitated to take my money when I bought books for it from him, though.



Hunter: The Reckoning seems to get peed on by almost everyone who mentions it online, but it’s among my top five games.



I don’t know about “love,” but I do enjoy Mutant Epoch. Several years ago there was a large gaming group for it three towns over from me, and they were the only people I ever knew of who played it or talked about it.



I have a soft spot for Dark Times, despite the author being confused by what a dirty bomb does to the environment, as well as rules issues with playing normal humans.
 

Trippy

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It’s a curious question because a lot of RPGs are critically acclaimed in some way or another. I mean, I really like (Mongoose 2nd Edition) Traveller and wish more people would realize it is brilliant on this site, but I wouldn’t say that it isn’t critically acclaimed by some others. It’s just not trumpeted as hard as some others.

Thinking of games that genuinely under appreciated takes a bit of thinking of - but I thought Silver Age Sentinels was actually a very well put together game - much more logical to my mind than Champions or Mutants & Masterminds, but just as flexible as both in terms of character building. It lost out to both in the early 2000s, however, due to some financial discrepancies with its publishers and an inability to cope with the ascending D20 market at the time and, essentially it just disappeared. It also had a random character generator in the appendix which actually made it fun for me to generate superhero characters with - which was a novelty to me at the time.

Toon is one third of the brilliantly wacky but hugely innovative trio of comedy RPGs from the 1980s, along with Paranoia and Ghostbusters, but often gets more muted praise that the other two. To be sure, it is acclaimed enough to be included in the '100 Greatest Hobby Games’ publication by Green Ronin, so again it might not truly qualify, but I do think people underestimate just how much certain mechanics and approaches influenced other games that followed. You could totally bend reality and narrative, as a GM or player, to your hearts content in this game.

Judge Dredd - the original Games Workshop version - was well ahead of its time too. This was a game that managed to focus solely on playing Judges and make it interesting and varied in gameplay - almost comparable to playing Knights in Pendragon in a way. There was a decent amount of support for a while, in terms of scenario seeds - but it was actually really easy just to pick up and play with zero prep. It also had a strong underlying system, without excessive skill or trait lists and was arguably the first game that could be nominally described as ‘cyberpunk’. The only thing the current version of Judge Dredd (and the Worlds of 2000AD) has got is that it opens up other game worlds from the comics - the actual game design is clunky and convoluted by comparison to the original.
 
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Black Leaf

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Judge Dredd - the original Games Workshop version - was well ahead of its time too. This was a game that managed to focus solely on playing Judges and make it interesting and varied in gameplay - almost comparable to playing Knights in Pendragon in a way. There was a decent amount of support for a while, in terms of scenario seeds - but it was actually really easy just to pick up and play with zero prep. It also had a strong underlying system, without excessive skill or trait lists and was arguably the first game that could be nominally described as ‘cyberpunk’. The only thing the current version of Judge Dredd (and the Worlds of 2000AD) has got is that it opens up other game worlds from the comics - the actual game design is clunky and convoluted by comparison to the original.
The White Dwarf support for that was excellent. Everything from full scenarios to rules for playing Perps to an article on accountancy.
 

Nobby-W

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I wonder how 'lesser known' a game has to be to count. At the time Traveller: The New Era probably wasn't 'lesser known', though 'under appreciated' understates a fair number of Traveller fans' view of it at the time. It's one of my favourite games ever.

I think TNE generates mixed feelings because of the Virus, which was pretty love-or-hate.
 

Stan

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Usagi Yojimbo - the 1st ed. by Sanguine Productions. Things flowed fast and felt like combat in an actual samurai movie. I tried Jade Claw and Iron Claw, which added more more material, including magic, but were a bit clunkier. They came out with with a 2nd edition but it's totally redone as pbta and is just ok.

Broadsword and the 1PG line are nice, light games with almost all of the rules on the character sheet.

I recently got a chance to finally play Tiny D6, another light and flexible system. If only I could get a game of Tiny Taverns going.

Very recent addition which I haven't played yet but am enamored with is Raccoon Sky Pirates. You build your own flying vehicle and plan raids on human houses. The mechanics reflect that your are a panicky animal without full control of your actions. You pick an approach, roll a D12 for a random action (table unique to character), if the action includes your approach, you succeed.

It's been mentioned here but I've never seen Troika mentioned elsewhere. Or maybe it's more of a critic's darling just unknown to the public.
 
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EmperorNorton

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There are a few mentioned already like PDQ (I really liked Ninja Burger... admittedly it is a dumb silly game but yeah), or OVA (Find it better than later iterations of BESM for the same thing), but I think the one I'd say is Kagegami High.

Kagegami High is just a small game, that is extremely silly (everyone is a high school girl at a weird, island high school that has a feel of max whacky weeaboo bullshit combined with SCP or Welcome to Nightvale). The system is based on the same system as Maid, but takes the parts I liked (completely random and ridiculous character generation, stress explosions), while avoiding all the weird squickiness that Maid has.

Also, Jovian Chronicles. I'm not sure how "critically acclaimed" it was at the time, but pretty much the only people I hear talking about it much nowadays are me, Justin Alexander, and CRK (probably the only thing all three of us universally agree on :B )
 

Trippy

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We differ in our perception on this one. I think Mongoose's Traveller is very highly acclaimed. Particularly 2e.
Well, in that case, good. It deserves it. :grin:

On a mildly more serious note, I do think it tends to get overlooked in things like Origin or ENnie awards, for example. Pirates of Drinax, by Gareth Hanrahan should have won something as a fantastic campaign - as good as Masks of Nyalathotep in my view - while the box sets like the (now sadly out of print) Starter Set, Elemental Cruiser, The Great Rift and lately Deepnight Revelation are magnificently well produced resources. The whole Third Imperium setting has never looked so good.
 
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Savage Schemer

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Well, in that case, good. It deserves it. :grin:

On a mildly more serious note, I do think it tends to get overlooked in things like Origin or ENnie awards, for example. Pirates of Drinax, by Gareth Hanrahan should have won something as a fantastic campaign - as good as Masks of Nyalathotep in my view - while the box sets like the (now sadly out of print) Starter Set, Elemental Cruiser, The Great Rift and lately Deepnight Revelation are magnificently well produced resources. The whole Third Imperium setting has never looked so good.
Yeah I agree. PoD is one of the best campaigns written for any game, imo.
 

Gabriel

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Also, Jovian Chronicles. I'm not sure how "critically acclaimed" it was at the time, but pretty much the only people I hear talking about it much nowadays are me, Justin Alexander, and CRK (probably the only thing all three of us universally agree on :B )

I know that back in the early/mid 00s, you couldn't mention mecha gaming without someone jumping and and saying Jovian Chronicles was the best. You couldn't even bring up Mekton without someone jumping in and saying Jovian Chronicles had a better mecha construction system effectively because you could ignore the math in the mecha construction rules.

One person claimed that Jovian Chronicles was better because you could use the construction rules to design a human scale regular skateboard. You know, oddly enough, the requirement of having to use Mekton Technical System to design a regular skateboard just never came up for me.

It sort of all evaporated when SilCore came out. I think SilCore sort of killed the fanbase.

Nothing was wrong with Jovian Chronicles. It just didn't do anything for me at the time. The book was kind of ugly too with it's faux anime art and ultra tiny single column text and huge, empty whitespace on the sidebar of every page.
 

Bunch

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Rune because man it actually is a competitive roleplaying game you can win.

Justifiers because I like the setting. The system is meh.
 

Gabriel

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I have a strong fondness for Buck Rogers XXVc. I don't recall hearing much of anything positive about it back in the day. About the only times it gets talked about is when someone is wanting to rant about how Lorrainne Williams "destroyed RPGs."

Top Secret SI is another one that I had never heard anything about until a year or two ago on these forums. I checked it out and liked it a lot.

Oh, I've loved AD&D 2e for a long time. I think the original 2e corebooks are the best D&D rulebooks ever produced. Yet, whenever anyone brings up the edition, it's almost always to berate it and claim 2e was the end of D&D.

Late-80s/early 90s TSR was pretty strong. MSH Advanced, Top Secret SI, AD&D 2e, XXVc... They even finally got Gamma World right with 4e during that era. Not to mention that the fan favorites of Forgotten Realms and Dark Sun are also from the same era.
 

Tulpa Girl

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I think TNE generates mixed feelings because of the Virus, which was pretty love-or-hate.
I suspect the one-two punch of Virus and the switch to a different system is responsible for much of the ire thar TNE seemed to attract.
 

hawkeyefan

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I’ll always have a soft spot for Price of Freedom. I got it from my parents for Christmas one year. I read through it and wanted to play my own Red Dawn type adventures, but wasn’t able to get much use out of it because I was you g and lived on a small street without other kids.

Couple years later I had some friends who moved in nearby over and we were playing boardgames pretty regularly, and one of them saw Price of Freedom sitting on the shelf and asked about it….and that was it. We played that and then moved on to Marvel and D&D and other games.

That was the beginning of my gaming group which is still going today. I don’t have a copy of Price of Freedom any more….I lost it somewhere along the way…but I’ll always love that game.
 
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