An A-to-Z List of Lesser-Known Roleplaying Games: Part 5

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Here we are at the end of the list — almost. What do I mean by “almost”? Check the end of this post and you’ll find out đŸ˜‰ . Meanwhile, here’s our final five:

  • Villians and Vigilantes: Like several of the games in this list, this is probably well-known to you if you were gaming in the early ’80’s and not if you joined the hobby later. It’s a super-hero game system which never got as popular as Champions.
  • Whispering Vault, The: Ever want to hunt gods? Then this is the game for you. Published in 1993, it experienced a surge of popularity in the mid-90’s when occult horror games were at their peak of popularity. Players play Stalkers — people who were once mortal humans but have been granted supernatural abilities — whose job is to hunt down renegade gods who’ve escaped into the mortal realm.
  • X-Crawl: I’ll admit — I haven’t yet met anyone who’s even read through this game, much less actually played it, including myself. So I’m going by the information on the publisher’s website. X-Crawl is a game based on shows like American Gladiator. In this, players play contestants on a pay-per-view reality show who face the dangers created by the “Dungeon Judge”. The game is artificially created — the character deaths aren’t.
  • Ysgarth: A fantasy RPG originally published in 1979 by Ragnarok Games. The focus in this game is on skills, not character classes and the whole system is extremely “crunchy” — meaning you have to crunch a lot of die rolls. Granted, it’s not quite as bad a Rolemaster…. You can try out a ‘lite’ version of the game for free at: Ysgarth: 20th Anniversary Edition.
  • Zombi: Subtitled “The Earth Won’t Hold the Dead”, this game is just what you’d expect. Zombies are taking over the earth and have to survive. Jeff’s Gameblog has a nice writeup about it in his “Five Overlooked RPGs” post.

There it is: A to Z. At least one game for each letter of the alphabet.

So what with this ‘almost’?

Right. The ‘almost’. Well, several of you have posted comments or Tweeted me about games you felt should’ve been on the list. So tomorrow (Friday, 07 Aug 2009) I’m going to post a “reader’s choice” list of lesser-known games. So if there’s anything that’s not here but you felt should be, please leave me a comment on any of these “A-to-Z” posts.

2 responses to “An A-to-Z List of Lesser-Known Roleplaying Games: Part 5

  1. Now you’re talkin’ I have none of these and haven’t even heard of them all.

    There are tons of less-known games, both vintage and new. If I had to recommend some for inclusion tomorrow, I’d stick to the stuff I’ve played and enjoyed. I mean, I could compile a list of old stuff I’ve seen advertisements but never seen like Bushido, or even stuff I own, but haven’t really tried like Halmabreah, but gotta limit myself.

    Dream Park. Based on the Niven&Pournelle novels, I’ve played this for YEARS, and tweaked it quite a bit too.

    Humor games tend to be less known (aside from Paranoia or maybe Ghostbusters which has name recognition going for it): Teenagers from Outer Space, Critter Commandos, Stupor Powers, Rocky and Bullwinkle (does anyone have the hand puppets?)

    Let me stop myself there…

  2. I’m not sure which scares me most:

    1. That I’ve heard of every single one of these games.
    2. That I’ve owned most of them.
    3. That I’ve played a significant fraction of them (roughly half).

    Hell, many I’d still play tonight if someone got a game going.
    .-= Herb´s last blog ..A Demon Haunted World =-.

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