Let’s start another week with the #RPGaDay2015 Challenge! I assure you Michael is still around, I just tied him up and put him in the basement while I take over for a month with this project. I hope you are all having as much fun with it as I am. On to the week of favorite, and we begin with…
Day 17 – Favorite fantasy RPG
I’ve said it before, despite playing in different genres and systems, and over the last 10 years about half of that time has been spent playing either sci-fi or supers games, my poison of choice has always been fantasy. It was a passion of mine before discovering RPGs, from literature, to movies and comics I devoured everything I could. Before RPGs I had read Tolkien and some Robert E. Howard. I had watched the Lord of the Rings animated film when I was 5 years old, Conan the Barbarian in theaters in 1982 (despite the R rating) and the comics based on the characters were among the first comics in English I read. Excalibur was among my favorite films (another R rated movie, and I am so grateful I was allowed to watch them) and to this day I can quote parts of the dialogue. Wizards I watched on TV along with the Hobbit animated movie (The Return of the King animated version I discovered in VHS).
Clash of the Titans began my love affair with Greek mythology and was the reason I read children’s versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey. I was a huge fan of the Simbad movies. I played with the World’s Greatest Super Knights toys as a kid and had AD&D action figures before I knew what D&D was!
Perhaps the fantasy movie I watched the most as a teenager was Fire and Ice, and mind you, this was during the days of the Video Club, you really didn’t buy movies and back then, and I didn’t have two VHS recorders to copy the film… I rented it countless times! Fire and Ice along with the Elfquest collections were formative in my concepts of fantasy.
This trip down memory lane is simply meant to show you that I was destined to fall in love with Fantasy RPGs, especially with the very first game I played, Dungeons & Dragons. To this day, D&D in all it’s iterations, from Basic, to AD&D, AD&D 2nd edition, D&D 3rd edition, 3.5, Pathfinder and assorted retroclones, Dungeons and Dragons has always been the game I return to. The right way to look at it is, I play D&D, when I take a break, I play other games!
The astute reader might notice that there is one edtion missing from the previous list, D&D 4th edition. I didn’t hate it, it was just not for me, and I’ve talked about this at length, so it’s not worth repeating. However D&D 5th edition has me interested in the brand once more. Now I can play, Pathfinder, or D&D 5e, or Microlite20, or my favorite retorclone Basic Fantasy RPG. No matter what happens, I think I’ll be playing D&D for a long time…
So, what’s your favorite fantasy RPG? Let us know in the comments.
See you all tomorrow for the next favorite RPG, sci-fi. Care to take a guess? Come back to find out…
I started with the “BECMI” boxed sets of Dungeons & Dragons back in the early 1980s, and I’ve played and run every edition since then, also including Pathfinder and various old-school Renaissance retro-clones.
While I’ve tried many other role-playing games, I agree that D&D is still the big one that pulls us — and the hobby — back into its orbit. My favorite editions are AD&D2 for early worldbuilding, D&D3.x/D20 for wide-ranging support, and D&D5e (so far) for trying to streamline rules and combine the best of its predecessors.
Science fiction might be my first love in terms of literary genres, but there are reasons why most of my groups over the years have repeatedly revisited classic fantasy tropes: They’re familiar, they can be recombined in endless ways, and like the best tales, they’re timeless!
Agreed, I think that familiarity with the tropes and the shared concept of “fantasy” fostered by the mainstream ideas is a big draw. Whenever I play supers, sci-fi, I find the expectations are more diverse and often conflicting… Thank for the comment!