Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nostalgia Gaming

I have watched with some amusement at the re-release of Dragon Warriors. It was devoured at Dragonmeet like mana from heaven by men of a certain age who really should have known better. I never owned Dragon Warriors but I have played it once and whilst the session itself ranks up there with root canal surgery in my pantheon of unpleasant experiences, the system itself never struck me as anything special. It was there, doing its thing, but nothing that couldn't be done with D&D or Runequest or one of a dozen other generic fantasy systems. So why all the excitement? Could it be that a full set of Dragon Warriors has been quite a rare thing and it has created a mystique that has to be sated? I don't know.

In some ways the same holds true for other games - the current incarnation of D&D is currently rocking our game group's world and providing a remarkable amount of entertainment. If you had told me a year ago we would be enthusiastically using a 'battleboard' and maps and we would have collective gasps of excitement when a large mini was revealed by the GM, I would have laughed in your face. However, we are. Do we play the game straight? I think we do, in that we don't really change the rules of the game, we just bolt on some techniques we have learned from playing other games to add to it.

Yesterday I picked up the pocket rulebook version of Traveller by Mongoose (which is abbreviated sometimes to MongTrav....). I'm a sucker for pocket rulebooks but this seems to have really hit it just right. Traveller is an old favourite of mine and there is something amazingly comfortable about UPPs, hex character stats and those strings of planet stats. At Dragonmeet, I picked up (as in, lifted up, rather than bought!) Starblazer Adventures ... its a fucking BRICK. Pocket Traveller is a slim booklet. What would I find more useful? Moreover, which would I be more likely to play? MongTrav, almost certainly.

I wonder if there are any other old-school games on the horizon that could be resurrected for the modern age? I know Gregor Hutton's game-in-planning 'Good Morning Britain' is a supers game set in the 80s which uses the Marvel Superheroes system, polished up and made nice. Anyone for a new version of Rolemaster? No? Really.....?

Just think of the crit tables!!


Fandomlife said...

I never really liked Traveller that much.

Next time we meet bring Starblazer though, I'm interested in seeing that.

Magus said...

Traveller was the first SciFi roleplaying game I played back in the early 80's and I have loved it ever since (especially as I look at my collection of the little books of the first edition). No other version has come close to this original.

Dragon Warriors has the nostalgia value as being a very early British produced roleplaying game. It was made in the UK, published by Corgi and cheap compared to DnD at the time. Equally, it was simple to play, had a pseudo-Arthurian feel and had a good series of adventures (apart from the first one!)

If you plan to run Traveller, count me in!

Fandomlife said...

I should update my comment. I'll play traveller. We played a lot of traveller.

It's just not overly mt thing to run.

I always remember the 'seemed like realistic physics' planet creation rules and the quite complex ship design rules.

Vodkashok said...

Just to confirm

(a) No plans to run Traveller in the near future (City of Kings and Seven Curses to be done yet)

(b) Never bought Starblazer, just picked it up. Sprained wrist


Fandomlife said...

Besides, he needs to run a superhero game before he does Traveller.

Magus said...

:) Just commenting that Neil's GM style would be mega suitable to run Traveller.