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RPGaDay 2023 # 5
THE OLDEST GAME I'VE PLAYED
This is my fifth post for RPGaDay 2023, if you’re not sure what that is you can find Autocratik’s blog post about it by clicking here.
Basically a list of prompts is provided to generate discussion around RPG topics, with creators making a blog post, video or podcast each day during the month of August, the list of prompts is included below:
The Oldest Game I’ve Played
Now, I’ve played an awful lot of Retroclones, modern re-prints and homages to older versions of Dungeons & Dragons and I’m pretty fond of them, I’m not really sure if they count though, since—whilst D&D is pretty old—the actual versions that I’ve played aren’t really that old in and of themselves.
So I would say the oldest game I’ve probably played is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, which was originally published in 1986, although I never had a copy of the original game, I got a copy of the later reprinting from Hogshead Publishing, who were in business from 1994 to 2002, although the reprinting was pretty much the same game. It was a dark, fantasy roleplaying adventure game set in the world of Warhammer Fantasy Battles but with a much darker, grimy feel that the cartoony, four-colour version of the world portrayed in the miniatures game.
It used a variant of the WFB system with the players having stats that were either 1-10 or 1-100, and each player choosing a career, which gave them skills and certain benefits that they could then advance through before either moving sideways into another basic career or perhaps attaining one of the exalted advanced careers (the most obvious example here is the apprentice becoming a full-fledged wizard). The game was pretty deadly with some truly gruesome critical hit charts and was populated with brutal orcs and cunning, warp-mutated skaven and other chaos creatures who sought to conquer and undermine the civilised world.
I remember—as someone who played a lot of Fantasy Battle with his friends but had become increasingly disenchanted with it—being really hooked on the idea of exploring a dark version of the world we were familiar with, but doing it as a small party of adventurers rather than the faceless force moving a huge army around a board, but sadly I never really got a decent campaign going to the best of my memory. My friends were willing to give it a go for a bit, but hadn’t really been bitten by the roleplaying bug in the same way and we always ended up returning to Fantasy Battle.
Still I really loved the game and may get around to doing a review at some point in the future.
I gathered a couple of supplements for this editions and then later bought most of the Second Edition which was distributed by Green Ronin publishing, which made some changes but still felt like a spiritual successor to the game.
The Third Edition by Fantasy Flight Games had loads of cards and other stuff that made it feel more like a boardgame to me so I never really looked into that.
More recently (I think in about 2017) Cubicle 7 released a Fourth Edition of the game.
I have to confess I’ve not really delved into the latest edition since the pattern of licensed books from Games Workshop seems to be that they flourish for a brief time and then GW yanks the license back before farming it out to someone else and startig the whole process again a few years later, although I have heard positive things about the Cubicle 7 version so maybe I’ll try to pick up a used copy of their version at some point in the future.
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