Friday, October 1, 2010

Open Friday: A Waste of Time

I've occasionally expressed a wish that I'd spent more time in my younger days playing Game X or Game Y, but it's been pointed out, for every game I didn't play, there was likely another game I was playing instead. That's probably true. Back then, I played a lot of games and so, if I didn't play much RuneQuest, for example, it's because I was likely too busy playing something else.

So, here's today's question: are there any games you played a lot at one time that, looking back on them, you wished you'd played less, so that you might have played something else instead? In truth, I have a hard time thinking of any game I played a lot way back when that I regret having played. There are a handful of games I played briefly that, in retrospect, I don't think I'd miss if I'd never played them, but those are few and far between. Much as I regret not having taken more notice of some RPGs back in the day, I don't think I'd trade in the large swaths of time I spent playing D&D, Traveller, and Call of Cthulhu to have done so.

How about you?

68 comments:

  1. Car Wars. That was time spent that I could have put to better use watching paint dry or grass grow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wish I played more Call of Cthulhu and less Spin the Bottle. Zing! Just kidding.

    We only played AD&D, MSH, and Top Secret. Now we rotate through AD&D, Gamma World, MSH, Boot Hill, and Star Frontiers. I'd love to add CoC to that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wish I had discovered Tunnels & Trolls around the same time I discovered D&D. I think my ideas of fantasy rpgs would be a little different.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't regret the hours playing Dragonlance Saga (cards), 2e, or 3e.

    I do regret trying to run 4e. That was kind of a disaster and I was really doing it because I thought that's what would bring people out.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I played a lot of MERP and D6 Star Wars. I don't regret it. I do regret not picking up all of the MERP and D6 Star Wars books when I had the chance when my favorite game shop went out of business. I have managed to accumulate all the Star Wars books I want, but MERP is WAY more expensive.

    I didn't play any D&D back in the day, and I don't really regret it, because I'm having a lot of fun right now with my recent discovery of the good parts of it (BECMI/RC/Dark Dungeons).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Any regrets I have result from playing poorly run games.

    Sadly I've wasted way too much time playing in such games.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't regret *playing* HERO System, but I sure feel like I wasted a crapload of time between sessions building characters and items.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I ran a year-long RIFTS campaign. Sometimes I think that was a waste of time. There weren't many competing games out then, though, and it was the first time our group ever roleplayed with girls at the table... so not a total waste of time.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Less: Rifts, Heroes Unlimited, oWoD, (folk) AD&D, WFRP as WFB-lite.
    More: K.A.Pendragon, Ars Magica, HoL, BECMI, WFRP as intended.

    Also: less time arguing over rules, more "dice for it, then play on".

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nope, no regrets except I wish I had more time to game then and now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree with Chris, that any regret I have is playing in badly run games with out of control players - not the game system itself.

    I absolutely wish I had more opportunities to play a larger assortment of games. Unfortunately, there were few of those opportunities in my area. My tight group of gaming friends only liked to hover around Twilight 2000, TMNT, Battletech, Marvel Heros, Car Wars and AD&D. The majority of which was AD&D and I have NO regrets about that.

    We always had good intentions to play other systems (my storage unit is s testament that) but would get bogged down or bored with the rules and go back to an easy fix.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can't remember ever playing a system I didn't like long enough to regret it. Rifts came close, but the group I was in made up for it. Which was usually the case.

    So no. There are games I wish I'd had more time to play, but none I wish I'd played less of.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't regret ANY games I acutally go to play. I only regret not getting to play so many that I wanted to. Now if you wanna talk regrets, my big ones revolve around games/products that I didn't buy when I should have BITD.

    Here's one to bring tears to your eyes - back in '85, my FLGS aquired a mint copy of the original EPT box set. I had read about it in the Holmes FRP book, and was excited to finally get to check it out. I bought it, took it home and was completely bummed out when the rules just seemed to be a slightly tweaked version of D&D. I ended up taking the game back. I still kick myself for that one.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Intellivision Advanced Dungeons & Dragons...

    And trying to do anything with the Intellivision 'computer' module. About all I ever managed was to get the AD&D running character sprite.

    Not exactly what you were after, but undeniably a waste of time.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'd second Car Wars. Played a lot of it, but the only thing I got from it is that I still translate car maneuvers into D1-D6 difficulty.

    Regret not playing more Civilization, Magic Realm, and of course, D&D. I stopped playing D&D at age 9-10, and have only picked it up 25 years later.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I regret ever playing Toon and Paranoia. But mostly I don't regret the time I spent playing game X; I just wish I had also had time (and fellow players who were so inclined) to also play games Y, Z and Q.
    Actually I guess I would say that I regret how much time I spent playing D&D, in that I often wanted to play other games but ended up playing mostly with people who didn't want to play anything BUT D&D.

    ReplyDelete
  17. As I look back, I regret having played so much Shadowrun. I found the universe to be a super Gibson-sque cyber-punk setting... but the play of the game was always a bit disappointing. It felt more like a tactical game than a trye RPG. maybe it was the group I was playing with. I am not sure. But I wish I had spent more time with D&D and Vampire. I used to love playing Vampire, though I never got into the other White Wolf games.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Less: MERP, VtM, WFRP
    More: Battletech, Traveller

    Ciao!
    GW

    ReplyDelete
  19. I regret playing way too much AD&D (1e and 2e) back then and missing out on FASA Trek entirely because of it. I'm glad I found LUG and Decipher Trek later in life. I'm also thankful I was still able to experience games like Chill and Call of Cthulhu despite my AD&D addiction. And although I've missed out on Star Wars roleplaying of any kind to this day (even though I greatly enjoyed the franchise since 1977), I'm sort of ambivalent about that.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Shadowrun. We had a lot of fun with our long-running campaign, but I think that had much more to do with the people and substances involved than with the system or setting.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I did play 2 or 3 sessions of "Vampire The Masquerade" and spent some hours reading the rule books in the mid-90s that I wish I could have back or had never done. What a total waste.

    Also before 4E came out I spent time reading about the upcoming changes and trying to be positive about them even though my instinct told me it would be bad. I never bought or played it but I should have ignored it from day 1.

    As far as D&D goes in hindsight we probably should have limited the number of players in our 1E days to 4 or 5. We had campaigns with 8-10 players that turned out to be too chaotic and ultimately fell apart without being much fun or getting much gaming done despite being together for many hours.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I don't wish to offend anyone, but my choice on this would be MSH- I never liked the universal table, and I disliked playing in the Marvel Universe; not because I disliked the MU* at the time* (1989-90) but, to me, it always felt like we were running around in a never ending issue of "What if?" a comic I never liked at all. I would much much rather play in a homebrew super hero universe. Also I didn't like the way attributes were handled. Really I just didn't like the game.
    *FWIW, these days I'm just not interested in Marvel at all after the Kirby era. Back then I thought Rob Liefield was cool. Shudder.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I don't regret the time I spent playing any particular game, but I do regret having been exposed to some of the greatest AD&D modules before I (or anyone in my group) was good enough to play or run them properly. If only I could temporarily erase my memory of certain modules and play them the way they were meant to be played. The folly of youth!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Shadowrun. We had a lot of fun with our long-running campaign, but I think that had much more to do with the people and substances involved than with the system or setting.

    Seconded, although without the substances. Call of Cthulhu and Shadowrun sucked up most of my time as a young gamer, and while I wouldn't trade in those hours spent battling eldritch evil, the time we spent playing Shadowrun could have been used to play a wider variety of games, or the other games we did play for longer.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I don't have a long history of roleplaying - only a couple of years - but I played A LOT of D&D 4e, and I found it to be a very bland, forgettable system.

    I wish I had had a chance to play some other medieval fantasy type games, but, as far as my group was concerned, D&D was it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I wish that I'd stuck with the Basic version of Marvel Superheroes, instead of using the Advanced version later on. Just thinking about that Advanced version now makes me cranky.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Rifts was pretty much a waste. I also probably spent more time than I should have trying out the various forms of the Amazing Engine and hoping one of them would be great(although Tabloid could be a lot of gonzo fun with the right group).

    I didn't mind Shadowrun although I don't remember a lot about it. I recall 2nd edition seemed to make the whole thing run much smoother but I don't really recall why...maybe we were just more experienced gamers by then.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I don't regret playing any of the RPGs that I played. I don't think any of them were a waste of time as I was spending time with friends. What I do wish I could get back is the time spent learning systems that I was excited about that no one else wanted to play. I am glad I learned the system as I think they made me a better DM, but if you prep a game and never play it, that is a waste of time. Games this happened to me on - MERP, WFRP, Twilight 2000, Traveler, CoC.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "How about you?"

    Vampire. Not so much because of the game, but that the GM...er... "Storyteller" was god-awful.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hm, anything I tried playing/running that I didn't enjoy much, I suppose. VtM was a lot of time invested that didn't pay off. Dragonquest, Toon, Bureau 13, D&D 3.0/3.5, Star Frontiers, Gurps, Ghost Busters. Would've freed up time to play more of the games I liked or wanted to try.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Top Secret was not good at all. Twilight 2000 was simply terrible. Star Frontiers sucked, but the biggest waste was AD&D for me. There were just so many better games out there and the 'basic' D&D at levels 1-10 was simply better as well. One RPG I'm super glad I avoided was 2nd edition D&D.

    ReplyDelete
  32. More CoC, and come to that, more time to game at all.

    ReplyDelete
  33. No real regrets, but in retrospect I think we would have been happier if we had played B/X D&D instead of AD&D.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Like so many here, I don't regret any games I played. I do regret not having played some games more.

    My biggest regret is not having discovered K.A. Pendragon until my 40s. Lots of missed opportunity there since it was the game I was looking for in my 20s.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I don't regret any of the games I missed in the past. Then it was a case of too little money but more than enough time. These days, it's the other way round; and boy, do I have regrets!

    ReplyDelete
  36. This will be a fun topic to talk on.

    I did enjoy the games I played on the most part. However, any games I would of liked to of played more of or try? Yeah, four come to mind quickly (I started at two but kept correcting myself and adding more).

    DC Super heroes is a game I never tried but could have. I played mostly Marvel, so DC seemed sacrilegious and I knew the rules already for Marvel but not DC. Years later I read that DC was actually a well written game. I found some copies, read them, and yeah... Wish I had tried it over other super heroes games like Palladium's (Champions was however a fun one).

    Wish I had played more Werewolf when I had the chance. Wish I had tried D6 Star Wars and played more D20 star Wars. And, I wish I had played more 1e D&D. I played Basic a long time and 2e came out a year and a half later.

    ReplyDelete
  37. No way Delta - The Advanced Marvel was so much fun! My only Marvel regret was that I never got to convert my old Marvel campaign into the 2e version (the powers book, which was more or less a 2e version of the advanced. It had to be influenced by Hero/Champions).

    Damn Marvel was a fun game.

    ReplyDelete
  38. GMing Battlelords of the 23rd Century and playing the Zero rpg.

    *shakes head*

    ReplyDelete
  39. I regret not actually playing most any rpg back in the day. Whether it was AD&D, Gamma World, Traveller, or Boot Hill I was the one always stuck as the GM. I feel like I missed some dimensions to the game not having been on the player side enough back then.

    In terms of game systems I would have say that the Marvel game and perhaps our short Bushido campaign were the least enjoyable games and thus the most expendable.

    ReplyDelete
  40. D&D 3.X

    I didn't really like it at the time, it was just what one played. The entire time I DMed it I tried to get my players to play other things that would better fit my style.

    Now I run Swords & Wizardry. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Less Risk and less Commodore 64 crap. More wargames! (I would say moer D&D, but that is inconcievable!)

    ReplyDelete
  42. I definitely don't feel that way about any tabletop RPGs, though there are certainly games I wish I'd played more or differently.

    Computer games, OTOH, can suck up hundreds of hours with nothing to show for it.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wow, amazed to see so many folks mentioning Rifts as a waste of time.

    I thought I'd be the only one in that camp...

    I have no idea why I thought it would be fun, or why it WAS fun, but my players LOVED it and always wanted to try another go, even though nearly every mini-campaign we did (few ever lasted more than a half-dozen sessions) would end with half the party (or more) dead because they just decided to go insane and see exactly how much destruction they could dish out.

    Well, teenage boys...

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm going to add the nine months I played Vampire: The Masquerade 1e when it first came out to my list. The game was a pretentious, pseudo-intellectual exercise from the start that has only worsened with time, and I'm glad I figured that out early.

    ReplyDelete
  45. THere are groups recently I've regretted playing with, but the games weren't all that bad, in my hard core RPG days my buddies and I had such a great time I have no regrets playing any of the games we tried, including RIFTS. There was one Paranoia disaster, but we got over it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Mine would be Warhammer 40k back in the day. Mostly because of the money I had sunk into it and then one day just stop caring for it.
    In terms of RPGs, I think it's more waiting too long to realize that you're no longer interested in a campaign anymore and if I had left a couple of months sooner so that it doesn't start feeling like a chore.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I regret all the time I spent playing stupid computer games like Wizardry, Might & Magic, Ultima, Telengard, etc. I would have had much more fun playing real RPGs. I guess the computer games were just more convenient - no need to be creative or interact with other people...

    ReplyDelete
  48. I suspect my love affair with Rolemaster could have been better targetted, so many get character ideas, so badly executed.

    I regret not having anyone who wanted to play Tunnels & Trolls.

    And maybe D&D 3.x - it just isn't different enough from 1st ed. I don't regret the last 2 years of 4e we've been playing though. It might not be traditional D&D, but it's a great game to actually play.

    ReplyDelete
  49. D&D 3.x. Looking back I'll never understand what I saw in that game. I don't know what I'd have rather played though, because neither 4e nor the retro-clones were generally in force yet and at the time I had no way of getting earlier editions, and frankly D&D-style fantasy is my poison.

    ReplyDelete
  50. No games I regret playing (which was always mostly [& still is] "Classic" D&D & AD&D2E), but I DO have a game I regret I never had the opportunity to play: Call of Cthulhu. Although a HUGE Lovecraft fan, none of my peers were, & I was never able to find any of the game manuals in my area. Now, with the convenience of the internet, I plan to remedy this soon. Looking forward to sexy Mrs. Claus (my wife) dropping off Cthulhu: Dark Ages under the tree in a couple of months!

    ReplyDelete
  51. No game that I can think of as a candidate for this lasted long enough to regret.

    My opinions of many games that I played a lot have changed since I played them, but I don’t regret having played them. They were fun, and in many cases closer to what I wanted at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I wish I played less of:

    Vampire, Shadowrun, Heroes Unlimited, and MSH.

    I wish I played more of (or at all for that matter):

    RuneQuest, Traveller

    ReplyDelete
  53. Games I regret playing: WH40K and MtG.

    Both games end up an arms race, in other words, how much money are you willing to spend.

    Games I wished I got to play more often: Marvel Super Heroes; Advanced, Star Trek (FASA)(I wish I had the rules), Call of Cthulhu

    Games I never played, but wished I did: DC Heroes, Aftermath, Tunnels & Trolls, Runequest

    ReplyDelete
  54. This is crazy, all those games are awesome.

    Life is too short for regret. Every hour spent gaming is the best way to spend an hour.

    Besides, the assumption here is what? That the game has more to do with a ruleset then your friends?

    I regret nothing!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I don't regret so much what RPGs I played as how I played (or DM'd in 11th grade).

    Yes, computer games, but also not finding (founding) the OSR 9 years ago on moving to a gamer-rich environment.

    ReplyDelete
  56. some heartening answers to what I found a depressing question.

    especially cheering is -C's comment about friends

    ReplyDelete
  57. I agree that Toon wasn't fun for me, but maybe it was a factor other than the game. I'll also include Mekton, Cyberpunk 3e, and Shadowrun.

    I'm surprised by the number of times RIFTS came up. Is it the mechanics or setting... or something else?

    ReplyDelete
  58. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't have gotten a job in the summer of '83. All my friends spent that entire summer playing D&D every day and I went to work on a golf course for $3.35/hr. Ugh. Terrible waste of time.

    ReplyDelete
  59. The only regret was not being able to play every role-playing game. Then and now.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I regret playing so much Rolemaster. I remember thinking Rolemaster was a upgrade from MERP back in the day. What a mistake! Rolemaster was just bloated compared to MERP and way less fun. I guess ICE got what they wanted out of me!

    ReplyDelete
  61. @ Dylan

    RIFTS suffered from the usual clunkiness of Palladium games as well as way too many races and classes and constantly introduced more and more in their supplements and everything was way overpowered and just kept getting worse to satisfy the insane teenager in all of us.

    You had laser pistols that could destroy tanks and your PC could be a dragon, Terminator-like cyborgs or guys marching in glittery armor with a gauss cannon strapped to your shoulder, and you were still underpowered compared to lots of enemies.

    It's basically that game you and your friends came up with after an all-nighter of Mountain Dew/Jolt and pizza in someone's parent's basement figuring "What if we all had plasma cannons that could destroy a dinosaur and went around in a spider-walking tank while Lovecraftian-octopus thingies ran Atlantis and Mexico was secretley controlled by vampires who kept humans as cattle...oh and dogs walk on two legs and talk...with Jedi. And magic. By the way roll to see if you failed in your attempt to patch your trousers---you have to beat 45% with your sewing skill. This is gonna be great!"

    ReplyDelete
  62. I played too much War at Sea (a very simple Avalon Hill game with a Buckets of Dice combat resolution system instead of a CRT) and still do, just because it can be taught in less than a half hour and played to completion with a newbie in about 2 hours.

    ReplyDelete
  63. War at sea was good, Victory in the Pacific was awesome.

    Too much WOW. Could have spent a lot of that time doing almost anything else.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I regret the time I spent playing World of Darkness games.

    ReplyDelete
  65. @ Coldstream

    Thanks for the response. It has been some time since I played RIFTS... oddly enough I was a teenager at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  66. although one rolemaster and a few d&d 3e sessions were afoul. more to do with people and less with system I guess...

    ReplyDelete
  67. Never did like superhero games myself, but had friends who did and thus ended up going through the motions with Champions. A good deal of the AD&D I played was 'thud n'blunder' mindless dungeon bashing - I preferred RuneQuest (2nd ed.) as a fantasy game and wish I had been able to afford Tekumel when I was younger.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.