- Tunnels & Trolls: I never played much T&T and what little I did play was back during the days of the 5th Edition, which is still in print and available from its original publisher. For that matter, the game's original designer is still actively involved with his creation. About how many other RPGs can you say that? (There are other editions of T&T after 5th, which diverge a bit from the game I knew as a young person, but, even so, the divergence is much less than between the TSR and WotC versions of D&D).
- Call of Cthulhu: The biggest change this game underwent was between 1st and 2nd edition, I believe, and that happened way back in 1983 -- more than a quarter-century ago. Since then, the game has remained continuously in print from its original publisher. Each new "edition" is really just a new printing, sometimes with a new layout and art, along with errata and other minuscule changes. CoC remains my ideal RPG in terms of the way it's been sold and developed over the years. I wish more companies employed Chaosium's model.
- Traveller: The classic SF RPG is a weird case. Except for short periods of time, there's always been some game calling itself Traveller in print, but they're not all wholly compatible with one another, either mechanically or thematically, though the differences are small in some cases. Some have noted that, despite the welter of editions and rules sets, Traveller fandom isn't as prone to the "divisive silliness" that D&D generates. Sadly, I think the reason for that is that, by and large, Traveller is a game people talk about but don't play, so the rules are secondary to its setting (and setting assumptions).
- RuneQuest: There was a period between the end of RQ III and the publication of Mongoose's version when no BRP-driven version of the game existed. Now we have both MRQ II and OpenQuest (both of which I own and both of which I ought to review), so the situation is much improved. I have very mixed feelings about MRQ II overall, but they're the same kind of irrational grognardly complaints that impel me to turn my nose up at ascending AC and a single saving throw in Swords & Wizardry, not anything that ought to be taken seriously.
- FGU: With the noteworthy exception of Chivalry & Sorcery (which is in a weird publishing limbo at the moment), almost the entirety of FGU's catalog is still available for purchase through the original publisher and at very reasonable prices. In a few cases, such as Aftermath, there are even some new materials being published for these games!
- Villains & Vigilantes: V&V is alive and well and in the hands of its creators, Jeff Dee and Jack Herman. It's inexpensive and there's new material being created for it.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
As quite a few people correctly pointed out in response to yesterday's post on the focus of the old school renaissance, a goodly number of the RPGs published since the dawn of the hobby are still in print in some fashion or another. Just as importantly, most of these RPGs haven't changed all that much since their initial appearances, which is markedly different than D&D. For example: