Wow. If I was to point to one single thing that influenced me more than anything else, it would be D&D, both playing it as a kid, trying not to play it as a teenager (to be cool) and then moving on to better games as an adult (better being Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for the most part) and just all around gaming– D&D was the gateway drug! I’ve spent some of my tiny amount of leisure time this week going through some of my old RPG shit and trying to ID the path I took through the hobby. I think it’s this (bold means I feel it was a huge influence):
D&D Basic (blue book) > Moldvay Basic (boxed sets) > AD&D (sort of, since it really fucking sucked and we just used the Basic rules with the AD&D monsters) > Gamma World (ahem…shoplifted copy I shamefully admit..)> Champions > Star Frontiers > Paranoia > Call of Cthulhu > Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles > Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (this lasted all through college and beyond) > Werewolf > Feng Shui > Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition > Exalted (this got me back into RPG’s seriously around 2006) > Dresden Files/FATE > Marvel Heroic Roleplaying > Carolina Death Crawl > ???
Now, of course, it’s all about the narrative style games and I haven’t played a D20 in years. 13th Age will be the first delve into a modern D20 since a single session of Pathfinder about 4 years ago. Of course, 13th Age IS a mash up of narrative and D20 crunch, so we’ll see how it plays vs FATE and vs 3.5.
That said, there have been many awesome RPG’s that came out in the last couple years and even just last year besides 13th Age: Fate Core, Numenera, Fiasco, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Carolina Death Crawl are all huge additions to the genre that are moving the ball forward– it’s really tough to pick what to even run!
Looking forward to 2014, we’ll have D&D Next, Exalted 3 and what looks like a crazy interactive game by Robin D. Laws: HillFolk. While I feel the new version of D&D is already out and it’s called 13th Age, I’m interested to see what D&D Next is able to do. Let’s face it, Pathfinder has the ‘miniature heavy’ version of the game locked so Next will either bring it back towards the OD&D versions already handled by Labyrinth Lord and Lamentations of the Flame Princess or try to take Pathfinder head on (which is sort of 4th edition after all).
I know some of you have already been roped into many of my experimental games (playtest of fate core, carolina death crawl for example) and it will continue…