Friday, July 22, 2011

Role Playing History Part I (An Introduction)

When it comes to games, I'm something of a grognard. Oh, I'm not a crotchety old geezer who still insists that RPGs went into a state of decline around the time AD&D 2nd Ed came out. In fact, I don't run any system, outside of Call of Cthulhu, that is older than the last decade. I've tinkered with One Roll Engine (A Dirty World), 3.0/3.5 D&D (including a lot of 3rd Party stuff. I've run d20 Modern, all d20 versions of Star Wars, Savage Worlds, Mutants & Masterminds, FATE (Spirit of the Century/Dresden Files), and World of Darkness/Vampire (more new than old).

I'm meaning that my entry into the hobby, like a lot of gamers in the 1960's and 1970's came from board wargames, not RPGs. My first wargame was Avalon Hill's The Russian Campaign. From there I moved into a lot of games at a time when Avalon Hill and Simulations Publications Inc. (SPI) were still going strong.

My first purchase of an RPG was the Black Box, three Little Black Book Traveller set. I didn't really know what I was getting into when I bought it. I'd heard of, and even played a little D&D, but SciFi was more up my alley at the time. I'd already devoured a lot of Heinlein, Asimov, H Beam Piper, etc., and Traveller was right up that alley. From Traveller, I moved on to AD&D, and then from there into a bit of GURPS, gave up the hobby for a while, moved back into games in the late 1990's, and have basically never left.

But my first love, and fondest memories were of laying out a card table, and playing games of Panzerblitz, Squad Leader, Russian Campaign, and other board wargames, and reading history.

What I'm hoping to do with this series, is point out, from a very amateur historian's point of view, a few settings, and system suggestions for running games based at least loosely on historical topics that I've come to know, and why such a game would be cool. I'll have a post up next time when we discover the ancient world, specifically speaking, RPGs in the Stone Age to early Bronze Age (from the rise of Egypt and Sumeria, circa 4000-3500 BCE up to roughly 1500-1000 BCE).

Feel free to comment out there if there's anything I've missed, or if you have other ideas.

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