Games I DO NOT regret buying

edited August 2007 in Story Games
To add one more thread, I thought it might be interesting to list the games I don't regret buying, especially the ones that are not so obvious, or perhaps the ones that were bought, played (or not), and no longer played or even gotten rid of.

I certainly don't regret buying OD&D and AD&D. Got many years of good play.

I don't regret buying Fantasy Hero even though I just got rid of it last week. I did have an enjoyable game with it, but realized why it wasn't a good match for my interests. I learned something about what I want from a game from Fantasy Hero.

I don't regret buying Dogs in the Vinyard. I originally purchased the PDF as an example of a game that really laid out what the game was about (not the setting bit, but what the actual play experience was about) and how to play the game. I ended up trying it out, and enjoyed it. I may not play it for a while, but I will play it again.

I don't regret RuneQuest. I've had some lousy gaming with RQ, but I've also had some really good gaming. Plus, the chat I had with Greg Stafford when I had him sign my 1st ed. copy at Origins a few years ago was probably worth the $8.40 I spent on the book, and the incremental storage and transport costs that are part of the TCO.

The games I regret are the ones that never got played, or worse, never even got read. These are examples of games that I really did get my money's worth out of.



  • There's very, very few games I regret buying. Even if I never run them, they either have good ideas or are simply pleasurable reads. However, some highlights that I particularly don't regret buying:

    Nobilis. The best game in my library. Now that it's hard to find for a reasonable price, I'm even more pleased to have this in my stable of games.

    Spirit of the Century. I pre-ordered this with very little to go on, except some RPGnet praise. But it's blown me away, and though I didn't expect to find a pulp system to not only replace, but top the out of print Adventure!, I'm glad there is one, and pleased I have it.

    HeroQuest. I got this hearing good stuff about the system, not sure what I would do with it, and found a system that I will be using as a generic system for quite a few other games I wanted to run.

    Little Fears. Although avidly awaiting the new version, despite some issues I have with the resolution system, it captures playing children really well and really helps put players into that mindset.
  • Dogs in the Vineyard. I may or may not ever play this game, but I didn't buy it primarily to play, I bought it to raid ideas from, and it delivered. There's some great stuff in there.
  • Polaris. Because the Key Phrases rock my world, and ice elves fighting to save the world from demons is cool. Plus, really epic tragedy can be very satisfying.

    Seth Ben-Ezra
    Great Wolf
  • I haven't bought a lot of the games I've got because I worked on them, but I guess I paid for them in work, in part, so:

    • The Mountain Witch. This is a slick, excellent system for crashing characters together in a bloody explosion.
    • Dogs in the Vineyard. It's a real role-playing game. It gives you the tools to say stuff about violence.


    • Nine Worlds. This helped me figure out a bunch of stuff, even if I've only played it once.
    • Sorcerer, particularly Sex and Sorcery. That book is really important.

    Games I won't regret buying, come Gen Con:

    • Cold City. It's taken the Mountain Witch and refined it. Plus, it's beautiful. It caricatures 1950s society the way Shock: caricatures our own.
    • Polaris. Why don't I own this game? I love it.
    • Steal Away Jordan. This is an extraordinarily strong freshman effort. Everyone reading this board should help Julia sell out. She'll be at the Forge booth.

    And some oddballs:

    • Albedo: Platinum Catalyst. Furry hard military sci fi. I know. It sounds off the wall. But the illustrations are good and it has a total gem of a rule that the designers didn't even recognize.
    • Transhuman Space. This is basically a catalogue of clever SF ideas.
  • OVA wound up sitting on my shelf for something like a year or more, but when I started up a campaign using it a couple of months ago it turned out to fit my group very well.

    When D&D3e came out I actually pre-ordered it on Amazon (with a nice discount). I doubt I could convince my group to play it anymore, but we did in fact get a good amount of mileage out of the game at the time, including a Planescape: March of the Modrons campaign, and a mishmash of different published D&D settings that I took to calling "Forgotten Greylance Dragonhawk Realms."

    I only played The Shab-al-Hiri Roach once, but it was made of pure awesome when I did. Some of my friends were very, very skeptical, but it went beautifully.
  • Posted By: Joshua A.C. Newmanit has a total gem of a rule that the designers didn't even recognize
    Please share.
  • Posted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanSteal Away Jordan. This is an extraordinarily strong freshman effort. Everyone reading this board should help Julia sell out. She'll be at the Forge booth.
    For my birthday, everyone gave me money to spend at GenCon. This game was #3 on my shortlist.

    I saw an early playtest draft. The mechanic that sticks out the most was from chargen.

    You don't pick your name. The GM does.

    That's serious stuff right there.

    Seth Ben-Ezra
    Great Wolf
  • I haven't bought that many yet, but:

    Dogs in the Vinyard - for the reasons mentioned above.
    Polaris - Ritual phrases as pacing mechanic. That is awesome. Also, a game about how you lose, rather than how you win. very cool.
    Burning Wheel - Oodles of great stuff. Duel of wits mechanic rocks. Fight mechanic rocks.
    The Riddle of Steel - I really want to play this one and see how bloody the combat is.
  • Contenders Contenders Contenders. I've gotten more pleasure per dollar from this game than anything short of my Andy Kitkowski-sponsored coke-fueled prostitute binge in Osaka in '02.
  • Mike, in Albedo, you name your hit points. The designers don't realize it, but mechanically, the other guys in your squad are an expendable, ablative resource. They each have a name and a job to do. And they die before you do. I've wanted to do a game based all around this concept.

    The game is a pretty bog standard system otherwise; it's about fighting and trying to make it through, though there are no rules to make the challenge more than a squishy, GM-improvised obstacle. But before you get hurt, other people do. Other characters who, presumably, you get to know and like, or at least feel sympathy for.

    carry has a lot of this built in, as well, and of course is a more focused and gnarlier game about war due to its Narrativist underpinnings, but Albedo has this brilliant idea that I think can be really excellently applied elsewhere.

  • Sorcerer - though boy, I regretted it for the first six months after buying it. Now that I actually have run a couple games with it and can see how all the pieces fit together, it's an incredibly good game.

    Shadow of Yesterday - I only played this a few times, but it was so much fun! My only "regret" is that I can't play it more often.
  • edited August 2007
    Posted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanMike, in Albedo, youname your hit points. The designers don't realize it, but mechanically, the other guys in your squad are an expendable, ablative resource. They each have a name and a job to do. And they die before you do.
    *stops and reads*

    *scrolls back up, casts "ignore furries" and clicks the link*

    That sounds awesome.

    Edit: I guess if that's all there is to it that's unique, you could easily mod Spirit of the Century to do that - stress boxes become your squad, and anything that gets past that to consequences is stuff that hurts you.
  • Yeah, lots of things could be modded that way, but it's a little deeper than that if you want it to work really well. You wants each HP to have not only a name and history, but associated abilities that they add to you. Like, maybe each one has a social function and a military function; like he's the clown and the heavy machine gunner.

    Also, there's a fascist empire made of racial purity nuts. They're rabbits.

  • The ILR are evil rabbit badasses. I read all the Command Review comics and was really thrilled to see the Albedo game, but it was unplayable, by me at least.
  • I guess the rabbits would need lebensraum.

    Minions-as-hit-points is a great concept, not unadjacent to one I was groping towards. Consider this one snaffled.

    Now, back to the games people don't regret buying.
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