10.) SCION: Okay, where do I begin? I love the whole concept of Scion. Playing the children of Gods from multiple pantheons as they progress from Heroes to Gods. The system uses a variant of the Exalted 2nd edition engine with some minor tweaks that make it more modernized. There were, of course, some bugs in the system, mostly in ranged combat. Ranged combat became useless, eventually. This seems to be a major issue in all White Wolf games. Still, the game itself is fun and really inventive. You gain “Epic Attributes” along with boons from your parents. These do things like grant you super stamina, over-the-top intelligence or even the strength to lift cars. Overall, this game gets #10 because of the bugs, but I still love it.
9.) LAST UNICORN GAMES STAR TREK: This is the best version of Trek role-playing, ever. It has a simple system (called the ICON system) that was never the less detailed and deep. Due to licensing issues it was required to be split into different books for different series (TOS, TNG, DS9 [Voyager never got printed]). Character creation was detailed, leading to deeper characters than FASA or Decipher ever managed. It was unfortunate that it went under when WotC bought LUG. It gains #9 because it flies under the radar of many gamers.
8.) LEVERAGE: Leverage, the caper RPG, is one of my favorites for many reasons. The least of these is that I love the show. The game itself is a lot of fun and really focused on running a good con. It focuses more on the planning and execution of the con than on how many dice you can throw around. It uses the Cortex Plus system to great effect, and it could not be a better fit. The character creation itself is done in the premise of a “con in a bottle”. This game gets #8 for similar reasons to LUG Trek, it just is too esoteric.
7.) LEGEND OF THE FIVE RINGS: This may be the best Samurai RPG ever made. The system is the same base mechanic as the 1st edition, with some tweaks. The combat is deadly and quick. Social and mass combat rules in the game are very well done. Kata and the magic sub-systems are very much amazing. This game gets #7 because the genre is just too under-the-radar.
6.) 7th SEA: Another game from AEG, this game is way too much fun! Pirates, sailors and intrigue, this game has it all. It shares a system with L5R, but is unique in its own way. Character creation is smart and all about management. Play focuses on multiple themes, with a deep and rich world around it. This game gets #6 because it is a great game that is sadly no longer in print, thus making it hard to bring in new players.
5.) DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS: Okay, I am about to commit heresy. This is a great game with many great iterations. The latest is wonderful, but I have a special place in my heart for games that are less mechanics focused. D&D is the first game that I played, but in the end I burned out on 3.x and never really recovered. 5th edition is doing a great job of bringing me back around, but for now I am going to leave it at #5.
4.) CLASSIC/OLD WORLD OF DARKNESS: I love the old WoD more than I do the new. The new is just too sandbox-y. I love the metaplot in oWoD, for all the games. I currently run a Mage: The Ascension game that has been going for four months, and we love it. There have been whole sessions where we have not had to roll dice. This system can be as rules-heavy as you need or as light as your group wants. This earns it the #4 slot on my list.
3.) FFG STAR WARS: This is a great game. It doesn’t use normal dice, and I love the specialty dice. The resolution mechanic is nice and simple. The game itself tells a story more than being just a set of rules. Starship combat is fun and exciting, as is personnel combat. I prefer this version even more than I do the old d6 version, which I was very partial to at one time. This puts it at #3 on my list.
2.) CALL OF CTHULHU: I LOVE this game! Who doesn’t love being sent insane or dying at the hands of a great old one? Okay, not everyone does, but this game has a special place for me. It is one of my later finds (as was Lovecraft himself) but it has found its way into my rotation. The Sanity mechanic alone puts this game up at #2, but the BRP system is just a tack on.
1.) THE ONE RING: This has to be one of the best finds for me in the last three years or so! The system is unique and fun, really capturing the feel of Tolkien while doing so. The travel rules are a great addition to the system. The character creation process is quick yet produces Tolkien-esque PCs. The dice, much like in FFG Star Wars, tell a story rather than just being a tool. This game is one for every Tolkien nut or just someone who is tired of trying to emulate him in other systems.
What are some of your favorite games? Do you love some of the same games as me? Did I rank something too high/low? As always, don’t be a dick.