Audio Report: BattleLore! Top fives! Thunder Road!

Neither rain nor sleet nor five consecutive network failures will keep the OCAR staff from doing their appointed rounds… eventually. We spend a good long time in this show on our picks for the top 5 RPGs of all time, and some interesting choices were made indeed. Check it out.


  1. Hi. My list goes like this (in alphabetical order):

    > Call of Cthulhu
    > Dungeons & Dragons
    > GURPS
    > Paranoia
    > Traveller

    They’re there because I consider them THE classics and I’ve played most of them at one edition or other. Deadlands, Shadowrun, Star Wars, TMNT&OS and Vampire were strong contenders and would be included in a Top 10.


  2. Crap. Well, at least you all heard the thought process that understandably led to my confusion.

  3. My top 5:

    5: Toon
    I can’t play this anymore, but definitely ate up a large portion of my teen years. Great silly con game.

    4: Call of Cthulhu d20
    I preface by saying I’ve never played the original- but since it was d20 I found it easier to get players. Also, it contains one of the best adventures ever made.

    3: GURPS
    Though we had mixed success using one genre at a time, GURPS really shined when combining genres from multiple books.

    2: D&D
    What can I say? Besides sleep, probably the most hours spent on a single activity in my life.

    1: Mage the Ascension, 2nd Edition
    A fantastic concept, the only roleplaying game to change my worldview. 2nd edition had the most interesting plot and was so close to having good rules… then 3rd edition fixed the rules but gave us a plot we didn’t want.

    And I’ll second Ticket to Ride: Marklin being the best gamer TtR, though it’s not overly complicated for non-gamers either.

  4. To comment on one of the things you guys didn’t know about, I can definately say that Horrorclix is NOT in either Wal-Mart or Target where I live (Charlotte, NC). As a matter of fact, there is no WizKids products period anymore at Target and they used to carry Race Day and Pirates. This, however, might be a individual store not carrying them because I don’t know if Target or Wally World has a universal stock requirement list.

    My List (probably only relevant to me)
    1. D&D (pick yer poison) – top of the list simply because it was the grandfather of ’em all. Love it or hate it, odds are this was your first RPG and it has influenced everything since.

    2. Vamipre/Werewolf/Mage/WoD – Definately agree with its inclusion simply because, as said, brought in the female audience. It is also directly responsible for the rise in popularity of the LARP

    3. Call of Cthulhu – right after D&D it was probably the second or third RPG for most of us and, even with its clunky system, is still being played today in more or less its original rules. I’d probably also classify it as the first “modern setting” RPG

    4. Torg – dear god I played a LOT of Torg and, when it died, I moved on to Bloodshadows. I always preferred the “universal” system of Torg to GURPS simply because it was less fiddly and didn’t require a calculator to create a character.

    5. Twilight 2000 – It was the first RPG I ever GMed and, as such, it still holds a place in my fond memories.

    The Almost-Made-Its: Star Wars D6, Mutants & Masterminds, Cyberpunk 2020, Castle Falkenstein, Mekton and Deadlands.

    And I guess I’d better go out and get my copy of Vegas Showdown – I’ve got all the others (well expect for Rocketville and Skull n’ Bones which are crap). Avalon Hill/Hasbro can make it up to me by putting out a new edition of Shogun/Samurai Swords.

  5. Does anyone know the resaon why AH are dumping their stock?

    Nexus Ops was certainly an OK game.

  6. Mine?

    5. D&D Birthright and Ravenloft

    4. Castle Falkestein

    3. Call of Cthulu

    2. Legend of the Five Rings

    1. Classic Deadlands

    Honorable Mention: Marvel Superheroes, Pendragon, D6 Star Wars, 7th Sea.

  7. Top RPGs:
    1. Ravenloft (D&D 2nd Edition)
    2. DC Heroes (2nd Edition)
    3. Hero System (Champions)
    4. Marvel Superheroes
    5. Top Secret S/I
    6. Aria Canticle of Monomyth (particularly for world-building)
    7. Harn (for maps!, world, and rules)
    8. GURPS (for supplements, not rules)
    9. CORPS (by BTRC)
    10. Ysgarth 6th edition

    Our game Powerstorm is coming out in January 2007 (delayed because of some bureaucracy with a couple distributors). And as we are developing a customizable but not collectible game, I listened intently to the section of the show on collectibility. I figured I’d share some of our insights on the publishing side.

    We have with our Powerstorm customizable card game tried hard to NOT make it a collectible card game and to market it as NOT a collectible card game. The distributors don’t always understand expandable but not collectible card games and some don’t know how to market them unless you hound them. Oddly enough, with all the collectible hate among many fans and store owners, one of the smaller distributors would not carry our product because it wasn’t collectible (strange but true).

    I think distributors need to really showcase non-collectible games that are expandable (like the ones Tablestar makes). Expandable but not collectible is the wave of the future, but as Chris has said, if that feature isn’t marketed, people will often mistake a customizable game as a collectible game.

    Similarly, retailers need to be open-minded about games which are expandable but not collectible and should not be too quick to lump them in with customizable products, and they should make sure to point out the non-collectible products to their customers.

    I personally would love have loved to play Horror Clix if it were customizable but not collectible. I would have really dug being able to buy specific miniatures without having to pay an arm and leg on shipping that I’ll get stuck with if I buy them one-by-one on Ebay.

    Even though I play CCGs still, I gotta tell you that I’m guilty of what Mike commented on on an earlier show — I generally won’t buy a pair of starters to play as a stand alone game. However, for me, it’s not because I’m afraid I’ll get sucked in. It’s because I’ve seen so many absolutely crappy starter products for CCGs that I generally assume that they have no play value. The last 2-player CCG starter that I thought was really pretty cool was the Teen Titans CCG, which would have been great as a stand alone product.

    I’m sorry to hear Dream Blade doing poorly at Endgame. I would have expected it to do better if it was an expandable board game instead of a collectible game.

  8. I couldn’t resist making two lists:

    Top 5 in my gaming history:

    1. D&D
    2. Call of Cthulhu
    3. Chill
    4. Dream Park/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (tie)
    5. Harn

    Top 5 of all time:

    1. D&D
    2. Call of Cthulhu
    3. Vamprie (WoD)
    4. Deadlands/Legend of the Five Rings (tie)
    5. Traveller

    Probably should have swapped GURPS for Traveller there, but man, I cannot stand GURPS.

    So here is a question – what is going to have to happen to kill off CCG’s?

    CMG’s work for meb becuase they are multi-purpose.

    I use them in my tabletop D&D game, my kids play with the non-rares in the bathtub, I enjoy the minis gameplay as well. Not to mention that just having a Grell mini is cool. And the distribution makes some sense. I need 6-10 Orc minis, compared to 1 huge fire elemental.

    But I have boxes and boxes of CCG cards from the 90s. Doing what? Collecting dust. Who ever would possibly need 180 “Mountain” lands from M:TG? The distribtion just made no sense, and the only people who make an absolute killing are the secondary markets.

    How can we make more games like Killer Bunnies, and less games like the BSG CCG? Ahhh!


  9. “How can we make more games like Killer Bunnies, and less games like the BSG CCG? Ahhh!”

    The sad thing is that I honestly think WizKids could have sold boatloads of BSG if they HADN’T made it collectible but made it expandable instead. Just look at the success FFG has had with Blue Moon fer godsake!

  10. One would think Jordan Weissman has a very special Alarm Clock that endlessly flashes “GET OUT NOW!” when its time to cash his chips and get out of the game. That’s two.

  11. Interesting hearing some of your comments of thre top 5 RPGs of all time.

    I heard the first of the top 5 lists on the podcast whilst driving home, and thought about my list.

    I’d say that my list is:

    Runequest (or perhaps Glorantha as I mean the games based in the world)
    Empire of the Petal Throne (again it is the world so all the versions are included)
    Star Wars (from WEG)

    I nearly put Paranoia on the list. If I had it would have been interesting that 3 of the games were from the same publisher (West End Games). Looking back they were real inovators.


  12. Just listened to the podcast. Well, first half at least.

    Chris mentioned using PTA to run a Shadowrun game. That’s what we did in our current game — we ran it as a pilot episode to get an idea of who the characters were and how they related to their parent company. We also ran a PTA/Shadowrun session when we had a few gamers not show up. With the PTA game, we had about a scene every twenty minutes. In the Shadowrun game, we were going about two hours per scene, all because of the game mechanics. It took us about four sessions (including the character creation session) to get through a SR4 rules only mission; the PTA SR sessions had so much more story.

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