Age of Ravens: RPG Term Limits (Part 1)

Back in 2015 I made a list of my Top 100 RPGs for Age of Ravens. Not necessarily my favorite games, but the ones I wanted to play the most. At the time I intended to check in on a regular basis, something I forgot over time. At that point I’d only played a little bit online—I hadn’t even played my first game with the Gauntlet and I’d only tried one or two PbtA games.

Age of Ravens: RPG Term Limits (Part 1)

It’s weird looking back at that snapshot. In the interest of full disclosure, I present my 1-25 post from October 2015 (along with links to the entries for 26-100). Next week I will figure out my current top 25 and we’ll see if there’s any overlap. I’ll also look back at why some of these have fallen or risen. At a glance, I’m not sure there is…

I’m especially curious about what everyone else was into four years ago.


Neo voice … woah

2015 was a gaming life time ago! :stuck_out_tongue:

For me It’s pre PBTA that I discovered mid 2016. PBTA for me was the 2nd big revolution in play and GM style.(the 1st was world of darkness, pcs linked by social groups not task roles, and open advancement after char gen).

I was running Pathfinder, but struggling with the focus on min-max, not my style.

As for games I wanted to check out?.. newer versions of games I’d played when I was younger, so latest edition of rolemaster, champions, runequest and traveller.


My memory chronology isn’t what it was but 2015 was about the time of my PbtA awakening. My list was mostly settingd I wanted to play but couldn’t get a group (or myself) to invest in system &/or setting learning … So

Nights Black Agents
Achtung Cthulhu
Part-time God’s
7th Sea (and stuff in the same early modern time-frame: Witch Hunter, Solomon Kane, Clockwork & Chivalry)
Song of Ice & Fire
Something steampunky … Rippers, perhaps
Ghosts of Albion
Dresden Files

I’ve begun to tick some of these off recently through the kind indulgence of Gauntlet GMs & players, but there’s enough left on the list to keep me ticking over for a while.


Four years ago? I think I was just about to play my first game of D&D - or any RPG ever - a 4th Edition campaign that only ran 3 sessions but had a lot of fun in the first two (4E was not my jam) thanks to the Zeitgeist Adventure Path we were playing in.

I’m very curious about Gotham Central though. What system would you use for that? Would be in my top 25 perennially! All I can think is Gumshoe.

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Wow, interesting to see you include MERP on the 2015 list. I have a lot of love for the old 1e and 2e MERP books but haven’t ever found anyone else who was that interested.

I agree with what you said in the post: running games in a Middle Earth setting is intimidating. It’s also true that a lot of folks are pretty done with Tolkien at this point, which doesn’t make things easier.

I was all over the place with the Indie stuff, playing occasionally at Games on Demand and convention one-shots, but campaign-wise, it was D&D 5e (because I owned the store and we ran it weekly) and an epic, ongoing, biweekly campaign of Marvel Heroic that I still very much miss.

Looking back to 2015 is extra weird for me because I was neck-deep in the store(s) and they filled my life in a way that feels almost inconceivable to me now that they’re behind me. All of my gaming was basically in the store itself or the store’s gravity well, if you follow. For me it’s not that the games are really different, new games cycling through and old ones falling away with a few perennials soaking up the lion’s share of my time has been a constant of my life. It’s that the entire shape of my gaming calendar and my goals in running and playing have altered pretty radically.

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I’ve thought about GUMSHOE and I know Tom recently did a playtest of a police procedural game of some kind. I want to figure out how to balance the policework, daily lives, and the dangerous presence of vigilantes (and the villains who love them). I’m not sure yet.

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Ran a lot, a lot of Rolemaster and then a little of MERP. Actually at the end of 2017 I ran two 4 shots of a stripped-down version of RM set in Slumbering Ursine Dunes. It was part of my “Retrocember” and most of the players who hadn’t tried the system were flabbergasted that anyone would play in long-term. It cemented for me that it isn’t something I want to go back to.

But since I wrote this post I did run a Middle Earth campaign set in 1640 (the MERP timeline) using our Action Cards homebrew. So it was a lot more “Fate-ish”. We had a good time, but eventually the lore wore me out.

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I think there are some interesting things in the One Ring rules and the 5e version is, I think, interestingly different from native 5e - not enough for me to play it!!!, but interestingly different.

Specifically it informed a hack I termed ‘Fateful Journeys’ to make trips more interesting in Fate.

I still have a lot of the MERP stuff from the … late 70’s? which I occasionally get out and look at - the Mines of Moria blew my mind as a way to detail an impossible large volume of ‘city’ without mapping it all. Brilliant book on which every Dwarven hold I’ve ever needed has been based.


Mutant City Blues … I think @Will_H - I have it but (inevitably) have not played it.


Late 80s, probably. MERP debuted in 1984:


With time perspectives contract - it feels like MERP has been on my shelves forever.

I ran MERP years ago, it was a cut down version of rolemaster with only 10 character and spell levels.

We enjoyed it, though it suffered from the same issue as rolemaster, way too much detail on skills and critical hits/misses, but very little on personality/motivations/story.

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I had just given up on Marvel Heroic (Cortex Plus). My players were too much about how they could try to talk me into using their best dice in every situation.

I was very into Apocalypse World 1e then jumped back into D&D with 5e and Dungeon World. These got me into video and F2F rpgs again. I had created a mini-campaign for D&D 5e but found everything about it worked better in Dungeon World. That’s what dropped me down the PbtA and OSR rabbit holes out generally out of the mainstream rpgs.

Edit: In 2016, I happened upon the Gnomes Ponderings blog. I followed that until the obsession with print and play games. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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