7 RPGs Played and Run

Martin over at Gnone Stew drew my attention to this #7rpgs and #7rpgsrun thing and I thought it looked like an interesting exercise, though I don’t analyse my RPG collection to the extent that Martin does typically. The idea is that you list the 7 RPGs you have played the most, and the 7 RPGs you’ve run the most, and think about what that tells you about your gaming habits. So, here’s my breakdown:

Played

  1. Call of Cthulhu
  2. Dungeons & Dragons 3.X
  3. Dark Heresy
  4. World of Darkness
  5. Unknown Armies
  6. Ars Magica
  7. Pendragon

GMed

  1. Call of Cthulhu
  2. Unknown Armies
  3. Rogue Trader
  4. Reign
  5. A|State
  6. Paranoia
  7. Deathwatch

Thoughts

  • Call of Cthulhu, in the circles I’ve circulated in, is even more of a big-tent RPG than D&D is. More or less all the gamers I’ve ever played with to more than an even moderately regular extent have been happy to play or run CoC – to the point where Call of Cthulhu would likely have been at the top of both lists if I’d compiled them at any arbitrarily-chosen point in the last 12 years or so.
  • D&D 3.X grabs the number two spot under “played” because I’m counting GMed campaigns and one-shots in Neverwinter Nights – which, granted, isn’t the traditional RPG format but when you put a GM in the mix it’s surprising how well it scratches the itch (plus having the game engine there to automate most of the system stuff makes D&D 3. X much more bearable). If NWN doesn’t count then I reckon that’d knock D&D 3.X down to seventh place.
  • Likewise, World of Darkness includes a Vampire LARP Dan once ran but I think I’m safer in arguing that that’s part of the WoD family than arguing NWN counts as playing D&D 3.X.
  • Interesting how quickly the various Warhammer 40,000 RPGs have managed to get spots on the list. It’s worth noting that for a substantial chunk of my university career my gaming time was spent playing and running various homebrewed freeform LARPs and tabletops, which obviously I haven’t included in this exercise, whereas in recent years the “only so many hours in the day” factor have made me appreciate published games much more.
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3 thoughts on “7 RPGs Played and Run

  1. Sadly, a comprehensive look at my gaming career doesn’t even fill either list.

    Most Played:
    =1) Call of Cthulhu, Deathwatch
    =3) After Sundown, Monstertown, Dying Earth

    Most Run:
    1) D&D 4E
    2) Call of Cthulhu
    3) D&D 3.5 / Pathfinder
    4) Hellcats & Hockeysticks

    It doesn’t really tell me very much, except that me and my friends have been too busy slash disorganised to do much gaming since I got into it.

    Re: Call of Cthulhu, I’m inclined to speculate it might be because it combines a pretty loose ruleset, a familiar setting, and a wide genre scope. So it’s relatively easy to get into, and you can find a playstyle that suits most groups somewhere between serious horror, pulp and Carry On Cthulhu.

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