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:


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


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


  • 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.

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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