Actual Old Play – Some Gaming Nostalgia

I was cleaned the house today and decided to finally junk (well recycle) some of my old gaming archives that haven’t been used in a decade or more. Many of these were Dragon Magazines (I have previews from D&D 3.0 in there) and some Shadis as well. An issue where John Wick was just an Editorial Assistant and Jeff Tidball wrote an article “Character for Characters: Get Some!”

The other bits in there were binders full of campaign material that spanned nearly as long. So, before they are mulched, here’s one last hurrah for a couple old games:

1994 – Champions – My Deathblow rip off

I was reading a lot of Image comics (Wildcats, Backlash, Bloodpool, Bloodstrike, Codename: Stryke Force, Deathblow, Gen13, New Men, Riptide, Stormwatch, Team 7, Wetworks, and my all time favorite WildC.A.T.S.). There was a big focus in many of these comics that scientific exploration into human DNA and nuclear power could genetically breed super heroes. And boy did I dig that. I also love government conspiracies that try to cover up old mistakes. So here was my premise: During the Vietnam war experiments were done and considered a failed attempt. Everything was covered up but what REALLY happened was that the second generation (the children of the subjects) were born with crazy, off the radar powers. Figuring out that somehow, something worked a new generation of scientists endeavored to reproduce and improve upon the old guard’s work.

The players: Albert E. Kendal, a cyberneticist, Lisa “Butch” Cassidy, a blind bad ass, Drake “if it’s got an engine I can drive it”, Colin, the ninja and Bullet, the metabolically enhanced speedster. They were all characters on the new wave of more moderate superpowers, recruited by the old guard of stop the new experiments, only to find out that their patron was the devil (well, at least the figurative devil) himself. Lots of conflicting (and usually personal) agendas and everyone arguing over who should control power. Meanwhile the two children of the original experiments, unaware of how to control their powers, were causing all kinds of wanton destruction.

Here’s to Lawrence, who let me take his ninja through dream sequences, visions and all sorts of other demeaning torture with the hope that maybe his father was still alive.

1996 – Champions – Alex’s Universal Soldier rip off

My friend Alex loved the Unisol moves (enough to see 2 and 3 that had neither Jean Claude nor Dolph in them). He loved them so much that we made a champions game out of the idea… and I was the escaped experiment named Rip Cord. The first, last and only operative left with his memories in tact. So when the control chip broke, so did Rip Cord. Yeah, it was the Borne Identity, La Femme Nakita, and every other “they owned me and I’m going back to tear them down” story, but I loved it.

Here’s to regenerating characters… that your GM can run over with a Jeep… a couple times!

1999 – Ars Magica – The Passion Plays

A bit obsessed myself with the passion plays, this adventure included the murder of the Bishop of Sussex (Geoffrey Baker) framed on a parish priest (William of Rutland), the inquisitive presence of Roger Bacon, and the torrid affairs of two boys playing out the Magdalene plays. The players saved innocents from unfair but not unlawful persecution from the Bishop (before his death) and intervened between Bacon and the murder, quickly gaining him as an ally.

I had twenty pages printed out listing every saint’s day as well as the rule of Henry III and his patronage of scholarship. In my head this game was fascinatingly rich. In play the players were bored as all the connections I thought were obvious were either lost on them or uninteresting.

In honor of my Ars Magica game and for your health, always remember February 23rd, Saint Polycarp’s day (Patron Saint against Dysentery)

2002 – Dungeon and Dragons 3.0 – Dal of the Crater

Dal was a sorcerer set in the world of Acheron’s Call that we ported over to D&D. He and his companion Kaia left the Crater (a significant geographic landmark) and were swept up into the politics of Naydesa Castle, including secret societies, plots to overthrow the king and (if I remember correctly) alternate dimensions.

Some highlights were the highly superstitious people of Craterlake Village, Fangar Pit, the Town of Lastbreath and Blood Rim Planes.

Here’s to Dal, the first Sorcerer born in Craterlake village for untold years… and I’m pretty sure a sorcerer that was part dragon before such prestige classes ever existed.

2 thoughts on “Actual Old Play – Some Gaming Nostalgia”

  1. Given your fondness for government-created superhero/super-soldiers, I have to ask: Did you ever play Ray Winninger’s brilliant 1993 RPG Underground? Sounds like something you would have loved.

    1. I’ve never heard of it until now. Wish I had in 93 when it was MY THING. Still, I’ll check it out, might rekindle some of those decade old themes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *