(Speaking of which, I really want to get a hold of one of those "Player Packs" they came out with for 2e. These were a plastic clamshell case with a handle - much like my old Lego boxes - that included a set of dice, pencils, character sheets, and miniatures, and were designed to hold a copy of the Player's Handbook in the lid. Anyone else want one?)
|Anyone? Come on!|
Should I ever decide to escape the gravitational pull of the D&D brand, I have one of two major options that I would seriously consider (aside from Basic Fantasy, which is a fantastic modernization of B/X in my opinion - to the point that I'm considering shelling out the $15 for the hardcover in case my $5 perfect-bound copy gives up the ghost). The first is Prince Valiant: The Storytelling Game, which I have finally managed to obtain in PDF form, in English. The upsides: simple system, can easily replace the coins with dice, suitable for play with all ages (in case I ever have young ones of my own interested in gaming). The downsides: limitations on player agency written into the rules, limited magic (which might not be a bad thing in all cases, but it'd take some getting used to), inherent limitations on female players. The latter is a characteristic of the time period in which it's set, not entirely the game's fault, but it's still annoying.
The other option I'm thinking of is Halberd, a free RPG by Scott Malthouse that I got a few years ago, but didn't seriously read through until recently. The upsides: brilliantly simple rules system (even more so than PV), ultra-short length, flexibility in creating character classes and races, one of the coolest rules-light magic systems I've ever seen. (Also, the illustration of a druid PC looks a lot like my friend who always plays druids; on that note, happy Yule!) The downsides: no pre-made monsters, it's not D&D. I strongly urge anyone reading this to check it out.
Sorry I don't have a satisfying conclusion to this post; like most of mine, it's written off-the-cuff, just to get my ideas out into the blogosphere.