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Games You Missed Out on When They Were New

MGibster

Legend
There are more games available now than there were back when I was younger, but even then there were many popular and influential games that I never played or read through at the time of their release.

AD&D Planescape: Despite owning a ton of AD&D 2nd edition products and settings, at no point in the 1990s did I pick up Planescape. It wasn't until 2017 when I wanted to run a 5th edition campaign spanning the planes that I finally ended up buying the PDF. The first thing that I couldn't help notice was the beautiful artwork that was so different from what I was used to seeing in the 1990s. Sigil, the so-called City of Doors, was a darned interesting place and I really loved the philosophy driven factions PCs could belong to. I kind of felt like a real dope for missing out on this one for so long.

Twilight 2000: My father was in the US Army and the Cold War was a big part of my formative years. When we lived in West Germany (for you younger folks there used to be two Germanies) my dad sometimes had to go off to play war games, I'd occasionally see tanks and other military vehicles on public roads, and of course everyone else I knew had one or more parent in the military. I'm not quite sure how I never ended up playing Twilight 2000 as it seems right up my alley. Hell, my friends and I even played Delta Green: America Strikes Back! I know a new version of Twilight 2000 just had a Kickstarter and I thought about contributing. But I guess I've changed a little because I found the idea of World War III to be a little depressing and decided I probably wouldn't want to play it now.

So are there any games you missed out on only to pick up later and say "Wow?"
 

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TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
It's not the same as you.

But with the pandemic, I haven't been able to play tabletops at all. Right before it, I also decided to start exploring other tabletops than D&D. I invested a couple hundred dollars in a ton of books.
  • I bought all the Starfinder books.
  • I bought the Pathfinder 2E core rule book.
  • I bought Blades in the Dark
  • I backed Lancer on kickstarter
  • I bought Zweihander
  • I bought a couple of Dungeon Crawl Classics
  • I bought Low Fantasy Gaming
  • I backed Tales from the Loop and Things from the Flood on kickstarter
  • And I backed a few additional RPGs on Kickstarter.
I haven't been able to play any of that. So I guess that I missed out on all of them? Does it count?

I still plan on buying a few more things. I'll be buying the reprints of Vampire V5 in July. And I intend to buy a printed copy of Star Without Numbers and Traveller 2E because I've heard so much good stuff about them.

I also bought POD copies of a few D&D 2E books, including the Planescape books. And I agree with you. The art is gorgeous and it's such a rich setting. I will definitely run a game in it at one point in the future.
 

darjr

I crit!
Ars Magica
Metamorphosis Alpha
Talislanta
Paranoia
Various Star Wars incarnations, especially the last d20 one.
 


There are more games available now than there were back when I was younger, but even then there were many popular and influential games that I never played or read through at the time of their release.
That's a huge understatement... there are over 10000 RPGs that have been published. (RPGG lists 127 pages, 126 of which are 100 entries each), categorized in 244 distinct systems.

The influential ones that I didn't know of back in the day are few; I was aware of Arduin, but never owned/played it. I was aware of Dallas, but never played it. I eventually read it. I found out about DragonQuest in the mid 80's.

The ones I didn't find out about until 20+ years later...
Dave Arneson's RPG, Adventures in Fantasy.
The Mechanoid Invasion. Yeah, I did have the later The Mechanoids, but until the anniversary edition, I'd not realized there was an earlier version.
Kaball - still haven't seen a copy, but have heard about it being one of the best of the heartbreakers. (I have my doubts.)
EPT - it wasn't until the Dragon Magazine CD that I learned about EPT. Not quite 20 years.
En Guard (GDW, now Margum Evans). Found out about it at about 18 years after... 2003 on a 1975 game.
 

MGibster

Legend
But with the pandemic, I haven't been able to play tabletops at all. Right before it, I also decided to start exploring other tabletops than D&D. I invested a couple hundred dollars in a ton of books.
I was more thinking of games that were beneath your notice when they were first released but I'm not going to police the thread too hard here. I had the same problem during the (it ain't over yet) pandemic in that I've purchased the following:

Pulp Cthulhu + Two Campaigns
Traveller (Mongoose 2nd edition)
Alien (Purchased a few months before lock down but am currently running it)
Dishonored
Deadlands (Kickstarter from previous year arrived during pandemic)
Cyberpunk Red (I have mixed feelings about this game)

Paranoia was a lot of fun!
I almost purchased Paranoia in 2020 but opted for Traveller instead.

The Mechanoid Invasion. Yeah, I did have the later The Mechanoids, but until the anniversary edition, I'd not realized there was an earlier version.
My group at the time owned a significant chunk of the Palladium games and The Mechanoids was one of them. I hadn't realized The Mechanoids was a revision of The Mechanoid Invasion though.
The influential ones that I didn't know of back in the day are few; I was aware of Arduin, but never owned/played it. I was aware of Dallas, but never played it. I eventually read it. I found out about DragonQuest in the mid 80's.
I was barely aware of the existence of a Dallas RPG in the 80s. I might have seen an ad for it in Dragon or some other periodical but I can't recall seeing it for sale anywhere.

En Guard (GDW, now Margum Evans). Found out about it at about 18 years after... 2003 on a 1975 game.

For the purposes of this thread, I'm not counting games produced when I couldn't purchase/play RPGs for myself. I didn't include Traveller on my original list because I was a year old when it was released in 1977. And I don't think I knew En Garde! existed until sometime after the year 2000.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
I missed The One Ring in its first edition. As a D&D guy, though, I got some AiME stuff, and generally like what I've seen for what it does to that system (though I haven't actually played it.)
But after hearing the high praise for TOR's original edition, I backed the Kickstarter for its second edition. I can't wait for it to come out!
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Ars Magica.
This one I never got to play until 2014. I like the setting & concept of play. The people I played with when it was "new" though would never have given it a chance.
Unfortunately the game I was finally in (as a player) largely ignored the setting, completely ignored the play style of rotating GMs & different types of characters/roles, and had several players who pretty much tried to avoid learning the magic system (hard when you're supposed to be a wizard).
It ran like a crapy, more complex, more limited, version of D&D.
And then they all complained that this game sucked....
I'm still waiting to actually play a real Ars game.

Metamorphosis Alpha.
Ive almost always known about this one. But as a kid had no access to it.
A few years ago I picked up the deluxe cover reprint at GC.
If I'd had this as a kid? We'd have played it & had alot of fun. Sadly it's not to the current groups tastes.
I doubt I'll ever get to play it.

Gamma World.
In the mid-late 80s we had a copy of this (forget wich edition).
Sadly the group of that time never got much beyond creating weird mutant characters & pitting them against each other in pvp style combat. Campaign wise just a few short dungeon crawls vs some robots.
Then a few years ago a guy at the shop ran a GW game. It was such garbage (his fault) that it alienated people from trying it again.
So like Ars I'm still waiting to play a real Gamma World game.
 

I missed The One Ring in its first edition. As a D&D guy, though, I got some AiME stuff, and generally like what I've seen for what it does to that system (though I haven't actually played it.)
But after hearing the high praise for TOR's original edition, I backed the Kickstarter for its second edition. I can't wait for it to come out!
I could have typed the same thing, start to finish.

so yeah, 1at edition The One Ring.
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
Traveller (Mongoose 2nd edition)
As I mentioned, I'm quite interested in it. I know the first edition is an old-timer. I'd love to have your thoughts on it!

Cyberpunk Red (I have mixed feelings about this game)
I bought the Witcher TTRPG book about two months ago. I have never played or seen any of Talsorian's books. I was also interested in checking Cyberpunk RED, but I honestly was very underwhelmed by the Witcher's layout design and the system presented. I'm not sure if I'm interested in Cyberpunk anymore.
 

MGibster

Legend
As I mentioned, I'm quite interested in it. I know the first edition is an old-timer. I'd love to have your thoughts on it!
I'm never actually sure about a game until I actually play it. But after reading the rules, I kind of dig it. Character generation is rather random though. You basically just try to push your character in a certain direction and hope for the best but it's a lot of fun to roll one up and see what you get.
 

I was barely aware of the existence of a Dallas RPG in the 80s. I might have seen an ad for it in Dragon or some other periodical but I can't recall seeing it for sale anywhere.

For the purposes of this thread, I'm not counting games produced when I couldn't purchase/play RPGs for myself. I didn't include Traveller on my original list because I was a year old when it was released in 1977. And I don't think I knew En Garde! existed until sometime after the year 2000.
I had an allowance in 1975....
and En Garde! has remained in print since 1975 with only about 3 years without new copies available from one publisher or another.

As for Dallas in stores... Long's Drugs, in Anchorage, is where I learned of it. And of James Bond, Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World, and Moldvay Basic D&D.

It's also where I bought Basic D&D.

Long's is long gone, but the building is now Barnes & Noble... C Street between Northern Lights and Benson Blvd.
 

DammitVictor

Druid of the Invisible Hand
As much as I proclaim, nowadays, that BECMI D&D is my near-favorite edition of D&D and the only "core only" playable version, and as much as Spelljammer is my favorite AD&D setting, I didn't really get into either until after 3.5 had gone out of print.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
I missed BECMI back in the day (I came into D&D with 2e and had to backfill a lot) and now it (or, well, the Rules Cyclopedia) is my preferred edition to play.

I always loved the Talislanta ads but was never able to play. Same with Shadowrun.

I bought the first edition of Castle Falkenstein and loved it and couldn't get anyone to play it with me. Same with Changeling (2nd Edition), though I did play in a lot of World of Darkness games so I'm not sure it counts.

I never played or cared about Greyhawk until it was pretty much defunct.
 

I've never been interested in new games. I prefer to wait until it has been around a few years before checking out reviews and product lines. There's too many Kenzer style companies out there that come up with an interesting core book and then fail to support the product.
 

MGibster

Legend
I've never been interested in new games. I prefer to wait until it has been around a few years before checking out reviews and product lines. There's too many Kenzer style companies out there that come up with an interesting core book and then fail to support the product.
That's not such a bad idea. I tend not to jump on newer games unless they really catch my interest and I believe it's likely my group will want to play it.
 

I've never been interested in new games. I prefer to wait until it has been around a few years before checking out reviews and product lines. There's too many Kenzer style companies out there that come up with an interesting core book and then fail to support the product.
Oh? There's been plenty of support for KoK and Hackmaster, some support for Aces & Eights... but their primary product has been the comics the whole time.

I mean, things like Dawg really are intentional (and obvious) one-offs. But even Dawg has two $1 pdf supplements...

Thing is, they don't get shelf space at most FLGSs...
 

Oh? There's been plenty of support for KoK and Hackmaster, some support for Aces & Eights... but their primary product has been the comics the whole time.

I mean, things like Dawg really are intentional (and obvious) one-offs. But even Dawg has two $1 pdf supplements...

Thing is, they don't get shelf space at most FLGSs...
Kalamar, yes. Aces, well, the core book was five years late, and other than extra silhouettes and a handful of scenarios, the line seems stalled, with nothing new in years. Fairy Meat and several other lines were never developed beyond the initial exposure.

Whereas Zweihander, my current 'new' interest has scads of both parent company and third party products.
 

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