Friday, January 8, 2010

Bitten by the "Old School" bug

Over the past few years it seems that everyone has jumped on the old school bandwagon. Something I've had no real desire to do, until recently.

I've often thought about breaking out my AD&D books or trying to get a better understanding of the Palladium system, but there are just so many new, great games to play that I always found reasons to put them off. Granted one of those reasons was that my group isn't too fond of Palladium, and find the system to be too clunky, but that's a post for another time. Still I have made it a goal to try relearning these systems for the New Year, but now I may be putting those two games on hold. I've become somewhat obsessed with two other older systems.

Some time last year I stumbled across Villains & Vigilantes as I was nosing around on RPGNow and added it to my wishlist. The game stayed there until a few days ago when I finally broke down and bought the core rule book. It was less than $5, and who could pass that up?

I am really enjoying this system. Sure it has its flaws and doesn't offer as many options as Mutants & Masterminds, but there is an elegant simplicity that I find appealing. I've actually become excited about running this system and can't wait until my group's winter break is over so I can try a supers game using V&V.

I sat down and within 10 minutes of printing out the rules had a character written up. There aren't many of the newer games that will allow you to have a ready to use character in that little time. Even the streamlined systems usually take a bit longer.

Granted I haven't had an opportunity to actually run the game, but so far even the combat seems just as simple. It does suffer a bit from the tendency to rely on charts a bit more than I like, but considering the book is just shy of 50 pages, finding the chart you need couldn't be that hard.

Once my group finishes our Dragonlance/Pathfinder campaign, V&V is going to be my first attempt at getting them to try another system. I figure that since I've been dying to run a supers game anyway, why not use a simple little system like V&V?

I was so taken with the system I went ahead and downloaded Supercrooks and Criminals and the Alone in the Night adventure module. At the moment, without having actually run the system I don't feel qualified to actually write a review, but if my plan to run the game works out I will do a more thorough post at a later date.

V&V isn't the only older game that I have been smitten with of late. DC Heroes is a game that I wanted to play as a kid, but as the only comic book fan in my gaming group, at the time, I was the only one that wanted to play anything other than D&D. So I never got the chance.

I've been looking for affordable copies of this game for years and just yesterday I got my hands on a copy of DC Heroes 3rd edition as well as a few sourcebooks. I haven't had the chance to read any of the books yet, just thumb through them, so I'm not ready to comment on the system just yet.

I've had most of the Marvel Superheroes books for a while now,  but since I'm not really the biggest Marvel fan I haven't really felt the urge to read them. However, as a huge fan of DC comics and characters, this is the one game I have always wanted to play, but never got the chance. Every time I would go to the mall as a kid, I'd stop by Something To Do to pick up a new D&D book or an issue of Dragon magazine and thumb through the various DCH books. So now, years later, I finally have the long sought after system and plan to at least give running it a good try.

While all of the old school fantasy games that others are now so fond of may be very good games, they just don't appeal to me. I'm a fan of the Pathfinder/3e fantasy system and have no plans to change that anytime soon. Instead the old school superhero rpgs have not only piqued my interest, but made me anxious to run a supers game.

So this year I plan on introducing these older games to my group. We'll kick the tires and hopefully try a campaign using each system in the near future. I'll follow up with more detailed reviews, my thoughts on the systems as well as updates on what my group thought about them as things progress.


Sniderman said...

V&V is a great supers system. Played a campaign in the 80s that lasted for over 7 years with a fully-fleshed out world. I have a collection of all of the original releases for it I've gathered over the years. I'm quite taken with the system. (Have you checked out Jeff Dees' update called Living Legends yet?)

Brainwave, SparrowHawk, Metaman, and The Apparition all says "Hey."

Geek Gazette said...

I have heard of Living Legends, but haven't checked it out yet. The few reviews I've seen said that it doesn't hold up to the original. Is it worth getting? Are the rules similar enough to allow you to use materials from both?

Rognar said...

My group has a similar view about this. We keep talking about running a Labyrinth Lord campaign as a PBP game in between our regular get-togethers, because it's a simple system and it's based on the old Basic D&D game which some of us first started with. However, those precious times when we can all gather around the table, it has to be Pathfinder.

Geek Gazette said...

I know what you mean and that does suck. There are so many great systems out there to play, unfortunately we just don't have the time like we did when were teenagers. I managed to fit in a CoC d20 game and a couple of other one off games in last year, but that's about it. The only reason I was able to do that was by putting our Dragonlance/Pathfinder campaign on hold for those sessions.

Rognar said...

Great blog, by the way. I don't see too many of those "3.5 resurgent" banners around lately.

Geek Gazette said...

Thanks. I'm a 3rd edition/Pathfinder fan and probably always will be.