#RPGaDAY 11: Weirdest RPG Owned

#RPGaDAY prompts.

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The weirdness of my role-playing game library expresses itself in more subtle ways than, say, your Maids and your Creeks and Crawdads. Check out my friend Joe’s list of really atypical settings for that kind of thing. No, the oddities of my library are far more occulted to the unsuspecting reader. The prime candidate is, of course, the Suppressed Transmission collections. Not a role-playing game, per se,[1] but columns by Kenneth Hite that are near paens to the high weirdness of history, bunk science and mystic traditions. They’re a glorious goldmine of tidbits like the possible true identities of Shakespeare, the effect Dr. Frankenstein’s research may have had on history and the cavalcade of forms that ultraterrestrials have taken over the years. Riding shotgun with the Suppressed Transmission collections is, of course, Mage: the Ascension, which also drew from, and spindled more freely, occult traditions to populate its factions of will-workers.

Consider also the weirdness of “What on Earth was the designer thinking?” There’s no end to that question in role-playing games, where half the time the writing of a book seems to be so intensely personal a process that the designer maybe doesn’t share their thoughts out loud with neutral observers until they feel the project has progressed too far to make any sweeping changes. The example that first comes to mind is Time Lord, the Doctor Who role-playing game published by Virgin that famously lacked suitably robust character creation rules to serve the breadth and depth of types of people the Doctor travels with.[2] This lack was made up for an appendix release some time after publication to the internet, and you can usually find it appropriately appended to digital versions of the text in circulation.

And finally, an honorable mention goes to Deadlands Reloaded, as it is literally set in the Weird West.

Weirdness: it’s where you least expect to find it. That’s what makes it weird.


[1] Though Hite discoursed occasionally on tying the disparate lunacy of his columns together into overarching campaign frameworks.

[2] Particularly in an era when the property’s ongoing materials was purely novels, which had a limitless budget, so far as make-up effects went.

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One thought on “#RPGaDAY 11: Weirdest RPG Owned

  1. Pingback: #RPGaDAY Round Up | Held Action

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