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Like most of you, I’ve been a gamer my entire life. A recent discussion with my wife about the most recent Blizzcon led me to think about my favorite games of all time, which in turn led to a wave of emotion and nostalgia.
So after a bit of thinking, I’ve put together a list of my top 5 favorite games. Let’s start with #5 for today and pick up with the others later.
#5. StarCraft/Brood War
My former best friend introduced me to StarCraft when we were in elementary school. At first I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. You just dragged your mouse around and clicked on the screen to make clumps of soldiers move and automatically fight each other. You couldn’t pull a trigger or make them run or dodge or roll or jump or anything- you just clicked on the ground and watched them walk! How freaking lame was this game!?
But he was my best friend and I trusted his judgement, so I dutifully headed to the store and picked up a copy for myself, since he told me we could play against each other online, which I thought was pretty cool.
I popped in the disk and clicked on the campaign mode and BAM! I was hooked. The story featured amazing characters with more complexity and depth than I’d ever seen in a video game up until that point and featured an alien war right out of every little kid’s wildest imagination. Protoss, Zerg, and Terran, all vying for power in the war-torn Koprulu Sector using the most amazing technology and weapons (or disgusting slimy monsters, as was the case with the Zerg).
I must have played through the campaign 30 or 40 times. I haven’t played the original StarCraft in probably 5-6 years but I can still quote the entire thing line by line.
And the multiplayer! By all the gods! My friend was right- we could play online together. But I could also play with anyone else in the whole entire world! And the games and mods people made were completely unbelievable. I spent years reenacting famous battles from Star Wars or trying to defend Helm’s Deep as sci-fi Legolas with a sniper rifle.
Unfortunately, I also have some bittersweet memories relating to StarCraft. That same best friend who introduced me to my new favorite game was also the greatest betrayer of my little life. Being LotR nerds, we joined a clan and chose names from Tolkien lore. I chose Gothmog, one of Morgoth’s most powerful Balrogs. Well, that didn’t sit too well with the clan leaders. They were angry they hadn’t thought up that name for themselves, and so they convinced my best friend to get me to tell him my password.
Being a trusting 12-year-old kid who was just having fun with his best friend, I had no problem telling him my silly, clever password. I had no idea he was actually trying to steal it from me. The next time I tried logging on I found that my password had been changed, and when I started a new account found Gothmog running around in the chat… and it wasn’t controlled by me. Suffice it to say the friendship fell apart pretty quickly after that.
Still, StarCraft was a freaking awesome game.
Here you'll find a collection of my tabletop RPG creations. Most of the documents here are settings or adventures you can run your next game in. There are also some system hacks and tweaks you can try for your games- if you're not a number-crunching rules lawyer, you may even enjoy them!
Yes, they're all free :)
Settings & Adventures
- Harper's House of Heroes- You and your companions are an elite team of heroes working at a fast-food delivery style hero joint called Harper's House of Heroes. Your promise: deliver a hero to solve any problem in 30 minutes or less- guaranteed!
- Moonbright- A witch in Moonbright has been turning the children into scarecrows. The players must put a stop to this madness!
- Heroes of Butterpond Castle- A mysterious blight plagues the land and is killing the life trees! You must venture outside Butterpond Forest to investigate.
System Hacks & Tweaks
- EZ DnD- A stripped down version of Dungeons & Dragons great for introducing new people to the hobby.
- Risus/Dungeon Roll Mashup- I took the treasure chest and treasure tokens from Dungeon Roll and the rules from Risus to create a fun little randomized Diablo-style loot drop system. Who doesn't like rolling a d20 to find out if they get to open the fun little treasure chest and grab sweet loot?
- Crypt Shyfter RPG- The simplest RPG system I've created, based on Risus and UltraMicrolite20. This is a d20 system. All you need to play is this piece of paper and a single d20. The rules fit on one page!
- HeroQuest RPG- A simple, fast RPG system that resolves conflicts with HeroScape dice. It's a free PDF that rips ideas from HeroScape, Risus, Barbarians of Lemuria, Dungeon World, and D&D and combines them all into a beautifully simple system. It's freakin' awesome!