Other Systems


One of the most hotly anticipated games of the new millennium has been R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk 203X, the third incarnation of the definitive Cyberpunk RPG. After some rethinking, restructuring and much grumbling by fans (myself included), it appears that there's finally a neon light on the horizon.

When considering the techno-futuristic cyberpunk genre there are really only two choices for gaming: Shadowrun and Cyberpunk 2020. Shadowrun is a world of magic and machine guns. Cyberpunk 2020 is more pureblood, leaving magic to the fantasy games. For the money, Cyberpunk 2020 is the better choice. The system is more streamlined, you don't get a mixing of genres, and who can dispute the enjoyment of thumbing through the latest Chrome?

Deep inside what looks to be a concrete bunker, the evil mastermind Dr. Trask gloats over the restrained form of Agent 25. "I'm so sorry you won't be able to see my fireworks Agent 25. I can assure you they will be quite spectacular."

I don't know about anyone else, but I have always felt a strong desire to live inside of a Mickey Spillane novel. I love the idea of sitting in an office with one of those frosted glass windows. Of course, I want a clothes tree to be next to the door with my trusty trench coat and fedora hanging there for me. In the right bottom drawer of my desk is where the bottle of 150 proof "medicine" would be found. Taped to the bottom of the middle drawer would be a .38, another one would be in the top left drawer (you just never know when you're going to need two). I could sit there, in the dim light of a desk lamp smoking a Pall Mall or a Lucky Strike waiting for a dame with a problem to walk through the door.


Rogue Publishing sent me an email asking me to do a review of their game Pariah. As my wife can attest, I can't pass up the chance to acquire and read a new game, even if I never get to play it. Pariah uses the FUDGE rule system and centers over psychic children. The basic gist is that all of the characters are under the age of 18, and there are groups after the children and their powers.

The first edition came out in the 1970s, and featured a system that was heavy on the charts and dice rolls. The second edition, released in the '80s, was a revised, cleaned-up version of the first, and helped to improve the game's acceptance among role-players. However, it was not as successful as might have been hoped, and the game quickly fell by the wayside in the '90s as higher-profile games pushed their way to the front of the line. Role-playing fans eagerly awaited a third edition for years, and under a new publisher they're finally getting just that. And no, it's not Dungeons & Dragons. It's the forgotten Villains and Vigilantes.

It's somehow appropriate that a column called Forgotten Games should get forgotten for about a year, but as with many things we can't always get what we want... at least not when we want it. I'm happy to report that I've recently located my stash of old Role-Playing Games, and at the top of the stack was the second game on my list from oh, so long ago - Gamma World, published by "The Game Wizards," TSR.

Agone is a new roleplaying that has just been translated from French into English from a company called Multisim). What drew me to the game initially was the artwork on the cover of the book and Eminence Grise's (GM's) screen. I also learned later from another booth that games in France will only sell well if the artwork is of superior quality. This is leading at least one games manufacturer to have their next edition designed by their French artist. I was able to pick up the main book and the screen, which included a very nice poster-sized map of the world for just under $50. What happened to the days of $20 games? Oh well, let me tell you about this new game.

Jeff Dee is perhaps best known to fans of Villains & Vigilantes, oft recognized as one of the best Supers RPGs ever to come along. But he's much more than that; in his secret identity as a freelance designer and artist, he's also developed several other game systems, worked for TSR, and started UniGames with fellow artist and designer 'Manda. He was kind enough to lend us 30 minutes of his time.

While we get our Interview section in order, we figured we'd give you a taste of things to come via an exclusive interview with 9th Level Games, the guys behind Kobolds Ate My Baby and the forthcoming Ninja Burger role-playing game. So what do kobolds taste like? Chicken, of course.

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