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D&D Blog Hop: Day 20

Written by Darkwarren - Published on February 20, 2014

dnd40hopbadgeDay 20: First non-D&D RPG you played.

Optimus Design System’s Battlelords of the 23rd Century. I remember that the image of a futuristically armored  warrior with a bloody chainsaw, hooked blade, flamethrower, and plasma weapon at the end of each of its tentacles really caught my attention. Read that description again and imagine that picture underneath the title: Battlelords of the Twenty-third Century. Yeah, it’s that awesome.

Third Edition cover of Battlelords of the 23rd Century

As an eighth grader BL23C scratched my itch for sci-fi violence that Star Wars and Star Trek: TNG just couldn’t reach.  It’s dark humor was also entertaining to my angst-ridden sensibilities. The choices for races and the depth presented for each alien character race was awesome! There are over 25 playable races, each with its unique abilities. No spells, per se, but energy, healing and psychic matrices allowed for similar powers based on the race of a PC.

Plus, it was designed by a guy who lived an hour away from me so I had friends who knew him personally and playtested new material. I felt like I was on the cutting edge of this amazing game and I had friends “in the know”. As I described a few days ago, I eventually had a chance to meet Mike O., one of the original artists for the game and owners of SSDC, who gave me my first gaming developer cred’s in one of their Lock n’ Load source books.

Since I first tried BL23C the game has changed ownership to two of the early contributors (who named their company SSDC) and slowly and steadily the game is growing with new rules, equipment, and a new edition on the horizon. As an adult I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to help them with some of their expansions. My gaming group was gracious enough to let me Battlemaster a homebrewed campaign in-between our D&D adventure paths. I had a blast, but their reviews were mixed. Some of them were uncomfortable with the fatality of 23rd century combat. Others bristled with the merc/military roleplaying and didn’t like taking or giving orders. Others loved the tactics and the futuristic weapons and armor. But for all of that, combat was slow and plodding. Their new edition is going to streamline the combat.

In my early roleplaying years I also tried Shadowrun and West End Games’ Star Wars. How about you, did you start roleplaying a game other than D&D or what was your first non-D&D RPG?

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Written by Darkwarren

Matt W., aka Darkwarren, has been roleplaying ever since his older brother introduced him to the red box set when he was 7 years old. Since then he has game-mastered SSDC’s Battleords of the Twenty-third Century, WEG’s Shadowrun and Star Wars, and of course Dungeons & Dragons in a variety of forms. At thirty-four years old he takes turns on both sides of the screen with the group that he helped found in 2000 when 3.0 hit the stands and has met every week fairly regularly ever since. Currently they have been running a variety of the Paizo Adventure Path scenarios, so that’s his wheelhouse. He was almost famous when two of his adventures were green-lighted for possible publication right before Paizo relinquished the rights to publish Dungeon magazine.

Matt also has years if experience in improvisational comedy, fiction, and non-fiction writing. He is currently working and studying to attain a master’s degree in theology, to enhance his career as a religious studies teacher. Lastly, his greatest passion is his family, especially the three sons and dog that he shares with his wife in upstate New York.

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 Comments

8 Responses to “D&D Blog Hop: Day 20”
  1. Peter says:

    Traveller. I died during character creation a couple of times. I think our group spent most of the summer trying to steal a spaceship. If I remember right, we finally did it and the GM was not happy so we promptly ran out of fuel or someother horrible fate awaited us.

  2. Darkwarren says:

    I never played Traveller. You died during character CREATION? If the creation of a character lead to death, how nasty was a typical campaign?

  3. MythicParty says:

    Also, apparently this phenomenon isn’t limited to (Classic) Traveller:
    http://forum.rpg.net/archive/index.php/t-195966.html

  4. Dave The DM says:

    My first RPG experience ever was something with Quest in the title (other than OpenQuest). I was a 6ft tall Gray skinned Elven Barbarian who referred to himself as Griswold The Great and wielded a greatsword.

    Since then I’ve played OpenQuest, D20 Star Wars, D6 Star Wars, D20 Cthulhu, Swords and Wizardry, and 2nd – 4th edition D&D. I own but haven’t played BRP Cthulhu.

  5. Darkwarren says:

    Did Griswold wear a +1 Chicago Blackhawks jersey? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

    Sounds like you’ve played all sorts of games, Dave. Which game are you currently playing?

  6. Dave The DM says:

    I’m currently running random 1 shots in D20 Cthulhu and D&D 3.5 until I can get my whole group together again. I’m also trying to build a Scifi RPG using the OpenQuest d100 system as the main building block, but that involves very little play.

  7. MythicParty says:

    Some interesting stuff: http://d101games.com/books/openquest/

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