Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vanishing games

It seams like the webpages devoted to the RPGs I like are vanishing at an alarming rate. This has been happening slowly over the past few years. Now that Geocities, which was home to many a RPG related page, is defunct it's really noticeable.

I'm mainly thinking of Fuzion here. Even though it never really caught on with either the Hero System or Interlock fans, there used to be a huge amount of material for it available to download for free. There were major plug-ins covering magic, psi powers, aliens, and Road Warrior style combat. Supplements like the Total Powers plug-in and the Heroic Abilities plug-in gave you complete superpowers rules. And Naughty Tentacles even provided material for hentai games. All that material is basically gone now. Even Lightspeed, one of the few games left using the Fuzion mechanics, is supposedly switching to a different system.

Action! System, which is an OGL knock off of Fuzion, hasn't fared much better. There was never as much material available for it in the first place, and now even that's disappearing. My favorite use of the game, Jamie Borg's ASsembler rules which ported OGL Mecha to A!S, vanished with Geocities. And it doesn't help that the Gold Rush Games site has been down for years, although you can still by their games at sites like RPG Now.

It's very discouraging. I have copies of most of this stuff archived, but it's hard to get people interested in playing a game they've almost never heard of and that has almost no web presence.

As it stands I think Tri-Stat dX is one of the best free games out there. It's a complete RPG, with a full-fledged power system that covers everything from mecha to superheroes. It's sort of like a free, rules-lite version of Hero System. I have a few nits to pick with the game, but nothing that a page or so of house rules can't cover. And even though Guardians of Order went under years ago, BESM/Tri-Stat have a good reputation and fairly wide recognition. Plus they have a slick, active fan site online.

Maybe I'm just in a funk because I haven't been able to get any games going lately. Aside from the occasional pick-up game with friends I haven't been able to get anything rolling. I'm probably just approaching things at the wrong angle or something, but going with more popular free system that I like may help. We'll see.

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