77

You may be thinking of the story of Old Man Henderson, the player who won Trail of Cthulhu. He had a 320 page backstory The explanation of the backstory is as follows: The point to having such a long backstory was three-fold. 1: to ensure the GM would never actually read it and 2: Since he would never read it except for in excerpts I pointed ...


63

"Causality and Choice in RPGs, Part 1: Getting rid of the {TECH}" on The 20' By 20' Room blog by Neel Krishnaswami It was a bit challenging to find this article. It took a search result pointing to a forum post linking to another forum post linking to a dead site (which I then looked up in the Wayback Machine), but I found it. Here's the article. The ...


62

Yes and no There is no Elder Scrolls tabletop RPG that Morrowind is based on, but it is still based indirectly on a particular tabletop RPG and a certain setting: RuneQuest and Glorantha. The connection is in the person of Ken Rolston. As Lead Designer, Rolston was the creative mind behind large portions of the mechanics and lore/setting of Morrowind. ...


56

Gamescience, a dice manufacturer, calls such a die simply a d20 0–9 Twice. Yours appears to be this one, and, as of this writing, it appears you can buy more. However, you may not need to. The owner of such dice usually colors in at least half the numbers himself—wax crayons used to be included with dice sets for exactly this reason, but paint or, I guess, ...


53

A quick, visual guide to the editions, by logo: [first author's note: I'm throwing this up here to "seed" the process, so to say. Please feel free to add to this answer as is easy/convenient for you. Please note that imgur resizing is no longer working, there's a hack in the source of this post you can use. -n60] [note: there is no effort made here to ...


51

This is from the Scroll of the Monk. The Charm they are referring to is the Charm Pattern Spider Touch (page 124) which opens with... Once, changes to the Loom of Fate could change anything in Creation. The pattern spiders, which tend the Loom, no longer permit swift and drastic changes, but the potential remains. With a successful unarmed attack, a ...


40

Apathy: The Calling Is... this your card? A 2008 Game Chef entry found on 1km1kt.net, featuring Cthulhu, cultists, and a tongue in cheek humorous style. The conflict resolution mechanic involved how much that character cares about otherworldly things; by caring more, they succeeded more often, but if they care too much, they become a cultist. From section ...


40

The logo on the dice is the Shadowrun logo. Those dice are for the Shadowrun RPG. The game itself uses a result of 5 or 6 as a "hit", a result of 2 to 4 as a "nothing" and a result of 1 as a "glitch", and in some cases a 6 is better than a 5 (similar to a critical hit). This is consistent with how your dice are marked (Shadowrun logo means "hit", nothing ...


39

That would be Unknown Armies, "A roleplaying game of transcendental horror and furious action." The "major and minor charges" gives it away. It was written by the famous RPG designers John Tynes (Delta Green, Puppletland, and a lot of Pagan Publishing for Call of Cthulhu) and Greg Stolze (Over the Edge, Godlike, Reign, A Dirty World) and is published by ...


37

As noted in another answer, this is currently called by GameScience a d20 0-9 Twice. Historically, this is what d20's looked like before the invention of the proper d10. (Note that Platonic solids are only possible with 4, 6, 8, 12, or 20 sides, and these are the entirety of what early dice sets contained.) Indeed, common usage would be to color half the ...


35

Your father's copy of Men and Magic was issued somewhere between between the first and third printing, as shown here in the summary of the early editions. The "Man on the Horse" illustration was replaced by a lone Fighting Man illustration somewhere between the third and fourth printing. (That's the one in my set). The Kranor-Ril adventure looks familiar,...


32

If your timing is right, and your terminology close, then what you might have seen is an Everway sourcebook. Everway was a card-based roleplaying game released by Wizards of the Coast concerning people known as spherewalkers who can journey from world to world. It could easily be mistaken for a Magic: the Gathering RPG. To be clear, however: no official ...


32

It's called Xorvintaal. Monster Manual V (3.5) has some information on it, and there may be more in certain 4e books. The actual rules for the game are enormously convoluted, taking "years to learn, and centuries to master". One would be forgiven for thinking they'd fit right in with published sourcebooks on that score, but instead the designers left the ...


29

Kagematsu “It is Japan 1572, the end of the Seguko period of history. Like many transitions of power the country is filled with strife, warring factions pulling any able bodied men into war, leaving villages populated by only women, children and old men. Now a small, nearly indefensible village is living under the horror of a dangerous threat that casts ...


27

Summary Morrowind was not based on any particular tabletop RPG. There are elements of Dungeons and Dragons, GURPS, Vampire: The Masquerade, and possibly RuneQuest, as well as any other tabletop RPGs the development team happened to have played at the time while developing Morrowind and its predecessors, but these aren't the basis for the game. Its direct ...


25

Found it! It was called Jamis Buck's Dungeon Generator, and the URL was http://www.aarg.net/~minam/dungeon.cgi. There was an offline version for Windows, as well as a treasure generator, town generator and NPC generators for D&D 3.0 and 3.5. That site is gone, but a good replacement is http://donjon.bin.sh/d20/dungeon/.


25

This isn't rare at all. This is the Monster Manual from the 1st edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It's worth about $5–$25 (US) on eBay, depending on condition. I got mine there for about $12, a few years ago, and prices haven't changed. Yours looks to be in fairly beaten condition, so you're unlikely to get anything much for it. Although it's not ...


24

You are thinking of Ssendam, the Slaadi Lord of Madness detailed in the 1st edition Fiend Folio and Manual of the Planes. He appears as a golden slaad in his golden castle in Limbo near the slaadi Spawning Stone, but normally looks like a huge amoeba. He is the oldest of the slaadi lords, believes that madness is the ultimate form of chaos, and doesn't care ...


22

You may be thinking of End Time, a Call of Cthulhu supplement. In 1993 Pagan Publishing's End Time product came to an unceremonious end.Contained herein is the material I wrote for the project. While the project was never completed, you will find here the results of many hours of work. The End Time grew out of my Blood Moon adventure, published in ...


21

Dungeons & Dragons 5e has bridged the gap between MtG and D&D. Times certainly have changed. Here's an official writeup of Zendikar as a D&D setting, straight from Wizards of the Coast. Here's one of Innistrad. But the biggest change has been the release of the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, which brings one of MtG's signature worlds into D&...


21

You're thinking of 13th Age, by WotC alumni Jonathan Tweet and Rob Heinsoo, published in 2013. The way a character's background helps build the setting is through your One Unique Thing, and your Relationships to Icons. (Your actual Background is more about what sort of skills you're good at.) 13th Age is the new d20-rolling fantasy roleplaying game by ...


21

The Jade Temple in Secrets of the Sokol Keep in AL season 1 (DDEX 1-2) You can find "Secrets of Sokol Keep" here on DMsGuild. Part 3: The Jade Temple (starting on p. 17) describes the dungeon you're thinking of: It has a spiral shape Area 6 contains a magical jade idol that (supposedly) depicts Dagon in the center.


20

Planescape: Torment is based on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition from the 1990s. THAC0, for example, only exists in that edition and a couple contemporary D&D editions (very late AD&D 1e and Basic supplements) - it's not a term found in other games. Armor Class doesn't work the same across D&D editions, let alone other tabletop RPGs....


20

The D&D logo or rear blurb is your best guide Look at the logo at the top of the front cover. In short, a small red "D&D" logo means 5th edition, a large red "Dungeons & Dragons" logo means 4th edition, "Dungeons & Dragons" with a sword through it is 3rd edition. A product code near the barcode beginning with a single letter also indicates ...


19

This would be a Warhammer 40,000 story, and the psychic in question was an Astropath employed by a nosy Inquisitor of the Imperium of Man, studying a weapon taken from the Tyranids (think the xenomorphs from the Alien movies, but with living guns, and bound together by psychic power of sorts). Because everything the Tyranids make is connected psychically to ...


19

Is it Time & Temp (2009)? Most time-travel RPGs are more-or-less serious takes on the idea, with the PCs being heroes or daring Time Agents and similar, but Time & Temp PCs are definitely under-appreciated and sub-heroic: Employed by Marigold Staffing and working at Browne Chronometric Engineering, Inc., you travel through the ages actualizing ...


18

As reflected in this question, I think Earthdawn is the system you're looking for. It could also be Alternity, but that system explicitly doesn't use d10s.


18

My guess would be on Fate (either Core or FAE). Fate is a really popular game at the moment and, since it is a generic system, it's being used for pretty much everything now, from the published settings to homebrew My Little Pony or Doctor Who games. Unlike D&D and its brethen, Fate uses short, character-defining sentences called aspects such as "...


18

Perhaps it is a book called Dicing with Dragons by Ian Livingstone? “Most likely published 1984 to 1989”: it was first published in 1982, and there were several later editions with the last one being published in 1986. “Part of the book was a general explanation of how RPGs work”: Dicing with Dragons contained a section to introduce people unfamiliar with ...


18

Sounds to me like the Whispering Vault. That, too, was a horror game that came out in the early '90s — Wikipedia says the first edition came out in 1993, and that jibes with my memory. The ability to choose your physical form came up in a prominent way, as the PCs spend a lot of time in the realm of Dreams, which matches the description of "another universe ...


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