Posted by : David Guyll August 03, 2014
On one hand this game introduced me to a world outside of the usual sword and sorcery fare. It was a game with no sense of balance, scale, reason, and perhaps identity. It was a game where ordinary humans, dragons, aliens, wizards, and robots tromped about a post-apocalyptic Earth fighting other ordinary humans, dragons, aliens, wizards, and robots. It was a game that people would later claim had a neat setting, but some of the worst rules imaginable.
It was kind of like the Avengers, except that Hawkeye and Black Widow would have had equal chances of being obliterated casually by an enemy or accidentally by an ally. I mean, the attack wouldn't even have had to directly hit them.
On the other hand it also introduced me to arbitrary and toxic terms like munchkin, power-gamer, and "real" role-players, and also marked my first run-in with douche bag players and game masters who were mystified by the fact that we assumed in post-apocalyptic Earth there would be shit to do, like find resources, fight bandits with inexplicable access to big-ass robots, or kill a monster that could demolish an entire car and everyone inside with a sneeze.
I played with people that apparently never read the rules (which may not be entirely their fault, as I recall the rules for various combat actions changing from book to book). I played with players that chose obscenely powerful characters just so they could beat up someone else's character. I played with players that swear they had a "really cool idea" for a game, only to have us wander around a town for a couple of hours while their DMNPC told us that there were absolutely no problems to be found, and then mock and effortlessly kick our asses when we got bored and started looking for trouble.
I had a player that, when I said the game would take place in Maine, tried to roll out a male psychic cowboy from New West that was fitted with a pair of cybernetic limbs, each wielding a pair of artifact daisho from Rifts: Japan, clad only in that skin-tight armor that the blind warrior women of Atlantis wear. He swore up and down that this character was totally legit from another campaign that someone else we didn't know ran, as if that would make the fact he had been cobbled together from every book except that ones I was allowing more acceptable.
Thankfully, mercifully, 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons was only a couple of years around the corner.