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My To-Run List

I maintain, in my head, a list of the roleplaying games that I want to run. The list changes as things rise to the list and fall off, but there’s a few things that have lived on the list long enough to own the proverbial home there. So hit the break to see my top five games on my to-run list (in no particular order).

Star Wars Edge of the Empire/Age of Rebellion

This system is going through closing on its home on my list. I really like the system, even though it uses proprietary dice. The books are gorgeous. In my opinion, it’s the best Star Wars system I’ve ever played, run, or read and I own or have owned them all, even Star Wars d6. I actually started a campaign once and then misplaced my dice, so had to move to something else for a while. This is high on the list for bringing out again.


I have a few campaigns floating in my head, so this should probably take up multiple spots on the list. I’d be happy to run any of them though, so I lumped them all under the system. The first is a homebrew campaign where the PCs are all members of a thieves’ guild. The campaign would have the PCs eventually taking over the thieves guild (through an appropriately dramatic disaster) and having to balance managing their guild with pursuing the story that led to them being in power. The second is Iron Gods, an official adventure path that combines fantasy with a little bit of sci-fi into something that feels a little like Thundarr the Barbarian. The final idea is the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary edition. I’ve read it and it’s a fairly standard fantasy style story, but I think it could be a lot of fun with the right group.

13th Age

I’ve had this one on my shelf for a while, but now that the book The Eyes of the Stone Thief is out, I’ve picked it up to read through it. So far it feels like a 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons done correctly, without the emphasis on minis that I felt plagued 4E. I’m not certain I’d want to run a campaign using it, but I’d certainly like to try it out.

Adventurer Conqueror King System (ACKS)

ACKS is an Old School Renaissance (OSR) system that takes old school gaming and runs with the assumption that every character class will put together a stronghold at some point. The game starts you as a lowbie adventurer and allows you to progress up to your adventuring group establishing their own kingdom (or group of kingdoms) and into being the the ruler and dealing with much bigger problems. It’s essentially what I really like about Pathfinder’s Kingmaker adventure path (the kingdom focus) combined with an old school style system. And that makes me really want to give it a try.

5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

This is probably at the bottom of the top five. It’s a system I want to try out, but I really don’t have any specific ideas for it at the moment. Basically the system looks good and I like some of the things they’ve done with the classes, so I’d like to see it in practice.

Honorable Mentions

A couple of also-rans for this list are Hero System and Ars Magica. Hero System caught my eye with the Monster Hunter International RPG and I’ve since picked up some of the Champions stuff. I know it’s a classic and it’s a hefty system, but I’d like to give it a try at some point. Ars Magica has a spot in the downscale part of my list. The play style fascinates me and I’d like to give it a go as a campaign at some point.

As I said, my list adjusts from time-to-time and what appears in the top five changes every so often. It feels good to keep the list though, because it gives me things to think about and options to go to when needed. Do you have a run list or a play list? If so, leave it in the comments.

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  1. April 29, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    My current To-Run List is…

    Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Just did a one shot recently and hoping to run a mini campaign yet this summer with a space marine feel set in the Star Wars universe. I am intrigued by the idea of party of non-Force using special forces supporting the Rebellion. As Han says, “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side”

    D&D 5th Ed – Next up for me is likely a return to running a fantasy campaign again, but this time trying out the new D&D. I am very curious to see how strong it is in the theater of the mind aspects. I am a huge fan of 1st/2nd Ed so I want to give this new edition a thorough chance. Already starting to work up some campaign ideas as I develop my Star Wars: AoR campaign. Putting serious thoughts into translating one of the more unique classic box set campaigns into 5th Ed (Spelljammer, Planescape, Masque of the Red Death, or Darksun). Planescape leading because I could use it to pull in all the others.

    Dresden Files RPG – I have run quite a few one shots and a really short lived online campaign in this world and enjoyed them immensely. I love the Dresden-verse and really like Fate. I was hoping they would update the Dresden Files RPG to Fate Core but that is not looking likely. They have an FAE version coming out which doesn’t interest me as much. Toying with resurrecting my online campaign again for this.

    Those are my main plans. Three Honorable Mentions for me.

    ICONS – I love superhero roleplaying and have tried all of the options that have existed with DC Adventures being my most recent run. I am interested in finding a less crunchy and more story driven superhero system so I would like to give ICONS a try with its modified Fate system. If the new Aberrant system comes out soon, that might overtake my interest in ICONS.

    Interface Zero 2.0 – I loved playing Cyberspace and CyberHero in the early 90s and really have this urge to return to a cyberpunk campaign after reading Ready Player One and re-reading Neuromancer and Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep recently. IZ 2.0 has some great visuals and I feel it captures the essence and the aesthetic of the cyberpunk genre well.

    Conan RPG – Modiphius has a new Conan RPG coming out soon and I loves me some sword & sword campaigning with noble and savage barbarians. I am intrigued to see how the new 2d20 system work in the dark and foreboding fantasy world of Robert E. Howard.

    • April 29, 2015 at 2:24 PM

      Good list. I probably could have easily included Shadowrun 5th Edition as my “cyberpunk” entry. I’ve been pondering running a game of that set in/around the bug spirit fall-out zone of Chicago.

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