5 More Underrated RPGs

Need more underrated RPGs?  Here you go!

#1:  Feng Shui

Feng Shui, currently by Atlas Games, is the “Action Movie RPG game.”  If you’ve ever watched Big Trouble in Little China and thought “man, that’d make an awesome RPG,” then this is the game for you.  Throw in a little time travel, giant firebreathing netherworld babies and a system that allows you to generate a character in 10-15 minutes and you have Feng Shui.  The system is easy (roll 2d6, subtract one from the other, add to a base score) that encourages crazy, over-the-top stunts and just plain coolness (Gun Fu anyone?) and this classic game should scratch your itch to blow stuff up and have fun while doing it.

#2:  Over The Edge

Also by Atlas, Over the Edge is..it’s…well..it’s weird.  The system for the game is extremely simple, but the game is really more about just the weird crap that happens on the island of Al Amarja.  True humans, fringe science, magic, baboon warriors and strange conspiracies are all a part of this game.  It’s even possible to play it so that the characters know what they are (aka characters in an RPG), or to run an entire campaign just within the Al Amarja airport.

#3: In Nomine

Put out by Steve Jackson Games, In Nomine is an English version of a French RPG.  The basic gist of the game is that the characters are servants of either Heaven or Hell, be they just chosen mortals or, more often, actual angels or demons.  The system uses 3 six-sided dice, and rolling a 111 or 666 results in Heavenly or Hellish intervention in what’s going on.  This is the game where the phrase in my group “Nuke the baby Jesus” came from.  Trust me, it’s a long story…but a classic.

#4:  World of Synnibarr

Wait.  Where are you going?  Come back.  Bear with me a bit.  Yes, I know World of Synnibarr is considered one of the “big three” of bad RPGs and it is utterly ridiculous (and, sadly, extremely hard to find).  But it is exactly for those billion-damage-point weapons, midnight sunstone bazookas, psionic shadow elves and giant red and white mushrooms that this game makes the list.  I mean, for the love of Pete, one of the gods is a god of ninjas and heavy metal.  Everything you’ve read about this game, yes, including grizzly bears that shoot lasers from their eyes, is true and it is glorious in it’s sheer stupidity.

#5: The Burning Wheel

The Burning Wheel is a fantasy roleplaying system, published by the same guys that publish the Mouseguard RPG.  I just picked this up on a whim Friday.  While it does strike me that the author made terminology changes just for the sake of making changes (I mean, really, do we need to rename character creation to “character burning?”) and the combat system could be less scripted and more free form, but it looks to be a very nice, story driven dice pool system.

[tags]Role Playing Games,feng shui,over the edge,world of synnibarr,in nomine,the burning wheel,underrated[/tags]

9 thoughts on “5 More Underrated RPGs

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  1. This list is pretty good, too. I’ve played two of the three of those; I’ll have to check out Over the Edge, In Nomine and World of Synnibarr (even though you as much said that the last one is reviled).

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  2. Even the author of World of Synnibarr has apologized for the game’s existence.

    It’s one of my “guilty pleasures” RPGs. I know it is absolutely horrible (read a review on RPG.net), but I kinda like it. There’s no game balance, the fiction of the world is disjointed, the mechanics are full of subsets of mechanics. There are weapons that deal, literally, billions of points of damage but if you have the right character build you can reduce that down to 100s of points instead.

    My ex-wife made a character that was a mutant who was a strong as a mortal could possibly get (there are rules for playing all the way up to godhood, BTW..it’s a huge book) but she also rolled asthma so. Hilarity ensued.

    It’s like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes..it’s so unbelievably bad it loops back around and becomes enjoyable.

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  3. Synnibarr never deserved to be on the unholy trinity list to begin with. Yeah it’s silly over the top everything and the kitchen sink Dragonball Z powered craziness, but I have played in multiple long campaigns of it and it is an absolute blast.

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