Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Roleplaying Games Played with the Kids

I call them the kids but they've grown up a lot since I started playing RPGs with them. Most of them are adults or near adults now.


Buggin', The Tiny Game of Big Adventures, “The World is Big. You are Not. Best of Luck.” By Todd Downing, copyright 2003 by Deep7.

This is one of the Deep7 1PG line of games, and the kids love it.

BESM, aka Big Eyes, Small Mouth

Guardians of Order published Big Eyes, Small Mouth in 1st, 2nd, and 2nd Revised editions; White Wolf's Arthaus imprint later published the 3rd edition when GoO fell upon hard times, and Dyskami Publishing published a 4th Edition later. 2ER was my favorite edition. Complete in one book and simpler than GURPS, it is good for a broad spectrum of games. Character creation can be deep, but play is very simple.

D&D 3.5e

Dungeons and Dragons, 3.5E, Wizards of the Coast.

I've had a lot of fun playing 3.5E with the kids, running The Sunless Citadel and playing in Scourge of the Howling Horde.

Fudge Bunnies and Burrows

Fudge, written by Steffan O'Sullivan (with input from and published by Grey Ghost Press, is what O'Sullivan, also the author of GURPS Bunnies and Burrows, uses for Bunnies and Burrows these days. Fudge is one of my favorite games, and I've followed it since the days, and have a copy of the original Wild Mule Games edition of Fudge. This was the first RPG I played with several of the kids.

Savage Worlds

Savage Worlds: Explorers' Edition, by Shane Hensley, Paul “Wiggy” Wade-Williams, Simon Lucas, Joseph Unger, Dave Blewer, Clint Black, Robin Elliott, Piotr Koryś With “Evil” Mike, “Chaos” Steve, Zeke Sparkes, Jay & Amy Kyle, Jodi Black, Dirk Ringersma, Randy Mosiondz. Published by Great White Games DBA Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Copyright 2007. The tagline for Savage Worlds is “Fast, Furious, Fun” and it's very appropriate. The kids love the fiddly bits (expoloding dice rolls, tokens for bennies, the playing-card based initiative.


Toon, by Greg Costikyan, developed by Warren Spector, edited by Steve Jackson, cover and illustrations by Kyle Miller, copyright 1984, 1985, 1986, 1991 by Steve Jackson Incorporated.

Toon is a cartoon roleplaying game: think Bugs Bunny, the Roadrunner, and Tom and Jerry. I've got nearly the entire oeuvre: Toon (the original edition), Toon — Deluxe Edition, Toon Tales, Tooniversal Tour Guide, and Toon Ace Catalog. It's another game the kids love.

Labyrinth Lord

Labyrinth Lord from Goblinoid Games is a wonderful retro-clone of B/X D&D, and it's companion Advanced Edition Companion adds compatibility with AD&D, which makes it perfect for running the old modules I have. It plays much like we actually played AD&D back in the day, without some of the convolutions. We had great fun playing Keep on the Borderlands and a number of other modules, and one of the kids, T.A., ran the module Idol of the Orcs for us!

Mini Six

I ran several Mini Six (from Antipaladin Games) Star Wars games with the kids, and really liked the simple nature of the system. I also ran and liked the Breachworld RPG which uses a slightly customized Mini Six rules set. I also liked its setting, a post apocalypse caused by too much teleportation, which created Breaches to other worlds, which then invaded the Earth. There are several other games which use the Mini Six rules set.

D6 Star Wars

One of the kids, T.A., was very interested in the Star Wars Mini Six game I ran, and that led to him running the original D6 Star Wars roleplaying game several times.