Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dice Rolling With The Rockers

I was chopping down a tree this weekend and I began humming a Rush song which was strange because I was never a big fan of the band growing up. Over the years, though, I've learned to appreciate them and enjoy what they brought to the 70's FM radio.

This got me thinking, what if these bands that we grew up with were the kids in our neighborhood playing classic rpgs with us. What would they be playing? Would we be invited to play with them? Would we want to?

RUSH - The kids from RUSH would definitely be playing Traveller. A serious campaign run by Neil taking you to the furthest cosmic reaches of the Spinward Marches. Some real sci-fi action and no screwing around.

Blue Oyster Cult - They'd be playing a serious Gamma World campaign. Not too gonzo but with some great sci-fi themes. A good game to join if you'd like a grim realistic grim campaign and if they'd let you play. Their sessions would be talked about with awe and become things of legend.

Black Sabbath - Ozzy and his friends would be playing a mash-up of Tunnels & Trolls, OD&D along with a bunch of Judge's Guild material. Tekumel would be their campaign world house-ruled to high heaven. Their weekend games would be held late Saturday nights and everyone would end up drunk and/or stoned and sneaking out until the wee hours of dawn. All the neighborhood church-goers would believe that odd kid Ozzy and his friends and their 'weird' game were all about worshiping the devil and your parents wouldn't let you go over there. You'd sneak over there anyway. They would be the kids who end up exploring the town's drainage tunnels.

Styx - Some high fantasy game; SPI's War of the Ring. Denis DeYoung would always insist on controlling Frodo.

The Who - Okay, these guys would be a bit older than everyone else and just won't quite understand this game ' of the imagination'. They make fun of everyone else playing that 'gay' game. Besides, they're too busy getting drunk and getting laid to really care. Many years later, Pete would discover the allure of the game.

Nirvanna - Kurt and his friends would be running just about everything. They'd start with Basic D&D then move on to 1st ed. AD&D, Boot Hill, Gamma World and Champions. All one big campaign with the same characters. Totally gonzo, anything goes, good times. Only problem, is that Kurt's girlfriend would show up and ruin everyone's fun. But they'd all put up with her 'cause she was hot in a trashy sort of way and pretty slutty.

The Ramones - Good ol' fashion D&D. Dee-Dee would be known to let anyone play but he'd always run Tomb of Horrors and take great glee in killing everyone's character. Everyone would drink beer afterwords.

PJ Harvey - Yeah, one of the few chics that was into playing RPGs. She started with OD&D and just stuck with that version, obsessed with re-interrupting the rules.

Queen - Metamorphis Alpha.

Duran Duran - A very gadget based Top Secret but soon ditched it for James Bond 007 RPG.

Smashing Pumpkins - Billy created his own campaign world with 1st ed AD&D and evolved it with each new edition. He currently plays the same campaign in 4th ed. but no longer plays with his original gaming group.

Cheap Trick - Paranoia

David Bowie - I hate to say it, but definitely a LARP - Vampires. David has played all the other games, though, so he's still cool.

Sonic Youth - Thurston would be running a Cyberpunk game full of edgy irony. Not many of the other kids would get into this but his gaming group is pretty dedicated and they'll end up playing the same campaign for years.

Glenn Danzig & Henry Rollins - These two guys and their friends started out with Moldvay's basic set but would become obsessed with playing Twilight 2000 for a summer and then give it up to begin pumping iron.

That's all I got. Feel free to post any others, I'd like to see what else folks come up with. I'm heading back out to cut some more trees.


  1. Gwar - Oderus Urungus runs what he claims is Gamma World, but it is so heavily house ruled to include demons and gruesome critical hits that nobody really knows for sure just what he is actually running. Eventually, everyone will drop out of his game because they are sick and tired of always dying in horrific ways. He will later discover Encounter Critical and use the new rule set to trick his friend into thinking he is running something completely different.

  2. Black Flag - Greg Ginn played Moldvay basic once and loved it. He wanted to run his own game but couldn't afford any books, so he wrote his own rules, photocopied them, and stapled them together for his players. The group still uses his rules, but they have been through more DMs and more players than anyone can keep track of.

  3. Mastodon: Rolemaster campaign set in ancient Sumeria, with a detailed homebrewed magic system based on blood sacrifice and trepanation.

    Three Inches of Blood: Hackmaster.

    Yes: Skyrealms of Jorune. Campaign suspended after one session due to dissatisfaction with Jon Anderson's improvisational DMing skills.

    Fugazi: That game on the Forge where you all collaborate in crafting a tale about feeling guilty about killing orcs. Ironically.

    Wu-Tang Clan: The RZA found a copy of Oriental Adventures and adapted it to his own Five Percent kung fu universe. Sessions tend to stall out into detailed descriptions of tortures meted out while rushing up in bakemono weed spots.