Friday, September 6, 2019

Thinking About My Early Homebrew

Possible cover inspiration for Mystic Medieval
There comes a moment in many young roleplaying gamers' lives where they get the itch to try their hands at making their own game. Some never really lose that urge. Here are the games I remember creating as a teenager:

Mystic Medieval. Mystic Medieval was my fantasy heartbreaker. It was created because one of my friends was not allowed to play D&D, but was allowed to play any other rpg that was not named D& I made something like D&D that he could be included in. I don't remember much about the rules (I know it had class-based character creation and also some sort of skill system that used the success/failure tables from Talislanta), but what I do remember was that the rules were housed in a purple three-ring binder with a bitchin' grim reaper I drew for the cover.

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Adapting media you enjoy so that you can play in its sandbox feels like a pretty natural step, and my first attempt was an rpg based on Douglas Adams's Hitch-Hiker's Guide books. This one was really rules lite; I remember the mechanic being something similar to how RISUS works. One of my friends back in middle school proclaimed that this was his "favorite rpg" at the time, and I was dead chuffed about that.

Hellbreakers. Hellbreakers wasn't quite an adaptation, but it was heavily inspired by Hellraiser. It may also have been in all caps: HELLBREAKERS. The premise was that the characters were all survivors who had fought their way back from imprisonment in hell and had emerged from the underworld with cool powers that they would use to fight against bondage gear-clad demons who were not unlike the Cenobites. It was something like a horror/superheroes hybrid in tone. Frankly, I still think that premise has legs.

The one with the monsters. Did it even have a name? I certainly can't recall. This was another game that was loosely based on Clive Barker's fiction and the movies derived from them. This time, the inspiration was Nightbreed. The player characters were monstrous creatures running amok in modern-day America. We played this one during a Halloween party at my house; I remember a liquor store being blown up as part of the climatic battle. I wonder if I made this one before or after White Wolf's World of Darkness dropped?