31 May 2013

Obscure RPG Appreciation Day: Lone Wolf RPG (1989)

A little blog named Mesmerized By Sirens that focuses on obscure RPGs is running what they call Obscure RPG Appreciation Day and have challenged bloggers to post about a little known RPG. I have decided to join in the fun with this blog post.

Did you know that a Lone Wolf RPG was published way back in 1989? Yes, I do mean the Lone Wolf of choose-your-own-adventure gamebook fame. The name of the game was, unsurprisingly, Lone Wolf RPG and it was published in issue 15 of the Lone Wolf Club newsletter. Taking inspiration from the popular line of Lone Wolf game books a group of dedicated fans outlined a basic role playing system that could be played on a good old fashioned tabletop.

You're probably wondering what this game looked like and you are in luck. Project Aon has made a great deal of Lone Wolf content freely available, including game the gamebooks everyone knows and loves and every issue of the Lone Wolf Club newsletter. The RPG starts on pager 9 of Issue 15. Go give it a read, the author's managed to cram a great deal of content into just two pages.

The rules of Lone Wolf RPG are very simple. Players chose one of two classes and rolled 3d6 to determine a total of seven attributes. Despite the 3d6 character attributes, challenges are actually resolved with a percentile roll with the difficulty being a multiple of a character's related attribute set by the GM. I don't think I have seen that particular take on things before and it seems a bit weird to my eyes, what do you think?

Another interesting quirk of Lone Wolf RPG is that HP is divvied up across different hit locations on your character, so your head has 3 HP, each arm has 2 HP and so on. I really do find it interesting how much crunch and granularity was squeezed into so few words. Modern ultralight games take up just as many pages and aren't nearly so crunch as Lone Wolf is, yet Lone Wolf isn't any more difficult to play.

If you like reading about RPGs that got lost in the passage of time then be sure to spend a few minutes looking through Mesmerized by Sirens. The blog is all about those old games it is a lot of fun to look back on the games that got left behind.



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