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RPG Recommendations
December 28, 2008 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Looking for some decent PC RPGs that a) don't involve playing with other people online and b) don't resemble Dungeons & Dragons, WoW, and so forth.

I have plenty of disc space and RAM, and my graphics card is great, so the size of the game isn't particularly a concern. I'd like to branch out beyond shooters and into a PC (read: not console) roleplaying game that I can play offline (or at least doesn't involve playing with others online) and does anything besides resemble WoW. Especially if the game involves critical thinking, logic puzzles, and a fair amount of exploration.

I thank you ahead of time.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing to Technology (51 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
Planescape.
posted by Aquaman at 9:03 AM on December 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Deus Ex and Deux Ex 2 won't win graphics awards by todays standards but they are two of the best RPG's out there.

http://store.steampowered.com/search/?term=deus+ex
The year is 2052 and the world is a dangerous and chaotic place. Terrorists operate openly - killing thousands; drugs, disease and pollution kill even more. The world's economies are close to collapse and the gap between the insanely wealthy and the desperately poor grows ever wider. Worst of all, an ages old conspiracy bent on world domination has decided that the time is right to emerge from the shadows and take control. No one believes they exist. No one but you.
.

Also the Fallout Series.

You can play the first two for cheap: http://www.gog.com/en/search/sort/search/fallout

or pick up the very recent Fallout 3 if you want the latest and greatest.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/22300/ (currently on sale on Steam, though it came out in stores too)
Set in the aftermath of a world-wide nuclear war, Fallout will challenge you to survive in an unknown and dangerous world. You will take the role of a Vault-dweller, a person who has grown up in a secluded, underground survival Vault. Circumstances arise that force you to go Outside - to a strange world 80 years after the end of modern civilization. A world of mutants, radiation, gangs and violence.

The core of the game revolves around your character. Fallout uses a skill-based system to allow you to fine tune your character. As you gain experience (roughly half from combat, the other half from solving adventure seeds and non-combat events), your character will grow as you determine. Combat in Fallout is tactical turn-based. You can take as much time as you need to make decisions. Choose from different types of attacks, with a variety of weapons and attack skills.
I recently beat Fallout 3 after 30 hours, and now I'm going to go back and do some of the side quests I skipped, apparently there's something like another 70 hours of content in there. :-)
posted by tiamat at 9:11 AM on December 28, 2008


Deus Ex and fall out would of course be my two recommendations. Grmph. Of course if something as actiony as Deus Ex counts your're half way to Bioshock.

It leans a little more to turn base dstrategy, but the the first X-COM/UFO game is great (the underwater sequel is basically the same game, diminishing returns after that)
posted by Artw at 9:17 AM on December 28, 2008


Fallout 3!

Also, Fallout 3.
posted by BobbyDigital at 9:37 AM on December 28, 2008


BioWare games tend to be very good, although they use (A)D&D rulesets with hidden dice throws.

* Infinity Engine (Isometric):
- Baldur's Gate I and II: Great RPGs, with an excellent mixture of story and combat.
- Planescape: Torment: Great interactive novel in the guise of an RPG.
- Icewind Dale: Basically Baldur's Gate without the plot. It focuses mainly in the combat.

* Aurora Engine and Odyssey Engine (3D)
- Neverwinter Nights: Somewhat lackluster single player campaign, it shines in multiplayer. However, you can download fan-made single player scenarios that are a lot better than the original.
- Neverwinter Nights 2: No idea, I haven't played it.
- Knights of the Old Republic: Really good game, with wonderful plot twists. It feels somewhat rushed at the end but the beginning and the middle are worth it.
- Knights of the Old Republic II: I haven't played it. From what I've read it improves the first game in some aspects, but it was really rushed to the end so, basically, the end-game sucks.


Other than BioWare games, you can find games like System Shock 2 and Deus Ex that combine elements from RPGs and Shooters. Both are very, very good. I think Fallout 3 also falls in this category, while Fallout and Fallout 2 are isometric turn-based RPGs.
posted by Memo at 9:38 AM on December 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Spore!
posted by nosila at 9:40 AM on December 28, 2008


As long as we're talking Fallout 3 we should also talk Oblivion. Oblivion's great too.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:44 AM on December 28, 2008


You might consider playing some Interactive Fiction if you're looking for logic puzzles. That said, I'm enjoying King's Bounty: The Legend recently. It's pretty light, and rather combat-heavy, but it's quite fun.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:48 AM on December 28, 2008


Instead of Deux Ex, I'd opt for System Shock 2
posted by zackola at 9:49 AM on December 28, 2008


Try the Avernum and Geneforge series from SpiderWeb Software. Kind of old-school shareware, not incredible graphics or anything, but fun and really vast. The earlier games have more puzzle-solving elements, while the later ones are more about NPC interaction. The game these most strongly resemble is Ultima IV, not WoW.
posted by shadow vector at 9:49 AM on December 28, 2008


I can't believe I forgot The Elder Scrolls games. Yes, they are great.
I haven't played Oblivion but the previous game, Morrowind, consumed weeks of my life.

They are, for the uninitiated, open-ended rpg games. There's a plot, and a long term goal, but you're free to do whatever you want. Very, very fun.

There are a lot of mods too, so if you dislike some part of the game (the skill based leveling, in my case) you're free to download a mod to fix it.
posted by Memo at 9:51 AM on December 28, 2008


Well, Oblivion (and the rest of the Elder Scrolls series) would "resemble Dungeons & Dragons", no? I took "resemble Dungeons & Dragons" to mean "medievalish fantasy", which the Elder Scrolls games are.

I second (or Nth) the Fallout series (although I've only played Fallout 3 so far). A couple others that I enjoyed very much:

Mass Effect

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (there are a couple games in this series)
posted by Flunkie at 10:07 AM on December 28, 2008


And depending upon exactly what you mean by "resemble Dungeons & Dragons", perhaps Jade Empire. It's medieval fantasy, but medieval Chinese fantasy, like an epic kung fu flick. That may or may not be sufficiently non-D&D for you, I don't know.

And if you mean something entirely different than what I'm assuming, then I too recommend Morrowind and Oblivion.
posted by Flunkie at 10:11 AM on December 28, 2008


If you like being a bad guy, The Godfather.

I don't like being a bad guy. I like saving the universe. The closest you can come to saving the universe in this game is "I'll slap this guy silly instead of choking him to death".

I got a very bad vibe from this game. But other than that, it's exactly this kind of game which I like very much (a la Oblivion, Fallout, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, KOTOR), and it's well done.
posted by Flunkie at 10:19 AM on December 28, 2008


Nthing Planescape: Torment and the Baldur's Gate series...they are awesome.
posted by schyler523 at 10:20 AM on December 28, 2008


If you're not picky about graphics and want to support indy game developers, you could check out Hinterlands and Eschalon, Book 1. They're both supposed to be pretty good. I'm a graphics snob, so I've not tried either extensively.

Also, I ordered King's Bounty (mentioned above) for Christmas. It hasn't arrived yet because of the snow here, but I'll let you know what I think when I get it (and have time to play it, which might be a while).
posted by Caduceus at 10:31 AM on December 28, 2008


I really enjoyed playing through Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. It wasn't a huge world like some rpgs, but there were a lot of side quests and you can play the game in a variety of styles. Most importantly, the story and atmosphere were very engrossing. Also, it was made with the source engine so the graphics are pretty good (I bet a bit outdated now) and is available on steam.
posted by Large Marge at 10:38 AM on December 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines is a great example of what you're looking for (to second Large Marge). It had a few pretty major bugs on release, but those have largely been patched up.

Mass Effect is apparently amazing as well, my brother tells me, and didn't receive as much acclaim as it ought to have due to the DRM on the discs resulting in its getting review bombed by angry players. Now that it is also available on Steam, that shouldn't be an issue. I'm pretty excited about that one, myself.

Last, and probably best, Fallout 3 is fucking amazing. Hands down the best game I've played in years, maybe ever.
posted by voltairemodern at 10:54 AM on December 28, 2008


Fallout. And then Fallout 2.

The Deus Ex games are good, and all, and do have RPG elements, but I wouldn't class them as RPGs, and you'd probably be hard pressed to find people who would, really. The Baldur's Gate series is awesome as well.

But whatever you do, Fallout first, then Fallout 2, then go look at other recommendations. Fallout 3 is not canon, and thus not required reading.

(All in my rather old-school opinion, of course)
posted by Dysk at 10:56 AM on December 28, 2008


- Jade Empire (RPG/3rd-person real-time(? I think?) beat-em-up set in ancient China, fun but not too deep/complex)
- Knights Of The Old Republic 1 & 2 (Star Wars 3rd-person RPG, pseudo-turn-based combat (you can pause, issue orders, then unpause to watch orders play out), great if you enjoy Star Wars)
- Fallout 1 & 2 (post-apocalyptic isometric RPG, turn-based combat)
- Fallout 3 (post-apocalyptic FPS/RPG hybrid, combat can be fully real-time or pseudo-turn-based)
- Planescape: Torment (based on D&D rules and an official D&D setting, but setting is fairly different from stereotypical D&D stuff, isometric, real-time combat, GREAT plot/dialogue/character development)
- Deux Ex 1 & 2 (FPS with RPG elements, good plot, good number of ways to play (stealth, sniping, heavy weapons, etc))
- Mass Effect (RPG/3rd person shooter hybrid, real-time combat)

If you want to avoid D&D style stuff (i.e. swords, magic, goblins, orcs, dungeons, etc), ignore recommendations for:
- Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2
- Oblivion (& other Elder Scrolls games)
- Baldurs Gate
- Icewind Dale
- Eschalon
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:03 AM on December 28, 2008


Fallout 3 is a really fun game. Don't listen to Brother Dysk unless you're more concerned about his opinion of how you enjoy yourself more than you're concerned about enjoying yourself.
posted by Flunkie at 11:06 AM on December 28, 2008



Well, Oblivion (and the rest of the Elder Scrolls series) would "resemble Dungeons & Dragons", no? I took "resemble Dungeons & Dragons" to mean "medievalish fantasy", which the Elder Scrolls games are.


I guess you missed his previous post where he suggests Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate, NWN and NWN 2 , they don't just "resemble Dungeons & Dragons", they are Dungeons & Dragons (and not just the ruleset, they are all forgotten realms campaigns and at least in NWN and NWN2 the dice rolls aren't hidden). Some people just don't know how to read the question (or don't care)

I do agree that it sounds like the poster would like to exclude any generic fantasy settings, which does limit your choices somewhat.

If you want masses of exploration, Elder Scrolls really are the way to go, it is a generic fantasy setting but the worlds are huge and you don't have to do as you're told. Very free-form. Oblivion is one of very few games where you can totally ignore (and IMO the game is better if you do) the plot and do your own thing.

Coming from a 'shooter' background, you'll probably enjoy Mass Effect and Deus Ex/Deus Ex 2. More player skill required than a lot of RPGs.

Bloodlines is awesome, I think I've played it through with every 'class', the plot is totally linear, there are plenty of side quests and many can be completed in different ways but there isn't much of a world to explore.

If you like Star Wars, the KoToR games are very good - again, not much in the way of exploration, you can choose which order to visit various planets but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter, you're going to go to all of them.

Jade Empire is also really cool - the engine and gameplay is similar to KoToR (fixed pathways and no jumping so no going where-ever you feel like) but the combat is really awesome. It has good/evil alignment shifts like KoToR but they don't affect the plot much, as in KoToR, it affect people's reactions to you and options you get in a minor way but doesn't change the main plot.

Off the top of my head I can't really think of any games that rely much on logic puzzles or critical thinking, mostly you just kill stuff or use skills your character has. Mass Effect has a 'moving maze' like system for a lot of skill stuff (your skill level makes it easier but you still have to do stuff), basically there is a circle with rings of moving blocks and you have to move your block through to the middle without getting hit - its not really logic but its a puzzle of sorts.
posted by missmagenta at 11:22 AM on December 28, 2008


Last, and probably best, Fallout 3 is fucking amazing. Hands down the best game I've played in years, maybe ever.

Seriously? I like it and all, but it mostly seems to consist of me alternating between creeping around a relatively homogenous landscape and/or subway system, and frantically running backwards while firing as fast as I can. With a moment or two of contemplative V.A.T.S. usage as a transition mode between the two states.

I can think of 5 "better" games without even blinking. As always, YMMV.
posted by Aquaman at 11:25 AM on December 28, 2008


All my suggestions have already been mentioned. So, increment their scores.

Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3 (which is canon AFAIC). In all of these, you can complete the main quest in just a couple days. The real joy is in exploring the wasteland.

Deux Ex. Deus Ex 2 is okay, but not great.

System Shock and System Shock 2.

BioShock--although this one is more of a shooter than an RPG, as they simplified the gameplay from SystemShock 2.
posted by Netzapper at 11:31 AM on December 28, 2008


I guess you missed his previous post where he suggests Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate, NWN and NWN 2 , they don't just "resemble Dungeons & Dragons", they are Dungeons & Dragons
Or maybe I never played them, and thus am not commenting on them.
posted by Flunkie at 11:32 AM on December 28, 2008


You can get the first Fallout and Deus Ex from GameTap for free. Both are fun, although Deus Ex is a shooter. Fallout 2 and 3 are worth paying for, Deus Ex 2 not so much.

Knights Of The Old Republic is a fantastic RPG and one of my favorites; if you like the first one, the sequel is worth playing, but pretty flawed.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is sort of a shooter/RPG hybrid that I'm having a lot of fun with right now, and it's only five bucks on Steam for the next few days (as is Bioshock!) It might be worth a look.
posted by EarBucket at 11:34 AM on December 28, 2008


Not RPGs, but you may like the Lucas Arts games. Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island series.

Very heavy on wit and puzzling/logic.
posted by DolorousEdd at 11:39 AM on December 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't know how far outside your interest this might be, but The Kingdom of Loathing was featured in Wired magazine awhile back. It's a browser-based stick-figure RPG that borders on text-based. You have to be online to play, but it doesn't take a lot of bandwidth or anything. It's a free game (although there is some special content available upon "donation"), pokes fun at things like Dungeons and Dragons with character classes like Pastamancer, Accordion Thief, and Seal Clubber. The game is constantly expanding. There are some places where you might find content more enjoyable with other people, but it's by no means necessary. The community of this game generally values such things as basic literacy and maturity.

Many of the quests in the game involve logic or problem solving. There is quite a bit of pop-culture (especially 80s and early 90s) referenced in the game, and often puzzles are tied into this.

If you get into the game and decide to stick around awhile, MeMail me your character's name and I'll send you over a bit of stuff to get started if you like.

Seriously, give it a try. There are people who have been playing for almost five years and still get into the game, and player age ranges from ~12 to at least retirement age, and people from all over the world (countries for sure that I know of: US, UK, Australia, Poland, Chile) play this game.

(I in no way profited from this comment, and the only affiliation I have with the Kingdom of Loathing or Asymmetric Publications is that of a very satisfied user.)
posted by Night_owl at 11:43 AM on December 28, 2008


Top of my head list, not organized, not chronological.
I italicized the ones that hold up, even today and you should run out and play. The great old ones that others will point out are worth playing, but are a bit dated.

Sci-Fi
Fallout 1, 2, 3
Deus Ex 1
Deus Ex 2
System Shock 2
Wasteland
Fountain of Dreams
Sentinel Worlds
Starflight
Hard Nova
Starflight 2
Star Control 2
2000 AD
Bloodnet
Planet's Edge

Steampunk
Arcanum
Darklands
Martian Dreams
Savage Empire
Lionheart (not hugely great though)

Stretches -
Might and Magic 4/5 - Funny monty haul adventures. Fantasy though
Superhero League of Hoboken - Cute
Eric the Unready - Fantasy, but sorta funny in an old fashioned cute way
Gothic 1, 2, 3 - Clunky fantasy, but if you can get into it, great.
The Witcher - Throwback, fantasy as well
Divine Divinity - Fantasy, clunky, but has some fans. Avoid the sequels
Mount and Blade - Amazing horse combat, might not be RPGey enough
1492: The Guild - Real World, more of a life sim. Only play the first one unless you can get the second for cheap.


If any sound interesting, I can give a lot more info. I'll think of more and post again if I can think of any I missed,.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:46 AM on December 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can download a free open-source version of Star Control 2 here. A classic, and still pretty entertaining.
posted by EarBucket at 11:50 AM on December 28, 2008


Holy crap, this entire thread is an amazing resource to me. I honestly don't know where to begin. Thank you all so much, guys. If you have any other recommendations that haven't been made already, please feel free to chime in.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:53 AM on December 28, 2008


Oh, Good Ol' Games (which I found through an FPP) is a good place to get older RPGs for cheap. Particularly the old Fallouts.
posted by Caduceus at 12:14 PM on December 28, 2008


I guess you missed his previous post where he suggests Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate, NWN and NWN 2 , they don't just "resemble Dungeons & Dragons", they are Dungeons & Dragons (and not just the ruleset, they are all forgotten realms campaigns and at least in NWN and NWN2 the dice rolls aren't hidden). Some people just don't know how to read the question (or don't care)
I had no idea they were Dungeons & Dragons, just that they used their ruleset. I apologize to the OP.
posted by Memo at 12:23 PM on December 28, 2008


Seriously? I like it and all, but it mostly seems to consist of me alternating between creeping around a relatively homogenous landscape and/or subway system, and frantically running backwards while firing as fast as I can. With a moment or two of contemplative V.A.T.S. usage as a transition mode between the two states.

As you say, YMMV. But for me, the fact that they nailed the atmosphere and environment is what cements the game's place as president...of my heart. Even though the ending of the main plot was very lackluster, I've gotten to max level on two characters without touching it. The game's strengths are in the possibilities it opens for exploration of the wasteland, and the wasteland comprises an image that I've heard people speak of as "haunting" them. I have to agree on that score.
posted by voltairemodern at 12:26 PM on December 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines is perhaps the perfect blend of FPS and RPG, but this only last until the endgame. It was originally designed to be a lot shootier and less RPGish, and about halfway through dev they fired the guy in charge and brought in someone else. They had most of the game reworked to be more open and flexible, and created a truly amazing game, but the endgame is still shooty as hell. That might have been different, except that Troika shut down, forcing the early release of the game; the first patch was actually done by ex-Troika programmers who worked for no pay because they wanted the game to be better.

(That's why I play it straight most of the way and then cheat my way through the endgame if it proves necessary or unduly frustrating without it- particularly with combat-heavy character builds, it usually isn't.)

I strongly recommend it, especially if you like the World of Darkness, as you're basically operating in and around the WoD Los Angeles just before Gehenna. It's very much a Troika game- amazingly open world, full of things to do and see, but unfinished and buggy as hell. Get it on Steam, where it's $20 (or $18 before January 2), and then get the Unofficial Patch which fixes nearly all the bugs and finishes all the incomplete content.

</fanboy gush>
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:27 PM on December 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


If Kingdom of Loathing interests you you might want to check out Urban Dead, a similar zombie apocalypse themed game, or Nexus Wars, which is an even more complicated variation on that theme set at the end of the universe where the forces of good and evil meet for a bit genre mash-up fight.

These are all multiplayer of course.
posted by Artw at 12:56 PM on December 28, 2008


More on Nexus Wars.
posted by Artw at 1:01 PM on December 28, 2008


Most of the good stuff has been said and seconded, so I'll just second Lord_Pall's suggestion for Arcanum. I had so much fun with that game!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:45 PM on December 28, 2008


Could you explain what exactly you don't like about DND? Is it the micromanagement of characters/statistics, or is it the fantasy setting? I'd say KOTOR is a DND game that avoids those two aspects pretty handily, as the DND dice rolls and statistics are behind the scenes but can be found in logs, and it's a Star Wars game with settings and characters that, imho, feel in line with the original 3 films.

You say you've had experience with shooters, so I take it you like them. Or you're sick of them, and want to run away. Deus Ex, Fallout 3, and the System/Bio Shock series are all FPSRPGs. Fallout 1 and 2 are games from the 90's that are isometric 2D games. If you're up for an RPG shooter, go for Deus Ex 1, and try a high-res texture pack since the graphics have not aged that well. The voice acting is hilariously bad, too, but the writing is great. In fact, if you Google the game, expect to see the deepest lines also appear in Youtube videos making fun of the crap voice acting. Deus Ex 2 is good, but not nearly as great as the first one. If you play through Deus Ex 1, you'll probably want to see where the story goes after it, and there's talk of Deus Ex 3 coming out in the near future, too, so it warrants a playthrough although it is much less deep.

Fallout 3 is probably the best modern FPSRPG, but I think the main quest is too short and the level cap is too low, and there aren't enough side quests. It warrants two playthroughs, but after that, I was bored and felt like I saw everything worth seeing. There is DLC on the horizon, though, and the kit for making user created content just came out. Right now, I think there isn't enough content. It's a bit like what Siskel said about movies: "A good movie is never too long, a bad movie is never too short."

Assuming you don't mind an RPG with "move a guy from the third person perspective" style controls (the camera isn't a problem, I promise!), KOTOR 1 delivers on every aspect you describe. KOTOR 2 was another game I tried, but I couldn't get into it. Somehow, the story was just less engaging and the worlds just weren't that exciting to explore, possibly due to bad art or poor level design, but a different developer made it. KOTOR isn't above using a logic puzzle or math problem to "hack" a computer. Of course, if it's too hard, there are ways around it, too. Plus, the dark side/light side aspect makes the game more replayable.

One person recommended Spore. I don't consider it an RPG, and I think that it's too expensive for what you get at this point. When it's $20, it warrants a playthrough, but right now, I'm missing the $50 I spent on it the day it came out. It was pretty dumbed down from what was shown at the tradeshows.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:25 PM on December 28, 2008


Could you explain what exactly you don't like about DND?

I love D&D, I'm just looking for a PC RPG that doesn't resemble it. I also love ketchup, but I wouldn't stir it in my coffee.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:29 PM on December 28, 2008


D&D or DND?
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:38 PM on December 28, 2008


Oh, and in case you're after Bioshock per mccarty.tim, it's $5 on Steam until the 2nd.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:38 PM on December 28, 2008


D&D or DND?

Now I'm thoroughly confused.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:01 PM on December 28, 2008


nethack.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:08 PM on December 28, 2008


Don't forget that your PC can become a super nintendo or any number of other older consoles with utmost ease! For the super nintendo in particular, try:

Earthbound
Chrono Trigger
Final Fantasy VI
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

And so many others. They certainly won't get your graphics card to work all that hard, but there's a real beauty in older games that many newer games lack - the graphic are enough, you know? The games I mentioned are perfect, graphically, I think. They don't need anything more than what's already there.
posted by Rinku at 10:15 PM on December 28, 2008


Loved "Longest Journey"; haven't played its sequel yet.
posted by OolooKitty at 11:32 PM on December 28, 2008


Now I'm thoroughly confused.

I've been playing through dnd (not D&D) in its original form on the PLATO system. Even wrote a column about it. It's amazingly brutal, but I can attest it can indeed be enjoyable.
posted by JHarris at 7:27 PM on December 29, 2008


When you lump World of Warcraft in with Dungeons & Dragons, it makes me think you're referring to Dungeons & Dragons Online.

Anyway, Nethack, Rogue, ADOM and Dungeon Crawl. Especially Nethack. And Rogue. And the other two.

Dwarf Fortress too, for its roguelike mode. Its fortress mode is great fun, but not technically a role-playing game.

Newcomer Legerdemain is pretty good.
posted by JHarris at 7:31 PM on December 29, 2008


Pope Guilty: Hmm... I feel I need to remark on this.

The page you link to claims that dnd is "arguably" the first computer RPG. It is not, and neither is this the original version of DND, which is playable on the cyber1 PLATO system I mentioned before.

The history file on the game identifies a couple of earlier-still RPGs, one of which. "pedit5" (they were named to system administrators wouldn't suspect they were games), is still playable. The very earliest computer RPGs, however, are totally lost, deleted by those same administrators.

(It is exceedingly unlikely there were any computer RPGs before 1974, the year of original D&D's first publication.)
posted by JHarris at 8:29 PM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Quite a bit late, but I'd like to add The Witcher to the list. Definitely not D&D of any flavor. You get to play the badass Witcher Geralt, who hunts down evil stuff for a living. It takes place in a sort of dark medieval world. Supposedly your choices have significant effect on the game world; I'm still playing through so I don't know how true this is, but so far I've run afoul of several interesting moral quandaries. I love it, but it's very violent and definitely not for the kids. There's even a little metagame of collecting cards from all the women who'll sleep with Geralt~
posted by ashirys at 12:20 PM on January 5, 2009


I don't endorse the idea that it's the first crpg, since obviously it's not. Just pointing to the best source of information about it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:18 PM on January 5, 2009


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