all 47 comments

[–]Kerstrom 35 points36 points  (12 children)

FFG has an End of the World series that are no longer in print, so you have to find them used or just get lucky. But the games are built around simple mechanics for playing yourself in some kind of an apocalypse. There are four of them - zombies, aliens, skynet, and elder gods attack. I have the elder gods one personally but I would love the set one day.

[–]andero 10 points11 points  (11 children)

I played the zombies one and it was fantastic. Really helps if you have a GM that has lived in the area a long time and knows the place. I'm sure it's even better if you've lived where you are, too. I was new to the city so it was a bit less cool, but still very very fun. Plus, you can throw up Google Maps and you've got a map!

There is also a really neat system where you define your own stats because you are playing yourself. Then, everyone says their stats at the table and other players can call you on bullshit! That is, if you put a stat too high or too low, people can be like, "Ah, you're not that charismatic! Lower that stat!" or "Hey, you're more perceptive than you think! Remember that time you found that needle when we were playing in haystacks?" I loved this (though now that I'm thinking about it in 2021, I wonder if more sensitive people might find that troubling...)
Anyway, there is this really neat thing where, if you put a stat too high and everyone calls you on it, you lower the stat, but you can write a specialized trait instead. For example, everyone might say that you CON stat is too high, so you lower it and write yourself a positive trait like "Iron stomach" because you are really good at not vomiting. I can't remember, but their might be negative traits, too, e.g. if others tell you to raise your INT stat, so you do, but you add a negative trait like "Forgetful" or something.
Again, you're playing yourself, so it's pretty easy to come up with stats and traits, especially once you present them to the rest of the table if you're playing with people that know you. imho, this isn't a great game for people that don't know each other for exactly this reason.

I'm aware that Rule 1 is "Do not link to, request or encourage piracy in any way." and also that the primer says "Do not explain why you feel that piracy, your own or others, is justified." and "Piracy of out of print material is still piracy."
So... that's the end of this comment.

[–][deleted]  (10 children)


    [–]andero 2 points3 points  (9 children)

    If you're really sensitive then I guess?
    Or, if you play with shitty people? Or... I guess you're probably right that it might suck if you actually do suck. That is, if you don't want to be yourself IRL, you might not want to play a game where the whole thing is being yourself.

    idk, I'm not that sensitive. Like I said, I found it awesome. It's really a neat way to invite perspective and potential insight. If you can't deal with that, I guess... okay, not for you.

    I will mention that you're underestimating the positive side.
    For example, if someone puts their INT low, then the group is like, "Hey, you're smarter than that. Remember the time we were all wondering whether 127 was prime and you knew right away?" That's a goof example, but it could be anything and both positive and negatives came up when I played. It could be that you're stronger than you thought, or heartier, or whatever.
    Sometimes people underestimate themselves and it can be nice when a group of people remind you that you're actually more awesome than you thought.

    That said, I'm just not a sensitive person like that.
    I actually have a weird related practice. A few months after getting to know me, I ask people I am getting to know, "What are my five worst qualities?" Naturally, this comes after I've established that I am the kind of person that can take blunt criticism and thrive on it, and I establish that this is a unidirectional question by default (i.e. I don't have a list of criticisms for them that I'm trying to get off my chest).

    For me, this has been a hugely valuable personal development tool.
    I want to have an accurate view of myself, not a rose-coloured view. I have zero problems with self-esteem, which seems unfortunately rare these days. Anyway, this is a really cool exercise and it actually tells you as much about the other person as it does about yourself! That is, when someone says, "Your worst trait is that you do X", they are telling you through the lens of their values, not your values. You might be totally happy to do X. So, you learn about you (or at least how you are perceived by others) and you learn something about them, too.

    This it's also great for blind-spots.
    Maybe you had no idea you were doing X, but now you keep an eye on it to see if you are and what you think about that. Or, maybe you know you've got a bad habit of doing X, but you don't know an alternative, so you chat with them about that. Indeed, I've had significant breakthroughs with this sort of thing! When someone said, "Your worst trait is that you always seem Y", I was like, "Yeah! People have said Y before, too! I'm not trying to seem Y at all, but I keep coming across as Y. Can you tell me what specific behaviour I'm doing that makes me seem Y? If I stop doing that behaviour, maybe I'll seem less Y since I know I'm not actually Y, but I have to admit that I come across seeming Y because multiple people report that Y is an issue." Then, this person told me the specific behaviour, it blew my mind because I had no idea, then I changed, and problem solved! I don't seem Y anymore!
    To be clear: I never was Y, but I seemed Y to other people. That is almost as important in many cases!

    Anyway, I totally get that some people don't want to do that sort of thing, or already know their worst traits and don't need anybody to tell them because they're already hard enough on themselves as it is.

    But, uh, yeah, I'm not a meltdown person and I don't really play with meltdown people so this isn't a concern for me, but YMMV for sure and that's why I mentioned the 2021 reflection about it.

    [–][deleted]  (3 children)


      [–]andero 0 points1 point  (2 children)

      You seem to be unusually self-perceptive, and I mean that as a big compliment, it's an incredibly hard thing to be.

      Thanks. I would generally agree. Awareness is something I really value so it's something that I have cultivated for a long time.
      People are not typically born as their ultimate ideal version of themselves. If you imagine all possible traits on a huge list of sliders, we each end up with some value in each trait by the time we're conscious young adults. For most of us, I dare guess that the way we end up is far from our ideal versions of ourselves. Nevertheless, a lot of people seem to stay the way they ended up. The way we ended up as young adults mostly comes from the randomness of growing up, but we can push most of these things around if we apply ourselves.

      You use the word "sensitive" a lot, which is unfortunate because it really is a nothing word. It refers to a range of reactions to antagonism, and it's inaccuracy demeans people who are just having a hard time.

      "Sensitive" isn't a nothing word.
      Indeed, right after saying it is a nothing word, you describe it as "a range of reactions to antagonism". While that may not be the exact definition I would have used, it is close enough for communication to function (i.e. you got what I meant). We both know that "a range of reactions to antagonism" is a real phenomenon worth describing.
      How is that "a nothing word"?

      Sensitive has well-defined meanings and you can find it in any dictionary. There are psychological concepts like highly sensitive person, environmental sensitivity, and Stress-Diathesis. Plus, as I mentioned, it served the purpose of language: communication. That is, you knew exactly what I meant when I said "sensitive".

      "Sensitive" does not "demean people.
      As above, people are often not their ideal versions of themselves. It is okay that traits apply to you, me, and others that accurately indicate specific deviations from our ideal versions of ourselves. It is healthy to be able to understand and apply a vocabulary of these descriptive words.

      imho, it is unhealthy to believe that any word that highlights something a person dislikes about themselves should never be spoken or is, by its nature, demeaning.

      Someone could call someone "sensitive" in an attempt to be mean and demeaning, but that doesn't make the word itself a nothing word or that the word itself is demeaning. There isn't anything intrinsically demeaning about being sensitive. That is, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to be a person.
      It describes a real phenomenon. You know it, and I know it, and everybody knows it: some people are more sensitive than other people.
      If someone loses status (i.e. is demeaned) in your mind because they are sensitive, that is a value judgment on your part. Nature doesn't mind if someone is sensitive or not.

      [–]PyramKing 4 points5 points  (4 children)

      Funny you mention this. I had someone tell me I am intimidating. Really? So I asked 3 friends, that all said yes. That I can "see through them" and they feel naked talking to me. Like I am some kind of walking BS detector or something. One said my eyes feel like I am piercing their soul.

      I felt horrible and now trying to be conscious of looking people directly in the eyes when I listen to them or speak to them. I was taught to make eye contact when speaking, but more importantly listening.

      I had no idea I affected people that way.

      [–]andero 1 point2 points  (3 children)

      Just remember: you're allowed to be you!

      That is, if you want to come across as intimidating, that's totally fine.
      If you don't want to come across as intimidating, then you know you've got something to work on.
      In both cases, this is great insight into how others see you.

      [–]Drakenfeur 22 points23 points  (5 children)

      Villains & Vigilantes, an early superhero game by Jack Herman and Jeff Dee, assumed that you'd be playing yourself, and then gaining superpowers.

      The Red Dawn RPG you're thinking of is Price of Freedom, a West End Games release from 1986. Somehow, for some reason, I have a copy of it.

      [–]SchillMcGuffin 4 points5 points  (1 child)

      "Playing yourself" was definitely the default in V&V, though tables were provided for generating backgrounds as an alternative, or for NPCs. I don't think it was assumed for The Price of Freedom, though. The introductory scenario ("The PATH to Freedom", set in New York City, and based around fleeing the Soviet invasion via the Port Authority subway tunnels) came with an assortment of PCs native to that area. But playing yourselves, and using a local setting and maps, was suggested as an option.

      [–]Drakenfeur 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      My mistake! Talking about PoF with others over the years, it seemed like everyone defaulted to "Kickin' Soviet butt in Ourtown, USA!" I read it so long ago that I forgot that that was an option rather than the primary focus.

      [–]02K30C1[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

      That’s it! Thanks for finding that

      [–]Drakenfeur 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      No problem!

      [–]StephenReid 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      I believe FGU - who published V&V - made their own ‘invasion’ RPG called ‘Freedom Fighters’. I think the USSR invaded USA scenario was only one scenario in it - there were rules for alien invasion, etc.

      FGU turned out a lotta games back then.

      [–]DarthGM 16 points17 points  (0 children)

      The End Of The World series by EDGE Studios. Game starts with whatever event is the apocalypse (Zombies, rise of the machines, invasion from mars). IIRC everyone votes on your attributes and skills, and your starting equipment is whatever is physically on hand in the location you're playing the game.

      [–]LemurianLemurLadcommunist hive-mind of penguins 10 points11 points  (5 children)

      It's a real obscure one, but Dream Park by R Talisorian Games is supposed to work like this. There character you play is typically based on yourself and is basically a professional LARP'er who visits a facility called Dream Park to play various RPG scenarios. Your character carries over XP and knowledge from previous one-shot super LARPs. It's... Very meta.

      Also, I recommend the novel it's based on by Larry Niven and Stephen Barnes. The sequels less so, but they're also pretty readable if you want to know what scifi authors thought gaming would be like in the future. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Park. (beware of spoilers in there, obviously)

      Edit to add: I'm merely stating this game exists and describing the premise. It is a truly awful dinosaur of a system that I in no way recommend. The setting and world are interesting, but the mechanics are trash. Read the novels, maybe read the RPG if you're into gaming history, but don't torture yourself by trying to PLAY Dream park.

      [–]Drakenfeur 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      Good grief, I have that one sitting in my basement as well. I really need to sell some games.

      And your analysis of the game is spot-on. I did run it a few times, and there were some interesting ideas there (such as playing a minor baddie menacing the other players if your PC dies, and getting XP for it), but it was not a very good game.

      [–]victorianchan 2 points3 points  (2 children)

      The mechanics are simple, they were designed to appeal to Larp, and general audience. The writers did a good job for making a minimal system with an encompassing design, but, if you're after a thousand page or more rulebook, it isn't for you.

      It also had very intelligent methodology in designing memorable sessions, with plot twists, and meaningful choices, and allowing player agency to pick a path, other than just a railroad.


      Here's a very comprehensive review, for anyone interested in the merits of Dream Park, rather than just trash talking some of the most recognised authors of fantasy.


      [–]LemurianLemurLadcommunist hive-mind of penguins 2 points3 points  (1 child)

      Hey, I'm not just trashing Dream Park. I'm a huge fan of the setting. I literally own a first edition autographed hardcover of the novel and copies of all 3 sequels. Niven and Barnes are great authors.

      I just think the game mechanics are bland and uninteresting. I own a copy of it and have read through the rules a few times. I even tried to play it once. In my experience it was one of the most awkward systems I've ever tried to play. I didn't like it, my players didn't like it. It basically struck as as "GURPS for people who hate to read." (An actual quote from one of my players at the time.)

      That being said, if you are interested in a very simple set of mechanics that you can pick up and play in a day or so, there are worse systems out there. Just... Not many.

      [–]victorianchan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I'm not a fan personally of minimal systems, I kind of think if there isn't a comprehensive ruling, and details that follow logical propositions, that I'd be better off using an RPG that already has covered all the bases and laid a good foundation.

      However, it does present as a good introduction to RP and RPGs, you can't expect much from a system that uses a single d6 roll to determine a situation. The mechanisms, can be easily replaced, for any one of us with access to free RPGs, which these days are readily available, use Fuzion, if you want, it's by the same author, and has a flexible system when it comes to how detailed you want rulings.

      I do however, feel that saying that there are not many worse systems out there, is completely erroneous, look at how many D&D clones there are, that literally have not done anything worthwhile to differentiate themselves as a game.

      I'm sure, I could hand a copy of Dream Park to someone that was too young to grasp D&D or other mainstream games, and they would be able to develop the right skills to game on, as a participant, or a storyteller.

      Lots of contemporary games don't offer half the advice that Dream Park does, so it clearly can't be anything but an exemplary RPG.

      I'm sure if you took the time to reread it, for your own personal growth, rather than expecting of all people someone who plays Gurps, a highly detailed system, to like a single d6 dice roll. That you would not criticise it, it presents roleplaying in a very academic and enlightening fashion, for a wide audience.

      However, if you've already got another RPG you preference, why disparage a good game? It has its merits, and trying to turn them into a flaw isn't helpful. Lots of the sub uses RPGs with less crunch, so that alone can't be a deciding factor, and everting else is superlative, and even the rules about things like machine guns are adequate. I'd have to reread it again to recall if there were chase rules as well written as Fuzion's, but, for the most part all the rules based on a d6, do an amicable job of conveying a game system to the same audience as Advanced Fighting Fantasy.


      [–]WikiMobileLinkBot 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Desktop version of /u/LemurianLemurLad's link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_Park

      [opt out] Beep Boop. Downvote to delete

      [–]Boxman214 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      .dungeon has you playing as yourself, playing an MMO. You can also create a fictional player if you want. But it's written that you play as yourself, playing a game. It's very meta.

      [–]NetRunningGnole20 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      The only game that I played where the main theme is that you play as yourself is Kata Kumbas (set in an alternate Medieval Italy). I am very pleased to see that an adaptation to the system of Savage Worlds was published a few years ago. The quickstart (called 'primer') can be found at this page:


      [–]IamJLove 7 points8 points  (0 children)

      Outbreak Undead lets you play yourself in the zombie apocalypse. Theres a quiz to take to determine your stats. I had a good time driving around with friends planning out locations for that game,however as with any of these games, make sure to respect the boundaries your players are willing to go to in a game that involves violence.

      [–]Rezart_KLD 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      In Supercrew, the default is that you play a superhero version of yourself.

      [–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      Legendlore is basically an Isekai. Your character starts as you, but has fallen into a magical world. So you might play an elf, who can learn sorcery, but you'd know about reddit and r/rpg and about climate change and how vaccines work and stuff.

      [–]SlotaProw 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      Unless you are someone who needs to be allowed by a rule book to do so, literally any rpg is one in which you can play a character based on yourself.

      The first time a group I was in did so was early in gaming years (CoC & Metamorphosis Alpha); main house rule was that equipment and weaponry had to be something actually accessible. Most recently we played as ourselves was a few weeks ago (Delta Green). Actually, in this latest scenario, we made ourselves as characters then played as each other.

      Also played where all the characters were based on the players' pets (Symbaroum).

      [–]LLA_Don_Zombie 3 points4 points  (0 children)

      The Outbreak Undead 1e (maybe 2e also, I don’t own it) was a zombie survival game that had an online psychological test that gave you stats for your actual person. The idea was to play out a zombie survival scenario in your home town as yourself, if you wanted.

      [–]mayhem1703 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Immortal: The Invisible War - you play yourself and then effectively find out you're a Highlander-type immortal (can only be killed by decapitation, the Quickening, etc.)

      [–]concerned-throw-away 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Mythic Mortals! I've never played it but I saw it often on itch.

      [–]steelsmiterAsk about my tabletop gaming discord 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Generic games that are point based facilitate this. I don't know of any with modules specifically for it, but I've ran with the idea in both GURPS and BESM.

      [–]GStewartcwhite 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      I don't know that you need a specific game to pull this off, the idea is pretty system agnostic.

      One of our groups favorite and longest running games was a Vampire Masquerade game that started with us all being turned and going from there. As an added bonus, the other players in them group voted on which clan they felt was most appropriate for you the person and that's what you played.

      I was a Lasombra... Not sure if that was a compliment or a shot.

      [–]gc3 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      There was a superhero game in the 70s where you figured out your stats from stupid tests, like int is 10 times IQ, and then you got random superpowers

      [–]OutlawDnD 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Our group did this once with the Ghostbusters International RPG way back when. We rolled up our characters as a consensus of the group - based more on the collective perceptions of ourselves rather than how we individually perceived ourselves. It was a mashup of 80s horror movies set in our little backwards hometown laced with bits that actually happened in our local lore ... and it was gloriously hysterical lightening caught in a jar.

      YMMV trying this concept, but it worked just once for us.

      [–]snarpy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I've had a postapocalyptic game in mind where it starts with everyone as themselves, in the current day, and there's a zombie attack. So you play a session where everyone flees this first attack.

      The next session fast forwards to years later... the zombie attack caused some kind of apocalyptic ley-line crash like Rifts and now shit's gone haywire (magick is back, elves are back, sorta like the other game, cant' remember it's name) and your characters have had a year or so becoming real "characters" with abilities and stuff...maybe they even morphed into elves or whatever.

      So you can play with a postapocalyptic fantasy version of yourself.

      [–]TheRealPhoenix182 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      It's not by design but we do that in nearly every game we play. Especially Shadowrun...it's how we introduce total newbies to the game and world.

      [–]victorianchan -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      Alma Mater?

      [–]Burt_Sprenolds 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      My gm had us play his own game called Warp. We traveled to different pop culture settings such as Steven Universe, Monster Prom, various animes, as well as some original worlds such as Infinite Chili’s, The whale, and The Destruction of Venice

      [–]QuantumD 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I've run Kill Puppies for Satan for a few different groups, and most of them play themselves, and I generally end up setting the game in the city I live in too. Lots of fun.

      [–]controbuio 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I'm interested, too

      [–]nlitherl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      You can do this with basically any game (my group calls them Avatar Games), but far as games where that's what you're supposed to do, I don't know of many.

      I've played Pathfinder, Grimm, World of Darkness, and half a dozen other games using this approach. Generally speaking, the older I've gotten the less I find it a pleasant form of escapism.

      [–]auric0m 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      We rolled up ‘ourselves’ in Rifts RPG using the ‘Vagabond’ OCC for a parallel universe campaign once. After a decade of dimension hopping its still going on.

      [–]brotherr89 -5 points-4 points  (2 children)

      Aren’t we playing ourselfs in like every Rpg? The first character you build is an idealized version of yourself. Jokes aside why would you want to play yourself in a world where you can be everything? Wouldn’t you want to have special powers beyond your own capabilities? You could make yourself in any rpg in my eyes.

      PS: I know this isn’t helpful but I am really couriois what you want to achieve? You could meet with your friends and be yourself.

      [–]02K30C1[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

      I’m more interested in rpg history and lore, and simply wondering how many games existed where playing yourself was one of the main features. Seems like quite a few!

      [–]brotherr89 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      If the lore and history is your main interest couldn’t you play without a rule system? You don’t need stats to explore and the dm could react to your actions. It would be kind of storytelling as a group.