One evening, as I was about 10 years old, my father brought home a new game. An adventure game where every player could create his own hero and could then play it. You could play a knight, a mage or a rogue or whatever you want. One of the players tells a story in which the others play the main roles.
So far with the fundamentals of role playing games. Typical for German role players, my first role playing game was "the Dark Eye" ("Das Schwarze Auge") which was at that time publish by Schmidt Spiele and was in its second edition.
After years of playing DSA and other role playing systems some friends and I started to design our own system which started out as a blend between DSA and GURPS. Parallel to the creation of the system we designed some game worlds like a science fiction world called "Phaeton" and a fantasy world called "Elemente des Schicksals".
Das Schwarze Auge
Das Schwarze Auge is a fantasy role playing game in a medieval world where the power of gods is real and magic is able to throw the world of its hinges. The different countries have their conflicts and dark powers are scheming behind the curtains.
Shadowrun is a mix of fantasy and cyberpunk role playing plying in the near future. Corporations rule the world and everybody tries to get by on his own even if he has to kill everybody in his way. A magical virus mutated must of the population. It changed them to dwarves, elves, orcs or ogres according to their personality.
GURPS is different than most role playing systems as it is not connected to a specific game world. The name is an abbreviation for Generic Universal Role Playing System. The system is point based without restricting classes, there is a point pool which let you customize your character the way you like.
The best part of GURPS are the numerous source books which allows the generation of almost every aspect of game worlds. In these source books you could find tables full of skills, equipment and how to create whole worlds.
Even some of my worlds were created with the aid of those tables.
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is widely credited as one of the first role playing games. I had the chance to play both the 4th and 3.5th edition and I must say that I am no fan of class based systems. Another part of D&D that was not to my liking is the over-abundance of magical artefacts which cheapens the experience. Too much magic and too many artefacts destroy the mystic of the game worlds by making them as common as normal equipment.