The Ultimate Tabletop RPG Quiz

Staff

This cyberpunk RPG blends magic and fantasy with advanced weaponry and complex computer systems, so you might have an ork hacker and an elf with submachine guns battling a dragon who owns a giant corporation.

"Shadowrun" was first published in 1989 and is currently on its fifth edition.

Some of the science-fictional aspects of the earlier "Shadowrun" editions have been surpassed by real-world technology. Before wireless technology existed in "Shadowrun," how did hackers connect to the Matrix?

The wireless network in your home is vastly more powerful than things that seemed like sci-fi in 1989, when hackers had to plug in to a direct neural interface. We still don’t have elves or dragons though.

An RPG published by West End Games in the 1980s and 90s established much of the canonical information in the Expanded Universe of what science fiction franchise?

West End Games worked with Lucasfilm to define various aspects of the "Star Wars" universe that didn't appear in the movies. They're all just Legends now, though.

The acclaimed D6 system West End Games used for their "Star Wars" RPG originally appeared in what other licensed game (here's a hint: no lightsabers, but plenty of proton packs)?

The D6 system debuted with the "Ghostbusters" RPG, which was only in print for a few years. Strangely, no one's ever made an official "Back to the Future" RPG.

"Dungeons & Dragons" was the first tabletop RPG, and its success inspired quite a few similar games. What game, also released in the 1970s, duplicated the "Dungeons & Dragons" name but swapped in a different underground structure and monster?

"Tunnels & Trolls" was the second RPG ever published — it aimed to be less complicated than D&D.

The first post-apocalyptic RPG was set in a world seeded with barely functioning technology and some very, very strange mutants (bears with laser eyes!). What was it called?

"Gamma World" can be run as a fairly serious "grim future" game, but, depending on the edition, it also works as a bizzaro surreal comedy game.

What current RPG, produced by Monte Cook Games, takes the idea of the inhabitants of a far-future Earth encountering advanced technology they don’t understand and molds it into a science-fantasy setting called the Ninth World?

The "Numenera" Kickstarter campaign raised over $500,000, a record for tabletop RPGs at the time.

Plenty of tabletop RPGs have explored H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, but the first to do it was what game, originally published by Chaosium in 1981?

"Call of Cthulhu" shifted the focus from combat to investigation, and from heroics to almost certain insanity and death.

In the "Night's Black Agents" RPG, the players are special agents fighting against a worldwide conspiracy orchestrated by what supernatural creatures?

Vampires make for very compelling antagonists in the international espionage genre.

What RPG allows players to take on the roles of vampires vying for political advantage in a setting that's a dark mirror of the modern world?

If you were playing "Vampire: the Masquerade" in the 90s, you pretty much had to own a black trench coat.

All of White Wolf's "monsters as protagonists" RPGs took place in the same universe. What was it called?

"Vampire," "Werewolf," "Mage" etc. took place in the World of Darkness.

M.A.R. Barker, known as "the American Tolkien," created one of the earliest RPGs, and one of the first to emphasize storytelling and role-playing over tactical combat. What was it called?

"Empire of the Petal Throne" was set in Tékumel, a fantasy realm Barker had spent years detailing and creating languages for well before tabletop RPGs even existed.

The first RPG set in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth was…

"Middle-earth Role Playing" (MERP) was first published in 1984 — the "Lord of the Rings" license was probably a lot less expensive back then.

"Rolemaster," the RPG the MERP rules were based on, used what distinctive naming scheme for its sourcebooks?

The "law" books were reissued as boxed sets, hardcovers and in new editions several times. They were originally published as modular rule sets that could replace aspects of the "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" rules.

Which edition of "Dungeons & Dragons" replaced previous rules systems with class-specific powers that mimicked the way abilities function in online RPGs?

The fourth edition of D&D diverged so much from prior editions that it was highly polarizing among RPG players.

"Pathfinder" is a best-selling RPG that's actually based on an earlier edition of what other RPG?

"Pathfinder" is derived from the third edition of D&D, which is possible because that edition was published under an open license, sort of like open source software.

In "Paranoia," which takes place inside a domed city run by The Computer, what happens when a player is killed?

Each player in a "Paranoia" game gets a six-pack of clones. If you have too many clones left at the end of the game, you didn’t have enough fun.

One of the first zombie apocalypse RPGs was "All [blank] Must Be Eaten." What goes in the blank?

"All Flesh Must Be Eaten" would also make a pretty good name for a metal band.

"Dread" is a horror RPG that uses a unique and innovative task resolution system instead of rolling dice. What is it?

The "Jenga" mechanic in "Dread" is remarkably effective. Those other two mechanics are better suited for "All Fun & Games Til Someone Loses an Eye: the RPG" and "You're a Sadistic Jerk: the Game."

The first licensed Marvel RPG was TSR's "Marvel Super Heroes." It used a colorful chart and a set of abilities known as…

Fighting, Agility, Strength, Endurance, Reason, Intuition, Psyche — FASERIP.

This D20-based superhero RPG uses the classic "Thing & Other Thing" naming convention. The "DC Adventures" RPG uses the same rules system.

"Mutants & Masterminds" is yet another RPG derived from the third edition of D&D's open gaming license.

The "A Song of Ice and Fire" RPG, based on the series of novels by George R.R. Martin, includes a very detailed chart focused on what?

One of the highlights of the "ASoIaF" RPG is the ability create your own noble house, including all the family members, family history, colors and coat of arms.

The first two books in Fantasy Flight Games' "Star Wars" RPG line are "Edge of Empire and "Age of Rebellion." What's the name of the third book?

Each book is focused on a different aspect of the "Star Wars" universe. "Force and Destiny" covers the mystical powers of Force users.

The "Savage Worlds" RPG doesn’t use dice to determine initiative order in combat. What does it use instead?

The "Savage Worlds" playing card initiative system is fast and flexible — drawing a joker gives that player a bonus and the opportunity to interrupt the turn order whenever they like.

The "Achtung! Cthulhu" RPG combines Lovecraftian horrors with what setting?

In "Achtung! Cthulhu," players take on the roles of Allied agents battling World War II Nazis who are trying to unleash otherdimensional horrors upon the world.

What does "GURPS" stand for?

"GURPS" was one of the earliest RPGs that attempted to use one set of rules for many genres and settings, making it generic and universal.

"Fiasco" is an RPG in which the players act out what type of film?

The players in "Fiasco" are part of a heist or caper that goes completely off the rails.

"Monsterhearts" puts the players in the roles of teenage creatures dealing with high school problems. Unlike most RPGs, it has extensive rules dedicated to what aspect of teenage life?

"Monsterhearts" characters all have "sex moves" and can roll dice to turn another character on. Rather than being exploitive, the game allows players to explore and understand non-standard sexuality within the context of an RPG (with monsters as metaphors).

This 2005 RPG stands apart from many other fantasy RPGs with its focus on romantic fantasy rather than sword and sorcery and for being inclusive of queer characters.

The True20 rules system used by "Blue Rose" is highly regarded.

"BattleTech" is a tactical miniatures game involving giant robots fighting wars in the distant future. What is the name of the RPG about the pilots of these robots?

The pilots of BattleMechs are MechWarriors, hence "MechWarrior."

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About This Quiz

A pile of polyhedral dice, a pencil and some paper, a stack of gaming books and a table surrounded by friends — there's nothing quite like a tabletop role-playing game. Make a Knowledge (RPGs) skill check and see how you do on this RPG quiz.

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