What are you actually playing?

Hello, everybody! I asked this once over at the OSR Pit and I was surprised at the immense variety in the responses. Here’s the question for you:

What are you actually playing? (And if you’re not playing lately, what would you be playing if you could?)

Everybody, sound off! I want a survey of what you people are doing. Let us know!

If you join the Cauldron later and find this question here, there’s no time expiry on this question. You can always answer the question and share what you are doing.


(As for me, I currently run a long-term Barrowmaze campaign using my own house rules that are an offshoot of Fighting Fantasy. I’m also making super-lite, not innovative house rules for investigative horror games, to be tested later this year.)


This weekend, I’ll be running the first session to be played on the setting I’m developing. I’m using Whitehack!

-Belly of the Fishy Beast
-Waking of Willowby Hall
-Electric Bastionland

These are all regulars for my online classes. For all of them, I’m using my own Adventure Hour! rules as a thin layer over the scenario. I may be the only person using the Electric Bastionland setting and not the system. :stuck_out_tongue:


Currently playing a gm-less coop Ironsworn journal adventure on Discord with an old gaming buddy. We had been playing Kingdom Death every week before the pandemic. After the social distancing stuff took affect in our lives our weekly rituals stopped for a long while.

Thankfully, Shawn Tomkin popped up on my Twitter radar. At first I built a solo play kit for my friend. We would chat about what our character’s had been up to. Then @yochaigal sucked my life into Discord through the NSR. After much fiddling I cobbled together a server to run games.

So yeah, now I can play again! This fantastic community has helped my journey to reconnect my gaming life in ways I didn’t know were possible.


Nothing currently, I just finished two long weekly campaigns in a short period, so I’m taking a break before the next thing. I’m almost certainly going to run “Where the Wheat Grows Tall” next, although I have not settled on a system yet.


I am currently playing my own hack of OD&D with bits of Traveller and RuneQuest in a Book of New Sun-inspired science fantasy setting.

A recent Star Wars d6 campaign that I was in wrapped up and we’re discussing what we’ll play next.

I am also prepping to try my hand at the Great Pendragon Campaign yet again, probably in about a month.

I also participate in an ad-hoc when-we-can-meet group, playing one or short-shots of new games, playtest ideas, and do a lot of systemless FKRing of comics, books, movies, etc.

For the past two years I was running Barrowmaze in a shared world multi-gm setting on the OSR Pickup Games Server, but I am a little worn out by it, so I’m mostly taking a break, however I have scheduled a few non-regular sessions here and there.

Otherwise I’m always happy to run/play stuff over Discord.

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As a player, I’m playing in a Dark Heresy (1st edition) campaign, in a Pathfinder (2nd edition) campaign, and playtesting a friend’s homebrew system in a few one-shots.

As a GM, I’m running a Pathfinder (2nd edition), Agents of Edgewatch campaign that is slowly coming to an end, a slightly experimental Legend of the Five Rings (4th edition) campaign and a Shadow of the Demon Lord campaign.

I’m playing in heavy house ruled Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells west marches, and I’m going to start play Blades in the Dark next week.

I’m not running anything at the moment (besides a spontaneous oneshot) but I’m looking to start a sci-fi sanbox soon, probably using Offworlders.

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One play by post I’m currently running one game using The Pool. It’s set in Late Medieval Luxembourgh during a period where the current count fled to Paris due to accusations of using witchcraft to try and take over the Burgundian throne. I’m planning to keep it mysterious fantasy. So far the only fantastical element are rumors of drunk hunters and dreams. I’m going to try and keep it fairy tale and inexplicable.

The other is a Lady Blackbird Game.

I play in a game doing play by post, but I don’t actually know a lot about the game. But it’s very OSR, so I just say what I wanna do and then I get told what to roll, if anything.


I’m doing a couple of different things, with different groups (with some overlap), one of which meets weekly but most bi-weekly or monthly.

-I’ve been running a Champions Now game for the last year or so. The game is a contemporary implementation of the rules and philosophy of 1st-3rd edition Champions, though is definitely its own thing. It’s very versatile and customizable in terms of approach and tone, though we happen to be doing a serious-but-not-grim kind of thing inspired by John Ostrander’s Suicide Squad comics.

-Also going for the last year, running a game of Legendary Lives, which is a lot of fun and is a really interesting system that warrants more play and exploration. It was originally published in 1992 though is as genuinely innovative (in my opinion) as almost any recent game I’ve played.

-I’m running another Fantasy Heartbreaker, Forge: Out of Chaos, which is nearing its one year anniversary, and for which I’ve been mining issues of Fight On! for dungeons and city adventures. This has been fun as Forge has a kind of gonzo, heavy-metal-album-cover spin on some standard adventuring tropes which has meshed well with the Fight On! material. (It’s also feels like a very thoroughly playtested system that has been very robust in play).

-We have a bi-weekly nominally open-table Tunnels & Trolls game going. It started as a Tunnel Goons game but we ported over to T&T about 8 sessions in, though I’m still using/adapting mostly Highland Paranormal Society adventures and scenarios for it.

-I just started running a game of The Pool set in a fantasy-Napoleonic era setting. This has been going well: one of the players is completely nee to gaming and is very into it. I’m finding running The Pool to be really interesting because it forces me to pay attention to some of the assumptions I have about what makes for “good GMing”.

On the playing side of things:

-Playing James Bond 007: this had always been a game on my “want to play list” and finally got a chance. It’s great reputation seems completely deserved. The game is really brilliant and allows you to either really lean into the James Bond stuff or to play against it in interesting ways so that you’re really able to do your own take on espionage adventure stories.

-Playing Heavy Gear 2nd Ed. We’ve been playing this using the full on tactical rules for fights between the gears (mecha). The tactical combat is fun and we’re making the role-playing stuff in between work to give some context to the battles.

-And just finished playing through Dead Planet (Mothership) with a group; we’re about to start a Lamentations of the Flame Princess game with an original scenario designed by the GM.

Kind of a full dance card at this point, although am hoping to run some Star Wars d6 and/or some Runequest soon.



That’s awesome, I’m a huge fan of these kinds of games. I’ve been running a Darkurthe Legends game once a year for the past eight years or so.

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I currently play in two campaigns:

  1. An hexcrawl using White Box FMAG with Rob Conley’s Blackmarsh (here I am a player, but translated both in Italian)
  2. An archeological/sci-fi adventure set in the outskirts of Known Space using Cepheus Engine and the classic FASA’s module “The Legend of the Sky Raiders” (here I am the referee) → tonight we are playing the second session!

This year we started an ongoing Planescape campaign using Swords & Wizardry + simplified bits of AD&D 2e / FG&G (mostly races, spells, skills, and kits).


Currently playing Shadow of the Demon Lord run in an OSR sandbox style, with a big pile of house rules to make it a little less comically dark fantasy and more along the lines of Suikoden or something. I ended my own campaign and one of the players has offered to start GMing using the same house rules, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens when these tools end up in someone else’s hands!


I’m running a sandbox mothership game where the main “character” the players are managing is the ship and it’s crew, so players have a few character options each to play each session. This way character deaths are not slowing everything down, and the players can pick who they want to play for a particular session (e.g. play as scientists to investigate an abandoned research outpost, or marines to liberate a colony besieged by corporate goons). They also get to do things like recruit crew, upgrade the ship, set up “milk runs” and so on.

I’m a player in an (irregular) Whitehack UVG game which is a lot of fun - such a great setting. And I also play in a 5e game with a group of dear friends. It’s a kind of “heroes save the world” sort of thing and the system is kind of clunky, but it’s brilliant to be able to play with such great friends.


I run lots of Play-By-Post, and that allows me to run tons of different systems. Specifically,

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I’m currently running two games. One is a super casual D&D game. It’s just a series of adventure sites loosely held together by a setting theme, justifying the conflicts.

The other is pretty intense Burning Wheel game that is inspired by the Netflix series Castlevania. I have absolutely zero knowledge of the video game series but found the show very compelling so I setup the game around similar themes. It’s been a pretty game of vampire politics, demon fighting and religious debate.


Awesome! Darkurthe is on my (admittedly overlong) shortlist of games I want to play next. (I would have “liked” your post but I didn’t realize I had a limited number of likes - whoops).

Forge is quite fun, but Legendary Lives is the game where I want to run over to people and shake them by the collar (in a virtual sense) and exhort them to play. It has a number of unique features and is much more subtle and nuanced than it appears to be, with a terrific way of using/presenting setting information and a very clever set of “social rules” which function more like an elaboration on the D&D Monster Reaction tables and not at all like “social conflict” or “social combat” or the like.

I’m running World of Dungeons, my long-running campaign, and DW/UMF (Urban/Modern/Fantasy), my longer-running campaign, both as play-by-post group games. The former has a real Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser vibe (in a futuristic space station gone medieval) and the latter is all modern fantasy, bouncing from “elves in jeans” to “cosmic horror”.

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