In the 1990s, I was an assistant sysop on GEnie’s Science Fiction Fandom RoundTable (SFRT3). One of our most popular features were collaborative fiction stories where people would collaborate on a story, something like a play by post rpg, but very story-oriented. Glenn Overby (with help from myself and others) designed number of games — based on the more popular collaborative stories — that could be played in SFRT3’s chat rooms. However, they can be played anywhere one can roll a few dice, virtual or real. You’ll notice that most are officially called “story engines” instead of games, this was a semantic trick so they could be used on GEnie’s SFRT3. These games are copyrighted freeware. While they are free to any who wishes a copy, they may not be republished or used in any way for profit without the prior written consent of their various copyright holders.
While these games aren’t really retro-roleplaying games, they have disappeared from the Internet and needed a home. They are fun to play and have simple rules can easily be adapted for a roleplaying game.
A Matter of Style
In this simple game, you are a hacker duelling other hackers in the cyberspace where
style is everything. The rules for this game are quite simple and two people can play
a complete game in few minutes.
In An Cath, you are a mighty warrior in Caladonia in the lands of the Fallen
Empire. There are four sides, two human, one elfin, and one goblin. Defend your
homelands with your sword.
Become a powerful elemental wizard in the Fallen Empire and duel other mages in
ArchMage. Your ArchMage character can also be used in the Astral
With Astral Warriors, you can quickly create a powerful mage and battle other
mages for control of the astral plane. This game is set in the Fallen Empire, a world
specially created for online games and interactive fiction by Randall Stukey
Enter a land of swords and psionics: a land of fantasy where the knights have a bit of
“magic” to help them in their battles. You can quickly create a character and fight
other PsiKnights on foot, on horseback, and in war. This simple game system includes
long-term campaign rules.
With StarPilot, you can quickly create a hotshot star fighter pilot and battle
other pilots for glory in the depths of space. This game, set in Ann Wilson’s Terran
Empire, is the most complex and the most popular of the many science fiction and
fantasy chat games we created on GEnie.