Oh, this is a good one for me. I’ve been the “king of dead games” for a long time. Even the stuff I tend to write for at this blog should give that away: James Bond: 007, Cortex (the original), Space: 1889, and to a lesser extent Hollow Earth Expedition (not dead, but not exactly lighting up the scene, right now), old Decipher Star Trek, West End Games’ Star Wars

What gives a game staying power? Why did I use James Bond for 20+ years as my go to rules for modern or near future settings? It lets the players built what they want (within reason), gives the GM mechanics to emulate the genre effectively, and is easy to play. It could be tweaked for cyberpunk, for Stargate (easily!), and I’ve thought about using it to do ’30s pulp over Ubiquity several times.

Space:1889 had a great setting, but the mechanics were junk. Almost from the start, I was looking for ways to do it better. We used the Castle Falkenstein rules with heavy modification. We might use the Ubiquity rules, now that stuff is coming out for the setting once more. Even after Decipher humped their customers with Star Trek, I used it because the mechanics worked and were familiar enough to newbies who’d only played D&D that they could be roped into playing. Classic Cortex is now replacing Dungeons & Dragons for our fantasy campaign because of clean rules and math that makes sense, the ability to build what you want, and it encourages role playing through the trait/complication mechanic.