Yesterday I once again found myself at the used book store. Someone must have unloaded their old gaming collection... I found core rules for Alternity, one of the Amazing Engine Games (Khromosome or something... a cyberpunk knockoff), Cyberpunk 2020, Legend of the Five Rings 2nd edition, Quest of the Ancients (which looked absolutely terrible, and also claimed that it could be "The Swords and Sorcery Product of the 90's.), and some universal system I didn't recognize and have actually forgotten the name off. All those systems, and I managed to choke off my bizarre collector's urges and not buy any system for the sake of buying a system. Holy god, perhaps this is the seed of discipline finally germinating in my thick skull.
I did, however, buy Player's Option: Combat and Tactics for five bucks. I can actually feel some of you flinch reading that. I bought it because it is the "missing link" between 2nd edition AD&D combat and d20 combat. In this book, you can see the beginnings of standardized critical hits, attacks of opportunity, d20-style miniature based conventions, weapon reach, and a rudimentary feat system using proficiency slots. (I believe many of the "proficiencies" listed did actually become feats in 3rd edition.) At the same time, there are still older elements like the old overbearing rules and weapon speeds. My interest in it is purely academic. I consider Combat & Tactics and the Alternity system to be the parents of d20. I suppose you could say I bought the book to see where everything started to go so horribly wrong. The book also contains extensive lists of weapons and armor from a variety of time periods, so that might prove somewhat useful.
Oh, on a side note: the Netrunner from Cyberpunk 2020 looks ridiculous, especially looking back from a contemporary world where wireless internet is widespread.