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What's Wrong With Not Liking Current RPGs?

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Author Topic: What's Wrong With Not Liking Current RPGs?  (Read 5729 times)
randalls
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2008, 07:35:59 am »

I'm not sure about this point of view that "no sales = dead system". I can understand the reasoning, but it's definition of dead is very narrow. What do you think? Is this a large part of what decides if a system is dead? Or only one point of view?

Given that people who started playing popular RPGs (e.g. D&D, Rifts, WoD) after the early 1990s are used to lots of support material published on a regular basis and have come to depend on that stream of published material for their adventures and campaigns, lack of support material probably does mean "dead game" to them. People who started playing before that or who play less popular systems are probably less likely to think that way as they never had a steady stream of supplements and adventures to depend on and so are used to creating their own.
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RobertFisher
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2008, 10:29:01 am »

I probably don't have anything to say that hasn't already been said better, but I've never let that stop me before. (^_^)

Two problems with the first point:

1. The hobby is not the industry

2. Any company that is betting everything on a role-playing game is probably doomed anyway. D&D sales to not decide the fate of Wizards. (And how much less so for Hasbro.)

Edit: 3. Buying products you don't like is a good way to encourage more products you don't like rather than products you do like.

Two problems with the second point:

1. I've only met a couple of gamers who weren't willing to play whatever game someone is willing to run. I have not witnessed--in real-life--this fragmentation despite over two decades and countless game systems of experience.

2. What fragmentation might exist is a feature, not a bug. Why shouldn't the simulationists have GURPS, the narrativists have the World of Darkness, and the gamists have D&D, rather than none of us being happy? (Ignoring for the moment that I don't really believe in those correlations, but it gets the point across.)
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DrBadLogic
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« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2008, 03:33:02 am »

not buying current books which hurts the profits of WOTC and Hasbro making it less likely that they will continue to publish D&D materials.

My heart bleeds. Smiley  I haven't played D&D for years.  I don't know if that puts me outside the target of the diatribe, or just makes me a plain old heretic.  I could care less if WOTC et all make D&D books.

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fragmenting the hobby. When everyone plays the same edition and plays it by all the books, it makes it easier for players to find games. The more people refuse to upgrade to the latest version every few years, the more fragmented the hobby becomes and the harder it is to find players.

Yes, but what if I don't want to play *that* game?  I find it a lot easier t stick with a group you like, and try whatever game it is you like there, rather than finding a new group for whichever game you want to play.  By this logic, only one roleplaying game should be allowed, and whilst we're at it, we probably should ban all religions but one, etc etc.
Very few games can do everything.  GURPS tries, but it isn't my favourite system.  My favourite games of the moment are those with simple rules that are geared towards doing a particular thing.


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I don't know about you, but I don't feel any obligation to keep WOTC or Hasbro in the black and I feel that the second argument makes as little sense as saying that American Football fans should stop watching their favorite sport and support Soccer (Football to the rest of the world) because Soccer is the more popular game.

What do you think? Are we fans of older versions of D&D hurting the hobby by our refusal to fall in love with, buy, and play the current edition of D&D?


Again, not a D&D fan.  But I do buy new books - often games I will probably never run, because I'm interested in just reading it, or possibly taking inspiration for another game, etc.  And I still have a part of me deep inside that is looking for the elusive perfect system that will let me run an amazing game.  Haven't found it, naturally. Wink
So I like some old stuff, and some new stuff.  I don't think I can be particularly accused of being 'hidebound.'  But the thing I'm looking for in a game is quality.  I feel no need to buy rubbish that other people like, and to play that rubbish, to keep them happy.

On a seperate note, my next campaign will be for an old game long out of print (The Ars Magica game plan died when something else got my attention) - Amber.
A minimum amount of stats relatively simple rules (the complexity being in interpretation), and no dice.  I like random results, but I'm getting tired of so-called competent characters appearing amazingly bad because the player rolled badly.

If a new game comes out that will address what I want in a game - great.  I'm not going to buy it solely because it is new, and because it might keep the hobby going.  If the roleplaying business went under, it wouldn't prevent me from roleplaying.
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randalls
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2008, 07:13:04 am »

On a seperate note, my next campaign will be for an old game long out of print (The Ars Magica game plan died when something else got my attention) - Amber.

SIGH -- Not for the choice of game, but for the fact that the Amber RPG's author, Erick Wujcik, is dying of pancreatic cancer. A third really good gaming author we are going to lose this year. I've never been a huge fan of diceless RPGs, but the Amber RPG did an excellent job of capturing the spirit of Zalanzy's Amber books and the diceless system Erick came up with for it seemed to work for the game and world.
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DrBadLogic
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« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2008, 10:18:59 am »

SIGH -- Not for the choice of game, but for the fact that the Amber RPG's author, Erick Wujcik, is dying of pancreatic cancer. A third really good gaming author we are going to lose this year. I've never been a huge fan of diceless RPGs, but the Amber RPG did an excellent job of capturing the spirit of Zalanzy's Amber books and the diceless system Erick came up with for it seemed to work for the game and world.

Yeah, I'd heard about Wujcik.  It is sad news.  But I'm looking forward to trying out Amber.  I love the series (they are possibly my favourite series of novels, and have influenced my writing 'voice' a fair bit).  My headache has been trying to find a space to set a campaign - afterall, the family is supposedly reconciled and stable at the end of the Patternfall war.

My basic idea is going to be that the characters are unknown children of Amberites from previous dalliances (ie: the kid you never knew you had) who have been dug up by someone who'd like to throw the succession back into debate.  After that, it depends on what the characters want to do.  You can't get much more freedom of choice than playing a godlike being with a choice of infinite universes... Smiley
I used to be very uneasy around dice, but the last campaign I ran had me thinking that the dice largely served to mean that characters could randomly fail at something that was meant to be the core purpose of their character.  Being lousy in combat is fine when that's not your gig, and fights should always be a little unpredictable...  but it's when the scholar flubs a knowledge role, or the socialite fails to be persuasive...

But anyway.  Im in danger of ranting.
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randalls
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« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2008, 05:30:59 pm »

I used to be very uneasy around dice, but the last campaign I ran had me thinking that the dice largely served to mean that characters could randomly fail at something that was meant to be the core purpose of their character.  Being lousy in combat is fine when that's not your gig, and fights should always be a little unpredictable...  but it's when the scholar flubs a knowledge role, or the socialite fails to be persuasive...

I seldom have that problem because I don't require skill rolls if I think the character should automatically succeed at the task he is attempting. Or I just use the skill roll to decide how well the task succeeds.  Of course, I started playing RPGs back before there were skills (D&D, early CD&D, and AD&D 1E really did not have them) so I am used to making GM decisions rather than having the dice decide everything.

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My basic idea is going to be that the characters are unknown children of Amberites from previous dalliances (ie: the kid you never knew you had) who have been dug up by someone who'd like to throw the succession back into debate.

Perfect setup for a good game -- at least with the right players.
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DrBadLogic
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« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2008, 02:11:40 pm »

I seldom have that problem because I don't require skill rolls if I think the character should automatically succeed at the task he is attempting. Or I just use the skill roll to decide how well the task succeeds.  Of course, I started playing RPGs back before there were skills (D&D, early CD&D, and AD&D 1E really did not have them) so I am used to making GM decisions rather than having the dice decide everything.

Which is fair enough.  I got my start with early D&D really, so in a sense I started in the same place.  But I like skills - even when the skills are never used.  I'm wierd I guess. Wink
Other than that, I'm beginning to like styles of play that reward the chances players take, and the choices they make.  I like Unknown Armies because the best results come with the highest prices.  In the same way, I also like sorcerer...

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Perfect setup for a good game -- at least with the right players.

Well, one of my players has read the first five in the series (which is all that I'm treating as canon for the purposes of the campaign).  So having them all as unknowing pawns will be a better intro, so I can introduce them to the way things work.  I think the more familial politics of Amber will suit my players more than the somewhat arcane politics you can find in other games. Smiley
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randalls
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« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2008, 02:39:57 pm »

Well, one of my players has read the first five in the series (which is all that I'm treating as canon for the purposes of the campaign). 

That's definitely how I would do it. That leaves everything wide open for the players to influence.
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DrBadLogic
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« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2008, 02:56:36 pm »

That's definitely how I would do it. That leaves everything wide open for the players to influence.

Yeah.  It's hard finding room to wedge in a wide open conflict like there is in the beginning of the saga...  But I suspect my players might not be crazy enough to try and bring down Amber themselves anyway.  (possibly..).  In which case, it's largely  a case of setting up a reason for them to want to find out what is going on behind the scenes/ clear their names.

I'm planning to make a big deal of who their parents are, as that comes into play with the whole succession.  Pity the poor wretch who gets Brand as their father. Wink
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Ork Captain
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« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2008, 03:57:50 pm »

To answer the thread's subject question: I don't think there's anything wrong with not liking current RPG's, but I say be wary of instantly turning your nose up at any new RPG just because it's new. I know the current trend with games seems to be gravitating towards the CCG/MMORPG crowd, but I'm sure there's got to be one or two quality products being produced every now and then.
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randalls
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« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2008, 05:29:13 pm »

To answer the thread's subject question: I don't think there's anything wrong with not liking current RPG's, but I say be wary of instantly turning your nose up at any new RPG just because it's new. I know the current trend with games seems to be gravitating towards the CCG/MMORPG crowd, but I'm sure there's got to be one or two quality products being produced every now and then.

Some I like: Blue Rose, Microlite20 and its variants, Spirit of the Century seems interesting, and I really like what I've seen of Trail of Cthulthu.
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« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2008, 06:21:53 pm »

What I've seen of Aces & Eights looks pretty cool (Google for the youtube videos of the "shot clock").
Encounter Critical is gonzo neo-old-school goodness
Mazes & Minotaurs
Out of the d20ish stuff, I thought Mutants & Masterminds was pretty good.  I was also impressed with Green Ronin's Testament and Black Company books.
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DrBadLogic
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« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2008, 01:31:45 pm »

Some I like: Blue Rose, Microlite20 and its variants, Spirit of the Century seems interesting, and I really like what I've seen of Trail of Cthulthu.

I haven't tried Trail of Cthulhu yet, as well... I already know Call of Cthulhu, and Im finding it harder and harder to learn new systems.  But there are new ideas in there, and the artwork is *beautiful*
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Philotomy
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« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2008, 11:47:13 pm »

The new Mongoose edition of Traveller is good.
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randalls
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« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2008, 06:59:12 am »

The new Mongoose edition of Traveller is good.

Somewhere I read that you can't die during character generation any more. Is this true? While that could be a good change for actually generating one character to play, it would really nerf the try to roll up ancient characters to kill time solitaire game.  Cool
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