Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Potpouri O' RPG ... look at the hot girl with dice ... woot ... random ... SPAM SPAM

Ok ... I realize I haven't posted for awhile and I also realized that my original intention for this blog was to discuss my personal thoughts on the games I'm playing in/running/etc. Yes yes I've made unfullfilled promises pertaining to 40K army pics, etc. no good excuse other than I've been working on the armies yet too lazy to take pics ... at some point ... in the future ... I will indeed post such fabled pics.  Until then I've been playing in two D&D games, adding many new members to the home gaming group and still tilting at the windmill of forming an actual gamers club for my area.

One thing that came up on my home game board was a discussion about RPGs. Now to preface what is largely a re-post, I'll say that I've been looking at A) picking up with full intention of running the new WHFRP system from Fantasy Flight Games. In fact I put the order in to the Warstore for it today. B) I'm still in the formative (Bullshitting, almost to a point of commitment) stages of coming up with a SPACE MARINE RPG. Dark Heresy is not designed in any way shape or form to handle an actual Space Marine game. So using Dark Heresy without large amounts of alteration to that rule set isn't possible I'd prefer to just find a rules lite, ultra cinematic system to use. That need sparked a discussion regarding what system(s) would be the likely candidate for such an undertaking.

Out of some of these discussions regarding what system to use for such a game the larger, much more broad discussion of what RPG systems people in my gaming group like came up. I thought I'd post my response to that.  Basically the earlier posts in the thread sort of trashed the Savage Worlds system which I took a little umbrage with.  But really this mindset that I'm laying out here is where I'm at in terms of selecting a system for a Space Marine game. I'm really leaning towards Awesome Adventures, Sorcerer, In a Wicked Age, or a game like those. Burning Galaxy would be a dream to do such a game ... but I don't think I have the GM chops to pull that off yet (if ever) and I don't have a group with the desire/wherewithal at the present to handle such an undertaking either. 

At any rate this repost picks up in response to a post that basically stated Savage Worlds is a blah game system ...

While from a hardcore indie game fan perspective I understand perhaps not liking SW as much as other systems. But I do have to tout its utter versatility. It is the Swiss army knife of RPG systems IMO. You can do anything with that system. There are simpler systems that you "could" do anything with ... but for me things get to generic at a certain point. If your fortunate enough to play with a group of improvisational actors who are witty and really get indie RPGs ... well there is no reason to play anything but open ended rules-lite games. But your average game group is not comprised of such folks. I've experienced those uber, witty, high-IQ groups and its rockingly good fun ... but for me mostly that has been a conventions. My home games tend to be your standard D&D groups with a variety of players with variable RPG skills, interests and attention spans. That isn't a criticism of those groups ... I myself tend to be more distracted in my home games. At a convention I'm all business and really focused, at home I tend to be more casual. Its hard to pull off hardcore, ultra in character, role playing week after week. That is where a game like Savage Worlds shines I think and that is why games like 3:16, Tunnels and Trolls and InSpectres are AWESOME for one shots ... but will never make my top ten list.

To me those games and many indie RPGs are akin to a board game, something to run at a convention or to keep on the back burner for the times when a few people can't make your D&D night that week or as a special one shot, yet not as a long campaign. Savage Worlds could be run as a one shot or as a longer campaign it has that depth and versatility. Anyway what I like about Savage Worlds is it has the crunch and mini-pushing-around-ness of a 3.5 or 4E .. yet its not an overwhelming powergamer susceptible rule set. It has the low DM prep and plot point oriented focus of your standard indie RPG. Last but not least there are some great settings with many modules in print. The overall package of SW is hard to beat. Now game design, game mechanics, etc. etc. I have yet to play anything that knocked FATE/Spirit of the Century of f its pedestal in my all time favorite RPG system ranking.

Larry's (entirely opinion folks) Top Ten RPG list ...

Spirit of the Century/FATE
Mazes and Minotaurs
Arabian Sea Battles (insanely hard to find ... ultra out of print and I have been trying in vain to track down the rules which were printed in a small gaming magazine back in the early 1990s).
Dogs in the Vineyard
Savage Worlds
Warhammer Fantasy Role Play (2nd Edition)
Dark Heresy
4E D&D (Yes I like it this much)
3.5 D&D (I'd likely prefer pathfinder but I still haven't played it).

I have yet to experience Mouseguard/Burning Wheel and I'm sure if I ever experienced it in its full glory it would be on this list. I still haven't played many many critically acclaimed indie RPGs and I'm eagerly awaiting the chance. I love both the Rifts and Shadowrun universe ... hate the rules ... I think GURPS is cool ... but its an antiquated overly complex game system that is very much a product of the late 80s early 90s. D20 Modern, many Call of Cthulhu supplements, games and settings are cool. There are some really awesome games like Montsegur 1244 and Houses of the Blooded ... but it would just be pretentious to put those on my list. I've played them at conventions with game designer types ... and they are amazing ... but really unrealistic for your average home gaming group ... and therefore not really a top ten game. Overall though I was talking about RPG engines not really settings or genres ... that is my list as today ... now if you ask me next year at this time its likely to be different.


Bodlar said...

You should check out Tri-Stat Dx. I played in a super hero game that used it and I think it would lend itself to the 40k universe pretty well. It would take a bit of GM intervention and limitation on powers available, but entirely workable.

ScottyVegas said...

Tri-stat is a good sytem. The company that originally published it went out of business years ago. I have never looked to see if another company picked up the copyright for it. I agree with most of your picks. Savage Worlds gets poo-pooed by people who haven't played it. Once you get into that system and play, you realize how well it works and how much fun it is to play. I still want to run one of the plot point settings someday. If I can keep a grooup together long enough, I'll get there.