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[General Roleplaying Games] It is our Fate to Run the Shadows Bearing Torches

VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
edited July 2013 in Critical Failures
Hail adventurers, runners, heathens, and cutpurses! Welcome to the general roleplaying thread!

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQRAxPxAZtK0GCQFX_lOAP-MWixPo239UbenDHQAUZsjwkahnKIC06q9aQr

By now, you probably know there are imagined worlds that have nothing to do with either dungeons or dragons. You've probably even spent some time in them. Perhaps you've even put together some of your own material. Pull up a chair, and let's discuss specific RPGs and the hobby in general.

Rather than clutter the OP with 578934527894 links to various systems, I encourage anyone who wants to provide a comprehensive set of resources for any particular system to do so in the thread. I will then link those posts here.

If for some reason you'd like to discuss the inevitable train wreck that the next edition of the world's most popular fantasy roleplaying game will be, we have a thread for that here. I kid, I kid. It's going to be great. No, really.

So, what's been catching your interest as of late?

Vanguard on
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Posts

  • SJSJ Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    FATE. Fuck yes. Starting to put characters and such together, because I haven't gotten to actually play/run a game of it yet. I'm pretty psyched though. Character creation was definitely odd with my group at first though, because everyone was so used to making D&D characters.

    e: more FATE stuff here!

    SJ on
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Finally!

    So let's talk about Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, because I need to talk about Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. I've got the start of what will hopefully be an MHR campaign coming in a few weeks. My players have requested that it be an "avatar game" which to them means they play as themselves. I agreed because I want them to have fun, and now I don't have to force them to understand that we don't all need to meet each other at the beginning of every single campaign and come up with some contrived reason to work together.

    Anyway, I need advice. Have any of you had a chance to run MHR, or any Cortex-based game? Any general advice on what's good, what's bad, what makes things easier, etc? And have any of you run "avatar" games before? Any comments about how those went?

  • VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2012
    I must have flipped through the MHR rulebook half a dozen times at my FLGS. How's it look? The group I roll with most these days is pretty locked into Sword & Sorcery, but I've at least got them to see the light that Pathfinder is not the end-all be-all. Would this be a good game to explore other genres with?

    Vanguard on
  • AspectVoidAspectVoid Registered User regular
    I have never looked at MHR before. I did run a DC Universe game for a few months for my group. It started out fun, and we had some good times, but after a bit all of the characters started feeling the same due to the mechanics causing everything to feel...well, the same, just with a different flavor text to go with it.

    Currently, I am working on putting together a Legend of Five Rings campaign for my group. I've just started laying the ground work for it, putting together the over all plot structure and creating the major NPCs. I'm rather excited about it, as I've wanted to get an L5R game going for over a decade now. I'm also excited because its going to push me as a DM. The current game I'm running (Pathfinder) had ended up really more of a tactics game with a lose story tying it together. L5R, however, is heavy on the social interactions and relies a lot on character interaction. I am really looking forward to using it to grow as a DM.

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  • TheOtherHorsemanTheOtherHorseman Registered User regular
    I tried to lure my friends into a game of Legend of the Five Rings, but that sputtered out before it began when people were too lazy to make a character.

    I was considering trying to bait a hook with Exalted, but I'm a little put-off by how horrible the combat system seems. I'm less put off by social combat, because it is easier to ignore something wholesale than to fix what is broken.

  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    Finally! :)

    Needs better thread title. What is "other"?

    Should be clearly marked [General RPG Thread] in some fashion.

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  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    Yes, an [RPG thread] or [PnP Thread] tag would be best.

    Anyone ever played Cosmic Patrol? It intrigues the hell out of me, but the free RPG day pamphlet is a little small...

    Also, I found a great freeware L5R chargen tool that can help with some laziness issues. :)

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  • VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2012
    For systems that have "complicated" (see: different) approaches to character creation, I usually throw together a one-off with pre-gens and let my players duke it out for who wants which character. If they like it, I find they're a lot more enthusiastic about making their own.

    Edit: and I added a tag to the title.

    Vanguard on
  • CapfalconCapfalcon Tunnel Snakes Rule Capital WastelandRegistered User regular
    Paranoia is the best role playing game I've ever played (Unknown Armies is a close second, but that's for another time). Not because of the rules or setting (which are pretty fantastic in and of themselves). For you see, Paranoia is a state of mind. All games can become Paranoia. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that there is not a game around that cannot be made better with a little dash of Paranoia.

    STANDARD FANTASY GAME now becomes STANDARD FANTASY GAME WITH COMPETING, INCOMPETENT GUILDS.
    STANDARD EXISTENTIAL HORROR GAME now becomes STANDARD EXISTENTIAL HORROR GAME AS PLAYED BY MEMBERS OF RIVAL CULTS.
    STANDARD FOUR COLOR SUPERHERO GAME now becomes STANDARD FOUR COLOR SUPERHERO GAME WITH DANGEROUS, EXPERIMENTAL WEAPONS.

    This is doubly true now that it has High Programmers. It's the only game I feel that you a disservice by NOT LARPing, since LARPing for High Programmers amounts to siting around a table dressed like a bunch of Bond Villains sending minions to their doom and passing the phone around to yell orders.

  • SUPERSUGASUPERSUGA Registered User regular
    Played another playtest of my D&D variant (see signature) tonight, which was great fun. A two and a half hour session on Google Hangouts where the party managed to:

    - Gaze longingly through the viewing-tubes that litter the dungeon at a cave filled with riches, wondering if it really exists.
    - Save their torch-bearer from being eaten by a huge slime-covered snake by blasting him with a spell covering him in slippery oil, letting him slide away while the others beat the snake into a retreat.
    - Crawl into a a stinky tunnel after the snake, recovering a novelty sword-shaped bottle of medicinal tonic. Rumours indicate this has roughly equal chance of blinding you as settling your stomach.
    - Find themselves unable to resist stirring a crater-pool that seemed to cause hallucinations, eventually creeping themselves out too much and scurrying away.
    - Attempt a potentially suicidal mission into a huge pit-trap to see what was thrashing around in the water at the bottom, only to be ambushed by a mole-person, one character chasing him down and cutting his throat.
    - Nearly die from venturing into a smoke-filled room that seemed to burn their lungs with each breath.
    - Discover a possible way to cheat death with one character's weird magical chalk.
    - Head back to town to see if anyone's invented breathing-equipment yet and lament another expedition returning with pocket change.

    Might not sound like it, but we all had a blast. Google Hangouts is the most significant addition to my gaming life since I first picked up a Fighting Fantasy gamebook.

  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    So what's the deal with 13th Age (and airplane food)? I went to their site where you can basically pre-order the playtest rules, but there's no other information other than "it's like D&D but not."

    I don't intend to pre-order an idea especially for full cover price.

    Regarding MHR, our group was really excited about it until we actually got a hold of the book. Some parts are super specific about what you can and can't do, while others are just "Whatever makes you happy, man." It also seems geared toward one-shots and using existing Marvel heroes. I don't need a book to tell me I can say "Nuff said, bub." and roll a handful of dice that may or may not matter.

    We're going to play Mutants and Masterminds instead.

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  • LochielLochiel Registered User regular
    Paranoia is #1 on my list of games I want to one shot. Some of us were going to try and run it at last PAX:Prime, but it fell apart because of scheduling.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    I used to GM Paranoia a lot. It's brilliant.

    My main technique was to make sure everyone had a reason to kill everyone else. So their secret societies or whatever would give them horribly flawed intel on the other players.

    It's actually the easiest game to GM I ever found. The players become so active that you are essentially providing an arena for them to pick on each other.

    Oh, and send lots of notes to players. Sometimes the note is just 'This is a note to make you look suspicious', or 'Please reply to this note'. Sometimes just send the same note to all the players save one.

    If I had spare cash at the moment, I would be buying Marvel Heroic and the Lord of the Rings RPG. I was originally going to play a LOTR campaign using Legends of Anglerre (a fantasy FATE RPG) and The Atlas of Middle-Earth, but the actual LOTR RPG looks great, and the designer has an excellent reputation.

    poshniallo on
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  • TalonrazorTalonrazor Registered User regular
    Is MRH basically Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition? Because I love M&M.

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  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    it's very similar

    it's more leaning towards FATE style games though

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    So far I'm very excited about MHR. I like the dice pool system, I like the flavor of the setting, and I like the amount of narrative control that the system gives to players. I think more than anything I'm interested in seeing how they respond to a system in which everything works in basically the same way and all the flavor comes from them. They talk a lot about encouraging roleplaying, so being in a system that requires roleplaying to be any fun at all should be an interesting experiment.

  • bssbss Brostoyevsky Madison, WIRegistered User regular
    So what's the deal with 13th Age (and airplane food)? I went to their site where you can basically pre-order the playtest rules, but there's no other information other than "it's like D&D but not."

    I don't intend to pre-order an idea especially for full cover price.

    There are snazzy threads on RPGnet and SA that make it sound pretty cool. One of the PP guys has dropped into the SA thread a lot, which is cool, but both have enough to give a pretty decent idea of how the playtest has looked so far.

    Anyway 13th Age is what I'm excited for. The preorder PDF is coming any day now.

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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Rfits was my first RPG.

    It is a terrible game, but for some reason I still love it. Or the ideas in it, anyway.


    Does Car Wars count as an RPG? Because Car Wars is fantastic, especially if you set-up a long-running campaign where players earn money for winning matches, expend their clones, build-up celebrity personalities, etc.

    With Love and Courage
  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    The Dungeon World kickstarter only has a few days to go. Five bucks gets you the PDF and like a million-billion supplements to go with it. I think what I'm digging the most (aside from all the indie references in the magical items list) is the differences between Adventure Fronts and Campaign Fronts, and how you reflect those on the Map.

    Another vote for G+ Hangouts, by the way, especially the Tabletop Forge app. Has anyone checked out roll20 yet?

  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    Paranoia is a great game, but you've got to have a good group, and that's ready for it. The first time I ran it, my group was so 'good' in other games, so team oriented and trusting, that it completely missed the point. Next time I made it more clear, and added in more opportunities and reasons for mayhem, and it was better.

  • SJSJ Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    SUPERSUGA wrote: »
    Played another playtest of my D&D variant (see signature) tonight, which was great fun. A two and a half hour session on Google Hangouts where the party managed to:

    Do you have your sig enabled? I can't see it with your posts.

    Also 13th age is going to be amazing because it is Rob Heinsoo's love letter to D&D.

    SJ on
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    SJ wrote: »
    SUPERSUGA wrote: »
    Played another playtest of my D&D variant (see signature) tonight, which was great fun. A two and a half hour session on Google Hangouts where the party managed to:

    Do you have your sig enabled? I can't see it with your posts.

    Also 13th age is going to be amazing because it is Rob Heinsoo's love letter to D&D.

    D&D 4E wasn't Heinsoo's love letter to D&D?

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  • Grey_ChocolateGrey_Chocolate Registered User regular
    Hello, children!

    So, anyone using G+ Hangouts, Skype, Roll20 or whatever video chat stuff to play campaigns?

    I find I often have trouble recruiting for games when the system isn't D&D, same for other people?

    Hitting the broken computer does not fix the broken computer. Fixing the broken computer, fixes the broken computer.
  • VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I'm running The Burning Wheel for my new group tonight. It will be their first experience with the system, so I've got to do a good job selling them on it. Rather than run "The Sword", which is a fine introductory adventure in of itself, I opted to pitch them a very simple theme: the players are Trolls guarding a bridge. I left it up to them to decide what they're guarding and who they're guarding it from, and they really took to the world-building part of the game. Here is what they came up with:
    A few hundred years ago, the Trolls lived in the Aazoth forest. That was before the Elves moved in and swept them from their homeland, murdering many in the process. Afterwards, they traveled north, through the Grimgör Mountains, where they clashed with the Dwarfs. Deep beneath the earth, the Trolls seethed with hatred and vowed to someday get revenge. It wasn't until a wizard by the name of Golgomoth offered to assist them that such a day would become possible. The Wizard plunged the land into constant, creeping darkness, allowing the Trolls to wander the surface freely without fear of turning to stone.

    The players will guard the bridge that leads to Golgomoth's tower. In addition to collecting tolls, they are guarding against the Elven king to the south, who is rumored to be marching north to beat back the darkness slowly washing over his forest.

  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    My regular WFRP 1st ed. group is a player down thanks to our medic (in game and in real life) leaving for a six-week Australia placement, so we're giving Shadowrun 4th ed. a try.

    Bloody hell, the character generation is complicated when you're not sure what you're doing. I appreciate the lack of a class system makes it more flexible to play what you want, but it's nice to have guidelines beyond the template characters. It's taken me over six hours to create my combatless, socially inept dwarf with a passion for machines and showtunes.

    I thought Ars Magica was complicated, but at least it's laid out logically and you don't have a brazillion bit of gear to look through while not being fully aware of what System Ratings are.

  • VanguardVanguard A wretched country of duskRegistered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Where did you start? I've only played a tiny bit of Shadowrun, and it was the old Wizkids 4th edition rulebook, but I remember that it being distinctly easier if you go in with some rough concept rather than choose from the options.

  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    Yeah, a lot of the issue is just the time it takes to figure out the value of things relative to each other. It's one thing to look at something and see it has some value=6, but is that high or low, or what? My first shadowrun char. took about that long to make, but I think any future ones would be a lot quicker, now that I actually understand all the rules and meaning of things.

    The book could be laid out a lot better though, even the 20th anniversary book which is supposedly an improvement on the original 4th book.

  • AspectVoidAspectVoid Registered User regular
    Yeah, for first time players, Shadowrun can be an extraordinarily complicated system to generate a character for. I've really found that the best way to create it is to come up with the character concept, find the skills needed to support that concept, and then find the attributes needed to support those skills.

    PSN|AspectVoid
  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Denada wrote: »
    Finally!

    So let's talk about Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, because I need to talk about Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. I've got the start of what will hopefully be an MHR campaign coming in a few weeks. My players have requested that it be an "avatar game" which to them means they play as themselves. I agreed because I want them to have fun, and now I don't have to force them to understand that we don't all need to meet each other at the beginning of every single campaign and come up with some contrived reason to work together.

    Anyway, I need advice. Have any of you had a chance to run MHR, or any Cortex-based game? Any general advice on what's good, what's bad, what makes things easier, etc? And have any of you run "avatar" games before? Any comments about how those went?

    MHR in my experience runs best when you relinquish narrative control to the players. You as the Watcher are there to provide conflict, not to govern the entire worldspace; there's a certain degree of cognitive dissonance that anyone playing in a comic book universe is likely to apply that takes care of the general "rules" of the world. This is slightly unusual compared to many systems so it can throw people sometimes.

    Conflicts (i.e. dice rolls) should never come to a basic pass/fail, because there's nothing interesting about that. You almost always want to have situations boil down to degrees of success and consequences for failure. A pass/fail stagnates the narrative and the scene loses excitement.

    Beware of counterattacks; they can stress a target out quickly if you have enough large dice to throw in as effect dice. (This applies both to you counterattacking the heroes as well as the heroes counterattacking you)

    Don't be afraid to buy out a ton of PP to keep your doom pool large and threatening. PP are what keeps the narrative awesome and players will burn through them (and find ways to generate more) no matter how many you throw out. The more dice you have and the larger they are, the more you'll be able to beef up your rolls turn over turn.

    If your players are smart they'll pick up on this quickly, but going last in the turn order is a huge advantage for the Watcher, because it means you can make team bad guy then go first in the next round. As such, you want to try and pawn off the turns to the PCs as often as possible so they don't have a choice but to pass the turn back to you at the end.

    I absolutely love the system. It's a lot of fun to play in and really works your creative muscles. I just wish I were a better writer (and comic book aficionado) so I could make my own scenarios for it instead of relying on the event books to give me something to play :P

    Edit: Oh, something to help anyone's frame of mind when reading the book or playing the game; MHR is not a "Supers RPG". It's a "Comic Book RPG". The entire game is structure to take advantage of the scenic aspect of comic book panels, and when you start thinking about it that way I think it really amps up the narrative power.

    Nullzone on
  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    So what's the deal with 13th Age (and airplane food)? I went to their site where you can basically pre-order the playtest rules, but there's no other information other than "it's like D&D but not."

    I don't intend to pre-order an idea especially for full cover price.

    There's a pretty good first impressions look at the game here, if you're so inclined:

    http://critical-hits.com/2012/06/20/first-impressions-preview-13th-age/

    I can vouch for it since I was at the table :P

  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    And now for my own question, what's the deal with Cthulhutech? I saw it in passing at Origins and I'm a sucker for that mythos but I couldn't get a good read on the game itself.

  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    I've heard it's creepy. Not in a lovecraftian outside understanding way, but in a it involves rape way. I was sorts interested because I mean, giant robots and Cthulhu mythos, but noooooope.

  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    Shadowrun, 4th ed benefits heavily from using 2 tools to help you: The Hero Labs product (even in demo mode) and the Runner's Toolkit. With that said? A lot of stuff is there as fluff that doesn't help all that much. Just don't spread yourself too thin, and remember that 2 is the human average in a stat or a skill.

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  • the_jake_1973the_jake_1973 Registered User regular
    I have been excited about the Fiasco system, but have been unable to convice my group to give it a try. There is not enough epic lootz and levelz involved. I do enjoy using the modules as a writing tool as well.

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    Shadowrun, 4th ed benefits heavily from using 2 tools to help you: The Hero Labs product (even in demo mode) and the Runner's Toolkit. With that said? A lot of stuff is there as fluff that doesn't help all that much. Just don't spread yourself too thin, and remember that 2 is the human average in a stat or a skill.

    I had a 4th edition shadowrunner called lucky that got himself 8 edge at character creation. He used all the rest of his character points on stats of 3 and skills of 2. The idea was he wasn't really good at anything, at all, but he was incredibly lucky, so things just tended to fall into place. 8 times per session he could basically do literally whatever he wanted, since 13 dice with exploding 6's will rarely net you a failure.

    In combat he preferred fully automatic anything, so he could "spray and pray," (full auto, narrow burst). That tactic was supposed to be prohibitively inaccurate, but with a huge return in damage if you managed to hit. However, with the way of the mechanics in SR4, he would hit with the burst basically every time, which would typically instagib even something as tough as an armored troll.

    It sounded balanced on paper (only able to really do 8 things per session), but in practice it was incredibly overpowered.

  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    I have been excited about the Fiasco system, but have been unable to convice my group to give it a try. There is not enough epic lootz and levelz involved. I do enjoy using the modules as a writing tool as well.

    Fiasco is great. For a similar sort of play experience but with more of a dramatic story instead of a gonzo one, keep an eye out for Our Last Best Hope by Magpie Games.

    (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marktruman/our-last-best-hope-an-rpg-to-save-the-world)

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    My plan for right now is to modify the Breakout event in the MHR book to fit their heroes (which are them, as in they are playing themselves but with super powers):

    -The Raft is being renamed The Locker and is being turned into a secret underwater cryogenic prison at the bottom of the Monterey Bay.
    -The heroes don't know that there are other people with powers in the world, though it is common knowledge that superheroes and villains once existed.
    -What starts as a series of disasters (fires, earthquakes, floods, sinking skips) that the heroes have to avert evolve into a series of attacks by a villain that escaped The Locker.
    -The identity of the villain and his powers will actually be determined by the players. I'm going to let them fill in the blanks and make assumptions, which will ultimately be correct.
    -After dealing with the first villain, the players will find out that all the villains have escaped, and they'll be recruited by not-SHIELD to form a new super-team.

  • CapfalconCapfalcon Tunnel Snakes Rule Capital WastelandRegistered User regular
    Nullzone wrote: »
    And now for my own question, what's the deal with Cthulhutech? I saw it in passing at Origins and I'm a sucker for that mythos but I couldn't get a good read on the game itself.

    It really isn't very good. There is two interesting and potentially fun ideas in there: Giant Mechs vs. Monsters from Cthulhu and people who turn themselves into monsters (Tagers) in order to fight monsters.

    It's just... the system isn't that good, the setting is boring, and the books are really, really uncomfortable to read (rape camps? seriously?). Add into that that all the metaplot books and adventures seem to miss the what the CoC RPG understood pretty well (No chance of victory in the long run doesn't mean your battles are pointless. You can have small victories and successes, you just can't ever win forever.), and you get a depressing, clunky, and boring game that's more trouble than it's worth.

  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    Aberrant remains my favorite superhero RPG, although, Mega-Strength has to be toned down in order for the game to not implode.

    One of the best parts is the forward in the Aberrant Players Guide that basically says, "This game is not a four-color game; if you're playing it that way, you're doing it wrong."

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  • weirdspaceshipsweirdspaceships i will eat your still-beating heart Registered User regular
    Nullzone wrote: »
    I have been excited about the Fiasco system, but have been unable to convice my group to give it a try. There is not enough epic lootz and levelz involved. I do enjoy using the modules as a writing tool as well.

    Fiasco is great. For a similar sort of play experience but with more of a dramatic story instead of a gonzo one, keep an eye out for Our Last Best Hope by Magpie Games.

    (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marktruman/our-last-best-hope-an-rpg-to-save-the-world)

    Also check out Durance, made by the same folks as Fiasco. It too has a collaborative creation system, except this time, it's sci-fi drama set in a far-future penal colony.

This discussion has been closed.