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Inactive Forums => Forge Birthday Forum => Topic started by: Andrew Morris on April 05, 2005, 08:10:47 PM



Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Andrew Morris on April 05, 2005, 08:10:47 PM
What have you seen a million times in different RPGs? What makes you want to scream/sigh/smack the designer every time you see it?

Personally, I can't think of any, since my brain is a bit fried at the moment. I can't wait to see what  you all come up with, though.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Bankuei on April 05, 2005, 08:24:08 PM
Ugh...

-Splats
-Races
-Angst
-Hair, Weight, Height, Eye Color(the driver's license stats)
-PCs with no families, no friends
-Skill lists
-Power/Spell lists
-Hit points/wound levels, whatever
-ENCUMBERANCE, for the LOVE OF GOD, no more!!!!
-Geisha warriors, Voodoo Negros
- All mages are underfed with the strength of Mr. Burns
-"The World is coming to an end, and only you can..."
-"The World isn't what it seems, but you know the truth..."
- The Impossible Thing before Breakfast
- Cheat and lie to your players, but trust them not to do the same to you
-"Must...fill...whole character sheet... with lines, lines, lines!"
- Rules for Surprise
- Rules for how fast you can move
- Rules for how far you can see
- Completely crapass artwork, also scanned by a half blind mutant on crack
- Information and rules cleverly hidden behind a series of horrible layouts, each one more diabolical than the last
- Information on how many people live in a country, what its exports/imports are, climate, etc. with nothing on actual culture
- "This game can do everything!"
- "...and what it can't do, ignore the rules!"
- Warnings against running through the sewers because you're stupid
- Experience Points for JUST SHOWING UP.
- Reward rules that amount to "Give more if they did a good job"  What is a good job?
- The expectation that people need to play for 3 years to get a halfway cool character

And the list goes on and on and on...

Chris


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Ben Lehman on April 05, 2005, 10:47:53 PM
Wanton slaughter of "lesser people" for recreational purposes.

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: beingfrank on April 05, 2005, 11:15:59 PM
PCs who have to be absolute psychos or sociopaths for the game to function at all, let alone run well.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Frank T on April 05, 2005, 11:40:01 PM
GM secrets, by all means. "There is so much interesting stuff going on, but I won't tell you. I won't even tell you after play, because I might use it next year, or the year after that." The fuck!!


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: herrmess on April 06, 2005, 12:55:10 AM
Well now...

- Rules for poison, disease, gangrene and worse.
- Equipment charts. (While fine for colour, the cost/weight/size specifics just give me the creeps.)
- Starting wealth.
- Play is only fun as a "party".
- Metaplot, especially "canon" metaplot with an uber-cool backstory and guaranteed to have even cooler *future* developments that have nothing to do with the characters you're playing.
- Additionally, the NPCs/magical items are so totally cool that they cannot be built using the system. Let's face it, YOUR game can NEVER achieve the grandness of the published setting.
- "The classes/races/whatnot are perfectly balanced..."
- "This game aims at maximal realism..."
- Must... use... a weird and unique type of die.
- Must... use... a d20.
- Must... have... a new name for: GM/PC.
- Must... have... a new name for: Magic and the various users of magic.
- "New" fantasy races that are NOT called elves/dwarves but that look and behave at least 80% like the D&D elven/dwarven stereotype. Something like hair color is a major factor in distinguishing them from their D&D prototypes.
- You wake up one morning/evening and WHAM! you're "chosen" and given uber-powers for no obvious reason whatsoever. The rules however don't support dealing with this peculiar transformation in any way except for supplying mechanics on how to USE said uber-powers.
- Character sheets have the player's name on them.

Wow, that was... liberating.

MarK.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Victor Gijsbers on April 06, 2005, 01:01:52 AM
- The claim that the GM has the last say in everything.
- Punishments for players that do not guess correctly what the GM has in mind.
- Task-resolution.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: joshua neff on April 06, 2005, 03:48:03 AM
Quote from: Bankuei

-Geisha warriors, Voodoo Negros


Oh, man, I want to write that game now.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: pete_darby on April 06, 2005, 04:21:14 AM
"The Party" - Grrr.
"The Gm does one thing, everyone else does another" - actually, in the TSR Saga system where this is mechanically true, quite fun. But as an unchallenged assumption, grr.
"roll to hit" grr
"combat system" grr
"If you don't play essentially D&D with cosmetic changes, you're not roleplaying". Grrr grr grr.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Lxndr on April 06, 2005, 05:30:28 AM
  • "Magic isn't something you learn, it's something you're born to."  Especially with the associated "and yet we're not gonna lord it over you" kind of attitude that you'd think would come naturally among humans.
  • "Magic requires a lifetime commitment and academic study to the exclusion of all else."
  • The two of those previous ideas expressed together is geometrically worse.
  • Interior artwork, in general, but generally an overabundance of it.  Hardcovers too.
  • an unconscionable avoidance of PvP conflicts, and the full-fledged embrace of the whole "party" mentality
  • Strange and Bizarre Capitalization
  • XP/character reward given out seemingly unrelated to character or player action, especially that given out at the end of a session.
  • [/list:u]

    I'm guilty of "must have a new name for GM/PC" (croupier in Fastlane) and, in a weird way, "must use a weird and unique type of die" (Fastlane's roulette wheel... but then again, it has a six sided die alternative)

    Herrmess:  I understand most of your comments, but what's wrong with using weird/unique dice, or d20s in particular?


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Andy Kitkowski on April 06, 2005, 05:35:55 AM
"Spread X points around your stats/skills/etc to make your character".  

It never bothered me until I saw a bunch of Japanese RPGs where this wasn't the case- In the most spectacularly built ones, you literally just choose "3 classes", and that defines all your stats, skills, starting equipment, and special abilities. You trade dicking around on minutia for ease of getting into play quickly.

Ex: In TSOY, If I were making a "20 Advance Character", just like a 20th level character in D&D I'd still need to take XP/advances and turn them into spurts of growth in abilities, pools, etc.  In the game Alshard (a popular Japanese RPG, made by a brilliant designer (same guy as Tenra Bansho)), a 20th level character can be made just as quickly as a 1st level character (note: Within about two minutes.   Seriously.), and yet still be moderately customized.

It's really stricken me as a blind spot in Western RPG design. Particularly, in games like Blue Rose, which for its intended purposes really didn't need all that choice and character configuration. It should have been a "pick-and-go" game.

-Andy


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Andrew Morris on April 06, 2005, 05:55:29 AM
Quote from: Lxndr
  • Strange and Bizarre Capitalization[/list:u]
Ooh, good one.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Ben Lehman on April 06, 2005, 06:10:32 AM
Quote from: Andy Kitkowski

It's really stricken me as a blind spot in Western RPG design. Particularly, in games like Blue Rose, which for its intended purposes really didn't need all that choice and character configuration. It should have been a "pick-and-go" game.


I am, at this point, totally unsatisfied with character creation that last longer than five minutes.  Any moment of my time spent making a character is a moment of time where I'm *not playing the game*

yrs--
--Ben


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: pete_darby on April 06, 2005, 06:10:47 AM
Andy: obsessive detail, fiddling around... oh god yes, I detest it.*

Real Soon Now I'll get to finishing a review of Pie Shop (http://www.peregrine.madasafish.com/pieshop/index.htm). It certainly has attitude, but character creation: strange numbers of points, skills lists, default skills, blah, blah, blah... for a supposedly shocking game of being a serial killer. Yeah, nothing conveys alienation and psychotic thought processes than deciding whether to put two or three points in driving. It's all gamer wank, it gets in the way of psychological horror.

It may be the first kpfs heartbreaker.

edit: *When it's not a positive feature of the system, as in Hero / Champions...


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Jason L Blair on April 06, 2005, 06:16:05 AM
Quote from: Andy Kitkowski

It never bothered me until I saw a bunch of Japanese RPGs where this wasn't the case- In the most spectacularly built ones, you literally just choose "3 classes", and that defines all your stats, skills, starting equipment, and special abilities. You trade dicking around on minutia for ease of getting into play quickly.
-Andy


Andy:

Any websites (in English) where I can read more about this?


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: timfire on April 06, 2005, 06:18:17 AM
Quote from: herrmess
- Must... have... a new name for: GM/PC.

Oh yes, I detest new names for the GM.

However, I like the switch that some people have made by calling a (N)PC a (Non-) Protagonist Character, rather than Player Character. Especially in games where the players can control/create NPCs, I think this makes lots of sense.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Shreyas Sampat on April 06, 2005, 07:11:25 AM
must...be...different!

No you don't. Just be good. Everything is crap. Different will come by itself.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: herrmess on April 06, 2005, 07:27:26 AM
Quote from: Lxndr
  • Strange and Bizarre Capitalization
  • [/list:u]


!

Quote from: Lxndr

Herrmess:  I understand most of your comments, but what's wrong with using weird/unique dice, or d20s in particular?


Nothing really, one comment was for all the games riding the "d20" wave (to me, it's an exemplar of the generic-mechanic-which-is-good-for-everything-especially-if-everyone's-using-it paradigm) and the other was for games that seemingly went "we won't be using d6, let's use 3d10, well, just to be different".

Or maybe it's just my imagination. Just for the record, I played EarthDawn and enjoyed the Step system (where you can actually use d4,d6,d8,d10,d12 and d20 ON THE SAME ROLL) immensely. It's not the type of dice, it's the reason they're used this way.

MarK.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Shreyas Sampat on April 06, 2005, 07:33:03 AM
High material barriers to entry!
I hate having to buy dice to play a game.
Or, like, roulette wheels or Porsches or whatever.
Just give my my d6s and cards and Mahjongg tiles, and I'm all set.

Low intellectual barriers to entry!
If I don't need to think carefully and in a novel manner about your game to play it to its fullest extent, then it must be the same as some other game. Sucks to be you.


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Ron Edwards on April 06, 2005, 07:39:40 AM
I've had it with games in which the characters are specially-powered in any way whatsoever.

And yeah, I wrote games about sorcerers, magical elfs, and tall babes with horns on their heads. That's done with.

No more. People in situations, from now on.

Best,
Ron


Title: Most overdone concepts in RPGs?
Post by: Chris Goodwin on April 06, 2005, 12:11:59 PM
Elves and dwarves and fill in the blanks.  

Fantasy worlds in which elves are the shiny happy forest people and dwarves are the short gruff miners and blacksmiths.  (As though humans have never ever mined nor smithed iron.)  

Multiracial fantasy worlds in general.  

Adventuring parties with a just-right mix of races and classes.  

Adventuring parties.

Races and classes.  

All of D&D's assumptions.  

Modern games with listings of 300 firearms, many of which are nearly the same weapon with minor differences that are reflected in the game mechanics.  

Superhero games with the aforementioned firearms lists.  

Games with unnecessarily or inappropriately detailed rules for situations that will likely never come up in play.  (Example:  Fringeworthy has detailed rules for starvation and a list of foods with Food Points.  I swear to fucking Ghu I am not making this up.)