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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: System Recommendations  (Read 7183 times)
Maitete
Member

Posts: 13


« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2006, 09:19:49 AM »

Thanks to everyone for the advice!

I find that the more confident I am that I can produce a workable NPC on the fly, the less tempted I am to railroad.

This is absolutely true of me as well.  NPCs and their motivations and interactions are the heart of my games, and coming up with colorful personalities is something of a GM specialty of mine.  The hindrance has always been stat systems that for "game balance" you have to write out all of the combat and social skills they have for an hour apiece.

I know this is not an indie game... and I hope this is specific to what you brought up.... but I really like Savage Worlds.  Prep time is a  joy.  Check out the PEG boards, especially this thread...http://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8176  Which is about the world that a 10 year old daughter is creating with her dad using SW.  Its pretty wonderful stuff.

I've considered this one, and may have to try it based on your recommendations.  Any system a 10 year old can create with and enjoy sounds like it would fit me great!

I find up to three different themes in the discussion.
1. You clearly want to avoid railroading.
2. You want to reduce the preparation time for the GM. But, probably because you are associating the preparation time with the railroading experience, isn't it?
3. When some rules doesn't fit your needs and they become a burden you enjoy better playing without them, in a more free-form way.

That's definitely accurate.  Number 2 is especially right, although my continued understanding this:
You can avoid railroading with any game that exploit some player authorship. The typical techniques of Relationship-Maps, Kickers and Bangs may be exploited very easily (well, it takes some time to get used).
has helped a lot in separating prep from railroading.

About the third question, I'm not sure if you would prefer something with a detailed resolution system like Dogs in the Vineyard, or a very simple one like The Pool.

My experience is primarily with detailed systems.  I spent some time in the HERO system (what we lovingly refer to as the Phone Book now), and enjoyed it.  That system handled my creative side really well, by being able to simulate pretty much any power, ability or gadget in just about any genre.  Now, that might be a bit extreme, but I find that "minimalist" systems (like the Pool) don't have enough explanation or development of ideas for me.  Sorcerer (my current obsession) has much less crunchy rules detail than HERO.  But Ron's always there, throwing out suggested approaches, common problems, interesting twists and the like.  So detailed information is good.

Honestly, with all of the recommendations I've been given, I think my gaming future's pretty bright.  Now if I could just solve the problem with players, I'll be set...

Thanks everyone.  A lot of gaming books to buy!
Tony
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Arturo G.
Member

Posts: 333


« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2006, 05:12:57 AM »


Tony said:
Quote
My experience is primarily with detailed systems.  I spent some time in the HERO system (what we lovingly refer to as the Phone Book now), and enjoyed it.  That system handled my creative side really well, by being able to simulate pretty much any power, ability or gadget in just about any genre.  Now, that might be a bit extreme, but I find that "minimalist" systems (like the Pool) don't have enough explanation or development of ideas for me.  Sorcerer (my current obsession) has much less crunchy rules detail than HERO.  But Ron's always there, throwing out suggested approaches, common problems, interesting twists and the like.  So detailed information is good.

It seems that you are pretty comfortable with detailed systems as far as they serve your needs.
But one of the descriptions of your previous experiences makes me confuse:

Quote
The PC who was interested in becoming a Witch-Hunter became infected with some Beastman blood, and didn't know what that would mean.  He was visiting the Temple of the Grand Theogonist (for those not familiar it's like the Vatican of Warhammer) and began having terrible nightmares of an 18 foot tall slavering demon that called him father.  One night he had a dream of being inside that demon, and smashing up the Temple interior and killing several acolytes and priests.  When he awoke, he found himself in his bed, sheets soaked in blood, and people were screaming.  Now, there are detailed possession rules in Warhammer, but I didn't look at them, nor did I care how they worked.  I just thought it would be interesting to see how someone would handle wanting to be a Witch-Hunter to follow family tradition, but with the sneaking suspicion that he was cursed and dangerous somehow (sort of like the Hulk in its darker moments).

It seems that you were playing this piece without the need of rules at all.

Do you really want some rules that force you to: (a) skip them again; or (b) do it in a slightly different way because possesion works differently as you like?
I must admit I have phrased this in a very extreme way, to try to provoke you to think form a different and also extreme angle. I have the feeling that you are sometimes using a lot of non-rules system, and your are happy with it. Or are you not so happy?

Perhaps you should make a try with a low-detailed game to know if it fits your style. I'm not talking about something so minimalistic as The Pool, but perhaps PtA. But I want to make you notice that you may not like it. You may try it in a convention or by IRC before deciding about it.

If you have sorcerer in your hands, you have a powerfull tool. It may perfectly suit your needs. What it may look at first glance as a lack of detail is really an incredible flexibility which allow you to adapt it for your group concerns and desired level of detail. Of course, the nice support of The Forge forums will help you.
Probably you are noticing that it is highly inspirational. I think one of the reasons is precisely that flexibility.

Be carefull about ideas inspired directly by a small set of rules from a very detailed system. In my experience they typically create in the GM a need to create specific situations to bring them to light, without the players consent or interest. Rely on your players authorship to show to you what are their interests, and use the rules as a support.

Somehow related. In the last excerpt of your previous post. It seems that the decision of what was going on with that demonic possesion was a GM decision. The player was unaware of things not only highly related to him, but even things done by his character.

Cheers,
Arturo
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