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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 72 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Profiling supplemental - great experience, wrong system  (Read 10038 times)

Posts: 563

« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2003, 09:34:14 PM »

My reasons for listing Palladium (Robotech/TMNT) are pretty much what this thread is about... though not so much because we had to drift it to get what we wanted, but because little elements of the system just kept nagging at me.  I liken it to a wool turtleneck.  It feels fine at first and is nice and warm... but by the end of the day (or eight years as the case may be), it's scatched all the skin off your wrists and neck and you're just so glad to be rid of it.

Justin Dagna
President, Technicraft Design.  Creator, Pax Draconis
John Harper

Posts: 1054

flip you for real

« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2003, 11:25:09 PM »

Two of mine:

Feng Shui (GM)
2+ year series with the two best roleplayers I've ever played with. It was a "buddy movie" that turned into a very long, twisty, deep story that nailed melodrama as no RPG experience has before or since. We didn't tweak the rules very much, but we did drift it in the sense that our play sessions became all about giant, violent set-pieces and churning character conflicts/passions, all at once. The FS rules really only touch on the first half of that equation. If I had to run it again... I'd use... hell, I don't know. Maybe that game needs to be written.

Pulp Heroes d20 (player)
Our GM wrestled the system to the ground and made it his bitch. I learned that d20 can really deliver a kick-ass pulp genre experience, even with "level one" heroes and other such nonsense. We played 13 episodes and it wasn't until the end that I realized what Tony (the GM) was doing, making us start as (wussy) little level one d20 characters. We were playing out our origins. Season Two was gonna be the "superhuman pulp hero" story. Season One was "who are the heroes and how did they team up?"

We started with an elevator repairman, a pilot, an ex-soldier, and a journalist. We ended up with a Genius Inventor, a Rocketeer, a reborn Atlantean Explorer, and a Psychic Investigator. Instead of writing our backstories, we played them. It was brilliant, and fun, and cool. If I had to run it myself, I'd still use d20 because Tony taught me how to make it sing.

Agon: An ancient Greek RPG. Prove the glory of your name!

Posts: 23

« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2003, 12:37:22 AM »

Two of my three fit here.

I played Werewolf on a MUSH with strict character-app control (we were known here and there on the exploding WoD-MUSH scene as fascists), that had no dice-rolling code and very little of the standard character sheet coded for in chargen.  Rather a lot of drift from the tabletop game as-writ.

AD&D 2nd shows up in #2 for a common enough reason of nostalgia, plus there was a lot of sense of fun in how we played.  I have fond memories of my Erisian cleric, whose prayer sessions often included screaming arguments with his goddess about the particulars of the spells he needed.  Some large amount of systemic drift also happened, but I don't remember the ruleset anywhere near well enough to be sure of that.
Lance D. Allen

Posts: 1962

« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2003, 07:09:03 AM »

We started with an elevator repairman, a pilot, an ex-soldier, and a journalist. We ended up with a Genius Inventor, a Rocketeer, a reborn Atlantean Explorer, and a Psychic Investigator. Instead of writing our backstories, we played them. It was brilliant, and fun, and cool. If I had to run it myself, I'd still use d20 because Tony taught me how to make it sing.

That... that's brilliant. That, right there, could possibly solve many of the grievances I've had with d20 and it's ancestors over the years. Not all of them, as I still dislike levels and character classes, but many of them. This thread has proven insightful to me. Thanks.

I can't add anything about my experiences, as the games I've liked I've liked the way they were. WEG Star Wars, Shadowrun and V:tM all work just fine for me as written, so I've little else to add.

~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Tim C Koppang

Posts: 356

« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2003, 08:27:42 AM »

Although I didnít post this in my latest profiling update, I have historically listed Shadowrun among my favorite gaming experiences.  For one, I played so many SR games that of course some of them were really rewarding.  However, on the other hand, over the years, I came to despise the rules as written.  I found myself actively trying to adhere to the rules more and more, but with less enthusiasm for the game in general.  Eventually I had to drift the game.  For the most part it became straight up Gamism with myself in the GM seat; with short stints of Sim play concentrating on exploration of character.  Only when I threw out the Decking, Rigging, and most of the detailed combat rules did I start to have the good times I once experienced in my more youthful RPG days.  I put the emphasis on figuring a way past all of the high-tech security building and badass mages.  Then, the fun ensued.

Ben Morgan

Posts: 307

« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2003, 08:47:49 AM »

I'm going with Cyberpunk.

Most gamers I know were raised on a steady diet of AD&D, but I grew up on Cyberpunk. I've played a hell of a lot of it over the years. When we started, it was a great system. "Hey, the damage rules are way more realistic than D&D's hit points!"

Didn't realize until very recently that over the years, my needs as a gamer had gradually changed. I had a lot of fun playing the game, and there were some really cool "oh shit" moments. However, due in part to the style of the GM, these moments were the exception rather than the rule, and when they did happen, it was really kinda by accident (didn't help that the GM was a bit of a control freak, and wanted to be the only one who could do cool things, while we sat around and marveled).

I knew that there was something wrong when the game who's tagline is "Style Over Substance" did nothing to encourage style, but instead rewarded the guy with the biggest gun.

What system I would have used: If it had existed, the system I'm using now. It's still Cyberpunk, kinda, but stripped down, with bits stolen from Sorcerer and octaNe (with Lumpley's philosophy about guns in RPGs), the system is designed to: A) give the players control over the direction of the story, through Kickers, and B) offer a reward system that encourages players to actively try to achieve those "oh shit, that was cool!" moments. So far, it's been running fantastically.

-- Ben

-----[Ben Morgan]-----[ad1066@gmail.com]-----
"I cast a spell! I wanna cast... Magic... Missile!"  -- Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light
Zak Arntson

Posts: 839

« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2003, 11:07:37 AM »

Weirdly, my biggest experience with this was Donjon. One of the most flexible and entertaining games I've ever played. Our group, at the time, included a very casual gamer, myself and my two attention-span-challenged brothers, and all of us complete video game heads. And not much D&D nostalgia which makes parts of Donjon really gel.

I wanted _more_ improvisation (yikes), particularly in the realm of monsters and adventure creation. I wanted everyone to have access to the same system, regardless of whether they were spellcasters or not. We wanted to get rid of the ability scores. All my players created characters/archetypes from nostalgic video games (a surprise at the time, but not in hindsight). Soon we all wanted to see crazy special moves and flashy graphics.

So I created Fighter-D Alpha to address that. It's kind of like Donjon's second cousin.

EDIT: I should point out that most of my experiences with a system that didn't fit the group were ended with an early end to play, rather than any system tweaking.

Michael S. Miller

Posts: 846

« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2003, 03:25:41 AM »

I've regularly listed AD&D 2nd ed. as a favorite of mine, because of an awesome campaign I ran my freshman year of college. The best story arcs were either completely unsupported by the system or cobbled together by me.

I had a paladin put on trial for murder. How do you run a murder trial in AD&D 2nd ed.? We just freeformed it, and it was awesome.

The players organized a peasant revolt against an evil overlord. Couldn't find rules for that, either, so I just kind of added the peasants/soldiers as bonuses to the main PC/NPC rolls, I think.

But the best storyline was a glass skull I had the neutral wizard find in a dungeon. It was a relic of a long-dead evil mage, who wanted to come back. He offered the PC a bit of magic resistance here, more spells there, in order to get him to do the rituals that would allow the evil mage to live again. In the end, and without prompting on my part, the party devised the best way to trick the mage into manifesting and destroyed two of their most potent magic items in killing him permanently. It was a thing of beauty.

Of course, I realize now it was a Sorcerer story, and 2nd ed. did nothing to enhance it.

Serial Homicide Unit Hunt down a killer!
Incarnadine Press--The Redder, the Better!

Posts: 260

« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2003, 08:42:04 AM »

One game I listed was a weird Shadowrun game that used WoD creature-types and the Storyteller system. The GM decided to do this rather than run a straight SR game because all the players were familiar with White Wolf. He was a great GM and the group was a lot of fun. Some of the players were a bit younger and munchkiny, but over the course of the game they really matured... which oddly translated into some nice character development.

The Storyteller system really wasn't the best for this game, though, despite the fact that it supported a wide range of character types. The game centered on a lot of interpersonal relationships, planning, and cinematic action. The system did very little for the first two and bogged down the third. On the other hand, I don't think that the Shadowrun system would have been any better. . . and the GM did some interesting things with his reinterpretation of a cyberpunk pseudo-WoD.


My very own http://www.livejournal.com/users/szilard/">game design journal.
John Kim

Posts: 1805

« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2003, 10:23:13 AM »

Of my three "Most Enjoyed", two were highly varied from the original system.  The other was Champions, which I generally played pretty straight out of the book (with some mods like changing Stun Multipliers and Move-Throughs).  I still find it a great system, but it has a horrendous learning curve which makes it inaccessible to the people who I want to play with.  

My current campaign is using RuneQuest, which I have modified in a bunch of ways -- most notably by using Whimsy Cards in play.  Still, it is getting pretty close to where I want it.  I don't know of any system which would have been closer to start with.  

The other was a Call of Cthulhu campaign from several years ago, which was more heavily drifted.  This was the campaign which was the inspiration for Chris Lehrich's "Shadows in the Fog" game.  I guess I would have preferred that as a system, though I haven't played it yet.  Certainly we didn't get much of anything out of the CoC mechanics per se.

- John
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