August 17, 2017

RPGaDAY #17 - Longest unplayed RPG

Which RPG have you owned the longest but not played? 

Bushido by FGU.
I got the game soon after it was released by FGU. It was actually out before then but it didn't come onto my radar until FGU published it. Technically, I had some early Traveller books which came out before Bushido but I actually picked them up after I got Bushido. 

Bushido was a fascinating game for me. I guess I just loved the concepts of samurai, ninja and wujen. I wrote up a couple of adventures and did some maps but never actually got to play. (I posted some of them on this blog and you can find them here). Since then I have played Legends of the Five Rings which I feel is a superior game, even if it isn't a true Japanese setting game. I will likely never play Bushido for that reason but I still have it and its supplements.

August 16, 2017

RPFaDAY #16 - Best RAW RPG

Which RPG do you enjoy using as is? 

RAW (run as written).
There have been many times when I prefer to run a game as written without any homebrew. Often I will be looking to run a certain type of game and I then go looking for which system I think will best do what I am looking for. 

For example, I was looking for a galaxy spanning science-fiction system that was gritty and dangerous. After some contemplation I decided that Shatterzone (the Masterbook sci-fi game) was what I wanted (though Spacemaster was a close second). I also decided to run it as written without changing anything so as to not "upset the balance". Sometimes adding things changes the system into something else and it just doesn't work then. Sometimes you have to trust the designers that they did the math and play-testing and worked on making the best game as possible within that system. If you tweak too much you can "break" things.

So, to answer the all depends on the game/campaign/setting I want to run. It also comes down to which game I think it the most "fragile". I am more apt to run a game RAW if I think it is inflexible. 

If I have to give one answer I will go with Rolemaster. It is a math-intensive (at least at the start) with specialized and dependent tables. It is not a system I want to homebrew as it can easily break. However, it is a system with great detail and lots of choices. I can easily build a world and campaign with it. It is large enough that I can create almost anything without needing to homebrew.

August 15, 2017

RPGaDAY #15 - Most adaptable RPG

Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most? 

I have actually been adapting, or as we like to call it homebrewing, for decades now (wow, did I really just say decades?). Obviously D&D and its various editions have been adapted. Also I've done work with... 
1E Gamma World (new monsters and mutations)
Masterbook (A superhero game)
Gumshoe (a fantasy version)
Numenera/Cypher System (superheroes)
Savage Worlds (Necessary Evil campaign with new powers, psionic campaign, fantasy world/campaign)

For awhile Savage Worlds was my go-to system for homebrewing. It is light and flexible with a solid foundation to build from. However, currently 5E D&D is my rpg of choice for adapting/homebrew. It is a system known by a large number of people. It is also light and flexible. I've adapted it for a modern version of Gamma World (kickstarter plug) and a science-fiction space-faring game. Both have been easy to do and people have said they are a lot of fun to play.

August 14, 2017

I have a kickstarter!

As some of you have noticed I have been remiss with this blog (though I am having some fun doing the latest RPGaDAY event - part of the reason I joined in was to do some writing here). What have I been doing with the time I haven't been writing here? I went and made a game...and now I have a kickstarter for it. Here is the official blurb...

After The Crash is a 5E Post-Apocalyptic Science Fantasy RPG launched as a Kickstarter. This is a collaborative endeavor between me and my wife, as we translated her Gamma World campaign into the 5E ruleset. The Kickstarter is for a full 250+ page book that presents a plethora of new material consisting of 4 races, 9 classes (6 reworks of existing classes and 3 new ones), 27 archetypes, 20 backgrounds, 160+ mutations, 60+ artifacts, and 40+ monsters. Included will be a completely new setting and a starter adventure. Stretch goals will have more monsters and adventures if we hit them.

We are excited about this Kickstarter and hope you can check it out and pledge your support.

RPGaDAY #14 - Favorite system for campaigns

Which RPG do you prefer for open-ended campaign play? 

I feel that the majority of RPG systems lend themselves to open-ended campaign play (Toon and Paranoia come to mind as systems/settings that would prove difficult for a sustained campaign). However, generic systems or those decoupled from a setting tend to allow for such campaigns fairly easily. So, to be honest, almost any rpg system will work.

That said, I believe that systems that are more widely known tend to be the best for such campaigns. It then becomes a case where the system takes a backseat to the campaign. People spend less time worrying about the rules and more time interacting with the setting. Right now that would mean 5E D&D.

5E is still young enough that there are not a lot of supplemental rules and additions (such as classes, races etc). That means a campaign is not trying to play catch-up with the rules. 3E and Pathfinder rules are well known by a majority of players, but they have so much supplemental information/rules that to create an open-ended campaign would be daunting if you were trying to include everything available (or more to the point, all the things the players want to have included). Sure, you can include or not include what you want, but even pruning such a campaign would be time-consuming.

5E is a nice place where a large number of people know the rules but there is not so much bloat that a campaign feels weighted down.