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RPGaDay 2015

18th: Favorite SF RPG

I don’t know that I have one.

I’ve used GURPS for my own loose setting many, many years ago. I enjoyed the old FASA Star Trek rpg back in the day. I’ve run a Star Trek game using a homebrew loosely based on Decipher’s Star Trek rpg. My best friend ran a fun Firefly-ish game using his own homebrew. I think I played some original Traveller back in the day. Other than that…???

If I had to run a sci-fi game right now…well, that would depend on the setting. If it was Star Trek, there’s a couple of fan-made systems and hacks out there I’d take a look at again, or I’d use Mutants and Masterminds. The mechanics and the way characters are built captures the pulp feel of classic Star Trek pretty well, albeit in a more cluttered way than I’d prefer. If it was Star Wars… I’d probably look at Fate, the many system hacks out there, or a variant of Lowell Francis’ Action Cards. For something in the Firefly or Traveller vein, just sort of generic trouble-makers in space… I’m so not motivated to run anything like that right now that I can’t get my head around it.

I feel like sci-fi roleplaying game systems tend to get bogged down in the additional mechanics supposedly required by their settings, like starship combat, space fighter-craft combat, various high-tech weapons, etc. I’d rather a system that could come up with a set of mechanics that would apply to every kind of task resolution, rather than tacking on special rules and sub-systems.

I will take this as an opportunity for anyone reading this to educate me: suggest a game system to me that does this. I readily accept my own ignorance here. The only system that I can think of that just off that the bat would probably be able to accomplish this is Fate.

Actually, just writing this has jogged my memory – if I wanted to run an actual, “hard” science-fiction game, I’d take another look at Shock, by Joshua A. C. Newman, so that going to be my pick. I haven’t used it yet, but it’s pretty interesting…

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RPGaDay 2015

17th: Favorite Fantasy RPG

Boy – that’s a rough one; I like different things about different systems. If I had to pick a rules-set to use right now, it’d probably be 13th Age; it is the simplest fantasy ruleset I know that still has a very easy buy-in and familiarity to any gamer who has played D&D or Pathfinder.

That said, here’s some systems I’ve been intrigued by lately. I have this Frankenstein-like homebrew I’m working on, and in the pursuit of that I have looked at a LOT of fantasy RPGs, to see what I like and don’t like in a rules system.

Simon Washbourne’s Barbarians of Lemuria.
Mostly I like the loosey-goosey magic system. The link above is to an early, free version, but there are many newer editions.


Gregory Phillpotts’ By a Throw of the Dice.
Another nice loosey-goosey magic system.

 

Gates & Gorgons, by Rafael Chandler and Kobayashi.
This game has attitude – ruthless, deadly attitude.

Tim Kirk’s High Valor.
I like a lot of how characters are built and how their traits get used.


Matthew M. Slepin’s Swords of Fortune.
For it’s “dark” pulp fantasy tone.

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RPGaDay 2015

13th: Favorite RPG Podcast

I don’t think I have one – or rather, I’ve only been listening to one lately, so does that count?

Anyway, it’s Play On Target. One of the hosts is my pal, Lowell Francis – he of the mighty Age of Ravens blog. Lowell is one of the best GMs I’ve ever had the pleasure of being tormented by playing with, and he knows gaming like nobody’s business. I put a lot of stock in his thoughts, observations, and opinions on games and gaming, so, naturally, I like listening to him talk on a podcast about gaming.

Really, though, what’s great about PloT is that it’s not just Lowell; the other hosts  – Sam, Brian, and Andrew – have fairly different gaming histories, preferences, and viewpoints – moreso than amongst the co-hosts of other gaming podcasts I’ve enjoyed in the past. On top of that, they rotate who leads the discussion each episode. The net result is a show that always feels new.

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ceci says

did I just say that? (adventures in stream-of-consciousness writing)

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