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crouilla

Which Pen and Paper RPGs do (have) you play(ed)?

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crouilla    122
I know I''m probably going to get a lot of flack for this saying "this should be in the lounge", but I feel since a large portion of people are making (or thinking of making) RPGs, I think this discussion has a lot more to do with game design, and the decisions that you''re making in your design, than anything else. So, the question is: Which Pen and Paper RPGs have you played and why? Personally, I''ve tried several, most notably D&D, Marvel Superheroes, and Star Wars... however, I stopped playing those once I got into GURPS. I think I liked the concept of making any type of character you want, no "levelling", and no classes (though I understand the need for them, I think the same "classes" can be made through clever use of disadvantages, which I plan to do in my game, making "character templates" for people more accustomed to games like D&D). So, which ones have you guys (and girls) played? -Chris

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MirekCz    132
well I have started with Warhammer RPG, then Cyberpunk and AD&D. I like AD&D most, but currently play mainly warhammer, which is also a superb system.

With best regards,
Mirek Czerwiñski
http://kris.top.pl/~kherin/

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MSW    151
lets see... D&D, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, Battletech (sorta RPG-ish), Mekton Z, Champians (cool charactor system), GURPS, Werewolf, Vampire, Space:1899 (sorta RPG-ish), Car Wars (sorta RPG-ish), Warhammer 2k, and a bunch of other lesser known ones that I only played once or twice (one was called ''Stoned'' where players controlled "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" type characters in a high school like setting)

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Symphonic    313
I played AD&D 2nd & 3rd edition, Mutants and Mutant Chronicles, Alternity. Since then I have mostly simply built my own RPG systems per-campaign that I am GM for.

I think that pre-set worlds and design mechanisms are supremely inferior to those that are created with a particular storyline in mind, whiich is why I like the Final Fantasy games so much, because every game has it''s own world which exists purely to satisfy the requirements of the storyline that was written. An excelent Symphony.

I actually plan to publish one of my game worlds on SPForge.com, I have advised people who do RPG design to be inspired by pen-and-paper RPGs but never to directly adopt design ideas.

George D. Filiotis
Are you in support of the ban of Dihydrogen Monoxide? You should be!

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Tok    262
Whitewolf: Mage (botched a spell bigtime- got eaten by a sidewalk)
Rifts (7'' humaniod amphibian mage, got possessed a few times)
I started with a handful of home-brewed rpgs in junior high (late 80''s)

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pwd    122
Hmm. Here goes:
AD&D 1st and 2nd edition
That other Gygax rpg (Legendary Journeys or something like that)
Shadowrun
Paranoia
GURPS
Ars Magica
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness
Rifts
Palladium
Vampire, Werewolf and Mage
Stormbringer
Call of Cthulhu (sanity woo-hoo)
Warhammer FRP
And probably some others I''m forgetting.

Out of those, I''d say the best design-wise were GURPS (clean extensible system), Paranoia (disposable characters), and Ars Magica (for the flexible magic system).
The ones that I disliked the most were the Palladium Games (Palladium, TMNT and Rifts) for their abominable combat mechanics (a typical simple combat takes at least an hour of playtime) and Warhammer FRP (again overly convoluted combat mechanics, but not quite as bad as the Palladium games).

The other Gygax game lost out in the character creation phase (having to roll to see what birth order you and your parents were???)

Notable magic systems are to be found in Ars Magica and Stormbringer. Ars Magica used a verb-noun system - if you played a mage, you could learn various verbs and nouns to different degrees, and do whatever you wanted within the constraints on the fly. For example, you could learn create fire, to light something on fire, change fire to change an existing fires color or cause it to burn without producing smoke, control fire to make it jump from one thing to another. And you could combine effects for more interesting results. Stormbringer had no "direct" magic. The only thing magical a player could do was summon and bind various elementals/spirits/etc. Creating a flaming sword would be a matter of summoning a fire elemental, then binding it to a sword, but throwing a fireball in combat would involve summoning a fire elemental and then convincing it to hurl itself at your enemies.
Paranoia and Call of Cthulhu were notable for the fact that they encouraged players not to get too attached to their characters. A paranoia character will definitely die in a spectacular and humorous fashion (several times in fact), which is offset by having a number of clones, but only for a limited number of times. Also, you start out knowing that you''re in a very bad position (it''s a society controlled by an all-powerful and somewhat mad computer, that hates mutants and members of secret societies, of course every player is both a mutant and a member of a secret society, both of which must remain hidden, as the computer can order the immediate termination of all clones for a character if it grows suspicious). Call of Cthulhu takes a slightly more serious approach. First you''re going against truly horrific creatures that can eat an entire party of characters within 30 seconds and still have room for jell-o, and even if they do somehow manage to survive, there is the constant problem of dwindling insanity as the characters get closer and closer to the things that "Man Was Not Meant to Know" (TM).
Warhammer FRP had an interesting advancement scheme, based on occupation. As the character grew in their occupation and learned the skills necessary to master that occupation, they would/could change to a new occupation and learn the skills of that trade, based on an intertwining advancement tree. For example, someone could start off as a tomb-robber, master that profession, then become an apprentice to a necromancer, or move on to being a bandit or burglar and steal from the living. Also, a great, low-magic world. A character that starts on the path to being a mage must go through quite a bit of adventuring to even get to the point where they can light a candle through magic.
AD&D and the White Wolf games are a little too bland for my tastes, usually just play them when nothing else is available.
The Palladium games were more about their setting than anything else (especially TMNT), but their mechanics are shamefull.
GURPS is, well... GURPS. Don''t know what else can be said about it. Oh yeah, Steve Jackson rocks

They''re coming for you!

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Hero Wars
Runequest
Cyberpunk
Shadowrun
GURPS
Ars Magica
Palladium
2300 AD
Stormbringer
Call of Cthulhu
Lord of the Rings Adventure Game
MERP
Rolemaster
Twilight 2000
Warhammer FRP
Vampire
AD&D 2nd edition
D&D
Rapier & Elhendi
ANKH
Astra

I''m sure I''m forgetting some games I''ve played only a few
times. Also left out some games I''ve only played once.

Lord of the Rings Adventure Game is a system for beginner roleplayers. One of the best working systems I have played. I love its simplicity. Makes the game fast so one can concentrate on playing instead of the rules.

Hero Wars is a great game if you happen to like storytelling. Rules support improvisational playing a great deal. However they take some time to adjust to, if you are used to "normal" RPG ruleset.

Ars Magica is has great combat & other rules. I''ve played (more accurately GM''d) it a lot lately. I suppose that the magic rules are great too, however for some reason we usually play without magic (perhaps because the magic rules are quite involved, some 60 pages or so total).

I wouldn''t say Call of Cthulhu encourages players not to get too attached to their characters. Ofcourse the players have to be very careful if they want to live another day, but one of the best CoC sessions we had was when the players were playing themselves as the characters

Twilight 2000 is a great game if you happen to like extremely detailed combat (which takes hours to play, especially vehicle combat). IMHO it is a bit too much of a simulation to be enjoyable and if one wants to play a simulation, I''ve been told that a system called Phoenix Command (if I remember the name correctly) does it better. Excluding combat rules TW2000 is a nice game about post nuclear war world.

And when talking about convoluted combat mechanics, one must not forget Rolemaster. How about 7h playtime combat (5 players vs. one single dragon).

Rapier, Elhendi, ANKH & Astra are probably unknown to most of you. They are all finnish RPGs. ANKH was a D&D ripoff (and quite bad at that), Rapier & Elhendi quite nice lightweight fantasy systems (Elhendi could be called Rapier 2.0) and Astra was a modern time horror game which was quite interesting.

Cyberpunk is one of my favorite games. Quite realistic (deadly & fast, that is) combat, very nice universe and one of the rare cyberpunk games. Shadowrun is also good, especially if all the players have read enough SR books to know something about the world.

One of my favorite books is GURPS Martial Arts. It is a great resource. In fact I''ve often searched for info from it even when not gaming

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Tacit    122
Ahh...the heady old days of pen-and-paper RPGs.

Just thought I''d throw a few cents in here.

D&D and AD&D
Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Call of Cthulhu (Chaosium)
Rifts, Robotech (all generations) (Palladium)
Battletech
Spies
Star Wars
MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing)

...but I haven''t played any for years.

R.

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Zenroth    127
Lets see..
Adnd 1st 2nd and 3rd edition
Marvel
vampire
werewolf
mage
robotech
paranoia
battletech
shadow run
Dagonball Z
and some other games.

Out of them all im partial to adnd 1st edition and shadow run 1st and 2nd edition.

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Zhypoh    130
Ok, here are the most notable:

Rifts
Middle-Earth
GURPS
Cyberpunk
Vampire: TM
D&D 3rd
BESM
Paranoia
Aris Magica

I''ve also played several "home-brew" games, some with unique systems other just new environments.

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Nacho    205
Ummm, let´s see:

AD&D 2º Edition
Star Wars
Paranoia
Call of Cthulu
Vampire The Masquerade

and some others I cannot remember.

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Hase    313
I´ve had a look at most of the more common ones, really played (for a longer while) only DSA, Shadowrun and some AD&D ... and Paranoia.

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Argus    118
DragonQuest
DarkSword
AD&D
MERP
Warhammer
Rolemaster

Best of the lot would have to be Rolemaster, although Warhammer was fun and fast-paced. Rolemaster has a great character creation and development system, and the combat system is fairly decent once you get the hang of it.

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jaxson    127
Has anyone played any of the "Hero System" games? "Champions" was the one that I started with (superhero RPG), but there are also some other books from various other genres. The Hero System is much like GURPS in that it is a generic RPG that can be used for any genre from fantasy to sci-fi to superhero to old west to whatever. I personally enjoyed it more than GURPS because I felt it was easier to create exactly the feel you wanted. GURPS seemed to lean much more heavily towards fantasy role playing or low powered role-playing in other genres. Champions/Hero System ranged from low-powered to super high powered depending on how many points the GM let you use to make a character.

Am I the only person here that has tried that system? I didn''t see it listed so far.

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MSW    151
Jaxson - I played Champians...listed it above, too

That RPG had a really cool charater system, as you said...most fun character I created for that super-hero game was named the "Witness"...he looked like a normal guy, normal strength, no poweres beyond being immortal...couldn''t be hurt or killed at all...additionaly he was unable to directly effect a situation...couldn''t get directly involved...so I would have to quickly develop some Rugoldburg type ''increadable machines'' from stuff lying around just to open doors, beat up the bad guys, and do other crap...lots of fun!

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Rixter    785
Rifts. I''ve probably played like 15 different campaigns, and am currently gearing up for my own Australia campaign (should be ready in about 10 to 15 years). Sometimes we even played four sessions before forgetting what we were doing and have to start over (hey, its hard getting everyone together at the same time). I really do like Rifts though.

__________________________________________
We get signal.
There are bombs exploding all around us!!

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Actually played, or just know forwards and backwards?

Here''s what I know:

D&D 3e: The old masters made a simple and rigorous system to power escapist hack and slash. This is the game everyone should try first, because it''s easy to learn, easy to play, easy to GM, and well-supported with a giant and venerable community. The gateway RPG, and whether for good or ill the paradigm that all RPGs either follow or intentionally break.

GURPS: Steve Jackson''s grand ambition was to make the RPG system that covers everything. It does, but not well. I like giant humanoid armored vehicles. On the up side, there are rules for them (GURPS Mecha, GURPS Robots, GURPS Vehicles). On the down side, the rules, which are stretched beyond capacity to cover every technology at every era with total cross-compatibility, fail to work in my particular instance. Well, darn.

Big Eyes Small Mouth: Simple is good. Unfortunately the rules allow for major power gaming. For just one character point, I can buy a magical artifact that can level buildings. Ooooops... Further, the game mechanics lead to odd and counterintuitive results quite often. Still, it''s an easy and clever game.

Heavy Gear: Hard SF, an excellent gameworld, and mechanics which make sense at every level. Plus, it''s two games in one: get out of the Gear and roleplay, get in and do tactical combat. A pity nobody I know plays it...

Mechwarrior: Like Heavy Gear, but dumber. Next!

Vampire: The Masquerade: More fun as a LARP. Does that count?

Basically, any system will do OK, with a good GM at the helm. The real masterworks are the games that you can learn to GM on the fly. Learn the basic rules of D&D with a good ol'' dungeon delve, then start thinking about more elaborate plots. Learn Heavy Gear by starting your PCs as grunts, so they have to obey orders, then move them up the ranks when you''re ready for political intrigues to go with your smashing. Ah, the GM... the element that no computer will replace.

---------------------------------------------------
-SpittingTrashcan

You can''t have "civilization" without "civil".

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Hase    313
quote:
Original post by SpittingTrashcan
Mechwarrior: Like Heavy Gear, but dumber. Next!



hrmpf... Heavy Gear is just a Mech Clone...

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Dauntless    314
Oh boy...hmm, let me see if I can remember just a HANDFUL of games I''ve played and owned...

AD&D 1st and 2nd editions
Villains and Vigilantes-SuperHero (made by Fantasy Games Unlimited) ca. 1983
Champions 1st-4th editions-SuperHero(gone through 3 publishers) ca. 1983
Justice Inc.-Pulp Fiction (used Hero system)ca. 1984
Traveller 1-3rd editions-Sci-Fi(too many publishers to list)
Top Secret-Secret Agent (can''t remember who made it originally, then by TSR)ca. 1984
Twillight 2000-post Apocalypse (by Games Workshop)ca 1985
James Bond-secret agent (can''t remember who made this one)ca. 1985
MechWarrior-Sci-Fi (FASA) ca 1985
Heroes Unlimited-super hero (Palladium) ca 1985
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-super hero (Palladium) ca 1985
Paranoia-sci-fi/humor (West End games) ca 1986
Robotech-sci-fi (Palladium) ca 1985
AfterMath-post Apocalypse (Fantasy Games Unlimited) ca 1986
Recon- Vietnam War (Palladium, orignally another company) ca 1985
Bushido-Samurai (can''t remember publisher) ca 1985
Call of Cthulu-horror (originally Chaosium) ca 1986
Chills!-horror (can''t remember publisher) ca 1987
Morrow Project-post apocalypse (can''t remember publisher) ca 1987
HEavy Metal-scifi (originally by Phoenix Games) ca 1987
Rifts-sci-fi (Palladium) ca 1986
Shadowrun-scifi/fantasy (FASA) ca 1986
2300AD-scifi (Games Workshop, not to be confused with GDW) ca 1986
Star Wars-duhh (West End Games originally) ca 1987
Skyrealms of Jorune-fantasy (can''t remember publisher) ca 1987
Harn-fantasy (Columbia Games) ca 1987
Beyond the Supernatural-horror (Palladium) ca 1987
Dark Secrets-horror (Games Workshop) ca 1988
Millenium''s End-modern (can''t remember publisher) ca 1988
Time Lords-modern (BTRC) ca 1988
SpaceTime-scifi/cyber (BTRC) ca 1988
Cyberpunk-scifi/cyber (R. Talisorian) ca 1987
Mekton-scifi (R. Talisorian) ca 1988
Amber-fantasy (Phantasy Phage) ca 1993
SLA Industries-sci/cybergoth (can''t remember publisher)
All the stuff from White Wolf
Fading Suns-
Castle Falkenstein

Well, this is just a tiny list, as I know I''m forgetting a lot (I can already think of several that I can''t remember the names of the games). I''ve owned almost all of the games I listed above...although I only have about half of them now. I once calculated that I spent over 3000$ on my rpg''s over the years

Of all the games that I played though, only a few really shined. Heavy Metal was a very obscure but very interesting game background. IT was also based on a very realistic game setting (which is probably why it wasn''t a popular one...I''ve noticed that most gamers enjoy very simple games over more complex ones....unfortunately). Also, I thoroughly enjoyed Justice Inc, as playing games in a pulp fiction setting in the 20''s and 30''s was always a blast...my most memorable game sessions came from that game..and it was my favorite to GM. I also very much enjoyed Castle Falkenstein and Fading Suns. Falkenstein for it''s pseudo-history/fantasy setting, and Fading Suns for it''s truly gothic setting.

I''m not including many of the board games I''ve played, nor the historical miniatures, otherwise I''d create a list easily twice as long. But I think perhaps that''s why I''m a bit different than others when it comes to my game design ideas. I''m one of the few people I know of that have played and enjoyed both pen and paper RPG''s and also historical games. Usually both crowds are mutually exclusive. I think it accounts for why I prefer very detailed settings


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Tacit    122
Dauntless, that''s an impressive list. Speaking of complex RPGs...did you ever try any of the Rolemaster series, by Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE)? The game rules consisted of a series of ''Law'' modules. It was very complicated and took a long time to master.

A watered-down version of these rules were used in MERP (Middle Earth Role-Playing).

Just curious.

R.

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Dauntless    314
Tacit

Indeed I did play RoleMaster and MERP Thanks for reminding me of those games. I also played SpaceMaster too. I really miss MERP actually, and ICE in general (they not only owned the above mentioned games, but Silent Death, and the Hero Games stuff for awhile). MERP was the game that REALLY introduced me to the Tolkein world, and now that I think about it, I must have played it around about 1985 or so. That''s where I learned that Gandalf the Grey was actually a demi-god and all the differences of the men of Numenor (Corsairs, Gondoreans, Black Numenors, etc)

The Rolemaster setting was a bit awkward in a way though. I don''t like any system that doesn''t rely on a non-bell curve probablity system. For this, I mean that Rolemaster used a d100 system. However, it is equally as probable to roll a 01, a 50 or a 100. To me, that leads to a sort of quirkiness. I prefer bell curve systems, or systems where you roll a set of dice, but you have a target number to match (for example the original 1st edition of Shadowrun or Star Wars) and the number of successes determines how well you do.

Like I said, I know I''m forgetting tons of games. My best friend''s father used to own a hobby store. At first, I was introduced to historical gaming through my father by playing Johnny Reb at the store (JR is probably the most acclaimed Civil War miniatures game) around about 1983 when I was the ripe old age of 11 About a year later, we started playing some micro armor, and that''s when I met some other kids my age that weren''t interested in the Civil War...but were interested in tanks. So this little core group started branching out into RPG''s. Actually I didn''t start with AD&D with them...we started with Champions, and pretty much followed the list I had previously.

I think any game designer thinking of a computer RPG should glance at some paper and pen RPG''s. I think there''s a lot of ideas to be had...despite the fact that PPRPG''s are of a different nature than computer ones. Still, some of those games had some very interesting backgrounds, and I think any computer game designer can take a lesson or two from paper role playing games, not to mention board games and miniatures games.

For my own little pet project, I''ve had MUCH of my inspiration come from Jon Tuffley''s excellent set of miniatures rules systems- StarGruntII and DirtSideII. These games blow away (imho) BattleTech, CAV, Heavy Gear or any of the other of scads of futuristic sci-fi tactical/strategy games.

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Bill6    122
Let''s see here...
As for the best systems I''ve played, I would have to limit it to these:
GURPS
Warhammer Fantasy RPG

As for just great concepts in game background:
Call of Cthuhlu
Paranoia
TWERPS (just had to throw it in there, man they don''t have noses!)

I''m also a Vampire LARP junkie, although I haven''t played in over a year now...so I''m starting to jones.

As for RPGs that are just crap...
oh look at that AD&D right at the top of the list!
And most everything by Palladium, system is just too weak, although I do like the Rifts universe

Bill6

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