August 19, 2017

RPGaDAY #19 - Best writing

Which RPG features the best writing? 

This is a tough one. There can be many forms of "best" for "writing". Do you mean flavor text? Do you mean that the rules are clear with good examples? Do you mean the writing is evocative and makes you wants to play the game. Do you mean the writing is inspiring and makes you want to run the game? Do you mean the writing is lean and to the point? Do you mean the writing comes across as written by and for an adult? Do you mean the writing is not dry and boring? For the sake of this post I am going to assume all of these points are relevant.

White Wolf. Vampire and others.
I have always felt that White Wolf paid close attention to how they wrote. They seemed to approach their books as entertainment themselves. It wasn't just enough to give you rules and a setting so you could play a game. Some rpg books are nothing but tools for the gamers so they could make an interesting night of entertainment themselves. White Wolf instead seemed to want to have the writing itself entertain and be engaging. Sometimes they would get a little heavy with the prose, almost to the point of obscuring the game, but overall they were the best at presenting an rpg as something more than just rules.

August 18, 2017

RPGaDAY #18 - Most played RPG

Which RPG have you played the most in your life? 

Dungeons & Dragons.
This is the game I started with. Sometimes I will either grow tired of it or want to try something new, but I always end up wanting to run a game with it eventually. Curiously I always end up playing the latest edition - maybe my desire for a new games is what keeps me moving editions.

Why D&D? I'm not sure. 
Maybe there is a certain comfort level there. 
Maybe the rules are similar enough that I can pick up the newest edition without a large amount of  rule induction.
Maybe fantasy offers the greatest area to explore and keep things interesting.
Maybe because the players I game with also know the system.
Maybe because I like the fantasy genre the most and is what I read the most.
Not 100% sure why but I always end up going back.

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.