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#1 BigJackBrass

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 02:27 PM

A little earlier this evening I was posting a few notes about the old Bushido RPG - specifically the differences between its editions - on a forum. Needing to check a couple of things, I reached for the older books and the revised boxed set, which then led to me taking down a few other Fantasy Games Unlimited RPGs to click through. It's yonks since I've played any of them, but they still exert a powerful attraction, based in part on great memories of playing them in the eighties.

Whenever I start to reread them, however, with thoughts of running a game for Whartson Hall, I inevitably hit the problem of tackling a relatively complex, poorly laid out system, perhaps only for an adventure lasting two or three sessions, when I could probably do much the same thing with Fudge or some other game I use more frequently instead. Would it be a nostalgia-trashing disaster, with everyone hating an old-fashioned game? or would it be OK, but more effort than is really worth it? Part of me would love to find out, but I'm not at all sure how it would go.

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Have you tried returning to a game you loved but haven't played for many years?
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#2 PrestoJeff

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 03:20 PM

Did you not go through this same kind of thought process before you ran the EPT game?

 

Your point is an interesting one, since it involves how much the game system is wedded to the setting. How similar would it be to run an Arthurian campaign in, say, Pathfinder?  Or Glorantha using RoleMaster?  Or Cthulhu using Hero system?


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#3 BigJackBrass

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 03:31 PM

Did you not go through this same kind of thought process before you ran the EPT game?


Yes, it cycles around in my head :) There are some games I wouldn't want to get rid of, but I couldn't really say why not. I do sometimes dip in and pull out a few good ideas to throw into other games; little more than that. It's worse with the games that only really handle one genre and might have originally been breaking fresh ground, but which do things now handled more smoothly with any of a score of generic systems.

Mainly I'm throwing a topic out to see if anyone bites and has something to say about some aspect of it.
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#4 PrestoJeff

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 04:04 PM

I think it depends on how much player commentary about a poor game system you can tolerate versus how much fudging of the second game system to handle a specific bit from the original game system you want to do.


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#5 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 08:18 AM

On a related subject, what about new editions of old games using entirely different rules systems? For example, the D20 version of Call of Cthulhu seemed like a markedly different experience from the classic version using the Basic rules. (Kinda like any other D20 game, but with Sanity rules glued on top.)
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#6 BigJackBrass

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 09:09 AM



On a related subject, what about new editions of old games using entirely different rules systems?

 

I'm encountering something along those lines at the moment, playing in a fifth edition D&D game. It bears hardly any resemblance to the game I used to play aside from superficial aspects, such as the attributes. Power level and speed of advancement have been greatly boosted, everyone has some superpower or other, and the whole thing seems to be a mass of plus this and plus that every time I try to do anything. I'm enjoying the game, but not because of the rules; and it certainly only faintly feels like playing D&D.


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#7 thad

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 12:35 PM

On a related subject, what about new editions of old games using entirely different rules systems?

 

If you aren't playing Star Wars with the d6 rules, it's just not the same...


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#8 Dr_Jomster

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 02:17 AM

This reply is mostly on topic...

I usually aim for "roll 3d6 and get low" as my system. Old books are wonderful and nostalgic but any fiddly rules from yesteryear somehow don't stick in my brain so well! :) Ahem, apart from Hero System which is a triumph of logical game building and should be worshipped by all... ;)

It's interesting the comments on D&D 5E powering up faster. Perhaps they wanted to get people hooked with advancements quickly so they would keep playing? Do people have the same appetite these days for three or four two hour sessions before levelling? Whereas a lot of people here started gaming at school or college and had lots of time to game in, perhaps 5E is a nod to the adult market who don't have as much spare time and thus it looks to accelerate matters a bit.
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#9 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 03:41 AM

If you aren't playing Star Wars with the d6 rules, it's just not the same...

 

Have you ever tried Kill Rebels for Palpatine? ;)
 


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#10 Lucky_Strike

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 08:54 PM

This sounds very familiar.  Usually complex character gen is the killer.  Confusion during play is the secondary killer.

 

Battlelords of the 23rd Century is the worst culprit.  I've had the character generation process kill a campaign before it began because of complexity and layout issues.

 

The Palladium Ninjas and Superspies game also fits this bill.  I've gotten good mileage out of it in the past but the skill packages for creation and the interaction of all the fiddly martial maneuvers with the chi mysticism have killed a good game after one session.

 

I'd almost say that anytime rules try to tackle modern weapons this issue hits.  Even with the basic easy system underlying FFG's warhammer 40k when modifiers start piling on for full auto fire it gets easier to just have the players tell me what they roll, scratch frantically on a note pad and then tell them how many times to roll damage based on how much longer I want the combat to last when we are getting into the last half hour of available play time.

 

Champions has some conditions that have caused chagrin during years long campaigns.  The ease of point buy chargen leads to endless tinkering with characters.  The dominance of SPD leads to characters that can do too much and superbosses are nothing but a giant block of stun to be chipped away and if they connect its GMode immediately.  It's shocking in Champions just how few times we've had post seg 12 recovery come up in combats.

 

All this said I have rarely found a group that won't at least enjoy a session or two romp through one of the old systems.  The old TSR marvel game gets trotted out almost annually in all its clunky glory.


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#11 riddles

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 04:24 PM

Personally, I think it depends if the rules get in the way of the game.

 

For me, generally the less I know the rules, the better I GM!  :) (Compare my running Hero system vs Pathfinder. Gawd help us if I ever run GURPS...)

 

But Jon, happy for you to inflict any weird rules stuff you want on us!


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#12 BigJackBrass

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 04:42 PM

To be honest, @riddles, it's less about wanting to inflict a weird system on anyone and more about thinking of a game I'd like to play, then looking again at it and realising that it would be much better to just take the basic idea and spin it with a different set of rules. Risus, FU, Fudge, HeroQuest... there are loads of good choices for systems that excel at letting you run any setting you fancy, whereas the originals often require considerable play until you even get the hang of the rules and they stop interrupting the game.

RPGnet has endless forum threads of people asking for the 'best' system to use for a particular setting or genre, none of which achieve more than having dozens of readers come along and post their personal favourites, regardless of applicability. Suggesting an old game, one specifically made to do what they're asking, is a guaranteed way of being ignored :D
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#13 riddles

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 05:06 PM

As you know, my game of choice for most settings in GURPS, primarily as once you know the system, there's [in theory] just the learning the background.

 

In practice, with my F2F group, they just didn't like how rules heavy it appeared to be, so we never really went with it (preferring the rules lite systems like RQ3 and Rolemaster!!!  :wacko:)

 

Can we just not run everything (for us anyway) using FF?  :D


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#14 Dr_Jomster

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 12:32 AM

 
For me, generally the less I know the rules, the better I GM!  :) (Compare my running Hero system vs Pathfinder. Gawd help us if I ever run GURPS...)
 


I did listen to that Champions game and thought it played really well. :) Maybe the Pathfinder thing was more us and that tricksy Roll20 than anything else. Roll20 did feel a lot like a board game over the net...

So the answer is, as always... More Champions! Obviously Squadron UK as well at a push... ;)
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#15 riddles

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 03:40 AM

We just need you playing again J!
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#16 Hafwit 2.0

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 04:57 AM

I think I have the opposite problem, really. I have by degrees sold off most of my old rpgs, and I feel that the ones I have now are just better (for me!) I do have a tendency to reach for the new and shiny. 


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#17 riddles

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Posted 14 February 2015 - 07:11 PM

I got into GURPS towards the end of the 80s as they started to release genre books. With a very few exceptions, if I'm creating a new campaign world, I generally get the concept going with that, then port it into whatever flavour game system my players actually want to use!  :D

 

It's not perfect (*cough* scaling for superstrength/defence *cough*), but I can have a go, at least with using it for pretty much any setting I want to.

 

Saying all that, 2nd Edition Runequest still has to my mind the best feel for a Hellenic Greece campaign, and I'm loving how the new Star Wars game plays


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#18 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 03:41 AM

Risus, FU, Fudge, HeroQuest...


There's a game system called FU? :O

Seems like an exceptionally honest approach to GMing, right up there alongside Listen Up, You Primitive Screwheads. ;)

Saying all that, 2nd Edition Runequest still has to my mind the best feel for a Hellenic Greece campaign


Does it have forty pages of crit tables describing how characters may fatally injure themselves on a failed Craft Homoerotic Pottery skill check? ;)
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#19 Hafwit 2.0

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 04:47 AM

There's a game system called FU? :O

Seems like an exceptionally honest approach to GMing, right up there alongside Listen Up, You Primitive Screwheads. ;)

 

They want us to believe it's short for Freeform/Universal.  :cool: 


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#20 BigJackBrass

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 07:12 AM

FU, @Pencil-Monkey.
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