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How much time do you give a new RPG?

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#1 BigJackBrass

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Posted 18 April 2015 - 01:54 PM

Something I've been working towards for a while is looking for great games from the ones on my shelves instead of those in the stores. Increasingly, there seems to be a hunger for new stuff demonstrated on gaming forums and blogs which is never sated: practically as soon as a new game arrives, following months of posts complaining that it's not out yet, it's pushed aside for the next shimmering apparition on the horizon.

I can't afford to keep buying new games and I don't have space to house them, but more than that I'm seriously doubting the value I would get if I kept up a steady stream of purchases. There are plenty of games in my collection, so why have I bought more?

Partly, it may be a (fruitless) search for the "perfect" system; and maybe as I get older I'm increasingly comfortable knowing there can never be one. I've also been looking at games I played and didn't really get on with in the past, giving some of them a serious second look. And that leads me to wonder how much effort people generally put into a game before they decide it's not working for them. Does your group refuse to play after one or two disappointing sessions? or do you discuss the problems and see if they can be overcome, perhaps with a greater understanding of the rules?
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#2 Slartibartfast

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 05:16 AM

I would like to be able to take a decent run up at a new system and run a few scenarios with it but I find it depends on the group I'm with.  I have friends who only really feel comfortable with D20 and would rather just play games in that system because they understand it.


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#3 Telemergion

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 08:57 AM

I don't have quite the same problem as BJB. I don't have a lot of time or extra funds to spend on many new systems. If one comes along I know that I'll play and get my money's worth out of then I'll pick it up but if I get a hankering to see what other options there are out there I'll usually investigate free options first. This means I have a few games - couple editions of DnD, Cthulhu, Mutants and Masterminds, and a couple others - that are considered the staples of our group's systems because I usually end up being the GM, but a few interesting freebies like Fiasco, Fate, and some really weird ones like the tactical mech game where you build your giant robots out of lego or whatever else you think might be fun. Pathfinder sits in kind of a weird between-verse because all the rules are free thanks to the SRD but I have grabbed a few adventures on the cheap.

 

There are times, though, when I encounter a system that I do want to try very much but don't get to. I don't have unlimited free time and windows for gaming with my friends are rare throughout the week. If given the option between a game I know we'll all enjoy or an experiment I want to try I'll usually go for the former. There was one system though that I did take for a spin once and I really wish we'd been able to spend more time on it. HeroQuest is, to this day, a system that niggles at the back of my mind whenever I ponder what system to run a new game in. It's deceptively simple or complex depending on how you look at it, extremely versatile, and really easy to explain. Our first and only time was a blast. But one of my core players at the time decided he hated it because it didn't have hard math like d20 systems (despite him being a perfect candidate because he's constantly trying to do things with abilities that don't work that way in d20 systems) and another player who had enjoyed it moved away. One day I'll dig those rules back out and do something with them.

 

Sadly, we're enjoying 5th edition so much that once we're done the prewritten adventure we're currently playing I've been talked into running another campaign immediately after. It's a pirate-themed adventure I've been wanting to run for over 10 years and people already have characters for it. So I guess I'm playing 5e for a bit.


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#4 Lucky_Strike

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 11:32 AM

Most games have gotten at least three sessions around the table before being declared defunct.

 

A session has to be pretty darn bad to get blown out fast.  The old Men in Black by west end is one of the few I can recall that after one session the group refused to play it again.  It wasn't necessarily the system though, it was more character gen and the setting's limits.  If I remember correctly West End had added two stats to MiB that were not in the Star Wars version of the d6 rules and then proceeded to give fewer creation points.  My memory is that skill wise there was considerably more ground to cover and less resources to apply.  But it hardly mattered because we solved every issue in the adventure with the nueralizer.  Which was written in to the adventure as something the party would be reprimanded for doing.  It was not a high point in gaming for anyone at the table.

 

It's also more of a time issue nowadays.  In college most every game anyone picked up got used for a number of sessions because we had the time.  Now once the bulk of the group knows what they want we have such limited availability that we stick with what we know.

 

This does not stop me from buying new games but it sure cuts down the volume to things with art and setting I am interested in reading and games I know a one shot could work for with very little prep.


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