Wouldn't touch it with a bargepole
Posted 27 April 2015 - 01:44 AM
I'd probably nominate DramaSystem. I played in a terrific setting with some excellent people, but rarely have I struggled so much with a system throughout the game. Everyone felt the same: the rigid scenes, lack of a random element and feeling that your character was not under your control made it feel like work, not fun.
Posted 27 April 2015 - 03:36 AM
I quite dislike the central mechanic/cheat of the Trail of Cthulhu system. Whereby you basically can spam down the list of skills you have and ask if any of them reveal information. Not that people do, but that's nearly the incentive to make sure you get all the information available as opposed to actually having to think about things.
Posted 27 April 2015 - 03:44 AM
I try to be of a mindset where I'll always attempt to give something a fair shot. It's why I watch movies everyone and everything tells me are bad. Maybe I can find something to like about them or at the very least I'll be able to say what it was that I didn't like with certainty and actual credibility. So there aren't many games that I would never consider playing or running without at least attempting them.
However, I am not particularly interested in playing CthulhuTech, or however/whatever you call/spell the cyberpunk version of Cthulhu. It's weird, because I love both of those genres separately, but there's a disconnect in my mind that says they must stay that way and should not mix. Maybe my opinion would change from playing it, but I haven't had the opportunity to try it over the other games we have on the go.
I have also on this board mentioned my experiences with 4th Edition DnD and how I will never go back. There was a sub-edition of 4th that I did try playing once and knew instantly that I did not like it. It was called DnD Essentials and it was a reactionary attempt to fix some of the issues that 4th edition had. It drastically cut back on the combat options that were available to players and claimed to be rekindling the glory days of DnD's earlier editions. They ever rereleased the Red Box for it. To me it was the perfect example of how screwed up that edition had become. The best part of that edition was the ability to crunch numbers and build insane combos of powers. Those powers were the only things that kept the micro-managing of a pseudo-wargame that necessitated miniatures interesting because, much like my opinions of CthulhuTech, 4E was a mess of the wargame and RPG genre. Without those powers and the ability to do something crazy now and then the whole thing just fell flat and Essentials removed all of that. Customization was whittled down to a few, much less interesting, options from both a flavour and mechanical standpoint. You were left with characters that could be summed up on a small cardboard card. If your group was more interested in roleplaying that might have been fine, but once combat started you were left sitting wondering why you were burdened with such a clunky system and had nothing to do with it.
I refuse to run Rolemaster but I think that's reasonable for most people. I'll play it. I actually really like a lot about the system and it is to date, I think, my most successful incarnation of my Half-orc Barbarian/Rogue, Oddric, but even a simple character like that required 3 pages of excel sheets and half a dozen tables. That's more effort for a single character than I put into most of the games I run.
I also don't intend to run a World of Darkness game. Once again, I'll happily play in one and I really like the system as well as the lore. I have my favourite editions that I would choose over others, such as my preference for 2nd edition versus New World of Darkness, but that's mostly nitpicking. My reason for not running these is simply that I don't feel it matches my style. I have to work very hard to maintain any tone in my games other than popcorn action movie. Everything I run goes that direction and I usually don't fight it very hard. I find I can do Cthulhu because the fatalistic tone is embedded so thoroughly in the mechanics and the lore that even when the ridiculous scenarios start to come up, the overwhelming horror is right there to stamp it down. WoD has such a great feel to it, and a similar dark and unknowable horror theme, but if you're playing a hunter, or worse a werewolf, or a mummy, I find there is increasingly less there by default to keep that tone alive. You have to work as a GM to maintain the horror or you just get a bunch of Garou running around doing whatever they want. I would just not feel right about running it, and I don't want to work that hard because I'm lazy.
Speaking of grim and dark, I also have an interest in running Warhammer Fantasy 3rd Edition. I'm not a big fan of the whole cards and whatnot that they added to it. At the time I thought it was attempting to follow 4E DnD's example and that turned me off. Logistically, though, I have a very real reason these days to choose 2nd Ed instead because my group plays online and anything with cards, special dice, or other doodads just don't work as well if all the players don't have access to them.
I swear I wrote a paragraph about this already but now I don't see it so if I repeat myself I'm sorry. there's another game we tried and did not enjoy. I can't remember the name of it but we tried a session and rejected it midway through. The rules were just bad in every way and it wasn't fun. Unfortunately I can't recall what game that was for the life of me right now.
Posted 27 April 2015 - 08:59 AM
Perhaps a quote from Big Trouble in Little China will be illustrative: "turn into demon and live forever."
On the RPG side the licensed Men in Black game was a trial that ended after one session. Bad mechanics and the tone of the organization in the book set up antagonism between party and GM.
Our experiment with 4e D&D has wrapped from dissatisfaction with combat time and the extent to which it ignores or seems to ignore noncombat adventuring.
Posted 27 April 2015 - 04:28 PM
Yes definitely with the Diplomacy. It seems to prove Clauswitz's maxim that war is politics continued by other means.
I have stayed away from 4th ed D&D after having listened to some actual plays as it didn't seem to provide any advantages to me and indeed some disadvantages.
With regards to Dramasystem I have edged away from picking it up as I just can't quite seem to grok the concept and the way that it works. I think I'd try it once at a con but I'd have to be impressed in order to take it any further.
With regards to WFRP 3rd ed I haven't picked it up as I was very happy with my 2nd ed books and didn't think that it really needed a new edition with lots of cards. Again I think I'd try it at a con but there is no way that I would be investing in it before it had been proven to me.
Having looked at the above it seems that I am a bit of a curmudgeon but I promise that I'm not. I do get tempted by the cult of the new but I struggle to get the games sorted in my head at the moment. As I am generally the rules bod that can cause problems.
Posted 28 April 2015 - 08:56 PM
Monopoly. I've tried to like it in various incarnations but I just can't. Too boring whether you play by the real rules or house rules. Bah.
On the RPG side... I'm hesitant to do GURPS again, thanks to a bad experience. The GM was very, very... very nitpicky. Nothing like managing rations and going through every detail of a hunting scene to make rations stretch multiple times. Why get onto the plot when you can do that for an hour or two? And yes I know that isn't GURPS fault, but since that was the system used in that game it has a bad stench now.
Posted 29 April 2015 - 10:32 AM
There are rpgs I won't run because I feel strongly that I don't understand them, or because they're cumbersome without any discernible payoff for the heavy lifting.
The only rpg(1) I'll refuse to play is Shadowrun. Shadowrun gives me a nosebleed and nightmares. It just seem like it is supposed to be a fast, rollicking action game with firefights and double-crosses, but then it bogs down in the most tedious number-crunching and bloat.
Not waving, drowning.
Posted 30 April 2015 - 05:48 AM
Shadowrun is easy enough if you've got a GM that understands the mechanics, and it's very flexible. It's one of the only systems I actually feel comfortable running.
That being said, I don't think there are any games that I won't play, because I always enjoy playing games - but there are plenty I won't run. Any of the White Wolf systems I don't feel comfortable running mostly because I don't understand them, but also because I can't think on the level required from the GM perspective for something like Vampire. GURPS I'm not familiar with and, quite frankly, every actual play of it I've heard has been confusing but that's probably because nobody really explains what they're doing when recording actual plays.
I also have a real cognitive problem with subtraction and low-roll based systems but that may be because I learned with D&D 3.5, where everything wants to be bigger and better.
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