Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them
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  1. #1
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    Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them

    I see this is as a sister thread to the "Systems You Left after One Bad Experience" thread. Whereas that thread asks you what games you abandoned after the play left a bad taste in your mouth, this thread asks you what games you abandoned before you even started; the reading of the game just appealed so little to you.

    I mean, other than the obvious examples (your F.A.T.A.L.s and what have you).

    So, I love Dungeons & Dragons. I also love the base concepts of Powered by the Apocalypse. I thought Dungeon World would then be the perfect fit for me; two great tastes that taste great together, right? Wrong. This wasn't Reese's style peanut butter & chocolate; it was separated peanut oil and pure bitter cacao. It felt like the absolute wrong approach to PbtA D&D by keeping only the things that PbtA doesn't do nearly as well as D&D. I get that it has a dedicated fan base, but I also don't get it, you know?

    What other RPG books have you read and thought to yourself "who could possibly what to play this?"
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    "Space: 1889"

    While the basic concept of a game set in the world of HG Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs is sound, the fact that it both creates a unique setting which is inferior to the material that inspired it in conception, and that it also has such a bare bones rules light but also procedural system that it couldn't even really explain what to do with the numbers in ordinary scenarios of play much less offer good math for your fortune tests, meant that I simply had no interest in playing it. Where it I to play it, I'd end up using a different system AND a reimagined setting, meaning that the books were offering me basically nothing.

    My understand is that most people who played the game kept the setting and used a different system to run it.

    "Wraith: The Oblivion"

    I could probably add all the X:TheY games to this list to one extent or the other. Wraith shared in my opinion a trait with Vampire: The Masquerade in that as written and described by the books, it was a non-social RPG which probably could only be gamed as described with a single GM and a single player. Of the two, I thought Wraith was the more interesting mechanics as written offering the opportunity to explore deeply emotional content, but it was even more extreme in being an unsocial private game. The solutions players seemed to find to both VtM and WtO was to ignore the core described game and develop a political intrigue game which ultimately amounted to a Supers game with some GrimDark gloss, and might as well be a CW DC universe show for all it played out. The core idea of inner exploration of character and the tensions around having lost some essential aspects of your humanity, where never really touched on in any play I participated in (V:tM) or observed. To further the problem, WW's systems tended to subtly undermine their examples of play, and often the provided material seemed to just sigh and let customers play their twinkish political intrigue games undisturbed by the games original intentions. As such, while I have a huge admiration for many elements of W:tO, it's a game I'd just never play.

    MechWarrior

    I enjoyed Btech immensely back in the day. But upon reading the RPG, I immediately was struck by the fact that a game based on a futuristic wargame that gave basically no plot armor to the participants was likely to not have a survival rate that would make it much worth playing as a story game.
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    4e




    Just kidding!
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    Modiphius Conan

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    Castle Falkenstein and Deadlands were two systems I read but never got the chance to play

    Agree re Space: 1889, nice concept but I couldnt get the system
    Last edited by Tonguez; Tuesday, 11th June, 2019 at 10:46 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    MechWarrior

    I enjoyed Btech immensely back in the day. But upon reading the RPG, I immediately was struck by the fact that a game based on a futuristic wargame that gave basically no plot armor to the participants was likely to not have a survival rate that would make it much worth playing as a story game.
    I also love Battletech.

    The Mechwarrior RPG is a mess. I run the Mechwarrior RPG by replacing the entire system with the ruleset from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG. The character to wargame conversion table for piloting and gunnery skills even matches up nicely with skill levels from BtVS.

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    Twilight 2000.
    When I got it way back in 198whatever I simply didn't have the RL xp & knowledge to run/play near future modern military in Europe well. And the mechanics weren't any fun either.
    I've re-read it a few times in the decades since & I could run it nowdays. But the mechanics are still un-fun, so why bother?

    R.Talsorians Cyberpunk.
    Again with the mechanics. It had all this cool equipment, especially weapons/ways to bring the destruction. But if you thought MechWarrior was bad for PC survivability don't start shooting in this game....
    Wich put a real damper on anyones willingness to play it in my circles of the time.


    MechWarrior.
    I love the BT minis game (especially pre-clans) There's certainly enough there story wise to support an RPG. But....
    1e: My God, what a mess rules wise. I knew I'd never run it.
    That said, I did play in a MW1e campaign. Wich only re-enforced my opinion of its rules.
    2e: Rules wise = blech. And being set after the Clans had arrived sapped the rest of the interest.

    Most of the World of Darkness titles.
    I can do V:TM - as long as we aren't doing "Super-Friends with Fangs".
    Interest is low, but I might be able to do Hunter.
    But Werewolf, Changeling, Wraith, & Mage? No. I've zero interest in even reading them, let alone playing them.

    4e
    I wish I'd dropped this upon reading it. Unfortunately I spent almost two years giving it its fair shot as both DM & player.

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    Shadow of the Demon Lord: No matter how awesome the rules may be, I can't get past its pessimistic, bleak, grimdark setting.

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    Man, Myth & Magic
    Immortals D&D
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    DragonQuest

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    Human Occupied Landfill, aka HoL.

    "Although HoL is playable, it was meant as a satire of RPGs. The pages of the books are written by hand, and the authors freely take stabs at other popular role-playing games, particularly Vampire: The Masquerade and Dungeons & Dragons, and those who play them." --Wikipedia
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