Systems You'd Never Play after Reading Them - Page 8
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  1. #71
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    BTRC's TimeLords 2E (1990)

    Conceptually, it's nice, does a fair explanation of paradox free time-travel (all time travel is by definition also probability travel so you don't end up in the same place when the Earth isn't in that place and so on). Playing as yourself with various tests to get your stats is interesting as well.

    The problem is that the RAW tries to model reality too well, leading to what to me is an inherently unplayable system.

    While I do have the searchable PDF of CORPS, and it might be a good substitute for the actual TimeLords system, IMO there are much better time travel RPGs available.

  2. #72
    Numenera. The game opens with its manifesto about being story-focused and streamlined with the rules disappearing. Then, page by page, every rule seen to be quite the opposite in other systems made an appearance. A d20 system made "simpler" by having players and GM convert each roll into a new number that must be compared against your stats. But only after you modified that new difficulty class with other numbers. Then, sometimes you had to re-convert them back to a "rolled" number by multiplying it by 3. It's true, the rules will disappear but only after that clunky conversion becomes second nature.

    I just couldn't play it after reading that and the item rules. I'm familiar with the designers and have loved their games. But not without a great deal of pain like when they made similar promises with D&D 3e; feats that let you do anything, balance between magic and martial classes, customization options that feel exciting and fun, combat that feels narratively quick and fun. They have great writing, but their mechanics don't do what they say they do. I can't endorse a game that I felt was disingenuous after the last one spawned the "Ivory Tower" design trend.

    Apocalypse World. I love Powered by the Apocalypse but I can't bring a game to the table with a sex mechanic for my particular game group. So much of the game emulates fiction I'm familiar with and love. Mad Max being a huge example. But I don't remember that or any other apocalypse movies and books I enjoyed having themes about sex. That, mixed with the strong authorial voice of the book using words like "barf" and "", made the setting a poor match for my friends. I could ignore those rules, but with the strong singular voice, it feels wrong not to play it as written. Something I didn't feel I could do justice.

    Of course, I think these two games can be great! But I don't think they're great for me. So I will never play them.
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  3. #73
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    1. LOTFP: The rules an setting, along with the art, just don't grab my attention. It seems altogether too infantile to be playable, and the OSR-style rules are like OSR rules, but with worse wording and implementation.

    2. The World of Synnibar: "Roll thirty dice for a 50% chance to do something".

    3. Shadowrun: I'm sorry, I know people love this system, and the rules and setting are great, but I just don't see the point of playing a Shadowrun game.

    4. Conan: An Age Undreamed Of: Good art, nice theme, weak and shapeless rules.

  4. #74
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    ElfQuest
    Rules were similar to RuneQuest/BRP, but the setting was just missing so much... like starting equipment. Did you just pick what you wanted or only what the GM gave you? Of course, there were no guidelines for the GM to use to decide what to give you. It was written for fans of the comic book, so they could re-live the adventures of the comic book characters. It was not a stand-alone game or setting.

    Twilight 2000
    Always loved the concept, but, back when it came out just never had enough meat to actually use.

    Wheel of Time
    Another one of those written for fans of the books and not for gamers. No balance what so ever around character generation. Again, if you wanted to retell a story you had already read, it would do the job well, but for new stories? Just no reason to use it.
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  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    Wheel of Time
    Another one of those written for fans of the books and not for gamers. No balance what so ever around character generation. Again, if you wanted to retell a story you had already read, it would do the job well, but for new stories? Just no reason to use it.
    Oh man, the d20 Wheel of Time system was a hot, flaming mess on a poopstick. We actually tried playing one session of it, and even the player who was a die-hard Wheel of Time fan basically agreed it was garbage.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by innerdude View Post
    Oh man, the d20 Wheel of Time system was a hot, flaming mess on a poopstick. We actually tried playing one session of it, and even the player who was a die-hard Wheel of Time fan basically agreed it was garbage.
    I could never make heads or tales of it. It seemed like their was a lot of unspoken player self balancing and house rules required. Glad to hear my opinion shared some other views.

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aebir-Toril View Post
    3. Shadowrun: I'm sorry, I know people love this system, and the rules and setting are great, but I just don't see the point of playing a Shadowrun game.
    That's an interesting critique. Would you mind expanding on that?

  8. #78
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    (I absolutely loathe PbtA. I think my loathing for it is (perhaps excessively) well documented over the history of the internet. Nothing personal against D. Vincent Baker, Ron Edwards lassoed him to help playtest my game one time, which was surreal in a kind of wonderful way, I just think that the PbtA system is terrible and has done terrible things to the hobby. I think its legacy of "success with a complication" or "fail forward" is a poison pill for the progress of game design in the long term. I think its popularity ruined or wasted practically a whole generation of game designers, who (understandably) used it because it was popular and trending, they templated off of it rather than making their own unique games.) Anyway all of these conclusions were reached just by reading the text and observing the market. I have never actually played *World, nor would I unless it was the absolute only form of gaming available and the people playing it were people whose company I enjoyed.)

    That's not my answer, though.

    I wanted so badly to like Dungeon Crawl Classics because I love just about every adventure Goodman Games has ever published and even the world of Aereth they're set in. But when I saw that the game MANDATED the use of ANOTHER SEVEN KINDS of ever-more-obscure polyhedral dice, that alone was such a terrible design decision that I NOPED the heck out almost on principle in spite of having just bought the DCC corebook. I mean, I'm not ashamed to admit that yes, I owned the silly irregular dice. But a game actually requiring their use? That was a bridge too far. Also to me it's a red flag when a DM starts producing extensive critical fumble tables and a flip through the rulebook made it look like it was mostly a DM's critical fumble tables (albeit mainly for magic, not swinging a sword) so that kind of made me want to put it down immediately.

    To whoever said they were turned away by the sex mechanics in Apocalypse World my GOD I get you, but whoever said they were turned away by the sexual themes of VtM, I don't get you AT ALL. And yes, I realize it might be the same person. See, I'm not inherently repelled by sex or sexual mechanics in games, but to me sex had absolutely no place in the mechanics (and it was very blatantly in the mechanics, as in "you bang someone and XYZ mechanical stuff happens") of a game called APOCALYPSE WORLD about malnourished illiterate starving filthy possibly mutant post-apocalyptic murder hobos. It was incredibly off-putting.

    The sexualization of vampires is a cultural phenomenon I've accepted since I first read Anne Rice. To me, sexiness in Vampire inherently makes sense. Rules for screwing in a post-apocalyptic context are very offputting to me because that is a REALLY unsexy context.

    Whoever said Eclipse Phase is dead on the money. When I tried to play that game from the book as written it failed miserably. When we sat down to play at a convention with a GM who was familiar enough with it to IGNORE HALF THE RULES, it happened to run smooth as butter. Go figure.

    Oh, and I think it's probably more interesting than any system I'd never play after reading it that I DID play (GM, actually) RIFTS after reading it. I saw how terrible it was on paper, but there was a huge amount of narm charm and honestly I really liked the idea of the setting. Eventually I wound up, as some guy keeps suggesting CONVERTING IT TO HERO SYSTEM and also modifying what I thought were dumber parts of the setting by melding with a homebrew post-apocalyptic setting of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    That's an interesting critique. Would you mind expanding on that?
    +1 to this. There are at this point MANY editions of Shadowrun. Most of them are playable to one degree or another. Is it the setting you dislike? I mean, William Gibson hates Shadowrun (I think his exact commentary included the phrase "gag me with a spoon") and William Gibson is to Shadowrun as Howard, Moorcock, Lieber and Tolkien are collectively to D&D, so you wouldn't be alone there.

    (Half-expecting to see one of my own games mentioned in here. Unsure if want or not want. It's nice to see people have heard of your stuff, but it does suck to have someone read it and leave it unplayed. I wouldn't have been as blunt about the above two if I thought D. Vincent Baker and other *World profiteers weren't comforted by the relatively large (for this industry) piles of money they presumably sleep on at night, or if I thought Goodman Games was in a position where it cared about my approval. In other words I wouldn't have been as blunt if I was talking smaller companies or less visible games.)
    Last edited by ParanoydStyle; Wednesday, 19th June, 2019 at 09:27 AM.
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  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
    That's an interesting critique. Would you mind expanding on that?
    Of course not. To me, at least, Shadowrun seems like a slightly weaker version of D&D with a better setting, it always has. If someone could convince me that Shadowrun had a better rule or ruleset in a certain area, I might play it, but that has not happened so far.
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  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eltab View Post
    The Truenaming rules from 3e. The concept of Truenaming is aweome, but putting several additional layers of die rolls in between you and the desired result, meant it was not going to work very often.
    I feel obligated to defend Truenaming since I mentioned using Tome of Magic earlier...
    Not sure where you're getting the "additional layers of die rolls," unless you're referring to the requirement to make a Truespeak roll, which isn't any different from a fighter making an attack roll. The tricky part about Truenaming was the DC increasing by twice your opponent's CR. As far as I could tell, that required your truenamer to be min-maxed in order to be effective against any higher-level opponents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradine View Post
    I played a Truenamer in 3.5 once. The system is utterly broken (in a bad way) but it was still really awesome in concept.
    Ugh. Do we need a new thread for this?

    Quote Originally Posted by ParanoydStyle View Post
    I just think that the PbtA system is terrible and has done terrible things to the hobby. I think its legacy of "success with a complication" or "fail forward" is a poison pill for the progress of game design in the long term. I think its popularity ruined or wasted practically a whole generation of game designers, who (understandably) used it because it was popular and trending, they templated off of it rather than making their own unique games.) . . .

    That's not my answer, though.
    Well don't hold back Ever heard, "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger?" Same thing with PbtA. It's pretty radical to me, which is a good thing for the hobby. I've read it, would play it, haven't though.
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