Are TTRPGs Even a "Good" Hobby?

For fantasy games...
Dragonbane
Castles & Crusades

I'd like to consider some different genres as well for more of a palette cleanse.
I have Call of Cthulhu (which I would probably run with Pulp Cthulhu overlay)

Would like to find a streamlined sci-fi game to consider. (Maybe Esper Genesis? I think Starfinder is too much. I don't think Starfinder 2 will be much better for my needs. I don't know about Voidrunner's Codex - I'd like everything in one book instead of requiring purchasing A5E and other genre books.)

I've looked at Scum & Villainy - it's just too different for us.

At the risk of being overly blunt...

Looking into as many as 9 new systems doesn't sound like you're actually reducing your RPG work load. It sounds more like you're just moving it around. If the root cause of all this is that you have too much stress and are burning out, teaching and DMing new games to your players won't help in the long run, and will probably make things worse in the short run as you introduce multiple new systems. You need to actually step back.

If you do want to find a new system, pick one. Just one. Anyone who wants to play with you as a GM can learn that one system. Wait at least 6 months before even considering a second system.
 

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payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
At the risk of being overly blunt...

Looking into as many as 9 new systems doesn't sound like you're actually reducing your RPG work load. It sounds more like you're just moving it around. If the root cause of all this is that you have too much stress and are burning out, teaching and DMing new games to your players won't help in the long run, and will probably make things worse in the short run as you introduce multiple new systems. You need to actually step back.

If you do want to find a new system, pick one. Just one. Anyone who wants to play with you as a GM can learn that one system. Wait at least 6 months before even considering a second system.
Yeah maybe the internets has got the OP stuck in full blown FOMO. New kickstarter every day it seems on building a better PC trap. Its interesting to keep an eye on developments, but exhausting to keep on top of everything.
 

At the risk of being overly blunt...

Looking into as many as 9 new systems doesn't sound like you're actually reducing your RPG work load. It sounds more like you're just moving it around. If the root cause of all this is that you have too much stress and are burning out, teaching and DMing new games to your players won't help in the long run, and will probably make things worse in the short run as you introduce multiple new systems. You need to actually step back.

If you do want to find a new system, pick one. Just one. Anyone who wants to play with you as a GM can learn that one system. Wait at least 6 months before even considering a second system.

Dragonbane is not a system you need to teach, in that sense. It's dead simple, especially if you're coming from something like 5e. Ultimately you're still just rolling a d20.
 

Retreater

Legend
At the risk of being overly blunt...

Looking into as many as 9 new systems doesn't sound like you're actually reducing your RPG work load. It sounds more like you're just moving it around. If the root cause of all this is that you have too much stress and are burning out, teaching and DMing new games to your players won't help in the long run, and will probably make things worse in the short run as you introduce multiple new systems. You need to actually step back.

If you do want to find a new system, pick one. Just one. Anyone who wants to play with you as a GM can learn that one system. Wait at least 6 months before even considering a second system.
I mean ... I'm looking into the new systems to decide one I like well enough to pick to try to teach them.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Re: Shadowdark ... I have Old School Essentials and Swords & Wizardry. I've been hesitant to consider B/X-style retroclones. My group is resistant about dungeon survival games where starting characters can have 3 HP, +0 to hit, one 1st level spell, and can get one-shot by a single goblin.
Start them at 3rd level and run them through 1st-level modules.

From a lot of your posts I get the impression you think you have to run the game exactly as written by the RAW without changing things. That’s not true. You can house rule anything and everything. If the only part of Shadowdark or B/X they object to is the lethality, change it.
Re: Traveller ... My group would prefer something with high adventure. Our experience with Traveller has been more diplomatic and investigative.
Like most RPGs, Traveller is what you make of it.
 

Retreater

Legend
From a lot of your posts I get the impression you think you have to run the game exactly as written by the RAW without changing things. That’s not true. You can house rule anything and everything. If the only part of Shadowdark or B/X they object to is the lethality, change it.
Right. I just don't want to run into a Ship of Theseus situation where I have pages of houserules that confuse everyone. In that case, why not just play another game?
For example, I know with B/X they'd want separate race/class, higher power level, greater tactical depth, unified d20 mechanics for skills.
It's just so plain to me that I can envision what would be the sweet spot for us. I just can't find the game that actually does it.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Right. I just don't want to run into a Ship of Theseus situation where I have pages of houserules that confuse everyone. In that case, why not just play another game?
Because there’s no such thing as a perfect game that is a perfect fit for your table out of the box. That mindset is likely why you seem to think investigating a dozen games to find “the one” is a better prospect than finding a “close enough” game and tweaking it.

Again, if the only problem with a game you already have is the lethality, house rule it. That’s one house rule that takes one sentence to convey. “We’re playing Shadowdark but starting at 3rd level.” It’s that easy.
For example, I know with B/X they'd want separate race/class, higher power level, greater tactical depth, unified d20 mechanics for skills.
Sounds like 5E with more tactical play. There’s probably a tactical combat 3PP book out there somewhere.

It’s also worth noting that tactical play is something you can just choose to do. You don’t need heavy rules for it. Read up on tactics and use them. “The Monsters Know What They’re Doing” series is a great place to start.
It's just so plain to me that I can envision what would be the sweet spot for us. I just can't find the game that actually does it.
Pardon the phrase, but as I said, this is a fool’s errand. There is no perfect game. Find one that’s close enough and tweak it.

To turn this productive, what is your table’s sweet spot as you see it? You have part of a list there, so expand on it.
 
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Thomas Shey

Legend
Dragonbane seems like a great choice. I'm not personally into d20 games, but it's got a lot going for it, and definitely seems pretty low-prep—or at least better allows for low prep.

For SF, you could look at Traveller? Definitely easier to run and prep than Starfinder or similar. And it's nowhere near the leap for your group as moving to Scum and Villainy (much as I love SaV).

Or one of the Cepheus Engine offshoots.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Re: Shadowdark ... I have Old School Essentials and Swords & Wizardry. I've been hesitant to consider B/X-style retroclones. My group is resistant about dungeon survival games where starting characters can have 3 HP, +0 to hit, one 1st level spell, and can get one-shot by a single goblin.

Re: Traveller ... My group would prefer something with high adventure. Our experience with Traveller has been more diplomatic and investigative.

I don't remember your feelings about Savage Worlds, or I'd recommend SW with the SF Companion.
 

Retreater

Legend
I don't remember your feelings about Savage Worlds, or I'd recommend SW with the SF Companion.
My group struggled with the dividing by 4, comparing wounds to Toughness and Armor Piercing, hitting and not causing damage, remembering to track the Wounds in the death spiral. We tried it for about 2 months (playing Holler), and most players didn't get it. It was also very slow - strange, I know - but we had a group sometimes as large as 8 players.
 

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