It's Not D&D - My Experiences


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Shadowrun
Extent of Experience: Played a short campaign
Status: More complicated than most of my college classes
Verdict: Would rather clean my bathrooms
Which edition was this?

I played 2e a looooong time ago and I remember it being fun, but very complicated. Teenage me enjoyed it, not sure 43 year old me would feel the same. I recently bought the 6e Beginner Box that I intend to read through once my PF2e campaign is up and running in a couple weeks.
 



Retreater

Legend
Which edition was this?

I played 2e a looooong time ago and I remember it being fun, but very complicated. Teenage me enjoyed it, not sure 43 year old me would feel the same. I recently bought the 6e Beginner Box that I intend to read through once my PF2e campaign is up and running in a couple weeks.
I think 5th. It was out just before Anarchy was released and not as recently as 6E (2019).
 

Jahydin

Hero
Savage Worlds (Pathfinder, Rifts, Generic Fantasy)
Extent of Experience: GMed short adventures in several different Savage Settings, but nothing long term.
Status: It’s “okay.” The hyper-inflated numbers in Rifts confuse me. The swingy nature of combat makes it seem inappropriate for more than short adventures or one-shots.
Verdict: Would run again with the expectations of “beer and pretzels” gaming - not epic storytelling.
Although long campaigns are quite possible (I've ran several myself), I think you nailed what sets this game apart from the stories games like D&D want to tell.

SW combats should always be highly swingy and exciting. Death should always be a few dice rolls away. Just using Netflix, imagine how well that works for porting over shows like Cyberpunk: Edge runners, Squid Game, and Arcane.

That does mean you do have to rethink the way you prep for a session though.

First, make peace with the fact that the story is just going to play out the way it plays out. If the brave adventure sets out to discover the secrets of a lost temple and is mauled to death by a giant ape at the front steps, that just how that story ends (that really happened to me, :D).

Second, have a backup plan when players get wiped out. The easiest is just to have a large gang and let the players control multiple characters (easy to do using "Extras"). Another is to just ask the player what would be fun for them giving the situation. Playing a horror game, maybe come back as an undead? Playing during the D-Day, maybe the next soldier behind you picks up your gear and continues moving forward?

Third, the best part, don't write a story for the players to follow; the story should come organically. Yay, less work! This makes it perfect for sandbox style, OSR style of play. Really! Thanks to slow progression and already being pretty good at what you want your character to be good at, traveling around and doing whatever you feel like is really easy. For an example, check out one of my all time favorite adventures is Tyrnador: Secrets of Tyland. The amount of freedom it gives the PCs is staggering. With clever play, they can even reveal or even kill the Big Bad right in the beginning (don't worry, it wont ruin the adventure though)!
 

Jahydin

Hero
Huh! I wish she had cited her sources for saying so, but what she's saying does match up.

In any case, this gorgeous game needs to turn its concept art into the illustrations for an RPG book ASAP.
Here's a better one from Penny Arcade:

"He [Luke Crane, Torchbearer author] said that the adventure we were playing was part of a collaboration, still unannounced, with a company called Red Hook which had Kickstarted a game called Darkest Dungeon."
 




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