Synnibarr vs WotC


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Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Yeah, I played Synnibarr with Raven as well, as a teenager. Met him at DragonFlight convention at UW in probably '91 by randomly signing up for a session he was running...

Super not the point, but it was Seattle University, the Jesuit-run school. Until... 2004, I think, when it moved to Bellevue because S-U decided we weren't the right sort of people.
Thanks for the correction! I went and looked at the history of Dragonflight a little and I see that in 1990 they also linked up with the Simulation Gaming Association at UW to form the Metro Seattle Gamers club. Maybe my misremembered UW reference was connected with that.
 

I think it was... '83? I was at Dragonflight, at Seattle University, I was pretty young, 14 - 16, I think. I was looking at the dealer tables, when a pretty aggressive fellow asked me I wanted to take look at "The game that's gonna replace D&D."

Even then I was old (jaded? Cynical?) enough to find that line problematic. But I looked. The book was a red cover, and comb-bound. Synnibarr.

I wouldn't say cynical necessarily... Anytime I hear someone without any industry cred tell me that "they've fixed D&D/their game is better than D&D" that's a red flag for me.
 
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aramis erak

Legend
War is peace, submission is strength?
Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.
Oh, and Soylent Green is long pork...

I have a secondhand copy of synnibar... of all the small press games I've got... it is one for which the cover is far more memorable than the contents.

Unlike Jorune. Or The Atlantean Trilogy. Or Star Riders, Star Thugs, or or Dark Realms.
 

Longspeak

Adventurer
Thanks for the correction! I went and looked at the history of Dragonflight a little and I see that in 1990 they also linked up with the Simulation Gaming Association at UW to form the Metro Seattle Gamers club. Maybe my misremembered UW reference was connected with that.
Oh, yeah. There was some serious involvement with U-W gamers, and before MSG, I think Dragonflight had game days on the UW campus... But I was just a kid for most of that. I didn't get super involved in the convention until... '96. When I was almost 30... so... super old. :p
 





mamba

Hero
Never really heard of this before, but what I have discovered in the past 5 minutes sounds terrible.
same, Wikipedia makes for a good first impression

The World of Synnibarr (sometimes referred to simply as Synnibarr) was a multi-genre role-playing game published by Wonderworld Press and written by Raven c.s. McCracken.[1] A second edition of the game, co-written by Bryce Thelin, was published in 1993. It is noted largely for its exceptionally poor design.[2]
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
same, Wikipedia makes for a good first impression

The World of Synnibarr (sometimes referred to simply as Synnibarr) was a multi-genre role-playing game published by Wonderworld Press and written by Raven c.s. McCracken.[1] A second edition of the game, co-written by Bryce Thelin, was published in 1993. It is noted largely for its exceptionally poor design.[2]
Yuuuup. Though again noting for the record that the wiki is incomplete on that. There are at least two more editions (that I've personally owned) before those two. Though Raven's history on synnibarr.com says he put out the first version in 1980, and per a comment he made on FB last year there have been a total of nine so far.
 

mamba

Hero
Yuuuup. Though again noting for the record that the wiki is incomplete on that. There are at least two more editions (that I've personally owned) before those two. Though Raven's history on synnibarr.com says he put out the first version in 1980, and per a comment he made on FB last year there have been a total of nine so far.
More versions than expected... stumbled across his Kickstarter for 3e, with a delivery scheduled for December 2013, apparently it did get delivered in July 2022 instead, slight delay there ;)

Just reading the KS race examples makes me notice how awful and complex the design is, don't need to see more than that



I like the comment his post announcing the release got

"Hello everyone.

It has been a long time… 7 years in fact.

We could have released this years ago. It would have been an inferior product that would have needed updates. I wouldn't. Not until it was good enough.

I will not make apologies. A lesser man would have quit when faced with the adversities of their publisher dying and a second fire that took everything they owned. But I didn’t for two reasons.

1. My last edition of Synnibarr met with harsh criticism. So harsh, I nearly quit then. Until I realized: all that will be left of me of when I die, is this wonderful game. I'll not have this version reviled. To ensure this, we have taken the time and not listen to any argument or complaints about delivery.

2. In the past I have been forced to compromise each time I published, pushed for a convention or other such foolishness, and my life’s work suffered for lack of playtesting and editing.

Nevermore…

This time I did it my way and I took my time. This time, we did lots of playtesting and incorporated the feedback from the initial release. Thank you for all who supported the testing and provided criticism. You've helped make a better product."

and then the reply

"Wow I hope you didn’t injure yourself patting yourself on the back as much as you did"

Can't make this stuff up
 
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More versions than expected... stumbled across his Kickstarter for 3e, with a deliver scheduled for December 2013, apparently it did get delivered in July 2022 instead, slight delay there ;)

Just reading the KS race examples makes me notice how awful and complex the design is, don't need to see more than that



I like the comment his post announcing the release got

"Hello everyone.

It has been a long time… 7 years in fact.

We could have released this years ago. It would have been an inferior product that would have needed updates. I wouldn't. Not until it was good enough.

I will not make apologies. A lesser man would have quit when faced with the adversities of their publisher dying and a second fire that took everything they owned. But I didn’t for two reasons.

1. My last edition of Synnibarr met with harsh criticism. So harsh, I nearly quit then. Until I realized: all that will be left of me of when I die, is this wonderful game. I'll not have this version reviled. To ensure this, we have taken the time and not listen to any argument or complaints about delivery.

2. In the past I have been forced to compromise each time I published, pushed for a convention or other such foolishness, and my life’s work suffered for lack of playtesting and editing.

Nevermore…

This time I did it my way and I took my time. This time, we did lots of playtesting and incorporated the feedback from the initial release. Thank you for all who supported the testing and provided criticism. You've helped make a better product."

and then the reply

"Wow I hope you didn’t injure yourself patting yourself on the back as much as you did"

Can't make this stuff up
There's a fine line between confidence and complete wanker.
 


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