The Sort of TTRPGs You Want More (and Less) Of

Aldarc

Hero
There are a lot of TTRPGs out there in the market, and more are being produced every day. There are a lot games covering a tremendous breadth of genres and the like, but what sort of TTRPGs would you like to see more of? This is an intentionally broad question that is meant to cover a variety of matters covering the system, genre, tone, or setting.

Though I would not necessarily like to focus on this, though it is related, maybe what sort of games do you think that the market may have too much or enough of already?

I'll wait a bit to gather contributions before making my own.
 
This is kind of hard to answer!

Lately, my attention has been grabbed by games that are relatively simple to get into, with fewer and/or clearer rules. I also have really taken to products that have a strong design element, with thought to how they will be used at the table to help play. Mothership hits both these points pretty well for me...it's 44 pages, and although it is jam packed with information, the details are organized well, and summarized on a few cheat sheet pages.

I also really like games where the mechanics and the setting are kind of designed hand in hand. Blades in the Dark does this really well. I feel like Tales From the Loop does also, although I know that system was used in another game first. But the "classes"in that game are so perfectly designed to be archetypical kids in the 80s.

I think Spire, the City Must Fall is an example of a game where the Playbooks/Classes (I can't recall at the moment which term they actually use) are not general descriptions like "Warrior" or "Medic" and the like, but are instead specific things in the game's world....an Azurite or a Carrion Priest.

City Of Mists did this really interesting thing where each character is a regular person who also happens to be the personification of some legendary being or force. The game creates tension between these two things, Logos and Mythos, and as you increase in one, you lose in another. So the more the PC embraces their legendary self, the more their human self is diminished. It's a great way to capture what the game is about.

I don't really see a common thread among all that now that I've typed it out, but there may be one. I suppose I want more games where the rules and mechanics are designed with the desired play experience in mind.
 

pogre

Hero
To jump into any RPG for me these days it has to have a great hook - something I can sell players on quickly with an elevator pitch. It also has to have at least minimal adventure support - enough that I can use it to model my own stuff.

Genre-wise an Elizabethan Era game would be of interest.
 

practicalm

Explorer
I need an RPG that stops time so we can play more RPGs.
In general, I find that it's easier to build the theme I want in something like FATE or GURPS.
For a new game, I want some new mechanic that would justify a new system. Something like the card draw make a poker hand of Deadlands but where the designers did the stats and math correctly.
 
A lot of the stuff I'm enjoying lately is in the same vein as hawkeyefan - stuff where the setting and mechanics are designed to work hand in hand. Also yeah, interesting mechanics, especially core mechanics, are always a good draw. Houses of the Blooded is a great book with some neat mechanics that I just finished but havent had a chance to play yet. FATE based but with some neat twists. I've been focused on urban and political type stuff lately. Mostly looking for neat mechanics and novel ways of handling social conflict.
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
idk all the rpgs I want to see are just games based off franchises I like lol.

like where's the Avatar RPG? I remember when it was like "a new tabletop game based off legend of korra will be revealed soon" and I was very excited until it turned out it was just a board game based on pro-bending, like okay :/
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Nothing really time IRL tends to kill it and it's hard for something that's not D&D.

Some sort of sci fi RPG maybe could be fun but yeah probably can't play it.
 

Ulfgeir

Explorer
I would like some more games that easy to get into, and where the focus isn't on combat.

I of course wants the mechanics to mesh well with the setting, and then have illustrations hat really set the mood.
 

Aldarc

Hero
I get the impression, possibly through some degree of cognitive bias and what not, like there are almost an over-abundance of TTRPGs that are set around an aesthetic of Northern Europe, Scandinavia, and X-TREME VIKINGS! Which often go hand-in-hand with the Thousand-and-One games that are sold around the various tags of "grim," "gritty," "dark," "deadly," "savage," "edgy," etc. I'm sure these are all fine games but they are starting to feel (to me at least) as becoming a dime-a-dozen.

I would like to see more games where (1) the magnificence of D&D style magic is tuned down to an extraordinary degree, but (2) magic is also not about corruption, danger, or killing your character when trying to do cool things. I'm not necessarily a fan of fantasy where wizards and mages are walking artillery with cosmic powers and feel more like the fiction that came from the power fantasy of authors who likely played wizards in their AD&D games. This is to say that at times it also feels that there is a lot of TTRPG magic that feels more inspired by D&D fantasy rather than inspired by literary, folkloric, or mythical magic.

And likewise, I'd like to see more TTRPGs that are more than clearly D&D with the serial numbers filed off, which is often the case with many games where you see the Six Attributes (or with one to two added and/or reshuffled).

I would like to see more TTRPGs like Beyond the Wall that are inspired by the folkloric young adult fantasy fiction like Earthsea, Chronicles of Prydain, The Hobbit, or even (to a certain extent) The Dark Crystal. Fantastic worlds with spirits of nature, true names hold power, fickle and mischievous woodland fey, etc. This also works in conjunction with the above point about having magic that is less about artillery mages with cosmic powers.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Like @hawkeyefan and @Fenris-77 I find that for my non-5e games I like games that create a feeling with mechanics that support the fluff.

I just don't have time to run additional campaigns or to learn new, complex systems. Generally, I will just run one-shots or mini-campaigns in other systems. So I want something that is interesting thematically and mechanically. But also something that I can learn well enough to DM with no more than 8 or so hours reading and prep time.

Games that have hit the sweet spot for me are: Paranoia (newest Mongoose Games edition), Dialect, InSPECTres, ICRPG, and The Expanse.

As for what I would like, is a good horror game. I haven't had time to really look into the current Call of Cthulu games. I think they could be good thematically but I'm unsure how complicated they are mechanically or if you can play an adventure in one or two sessions.

But I am really looking for a horror genre that is less dark-realms/old-ones cultish fantasy. I'm thinking something that is a mixed survival, horror, hide, and escape game. Something grounded in a real-world setting with just a touch of fantasy / sci-fi where need. E.g.: running a Texas Chainsaw massacre game; running a game where you have to escape from a mental hospital run by some evil, sinister group; a silence of the lambs police procedural/suspense horror session. I've look at Dread, but don't want a mechanic that relies on the player's real-life physical abilities. I've used Grin cards as a kind of sub-system in my 5e games, but it is too narrative and crunch lite to be the sole mechanic for a game that I would like.

I'm thinking that a mix of using Grin cards with a rules-lite OSR-inspired system like Hackmaster would be a good system to run one-shot horror adventures.
 

Lucas Yew

Explorer
Rules-complexity wise, something on any point of the spectrum between PF1 and GURPS. The lesser input from potential "tyrant GMs" the better, for me.

Legal-freedom-wise, something on any point of the spectrum between OGL and CC-BY-SA. The lesser chance of having unpleasant lawyer meetings from posting stat blocks on my public blog the better, for me.
 

Aldarc

Hero
Lately, my attention has been grabbed by games that are relatively simple to get into, with fewer and/or clearer rules. I also have really taken to products that have a strong design element, with thought to how they will be used at the table to help play.
Same. I value the ability to jump into game play relatively quickly and mechanics that are straightforward for play.

I also really like games where the mechanics and the setting are kind of designed hand in hand. Blades in the Dark does this really well. I feel like Tales From the Loop does also, although I know that system was used in another game first. But the "classes" in that game are so perfectly designed to be archetypical kids in the 80s.
On the other hand, I have a mixed opinion about this. While I agree that having mechanics and setting designed hand-in-hand help reinforce the feel of the game, such as BitD, it also can make it more difficult to take good set of system mechanics that you like and make them your own for a different setting. BitD is a good example, because it has great game play, but I find the BitD setting kinda dull and not the sort of setting that I would like to actually run. The setting was my biggest hang-up with even picking up the book. This also my problem with a number of the PbtA games. They are often so incredibly narrow in their slice of genre that if you don't like it, then you either have to design your own or look for the appropriate genre flavor you are looking for in another system.

One of my favorite systems was True20 because it offered a relatively generic ruleset that allowed me to heavily customize for whatever genre or world that I was running. The books even discussed the math so you could easily design your own classes and the like relatively easy. Or you could adjust power lists so that they were genre/setting appropriate. So while my gaming tastes have moved beyond its antiquated d20 system in favor of more narrative games, I miss having that sort of customization for designing character options for settings.

Ironsworn may be a sign of the PbtA system being pushed in that direction, even if it is setting specific. It removes playbooks in favor of Asset cards that players can just pick at character creation and as they level. So I do think that the PbtA system can potentially handle more customization that is a bit more divorced from setting.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Contrary to those who'd like to see system and setting tied together, I'd like to see the exact opposite.

Why?

Because given the complexity and time involved in learning most RPG systems, system-learning is something I only want to do once. Ever. I most assuredly don't want to have to learn a new system every time I want to change the tone or type of game I'm running or playing.

Which means I want that system to be flexible enough to handle anything I and-or everyone else decide to throw at it, well enough to give a playable game if not necessarily perfect in all things....

Playstyle: Grim'n'gritty? Over-the-top heroic fantasy? Low magic? High magic? No magic? GM-driven? Player-driven? Murderhobo? Solo play? Large-group or ensemble play? No or slow or fast character advancement?

Setting: Ancient Greco-Roman? Viking? Middle Earth? Westeros? Golarion? Renaissance England? Age of Sail? Outer space? Outer Planes? Urban? Wilderness? Dungeon-crawl? [the only thing I'll leave out here - intentionally - is modern-day or future realist]

Philosophy: Simulationist-realist? Gamist? Story now? Rules-light? Rules-heavy? Rules-as-physics? RAW only or kitbashable? Sandbox play? Adventure path play? Combat-focused? Intrigue/mystery focused?

I firmly believe a system that can do all these things* well enough for rock and roll is out there, only nobody's designed it yet. Old-school D&D vaguely waves at it - or can be made to - but still misses on some counts; ditto GURPS. Newer D&D misses much of what older D&D hits while often hitting what it misses - but how to combine them so they hit everything?

* - plus whatever ones I missed, this isn't a complete list. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
@Lanefan Then this begs the question....do you actually want to see any new games?
Yes - just one more.

One game that steals-tweaks-combines the best features of lots of other games (and copyright be damned!) into one, modular enough and flexible enough to support pretty much any playstyle or setting or philosophy while still at its core being the same game. A game that doesn't tie itself to one mechanic for everything but is willing to use different mechanics to accomplish different tasks. A game that might be a bit complex to start with but that after learning it once you're set for life.

One game to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. :)
 
Same. I value the ability to jump into game play relatively quickly and mechanics that are straightforward for play.
I don’t know if it’s a matter of having less time or what, but I’m all for simplicity when possible in game design. I’m not against complexity...but if you’re gonna be complex you better make sure it’s worth it. Most complex games don’t seem to be worth it, to me.

On the other hand, I have a mixed opinion about this. While I agree that having mechanics and setting designed hand-in-hand help reinforce the feel of the game, such as BitD, it also can make it more difficult to take good set of system mechanics that you like and make them your own for a different setting. BitD is a good example, because it has great game play, but I find the BitD setting kinda dull and not the sort of setting that I would like to actually run. The setting was my biggest hang-up with even picking up the book. This also my problem with a number of the PbtA games. They are often so incredibly narrow in their slice of genre that if you don't like it, then you either have to design your own or look for the appropriate genre flavor you are looking for in another system.
Oh I love the setting. Or, probably more accurately, I love the presentation of the setting and I love how the setting and the rules work together.

So far, the Forged in the Dark system has been used for a couple of other genres, most notably sci-fi in Scum and Villainy and fantasy military in Band of Blades. Both are solid, and make some necessary tweaks to rig the system for the new setting. There are also plenty of other hacks, of varying degrees of quality. I think the system can be used for other games, if properly crafted.

But to me, Blades works so well because the rules and setting bounce off each other in such interesting ways.

One of my favorite systems was True20 because it offered a relatively generic ruleset that allowed me to heavily customize for whatever genre or world that I was running. The books even discussed the math so you could easily design your own classes and the like relatively easy. Or you could adjust power lists so that they were genre/setting appropriate. So while my gaming tastes have moved beyond its antiquated d20 system in favor of more narrative games, I miss having that sort of customization for designing character options for settings.
Generic systems are difficult for me. I think some systems can indeed serve as a chassis for multiple games, such as PbtA, but still need strong design choices that make them unique.

Ironsworn may be a sign of the PbtA system being pushed in that direction, even if it is setting specific. It removes playbooks in favor of Asset cards that players can just pick at character creation and as they level. So I do think that the PbtA system can potentially handle more customization that is a bit more divorced from setting.
I’ve looked at Ironsworn a bit, but not in depth. The solo play aspect caught my attention; I’m curious how that would work.

But I think it’s likely a good example of how one system can be modified pretty heavily in order to create a game that, although it has similar elements, feels like its own thing.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So... my answer is a little weird...

I, personally, don't have a huge need to see games that I am never going to use. If I'm not going to play it or run it... it may be an interesting curiosity, a fun read, an intellectual exercise in reviewing design.

But, most of all, I want to see games I get to play with. So... I want to see games that folks around me are excited about.



Because given the complexity and time involved in learning most RPG systems, system-learning is something I only want to do once. Ever. I most assuredly don't want to have to learn a new system every time I want to change the tone or type of game I'm running or playing.

Which means I want that system to be flexible enough to handle anything I and-or everyone else decide to throw at it, well enough to give a playable game if not necessarily perfect in all things....
I understand the desire here... but I recognize that any system flexible enough to be all things to all people is also going to have so many metaphorical levers, knobs, switches, and sub-systems to adjust to meet that design criteria as to be too complex to actually use.
 

Advertisement

Top