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What is your biggest RPG heartbreak?


Solitary Role Playing
My biggest rpg heartbreak happened with Star Frontiers. I was really into the d100 system and the primary plus secondary skill builds. I hand drew many new equipments, robot models, ships. Bought several official modules. I was designing a BIG space opera campaign. This is going to be great!

After two games the players didn't like the game and told me unequivocally they wanted to play AD&D instead. The first heartbreak is always the hardest. I've had RPG rejection in later years but it didn't hurt that much. I DMed AD&D but wasn't really into it. Took me several months to get back on my feet.

What is your biggest RPG heartbreak?

[edit: typos]

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Well, that was fun
Staff member
One player who insisted we play a particular game. Nobody else was that into it, but neither were we particularly against it, so I acquired the game, and set up and started to run a campaign.

The one player who really wanted to play it? He never showed up. The rest of us played a game we weren't really all that into for about 6 weeks before we decided to just go back to something we knew we liked.

Maybe not a heartbreak (it's not like we had a terrible time or anything) but it was just one of those moments when we all looked at each other and said "Remind me why we are playing this?"


The GM and the other players really psyching me up to play RIFTS. Never played it before, and they kept pushing it as this great game. So I did my reading, got excited to play, etc. The GM even let me play a werewolf PC at the start, which I thought could be pretty awesome. Got my PC created and we started our first session.

The rest of the players had a Glitter Boy, Juicer, etc. And I had this PC who at best might be able to do 1d4 MDC while everyone else was going crazy. I was literally just a cheerleader on the sideline, as if I got into combat, I died right away.

Yes, I understand this was a failure on the GM's part, but it forever tainted RIFTS for me, and I will always have that bad first impression for a game I was excited to play at first.


Let's see...

Wanting to run The Enemy Within (WFRPG) for decades, finally starting a game, having one of the players move away after two sessions, ending the campaign.

The announcement of 4e and pulling of 3rd edition stopped a big project I was writing dead in its tracks. Took me nearly 15 years to start writing again.

The Fantasy Trip. Bought the big boxed set because I heard it was awesome. Played a few combats and found it terribly imbalanced. Put it in storage.

Altar Quest (boardgame). Yeah, something which was billed as a spiritual successor to Hero Quest is a bloated, slow-paced, mess of a game. At least I got some cool minis from it.

Our hobby's deranged revolt against 4e and the bending of the knee to the worst behavior possible.

Not that people didn't like it. That is fair enough.

But the behavior of our community was utterly nuts. Embarrassing both virtually and in person. The fact that there was no shame for the behavior but rather a perpetual engine of self-immolation and then a subsequent folding to the endless siege was the worst thing.

If people would have just said "yeah...I don't like this", functionally articulated that, and left it up to WotC...and then WotC said "yeah...no good...lets get back to nostalgia"...great!

No problem. But the scale and tenacity and lack of shame of the revolt and WotC's capitulation was pretty terrible.


He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
Every time a regular group falls apart for whatever reason:
Highscool graduation. Everyone moved away, me included. The group did not survive that.

Another group ended with a break up of two of the players. It just didn’t work out anymore.

Covid almost killed the current group, but technology came to the rescue.


Old-School Essentials, maybe. While my players haven’t demanded we do something else (yet?), there have been a few comments on the lack of options or the (in)capability of their characters. That’s why we’re giving Worlds Without Numbers a try in a few weeks. It has more of the stuff they like while still being GM friendly and OSR-adjacent. Of course, that could also turn out to be another RPG heartbreak. Hopefully not because I’m running out of ideas for things that would make everyone happy. 😓

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