D&D 5E Who Picks the Campaign? DMs, Players, and Choice

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
That's not entirely true. I'd suggest you check out a wider variety of generic systems.

Oh, please! This is a content-less argument, based not on the systems, but on casting an unfounded aspersion of ignorance upon me, without any evidential grounding. That is bunk and nonsense.

Get on board with the idea that folks can be just as experienced as you are, but still have different opinions.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Isn't GURPS supposed to be generic?

Sure, it bills itself as such. However, its failure to be generic is perhaps best see in GURPS Supers... GURPS is at its best in gritty, street-level fights, and it falls on its face when you try to scale it across the power levels usually seen in superhero fiction.
 

aco175

Legend
I thought about this thread on the ride home when the radio was talking about a bride that wants to have the bridesmaids all color their hair to match hers. They were discussing how far is too far for a sister or friend. There are other stories about wanting all the bridal party to travel to someplace like Hawaii.

I was thinking that this is similar in that I have my gaming group or 'bridal party' that I like and play with and have for a long time. I want them to attend my campaign and have a good time. They come because they like me and like playing the game. The will 'buy a bridesmaid dress' or books and block off the date. Some are extra and bring food or add to the game to make it better.

Not sure if this is a great analogy, but it got me thinking of the expectations of both sides of the screen.
 

Voadam

Legend
Isn't GURPS supposed to be generic?
GURPS does lower powered stuff much better than high powered stuff.

For its fantasy think D&D but most everyone has 10 hp through most of the campaign, 20 hp would be superhuman. For supers (and the White Wolf 1e World of Darkness Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage genres) there are system supplements to go super high point buys so you can buy a lot of the powers you expect, but I'd agree it has lots of issues at that level of play and does not handle casual superhoic combat particularly well.

Great sourcebooks though that can be applied fairly generically to other games. ;)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
I thought about this thread on the ride home when the radio was talking about a bride that wants to have the bridesmaids all color their hair to match hers. They were discussing how far is too far for a sister or friend. There are other stories about wanting all the bridal party to travel to someplace like Hawaii.

DMZilla ....

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What do you mean you don't want to play Dark Sun in Mongolia? THIS IS A DESTINATION CAMPAIGN EVENT! This is my special Dark Sun campaign! WHY ARE YOU RUINING MY LIFE?????????
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Oh, please! This is a content-less argument, based not on the systems, but on casting an unfounded aspersion of ignorance upon me, without any evidential grounding. That is bunk and nonsense.

Get on board with the idea that folks can be just as experienced as you are, but still have different opinions.
Sure. But when “opinions” are about facts, there is a right answer. A lot of generic systems do have inherent biases towards certain styles of play. That’s absolutely true. It’s utterly false to claim that there is no such thing as a truly generic system. That’s the baseless and obviously false claim you’re making with literally zero support. So, as you say, bunk and nonsense.
 

soviet

Hero
Which would you recommend? I'm curious if you have examples to pair with your assertion.
I'd strongly recommend Other Worlds, which has a great chapter on group worldbuilding and campaign design, but then I did write it so I might be slightly biased.

To answer the earlier question, I think generic games (like mine) can cover anything, not just in genre but also in tone, but some things will come easier than others. Mine's a story now/conflict resolution system so it can do swashbuckly cinematic stuff very easily. It can also do gritty, brutal stuff pretty easily as long as you don't hold back in the stakes of conflicts. I guess resource management would be more difficult; it can give a simulation of that, again in terms of conflict stakes and also fictional positioning, but it can't literally do it one-for-one because it isn't trying to count ammo, money, etc.
 

S'mon

Legend
Sure. But when “opinions” are about facts, there is a right answer. A lot of generic systems do have inherent biases towards certain styles of play. That’s absolutely true. It’s utterly false to claim that there is no such thing as a truly generic system. That’s the baseless and obviously false claim you’re making with literally zero support. So, as you say, bunk and nonsense.

Do you have one in mind? Everything I can think of breaks down either as more gritty (GURPS, BRP) or more cinematic (D6 System, Savage Worlds).
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Do you have one in mind? Everything I can think of breaks down either as more gritty (GURPS, BRP) or more cinematic (D6 System, Savage Worlds).
Well, to counter the ridiculous claim that "Generic systems...aren't actually generic. They are at best semi-generic. Any finite ruleset will still be notably better at supporting some themes than others" requires only that one (1) of the sum total of every generic system be actually generic and without bias. I haven't read or played every generic system, so I can only work from what I know, but ridiculous claim is ridiculous.

Risus is close, but it has an obvious comedic bent due to the bonus dice for using your cliches in absurd ways. Though you can remove that with officially supported optional rules. Or that is the optional rules, I can't remember. So Risus without the comedy bias would be truly generic.

Over the Edge 3rd Edition comes close as a system. The setting is obviously geared toward a particular style. But the system itself can be used as a generic universal system. The bias there is in pro-active PCs succeed on a 7+/2d6 whereas reactive PCs succeed on an 8+/2d6. While I recognize that as a bias, I'm not sure how meaningful that is. I mean it's 16.67% more likely to succeed, to it's meaningful, but I'm not sure how meaningful that is re: whether that's enough bias to not count as "truly generic". You could easily remove that distinction, thus removing that bias, so OtE3E without that pro-active bias would be truly generic.

Fate has an inherent bias towards actively emulating stories and it also rewards active rather than passive play, so the Fate point economy, etc. I'm not sure you could dig that out without destroying what makes it tick. But again, that's a bias towards emulating story structure...so maybe, maybe not. Its mechanics emulate stories, so it's generic in that regard, but then the counter claim will be that in emulating stories it's not generic. Which is fair.

Cthulhu Dark is a horror game but there are optional rules to make it run other genres. Simply removing the horror genre rules and not replacing them with rules for another genre would make it an unbiased generic system.

Simple World is a generic Powered by the Apocalypse game that gives you the tools (simple as they are) to make your own PbtA game for any genre. So that’s a truly generic system.

There’s also MAR Barker’s generic system for Empire of the Petal Throne, which uses “Roll 1d100. 01-10 is good. 90-100 is bad. Use common sense for the rest.” That’s the entire system.

There’s also Bob Meyer’s system he uses/used for the annual Blackmoor game. “Roll opposed 2d6. Higher roll wins. Negotiate if you’re close.” That’s the whole thing.
 

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