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Postby trigross » Thu May 24, 2018 11:56 pm

i've noticed lately that tabletop roleplaying is becoming more...mainstream i guess is the word. it seems a lot of my friends that used to make fun of me for rolling dice with my friends are now doing it a lot more. perhaps it's the popularity of game of thrones, or that wizards of the coast somehow sold dungeons and dragons 5e really well even if it sucks (imo).

anyway, i'm not salty about that, i'm glad more and more people are roleplaying. but i thought i'd make a thread about games other than d&d to show that there's a lot out there! not just fantasy, but crime, occult, horror, detective, post-apocalyptic, and more! narrativist/storytelling games are the new(ish) hot thing, as well as more rules-light versions of old d&d rules (dubbed the old-school renaissance or OSR in the rpg blogosphere) but there are rules heavy crunchy systems that i love too.

the tabletop rpg community can be pretty shitty tbh but there are some good eggs and i thought i'd make a thread about some things i like and i thought boarders might be interested in so they don't have to sift through the misogynistic, racist you name it bullshit that is a lot of the community

here's a good document that does a lot of the work for me (i didn't write it): https://docs.google.com/document/d/19EfAN7KoU7rWy-TYchf8wVkbfbkRRrv3_ZpnA7ZNljU/edit

but i have a few systems that are near and dear to my heart:

dungeon crawl classics
- http://goodman-games.com/dungeon-crawl-classics-rpg/
d&d but a lot more metal. frank frazetta style. uses goofy dice - d5, d7, d13, d30. lots of cool ideas - every time you cast a spell, depending on your roll, weird things can happen (both bad and good). magic corrupts you, dwarves can smell gold, and in the beginning everyone has 4 0-level characters that are gong farmers or various riff raff and whoever survives gets to become a 1st level character and choose your class

reign - https://gregstolze.com/reign1/
this game is all about running a "Company" - which could be a thieves guild, a merchant empire, an aristocratic family, some pirates, opium smugglers, a city, you name it. comes with a wacky setting - the two continents are shaped like a man and a woman embracing, gravity in the oceans orients towards the sea floor so when you look at the ocean from land it rises up ninety degrees forever, men can't ride horses because it makes them impotent so all cavalry are female, only one of the world's races is white (and they are like weird vampire people). the system is a lot different than d&d or a % based one, called the One Roll Engine. it's elegant and i love it.

unknown armies
- http://www.atlas-games.com/unknownarmies/
the same designer as reig, greg stolze, is a cool guy who also designed this weird game. play if you like grant morrison comics, tim powers books, or just the occult and conspiracies in general. billed as a "an occult game about broken people conspiring to fix the world”, you get to play unstable magicians that gain magical energy from their obsessions - a thief may well be a kleptomancer, a drunk a dipsomancer, a vhs obsessive a videomancer and so on. and all of these people are in an eternal occult struggle. all of the worlds conspiracies also may as well be true. a really cool game, if a bit hard to run well

heroquest/runequest/etc
- https://www.chaosium.com/glorantha-1/
runequest was one of the first non-d&d fantasy games, created by greg stafford in the 70s. he created a bronze age world called glorantha in which gods are real and the myths/beliefs of all the worlds people are concurrently true (even when they are contradictory), bronze is the bones of dead gods, and the world is a pill shape floating in the cosmic ocean. there's a lot more, it's one of my favorite settings of all time. runequest is getting a new edition soon and heroquest is a more narrative focused rules light game set in glorantha. the videogame king of dragon pass is set in glorantha, so buy that on your phone and you'll get more of an idea of the weird ass world

another weird and old school setting is tekumel / empire of the petal throne - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_of_the_Petal_Throne
a truly bizarre setting that combines aztec, ancient south asian and also sci fi. read about it if you like insane invented worlds (obviously i do)

in terms of what's hip now, the games are definitely Apocalypse World and games based on its system - called games Powered by the Apocalpyse (PbtA) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_by_the_Apocalypse

these games are all about the conversation and are basically player facing. a lot of really cool ideas in them. apocalypse world is obv set in the post apocalypse, but there are a lot of other games in other genres


Blades in the Dark
- https://www.evilhat.com/home/blades-in-the-dark/
which is nominally a PbtA game, but a little more structured. you play a gang of criminals (assassins or fences or smugglers or whatever) in a steampunk like city that's powered by the blood of demon whales.

a new one that seems great is the spire - http://rowanrookanddecard.com/spire-rpg/
Spire is a roleplaying game about desperate revolutionary dark elves caught up in a secret war against the high elves, or aelfir, who rule the towering city of Spire.


also, this game sounds fun and i always think of dragons when i read about it - ryuutama -http://kotohi.com/ryuutama/which is a japanese trpg about going on epic travels. it de- emphasizes combat it favor for having cute fantasy adventures focused on travelling. i really want to play it but my current group would never go for it

anyway that's it for now, i'll write a post about horror/investigative games and maybe some other ones tomorrow

resident hipinion trpg nerdlingers, please chime in (jeremy, merciel, svc, &c.)

this can just be the place to chat about roleplaying too
Last edited by trigross on Fri May 25, 2018 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby trigross » Fri May 25, 2018 9:00 am

bumping this for the day crew

but maybe no one really cares
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Postby G_S » Fri May 25, 2018 9:07 am

awesome post thank you

I am one of those people who used to scoff at this but now I am fully interested, although I haven't done any yet. I would say the combo of podcasts and Critical Role turned the tide for me, they just make it look so fun.

have you ever played Fiasco? it seems simple in a good way with a premise that could draw in pals of all kinds.
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Postby chandler » Fri May 25, 2018 9:09 am

i would def be interested in getting into whatever games can be played on tabletop simulator

reign looks awesome
i've been getting really into pestcest too lately. haven't really been able to find much good ant stuff, though. anybody have any links to some good biting vids/pics?
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Postby nite69 » Fri May 25, 2018 9:11 am

im curious what your issues with 5e are
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Postby iambic » Fri May 25, 2018 9:11 am

I have also never done this and would like to
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Postby bongo » Fri May 25, 2018 9:11 am

i ride hard for cave evil though i sold mine on ebay a few years ago

anyone try the warcults version? kinda wanna get it
yeaaaaaaaaaaaa american nostalgia love it suburban living civilized families this could be my life
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Postby neopolitan » Fri May 25, 2018 9:15 am

I would love to find an RPG group in Philadelphia, but it's hard to get a bunch of people in their 30s together at regular intervals for 3-4 hours at a time.

In recent years I've played a Call of Cthulhu: Delta Green campaign, and a 4th Edition Dark Sun campaign where I was a Mul Warden. I really miss the Dark Sun campaign, but the DM had twins.
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Postby Kenny » Fri May 25, 2018 9:15 am

Would love to do this
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Postby chandler » Fri May 25, 2018 9:26 am

neopolitan wrote:I would love to find an RPG group in Philadelphia, but it's hard to get a bunch of people in their 30s together at regular intervals for 3-4 hours at a time.


tangentially related, but a couple of guys from my board game/magic group were invited by the owner of philadelphia distilling to play with them at the distillery on mondays when it's closed to the public. they said it was a very chill and good time, plus you know, free booze

hoping to go next time, should be a good way to grow the network of Official Board Gamers here

edit: if you are ever interested in meeting up with us, shoot me a pm
i've been getting really into pestcest too lately. haven't really been able to find much good ant stuff, though. anybody have any links to some good biting vids/pics?
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Postby trigross » Fri May 25, 2018 9:31 am

@gs

i haven't but i've taken a cursory look at the rules and it is a very popular game

i love the idea of this game, created by the same designer -http://bullypulpitgames.com/games/night-witches/

the thing with these narrativist games is that it takes a really strong group of people that are comfortable with each other and not too self-conscious - people that like to make up stories together and are ok with being annoying theater kids together. otherwise no one really says anything and tries to play it like a boardgame or something, which its not. so a little harder for beginner roleplayers to get a grasp on
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Postby mcwop23 » Fri May 25, 2018 9:45 am

GLOOMHAVEN
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Postby trigross » Fri May 25, 2018 9:46 am

nite69 wrote:im curious what your issues with 5e are


well i came to roleplaying through the mess that 3e was and the subsequent OGL d20 explosion. i played a lot of 3e, 3.5 and pathfinder (3.75) and i had a lot of fun with them, but at this point they're showing their age and also just not interesting as systems to me anymore. 4e came out and everybody hated it, though i sort of like it if i just think of it as a mechanically tight and mathematically sound tactical boardgame.

5e promised a lot, and other than taking on terrible consults (zak s and rpgpundit, two putrid examples of the toxic culture in the industry, and mike mearls, the lead dev, refused to apologize for it), it is basically 3.5 without the feat bloat and just ever so simplified. it is written very poorly (what the fuck is a bonus action if it's not another action you can take?), it still heavily requires a stupid grid to play, combat takes forever and is boring as hell, social conflict is just more d20 rolling and i am just done with the system. also forgotten realms stoinks imo.
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Postby trigross » Fri May 25, 2018 9:48 am

i mean i play 5e with my current group because i have to

but i'm not happy about it
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Postby mcwop23 » Fri May 25, 2018 9:53 am

our rogue leaves for college this august so we have to finish our current campaign :(
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Postby trigross » Fri May 25, 2018 9:58 am

neopolitan wrote:I would love to find an RPG group in Philadelphia, but it's hard to get a bunch of people in their 30s together at regular intervals for 3-4 hours at a time.

In recent years I've played a Call of Cthulhu: Delta Green campaign, and a 4th Edition Dark Sun campaign where I was a Mul Warden. I really miss the Dark Sun campaign, but the DM had twins.


nice! did y'all use the new delta green rules? i've been meaning to pick those up

i also really want to run or play a 4e dark sun campaign, love 4e and the dark sun setting
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Postby nite69 » Fri May 25, 2018 10:03 am

forgotten realms is for sure a stoink ass setting. i just switched over to playing 5e sans grid cause i just started running a new game (been playing pathfinder/starfinder for the last few years), and i dont think it's much of an issue yet. I'm sure it'll become more of a problem as people take abilities with more nuanced movement and range, but its pretty easy to just describe something at being 10/30/100 feet away for now. idk anything about the history of the development but on a cursory google search those do seem like bad dudes.
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Postby trigross » Fri May 25, 2018 10:05 am

yeah, for me, if i want to play d&d but better i'm gonna go with 13th age

everyone should just play 13th age imo
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Postby ahungbunny » Fri May 25, 2018 10:49 am

5e is pretty easily the best iteration of d&d so far and since it's synonymous with ttrpg-ing for most of the population i think it's a pretty good system to drop into

the d20 method is, at it's core, really simple and elegant, but 3e+ turned it into an incremental nightmare that i feel 5e mostly fixes. still a buncha numbers to track but at least most of 'em are on your character sheet and almost everything else boils down to advantage/disadvantage (which is genius)

forcing players to choose a background also helps newbies get into character so i'm a fan of that addition, even if it's ripped from other systems

i really enjoy the freeform tactical combat in d&d but you have to be really good at dm-ing it to keep it interesting. if you treat it like a videogame, with non-consequential fights all the time, it becomes such a slog and totally kills whatever momentum you've built up with your players

i'd like to try other systems but my players (and probably most) play for the content of the system, not the system itself, so i don't mind sticking with 5e as long as we all want swords and sorcery and conniving aristocrats and shady merchants and thieves' guilds and shit
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Postby trigross » Fri May 25, 2018 10:59 am

the best edition of d&d is the rules cyclopedia imo

5e is just plain bad and boring imo, and i truly hate its products,especially the old d&d campaign rehashes (i had to play the ravenloft reboot which was a complete snooze and now we're playing the weird racist tomb of horrors remake)

i'm not saying don't play d&d, because i am forced to play it and have some fun despite the system and adventures because of friends and beer. there are just a lot better/more interesting games out there.

again, let me reiterate 13th age for the same familiar d20 stuff
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Postby pablito » Fri May 25, 2018 11:06 am

thanks for op, i wanna run a reigns campaign if theres interest while im in alaska all summer. it looks rad!

one of my friends in high school was a classic letterman jacket and blond crew cut jock named dave who rowed crew and got a full ride scholarship to yale on the basis of his rowing. dave was secretly a massive pen and paper nerd who was a masterful world builder and eschewed systems in favor of a simple 3d6 setup where he would just subjectively decide what would happen based on your roll. our main campaign was set in a 1940s seattle that was quarantined because of a meteorite that had been smuggled in during the war which was making everything function strangely - mainly, inanimate objects became inhabited by spirits and substances would spontaneously transmute. my character was a real-life newspaper tycoon who was a prior owner of my childhood home and was wheelchair-bound from polio, irl and in the game.

im playin a campaign right now set in a mutant boarding school in massachusetts. my character is from a tiny, more-amish-than-the-amish anabaptist community and has the ability to commune with the spirit of whatever he ingests, when its in his stomach. this allowed him to be possessed by the taoist immortal liu haichan, master of the art of neidan or internal alchemy. i wanted to make a gritty grant morrison reboot of kirby but so far im mainly just barfing on stuff because the rest of the party is combat focused.
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Postby neopolitan » Fri May 25, 2018 11:45 am

trigross wrote:
neopolitan wrote:I would love to find an RPG group in Philadelphia, but it's hard to get a bunch of people in their 30s together at regular intervals for 3-4 hours at a time.

In recent years I've played a Call of Cthulhu: Delta Green campaign, and a 4th Edition Dark Sun campaign where I was a Mul Warden. I really miss the Dark Sun campaign, but the DM had twins.


nice! did y'all use the new delta green rules? i've been meaning to pick those up

i also really want to run or play a 4e dark sun campaign, love 4e and the dark sun setting


i don't know what version of Cthulhu we played, but I agree on loving 4e. It's rule set is much more conducive for people who don't have the time to spend an entire saturday on a game.
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Postby turquoise albino » Fri May 25, 2018 12:11 pm

burning wheel

thread is literally all over the place with takes btw
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Postby trigross » Fri May 25, 2018 12:19 pm

i contain multitudes (of takes)

it could be i just hate my group, not 5e

i guess i like running rules light games and playing crunchy ones

i have a copy of burning wheel and have read it but man i have no idea how i'd run it
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Postby internetfriend » Fri May 25, 2018 12:29 pm

i’ve been wanting to try a PbtA game for a while now
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Postby internetfriend » Fri May 25, 2018 12:39 pm

i’ve thought a few times about trying to scramble some friends into playing a PbtA-based game but none of them have really done tabletop stuff before. one time i tried to get a group going in college and everyone was totally new and super enthusiastic and they flamed out instantly. i tried to walk them through character creation i didn’t realize until later that i totally should’ve just made characters and run a map with them to get them hooked

anyway now i’m just trying to find a gloomhaven copy real bad
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Postby reversemigraine » Fri May 25, 2018 12:40 pm

As with most games, I've spent a significant amount of time looking at / buying rulebooks and reading about systems but zero time playing, due mostly to having almost no social circle anymore. Kinda view it as a fun challenge since I've tended to shy away from flexing any performative muscles.

Definitely want to try my hand at Edge of the Empire and / or the WEG Star Wars 2e+. (Not sure if anyone here has played with FFG's system but it seems like people like it?) Love digging around the Remuz archive -- have been curious about Traveller. Read the Dungeon World book a while back and kinda feel like I'd rather just go with 5e. Interested in the Fate system after reading thru the Core System but haven't sight out good games that use it. If anything, I think I could talk friends and family into Microscope, since it's a little more...I dunno..thought experimenty?
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Postby ahungbunny » Fri May 25, 2018 12:40 pm

i also find the history of d&d/tsr fascinating, a small group of dedicated weirdos creating a whole new hobby on their own. love reading old modules and magazines and have a soft spot for the brand

i kinda like that they rehash old modules but i wish they'd branch out a bit. curse of strahd reads like a really good module based on my favorite d&d adventure, it's a bummer you didn't have fun with it. i'm currently adapting the village of hommlet into my current game, it's such a fully-realized little town, especially for 1979 or whatever

i tried to run the old westend games star wars rpg when i was like 18 and i think that turned me off d6 systems for life within three sessions

i think i'd be into call of cthulhu and its percentile dice system

edit: westend games, not westside, lol
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Postby ahungbunny » Fri May 25, 2018 12:44 pm

the rva local game shop employs a variety of poc, trans folks, and other non cis white dudes and is a pretty positive force in this historically toxic subculture

that said, i definitely overheard a lady describing her character followed by a nasally male voice "do you have big boobs?"

nerds are the worst
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Postby trigross » Fri May 25, 2018 12:51 pm

honestly a lot of it is my group prob ahungbunny. i've had so much fun playing systems i don't like because of a good group, a good gm and a lot of handwaving

call of cthulhu / the old brp system (basically, runequest's system, the chaosium house system) is just ok to me and is really showing its age, but the adventure/campaign modules are absolute classics - masks of nyarlathotep reads amazing.

trail of cthulhu, a new system that supports the same kind of gameplay - people in the 20s investigating lovecraftian horrors, plays a lot lighter and faster and the supplements are great - there is one where the the characters play rare book dealers dealing in ancient and evil grimoires that looks really cool.
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