Hello and welcome to the last Saturday post for #RPGaDay2017. We’re almost done. This month has flown by far too fast! Just like yesterday, I Was unsure about what to write today. Once I figured it out, the rest flowed easily. What is the topic for today you ask? Here you go:
August 26: Which RPG provides the most useful resources?
Dear reader, a reminder just in case this is the first time you read one of my posts. I’m usually the GM when I run games. Currently as part of Desde la Fosa I’m getting the chance to be a player more, but when I think about which game has the best resources, it’s usually from a GMs perspective. That being said…
In the digital age, it is easy to find resources for most games! From character sheets, to cheat sheets, apps and supplements, there is usually something out there to help your game. From GM screens, to adventures, RPGs have always been all about the resources. So, when I sat down to think about which RPG has the MOST useful resources, I came up with a few answers.
First, I thought about Savage Worlds. The game is easy to play, lots of modular pieces you can pick and choose from right there in the core rules! The genre companions have many more tools, and you can really personalize the game to your needs and likes.
A testimony to this is the sheer amount of fan created, i.e. Savaged, content available online. Go ahead, search online, there’s is a good chance somebody made it or has some ide on how to do it. The online Savage Worlds community is very accessible and helpful, and there are great resources out there. For example, look at this tool page. Really useful!
If you notice I make a lot of reference to technology, because that is an essential component for me when running a game, even though I run face to face games and not online! That’s a preview of tomorrows answer right there. So, when I think about technology, I obviously must talk about D&D Beyond.
The recently unveiled tool for D&D 5e is a suite of online resources to enhance your game. Despite some reservations I’m an early adopter, which roughly translates into I spent money to get access to the content. I have some reservations about the pricing model, and despite having the Master Tier where my players can have access to the content I purchased, only one of the seven players in my D&D group has even created an account!
While D&D Beyond deserves an in-depth review on its own right, let me very quickly say that despite any misgivings, GMing with full access to the content is a breeze. My game prep was easily cut down by two quarters, and making characters and NPCs is incredibly easy. If you use 3rd party content or material from Arcana Unearthed you do have to go outside the tool set, but still I am very happy with my purchase of the service.
So, does this mean D&D is the RPG with the best resources? Not quite! I’m going back to an old friend for this, Pathfinder.
I’m not currently playing Pathfinder, and don’t think I’ll be doing so anytime soon. The sheer amount of content and ensuing rules bloat have really turned me off from running it right now. I’m looking for mid complexity, but easier to run game, and D&D 5e is fulling that niche right now. I’m not as turned off from Starfinder as Michael is, so I’m still planning on giving it a try.
But, say what you may about Pathfinder, it certainly has lots of resources and support available for it. First and foremost, the Pathfinder Reference Document. The OGL rules for the game are available online not just for the main book but their major publications as well. It is a great resource for the GM that uses technology to run their game. The equally great D20PSRD adds third party content to the same rules! That right there makes running Pathfinder a breeze.
You may say, but Roberto, it is a chore to run Pathfinder! I’ll grant you that the current voluminous number of rules, feats, characters, is a burden on the GM, the good folk at Paizo do everything they can to lessen the burden. From the many of Bestiaries to give you new creatures and monsters for your games, to the NPC and Monster Codex that make it easier to have fully stated antagonists without having to make them yourself.
There are cards, form NPCs, to conditions, chase cards. They try to make the game fun and manageable. There is solid support to the game, both from Paizo and 3rd party publishers. I have not used all the other digital tools, but at least Hero Lab’s digital tools or Pathfinder are top notch. Add to that Flip Mats, Map Packs and Pawns that are usable with ANY game!
Pathfinder may or may not be your cup of tea, but in terms of resources, there is no beating this game!
In your estimation, which RPG provides the most useful resources? Let us know in the comments below, or tag us in social media, to know your answer.
The companion to this series of posts are our vide responses to the questions of #RPGaDay2017 over at the Desde la Fosa YouTube channel. Me and the team at Desde la Fosa are recording our answers in Spanish. If you speak the language we appreciate the views, if you don’t, we are thankful for any shares.
You mentioned Pathfinder cards. Do you like packs of cards as gaming tools? I really like the idea but have never got to use them as I am in a minority of one amongst my gaming community.
In this case the cards are specially printed cards, the same size or perhaps a little smaller, than regular cards, but they have different purposes. From images to represent NPCs, to rules or conditions (wounded, fatigued, and things like that). They are pretty handy.
I have an on going pet project to make a simplified diceless version of Rolemaster based upon cards. The intention is to target ever younger new players. A sort of Rolemaster Kids.
That sounds interesting… Rolemaster uses % dice correct?
Basically yes. Many rolls are open ended so if you roll 96+ you can roll again adding the total to the original. If you get another 96+ then you keep going. The same sort of thing happens if you roll 1-5 you roll again and take the result away. If the second roll was then 96+ you roll again and keep going down. These open ended rolls are for skill rolls and attack rolls so you can by chance get an attack roll going up to several hundred in total. The excitement of getting an open ended attack is like getting a natural 20 but better!
The other thing is that your attack roll decides how much damage your attack does to a great extent so bigger attack rolls do more damage.
I want to make a diceless version where the dice roll is built into the cards.
Rolemaster is renowned for its multitude of tables as well but I want to chop up the tables so each card only has the bit of the table you need for that particular action and for that dice roll.