The RPG Rule System Preference Survey Results (a non-scientific study)
Twenty days ago I was having a conversation with friends over game complexity. The specifics of the conversation are unimportant, but the arguments were mainly whether people prefer a robust complex system with lots of options despite the complexity, or whether people would rather have a simpler system, even if that means fewer choices in mechanics, but that is easier to pick up and play. I had a feeling that while complex systems have their hardcore fans and familiarity lowers the difficulty to pick up newer versions of games even if they increase in complexity, when given the choice people choose simple over complex. So to get a feeling about the opinions of other role-players out there, I created a survey online and shared it on Facebook and Twitter to find out! Continue reading Survey Says!→
Third entry on favorites week for #RPGaDay2015! This time around it’s supers…
Day 19 – Favorite supers RPG
For the longest time my answer would be Champions. I loved the idea of being able to make whatever character you wanted! I read the books and made hundreds of characters, and could never get anyone to play. Such was my burden! But the story has a happy ending, read on…
Just like sci-fi yesterday, superhero games are a category of RPGs to which people bring varied expectations. Despite the long history of superheroes and the icons and tropes that come with them, ask two people what makes a good supers story and you’ll rarely get them to agree. Some love classic golden age heroes, where good guys are good and the bad guys worse, everybody has over the top powers and the existence of superheroes has little real effect on the real world. Others like gritty street level heroes, low powered, very realistic, and everything in between, angst ridden mutants, comedic sidekicks, alternate history, you name it!
I grew up on classic DC and Marvel, collected them for the longest time, and worked at a comic book store after High School and through College, so I’ve been close to comics all my life. Before the big two publishers in the USA I also read a lot of comics in Spanish, there were a lot of different heroes and character, such as Kaliman or Aguila Solitaria, so my tastes and sensibilities were an odd mix.
For a long time I tried to run a successful super campaign, and while there were some good runs with the Marvel FASERIP system (mostly a Daredevil solo campaign I ran for a friend) a couple of Heroes Unlimited campaigns, It wasn’t unlit recently that I ran my definitive (so far!) superhero campaign.
When I began posting on this blog I had just discoveredIcons and wrote a lot about the system, including some character write ups. I wanted to use that system, but not all my players were keen on the idea. I had participated as a player in a Mutants & Masterminds 2nd edition campaign son when DC Adventures, using the Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition rules, I set on that system and what was meant to be a seven month campaign, became an almost two year-long game. I posted about the experience here in the blog in case you want to check it out.
Mutants & Masterminds had the flexibility of character creating just like Champions did, but the system, while far from simple, was definitely easier to grasp and run than the Hero System, So Mutants & Masterminds is my current favorite supers game, with Icons a close second for shorter or lighter games. And like a pointed out in a previous post, bit games by Steve Kenson, the supers game guru!
So what’s your favorite supers game? Let us know in the comments. See you all tomorrow for my horror pick…
For quite a long time I started new campaign on a whim with an extremely short prep period. This works out well enough if you’re at the top of your game, creative, able to think on your toes. But if you are stressed from work and other things, perhaps even feeling a bit under the weather, this just doesn’t work out anymore. My friend Roberto has a different approach to GMing. He usually plans his campaigns way ahead. I think he’s already planning the campaign he wants to run in 2015. I don’t think I’ll ever plan ahead that early, but I’ve decided to change the way I prepare for my games.
At the moment I am running two games: a mini-campaign freely based on the XCOM series of computer games and a campaign based on the Fallout 1 computer game. Both games use Fudge rules, for the Fallout one I even wrote a pretty extensive conversion document. The XCOM game will probably be over two weeks time, so I am already planning for the game that will follow.
My players have asked me to run Shadowrun, so I started reading 5th Edition. Alas reading 5th Edition felt like gnawing off my own foot, so I decided to look for alternatives. At first I thought just tossing the Shadowrun rules would be best, but in the end I settled on Shadowrun 4th Edition. For some reason I find the game much more approachable. I’ll still think the same after I’ve finished reading the book.
But I will not stop there. As soon as we start playing Shadowrun I’ll think about what I could prepare next. Currently I am very interested in the Hero System. I picked up the current Bundle of Holding, and already started leafing through the various PDFs. I always wanted to run a superhero game, and Champions Complete may be the perfect game for this. If the Hero System turns out too much of a hassle after all, I still have a couple of alternatives up my sleeves. BASH Ultimate Edition looks like a more rules-lite approach to super hero gaming for example.
Do you usually plan way ahead for your games? Do you have several projects brewing at the same time, or do you prefer to focus on only one game at a time? Please share your thoughts below.
A Roleplaying Games blog
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