10 rpgs you’ve heard of…ahem!

GeekoSystem has a post which claims to show 10 RPGs You’ve Never Heard Of. I call rubbish – in the list is Paranoia, RuneQuest, StarWars, Tunnells & Trolls, and yes some others that I’d not encountered. Sheesh, in that list are some old good game which were very popular a while ago, but hardly not heard of. Now to the author’s credit he did say the readers would have heard of some, and not to freak out; but it felt like a list with very prominent titles on it.

Paranoia has had many additions, and I’d say more people have played RuneQuest than the recent version of Warhammer Fantasy (which tanked). GeekoSystem also included Pokemon RPG list; double sheesh. Yep I’ll give you that, but its bloody pokemon. Create a RPG based upon Barbie Pony Ride Adventure in Happy Land! and it won’t be well known in the RPG community either, or perhaps it will as a joke but the sales won’t be there. The typical RPG player is looking for escapism and entertainment, with a health slash of violence and as much cool as possible. It’s why we saw Vampire pick-up so much ground many years ago. And as a stereotype gamers are not dumb, and are often poor – so will be conservative in purchases.

Now Don’t Rest Your Head is spot on in terms of indie RPG however, and I’m glad to discover USR by reading the article. Consider too that some RPGs remain niche markets, like Ars Magica which I banter on about a lot, and it probably has less players than Pokemon.

How about these as RPGs I doubt you’ve heard of:

  • Hunter Planet (an aussie game, and I played with the creator at NWA)
  • My Life With Master
  • Mush
  • PieceMeal
  • RunePunk
  • Rus

All hail friend-computer. Destroy all commie mutant traitor scum. Are you happy citizen?

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An aside about the DnD edition rants and wars

Aside

The ruleset has always been trivial when compared to the influence the playstyle the team brings to the table has on gameplay. A bunch of tabletop war-gamers could railroad 1st ed just as well as a bunch of roleplayers could chatter happily in 4th ed.

I made this comment on an article over at GeekoSystem about getting into the dnd playtest. Its not that I don’t respect the debate, or even that the ruleset affects the players – I just feel that getting hung up on the mechanic resolutions is a detractor to why I roleplay. I ply rpgs for entertainment, and that entertainment is based around acting in character; the mechanics are secondary. Continue reading

Sharing SOPA Rant

I’ve made a rant about the anti-piracy bills in the USA and the SOPA movement. Its important enough that I want it shared here too so it reaches a different readership.

What to do if SOPA Passes

Now returning you to some more rants about RPGs.

Another trpbtntwas Perspective

The guff-guff TRPBTNTWAs means “Things Role Playing Bloggers Tend Not To Write About” as coined on the Monsters and Manuals blog, and later at Jeff’s Game blog. It is a list of topics to make comment on, and I like a quick rant – so here goes:

  1. Book binding. I’d prefer my source material to be smaller if it is modules or inserts, but otherwise like a good solid hardcover book for almost everything. I paid a long while ago to get a copy Ars Magica hard cover bound, and I’m sure it still looks darn good on the shelf.
  2. “Doing a voice”. How many people “do voices”? Players and GMs should do voices when they can, and it has to suit the troupe. I like it, but also can understand why it cam make people look silly. Talking in the third person is my pet hate for “characterisation”.
  3. Breaks. How often do you have breaks within sessions? As needed, hopefully not at all. We play every fornight at the moment and it takes too long to get rolling sometimes as it is without formal breaks.
  4. Description. Exactly how florid are your descriptions? Mine? Poor, very direct, and focused on the scenario. I must do better at this.
  5. Where do you strike the balance between “doing what your character would do” and “acting like a dickhead”? I think the balance is to use the reasonable person test. Would a reasonable person accept that as a valid action? If your actions are making somebody uncomfortable, you should tone it back. If you are being rude, then do it only a few times, or find another way.
  6. PC-on-PC violence. Do your players tend to avoid it, or do you ban it? Or does anything go? Strictly speaking anything goes, but I’d be disappointed if the characters were generated so this could happen frequently. I guess that means I don’t like it.
  7. How do you explain what a role playing game is to a stranger who is also a non-player? It is like theater sports, like acting. We play make-believe.
  8. Alchohol at the table? Sure, no problem. Drunk? Hopefully not.
  9. What’s acceptable to do to a PC whose player is absent from the session? Is whatever happens their fault for not being there, or are there some limits? They miss out on XP and progression, they miss the game too which is really missing out on the fun. Overall they should not be penalised greatly at all, and hopefully the other players are not penalised for them missing either.