I need a Rifts and Spelljammer Anonymous group

There I said it, I need a Rifts (by Palladium) and Spelljammer Anonymous group. Why? Because despite these two settings and systems being hated and joked about by almost all the RPG community – I like them both. They’re not perfect, but any experienced RPG player can knock holes in almost any highly system-centric RPG.

(aside – somebody needs to be taken to task for how cliche the RIFTS Australia World book is. Seriously, it’s almost a crime. Even in 1990 we knew far better than this tripe)

Like many I’ve bashed Rifts and Spelljammer for the sake of a laugh, and sometimes more seriously as examples of what didn’t seem to work well in game. However the more I think about these games the more I think that the settings had huge potential. It appears that it was the mechanics and the players ourselves who didn’t realise what me might have had.

Over on Star Gazers’ World is a post about RIFTS which I think is worth a read. Sunglar’s talking about character he loved and experienced in the setting, and it is an entertaining read for a long-in-the-tooth gamer like me. I commented:

I loved RIFTS. The setting has a huge potential to tell very deep and evocative stories, and while the mechanics in the RAW are questionable, I don’t think they are any worse than may other systems. It is a product of the thinking at the time about game systems. If it was written now I think the political setting wouldn’t change too much, but the mechanics would be far more graceful.

So there it is. The basics of a brief writing challenge, or at the very least the thoughts in this blog post. Firstly the game still needs a compelling story beyond “this is cool”, as the cool of both SJ and Rifts gets tarnished very quickly when the players get into the world and events start going sideways. Using pre-written games is a great idea for starting players. Continue reading

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Keep only 10 RPG books

Distractingly good blog questions: If you could only keep ten of your printed RPG books, which would you pick? Well darn it, that is hard.

Not so much picking 10 systems, that is easy. But 10 books is hard. Consider too that I’d also say none, as I am getting happier every season with using digital versions of RPG books.

I feel like the guys in the film High Fidelity – top 10 songs to ……

  1. Ars 5e core book.
  2. DeathWatch core book.
  3. An ArM5e source book, but I cannot choose which as yet. Probably the Bestiary.
  4. Ars 4e Grimoire, as it contains a stack of stuff that was great for its time, but failing that then probably the Ars 4e core book.
  5. DnD 4e DMG. To be frank I think I’ll be able to buy a copy of any edition cheaply, so keeping a 3.x or any of the expansion books is probably a waste.
  6. DnD 4e PHB.
  7. Shadowrun core book. I have an edition from the late 90s and am keeping it for the flavour.
  8. Cthulhu core rules.
  9. GURPS core rules (I don’t care what edition).
  10. Rifts core rules. Many folks hate Rifts, and in some part I understand that the system is a bit janky. That said it contains as much lore and fluff to make 10 great games in every book.

Vampire core rules almost made it except it would have been only because of the fun history, not the actual value of the system. Heroes Unlimited is darn good too, but there are many hero systems out there that can compete. I have an old Earthdawn copy somewhere, and a copy of Rus too – both read but never played.

via Untimately: Only Ten.