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Author Topic: Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?  (Read 574 times)

GeekyBugle

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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« on: June 23, 2020, 05:36:41 PM »
Just what the tin says, which is your favorite Gonzo RPG and why?

Sell us into it.
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Itachi

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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2020, 06:08:46 PM »
I'm not much into the genre, but Troika looks good. It's OSR inspired and apparently drinks from Weird fantasy too.

https://www.troikarpg.com/

Spinachcat

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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2020, 06:16:17 PM »
GAMMA WORLD - especially 1e. It's Jim Ward's post-apoc masterpiece, definitely deeply inspired by his Metamorphosis Alpha work. In many ways GW is MA on Earth. I can't accurately describe how much I've been inspired by this game throughout the decades. It's so concise, so complete and so rocking with creativity that I've rarely seen anything come close. Yes, you can emphasize the gonzo into the realm of silly if you wish, or you can go grimdark post-apoc as well.

D&D4e had a version of GW that's quite good. Yes, the collectible cards and the silly bits are dumb and should be ignored. Yes, the GM needs to reign in chargen if you want a more serious game. But that said, its far and away the best iteration of the 4e ruleset and works great (and quite deadly) as a skirmish RPG / boardgame hybrid. I highly recommend it anyone who enjoyed 4e (hello lurkers!).


MUTANT FUTURE is the retroclone of Gamma World. It's build on Labyrinth Lord and I haven't run it RAW, but I've stolen bits and pieces because there's lots of good ideas within. Here's the free no-art download.  
http://goblinoidgames.com/index.php/downloads/


WASTE WORLD was GW author Bill King's version of 40k+Gamma World hybrid (with Dune sprinkles!). Sadly, its out of print, but I can heartily recommend it based on multiple campaigns and numerous one shots of actual play. Chargen is point-buy and mechanically sound so its hard to make a bad character or an overpowered one. Moreover, the factions and archetypes in the setting are described broadly, swiftly and excellently so its easy to pick chargen options. Copies are regularly on eBay for $20. Worth every dime. I'm happy to answer more questions about WW if anyone wants to know shiznack.

Here's a RPG.net review from 2008.
https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/13/13937.phtml

GeekyBugle

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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2020, 06:25:19 PM »
Quote from: Itachi;1135892
I'm not much into the genre, but Troika looks good. It's OSR inspired and apparently drinks from Weird fantasy too.

https://www.troikarpg.com/

Thanks, will try and find some reviews before thinking of forking money.
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GeekyBugle

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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2020, 06:26:54 PM »
Quote from: Spinachcat;1135895
GAMMA WORLD - especially 1e. It's Jim Ward's post-apoc masterpiece, definitely deeply inspired by his Metamorphosis Alpha work. In many ways GW is MA on Earth. I can't accurately describe how much I've been inspired by this game throughout the decades. It's so concise, so complete and so rocking with creativity that I've rarely seen anything come close. Yes, you can emphasize the gonzo into the realm of silly if you wish, or you can go grimdark post-apoc as well.

D&D4e had a version of GW that's quite good. Yes, the collectible cards and the silly bits are dumb and should be ignored. Yes, the GM needs to reign in chargen if you want a more serious game. But that said, its far and away the best iteration of the 4e ruleset and works great (and quite deadly) as a skirmish RPG / boardgame hybrid. I highly recommend it anyone who enjoyed 4e (hello lurkers!).


MUTANT FUTURE is the retroclone of Gamma World. It's build on Labyrinth Lord and I haven't run it RAW, but I've stolen bits and pieces because there's lots of good ideas within. Here's the free no-art download.  
http://goblinoidgames.com/index.php/downloads/


WASTE WORLD was GW author Bill King's version of 40k+Gamma World hybrid (with Dune sprinkles!). Sadly, its out of print, but I can heartily recommend it based on multiple campaigns and numerous one shots of actual play. Chargen is point-buy and mechanically sound so its hard to make a bad character or an overpowered one. Moreover, the factions and archetypes in the setting are described broadly, swiftly and excellently so its easy to pick chargen options. Copies are regularly on eBay for $20. Worth every dime. I'm happy to answer more questions about WW if anyone wants to know shiznack.

Here's a RPG.net review from 2008.
https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/13/13937.phtml

Thanks for the recommendations and links! Downloading the free no art version of MF right now.

Will try and save to buy the other two and maybe even MF if I like it.
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SavageSchemer

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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 06:31:56 PM »
Quote from: GeekyBugle;1135899
Thanks for the recommendations and links! Downloading the free no art version of MF right now.

Will try and save to buy the other two and maybe even MF if I like it.

Troika may be one of the best games ever - I've certainly heard a number of really good reviews for it - but that art style make it an instant "fuck no" for me. I've seen a lot of art-as-game books with that style of late, and I really react negatively to it. It just ain't for me.
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GeekyBugle

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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2020, 06:50:51 PM »
Quote from: SavageSchemer;1135900
Troika may be one of the best games ever - I've certainly heard a number of really good reviews for it - but that art style make it an instant "fuck no" for me. I've seen a lot of art-as-game books with that style of late, and I really react negatively to it. It just ain't for me.

Well the book goes for 18 bucks at DTRPG, found an art free version for free, the first one has 116 pages, while the second one has only 56... So that's about 50 pages of art plus the index and covers? WTF?
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Trinculoisdead

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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2020, 02:22:38 AM »
A lot of that art is because the game has 36 classes, and each of them has a piece of art with it. The art is of a kind of cubist/surrealist/art nouveau. I kind of like it, for being different. The classes are good though, the Monkeymonger is the best one (equipment: Monkey Club, Butcher's Knife, 1d6 small monkeys that do not heed commands but are too scared to travel far from you, a pocket full of monkey treats).

I don't know that I'm much of a fan of the setting either. If it were fantasy based instead of weird-sci-fi I'd be more down, but again I have to admire it for being something different.

Also, the layout in the free pdf may be more crammed together than the book, which has very little on each page.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 02:28:55 AM by Trinculoisdead »

S'mon

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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2020, 03:37:58 AM »
I generally go by setting so most of my gonzo games have been Wilderlands using DnD - 1e and 5e both good. Eg I ran Venger's Liberation of the Demon Slayer in 5e.

Otherwise Mutant Future. PARANOIA back in the 80s.
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Zalman

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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2020, 08:39:35 AM »
Quote from: SavageSchemer;1135900
Troika may be one of the best games ever - I've certainly heard a number of really good reviews for it - but that art style make it an instant "fuck no" for me. I've seen a lot of art-as-game books with that style of late, and I really react negatively to it. It just ain't for me.

Never heard of Troika so I went to their website ... where the layout is as awkward as the art. I don't actually think it's bad, but hard to look at. Physically.
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Gonzo RPGs Which is your favorite?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2020, 09:30:06 AM »
I've always wanted to give TORG a try.

Itachi

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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2020, 12:24:20 PM »
Quote from: Trinculoisdead;1135964
A lot of that art is because the game has 36 classes, and each of them has a piece of art with it. The art is of a kind of cubist/surrealist/art nouveau. I kind of like it, for being different. The classes are good though, the Monkeymonger is the best one (equipment: Monkey Club, Butcher's Knife, 1d6 small monkeys that do not heed commands but are too scared to travel far from you, a pocket full of monkey treats).

I don't know that I'm much of a fan of the setting either. If it were fantasy based instead of weird-sci-fi I'd be more down, but again I have to admire it for being something different.

Also, the layout in the free pdf may be more crammed together than the book, which has very little on each page.
The art was actually a selling point for me. This surrealism/art nouveau you speak of reminds me of Adventure Time and other animated shows I watch with my son. And the bits I've read of the setting (which is told through the items, Dark Souls -style) reminds me of Planescape/Manual of the planes, a multidimension kind of world full of outlandish stuff, which is something I grok.

But I understand it may be divisive, as those inspirations are far from conventional.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 12:26:45 PM by Itachi »

Thornhammer

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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2020, 01:05:00 PM »
Ultraviolet Grasslands really pushed the right buttons for me, and not quite as deep into the weeds of Apeshit Island as Troika.

Well, maybe it is, just in a different part of the weeds that I found more appealing.

Itachi

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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2020, 01:28:36 PM »
Oh yeah, UVG is very cool too I agree. I don't know if it's really gonzo though?

RandyB

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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2020, 01:53:44 PM »
1e AD&D, with the Boot Hill and Gamma World/Metamorphosis Alpha conversions in play by default.