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Author Topic: Little known games in your collections.  (Read 1515 times)

tenbones

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2022, 11:47:10 AM »
Gangbusters, Spirit of the Century, Talislanta, Blood of Heroes, Everquest, Arcanum, Fantasy Craft, are probably the only weird things.

But they're not *that* weird to anyone that's been in the hobby longer than ten years. I've gotten rid of most of the silly shit like FATE, and most non-referential DnD 3e/4e stuff.

rkhigdon

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2022, 12:51:05 PM »
I guess I'm thinking about this in such a way that I'm only going to bring up an obscure game only if I feel it has something unique it brings to the table (whether that uniqueness is overlooked by the gaming public, or whether the game itself doesn't fully embrace the interesting ideas contained within).

My first thought is Chronicles of Ramlar from White Silver Publishing.  It's a bit of an overdone fantasy RPG from the mid-2000's with Elmore art and a hodgepodge of systems that plays relatively well, but ultimately was probably a bit too generic in it's setting and divergent in it's presentation/systems to get any real share of the market.  However it did  have a couple of really interesting systems, chief among them was the Demeanor/Theme system that drove character advancement and skill/ability progression, as well as give bonuses to actions that were in line with the characters goals (which were selected/developed by the player).  It was driven by five(?) wheels on the character sheet, one for game participation and 4 more where the player could annotate certain goals or paths they were interested in pursuing.  When the participation track was filled the character leveled, and when the other wheels filled the character would advance his goals and gain any requisite abilities.  In addition, if you were performing actions that directly related to advancing on one of the wheels you could gain bonuses to success.  All in all I thought it was a pretty brilliant system and I'm surprised I haven't seen something similar in more games.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2022, 02:14:22 PM by rkhigdon »

weirdguy564

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2022, 01:10:41 PM »
Warbirds, a dieselpunk game of biplanes and air pirates set in the Caribbean islands that were translocated to an alien gas planet and float in the air in an ocean sized circle.  AKA, there is no water or ground, just noxious gases below that we refine into aviation fuel.  Sort of like Indiana Jones mixed with Crimson Skies set in the floating mountains of Avatar.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/115960

It’s also odd in the whole system is a 1D6 based game.  Roll attribute + skill + 1D6.  Beat a target number set by the GM.  There are only three attributes that go from -3 to +3, and skills are 0-6 in size. 

It also has a dieselpunk space fighter game, and historically accurate WW-2 propeller plane, and Cold War Jets expansion books. 



« Last Edit: November 15, 2022, 02:34:44 AM by weirdguy564 »
Saying D&D is the best RPG is like saying Bud Lite is the best beer.  Maybe we shouldn't equate "popular" with "good"?

blackstone

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2022, 03:18:43 PM »
Fringeworthy by Tri-Tac Systems
Tales From the Floating Vagabond by Avalon Hill (I think)

Thornhammer

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2022, 03:36:53 PM »
Warbirds, a dieselpunk game of biplanes and air pirates set in the Caribbean islands that were translocated to an alien gas planet and float around in an ocean sized circle.  AKA, there is no water or ground, just noxious gases below that we refine into aviation fuel.  Sort of like Indiana Jones mixed with Crimson Skies set in the floating mountains of Avatar.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/115960

You had me at air pirates.

Damn, do I miss Crimson Skies.

weirdguy564

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2022, 02:59:26 AM »
Pocket Fantasy. 

First, it’s free.

Can you reduce D&D down to just using a 1D6 and fit it all onto just two double sided pages?  Yes, you can.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/m/product/189191

I’ve played it and it works fine.  It does have a couple of unique features. 

1.  Combat is opposed rolls, but it is for damage vs damage blocked.  This game skips the to-hit roll as it’s unnecessary.  If I roll 1D6 and get a 4, but the baddy rolls 1D6-1 and gets a 6, modified to a 5, the result is no damage done.  Maybe I missed, maybe he dodged, or used his shield to parry, who knows. 

2.  Re-rolls are what separate the vets from the newbs.  There are no levels. 

3.  Free Form magic.  In combat the game has six known spells, and a wizard can cast magic twice per fight.  However, out of combat the wizard can cast magic twice per session, but there is no spell list.  You just describe what you want, the GM approves it or not, sets a target number of 2-6, and you try to do the spell.  It’s left open ended. 

« Last Edit: November 16, 2022, 08:03:56 AM by weirdguy564 »
Saying D&D is the best RPG is like saying Bud Lite is the best beer.  Maybe we shouldn't equate "popular" with "good"?

Redshirt451

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2022, 01:58:49 PM »
Gangbusers 3rd edition.

Love the setting, hate the system.

Luckily a B/X version of Gangbusters was released and the system is better.  Haven't had a chance to run it but soon hopefully.

I ran a game of B/X Gangbusters with a couple friends for about a year and we had a blast with it. Definitely an excellent choice.

I also have a free OSR game called White Lies that I've been meaning to play. It's supposed to be an OSR take on espionage, ala Spycraft. Looks pretty neat, but can't say for sure if it's any good.

Marchand

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2022, 07:54:31 AM »
EABA attracts little comment, although not sure if it counts as "unknown". It's by Greg Porter.

Never got the chance to play but I found the basic design appealing and it seems solid. Everything works off d6s, with 3 of anything equalling a die. So if I have a Strength of 7, that's 2D+1. If I remember correctly the most you can score is 3D+2, so if you have more dice than that, you pick highest 3.

The core of it is a universal table that maps distances, weights and various other qualities to the same scale. So if I want to throw a 10kg weight 10 metres, I can read the difficulty number straight off the table. Likewise if I want to read a book of X pages in X hours. I only messed around with it by myself for a short while (no extensive playtest) but it seemed to give good enough results.

Some of the settings were interesting, with a tendency to the post-apocalyptic. I remember a cool character creation app for the steampunk setting.

It was point-build with ads/disads, which always puts me off a bit.

Not sure why it never gained more traction, although generic systems often seem to struggle, unless they have a long pedigree.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2022, 07:56:27 AM by Marchand »
"If the English surrender, it'll be a long war!"
- Scottish soldier on the beach at Dunkirk

"Sorry, we don't have the facility to take you all prisoner."
Lt-Col John "Johnny" Frost, responding to German offer to discuss surrender terms, Arnhem, Sept 1944

rkhigdon

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2022, 09:54:32 AM »
I really like EABA.  I was less enthralled with the 2nd Edition.  While the idea of the expanding combat scale seems nifty enough (where each round in combat is twice as long as the one before it) in practice it just seemed to break everybody's brain so we didn't stick with it more than a couple sessions.

GhostNinja

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2022, 11:57:10 AM »

I ran a game of B/X Gangbusters with a couple friends for about a year and we had a blast with it. Definitely an excellent choice.

Thats great.  I think when they originally designed Gangbusters they had a great idea, but no one who knew anything about game design.  I ran a GB 3e game for awhile and everything seems random and just thrown into the game because they feel the game should have it.

I have the .pdf version and I am going to get the print issue.  The guy who wrote the B/X version talked about doing a box set which would be great.
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Marchand

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2022, 02:17:49 PM »
I really like EABA.  I was less enthralled with the 2nd Edition.  While the idea of the expanding combat scale seems nifty enough (where each round in combat is twice as long as the one before it) in practice it just seemed to break everybody's brain so we didn't stick with it more than a couple sessions.

I also have 2nd edition but haven't done more than read through. I remember the doubling combat rounds - I think it was trying to give a game-mechanic base for a cinematic development of the type of action that was happening, from blow-by-blow on up to more extended and elaborate effects. It was a nice idea but I could imagine it falling to bits in play.

Here's a couple more:

StarCluster from Clash Bowley - now up to 4E I think, but I only have 2E and 3E. 2E was a pretty confusing percentile system and 3E had a bunch of different dice resolution mechanics that you could plug in, depending if you wanted a swingier mechanic or preferred dice pools or whatever. The rules would say such and such item or trait gives you "an advantage" which would mean something different depending which mechanic you were using.

Anyway the best thing about it was the default setting. Humans on generation ships fleeing the destruction of Earth arrive in a Starcluster already peopled by a bunch of aliens and by three humanoid species that I think were descendants of primates lifted off Earth by ancient aliens (I might be misremembering). Some of the Earth humans get together with the three indigenous humanoid species in a mostly-nice-but-don't-mess-with-us federation while some other humans split off into a more species-phobic coalition. The Thieves' Guild were a third faction which was barmy for a space opera setting, but I could just about live with it. I remember not much liking the aliens though - some of them were Dr Moreau style mashups of Earth animals. SC2 had a detailed starmap whereas SC3 had a roll-your-own-setting guide that worked like SWN traits.

Normal Traveller style space opera hijinks can ensue although the feel I got off the books was more Iain Banks than Dumarest.

Nebuleon by Hinterwelt - another SF space opera offering. I barely remember the system mashing up D20, Rolemaster and BRP into an unholy mess that I would not touch with a 10' pole. But again I really liked the setting. There were multiple alien species. Humans were the galactic underclass with no known homeworld, which is both a nice twist versus most settings, and puts the PCs on the back foot from the off (assuming they are human). A previous empire had collapsed after the ruling species was decimated by a plague, although they were still around and quite powerful, and in a somewhat adversarial relationship with the new boss empire. The aliens were cool - there was a race of pharmaceutically inclined tree sloths, and a theocratic species that delegated alien contact to a sort of unclean caste. The new empire were a bit less original, big-cat aristocratic warriors. The old empire were mostly too scared of plagues to leave their world so hired aliens to serve in a kind of foreign legion, which makes for a nice campaign premise. I started a campaign with the setting in BRP using various monster stats reskinned for the aliens, but sadly it didn't last. I would love to see a new version using a current system like Traveller, SWN or Mythras.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2022, 02:19:32 PM by Marchand »
"If the English surrender, it'll be a long war!"
- Scottish soldier on the beach at Dunkirk

"Sorry, we don't have the facility to take you all prisoner."
Lt-Col John "Johnny" Frost, responding to German offer to discuss surrender terms, Arnhem, Sept 1944

Lurkndog

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2022, 05:35:36 PM »
Teenagers From Outer Space: From R. Talsorian. Anime-style roleplaying game in the vein of Tenchi Muyo, etc. Rules are really simple, fun, and evocative of the setting. I dislike the setting, but could easily make it for an early Dragonball or Earthbound type setting if I wanted. More of a "beer and pretzels" type game. Nothing was done much with it past 1998... except, there's a free supplement on DrivethruRPG that appeared a few months ago. A supplement about a fishing competition. What's with all the fishing competitions lately? (See RPG Pundit's new video on Dragonlance for reference)

This was a neat game that really opened my eyes to the power of simplicity in game design.

There were a couple supplements for TFOS, as well as an attempt to relaunch it with some kind of new setting that I remember not liking. I have all of them, but they are in storage.

Lurkndog

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2022, 05:37:41 PM »
Ringworld, the RPG.

This was one I never got to play. It went out of print really fast, and then the collector value shot way up.

Lurkndog

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2022, 05:43:35 PM »
People talk a lot about Star Wars D6, and the Ghostbusters RPG, but I never hear people talking about Men In Black: The Roleplaying Game. This was a D6 game put out by WEG in the late 1990s.

I have the main rulebook and one of the supplements. Never played it, though.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2022, 05:46:37 PM by Lurkndog »

weirdguy564

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Re: Little known games in your collections.
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2022, 06:07:54 PM »
People talk a lot about Star Wars D6, and the Ghostbusters RPG, but I never hear people talking about Men In Black: The Roleplaying Game. This was a D6 game put out by WEG in the late 1990s.

I have the main rulebook and one of the supplements. Never played it, though.

I’ll admit I didn’t know about Men in Black. 

My D6 game of choice is the free Mini-Six Bare Bones.  I like it’s simplicity for static defense style of combat, only needing 4 instead of 6 stats, and making hero points less powerful while simultaneously giving them more uses.

Combined with the optional rules for more cinematic melee combat called Dueling Blades from Griffon Publishing (note: it relies heavy on movement) and I can honestly say it changed how I think and play the D6 set of rules. 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2022, 06:29:29 PM by weirdguy564 »
Saying D&D is the best RPG is like saying Bud Lite is the best beer.  Maybe we shouldn't equate "popular" with "good"?