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Author Topic: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?  (Read 2167 times)

tenbones

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2022, 03:49:33 PM »
Keep the answers coming - because I will definitely have some follow-up questions.


Edit: There is a very interesting Venn Diagram emerging here.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 03:51:34 PM by tenbones »

Dropbear

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2022, 04:24:18 PM »
At first glance I wanted to say setting. But I then I thought about the settings I have given up on.

I bought everything I could for the Modiphius Conan game because the company made a promise to remain true to the source materials in the beginning. I loved almost all everything about the game until I tried to play it. All the metacurrencies and the dice mechanics completely killed it for me. And killed my interest in trying out any other 2d20 games completely.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 04:26:04 PM by Dropbear »

VisionStorm

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2022, 04:27:03 PM »
The setting needs to get my attention first and I've bought plenty of games for the setting material alone.  Some of them despite the mechanics attached.  I don't think I've ever said "Well the setting here sucks, but those mechanics... woo baby! Come to daddy!" ;D

I've actually bought games for either reason. Sometimes a game has mechanics I want to dissect for homebrewing, and I'll get it for research purposes, even if I know I'll never play it as is. Champions comes to mind. I also bought all the early White Wolf game core books just for the setting concepts (though, I didn't exactly hate the system, but never got around playing them).

Mishihari

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2022, 04:44:01 PM »
Mechanics, but, as they say, it's complicated.  I want mechanics that support the genre conceits, which one could probably call setting.  To be clear, that's only one thing I want out of the rules.

And I will have to admit there are books I've bought just to read (not play) because I enjoy the setting, frex Shadowrun and Blue Planet.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 05:25:10 PM by Mishihari »

Teodrik

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2022, 05:03:48 PM »
I mainly value the setting. Ideally I want the rules to emulate the genre and I want it rules light at the same time. In practice I mostly run a setting with another system than the official/latest. I do think that rules matter for the setting, but I also hate learning new complex systems. And most people I play with don't  care what system I run for which setting.


Ruprecht

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2022, 05:13:16 PM »
Both.
I played RuneQuest 2 because of the Mechanics but didn't particularly like Glorantha.
I loved Harn as a setting but not Harnmaster.
RuneQuest homebrew on Harn was a nice mix.
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Hzilong

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2022, 05:57:23 PM »
Usually mechanics. I usually handle setting on my own.
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S'mon

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2022, 06:20:06 PM »
Setting, I guess. I'll buy games for the setting and ignore the mechanics.

Eirikrautha

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2022, 06:57:35 PM »
Setting might get me to buy, but mechanics determine whether I'll end up playing it.  Bad mechanics can destroy an interesting setting in a heartbeat (f'ing Torg...).
« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 08:32:44 PM by Eirikrautha »

Shasarak

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2022, 07:08:06 PM »
Setting gets my attention initially, but mechanics are the decider for me. I've walked away from cool settings that have crap mechanics (like Polaris) and I've flatly dropped a cyberpunk game when the GM decided two weeks in that he was going to switch from CPR to GURPS.

This.

Settings /game play concepts get my attention, but if the mechanics look naff, I walk.

This is why although I love the setting conceits; I don't own the new Conan game.

Nor will I buy the One Ring 2e. And it just doesn't matter what the new people do with the Star Wars RPG if it keeps using funky dice.

I agree.  Setting is the main draw card and on the other hand it does not mater how good your setting is if you want me to try and make sense out of rolling a triangle.
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Pat

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2022, 07:14:57 PM »
Setting isn't that important. I tend to make my own.

Chris24601

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2022, 07:40:01 PM »
I agree with those who say Setting is the initial draw (more accurately, how the Art depicts the Setting), but Mechanics determine how much I’ll invest in it or if I’ll ever play it.

I haven’t built custom systems for practically everything I run for no reason. Usually it’s because I find their mechanics garbage (ex. every attempt at a Battletech RPG ever*), but love the setting enough to build a custom ruleset for it. Other than WEG Star Wars and Mutants & Masterminds (and I houserule the damage mechanics on it) I’ve not met a system I haven’t basically built my own game engine for. I houseruled 4E so hard I’ve got two 360 page books written as my own vision.

* Their latest attempt; Mechwarrior - Destiny; is leagues better than any previous attempt (though still falls down on their streamlined Mech combat) and once you run their jargon through a translator it actually a pretty conventional opposed 2d6+mods system. A specific example of the jargon… “your narration” is literally just jargon for “your turn” right down to such awkward phrases as “take your narration.” Its so consistent that I’m pretty sure some marketing mook just ran a word replacer macro on someone’s conventional RPG ruleset to replace traditional terms (ex. “turn”) to make it sound more like a storygame without actually understanding what the heck a storygame even is.

Krugus

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2022, 07:55:35 PM »
Mechanics first. 
Flavor second.   
Setting Third.   


Gog to Magog

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2022, 08:03:08 PM »
A setting can sell a game to me in that it can make me buy the book to mine the setting material because I can adapt a setting to a different game system.

In general, however, a good game tends to make me the most interested because the mechanics of a game are what keep it engaging so if I had to pick one I'd pick mechanics. It's far easier to tailor a setting to taste than to change the moving, mechanical parts of a game.
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Wrath of God

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2022, 08:58:27 PM »
Quote
Don't give me some fence-sitting answer and say "both". Think really hard and pick which is more important.

Then probably setting more. But if you do not play games RAW... dunno if there is need to pick really. It's not like you're obliged to keep them together.

Quote
Bad mechanics can destroy an interesting setting in a heartbeat (f'ing Torg...)

Keep setting, replace mechanics.
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