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Author Topic: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?  (Read 2168 times)

Ratman_tf

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2022, 09:11:38 PM »
Bo-

Don't give me some fence-sitting answer and say "both". Think really hard and pick which is more important.

-ldly, I will declare Setting. After struggling with the Palladium system to play Rifts, I can't say otherwise.
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Trinculoisdead

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2022, 09:47:23 PM »
Mechanics mechanics mechanics.


Ratman_tf

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2022, 10:11:25 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.

Can be a ton of work, though. I have done Robotech for Mekton and the Silhouette system, but damn, that's a lot of mechs to stat up, especially if you do a campaign where all three "Chapters" can intermix.
The notion of an exclusionary and hostile RPG community is a fever dream of zealots who view all social dynamics through a narrow keyhole of structural oppression.
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Thornhammer

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2022, 10:32:17 PM »
Setting over mechanics 80/20.

That said, I find myself less and less enamored with the amount of labor a full rip-and-replace job required.

Persimmon

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2022, 10:48:10 PM »
Mechanics, unequivocally. 

As an example I absolutely love Tolkien & the Middle Earth setting but AiME and TOR were absolute trash mechanically so I never played them.  In a moment of weakness I backed the TOR 2e KS hoping they'd make some positive mechanical changes since they talked about streamlining.  Not so much as it turns out.  Reading the PDF it's still an overly convoluted system with lots of unnecessary mechanics that try too hard to simulate the experience of reading The Hobbit or LOTR rather than just giving you a framework to game in Middle Earth.  So now I need to decide if I want to just flip the books or convert everything to a system I like.

I think a good GM can adjust settings to mechanics easily enough so it's not worth the effort to master mechanics you (or your players) don't like.

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2022, 10:52:02 PM »
It feels like a incomplete question.

Im more likely to read a setting for fun (and thus buy it), but im less likely to get a bunch of supplementary material and play it if the mechanics suck.

Persimmon

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2022, 10:53:18 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.

I feel your pain there.  They amazingly found a way to take the fun out of Conan.  Hell, character creation took 90 minutes.  And then it turns out that their promise to remain "true" to the source materials was total BS.  First, they added a ton of material that wasn't in anything Howard wrote, including tons of Lovecraft material.  (Yeah I know there were exchanges between the two, but Modiphius went beyond the pale there).  Then they went SJW with the later releases.

Dropbear

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2022, 08:24:35 AM »
I feel your pain there.  They amazingly found a way to take the fun out of Conan.  Hell, character creation took 90 minutes.  And then it turns out that their promise to remain "true" to the source materials was total BS.  First, they added a ton of material that wasn't in anything Howard wrote, including tons of Lovecraft material.  (Yeah I know there were exchanges between the two, but Modiphius went beyond the pale there).  Then they went SJW with the later releases.

Yeah the Lovecraft threw me off big time. Nothing at all to do with the source material. Just the writers jizzing all over themselves to add something “new” to the setting, since Lovecraft’s ideas are public domain. Kinda like Evil Hat, spewing their dumbass trigger warning cum all over Fate of Cthulhu.
 
I could have blown off Modiphius’ changes to their content of Wanderer as not a big deal until they had to loudly signal the changes in language used in the revision vs. the original manuscript. It would not have hit my radar really if they had shut up about it and just done it. And it did not help matters of my impression of the new direction they wanted to take with the materials moving forward when key writers walked out on the project, either.

But as much as I love Howard, and wanted to love this game, the key foul on it for me was all of the metacurrency management. I struggle enough to enjoy games I really like a lot, like Deadlands and SW, when I have to deal with metacurrencies. I just don’t care for the vast majority of games that have a dependency on their use. Fate just turns my stomach.

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2022, 08:34:23 AM »
Either, but that's because I'm a mix-and-matcher from my earliest days--I spent much time in my youth converting Ravenloft over to Rolemaster 2E (never used it, alas), and used the SAGA Rules System from Dragonlance: Fifth Age for Ravenloft, Dragon Quest, and Final Fantasy.

Eric Diaz

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2022, 08:39:38 AM »
Obviously a difficult question, but ultimately I'd say setting.

I would, and did, play the same setting with different mechanics, and I also write my own mechanics. And, while I DO write my own settings sometimes, I like to change settings more often than I like to change mechanics.

GURPS Dark Sun works pretty well, and if I were to play Star Wars to day I'd probably use some form of D&D.
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Itachi

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2022, 08:53:12 AM »
I feel that people saying "setting, because I bring my own mechanics" is missing the point?

 I mean, if you always use mechanics you like than it's not a proof that a good setting carry poor(ly perceived) mechanics. The proof would be if people accept using poor mechanics with a good setting, which I'm not seeing here.

Or I'm overthinking the matter?

rytrasmi

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2022, 09:13:16 AM »
Well the question is what “sells” a game to you. So people who bring their own mechanics are deciding whether or not to buy a game based on setting or other factors.

Unless “sells” was intended to be figurative.

tenbones

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2022, 10:50:09 AM »
Okay - for people that buy for mechanics.

Does this mean that you use those mechanics outside of the published settings? And do you GM? Do you ever convert other settings to these mechanics?


For people that buy for setting.
Do you ever play that setting using other mechanics? Or do you only stick with the mechanics of that published setting.

What I'm trying to figure out here is this: There are a LOT of settings out there, and a LOT of game-systems. "D&D" has multiple versions of its system which supports various settings in their own way, but not everyone agrees on "which system" is best, but there is a "general" consensus on the better settings within D&D. Likewise, there are settings that a LOT of people like, Shadowrun, Torg, Rifts, that people constantly complain about the system, whenever these threads come up.

The heart of the question is - how many people WOULD mix-and-match their favorite mechanics to their favorite setting? Or do you stick with what is delivered?

 Those of you that homebrew your settings, how often do you change mechanical systems? I don't mean tweak what you use, i'm talking major task-resolution changes. Moving from d20 to d100 or something, as an example.

tenbones

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2022, 10:55:20 AM »
I feel that people saying "setting, because I bring my own mechanics" is missing the point?

 I mean, if you always use mechanics you like than it's not a proof that a good setting carry poor(ly perceived) mechanics. The proof would be if people accept using poor mechanics with a good setting, which I'm not seeing here.

Or I'm overthinking the matter?

Some people like "FATE" system. And they play in settings that they can easily overlay the FATE mechanics on. The degree to which they're successful in making the setting live up to their ideal is irrelevant since the premise of their creation was mechanics-first.

They do it because they *like* the mechanics and believe they can do whatever they want with them.

Some people like 5e D&D. It's an idiosyncratic system that is designed to do one thing: play D&D-style fantasy ostensibly in their D&D settings. Yes you can re-work it to play other things, it's pretty rare by the population that consumes 5e. In other words, generally people that use 5e D&D mechanics vastly only play 5e D&D with it.

I'm trying to figure out where people would buy, for example, FATE D&D. (and this is JUST AN EXAMPLE, I personally do not like the FATE mechanics, I'm using it strictly as an example) - would this attract D&D players to come try it? Or would a Shadowrun player play Shadowrun in a published version of say Interlock?


« Last Edit: January 11, 2022, 10:59:24 AM by tenbones »

RandyB

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Re: Mechanics or Setting - What sells a game to you?
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2022, 11:05:13 AM »
Okay - for people that buy for mechanics.

Does this mean that you use those mechanics outside of the published settings? And do you GM? Do you ever convert other settings to these mechanics?


For people that buy for setting.
Do you ever play that setting using other mechanics? Or do you only stick with the mechanics of that published setting.

What I'm trying to figure out here is this: There are a LOT of settings out there, and a LOT of game-systems. "D&D" has multiple versions of its system which supports various settings in their own way, but not everyone agrees on "which system" is best, but there is a "general" consensus on the better settings within D&D. Likewise, there are settings that a LOT of people like, Shadowrun, Torg, Rifts, that people constantly complain about the system, whenever these threads come up.

The heart of the question is - how many people WOULD mix-and-match their favorite mechanics to their favorite setting? Or do you stick with what is delivered?

 Those of you that homebrew your settings, how often do you change mechanical systems? I don't mean tweak what you use, i'm talking major task-resolution changes. Moving from d20 to d100 or something, as an example.

Personal example.

I will use Mekton Zeta to run FASATrek in preference to FASA's own rules. FASATrek is my favorite version of the Trek setting, but I never liked the mechanics.