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Author Topic: RPGs No One Is Playing  (Read 12873 times)

Omega

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #165 on: August 01, 2022, 10:40:11 AM »
So, which RPGs do you think are not being played anywhere, by anyone, at present? Published RPGs only, obviously, not ultra-obscure games. Games that were released once, but either due to the crapulence of the rules or the stupidity of the setting or just plain bad luck, are not being played anymore?

Mind you, I suspect that a great deal of the non-RPGs that the Forge crowd had developed are not being played, what with the combination of their short shelf-life and the fact that so many Forgers want to talk about Storygames more than they want to play them, but that's an easy mark.

RPGPundit

That is a long long long long long long long long x1000 list.

There are hundreds of RPGs out there that just never took off for reasons other than being bad games or having wertched designers, or horrid publishers.

Usually it is due to timing, or being badmouthed by other companies, or smaller print runs that keep the game from getting traction. Or not enough advertising or not enough interest.

Some fall because they feel too much like another game despite sometimes coming out first.

Others are too off the beaten path.

And as we've been discussing on the other thread. Some games arent as obscure or forgotten as people think.

And some games are never played through no fault of their own but due to external problems. Posterchild for that is Other Suns. The designer antagonized everyone and to this day still threatens the few remaining fans. Beating out Palladium for most idiotic treatment of fans.

D20m Gamma World. An RPG no one can play because the hacks calling themselves designers could not even write playable rules. "oh we didnt add those rules. The players will write it for us." (Still though one of the best DMGs for how to DM tips and tools out there. And the community as a PC idea was great.)

Synnabarr probably stands out too as its so complex.

I love Universe but freaks sake the chargen makes Traveller look easier than BX D&D.

Did anyone ever actually play Amazing Engine or Alternity?

Steven Mitchell

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #166 on: August 01, 2022, 10:41:47 AM »
The default state of a game is not to be played.  Even with my collection culled hard, I've still got 20 or more still on the shelf.  At any given time, I'm not playing all but 2 or 3 of them, usually all but 1 of them. :D

Kravell

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #167 on: August 01, 2022, 01:36:41 PM »
Quote
Did anyone ever actually play Amazing Engine or Alternity?

I ran a Bughunters campaign and several Star*Drive campaigns before 3.0 came out in 2000. When I have time, I want to GM Star*Drive again.

Valatar

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #168 on: August 01, 2022, 09:24:11 PM »
I love Alternity's system.  Unfortunately haven't been able to get anyone to play it for about 15 years now.

HappyDaze

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #169 on: August 02, 2022, 12:16:13 AM »
I played in one Alternity Star*Drive game and ran an Alternity Dark Matter game, but both of those were > 20 years ago.

Kyle Aaron

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #170 on: August 02, 2022, 02:01:41 AM »
The default state of a game is not to be played.
Correction: the default state of a game is not to be read. This is particularly true of pdfs. Anyone here can go to the RPG folder on their computer right now and find a bunch of RPG pdfs, and make a guesstimate of how many they've even opened once - let alone read, or played.

Most rpgs are never purchased.
Of those purchased, most are never played.
Of those played, most are not played for 12+ months.

That's not something to get dramatic about, though. A while back I looked it up, and the US had some 4 million new books published each year, with 693 million sales all. That's fewer than 200 sales per book. So if you write something and 200 people buy it, congratulations, you're above average.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2022, 03:00:43 AM by Kyle Aaron »
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Reckall

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #171 on: August 02, 2022, 12:10:26 PM »
The "basically unknown" RPG that I liked the most is "Lacuna Part I". I ran it as the GM and it unlocked areas of my creativity that I didn't even know they existed. The "heartbeats" system is fantastic and the paranoia about what it is really going in the "real world" (which can even not be real) is half of the fun.

For the uninitiated, it is about Agents who descend into the "collective subconscious", Blue City, to hunt for criminals. In a way, it is a paranoid/horror/mystery version of "Inception", as the concept is similar. Many clues, however, suggest that A LOT of the things surrounding the "Company" they work for are extremely dubious, if not scary... The fun was creating the specifics of the different subconscious. I literally picked up ideas by looking around. I still run Lacuna every then and now, because I can prepare sessions on the fly, the system can be taught in five minutes (actually you don't even need to teach it; the "Controller" can simply say "New Agents must be careful, as they will have to learn things on the field) and you can finish each adventure in one sitting (I always did).
For every idiot who denounces Ayn Rand as "intellectualism" there is an excellent DM who creates a "Bioshock" adventure.

HappyDaze

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #172 on: August 02, 2022, 12:55:16 PM »
The default state of a game is not to be played.
Correction: the default state of a game is not to be read. This is particularly true of pdfs. Anyone here can go to the RPG folder on their computer right now and find a bunch of RPG pdfs, and make a guesstimate of how many they've even opened once - let alone read, or played.

Most rpgs are never purchased.
Of those purchased, most are never played.
Of those played, most are not played for 12+ months.

That's not something to get dramatic about, though. A while back I looked it up, and the US had some 4 million new books published each year, with 693 million sales all. That's fewer than 200 sales per book. So if you write something and 200 people buy it, congratulations, you're above average.
Weird. I always, at the least, skim through every pdf I buy. I have at times deleted them shortly after if I don't find anything in them I want to explore in further detail, but I've never got a pdf and just let it sit untouched.

Mishihari

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #173 on: August 05, 2022, 03:14:05 AM »
We hacked through a few sessions of it in the same spirit as hacking through Galloway's Fantasy Wargaming.

Wow.  Someone actually played that?  I got Fantasy Wargaming as a monthly book from the science fiction book club back in the day, and my impression, even as a teen, was that it was an unplayable mess.  It looked looked like someone had tried to write an RPG with only hearsay information about how they actually work.  There were odd things like skill check modifiers based on the time of year and your characters astrological sign.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2022, 03:15:42 AM by Mishihari »

Reckall

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #174 on: August 05, 2022, 06:15:27 AM »
We hacked through a few sessions of it in the same spirit as hacking through Galloway's Fantasy Wargaming.

Wow.  Someone actually played that?  I got Fantasy Wargaming as a monthly book from the science fiction book club back in the day, and my impression, even as a teen, was that it was an unplayable mess.  It looked looked like someone had tried to write an RPG with only hearsay information about how they actually work.  There were odd things like skill check modifiers based on the time of year and your characters astrological sign.

These modifiers can be interesting if the lore of the setting (and the rules) support them. Dragonlance had magic influenced by the three moons of Krynn and their phases, for example.
For every idiot who denounces Ayn Rand as "intellectualism" there is an excellent DM who creates a "Bioshock" adventure.

HappyDaze

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #175 on: August 05, 2022, 06:19:19 AM »
We hacked through a few sessions of it in the same spirit as hacking through Galloway's Fantasy Wargaming.

Wow.  Someone actually played that?  I got Fantasy Wargaming as a monthly book from the science fiction book club back in the day, and my impression, even as a teen, was that it was an unplayable mess.  It looked looked like someone had tried to write an RPG with only hearsay information about how they actually work.  There were odd things like skill check modifiers based on the time of year and your characters astrological sign.

These modifiers can be interesting if the lore of the setting (and the rules) support them. Dragonlance had magic influenced by the three moons of Krynn and their phases, for example.
This works so much better now that computer programs can easily be found to keep track of such things.

zircher

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #176 on: August 05, 2022, 11:42:00 AM »
...  I got Fantasy Wargaming as a monthly book from the science fiction book club back in the day, and my impression, even as a teen, was that it was an unplayable mess.  ...
LOL, I had the same experience. 
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weirdguy564

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #177 on: August 06, 2022, 05:25:19 PM »
I want to say, “all of them that’s not D&D based.”   

Clearly it is D&D that dominates.  Even spin-off OSR games are still D&D to me.  Yup, including Star Adventure and Lion & Dragon. 

There are some contenders to be sure, but once you get away from six stats and armor class, the games listed will probably be more of a personal choice than what is under rated. 

But, in my case I can truthfully say I’ve never played D&D.  My game list is:

1.  Palladium books.  Fantasy, RoboTech, and Heroes Unlimited mainly.  Some Recon as well. 

2.  West End Games Star Wars.   A bit clunky, but it works better with dice rolling apps to speed up playing. 

3.  Pocket Fantasy.  This is the most rules lite game I’ve played that still works as a proper game.  And it’s free.

4.  Dungeons and Delvers Dice Pool Edition.  This is my OSR game of choice now.  It’s got more character customization than a lot of games, yet it is a simpler game to play than most OSR.  No D20.  Everything is a stat die and a skill die, and often a few other dice from those customizations.  Roll them and pick the best 2 to add up. 

I could also add in the black hack games, but they didn’t actually play that well. 
Saying D&D is the best RPG is like saying Bud Lite is the best beer.  I don’t equate “popular” with “good”.

ForgottenF

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #178 on: August 06, 2022, 06:03:06 PM »
Black Void by Modiphius springs to mind. I remember a certain amount of buzz when it came out a few years ago, but I never hear anyone talk about it anymore, and support for the line dried up shortly after release.

Modiphius games in general seem to have a public profile out of proportion to the number of people playing them. I'm not saying no one plays their Conan or Fallout RPGs, but the books for the Dune RPG are in every game store in my state, and I've never heard anyone talk about actually playing it.

APN

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Re: RPGs No One Is Playing
« Reply #179 on: August 07, 2022, 12:43:06 PM »
I predict the Marvel Multiverse RPG will be dead on arrival. Sure it might sell ok with a big glossy tome but judging by the playtest book  the system is a clunky mess, characters are like 'Wtf?' with regards power levels and write ups and every review or opinion about the thing suggests it needs scrapping and starting from scratch. Heck, resurrect one of the previous Marvel game systems, but this is a mess.

I wouldn't mind but every lame duck game using the Marvel system generally means it's years before the next one rolls around to get wheeled out, mouth-foamed over at the Big Purple and vanish into obscurity when the game gets canned. Again.

Marvel. The license doomed to failure? (Since the first TSR game, the rest have lasted a year or two each, if that.)