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Author Topic: Thoughts on the Palladium system  (Read 929 times)

TheShadow

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2022, 01:29:42 AM »
You can alter the definitions to suit your claim that Palladium is the oldest surviving RPG company

I said oldest "OSR company" but without needing the R...not RPG company. It was a claim they are the oldest producer of a specific subset of RPGs, not RPGs in general.

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even though  Iron Crown has been publishing Rolemaster since 1980, Chaosium Call of Cthulhu since 1981, Hero Games Champions since 1981, Flying Buffalo Tunnels and Trolls since 1975, etc. I grant you that Palladium is pretty unique on that KS has been doing his thing continuously since 1983 or so, as both a creator and a business owner with an actual staff and physical premises the whole time. The only real peer there is Steve Jackson, since 1981 although not exclusively an RPG company.
(I won't even mention FGU, which technically qualifies and last time I checked was still in existence. That's one guy in a home office who bought some games from their writers in the 80s and stubbornly holds on to the copyrights.)

Now, ICE is something more comparable to the actual claim I made about Palladium.  They have stuck to pretty much the same system which represents what I'd consider old school mindset about games.

Not sure why you're mentioning CoC for Chaosium in this context as Runequest, essentially the same system, is even older and was in your first post.

While I've been playing with Hero, through Champions then Fantasy Hero (which was the D&D replacement for one of the two groups I was in my last year of HS and the one I told to college with me) I don't consider it an Old School system, but a representative of the changes coming in the 80s. While I group GURPS with Hero in that sense, The Fantasy Trip is more like a hybrid step between the two mindsets.

Again, FBI has had T&T the whole period and competes in that sense, but T&T pretty much stalled sometime in the mid-80s and FBI focused on their core business, computer-moderated PBM games.

FGU is a weird case, but I'd argue qualify even less that SJG simply because of what you mention: sitting on copyrights and stock but doing nothing to create new products or bring in new fans most of the intervening years.

The reason that I mention that CoC has been published continuously by Chaosium since 1981, rather than mentioning Runequest, first released in 1978 (I have the first edition on my shelf) is that Chaosium did not publish it for a long time prior to regaining it in 2017.
As far as "OSR" vs RPG, it's meaningless to me, I don't care for the OSR as usually defined as DnD clones, and you're not using it in that sense anyway. Is T&T OSR? Runequest? Call of Cthulhu, which has the same engine as Runequest? Rolemaster? I couldn't care less.

Also, Flying Buffalo continued to publish T&T supplements through the 80s and 90s, and released 5.5e sometime in the 90s, then 7 and 7.5e before Deluxe. (No 6e!) So I guess Ken St Andre will be crying onto his cornflakes that this "pace of development" didnt meet your arbitrary requirements.

Anyway, we're all agreed, Palladium are one of the few remaining dinosaurs preserved in amber from the early days of the hobby. It will be a sad day when Kevin writes his last Stan Lee-imitation hype screed and promises an exciting "coming soon!" for the last time.
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Armchair Gamer

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2022, 08:34:40 AM »
You can alter the definitions to suit your claim that Palladium is the oldest surviving RPG company, even though  Iron Crown has been publishing Rolemaster since 1980, Chaosium Call of Cthulhu since 1981, Hero Games Champions since 1981, Flying Buffalo Tunnels and Trolls since 1975, etc. I grant you that Palladium is pretty unique on that KS has been doing his thing continuously since 1983 or so, as both a creator and a business owner with an actual staff and physical premises the whole time. The only real peer there is Steve Jackson, since 1981 although not exclusively an RPG company.
(I won't even mention FGU, which technically qualifies and last time I checked was still in existence. That's one guy in a home office who bought some games from their writers in the 80s and stubbornly holds on to the copyrights.)

   There are systems and brands that have been continuous since the late 70s/early 80s, or at least have been revived, but Palladium and SJG are almost unique in terms of continuity of ownership--Iron Crown and Hero Games are completely different entities now than at their beginnings, Chaosium has gone through several ownership changes, and Flying Buffalo got sold a few years back.

Tod13

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2022, 08:49:54 AM »
...
Honestly, to get back into Palladium they need a rules lite core book, and each setting could just be an expansion to that.  I won’t hold my breath for that. 

Palladium fantasy is a system that is in need of an honest to goodness streamlined and reorganized 2e. The system has good ideas, it's problem is that it started out a bit clunky and then just kept going. It needs to be pared down to it's essence, then rebuilt for each line up from there.

That would be so cool. I like so much about Palladium games, but whenever I think about running it I get bogged down in system.

David Johansen

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2022, 10:02:23 AM »
Mechanoid Invasion had two pages of rules and everything else was occupations, races, weapons, setting, and monsters.
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Tod13

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2022, 10:08:48 AM »
Mechanoid Invasion had two pages of rules and everything else was occupations, races, weapons, setting, and monsters.

That was my first and favorite Palladium game. Palladium settings (occupations, etc) were always pretty neat and extensive in a good way.

PulpHerb

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2022, 10:40:59 AM »
There are systems and brands that have been continuous since the late 70s/early 80s, or at least have been revived, but Palladium and SJG are almost unique in terms of continuity of ownership--Iron Crown and Hero Games are completely different entities now than at their beginnings, Chaosium has gone through several ownership changes, and Flying Buffalo got sold a few years back.

FBI only sold because of Rick's death and the fact that his successors are of similar age. I think that is a bit different than what happened with companies like ICE and Hero.

Interestingly, I can't think of another major who sold primarily due to the owner's death of old age.

Armchair Gamer

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2022, 10:59:44 AM »
FBI only sold because of Rick's death and the fact that his successors are of similar age. I think that is a bit different than what happened with companies like ICE and Hero.

  True, and doing some more digging, it sounds like there is a solid creative and management continuity despite the change of ownership, so I'd be inclined to place them in the same category as Palladium or SJG, or at least nearly as consistent.

   Chaosium is an interesting case in that they swing back and forth between the originals and the 'new guard' a couple of times, as I understand it.

PulpHerb

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2022, 12:32:09 PM »
That would be so cool. I like so much about Palladium games, but whenever I think about running it I get bogged down in system.

There is a microlite Palladium floating around. I have some quibbles with it, but it might suit your needs. (https://livrosdeamor.com.br/documents/palladium-fast-play-rules-5cc7c85e0e787)

PulpHerb

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2022, 12:33:43 PM »
FBI only sold because of Rick's death and the fact that his successors are of similar age. I think that is a bit different than what happened with companies like ICE and Hero.

  True, and doing some more digging, it sounds like there is a solid creative and management continuity despite the change of ownership, so I'd be inclined to place them in the same category as Palladium or SJG, or at least nearly as consistent.

   Chaosium is an interesting case in that they swing back and forth between the originals and the 'new guard' a couple of times, as I understand it.

Yep. Greg Stafford founded the company and was back at his death in my understanding, but had periods where he was not involved.

weirdguy564

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2022, 12:43:55 PM »
My two big problems with palladium. 

First are the attributes.  Only the big attributes really matter.  I know they all have some uses, but let’s be real. You only care if your Physical Prowess attribute is 17+.  In this regard even D&D is better, and that is a system I generally dislike (I’m not normal, I know).

The other issue is how the process of adding up all your combat bonuses is poorly explained.
Saying D&D is the best RPG is like saying Bud Lite is the best beer.  Maybe we shouldn't equate "popular" with "good"?

TheShadow

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Re: Thoughts on the Palladium system
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2022, 05:36:39 PM »

   There are systems and brands that have been continuous since the late 70s/early 80s, or at least have been revived, but Palladium and SJG are almost unique in terms of continuity of ownership

Indeed, and I give Steve and Kevin a lot of credit as actual small business owners with all that entails - office, warehouse, staff with benefits - who have maintained that over decades, while keeping creatively involved.
You can shake your fists at the sky. You can do a rain dance. You can ignore the clouds completely. But none of them move the clouds.

- Dave "The Inexorable" Noonan solicits community feedback before 4e's release