What's your favorite game system and why?

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fathom123
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What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby fathom123 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:11 pm

What kind of pen and paper game systems are you into and why?

I'll start it off:

I love D&D 3.5 as my bread and butter system. When I want to just play a game, that's my default.

My favoite type of systems, however, are a d10 based or % based system because it allows for margins of success and error. Take Savage Worlds or the WH40k RPGs as an example.

In D&D you can miss or you can hit. As as DM you can spice it up and make it seem like it is a hit or miss, but with the mentioned systems, if you hit at a %50 and you roll a 53, you graze the person causing a little dammage. Now if you roll a 20, you hit with three degrees of success causing extra dammage and extra other effects, often causing the severing of limbs and what not.

Savage Worlds (Deadlands genre that is) is quite realistic. Hit points are usually under 10 and if you get shot, chances are you are going to die. If you get double dice (like roll a 55, or a 22...I think that's how it works) you get exploding dice which cause even more damage. On top of that, Savage Worlds is not entirely fantasy unlike D&D. You spend $10!!! on the core rule book and then you can buy supplements for the rule system. If you don't want to buy the supplements, that's fine. For $10 you have a game.

The WH40K RPGs are different. Each one has a different flavor.
Dark Heresy-You are an acolyte of the Inquisition. You are the lowest of lows and you strive to survive in the empirum taking orders from your inquisitor and running missions for him. You do all the dirty work and take none of the credit. Eventually you get to work your way up to full inquisitor (there's expansions once you reach this level. Consider it like epic tier rules).

Rogue Trader-A level 1 rogue trader character is similar to a level 5 Dark Heresy character. In Rogue Trader, you get to play as a privateer or a member or the Emperial navy. As a Rogue Trader you get your own ship and crew. Your money is not measured in terms of numbers but in an abstract sort of way. You have a wealth level and are able to do so much within that level. As your level increases you can do more (at least that's how I understand it). Pretty cool. You can play it in such a way that you can be one of those pilots on the outer fringes where gray areas are more the norm in terms of Imperial morality (like being able to be a member of the crew and be a xenos, Arctic Fox, you know how crazy this concept is in WH40K).

DeathWatch: YOU ARE A SPACEMARINE!!! Practically an army of one person. You do not fight creatures individually, you fight hordes and your damage is not what you do to one creature, but how many creatures you just killed in one hit. You get godly armor and weapons at the start of the game, not to mention your stats are ridiculous!! If you like hack and slash then this is your genre. It's hack and slash in style!

Well, what do you think?
Jeremiah 20:9-But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:48 pm

(like being able to be a member of the crew and be a xenos, Arctic Fox, you know how crazy this concept is in WH40K).
Yeah, especially as I play Black Templars. They take the Imperial xenophobia and dial it up a notch or two.

My favorite system will always be First Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. This, I admit, is mainly a nostalgia thing, since the system isn't very smooth, is somewhat cobbled together, and isn't internally consistent. I do maintain, however, that it is superior, as a roleplaying system, to 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons and above.

I say this because 3+ D&D is a combat game that has roleplaying. 1st or 2nd Edition is a Roleplaying game that has rules for combat in it.

Having said that, the roleplaying game system I like best is any type that uses multiple dice to roll for successes. White Wolf and FASA have historically been this way. For example:

I want to hack a computer system. I have 4 ranks in Hacking skill and the GM decided the difficulty is 6. I roll 4 dice (for my 4 ranks) and on each die that comes up a 6 or higher, I get a success. If I only roll 1 or 2 successes, it's a marginal pass and I barely get access to the computer. If I could get a lot of successes (like if I had a few more ranks and rolled a lot more 6+ dice) I could have maybe hacked the computer, reprogrammed it to serve me a turkey sandwich, and gained control of the facility security robots.) FASA games usually use d6 for their system, White Wolf uses d10.
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby ArchAngel » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:53 pm

I'm, uh, liking 3.5.
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby fathom123 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:32 pm

Arch-I'm glad to hear that since we're doing the PBP in 3.5

Arctic-I think it would be cool if we could somehow do a 1st ed game. I have never played one and I've wanted to for such a long time.

I do like that same kind of idea that promotes multiple dice for success. That's how Savage worlds works. You roll d10s. The WH40k games are % based. I'm still a newbie at both systems so I don't know them by heart but when I played them it was awesome!!
Jeremiah 20:9-But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:01 pm

Once this campaign is over, if there's interest, I'm willing to run a 2st or 2nd Edition game.
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby Truthseeker » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:18 pm

3.5 is perfect for me. It may not simulate total realism but it's so fun and easy to grasp. There is no aspect in which the earlier D&D systems are better.
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:03 pm

3.5 is perfect for me. It may not simulate total realism but it's so fun and easy to grasp. There is no aspect in which the earlier D&D systems are better.
I beg to differ.

1st and 2nd Edition are roleplaying games, with as minimal a rule set as they could get away with. The players were meant to primarily handle interactions through roleplaying and imagination, with rules being used only when absolutely necessary to promote consistency and structure.

3.x and up are systems that are heavily rules oriented, and aren't much more than combat games that need roleplay as an excuse to move from one combat to another. Don't believe me? Take a look at the Feats. The vast majority of them are combat oriented. Know how Feats worked in 1st and 2nd? They didn't. They didn't exist. Players were expected to use their imaginations and creativity to make their characters unique and come alive.
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby Truthseeker » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:26 pm

Rules and roleplaying are not mutually exclusive. Having more of one does not take anything away from the other. It's completely possible to have a 3.5 game without any combat at all, just like in earlier editions. But if you do have combat, it's much better in 3.5. All those feats don't take anything away that you had in earlier editions either. They just add more options.
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:58 pm

That's nominally what they do, but the real effect is somewhat different. The problem is that players become reliant on a rules set to make their character unique, rather than their creativity. Suddenly the only meaningful difference between two fighters is the list of Feats they have, and nothing else.

Can a roleplayer play 3.x and be just as much into it as 1st or 2nd? No, I don't think so, because on some level their playing still, to have any value, tie in with the character's rules.

In theory, Feats are nothing more than extra options. In practice, they become a crutch.
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby ArchAngel » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:02 am

So, with the right DM(fathom) and the right group of people (us), we can still have a good rp session in 3.5?
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby ArcticFox » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:06 am

Good enough.

My son and I were debating this very same idea the other night.
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby fathom123 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:02 am

Only.....good enough?..... :(
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby ArcticFox » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:29 pm

Hey not a reflection on your DMming at all :) I made my opinion of 3.x known in the beginning of this thing.

I'll give an example though, of the difference between 3.x and 1st/2nd:

When the party first encountered the gnomes, Guy rolled a Diplomacy check to determine how well his efforts to convince them to stand down would be. He rolled pretty well, and as a result it probably didn't mater a whole lot exactly what Guy said, it would have gone over well because he rolled high on his Diplomacy check. So long as I, as the controlling player, didn't say something overtly stupid that would force the DM to disregard the high Diplomacy roll, success was assured.

If this had been a 1st Edition game, Guy's Charisma would have affected an initial reaction from the Gnomes. (In 1st Edition Paladins are required to have a minimum of a 17 Charisma partly for this reason.) Once the initial reaction was determined, it would be up to me as Guy's controlling player to roleplay the encounter out. So if the reaction adjustment was bad, I'd have a pretty challenging time of convincing the Gnomes not to attack. If the roll went well, It would be easier, but no matter what, it would still be up to the player to roleplay the encounter. Even a good reaction check could have resulted in a disaster if the player acts stupidly.

Which is better? Well that's entirely a matter of opinion but if you're big on roleplaying, then the old way is more in line with that. In that sense, for an online forum game like this, 3.x may actually be better because a full-blown roleplay encounter would be awkward in this format, so reducing it to a die roll makes better sense.

So maybe "good enough" wasn't giving it enough credit. I withdraw it.

Overall, I still prefer 1st/2nd to 3.x or 4.
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby Truthseeker » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:07 pm

I see what you're saying about the diplomacy thing. I don't think roleplaying encounters should boil down to a dice role. However, I don't think the 3.x rules necessarily force that. The diplomacy skill affects the attitude of an NPC, so a DM can interpret that as having the same effect as a charisma role in 1st or 2nd.

Things like "Paladins must have a charisma of at least 17" are much bigger problems for me. 3.x lets you make whatever kind of character you want.
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Re: What's your favorite game system and why?

Postby fathom123 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:17 pm

Hey not a reflection on your DMming at all :) I made my opinion of 3.x known in the beginning of this thing.

I'll give an example though, of the difference between 3.x and 1st/2nd:

When the party first encountered the gnomes, Guy rolled a Diplomacy check to determine how well his efforts to convince them to stand down would be. He rolled pretty well, and as a result it probably didn't mater a whole lot exactly what Guy said, it would have gone over well because he rolled high on his Diplomacy check. So long as I, as the controlling player, didn't say something overtly stupid that would force the DM to disregard the high Diplomacy roll, success was assured.

If this had been a 1st Edition game, Guy's Charisma would have affected an initial reaction from the Gnomes. (In 1st Edition Paladins are required to have a minimum of a 17 Charisma partly for this reason.) Once the initial reaction was determined, it would be up to me as Guy's controlling player to roleplay the encounter out. So if the reaction adjustment was bad, I'd have a pretty challenging time of convincing the Gnomes not to attack. If the roll went well, It would be easier, but no matter what, it would still be up to the player to roleplay the encounter. Even a good reaction check could have resulted in a disaster if the player acts stupidly.
It also depends on the GM as well. You could have an epic diplomacy roll and the NPC still hates you because that's the truth. For instance, you kill someones dog, they come out and yell at you. You roll a godly diplomacy roll like 30+. That guy still hates you because regardless of what you have to say, you still killed his dog. As a DM, I see rolls as factors to consider in regard to a situation. That doesn't mean the character will get what he wants. That's my biggest problem with Munchkins who abuse their abilities. They think because the rules are with them that the game is theirs to run. I beg to differ.

Having heavy rules like diplomacy checks also allows those who are not as adept at role playing to still be able to do some pretty cool stuff in game. I've gamed with people who have a hard time talking (shy or what have you) and the rules give them a way to have fun and still be able to accomplish some cool stuff in game.
I see what you're saying about the diplomacy thing. I don't think roleplaying encounters should boil down to a dice role. However, I don't think the 3.x rules necessarily force that. The diplomacy skill affects the attitude of an NPC, so a DM can interpret that as having the same effect as a charisma role in 1st or 2nd.

Things like "Paladins must have a charisma of at least 17" are much bigger problems for me. 3.x lets you make whatever kind of character you want.

I almost don't like the amount of options in 3.5. It often stifles creativity and people begin to look at numbers instead of the story. They are more concerned with what their character is instead of who. Granted, this varies from player to player. Those who can do 3.5 well (a good balance of rule and roleplay) seem to really enjoy the system. Those who use 3.5 to run their personal kingdom and try to get away with nonsense, I have issues with.

Also, with limited options you have a tendency to make the best of what you have. Getting the most out of the game and finding creative ways to accomplish tasks. Though if I do want to play a certain character and I don't have the right stats or something, that does kind of suck and takes away from the fun.

I guess I see both sides? Like Neo in the Matrix.
Jeremiah 20:9-But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.


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