Am I Mad?

OHT

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I just bought this. I've never played the game, but it looked like such a good campaign resource for tabletop gaming that i ordered it anyway. It's also cheaper than most rpg books these days at £20. For that £20, i get 1100 pages of content.

51MJNhHxZ7L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


Ever used video game guides for tabletop rpgs? If so, how did it go?
 

TristramEvans

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I don't play videogames, but frequently used to buy videogame strategy guides for inspirational art and maps. I'll still pick them up secondhand when I can find them. None were as elaborate as that, it looks beautiful.
 

CRKrueger

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I haven't tried it, but was thinking of running Dragon Age during the Blight (the storyline of Dragon Age: Origins). A super-detailed game guide to it would probably serve me better than running through it again, which is what I was going to do. Good Idea.
 

The Butcher

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Never did, but I have this crazy idée fixe in the backburner of my mind, of running a World of Warcraft tabletop game with Runequest/Mythras. The cult system would do a better job with the canon than anything resembling the game's class-and-level system.

Warcraft lore is a huge guilty pleasure for me. Except for the horrible, Sanity-subtracting movie.
 

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Ever used video game guides for tabletop rpgs? If so, how did it go?

Absolutely. I have a nice collection of Final Fantasy guides that are very in depth and stuffed with full-color screenshots. If I need ideas for venues, mini-games, monsters, mechanics, items and such, I browse them alongside my tabletop guides.

My favorite is Final Fantasy 8's guide, enough so that one of my more attentive players over the years did notice certain motifs from it recurring in my games. Final Fantasy 13's is a pretty good source of ideas too, especially because I'm the only person I know who played it past the first 20 hours (alas). Beautiful designs.

Lately I'm using Fire Emblem as the key source of inspiration for my next D&D setting (the mini war campaign I ran using Estar's Points of Light was proof-of-concept). I'm perusing online guides for that series a lot to try and get the feel right without losing too many D&Disms.
 
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Tommy Brownell

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While I haven't used full on game strategy guides, I did buy both of the Dragon Age coffee table books for the hopes of someday running the Dragon Age RPG.

Holding off on the Witcher book until I finish Witcher 3.
 

Benoist

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You are not mad. Terrific idea, as long as you squeeze the marrow from the bones, and don't alter your tabletop experience to fit artificial video game structures. I used a strategy guide for tabletop gaming in such a way, but now I can't remember which one it was. Diablo II? Could have been. Anyway I used it as a slate for inspiration, locales, creatures, stuff like that, I didn't implement the whole hook-and-quest thing whole sale in my game. Ah no, it was Baldur's Gate II and the crimes with the tanner killing people in the city. That's what I remember lifting most notably.

Sorry stream of consciousness thing.

Also? Nice to see you, Dan. ;)
 

OHT

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You are not mad. Terrific idea, as long as you squeeze the marrow from the bones, and don't alter your tabletop experience to fit artificial video game structures. I used a strategy guide for tabletop gaming in such a way, but now I can't remember which one it was. Diablo II? Could have been. Anyway I used it as a slate for inspiration, locales, creatures, stuff like that, I didn't implement the whole hook-and-quest thing whole sale in my game. Ah no, it was Baldur's Gate II and the crimes with the tanner killing people in the city. That's what I remember lifting most notably.

Sorry stream of consciousness thing.

Also? Nice to see you, Dan. ;)

Likewise Ben! Long time no-see.

The Skyrim guide has so much content and screen shots that it's useful as an aide to show the players what a building or landscape looks like, let alone as an inspiration for quests etc. I'm looking forward to mining it for my games.

Like Tommy (also long time no see!) i'll be picking up the Witcher 3 guide next month.
 

Zudrak

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My love of videogames wore off in the last year or so with the advent of microtransactions and too much reliance on online play BUT I did enjoy both Oblivion and Skyrim of the Elder Scrolls series. My wife & I own the game guides for both as well as those for Fallout 3, New Vegas, and 4. The last 3 I could use if we ever get around to playing Gamma World (2e/4e mishmash) like I want.
 
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Tommy Brownell

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My love of videogames wore off in the last year or so with the advent of microtransactions and too much reliance on online play BUT I did enjoy both Oblivion and Skyrim of the Elder Scrolls series. My wife & I own the game guides for both as well as those for Fallout 3, New Vegas, and 4. The last 3 I could use if we ever get around to playing Gamma World (2e/4e mishmash) like I want.

If it helps, all the really good games get a "Complete Edition" or "Game of the Year Edition" a year or two after release, forgoing all of the microtransactions. That's what I did with Shadow of Mordor and The Witcher 3...just waited.
 

thedungeondelver

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Coincidentally one of my regulars just asked if I would run a Skyrim/Elder Scrolls game - I asked him if it was OK if I ran it with a kitbashed AD&D and he's alright with that.

Of course, you know that the Elder Scrolls themselves are the design notes for the actual game/campaign world of Tamriel, fallen into the hands of the inhabitants, right? That's why possessing one gives you so much power: depending on what it covers, you can have the ability to literally write someone out of history as though they didn't exist (c.f. The Grey Fox) or even change the size and shape of the world itself (The Warp in the West).
 
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Shipyard Locked

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If it helps, all the really good games get a "Complete Edition" or "Game of the Year Edition" a year or two after release, forgoing all of the microtransactions. That's what I did with Shadow of Mordor and The Witcher 3...just waited.

On a similar note, I knew the infamously buggy Assassin's Creed Unity would eventually be fixed, so I just waited a year and got the experience I was after. Trying to get into a PC game on or close to release these days is for suckers. :p
 

Simlasa

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Never did, but I have this crazy idée fixe in the backburner of my mind, of running a World of Warcraft tabletop game with Runequest/Mythras. The cult system would do a better job with the canon than anything resembling the game's class-and-level system.
I've been tempted to do the same with a mix of Magic World, Mythras, and other bits of BRP... running it for some friends who are all ex-WOW players. Partially to explore/expand many of the interesting dead-ends the game left standing, but also because I'm charmed by the idea that we'd all be sharing mental imagery of the various locations.
The same would go for City of Heroes but I know far fewer people who played it.
 

The Butcher

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The same would go for City of Heroes but I know far fewer people who played it.

CoH would be a good setting for a tabletop supers game because it's recognizable yet lacks the baggage of a classic comic book universe.

A Unisystem-powered CoH RPG was promised once but never happened. I think Savage Worlds with the Super Powers Companion would do the trick.
 

Tommy Brownell

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I love Savage Worlds. I can't, in good conscience, recommend it for Supers. (This after running Necessary Evil successfully from beginning to end, editing a supers project by Daring Entertainment and working on an unreleased supers project...but your mileage may vary. I love the Super Powers Companion...just not for supers.)

It was no real loss that the Unisystem version was never released. The CoH RPG was *easily* the worst iteration of the Unisystem I have seen, and I loved that system. (Playtester.)
 

Tommy Brownell

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I think SW works fine for really low powered supers. I never played CoH, but my understanding was that the scope was a bit broader than that. If I'm mistaken on that account, then it would work fine.

It's been years since I read CoH and no longer have those documents, but as I recall, they tried to go way too metagame to emulate the MMO feel. That and, like Savage Worlds, the scale just kinda shakes apart when you get into really powerful characters. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is about the highest end that the system can comfortably manage.

I have no idea about how the Beyond Human book is/will/would shake out. I seem to recall that the main driving force behind CoH left the company, and so their influence on BH would likely be far more incidental.
 

The Butcher

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I think SW works fine for really low powered supers. I never played CoH, but my understanding was that the scope was a bit broader than that. If I'm mistaken on that account, then it would work fine.

I only played the free trial of CoH, so it was low-powered street-level supers play (God, I miss the character creator, I could spend hours there) which is why I felt SW might do the trick.

Mind you, I don't really have a go-to supers system. ICONS strikes me as too barebones (the original edition, didn't read the new one); BASH is sort of the right amount of crunch but the core mechanic is unsatisfying; M&M is more crunch-intensive than I prefer. So SW + SPC is sort of a lazy way out of the "how'd I run supers?" question.

It's been years since I read CoH and no longer have those documents, but as I recall, they tried to go way too metagame to emulate the MMO feel.

Yeah, I feel that never works.

That and, like Savage Worlds, the scale just kinda shakes apart when you get into really powerful characters. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is about the highest end that the system can comfortably manage.

What problems did you run into in your Necessary Evil game?

I have no idea about how the Beyond Human book is/will/would shake out. I seem to recall that the main driving force behind CoH left the company, and so their influence on BH would likely be far more incidental.

I'd really like to see this. Unisystem is a nice, practical, get-it-done-already little system that I only got to play a couple of times, but if it had better support for use as a toolbox it could have become a go-to game of mine.
 

Tommy Brownell

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ICONS Assembled Edition is a lot beefier. It satisfied most of my conceptual complaints with the original.

The biggest problem I had with NE was how rigid the power structure was. That said, even at the end of the campaign, characters aren't super high powered. The math just starts getting funky at the high end (once everything starts flattening out to d12+4 or d12+6 and up).

If CoH is more lower powered, then it SW may work fine. I just wouldn't recommend it for Superman style gameplay.
 

Simlasa

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COH was pretty low-powered all the way through, in my experience. Partially, I expect, because the requirements of being a computer game negated the sorts of inconsistent powers featured in comics... where Thor's Hammer and Green Lantern's ring can do (or not do) whatever the writers feel the plot requires.
A lot of the villain factions were very 'pulp'... psuedo-Nazis with vampires and werewolves, weird cultist sorcerers with summoned demons, re-animated armies of undead.
There's a nicely done fan document for running COH with BRP in the downloads area of the BRP forums. That and the COH writer's 'bible' would probably be enough for me to give it a try with Superworld.
 

OHT

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I was planning using the Skyrim book as inspiration for a game, but to be honest, there's enough detail in the book about the actual mechanics of the game that i've been able to extrapolate a working RPG from it - with just 1 problem - the 3 statistics of Health, Magicka and Stamina. I have no idea how they increase and by how much. Everything else is straightforward enough. a d100 system with advancement based on skill increases. Each 20 percentiles you add to your skills equals a level-up. I've decided that the points needed to improve a skill is the new value you are going for. So to raise 1-handed weapons from 25 to 26 costs 26 points. Each encounter that you successfully use a skill, roll a d10 for that skill and note down your current points for that skill.

Each skill has 'perks' that affect the game in some way and that's all pretty straightforward too. Just the 3 stats need sorting and i can basically use the book as is to run a massive game using the computer game mechanics at the table!
 

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Mind you, I don't really have a go-to supers system. ICONS strikes me as too barebones (the original edition, didn't read the new one); BASH is sort of the right amount of crunch but the core mechanic is unsatisfying; M&M is more crunch-intensive than I prefer. So SW + SPC is sort of a lazy way out of the "how'd I run supers?" question.
In my personal opinion, FASERIP Marvel superheroes is the best super RPG out there. Was back in the day, is now.
I'd really like to see this. Unisystem is a nice, practical, get-it-done-already little system that I only got to play a couple of times, but if it had better support for use as a toolbox it could have become a go-to game of mine.
I think a more universal toolbox, version would a boon.
 

Tommy Brownell

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If Beyond Human ever releases, it's supposed to include a third party license, implying it will be such a toolbox.
 

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In my personal opinion, FASERIP Marvel superheroes is the best super RPG out there. Was back in the day, is now.

All the people I know who play superhero stuff swear by Mutants and Masterminds these days.
 

Tommy Brownell

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All the people I know who play superhero stuff swear by Mutants and Masterminds these days.

I haven't used FASERIP since Marvel SAGA came out, and I wouldn't touch Mutants & Masterminds with a ten foot pole. I've never been able to even finish a character in that bean counting mess.
 

TristramEvans

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In my personal opinion, FASERIP Marvel superheroes is the best super RPG out there. Was back in the day, is now.

That is my opinion as well. I've tried quite a few others, always went back to FASERIP.
 

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An Elder Scrolls game seems an easy fit to use for a tabletop RPG given that Ken Rolston, a former RuneQuest line developer was heavily involved in the line. The RuneQuest influence is all over the Elder Scrolls games in elements like getting better at skills by using them and belonging to organizations (cults) that reward you with cheap training and cool perks as you advance in them.

Griffin Mountain, the iconic RuneQuest supplement from 1981 is basically the template that all Elder Scroll games would use laid out in tabletop form. You have a big sandbox with multiple citadels and tribes in a region ostensibly controlled by an outside imperial force. PC can freely roam doing their own thing, but there are plenty of NPCs who can give the PCs missions furthering their agendas while embroiling the PCs in the larger politics of the region. And unlike an Elder Scrolls game, a human GM can allow PCs to engage in more interesting plans and the NPCs can respond in more interesting ways.

The Elder Scrolls games are fun, but the limitations of the scripting are obvious. I always find myself wishing I was playing the setting and story with other human beings. I don't think there is anything crazy about using an Elder Scrolls game as an RPG supplement. Even 36 years after Griffin Island came along, good sandboxes are still hard to find. Stealing one from a videogame seems a good idea.
 
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