RPGs: hall of shame

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Ladybird

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I think it is a bit more than just yelling "cunt" in a room, and if the above and more so the description and tone accompanying is not enough to let you know this is a game about misogyny in its true and vile and pure form...the overall how to play the game and setting stuff makes it clear this is a game promoting and trying to normalize rape.
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Warning...this is some pretty vile stuff basically promoting in-game rape, and trying to normalize it and rules on how it is a minor offense (so tried to hide it with spoiler function so do not have to see quoted from the rulebook from another's review...hoping do not need to describe how this crosses so many lines. It's all pretty egregious and disgusting but bolded two parts that are particularly so...and note the author does not think rape of a 15 year old is child; rape...

Know I'm getting a bit strident here but FATAL in my view should not be normalized as just some mildly offensive thing.

For the record I find everything quoted below from the game vile and repeat it only to show how vile and over so many lines this game is

"Rape

In an average community, an average of twenty rapes occur annually. In 80% of cases, rapes are committed by between two and fifteen characters.

They force the female's door at night, do not disguise themselves, and either rape the victim in her home and in the presence of terrorized witnesses, or drag the victim through the streets into one of their houses, where they have their pleasure all night long. In 80% of cases, the neighbors do not intervene. Almost all rapes involve extreme brutality, though they never attempt to wound or kill her.

The rapists come from all levels of society, but the majority are artisans and laborers. Less than 10% of rapes occur by thugs. In 50% of cases, human rapists are between 18 and 24 years old. The group is composed, on average, of 6 characters. Only 20% of the rapes are committed by 10 or more characters. Half the male youth participate at least once in gang rape. Sexual violence is an everyday dimension of community life. There tends to be less in smaller communities such as hamlets and more in larger communities such as cities.

If identified, rapists are imprisoned for weeks, though no more than a month. If the victim withdraws the complaint, the rapist is freed immediately. Imprisonment for rape consists of flogging, unless the rapist is an outsider, in which case the rapist is banished. When freed from imprisonment, a rapist is not considered criminal nor considered to be bad.

The social reaction to rape is rarely favorable to the victim. The human victims of gang rape are between the ages of 15 and 33. Child rape is rare. The rape of a child under the age of 14 or 15 is considered a serious crime. The victim loses her good name in almost all cases, and encounters difficulty in regaining her place in society and family. If the victim of rape is single, then fewer males desire her as a wife. If she is married, her husband may abandon her."
Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the guy or his game. It's shit. But he just throws it out there (And the 2004 edition doubles down on it, with specific details of how various species punish rapists); he doesn't do anything with the information, he just wants you to know that he's done a lot of research into rape in the past (Or rather, he's read one book). I don't think 2000's vintage Byron Hall was an actual danger, he was just a That Guy who I wouldn't invite back to my table.

I do like these entries from the punishment section, though

Dwarf, Black: The criminal is struck on the erect Manhood with a footman's war hammer.
Troll, Subterranean: The criminal is kneed in the groin by the plaintiff until satisfied with justice.
 

Brock Savage

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Know I'm getting a bit strident here but FATAL in my view should not be normalized as just some mildly offensive thing.
I hate to break it to you dude but FATAL is an elaborate troll and satire piece deliberately created to offend middle-class sensibilities and provoke pearl clutching.
 

Stumpydave

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CoD/nWoD2 as a whole had some weird design choices. And reading CtL2 in particular it felt like they scrubbed some of the flavor out — I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Tell me about it. 1st ed. had fluff about killing someone's fetch, 2nd ed had some kind of CW/Riverdale love triangle of people who'd known each other before the abduction, escaped together and subsequently carried on their lives regardless of the mysteries of Faerie. Not much loss there.
 

The Convenient Skill

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I'd forgotten Fate Core, I was so meh about it.

FATE 2.0 was the pinnacle, very character focused and streamlined, the whole Spirit of the Century period thought, Aspects are cool let's go Aspects galore!

Fate Core just carried that on, hey, everything can be an Aspect or a character or a modifier - you decide! Let's make Aspects more complicated while we're at it.

The only saving grace is that everything is still backwards compatible with 2.0 and Fudge.

However the one thing that irritates me most is renaming Fudge dice Fate dice.
 

Black Leaf

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I hate to break it to you dude but FATAL is an elaborate troll and satire piece deliberately created to offend middle-class sensibilities and provoke pearl clutching.
I genuinely don't think it is, although I know that's a common opinion. It's simply too extensive in its rubbishness. Nobody is going to write that many pages just to troll.
 

Brock Savage

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I genuinely don't think it is, although I know that's a common opinion. It's simply too extensive in its rubbishness. Nobody is going to write that many pages just to troll.
Your mistake is thinking that only lazy simpletons troll. People can put incredible amounts of effort and brainpower into trolling.
 
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Gabriel

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FATAL can be both genuine AND a troll.

It's difficult to view the "fan interaction" the creator had with RPGnet back in the day and not feel that the author isn't at least partially taking the piss.
 

PolarBlues

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However the one thing that irritates me most is renaming Fudge dice Fate dice.

Yes, rebranding Fudge dice as Fate dice always struck me as a little mean-spritied, in a "it's not personal, it's just business" sense. As I understand it though, technically Fate dice are just a brand of Fudge dice licensed from Grey Ghost, so at least the publishers of Fudge are getting something out of this deal. But I could be wrong.
 
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Psychopomp

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I will second that Exalted Essence is not a "rules light" version of Exalted. It is a version of Exalted 3rd edition toned down to the realm of human cognitive capacity. It presents a very cut down Essence mote tracking system (with mote pools in the single digits instead of double and most Charms costing 1 mote) and Charm lists (both in terms of how many Charms a single character will have, and the number of Charms in the game in total).

There's a lot of shared Charms with one basic rules block with small tweaks for a few of the Exalt types that have them. The skill list is pared down nicely, and the 3x3 Physical/Social/Mental attributes are cut down to three approaches (a lot like in Fate Accelerated). They kept the withering/decisive attack system from 3rd edition, but divorced it from when you go in the round changing as you gain or lose advantage in the battle.

Essence Edition is still very much Exalted, and thus medium-high crunch. It's just...I guess they finally realized that having a three inch thick (I'm not kidding, I ordered a print copy in a moment of weakness) core rulebook with actual hundreds of bullshit-incremental Solar charms might, maybe, perhaps not be conducive to bringing in new players. Third edition ran me off with a stick. Essence looks more like what third edition would have been with better control over the initial developers, more recognizable as a playble Exalted game than a vanity project in complicated game mechanics.
 

Toadmaster

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Wait, people play Rolemaster? I assumed people just did what we did as kids and read the critical hit table to each other with awe.

I went through a MERP and Rolemaster phase in the mid 80s. I liked a lot of what it did, sort of D&D with a real skill system. The downfall was over time I started to feel like the die rolls and magic items were much more important than the actual character stats. Largely due to those cool crit / fumble tables. I started to sarcastically refer to it as Rollmaster towards the end.

I think there was a lot of potential in it,, and I've always been a bit curious about the last edition.
 

Torque2100

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I actually collect RPG manuals. I have tones that I have no intention of actually playing.

One thing I do find fascinating are infamously bad RPGs. Collecting them is something of a hobby of mine. I actually have Shelf of Shame where I keep the infamously horrible ones. It is currently occupied by copies of Cthulhutech, Senzar, Mutant Chronicles 1st edition, Ravenstar and Marauder 2107.

A physical copy of FATAL is something of a holy grail for this collection. I know FATAL games did sell them once upon a time, I've periodically looked on eBay and Abe Books to no avail.
 

Necrozius

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My perspective is different than others, I think. Shelf-space (or general space) is limited in my little house. I can't keep books forever. If they don't get flipped through once in a while, or have some kind of direct value, they have to go.

Freeing up my shelf of Numenera books felt relieving.
 

Imaginos

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My perspective is different than others, I think. Shelf-space (or general space) is limited in my little house. I can't keep books forever. If they don't get flipped through once in a while, or have some kind of direct value, they have to go.

I am very much in this camp. Games wax and wane in my eyes and if they are fading I have no issue getting rid of them (even if I will reacquire them later). I’m even about to go through another season of purge.
 

TristramEvans

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My perspective is different than others, I think. Shelf-space (or general space) is limited in my little house. I can't keep books forever. If they don't get flipped through once in a while, or have some kind of direct value, they have to go.

Freeing up my shelf of Numenera books felt relieving.

Yeah, I go through periodic purges.

RPGs tend to be first to the chopping block, honestly, especially as I almost exclusivelly run Phaserip and plan to the rest of my life
 

chuckdee

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Wait, people play Rolemaster? I assumed people just did what we did as kids and read the critical hit table to each other with awe.
It was the only thing I played for a while. I haven't played in a while though... but that could be said of most games.
 

Tulpa Girl

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PolarBlues

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I actually collect RPG manuals. I have tones that I have no intention of actually playing.

One thing I do find fascinating are infamously bad RPGs. Collecting them is something of a hobby of mine. I actually have Shelf of Shame where I keep the infamously horrible ones. It is currently occupied by copies of Cthulhutech, Senzar, Mutant Chronicles 1st edition, Ravenstar and Marauder 2107.

Is Mutant Chronicles 1e that bad? I have no experience with it but I've never heard of it described as a Hall of Shame sort of game. Now I am curious.
 

chuckdee

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Is Mutant Chronicles 1e that bad? I have no experience with it but I've never heard of it described as a Hall of Shame sort of game. Now I am curious.
We played it for a while, and I didn't find it that bad.
 

Fenris-77

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My hall of shame also includes Freebase, that little pamphlet game that came packaged with the HoL supplement. Not because of the game at all, which is a hilarious satire of LARP, D&D, and WoD, but rather the gamers who didn't realize it was satire.
 

Gabriel

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Marauder 2107.

That's the one! I was trying to recall this one while we were throwing names in for the lists. I had been constantly seeing this one on ebay right alongside Kazei 5 a couple of years ago. I could remember Kazei 5, but I could not recall the name of Marauder 2107.
 

Brock Savage

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It gets panned more in the setting elements, particularly IIRC, the rape camps. (I think that’s right. Never actually read it myself.)
Not sure why people would get their panties in a twist over terrible things happening to people in a Mythos setting. Since the deep ones are a big faction in the setting it should come as no surprise that they have established camps along the coasts to breed more hybrids. Breeding with humans, voluntary and involuntary, has been their schtick since The Shadow Over Innsmouth circa 1931.

Edit: The system is not really good. It incorporates a weird poker thing where you have to look for pairs and straights in your dice pool.
 

Dyrnwyn

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My perspective is different than others, I think. Shelf-space (or general space) is limited in my little house. I can't keep books forever. If they don't get flipped through once in a while, or have some kind of direct value, they have to go.

Freeing up my shelf of Numenera books felt relieving.

This is why I've gone digital-only, with the exception of my 5E PHB (which is also the only 5E book I own).
 

lategamer

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Feck. Six pages already when I join this thread and I'm loading each page with trepidation.

1. The fear of seeing my work there.
2. The knowledge that my work was so obscure, no-one would even think of it as being in any Hall, never mind one of shame.
 

Gringnr

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Feck. Six pages already when I join this thread and I'm loading each page with trepidation.

1. The fear of seeing my work there.
2. The knowledge that my work was so obscure, no-one would even think of it as being in any Hall, never mind one of shame.
Confess your sins...

Find absolution in the cleansing power of SWO...

Be rid of your inner geese...

Free yourself from the 2D20 that binds you...
 

lategamer

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My heartbreaker was Wraith. The part where one of the Disciplines (Usury?) was about moving pips from one column to another. And I thought "what a waste of oxygen in letting that writer breathe". And I discarded what should have been the second most interesting book from White Wolf.

They have compounded this in nWoD/COD. Sad times.
 

Gringnr

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I mean Z-Man Z-Man was self-deprecating about his game and it's actually bitchin', so...
 

Ladybird

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Yes, rebranding Fudge dice as Fate dice always struck me as a little mean-spritied, in a "it's not personal, it's just business" sense. As I understand it though, technically Fate dice are just a brand of Fudge dice licensed from Grey Ghost, so at least the publishers of Fudge are getting something out of this deal. But I could be wrong.
I suspect a big chunk is also that +/=/- dice never really caught on outside of Fudge, so there was never a "generic" term for them; so when Fate really blew up, as EH were having to create their own product line for retailers, calling them "Fate dice" made a lot more sense ("You order Fate books and Fate dice") than "you order Fate books and Fudge dice".
 

Necrozius

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If you're still interested, The Book of Hanz has helped many people understand what they don't grok.

I scanned the sections that should cover the concepts I've had trouble understanding... and I still don't.

What's wrong with me? Not a rhetorical question. I must have a serious mental block. Fate has never "clicked" for me, and I've got so many of the books, hoping that each one would better uncover the secret.

Just when I think I've got it, someone on a forum goes "...but THIS part here doesn't make sense" and then my mental house of cards falls apart and I have to start all over again.

What is so unique about Fate that I struggle so hard to keep a fragile comprehension of it? So easily destroyed by a new argument?
 

Torque2100

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Is Mutant Chronicles 1e that bad? I have no experience with it but I've never heard of it described as a Hall of Shame sort of game. Now I am curious.
MC 1st edition is a very frustrating game. The setting is full of really neat ideas: it really manages to do the Dieselpunk "days of future past in space" thing better than 40k ever did. The Dark Legion are an incredibly unique bad guy.

Unfortunately, the game suffers from something of an identity crisis that makes it borderline unplayable. The rules can't seem to decide of they want to be an RPG or a miniatures skirmish wargame. The setting is highly contradictory, with some materials claiming that "computers are all corrupted by the Dark Symmetry" but then having computer terminals feature prominently in a lot of adventures. The game talks up a Shadowrun-style Corporate Espianoge Freelancers game, but then most of the setting material concerns the Military and comes off more like 40k Codex Fluff. The setting details are overly broad and really missing a lot of the nitty gritty detail of what it's like to live in the Mutant Chronicles Solar System.

To top it all off, the rules as written are so poorly edited, they're basically unplayable. Weapon stats are missing, or printed in the wrong places. Rule paragraphs are so poorly written as to be useless. The game RAW requires minis: character movement rates and weapon ranges are given in grid squares with no details on exactly how to convert those measurements into feet or meters.

Overall, Modiphius did a MUCH better job making an actual role playing game than Target Games ever did.
 
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