Supposedly mainstream games you can't believe anyone actually played?

Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Shipyard Locked

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
2,222
Reaction score
4,196
I was flipping through White Wolf's Kindred of the East a few days ago, thinking about how basically unusable it was for such a high profile release (in tabletop terms). Asian vampires were apparently so thematically awesome and inscrutable that you had to track three kinds of main energy (red, black, and demon chi), track the ratio between them, track three poorly contextualized morality scores (dharma, hun and p'o), and remember how all those confusingly (and in several cases inauthentically) named things affected each other and the many, many subtle effects they had on commonplace actions.

It's certainly not the most complicated game there ever was, but it's impenetrable enough that I have a hard time imagining it was used as much as some people I know have implied. I can imagine it mostly being used to give regular Vampire DMs two or three sessions of headaches when people showed up asking to play a character from it, then quietly getting dumped.

It's a shame they didn't just go for an expansion to their main-line vampire rules, as there are some cool evocative ideas in this thing.

You ever looked at a big-deal game or splat that made you skeptical of its actual use at the table?
 

thedungeondelver

Legendary Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
376
Reaction score
543
Exalted.

That rulebook, at least the one I had, was a dog's breakfast of fan-fic, comic books, and...I don't know what else. There's rules in there somewhere I'm sure but they're so buried in politically correct prose, metaphorical Naruto fan fiction and (albeit pretty) comic book art that to me there's no telling where it is.
 

The Butcher

Nobody fucks with him
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
4,547
Reaction score
11,550
I read the title and I was 100% sure that White Wolf games would be the first to come up! :grin:

I played Kindred of the East for a short time, and yeah, it was unnecessarily fiddly, but the mechanical break between Cainites and Kuei-Jin made perfect in-setting sense, and I was all for it.

The same group played Exalted for quite a while, and while I didn't get to play for work/study reasons, it was a big ol' campaign (sorry, "chronicle" ;)) they still remember fondly.

My entry for this thread is Planescape. WTF are PCs supposed to do in it? Get in bar brawls over metaphysics in Sigil? Head off to another plane to get eaten? (Same group also played Planescape, ironically. Sat out that one too, for the same reasons.)
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
29,069
Reaction score
81,347
I've ran Planescape games for close to 20 years. I'm just out the door now, but I can go into great length exactly what PCs can do in the setting.
 

thedungeondelver

Legendary Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
376
Reaction score
543
I'll tell you another one: Marvel Super Heroes. My constant GM buddy Kevin bought the set for the counters so we could have accurate looking tabletop representation when we did our Hero System set in Marvel. I flipped thru the rulebook back in the late 80s early 90s and was like...what the hell is this mess.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
29,069
Reaction score
81,347
Lol, I think you're taking the piss now
 

Endless Flight

SWO!
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
12,103
Reaction score
31,235
Marvel's really easy to grasp. I never played Hero but wasn't the book thicker than most phone books back then?
 

Tommy Brownell

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
3,510
Reaction score
9,015
I read the title and I was 100% sure that White Wolf games would be the first to come up! :grin:

It was the first thing that occurred to me.

Having played a session or two of Vampire, and having read multiple WoD books, I can't imagine a) anyone enjoying that system and b) that it was this big zeitgeist...and I was a moody, trenchcoat wearing dude with long hair. I should have been MISTER World of Darkness in my neighborhood.
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
3,441
Reaction score
7,774
Was Hero thick with options rather than rules? I'm okay with a thick book to an extent... choice paralysis sucks.
 

Ronin

Gentleman of Leisure
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
1,598
Reaction score
3,041
I never had issue with Vampire. But I only ever owned/used The base book, and Chicago by Night. We ran our own world. (In which the characters were basically drug dealers and serial killers, but that's another story.)
I've ran Planescape games for close to 20 years. I'm just out the door now, but I can go into great length exactly what PCs can do in the setting.
I can get behind this. The setting really doesn't do anything for me. I have zero interest in it. Reading online of people that were into it, or are. Slightly perplexes me. But I pretty much chalk it up to personal taste.
 

Endless Flight

SWO!
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
12,103
Reaction score
31,235
Can someone explain Fate to me? I think I've seen one book at a store once and it was like a supers game. It doesn't really rely on mechanics like attributes and skills much, does it?
 

Skywalker

Legendary Member
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
1,589
Reaction score
3,260
Can someone explain Fate to me? I think I've seen one book at a store once and it was like a supers game. It doesn't really rely on mechanics like attributes and skills much, does it?

FATE was the game I was going to pick as it mixes IC and narrative gameplay in an unstructured manner.

However, why explain when you watch it played.
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2017
Messages
72
Reaction score
158
Can someone explain Fate to me?

I've never been able to really understand it -- and I've played it a few times with people who seem to understand it. I think my problem with it is the "fate point economy" doesn't interest me at all. It's very in-your-face gamey where I prefer rules that fade into the background so I can just experience the world through my character most of the time. However, I obviously don't understand the game as people who like it claim I am really mischaracterizing it.
 

Simlasa

Legendary Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
2,576
Reaction score
5,415
I'd been wanting to nominate Fate for this thread but held back.
I do believe that people play it, just not nearly as widely or fervently as the noise on the forums would have you think.
It seems to be influential though, I see lots of people wanting to bring 'Aspects' and 'Fate Points' into other systems.

I have played Icons, but I've been told that isn't really truly a Fate game...
 

CRKrueger

Eläytyminatör
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
6,940
Reaction score
13,922
However, I obviously don't understand the game as people who like it claim I am really mischaracterizing it.
Nope, you understand it just fine, you're just a person who means "playing a role" when you use the term roleplaying. They...mean something else.
 

thedungeondelver

Legendary Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
376
Reaction score
543
Oh I've got another candidate: Rolemaster. Full confession - I played a lot of Rolemaster over the years. Rolemaster, a little Space Master, some MERP (which is a "lighter" (HA!) version of RM)...just...fucking awful. If I'd had another group of friends playing something else, I'd play something else.

The only good thing I have to say about Role Master is the Rob Story.
 

robiswrong

Legendary Member
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
552
Reaction score
981
Can someone explain Fate to me? I think I've seen one book at a store once and it was like a supers game. It doesn't really rely on mechanics like attributes and skills much, does it?

In theory, I'd give it a shot, but with CRKrueger here doing his "monkey-dominance-fling-poo-at-everything-when-Fate-is-mentioned" shtick, it's really not a useful expenditure of my time to sit there and have to constantly correct every little thing I type that can be willfully misinterpreted to confirm someone's preconceived notions.

Pretty much why I stopped posting over at TheRPGSite.

I might be willing to run an online game at some point, if people are really interested. Probably a better way to get the idea of the system across anyway.
 

opaopajr

Legendary Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
1,853
Reaction score
2,703
i for one welcome our poo-flinging overlords! chin chin, amicci. ciao.
:cool:
 

CRKrueger

Eläytyminatör
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
6,940
Reaction score
13,922
In theory, I'd give it a shot, but with CRKrueger here doing his "monkey-dominance-fling-poo-at-everything-when-Fate-is-mentioned" shtick, it's really not a useful expenditure of my time to sit there and have to constantly correct every little thing I type that can be willfully misinterpreted to confirm someone's preconceived notions.
Instead of dramatically bemoaning your forlorn state you could...
1. Just admit you like roleplaying+storytelling
2. Tell anyone who doesn't to screw themselves

You used to be someone worth disagreeing with.
 

Shipyard Locked

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
2,222
Reaction score
4,196
I might be willing to run an online game at some point, if people are really interested. Probably a better way to get the idea of the system across anyway.

What is your opinion of the Wil Wheaton video that was linked earlier?
 

Endless Flight

SWO!
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
12,103
Reaction score
31,235
In theory, I'd give it a shot, but with CRKrueger here doing his "monkey-dominance-fling-poo-at-everything-when-Fate-is-mentioned" shtick, it's really not a useful expenditure of my time to sit there and have to constantly correct every little thing I type that can be willfully misinterpreted to confirm someone's preconceived notions.

Pretty much why I stopped posting over at TheRPGSite.

I might be willing to run an online game at some point, if people are really interested. Probably a better way to get the idea of the system across anyway.

Go ahead and give it a shot. There's no swine here.
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
3,441
Reaction score
7,774
Fate is weird. My first encounter with the system was 2nd edition. The one that came before the current one (Core). I saw a lot of potential in Aspects and the dice seemed nifty.

What got me confused, and still does, no matter how many times others explain it to me, is the whole "aspects are always, always true, but you have to spend the meta currency to use them to your benefit". That just doesn't compute.

Example: if you're the Last Son of Krypton, it is always true that you have all of Superman's powers... But if you want to use them in a tense situation, better contrive a bunch of bad shit to happen to you so that you can acquire Fate points that allow you to use these powers at all.

I've been told that it isn't actually like that, but every example seems to follow my misconceptions. To the point that it seems like no matter how different each PC's Aspects are, every character ends up affecting the game in the exact same efficacy.

I know that Fate is enormously popular, but I can't figure out why. If it didn't have the above features, I'd be more of a fan.

Edit: I should probably try the game again. My past two experiences were rather negative and confirmed my confusion.
 

Shipyard Locked

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
2,222
Reaction score
4,196
... but every example seems to follow my misconceptions.

My experience exactly. I can't think of too many games where the common official examples AND player provided examples only served to make the game more impenetrable.

My personal stumbling blocks were always Create Advantage, Stunts, and Free Invocations rather than the aspects though.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
29,069
Reaction score
81,347
In theory, I'd give it a shot, but with CRKrueger here doing his "monkey-dominance-fling-poo-at-everything-when-Fate-is-mentioned" shtick, it's really not a useful expenditure of my time to sit there and have to constantly correct every little thing I type that can be willfully misinterpreted to confirm someone's preconceived notions.

Pretty much why I stopped posting over at TheRPGSite.

I might be willing to run an online game at some point, if people are really interested. Probably a better way to get the idea of the system across anyway.

I for one would be interested in hearing this. CK is just one poster, he's entitled to his opinion like everyone else here.
 
Last edited:

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
29,069
Reaction score
81,347
Fate is weird. My first encounter with the system was 2nd edition. The one that came before the current one (Core). I saw a lot of potential in Aspects and the dice seemed nifty.

What got me confused, and still does, no matter how many times others explain it to me, is the whole "aspects are always, always true, but you have to spend the meta currency to use them to your benefit". That just doesn't compute.

My experience is the same. I liked the concepts put forth in Fate 2nd edition, but once the "Fate point economy" entered the picture I was bewildered and put off.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
29,069
Reaction score
81,347
I'm not sure it's anything close to "mainstream" (whatever that means in our little hobby), but my vote is for Nobilis.
 

opaopajr

Legendary Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
1,853
Reaction score
2,703
Wil Wheaton is cancer.

(I'm sorry; I know you didn't direct that at me, I just feel it necessary to point that out whenever Wil Wheaton comes up.)

This will likely derail our poor mine cart in our Temple of Doom here, but I thought that was mostly confined to the ST:TNG character Wesley. (Here it comes...) What makes him so -- disagreeable? (yes, that's diplomatic) -- as of late as standard bearer of all that is nerddom? (and our mine cart wheels detach!)
:oops:
 

Shipyard Locked

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
2,222
Reaction score
4,196
What makes him so -- disagreeable?

DANGER, DANGER!


rOmbcuJ.png


Let's not bring Wheaton's politics/ideology into this, lest we become tangency / pungency. Only things he has said/done relevant to the current discussion about FATE.
 
Last edited:
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top