What's a noncritically acclaimed RPG that you like?

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Ralph Dula

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Also unlike D&D of the time (or most later versions for that matter) your social class mattered a lot, and a good many professions were built around social skills, not combat or adventuring. No levels or anything much like them either.

Journeys had an issue where they expanded on it even further, which seems odd now that I think about it, as the DJ adventures in the magazine were usually combat-focused.
 

Voros

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Yokai Hunters Society is a nifty, concisely designed OSRish rpg with great art and theme.

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Not sure why it isn't more appreciated while more mediocre OSR rulesets that shall remain unnamed get all the hype.

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Gabriel

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I guess I might as well inform everyone that the sky is blue and water is wet.

I like the Strange Machine Games version of Robotech. I haven't seen any real talk of it at all online. And I get it, because I like it and even I haven't succeeded in getting it played at the table.

But when I read it, I definitely feel that a true Robotech game has finally been delivered. Its focus on skills which are approaches to problems rather than literalistic things like Pilot Veritech strikes me as exactly the kind of thing I wanted. The way mecha combat works, the background mecha go POP pretty easy and the main character's mecha have some staying power but aren't invincible stacks of HP. It's even potentially reasonable to play a non-mecha character, because the system provides some rules space so those types of characters actually have potential function.

I suppose it doesn't hurt that I have a little bit of a crush on dice pool success counting mechanics right now. It's generally speaking, a narrative style game, but it's narrative in a way that makes sense to me rather than narrative in a mechanistic way revolving around trading points around and operating under a meta economic system which determines who has the right to contribute. The system matches much more with my methodology where the system is something you use in addition to the narration, not to control the narration.

That's not to say it's an easy read. It has concepts which are odd to me and I wouldn't call it the most clearly written RPG book ever, but I do think I've got it puzzled out by paying close attention and scouring the examples of play in the book.

Sadly, I think that all the Robotech games suffer the same kind of thing I noted back when I talked about the Battlefield Press Robotech book. None of them get played. I think all the Robotech games are just being purchased so the purchaser can say they have a Robotech game on their shelf. And sadly, I can't exclude myself from that group either.
 

TristramEvans

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Alas for the Awful Sea is very fun if you like the genre "Island Realism".

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Endless Flight

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xanther

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I tend to like Aftermath! (even though it's super-detailed combat not for me). Atomic Highway...just a great game in my mind, and in the US at least Dragon Warriors doesn't get much love but love it I do.
 

The Convenient Skill

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Games that I love which are underrated, unheard of, or seem to have been forgotten are:

Freeform Universal
Super light, almost number-less (read highest or lowest), low dice count (about 4 at max), d6 only, slight narrative push almost every roll, characters on an index card, multi-genre and probably some other things for why I love it. Currently my favourite game (for a few years now).

Fudge
I remember when Fudge was going through a renaissance, with Fudge Factor and the Fudge Forum. I'd just come out of GURPS (natural progession I'd say), and it seemed perfect. Still really like it and don't really like that Fate has stolen a lot of its thunder. I do enjoy recommending it when people stumble into problems with Fate though. Saying that, FATE 2.0 does Fate so much better.

Danger Patrol
I love the fact that those 8 roles seemingly cover all adventuring tropes (renamed for genre-savvy), to the point where I drop everything else and just use those rules. So it's not really DP, just heavily inspired.
 

Sloth_in_a_bowl

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Two games that I would like to play more of but are largely unknown are.

All For One. The ubiquity based game of hunting demons, vampires and other nasties of the night in 17th century France. You are one of the king's musketeers (or a similar group).

The edge of midnight. Noir adventures in a not Earth with a single alternative race to humans and physics based magic. America has been cut off from the rest of the world, but it's never really explained as to why. The system could easily be used for standard Earth noir adventures from the 30's to 50's.
 

Ralph Dula

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The edge of midnight. Noir adventures in a not Earth with a single alternative race to humans and physics based magic. America has been cut off from the rest of the world, but it's never really explained as to why. The system could easily be used for standard Earth noir adventures from the 30's to 50's.

I’m a bit confused, as back in the day I was told it was explained why it was cut off, and it kind of turned me off to the game.
 

Sloth_in_a_bowl

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I’m a bit confused, as back in the day I was told it was explained why it was cut off, and it kind of turned me off to the game.
Page 98 of the core rules talks about how people cannot remember any strong details about places abroad and remember it like a vivid dream. Also "though passage across the ocean is easy to obtain, it is strangely difficult to complete the journey". The whole cutoff from the world thing is weirdly vague.
Also the world is cutoff from its past which is slightly better defined. To end the great war overseas a magic bomb was used called the White Light, events before the triggering of this bomb are vague, events after are remembered. There are a group called the Few that know something is wrong but no details as to what exactly it is or what anybody could do about it.

The core book provides four different flavours of what actually happened, with the main one being that this world was created by the first atomic bomb on Earth and became a trap point for all the lost people throughout human history. The memories of earlier times and other places are memories of Earth before that person became lost. It's unsatisfactory at best.
I personally would GM the world as a bit less strange, but as written there is a big gap in explaining what the hell is actually happening to the world because it has to fit multiple theories.
 
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Ralph Dula

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The core book provides four different flavours of what actually happened, with the main one being that this world was created by the first atomic bomb on Earth and became a trap point for all the lost people throughout human history.

Ah. Sounds like the fellow who was trying to sell me on the game mixed this with his own ideas. His aspect was that everyone in the game was a copy of a real person, created by an atomic bomb that created them and the city in a pocket dimension. There were so many aspects to that I didn’t like (And I’m giving a succinct version of his, well, version) I just grew cold to the game.
 

AsenRG

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Ah. Sounds like the fellow who was trying to sell me on the game mixed this with his own ideas. His aspect was that everyone in the game was a copy of a real person, created by an atomic bomb that created them and the city in a pocket dimension. There were so many aspects to that I didn’t like (And I’m giving a succinct version of his, well, version) I just grew cold to the game.
Then maybe you should check the game yourself?
 

ORtrail

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Come to think of it, I loved, loved, loved Bureau 13 and Fringeworthy, and Incursion, too, to a lesser degree. Was never mad enough to actually play them, mind, but loved the premise and basic arrangement of the settings in all their simple, arcadian splendour. Complete bonkers, but who cares?

ETA: Not sure about Bureau 13, it did win an award, but just for the cover, IIRC.

They are all fun settings, though the rules were on the crunchy side. Another setting, Hardwired Hinterland is the Deal of the Day over on DrivethruRPG today. Just setting material, to be paired with the game system of your choice.

 

Simlasa

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I like UNIGames' Bethorn, which is Jeff Dee's Tekumel game, using that company's 'Pocket Universe' system.
But my mention here goes to their Quicksilver game, which uses the same rules in a different fantasy setting.
The magic has a slightly more science fantasy feel to it and the quicksilver of the title is a psychically responsive substance that can be shaped by magic users into all sorts of purposes. It reminds me a bit of the 'wraithbone' substance in 40K... which the space elf witches use to make everything from weapons to space craft.

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FreeGamer

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Metropole Luxury Coffin - you play people in a coffin-hotel-inspired apartment complex in a world in which phone minutes are the basic currency. You have to navigate the social complexities of a place in which the clothing brand(s) you wear determine who you associate with the best and perform various jobs in order to earn enough minutes to move up to a better floor. Meals are simple; drinks come in red, orange, or purple; and even going out onto the sidewalk uses up precious phone minutes. Be careful, or you could run out of minutes and be shipped off to a labor colony.

Dead Inside - apparently the redheaded stepchild of PDQ games, but the only one with a premise that particularly interests me. You play characters who(at least at first) have lost their soul through one of various possible ways. And you play out their quest to regain it, which can go a number of directions. They can do the tried and true method of doing good even when it's difficult, or they can use less savory methods to steal soul from others. The setting has everything from zombies to magi, explained by the state of their body(dead, alive) and how much soul they currently possess(none, little, regular, double or more).

Legends of the Wulin - it got a little bit of press when it was new, but then was mostly forgotten. It kind of makes sense. The system is a bit baroque, and whoever organized the book . . . well, it's utterly bafflng that they wouldn't have taken a page or 2 to index the loresheets spread throughout the various chapters. They're important from a rules perspective as well as a narrative one, so a quick reference really should have been in the rules or character generation chapter. They also make a big deal about how undesirable chi imbalances are, but nothing in the rules backs this up. Almost every martial art(maybe every one? I don't recall any non-element-aligned MAs, but it's been a while), simply by learning it, will give you a chi imbalance. And the only penalty is that it'll become more expensive to raise another element's chi that you probably weren't interested in anyway. Chi imbalances are literally all positive with no real drawbacks. Otherwise, looks like a great game.
 

Charlie D

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Summerland 2E. "A role-playing game of desolation and redemption in the Sea of Leaves". It uses the Star Wars d6 system but is post-apocalyptic. I like the use of an existing system that runs so smoothly already. The art is stunning.

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The PCs are Drifters, humans with a great trauma. Their trauma allows them to go out into a world overgrown with trees that sends out a Call luring humans to their doom. The trauma helps PCs resist the Call. The trauma lets them wander from small settlement to small settlement but it also means no settlement will allow them to stay. Trying to remove the trauma and find a home is a big part of the game along with survival, horror, and combat. Best part is no explanation for how or why the Seas of Leaves appeared all at once is given.

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Savage Schemer

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Summerland 2E. "A role-playing game of desolation and redemption in the Sea of Leaves". It uses the Star Wars d6 system but is post-apocalyptic. I like the use of an existing system that runs so smoothly already. The art is stunning.

View attachment 37851

The PCs are Drifters, humans with a great trauma. Their trauma allows them to go out into a world overgrown with trees that sends out a Call luring humans to their doom. The trauma helps PCs resist the Call. The trauma lets them wander from small settlement to small settlement but it also means no settlement will allow them to stay. Trying to remove the trauma and find a home is a big part of the game along with survival, horror, and combat. Best part is no explanation for how or why the Seas of Leaves appeared all at once is given.

View attachment 37852

I've looked sideways at this game for a long time, wondering if I'd ever play it. What sort of "bad guys" are you up against in this game? The product description gives a strong sense of the surreal survival horror thing, but no sense at all for what sort of combat you'll find yourself in.
 

Charlie D

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I've looked sideways at this game for a long time, wondering if I'd ever play it. What sort of "bad guys" are you up against in this game? The product description gives a strong sense of the surreal survival horror thing, but no sense at all for what sort of combat you'll find yourself in.

In the main rulebook it is mostly humans and animals. Many humans have trauma of their own that can pop up unexpectedly. Some of the adventures have supernatural elements as well.

In addition, you have all the perils of backpacking through dense forest. Plus the Call trying to lure the Drifters in. And settlements trying to survive with no power grid, no infrastructure, and no large scale government or government assistance.

Most adventures start with the Drifters approaching a new settlement. The Drifters need a settlement to rest but each friendly settlement will want something in return which creates a cycle of the Drifters experiencing more trauma and needing more rest. The PCs have to balance it all which puts the game firmly in their hands but driven by mechanics. Each settlement is unique and sample ones are included along with adventure hooks.

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AsenRG

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I like UNIGames' Bethorn, which is Jeff Dee's Tekumel game, using that company's 'Pocket Universe' system.
But my mention here goes to their Quicksilver game, which uses the same rules in a different fantasy setting.
The magic has a slightly more science fantasy feel to it and the quicksilver of the title is a psychically responsive substance that can be shaped by magic users into all sorts of purposes. It reminds me a bit of the 'wraithbone' substance in 40K... which the space elf witches use to make everything from weapons to space craft.

View attachment 37839
I love Bethorm. Maybe I should check Quicksilver as well...:shade:

Legends of the Wulin - it got a little bit of press when it was new, but then was mostly forgotten. It kind of makes sense. The system is a bit baroque, and whoever organized the book . . . well, it's utterly bafflng that they wouldn't have taken a page or 2 to index the loresheets spread throughout the various chapters. They're important from a rules perspective as well as a narrative one, so a quick reference really should have been in the rules or character generation chapter. They also make a big deal about how undesirable chi imbalances are, but nothing in the rules backs this up. Almost every martial art(maybe every one? I don't recall any non-element-aligned MAs, but it's been a while), simply by learning it, will give you a chi imbalance. And the only penalty is that it'll become more expensive to raise another element's chi that you probably weren't interested in anyway. Chi imbalances are literally all positive with no real drawbacks. Otherwise, looks like a great game.
Well, that's wrong. In fact, only 6 styles are elemental - no External style is elementally-aligned (nor Corrupt), nor are some of the best Internal styles in the game (9 Suns, Removing Concepts and Fox-Spirit Song).
Removing Concepts is the only style that can allow a Courtier to one-shot a xia, BTW:grin:! (OK, any style that offers a +15 or better Damage bonus could do likewise as well, when used together with a high-damage External...it's just, shall we say, highly unlikely and depends strongly on the damage dice).

Summerland 2E. "A role-playing game of desolation and redemption in the Sea of Leaves". It uses the Star Wars d6 system but is post-apocalyptic. I like the use of an existing system that runs so smoothly already. The art is stunning.

View attachment 37851

The PCs are Drifters, humans with a great trauma. Their trauma allows them to go out into a world overgrown with trees that sends out a Call luring humans to their doom. The trauma helps PCs resist the Call. The trauma lets them wander from small settlement to small settlement but it also means no settlement will allow them to stay. Trying to remove the trauma and find a home is a big part of the game along with survival, horror, and combat. Best part is no explanation for how or why the Seas of Leaves appeared all at once is given.

View attachment 37852
Fun fact: I tried recommending this game once on this forum...except I forgot the name and called it "Neverland":tongue:!
 

Picaroon Jack

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I've looked sideways at this game for a long time, wondering if I'd ever play it. What sort of "bad guys" are you up against in this game? The product description gives a strong sense of the surreal survival horror thing, but no sense at all for what sort of combat you'll find yourself in.
They provide encampments of survivors (Willshot Caverns, the Pipeline, the Boat, etc) with the same template. Some groups are openly hostile/abusive, but others seem cool at first but are coping with the whole thing a bit oddly. There is a section called "Bizarre Practices Involve" and that's when things tend to get weird. Some communities are haunted by unseen forces/entities that they placate with sacrifices and things like that. Sometimes the players end up being the target of the communities and others the players attempt to confront the thing.

There are also the Lost and the Wild, people living (existing?) out in the forest at different levels of succumbing to the call of the dark woods. There are also "unnatural animals" which may or may not be adversarial. Typically they are just really weird/intelligent.
 

remial

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My understanding was the DJ rules were hoped to be the new house rules for GDW. I believe it was in Journeys that they mentioned they were planning to release a modern-day horror game with the same ruleset.
actually there is a brief write up in one of the books, not sure which one off the top of my head, for the horror game, a run down of the psychic powers, and other stuff
 

Picaroon Jack

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I've been running the Between since July, and I've mentioned it in several other threads. A few weeks ago, the author posted on twitter that they have only sold around 300 copies on DriveThru. I've been pretty immersed in the game and it's community on their discord and watching their actual plays, but it's just odd that probably less than 1000 people have actually played it.

It makes me wonder about other niche games versus the marketing powerhouses. Any game that I would be interested in designing would probably be niche to the niche games and just be played by my group (who would be too polite to complain :hehe: ).
 

AsenRG

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I've been running the Between since July, and I've mentioned it in several other threads. A few weeks ago, the author posted on twitter that they have only sold around 300 copies on DriveThru. I've been pretty immersed in the game and it's community on their discord and watching their actual plays, but it's just odd that probably less than 1000 people have actually played it.

It makes me wonder about other niche games versus the marketing powerhouses. Any game that I would be interested in designing would probably be niche to the niche games and just be played by my group (who would be too polite to complain :hehe: ).
Yeah, I've been thinking about this lately as well:shade:. (Mostly because I've been wondering whether I should actually put in some effort into actually writing an adventure for other people to use).

Though to be fair, there might be more people than that if you count pirate sites. Which might not help the author's revenues, but at least more people might be enjoying that game...:thumbsup:
 

Picaroon Jack

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Yeah, I've been thinking about this lately as well:shade:. (Mostly because I've been wondering whether I should actually put in some effort into actually writing an adventure for other people to use).

Though to be fair, there might be more people than that if you count pirate sites. Which might not help the author's revenues, but at least more people might be enjoying that game...:thumbsup:
I only have one thing that has been bought by an indie publishing company and it does make me happy thinking someone out there is playing one of my playbooks.
 
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