Your favorite game system you wish had more success?

Sharrow

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Traveller: The New Era. Maybe if it had done better (though according to GDW staffers of the time it was doing okay) GDW wouldn't have died, and I really wanted to see where TNE's various meta-plot threads ended up (and I don't normally like meta-plots). Also, then we'd have gotten new/more 2300AD product and maybe other GDW games redone, and more options for FF&S, and...

The other one is current - GURPS. Doing better would mean more cool stuff to buy, and actually getting the Vehicle Design System instead of not.
 

T. Foster

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That makes me curious, are there currently any Heavy-Sim RPGs being published? We got a few in the 80s, but I can't honestly recall seeing any since, like, Phoenix Command
IIRC most of the old FGU games are still technically in print (mostly to prevent the original authors from being able to reclaim the rights to them), but those are all 35+ years old so not really what you probably had in mind.

I have a big soft spot for heavy-sim games and would love for them to make a comeback.
 

Ronin

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IIRC most of the old FGU games are still technically in print (mostly to prevent the original authors from being able to reclaim the rights to them), but those are all 35+ years old so not really what you probably had in mind.

I have a big soft spot for heavy-sim games and would love for them to make a comeback.
I kind of want to buy MERC, and all two of its supplements.
 

sdmsec

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I enjoyed PDQ, but it didn't seem to have staying power.
The tweaks in Jaws of the Six Serpents showed ways to extend the system without breaking the feel of it.
Zorceror of Zo was OK, but I would have liked to see this system customized to some other settings.
I could imagine a Walking Dead setting using descending ranks for resources or damage to resources.
 

spittingimage

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For an indie production, Ghastly Affair is very well done, and I wish it would be successful enough to have a range of resources. It uses a version of D20, which Is clearly influenced by D&D. Not sure what is happening with it at present, it is very much a small press publication.
I've been following the creator's blog - he's currently doing a series of articles about playing Ghastly Affair in the 1970s on a fictional American highway. Diners, roadside attractions, UFO cults, creepy redneck families... One of the classes is Late Night Cable TV Horror Movie Host.

https://engineoforacles.wordpress.com/2022/08/23/tv-stations-of-the-uncanny-highway/
 

Shipyard Locked

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I wish that Ghostbusters had been a juggernaut. Feel like the mainstream of the hobby would be a lot more interesting and fun. Plus it is a damn fine game.

I'm currently toying with running Spooktacular, the retro-clone for Ghostbusters. It's so fast to learn, I cry at the thought of all the generations who got introduced to tabletop through D&D levels of crunch.

Of course I haven't made up my mind yet. Two things are giving me pause at the moment: the probabilities for the rolls vs TN are pretty extreme and the stats in both the original game AND its retro-clone are very wishy-washy to apply.
 

Yeti Spaghetti

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I wish the Pacesetter Ltd games sold by Goblinoid Games (CryptWorld, Rot World, Time Master) would get a better marketplace hold, it really sucks Dan Proctor doesn’t have the Chill IP because I think PDFs of it and those modules would definitely sell.

It would be interesting to see if Proctor would just allow Martin Caron, the owner of Chill, to release the original Chill PDFs with the Pacesetter name and system attached. But I'm skeptical about whether Caron would have any interest in doing that.
 

Malckuss

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Do you have a game system you like a lot but doesn't get the love you feel it deserves?

For me it's gurps. I love it, especially 3e, but 4e is fine too, 3e just has so much more stuff. I liked that gurps tries to cover everything, genre settings abd rules wise. You could do nearly any setting with it and sure it wasn'tt perfect for every setting but it usually gave you enough to get by with. I wish gurps had held onto it's status abd not declined so much over the years,I still feel it deserves more gamers than it gets.
EDIT: I forgot to add my own. You may have seen me mention Hippogryph, by Lightspress Media. It fused thr d20 SRD with the Fate SRD. Due to the OGL fiasco and apparently poor sales, the author is taking it down for an undefined amount of time.
Oh, I don't know, every single game I've written?

Funny thing, the one game of mine that gets a named checked occasionally is my very first effort, Mutant Bikers of the Atomic Wastelands from 20 odd years ago. And I love my Mutant Bikers, but even I recognise that the game is more about attitude then the system, which is just was just a quick and dirty Fudge hack. I mean, despite the game's name, there are actually no rules for mutatations or for vehicle, including motorcyles. A little bit of an oversight, you'd think?

My newer stuff, while still Fudge-based, I think have so much more to offer but it just never got the same level, or really any level, of name recognition.
This sounds like the perfect time for a second edition, then. With mutants and bikes, blackjack & hookers!
Probably Atomic Highway. It's a great little post-apocalyptic game that I wish would have taken off more or at least inspired other games to experiment with the system. I was always tempted to try hacking it for a Fallout game but never got around to it.
Gallant Knight Games bought V6 engine and Atomic Highway. Not certain what they plan to do with it.
There's a lot of good stuff already listed so I'm going to avoid mentioning those games and jump in with a few others...

Wordplay (now known as Tripod System): A really nice descriptor-based narrativist dice pool system. It's pretty simple and very flexible. Aside from the generic core (which has been released in 3 versions with Tripod Essentials being the most recent) there's only been 3 games released that use the system. Starfall, Project Darklight, and Gran Meccanismo. The latter is probably the best known and most recent. Personally, I think it would be great for running something like Vampire the Masquerade or Demon the Fallen. Ah, one day maybe.
I was completely unaware of this. When did Wordplay change to Tripod System? I thought I was following Wordplay closely. Not close enough, it seems.
 
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Mankcam

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Mankcam

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A new edition is in the works, along with a system-neutral supplement collecting and greatly expanding upon the author's Uncanny Highway blog posts.
It's very much a fiction-first kind of setting, and the mechanics are not intrusive at all.
I like the version of the D20 system as Daniel J.Hanley presents it, but as long as he keeps the mechanics straight-forward and in the lighter end of the pond then the game should run fine.
 
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Voros

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I've been following the creator's blog - he's currently doing a series of articles about playing Ghastly Affair in the 1970s on a fictional American highway. Diners, roadside attractions, UFO cults, creepy redneck families... One of the classes is Late Night Cable TV Horror Movie Host.

https://engineoforacles.wordpress.com/2022/08/23/tv-stations-of-the-uncanny-highway/

This looks like a lot of fun, not sure why he felt the need to use a D&D base but from the description I can see how it would work. Will have to pick this up, maybe wait for the second edition?
 

Mankcam

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I've been hoping the proper Chaosium's Worlds of Wonder would get a proper shake of the stick ever since 1982, but it was not to be. My hope for it died in 2014 together with my expectations for nuChaosium (I scanned and OCR'd my boxed set for them then). It'll stay vapourware no doubt, though wouldn't be interested now even if they got around to putting it together.
What! You had it completely scanned for them?
I would of paid good money if they had used that for a reprint, and compiled it all in one hardcover
Like, we paid for RQ Classic Edition (which was basically the RQ2 scan + some extras), and would do likewise for WoW
This would be more easy money for them, but they don't really want their customers 'hanging on to the past' it seems
And yet, they used RQ2 as the core mainframe for RQG
I like Chaosium, but it feels like there's some odd decisions there at times
 

Mankcam

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I wish that Ghostbusters had been a juggernaut. Feel like the mainstream of the hobby would be a lot more interesting and fun. Plus it is a damn fine game.

View attachment 55294
If any game deserves a nostalgic reprint, it's Ghostbusters
Near perfect for what it does
Needs to be in a box with character cards, so you can wear them as ID badges
 

MoonHunter

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Fringeworthy. The first honest game of transdimensional exploration.
Coming in a close second....
Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic

These games, despite some bad editing decisions, were simple, easy to play, and a heck of a lot of fun. The system was adaptable and easy to do things with. Tri-Tac was designed from Grognards, by Grognards... thus lost a lot of potential players.

These games have had D20 and other game system adaptions. People like them. Just the original games, languish in obscurity. (Who even remembers the B13 novels and the video game?)
 

Arminius

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Dragonquest, mainly. I only got to play it as a combat game (Arena of Death) but I liked what I saw of the full system, and the published adventures were largely interesting and flavorful as well as being pure situation/setting—no plot or scenification.

I understand that the system was largely cloned for The Fifth Cycle but I haven’t looked closely.
 

TristramEvans

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Speaking of Marvel, the Marvel Universe RPG ( the "stones" game) I think was a clever system with a lot of potential that could have done with a few more editorial passes. I think there was a gem buried in there that sadly didn't survive long enough to find an audience, or get a desperately needed revision. It's a system I'd like to revisit at some point, maybe try to clone with a few basic fixes
 

Arminius

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And another: I’ve heard from people whose opinion I respect that SPI’s Universe didn’t work in play—I’d still have to mess around with it a bit myself—but I really liked the setting, which was enhanced by SPI having used it for a couple cool board games, Voyage of the Pandora and Star Trader.
 

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2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th? (I assume we will not discuss 6th. And 1st Ed was Champions only.)
Well technically 2nd and 3rd( I believe) were also only either Champions or the various other genres. They played well together but not perfectly. Skill and ability costs I believe varied by product so no guarantee a guy from Espionage would transfer properly to Champions or Justice Inc. I believe they only unified things under 4th edition.
 

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Same here. Honestly, it would have made a great Fantasy game with tweaks a bit closer to Marvel with a 2E and stripping out Dragonlance that wasn't really the Dragonlance people wanted. (I liked it as a setting but I was not a DL fan previously.)
I think people who liked Dragonlance didn't like the major changes, and those who didn't like Dragonlance didn't like that Palin Majere and Goldmoon were two of the most important characters. If you had no opinion of Dragonlance at all, it probably wouldn't be as big of a deal. It's like doing the Spellplague for Forgotten Realms 4e and not majorly debuffing Elminster. They really ought to have done it with a fresh setting - and it's not like they were hurting for creativity in that era.
 

migo

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I enjoyed PDQ, but it didn't seem to have staying power.
The tweaks in Jaws of the Six Serpents showed ways to extend the system without breaking the feel of it.
Zorceror of Zo was OK, but I would have liked to see this system customized to some other settings.
I could imagine a Walking Dead setting using descending ranks for resources or damage to resources.

I think the system's strength was it was simple enough to get out of the way. I liked ZoZ, but barely used the PDQ rules in it at all, and to the extent I did I'm sure I was doing it 'wrong'.
 

AsenRG

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Did Boot Hill ever get a retroclone?
Boot Hill 2e:thumbsup:?

I'm currently toying with running Spooktacular, the retro-clone for Ghostbusters. It's so fast to learn, I cry at the thought of all the generations who got introduced to tabletop through D&D levels of crunch.

Of course I haven't made up my mind yet. Two things are giving me pause at the moment: the probabilities for the rolls vs TN are pretty extreme and the stats in both the original game AND its retro-clone are very wishy-washy to apply.
I'm right there with you...crying in the other corner, I guess:smile:?

OK, this comparison doesn't sound as good as I'd like it...but oh, well! At least I keep doing what I can to change that:wink:.
 

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This sounds like the perfect time for a second edition, then. With mutants and bikes, blackjack & hookers!

I did a "20th Anniversary" edition, but I did not dare change any of the original rules, just tidying up the art and layout. The truth is I was never quite sure why the Mutant Bikers were (by my very modest standards) something of a minor hit, I dared not tinker with it. I think I just got lucky.

I wrote MBAW I was young, still quite new to roleplaying games. It was something I ran for my friends and at one point I persuaded myself to put it online on my personal website, back in the days people had personal websites. As such it was just a bunch HTML pages that shared my site with a few Gamma World related page and some of my optional rules for MB's Hero Quest.

Eventually I shut down the site, but the Mutant Bikers would not die. There were mirror sites all over the place, People had ripped the HTML pages, and shared it as a PDF document. And that's not counting at least two MBAW retroclones called "Route 666" and "Full Throttle" which lifted the text of MBAW word for word with just a few tweaks here and there. There was even a Savage Worlds MBAW conversion, which is bizarre given that MBAW has barely any setting fluff or hard stats that need converting.

Decades later, when I joined the UK Roleplaying Collective and starting sharing my new games on their site, I took the time to reissue MBAW properly with a 20th Anniversay edition, even though, truth be told, I have actually no idea of when exactly I wrote the original or when that anniversary might have occurred. As I said, all I did is touch up the illustrations and layout. MBAW had proven itself a survivor, who was I to mess with that?
 
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Kobayashi

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Another one is William McAusland's Mutant Epoch. It's not that I even like the game but the sheer amount of material he released is quite impressive (and I like his art style).
 

PrivateEye

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This sounds like the perfect time for a second edition, then. With mutants and bikes, blackjack & hookers!

Gallant Knight Games bought V6 engine and Atomic Highway. Not certain what they plan to do with it.

I was completely unaware of this. When did Wordplay change to Tripod System? I thought I was following Wordplay closely. Not close enough, it seems.
Pretty recent I think - I'm a big fan and got my copy a couple of months back
 

chuckdee

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Speaking of Marvel, the Marvel Universe RPG ( the "stones" game) I think was a clever system with a lot of potential that could have done with a few more editorial passes. I think there was a gem buried in there that sadly didn't survive long enough to find an audience, or get a desperately needed revision. It's a system I'd like to revisit at some point, maybe try to clone with a few basic fixes
Glad to see someone else appreciates it. I started trying to use some of the ideas for my Bridgers RPG. I really need to revisit that and polish it some more.
 

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I was completely unaware of this. When did Wordplay change to Tripod System? I thought I was following Wordplay closely. Not close enough, it seems.

Pretty recent I think - I'm a big fan and got my copy a couple of months back

The new edition had been in the works for quite a long time but I think the name change came about last summer (that's when I heard of it first anyway). Apparently some people were confusing it for a word puzzle game! Tripod, as in Traits in Pools of Dice, was felt to be be more descriptive too.
 

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I’m a huge fan of Barbarians of Lemuria and the new Dicey Tales pulp version just released to Kickstarter backers looks great. I’m not so hot on the generic version, Everywhen, which is why it’s so great Dicey Tales has happened.

Agreed! I would love to see BoL and its offspring get more consistent recognition, it's such a great rules engine. Looking forward to playing the new Dicey Tales. The Everywhen core book didn't really do much for me either, but I'm glad Garnett is still publishing some solid variant settings (he's currently working on a non-Lemuria S&S supplement) and adventures.
 

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I think the system's strength was it was simple enough to get out of the way. I liked ZoZ, but barely used the PDQ rules in it at all, and to the extent I did I'm sure I was doing it 'wrong'.
I loved Truth and Justice. I would kill for a second edition - and a print version of the Achtung! Cthulhu version.
 

PrivateEye

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Agreed! I would love to see BoL and its offspring get more consistent recognition, it's such a great rules engine. Looking forward to playing the new Dicey Tales. The Everywhen core book didn't really do much for me either, but I'm glad Garnett is still publishing some solid variant settings (he's currently working on a non-Lemuria S&S supplement) and adventures.
The new Dicey Tales looks excellent - I have the Kickstarter PDF version and I'm currently writing an adventure for it set in the pacific, which I hope to playtest shortly. The game author is full of ideas for the game - here
 

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For those looking for a new version of Ghostbusters, you should check out Spooktackular and the free Sixtacular SRD by Yaruki Zero. It not 1-for-1 clone but is pretty decent, especially if you just need the rules to share at the table and you still have your Ghostbusters boxed set.

Marvel SAGA fans should know there are several retroclones in the works and that Tab Creations core system was inspires by SAGA (Shadows Over Sol, Against the Dark Yogi, Age of Ambition).
 

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For Ghostbusters clones there is also the Ghosts of Manhattan book for ACE, the Awfully Cheerful Engine. I think the ACE corebook is excellent - the Ghostbusters system is so good, it deserves the generic system treatment. I've not heard great things about the world books that go with ACE. I have the Star Trek parody Beam Me Up and it strikes me as a little lazy.
 

Mankcam

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Prose, Drama, Qualities
PDQ.

I came back to mention this, because I forgot to do so in my previous post.
Seems like others are already onto it however. Good to know PDQ still occasionally gets some appreciation.

PDQ is one of those 'narrative/fiction-first' generic/multi-genre systems, with very simple straightforward mechanics to cover most situations.
Characters are made up of an assortment of individualised narrative descriptors (Qualities) which have skill values attached to them.
Opponents and challenging situations work exactly the same way, they are descriptors with a skill level attached to them.

1674687117320.png

Roll 2D6 over TN, that's pretty much it.
The core mechanic just rifts off those descriptors when need be, and there's not much to it after that.
Your descriptors can be damaged/depleted, so that's the capacity tracker/HP.

There isn't any bloat on the character sheet, just the character description and a few narrative descriptors with skill levels attached to them.
Everything fits on an index card sized character sheet, which is really good - it helps it all to fade into the background quite well; and it's very free-form at the table.

Such a simple system, and IMO it deserves to be as just as prominent as Cypher, Fate, Everywhen/BoL, or PbtA
I have a few PDQ books and they are gold, very handy to pick up and run with

Easy enough for anyone to check out the PDQ free core mechanics

Then decide whether to buy a couple of titles like Jaws of the Six Serpents, Questers of the Middle Realms, The Zorcerer of Zo, etc
Those books are all digest-sized, and probably some of the best value-for-money titles in my collection
I can easily imagine more popularity with PDQ if the production standards of the books was closer to Forbidden Lands or Vaesen - because that's what catches the eye on the shelves, not indie publications.

I'm half interested in converting my kids' D&D game to Questers Of The Middle Realm and be done with it
It ticks all the high fantasy boxes I need without any crunch, this is one of my favourite games, so I don't know why I'm not running it
PDQ certainly couldn't do Game of Thrones, but it sure can do Greyhawk or something like it.

It's really easy enough to convert settings to PDQ, it's just a matter of handwaving everything

Another system similar to PDQ is Chaosium's HeroQuest (retitled Questworlds in the next forthcoming edition), wherein the characters just have a bunch of often individualised narrative descriptors (Keywords) that have values assigned to them, and resolved by the same core D20 mechanic.

I don't feel HQ suited the setting of Glorantha (which hums better with a gritty version of BRP like RQ).
HQ would have been really good for a rollicking Action/Adventure setting like Indiana Jones or Uncharted, or perhaps a Crime Detective Noir setting or something like that, but it just didn't feel suited for Glorantha for me

Both HQ and PDQ systems are really quite good, although I found that PDQ was more straightforward and clear than HQ was.
Both systems didn't get much support by comparision to most games. HQ was sporadically supported for a bit (although many just bought the setting books for Gloranthan lore, and used BRP/RQ), whilst PDQ only had a couple of small books to it's name.

It's criminal that both HQ and PDQ the PDQ didn't get more recognition, they are both very adaptable.
Both feel like such a missed opportunity
 
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Ronin

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Fringeworthy. The first honest game of transdimensional exploration.
Coming in a close second....
Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic

These games, despite some bad editing decisions, were simple, easy to play, and a heck of a lot of fun. The system was adaptable and easy to do things with. Tri-Tac was designed from Grognards, by Grognards... thus lost a lot of potential players.

These games have had D20 and other game system adaptions. People like them. Just the original games, languish in obscurity. (Who even remembers the B13 novels and the video game?)
I remember the b13 novels. My friends and I read them in high school. We played a short campaign of it using palladium heros unlimited. Those were fun games. Good memories.
 

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Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot is one of the funniest roleplaying game rule books I have ever read.

I've flirted with picking up Questers of the Middle Realms but, shallow as it may sound, I was always put off by the scrawly font it uses. Maybe Tim will revisit it one day.
 

Mankcam

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Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot is one of the funniest roleplaying game rule books I have ever read.

I've flirted with picking up Questers of the Middle Realms but, shallow as it may sound, I was always put off by the scrawly font it uses. Maybe Tim will revisit it one day.
Questers Of The Middle Realm is very quirky and it does have that annoying script font, but you can erasily run it for classic fantasy dungeon crawls and whatnot, much easier than D&D in many ways. It really is quite good, despite it's indie production.

I keep forgetting about Monkey, Ninja, Robot but I should just get it for quirk value alone.
 
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