The Return of Talking Time

Go Back   The Return of Talking Time > Talking about media > Talking about meatspace games

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #151  
Old 10-19-2017, 06:25 PM
Lucas's Avatar
Lucas Lucas is offline
Metaphysical organ dealer
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: I don't even know anymore
Posts: 9,217
Default

I kind of read through Starship Troopers? Usually the rules are my favorite parts of these things, but this was the D20-est thing to come out of D&D 3's open gaming license. What I did find interesting was the game's efforts to combine the lore (such as it is) of both the book and the movies. An admirable idea, and practically necessary for a project like this.

And it largely succeeds, actually! Well, kind of. It does a decent job of explaining why the Mobile Infantry has both dudes in huge power armor and lightly-armored guys who die in droves, but it gets wishy-washy on which is the main force of the MI. It has the whole thing that comes up once or twice in the books about soldier and worker arachnids looking exactly the same, but goes with the movie's tyranid/zerg specialized monsters instead of the book's gun-wielding bugs. We know the Arachnids are on Pluto, but we just found out about them, but we know about the brain bugs, but we haven't tried diplomatic contact with them yet, but we've been at war with them for years, but Rio hasn't been destroyed yet, but we know they have the technology to move asteroids, but we're surprised at the idea they came from outside our solar system....

Weirdly, I'm pretty sure this book also has way more info on the Skinnies than either of its source materials. Did the CG cartoon have Skinnies? Did it make them out to be weird space-bronze age pacifist raiders who like kidnapping people? With their bone guns? I really don't remember that from either Heinlein or Verhoeven.

The book itself is a little disappointing. They didn't include any art, which kind of makes everything more boring than I expected. I know they didn't make that decision in order to save pages though, because it duplicates pages like mad.

All in all, it's exactly what I wanted out of an insane $3 impulse buy. Now to put it away before I have any more vivid Starship Troopers-themed nightmares like last night's shootout with Arachnids in King Tut's tomb.
Reply With Quote
  #152  
Old 10-21-2017, 09:59 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
I have a Plan
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,675
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peach View Post
My copy of Ryuutama finally arrived, and it is a very handsome book. Nice compact hardback with a lovely matte finish. And I'm increasingly convinced that single-column is the superior page layout for RPG books. Feels more welcoming.

I also like the doodles and marginalia. The manga style probably helps pull that off, but honestly, wouldn't the Player's Handbook be so much better if it had little Sergio Aragones guys running around the pages?
Recently heard of this one myself, how's it handle?
Reply With Quote
  #153  
Old 10-23-2017, 05:57 PM
Peach's Avatar
Peach Peach is online now
Remembers Love
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fargo and Gamoorhead
Posts: 3,335
Default

I haven't had a chance to get a game off the ground, on account of life, though I've found I've been tilting towards it recently. I'll definitely report on it if/when it happens.

There's no red flags in the book, though. It's a good, breezy, but not overly abstract system that spends its wordcount in specific and effective ways. The only thing I can't grasp from just a reading is the combat, since even though it's modest system and emphatically not the focus of the game, the rules interactions are still complex enough that I can't be sure there aren't any gremlins lurking in the math. From the play-reports I've read, I haven't seen any real issues, but I also haven't read anything about high-level play, or stress-testing the system.

The only thing I'd add to the game before running it is rationalizing a proper Skill Challenge system. The game already essentially has a very robust one baked-in, in the form of the its systemic prime-mover: travelling. But I'm thinking of things like extreme weather and terrain events, like tornadoes and landslides, or the complex but non-belligerent interactions that the game seems to push Travellers towards, like, say, raising a barn, or negotiating a peace between two feuding farmsteads. It'd be nice to get a solid framework of difficulty levels and XP rewards in place, instead of winging them as they come up.
Reply With Quote
  #154  
Old 10-23-2017, 10:50 PM
Egarwaen's Avatar
Egarwaen Egarwaen is offline
Inherently Stealthy
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sebastopol, CA
Posts: 14,574
Default

From the latest KS update there's a chance we might actually get an English supplement next year too which is exciting!
Reply With Quote
  #155  
Old 01-21-2018, 04:31 PM
Lucas's Avatar
Lucas Lucas is offline
Metaphysical organ dealer
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: I don't even know anymore
Posts: 9,217
Default

Move over, T5, there's a new threat to my bookshelf's integrity in town...


D&D5 PHB for scale.

That is the Stars Without Number Omnibus, just over a thousand pages of space-exploring OSR goodness. It literally would not fit on my bookshelf if I hadn't cleared up space on the biggest shelf by giving away all of BattleCon. I really enjoyed the game and the one or two supplements I have for it, so I figure I'm... going to just stare at this one, too intimidated to pick it up for fear of straining something.

I need to remember to order up a copy of SWN Revised Edition too.

Speaking of Kevin Crawford....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
I was kind of worried what I'd do when I finished reading Ninja Crusade 2E (which'll probably be tonight or tomorrow), since I didn't really have anything else lined up to read after.

Then Godbound, The One Ring, and Dust Adventures came in the mail today. Crisis averted!
A year and a half later, I finally got around to reading Godbound. I really enjoyed it! Unlike some other RPGs where the PCs are supposedly gods, Godbound actually tries to make your character feel godlike. A lot of the book is devoted to detailing how the PCs are just plain on another scale than 99.99% of the rest of the world's population, and another significant chunk of it is spent on sitting the GM down to say "Look, the PCs are gods. Don't bother trying to give them quests via a hooded stranger in a pub; just let them do their thing."

Godlike things:

-Instead of classes, the PCs choose Words representing their divine control over various aspects of creation. If I have the Fire Word, no one (save another divinity with the same Word) will ever out-Fire me

-The PCs get a fray die* like Scarlet Heroes to let them tear through enemies like a knife through hot butter

-Don't think the standard D&D spread of ability scores doesn't make you feel godlike? Don't worry, dump your important stats to pump the others because your words will let you set some scores to 13 or 16 anyway

-You're a god, right? Have a cult that'll do what you say and power you up and let you do god things

-"God things"? Oh yeah. You can build massively powerful artifacts, mess with politics on a continental scale, and build your own Paradise to house and protect the souls of your faithful when they die, for just a small handful of examples

There are a few small details I'm not entirely enthused about this game. The worst is probably the fact that to determine your damage, you have to roll it and then compare that result to a table to see how much damage you do, which is kind of a complicated kludge that slows down the play a bit. It's also very much a sandbox game, which most of the people I play with don't do well. The print version at least comes with a slight variant style of game that would be better for a directed story, though.

Overall, I would love to play this with the right group.

*Fray dice are a mechanic originally (as far as I know) from Crawford's Scarlet Heroes game. It's basically damage you deal to mooks on your turn in combat regardless of whatever else you do or don't do in your turn. You've seen the thing in movies where the hero is chasing down the villain while negligently taking down his minions? That's what the fray die does. In Scarlet Heroes it balances things for one or two PCs going through old-school combats built for large groups; here it's purely to make you more powerful compared to everything else.

And now to get started on Pigsmoke. I've read just a bit already and I'm already digging the humor; we'll see if there's much more to it than that.
Reply With Quote
  #156  
Old 01-21-2018, 05:32 PM
Karzac's Avatar
Karzac Karzac is offline
Dinger!
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,675
Default

Stars Without Number seems pretty cool. One of the few OSR games I'm interested in - the sector generation stuff is especially neat. And the fact that Kevin Crawford releases his stuff for free is especially cool.
Reply With Quote
  #157  
Old 01-21-2018, 05:43 PM
Egarwaen's Avatar
Egarwaen Egarwaen is offline
Inherently Stealthy
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sebastopol, CA
Posts: 14,574
Default

Stars Without Number 2e has the bizarre problem that it is simultaneously attempting to convince you itís an orthodox OSR game while at the same time making a game thatís actually playable and capable of genre emulation. I ran into a number of such rules while reading it, but the most notable is the lengths the game goes to to try and convince you the PCs have no special protections or plot armor... Before informing the GM they should basically never use the ambush rules against the PCs if they donít want a TPK.
Reply With Quote
  #158  
Old 01-29-2018, 06:27 PM
Lucas's Avatar
Lucas Lucas is offline
Metaphysical organ dealer
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: I don't even know anymore
Posts: 9,217
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
And now to get started on Pigsmoke. I've read just a bit already and I'm already digging the humor; we'll see if there's much more to it than that.
And, no, it didn't really feel like there was more to Pigsmoke than that? Nothing wrong with it, just a short, light read of what feels like a short, light game.

I did recently figure out I can add quickstart documents to my dropbox to read them on my phone - a nice bite-sized bit of RPGs on breaks at work, it's awesome. In honor of the launch of the Infinity RPG next month I'm starting off with Modiphius' work. It's actually sold me on some of their work I wasn't sure about, and warned me off some other stuff I probably would have otherwise tried to get.

I thought I would like the Elite: Dangerous RPG but I found the mechanics bland and forgettable except for the fact I remember them being kind of complicated? Otherwise I literally can't even remember for sure what the primary die type was, and I just read the quickstart last week. The included adventure made the players into a bunch of Space Dirty Harries going up against drug runners heavily engineered to be acceptable targets.

In stark contrast was Star Trek Adventures, another riff on Modiphius' 2D20 game system and the only game I've seen that actually mechanically incentivizes using nonlethal force. I'm not a Trek fan but I actually really liked it despite finding some of the possible skill choices kind of weird, and it had an adventure I would actually consider running for a bunch of strangers.

Also 2D20 is John Carter. It feels like the simplest distillation of the ruleset (when I have more time I might write something about 2D20 in general and the differences between each game in the system) and I went straight to the Kickstarter... only to remember Modiphius is a British company and the shipping, etc. would be prohibitively expensive. I didn't read much of the adventure because I was turned off by the fact the pregens are actually John Carter and his buddies - that just feels gauche to me.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Your posts ©you, 2007