Author Topic: pen & paper  (Read 43228 times)

Reverend Prohna

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pen & paper
« on: May 20, 2007, 11:32:18 PM »
anyone into pen & paper rpgs? I've been interested in getting into them, and was wondering where to start. I don't know much about the differences in systems or anything. I had some friends that used gurps and they seemed to like it a lot. I know I've got a couple friends that would be down to play, now one of us just needs to figure it out.
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Lavastine

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2007, 01:31:35 AM »
GURPS is alot of fun, but I would still suggest to start with good ol' fashioned DnD (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/welcome) and in any case, if you are going to be playing a d20 based system you are almost assuredly going to need the Players handbook, the Dungeonmasters Guide, and the Monster Manual, because most other d20 based games refer to those books for basic rules, feats, skills, and classes.
One of the things I really like about basic DnD is that every month they release at least two new books for it(it looks like they are doing 3 now), some people really dislike this because they think it's dumb to have all these books to buy, or think it's become to commercial, however you don't need to buy any of them besides the 3 main books(listed above).

Adral

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2007, 09:59:23 AM »
I *am* into p&p RPGs. I started gamemastering about 5 years ago. I have run campaigns with different roleplaying systems, and I can give you my *personal* opinion about them, if you'd like to read it.

I have gamemastered D&D, the Call of Cthulhu, Fudge, RyF and g&g (this last two are free Spanish systems). Although I started with D&D, it is the system I like the least by much, for the reasons I will state now:

First of all, the class and level based systems, under my experience, hinder roleplaying a lot. Roleplaying is about getting involved in your character, not about contemplating statistics, gaining experience points and rolling dice and stating "I kill the orc" every 10 turns. In D&D I find moral constraints put on my character (alignment), not letting me enter into the depths of the reasoning behind him, because the alignment is pretty much forcing it two-dimensional. The class system hinders freedom of doing the exact character I like. I mean, why can't I roleplay a bartender, or a merchant? and what about a Elite Guardsmen of the King, specialized in swordfighting and cooking (for example)?. Stating "I am a Lawful Good Paladin", even to yourself (as that phrase is *strongly* out of character) is just putting you into a very determined place, and kind of forces you to play your character on some way. Why can't I be a cynic, sarcastic, cruel holy warrior? And then we have levels. You suddenly wake up one day and you know a) several spells more b) how to fight better c) a new fighting maneuver... It just does not make sense to me.

Then there is the money issue. D&D is very expensive, in my opinion. 3 books at 35€ per book is kind of expensive, but if you plan on staying updated, be ready to give away more money.

And let's not forget about thousands of rules and spells which, as a gamemaster, you must "memorize" in order to create adventures "by the rules".

So, what do I recommend? Something that gives freedom to both the master and the players. I prefer a simple system, where I, as a master, can go on and make up a rule for every situation without worrying about rulesets or spell descriptions. I prefer a system where I, as a player, are not restricted by arbitrary definitions like level, class or alignment, and where special combat maneuvers do not require a "feat" but just some common sense from the master.

I have not personally player GURPS, but I guess it could do the trick. I do recommend, though, Fudge, which is kind of special but a very nice system nonetheless, and freely available on the net:
http://www.fudgerpg.com/

I would also recommend Rápido y Fácil (Quick and Easy), or RyF, project available under the CC-by-SA v2.5 license, it is freely available and you are free to do derivatives if you publish them under the same license. I have been involved with the creation of some rules and one "theme" for this system (Año Cero, or Zero Year, which is currently on hiatus due to excessive work at university :P). It is available in Spanish here:
http://mercurio.homeip.net/ryf
You can speak with the main author so he presses onwards with the translation into English, though :P. Right now there are only a set of outdated rules from the former "Present day" theme:
http://mercurio.homeip.net/ryf/index.php/RyF_Actual_Basic
Although the main system is theme-less, and so useable on *every* situation you can think of. If you have more questions about this system, I can answer them without problems, so feel free to ask away ;) Since I switched to RyF, I do not play any other system. I liked it so much I became a little involved with the project, as I stated earlier.

Just so it is clear: this post was *my* opinion on RPGs :P If you prefer D&D, then by all means play what makes you happier ;)

EDIT: Links. Also, the author said that probably a corrected English translation will be up. I'll be sure to keep you updated.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2007, 11:32:29 AM by Adral »
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Lavastine

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2007, 12:22:49 PM »
Quote
First of all, the class and level based systems, under my experience, hinder roleplaying a lot. Roleplaying is about getting involved in your character, not about contemplating statistics, gaining experience points and rolling dice and stating "I kill the orc" every 10 turns.

True, though my take on this is positive rather than negative since I can't get myself to want to actually roleplay(which is rather odd, since I love to write stories, and read stories).

Quote
In D&D I find moral constraints put on my character (alignment), not letting me enter into the depths of the reasoning behind him, because the alignment is pretty much forcing it two-dimensional.

I normally try to get around this by going chaotic neutral. But the fact that its necessary and that some classes require certain alignments is a big negative on the game. Though the restrictions this actually places on you are dependent on how strictly the DM is following the rules.

Quote
The class system hinders freedom of doing the exact character I like. I mean, why can't I roleplay a bartender, or a merchant? and what about a Elite Guardsmen of the King, specialized in swordfighting and cooking (for example)?

You can always play the NPC classes, or for the guardsmen of the king example you could be a fighter and take cooking related skills. Or make your own class or prestige class that has exactly what you want. I prefer a bit more structure to my games though, so depending on your style the classes could feel very restricting.

Quote
And then we have levels. You suddenly wake up one day and you know a) several spells more b) how to fight better c) a new fighting maneuver... It just does not make sense to me.

This is the way that leveling normally happens in DnD, though it's not the intended way. You are supposed to find people to train you, using the experience you gained through adventuring.

Quote
Then there is the money issue. D&D is very expensive, in my opinion. 3 books at 35€ per book is kind of expensive, but if you plan on staying updated, be ready to give away more money.

This is very true. While there is more stuff out for DnD than anything else(that I can think of anyways), to get all that stuff it costs alot of money. Though most of it is unnecessary(I bought the 3.5 ed Players, DMs. and monster , and thats it. If you are just going to be playing you only really need the players, and perhaps the DMs guide).

 
Quote
Just so it is clear: this post was *my* opinion on RPGs Tongue

Same applies for me :).

Z

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2007, 01:57:32 PM »
From the p&p RPGs I played, I liked most the ones which were not based on any big book "RPG system", but either on nothing or on a simple system invented by one of my friends (I think everyone could try to do that, you just have to assign probabilities to events and throw the dice). The gamemaster invented a story with some characters in it, and we played our characters (in some of them there was an interesting twist that although we had to work together in order to successfully survive the location, we had secret objectives which were in fact conflicting and after exploring ultimately we had to fight each other... kind of like in the game of Mafia. Obviously these were characters for a single game only). I had also played a completely improvised game which was also quite nice. But probably the game master needs to gain some experience for that (I don't think you could be a successful GM without system if you have never played before and don't actually know what it is about... you would have to play 5-10 games first).

Tarindel

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2007, 02:19:48 PM »
Shadowrun was always one of my favorites.  I've heard they've come out with new editions of the game, but I haven't been able to check them out.  My friends and I played tons of 1st edition in high school 15 years ago.

stu

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2007, 02:42:49 PM »
i would say the original tunnels and trolls ruleset is easier to play than dnd.

i have loads of sourcebooks for cyberpunk 2020, some shadowrun, bubblegum crisis, tfos, some gurps.

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Adral

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2007, 05:18:10 PM »
Here is a preliminary version of the English translation of RyF Basic ruleset.

Hope you enjoy it ;)
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Cloud

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2007, 12:37:00 PM »
I've never tried any p&p stuff... always wanted to give it a shot but I don't know anyone who plays.

Korimyr the Rat

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2008, 07:46:55 AM »
I play HARP, and I'm working on publishing a licensed campaign setting for their upcoming HARP Sci-Fi release. It's a good game system for sword-and-sorcery fantasy-- if you don't mind gritty-- and it handles most semi-realistic heroics very well.

Been known to play D&D every once in awhile, too. Probably my favorite game is White Wolf's Street Fighter RPG-- the best game to ever die so young.

zzo38

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2008, 04:07:34 PM »
I prefer Icosahedral game. But, it isn't completely written yet. I didn't finish writing it.

Valsum

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2008, 04:58:05 PM »
I love Fading Suns!
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idontexist

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2008, 12:52:03 PM »
Quote
I've never tried any p&p stuff... always wanted to give it a shot but I don't know anyone who plays.

Me too. I have heard of a site that plays them on like forums or something but i dont know what it is. If i find it ill probably try some out.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2008, 12:54:59 PM by idontexist »

george

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2008, 10:01:25 PM »
I didn't see these sites mentioned:

http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart

http://www.1km1kt.net/

Similarly with electronic games there's been an explosion of pen and paper games released by solo authors and small presses in the last few years. 1km1kt and IPR are good place to see what's available.

For playing on forums there are a ton of options, including:

http://forum.rpg.net/forumdisplay.php?f=32

http://www.rpol.net/

http://pbphouse.com/portal/

http://snailspace.forgreatjustice.net/

Needless to say the amount of ideas in these rpgs for inspiring roguelike game systems is pretty much limitless.







stu

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Re: pen & paper
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2008, 03:07:20 PM »
Thanks for the links george, there is some cool info there.
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