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Old 03-22-2012, 03:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tabletop Roleplaying Games and Board Games

Who does roleplaying games on here? I don't mean computer game RPG's, but the traditional module and dice method where a good gamesmaster and imagination were needed.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A mod should change the name of the thread to Tabletop Roleplaying Games

I used to play a lot with my friends back where I come from. We started playing Dungeons & Dragons when I was in elementary and we kept playing various games like D&D (of course) and just about all of White Wolf's World of Darkness games and occasional others like Shadowrun, Castle Falkenstein or Western.

After I moved to study in 2005, I haven't really found new gamer friends, but I get the rare game squeezed in here and there when I go back "home" on vacations. My friends don't play as much as we used to (used to be a weekly thing) so overall, we do it much less. There hasn't been a campaign lasting for more than a few months in a long time, I think, whereas before they'd last for years.

One of the funniest campaigns we had running back in the day was a WoD Changeling campaign. The Changeling game is not that great (imo), but our GM took the parts he liked and made something subtly different which was more our style. We ended up playing a gang of boys in a small Scottish town where all these supernatural events took place, but most adults were oblivious to all of it. I was a bit like Alice in Wonderland meets Eerie Indiana / Goosebumps. Great fun!

Inspired by that, I'm actually planning a similar game these days when I go back home in easter. It'll be a bit like our Changeling campaign, only the characters will be fully human and we thought we'd put the action in an alternative version of the town we're from. That way, we all know the setting and we can share GM duties. I'm hoping doing it like that, I can GM some, play some and hopefully, the campaign will keep going while I'm not there and when I get back, it'll still be familiar enough for me to step right into the action.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Finding players and time does seem to be the problem with RPG's. I'm looking to join a club and kick-off the hobby again. Years ago, I used to play a lot of Middle Earth and in fact still have all the modules today (which is great as they are hard to get) when I played, it was with a friend of mine and it often worked well, but because he was lazy I always used to end up being the gamesmaster all the time. Really want to get back into Middle Earth and play Dungeons and Dragons, and Warhammer etc. Some of the series that you play like World of Darkness etc I've never heard of also I remember Cthulu was a series I wanted to get into. Also the sound of your 4 year epics just sounds amazing (I doubt you chronicled these feats on paper? Because something like that needs to be recorded)

Table Top RPG's is probably appropriate in this day and age, as before table- top usually just referred to board games and not RPG's as such.
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i used to play a fair bit in the old days - you really do need a good GM for this kinda stuff, and my club never really had one, it usually devolved into pure hackenslash, although the GM did try hard to evoke atmosphere and setting

i played the Cthulhu modules, but it was never actually "scary", cos the depictions of the Old Gods aren't really clear and as soon as you see them, you go insane, it's a fail-safe device built into the module like a "deus ex machina" or something, so we couldn't like confront an Elder God, most of the time it was like a stealth game, and we hacked minor demons
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i used to play a fair bit in the old days - you really do need a good GM for this kinda stuff, and my club never really had one, it usually devolved into pure hackenslash, although the GM did try hard to evoke atmosphere and setting

i played the Cthulhu modules, but it was never actually "scary", cos the depictions of the Old Gods aren't really clear and as soon as you see them, you go insane, it's a fail-safe device built into the module like a "deus ex machina" or something, so we couldn't like confront an Elder God, most of the time it was like a stealth game, and we hacked minor demons
The GM was certainly the key to any great setting, he needed to set the scene, atmosphere and bring to life the whole setting. When I was a GM I tried to not let the whole thing revolve around a whole load of hack n slash and tried to create a more interesting story and its characters.

Cthulu with its scary environment must be quite hard to achieve and i never gave much thought on how they would achieve a scary environment.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The GM was certainly the key to any great setting, he needed to set the scene, atmosphere and bring to life the whole setting. When I was a GM I tried to not let the whole thing revolve around a whole load of hack n slash and tried to create a more interesting story and its characters.

Cthulu with its scary environment must be quite hard to achieve and i never gave much thought on how they would achieve a scary environment.
it didn't help much that our GM never liked the books much or even thought much of Lovecraft, as opposed to someone like me

i would have liked to be GM but it was really time-consuming, and at that point in time, i was juggling work with studies - i didn't really have the time to read an entire module and create a story around it
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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it didn't help much that our GM never liked the books much or even thought much of Lovecraft, as opposed to someone like me

i would have liked to be GM but it was really time-consuming, and at that point in time, i was juggling work with studies - i didn't really have the time to read an entire module and create a story around it
You said it, the GM needs to love the series and evoke that passion onto the players. I always loved Middle earth and fantasy settings, so its easy for me to transmit that passion of the subject to others.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm fortunate enough to have found a good group that's stable enough to play almost every week. I think our record was 12 games in a row before someone got sick or had to cancel for some other reason. I did just loose a member as she's moving back to Washington, but I can still play with two people no problem.

Like Tore, a lot of my games include the old World of Darkness (the series was rebooted in 2004), with a majority of them being Vampire: The Masquerade chronicles. Never got into Werewolf: The Apocalypse the same way though, but I will say it's definitely a better written game and one of the more unique and insidious ones as there's definitely this feeling that you can win. Besides that I've also tried Wraith: The Oblivion but found the mechanics far too complicated to work properly and the game did cause some hurt feelings between players messing with each other as their shadows.

I actually haven't delved much into D&D because I tried a game when I was in high school call Exalted (also written by White Wolf) and just found myself getting bored and frustrated with all the rules and standardization in D&D. In Exalted if I wanted to run up a wall, black flip off while I swing up with my sword and split the enemy in half, the GM may give me a stunt bonus, but in D&D all I could do was stuff like "I swing my sword at it". In our last campaign I got a pair of boots that made me run really fast and tried to implement it into combat but everything I did either made my GM confused because she didn't know what I should roll, or she just flat out refused that action. Not sure if it's just a bad GM or if the game really isn't catered to that kind of Dragon Ball Z over-the-top fights.

Lately I've been picking up the New World of Darkness books which are actually really well written and fix a lot of the combat problems from their old games. There's this new defense trait which is the lowest of either your wits or your dexterity and it counts against your assailant. For example if you have a 2, the attacker has a -2 penalty on their first attack against you, a -1 for their second, and finally no penalties on their third. I really does help give the players an advantage (also along with successes only being 8,9, and 10's). I would really like to give Vampire: The Requiem a try, but I'm also intrigued by their Hunter game, which fixes many of the problems with Hunter: The Reckoning and relies more on group coordination, tactics, and cunning strategy.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've always wanted to give table top RPGs a try, but I never knew anyone who was into them. One day. One day.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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We had our own tabletop games club back in the days. We used to meet friday evenings/nights at a cafè where some of us worked and we sold pizza and coffee and people played all sorts of games like Roborally or Junta. There usually was some Warhammer going on on a pool table. Think I've mentioned this a couple of times before, but it's worth reminiscing about yet again. Most of the members were roleplayers and when we started up our club, we got some cash from the office of culture and we spent all that on tabletop RPG books. This is part why I've tried so many different games.

Regarding dice rolling, I generally feel like they get in the way of things as much as they help. I've sometimes played with DMs who required me to do charm rolls when speaking to people I didn't already know and I always thought it seemed a bit contrived or like a hurdle. I mean, my character's not particularly ugly or anything so can't we just play out a dialogue between ourselves and see if I say something rude?

I love Dungeons & Dragons, but the basic dungeon crawl feels too much like a computer game to me. You kill a large group of minions and then there's a boss at the end. I feel like by now, I've been on so many dungeon crawls, it just got old. If I game more D&D in the future, I'd rather have dungeons with few monsters that are more challenging (perhaps only "bosses"). As the fights are challenging, each characters abilities at combat are important, but you're less likely to spend all evening rolling dice. I could add that I've managed to run D&D campaigns without including a horrible amount of dungeons just fine.

Since I started reading Pratchett (mid-teens), I have to admit my D&D campaigns have been quite Discworldy to some degree I love that kind of humour in my settings. I've also always been a big fan of giving players freedom in regards to what they wanna do in combat etc. Like I wouldn't mind LoathsomePete coming up with some sort of cool move using boots of running. The point is to have a fun evening with your buds after all so what harm could it do?

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Besides that I've also tried Wraith: The Oblivion but found the mechanics far too complicated to work properly and the game did cause some hurt feelings between players messing with each other as their shadows.
Possibly my least favourite WoD game. It was just hard to get your head around in so many ways. The setting was completely confusing and vaguely described I thought. I think this has often been the case with the old WoD games (another example is Changeling and The Dreaming or Mage and the Digital Web). And the characters seemed naturally inclined to get a bit egotistical, for example worrying about the state of their fetters etc. so it didn't seem easy/natural for a bunch of ghosts to really pull together as a group either. Each character comes with a lot of baggage. At least, that's how I remember it. Better as a resource for other games, I thought!

edit : You mention the Shadow system .. definetly could also make things a little difficult
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Last edited by Guybrush; 03-22-2012 at 11:13 AM.
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