Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Discussion: Buyer's Remorse

Let's face it. We've all bought into the hype of a shiny new (or shiny old) gaming product. We bring it home, unwrap it or open the box, open the pages and..... blech.

That's right, there's a lot of "buyer's remorse" out there in RPGland. Whether it's from listening to a tremendous sales pitch online, or finding out that you completely spaced that Bunnies & Burrows was about playing a small herbivore, we all have gaming purchases we regret. This Friday's Discussion question is just that:

What RPG products have given you Buyer's Remorse, and why?

I'll look forward to our usual discussion below. Have a tremendous weekend!

24 comments:

Fuchs said...

D&D 4E. I preordered it back when all the design goals were thrown around but the actual product did disappoint me greatly.

Oddysey said...

Feng Shui. Heard a lot about it on the internet (stunting! player-created scenery!) and picked it up one day on impulse at a gaming store in New York. A couple weeks later, I ran a one-shot with it for my summer group, and while the one-shot itself rocked pretty hard, it seriously turned me off the system. It's just too dang fiddly. I can port the stunting to pretty much any other system, and that way I don't have to mess with the shots system or the +d-d core mechanic or all the different "fu" techniques.

Ryan said...

Thousand Suns. I was really exited about the premise of the Imperial Sci Fi with loosely defined setting, ready set for making it my own. I was pretty unimpressed with the system. I also felt the text could use a very strong editorial hand. Perhaps my impression of the system was colored by my opinion of the writing.

Jonathan Hicks said...

Conspiracy X - I thought I was getting some kind of X-Files game, but what I got was all style and no substance. I just ended up going back to Call Of Cthulhu and running my games with that.

And Warhammer FRP 2nd Edition. It just didn't have the atmosphere or the heart the original game had. I resold that after just a few months. I loved the original so much it just felt like a massive letdown. Don't get me wrong,l it's still a good game, but I guess I couldn't see that much wrong with the original that warranted a new edition.

Meepo said...

Castles & Crusades. Twice.

It's not a terrible game or anything (though I do dislike the all encompassing Siege mechanic; one size does not fit all), but its constant revisions (AKA editings) ultimately drove me back to my older D&D rules.

And yes, 4th edition. It'd make an EXCELLENT boardgame, but for what I like in RPG rules, it just didn't fit my style. That's not a dig at the system, just a declaration of incompatability!!

Ameron said...

Apparently we're on the same wavelength today. I wrote a full article on how little value I feel Deities & Demigods (aka Legends & Lore) provides to D&D and how I'm not going to waste my money on a 4e version should Wizards produce one.

Tacoma said...

*Elfish Gene spoiler*

I tend to skim through a book and force myself to put it back on the shelf. I think about it for a bit while it's not in my hands whether I really want this book or not. I have to do this or else I would die of starvation for buying too many books.

That said, I really regret buying a copy of "Elfish Gene" because it ended up being the author's self-serving memoir on his dysfunctional relationships and social skills at a time when he did nothing but play D&D games. He leverages that into a weak argument against the game when it's the young him at fault. Left me feeling like a chump for blowing $5 on it.

Tony Law said...

Sovereign Stone. We played it once and only once. The way the world is written, every race hates every other race with a passion. None of them get along. It was impossible to roleplay a coherent group because of that. We moved on to something else quickly.

BlUsKrEEm said...

I had really enjoyed White Wolf's New world of Darkness line. Vampire the Requiem fixed a lot of the super heroes with fangs issues I had with VtM, and Werewolf the forsaken was no longer a racist hippy game, so when Mage the Ascension was released I was pretty excited. Unfortunately what i got was a poorly edited game with one of the most complex magic systems I had ever seen, and a setting that was so absurd I couldn't even try to take it seriously.

Your Characters are descendant form Atlantis (which was founded by dragons) and have been in a ten thousand year war with an evil atlantian sect. That might have worked for a FRPG, but I just can't stomach it in a modern horror setting. To make matters worse all of the sects are still based on atlantian traditions, save one; a technology based sect that seems to have sprung up in the late 1800's. So in ten thousand years it wasn't until recently that anyone thought that their traditions were antiquated.....

I could ramble on an on for hours about how much I dislike MtA. I tried running it once, but even after ignoring much of the back story it was unplayable after two sessions. The players kept having to flip through the book for rules questions. Something I never want to see happen in a D10 game.

Shinobicow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
onegeekslife said...

Exalted 2nd edition - changes made from first edition made no sense and content changes were only to justify a new edition.

Alpha Omega - lot's of hype still around this game, unplayable system. Not one of the reviews I've seen so far has been from someone who has actually played the game. Fortunately the hype meant I was able to sell my copy for what I payed for it.

Serenity - bad writing, bad system, bad game. Wish I had read the reviews before buying.

P_Armstrong said...

D6 Adventure and D6 Fantasy
I actually like the hercules and Xena version of D6 but I find the newer books terrible.

Christopher B said...

Oh, that would be - um... wait, I'll come up with something... um...

Okay, turns out I've never felt buyer's remorse for any RPG product I've purchased. Yeah, I've been disappointed by plenty of 'em, but I've never actually regretted buying any.

I see each product I purchase, even the disappointments, as having at least some bits that I can cull for use elsewhere, even if it's only to serve as inspiration. (And believe me, I have lots of "inspiration" - almost three tall bookshelves' worth.) Heck, I don't even really regret buying the 4E core books and Keep on the Shadowfell (a topic I won't get started on).

Maybe I'm just weird...

Jeff Tillotson said...

While a lot of the convention, bargain bin stuff have been disappointing I didn't have to pay much for 'em so no remorse.

Top 3 Buyer's Remorse:
1. Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying (Green Ronin). Been reading the series with my mom and love it. Saw the RPG and it looked great. It might be but I when I started to read it it had spoilers I hadn't gotten to in the novels. It still sits on my shelf largely unread. When I get to it, I'm sure I will love it.

2. The tons of game that I want to play but can't because I can only find players for 4E. This includes World of Darkness, Burning Wheel, Savage Worlds.

3. D&D 4th Edition. Since I bought it I can't play anything else.

Wickedmurph said...

D&D 3e. I bought the core books, read em, got my group on board, played a couple of sessions and decided that I hated it and wanted it to die.

The 8-hour prep time for a 4-hour session didn't add to the love, either.

I carted them around for years until I finally gave the things away. And 6 weeks later a friend asked me if I had a copy! I'm glad I gave them away - he wanted to run a game with them!

Tenkar said...

Every single Pacesetter game I picked up when I was younger... I think I bought them all. Ack!

More recently the 3/3.5 bargain bundle I picked up a few years back. The price was amazing even with shipping... something like 20 new HC books for less then 50 shipped.

All but a handful were "glut books" from the D20 explosion. Oh my god but there was bad crap in that pile.

Ryan said...

Two Biggest regrets:

1. GURPS (3rd edition. Fool me once...) I tried to stick with it up until GURPS Robots instructed me to find the surface area of my character.

2. D&D 4E. I imagine I'll get around to selling these in the near future.

3. Robotech the RPG (old version, not Shadow Chronicles) Never have I seen a game fail to emulate a license to such a degree. This is the game that started me down the road to Palladium rules-hate.

James Mishler said...

Man, Myth, and Magic from Yaquinto. I bought this while on vacation on the East Coast summer 1982. Spent almost all the cash I'd brought with me on that sucker (what I hadn't spent earlier that trip on Land of the Rising Sun from Fantasy Games Unlimited, see below). I was all excited... Romans, Druids, the magic of Egypt!

And then I started reading the game. Hoo boy, at the time I didn't know who it was written for (I much later realized it was written for archaologists on acid), but it certainly wasn't written for a 13-year-old kid!

Same for the above-mentioned Land of the Rising Sun. An oriental variant of Chivalry & Sorcery it, well... Again, I was 14, and to date hadn't played anything else except Boot Hill. 'nuff said there.

My middle school trip to D.C. the next year was much more fruitful... I picked up TSR's Top Secret game in the small mall where the tour bus left back for the Midwest, to read on the long trip. Didn't sleep a wink, read the whole way through... we spent several summers thereafter playing Top Secret!

At some point around then, too, I bought Lands of Adventure, another FGU game by Lee Gold. You'd think I'd have learned from LotRS, but no... and this one was the worst of LotRS and MM&M. It was so bad, that after working with my cousin to try to figure it out, we ended up just throwing it away... we didn't want to take a chance to getting a friend mad at us for selling it on him!

There are others, but those were the worst...

Sean said...

I don't really feel regret even for the books I have never used. I usually at least enjoy reading them. However, do wish I hadn't spent so much on Hero System 5th Ed, ordering the corebook & several splat books together.

There's really nothing wrong with the rules, but the core book alone is 592 pages (the fourth edition got the same content into 220 pages).

I fiddled with it for a while before deciding this new rules lite concept might have something to it.

Norman Harman said...

Crusader Magazine. It has very little game content, lots of graphic design filler, it is short (getting longer though), is filled with reviews, previews, sale pitches for Troll Lord products. It is the bad kind of "House Magazine".

Didn't realize how poor it was until I got Fight On! for comparison. Not same thing really but as far as gaming bang for the buck FO is many times greater.

ostof said...

4E. I've never played a system so dedicated to rail-roading character developement and growth. Traded it after 6 months for some old Hero System supplements.

A M Perry said...

Burning Wheel. I'd heard so much of it on Gnome Stew and Treasure Tables, I just had to order it. The "Magic Burner" and "Monster Burner" supplements had just come out, too, so, sight unseen, I ordered all of them.

The design goals were admirable (make the game feel like a story, don't roll the dice until something important's at stake), but the tactical resolution mechanics (scripting your moves three at a time, even for debates and other social conflicts; a character sheet that feels like a tax form) failed.

JWorley said...

1) I have to second A M Perry's comments on burning wheel; resolution of social and combat actions is too encumbering in this system.

2) D&D 4e- others have already voiced my opinions on this.

Anders Hällzon said...

Nobilis.

*dodge*

Okay, looks like a awesome game, but I don't think I'll ever get to run/play it. And it doesn't fit well in my bookcase.

Then there's Svenil, if any readers are familiar with Swedish games. Just generally bad, because it tries to be funny without suceeding.