Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Discussion: Best Unheralded System?

Every Friday, the RPG blogosphere decides to take its ball and go home. But here at RPG Blog 2, we remain on the playing field, even its by ourselves running around making airplane and machine gun noises.

The reason we stick around is because we like to engage in a little Friday Discussion with the readers--nothing too serious, nothing too heavy--just some gamers killing time until the weekend talking about the hobby they love.

This Week's Question: What is the best unsung or unheralded RPG system out there? We're looking for something that seems to fly under the radar of a majority of gamers (so no saying 4e, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, etc.). Why should people take the time to check it out? Remember, we're looking for specific systems used, not an overall RPG.

I'll look forward to hearing about your diamonds in the rough! Have a great weekend, and Fight On!

28 comments:

Verdilak said...

Just about anything found at 1k Monkeys 1k Typewriters. Nearly all are free, quirky, and a few pages.

Alpha Omega is a excellent post-apoc game with a great setting/system.

Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. is a great game that is very much like if Joss WHedon had wrote/directed Men in Black. Great system that, for me, fixes nearly every system complaint I had with Palladium.

Oh, for westerns, you cannot go wrong with Gunslingers and Gamblers. Great game, nice and gritty, and really makes you feel as though you are there during that time period.

Then, of course, I have an alphabetical listing of RPG's at the following link that has a great number of obscure games that are just ripe for the playing. http://rpgaming.prophpbb.com/topic3277.html

Zachary The First said...

Very cool. While we're talking about 1KM1KT, there's a game there called A+ Fantasy that I thought was pretty cool: http://www.1km1kt.net/rpg/a-fantasy

That's a looong list! :)

DNAphil said...

I am currently playing Corporation by Brutal Games (and published by Mongoose).

I think that the Brutal Engine, is a great, flexible system, that is pretty lightweight, and gritty.

Plus you have to give props to a combat system that has specific rules for both limb severing (with bladed weapons) and limb pulping (with things like shotguns).

Kidding aside, the Brutal Engine plays really well, and is light enough that a GM can really make rulings and ad hoc calls, without being weighed down by a volume of rules.

As an RPG, Corporation is a great Post-Cyberpunk game, with a number of Transhuman themes in it.

Aaron W. Thorne said...

Tunnels & Trolls. Many people get tripped up by the "roll 3d6 for attributes" initial rule and try to filter the game through their D&D knowledge, but outside of that it is totally different, but maybe the fastest running system I have ever used. Great for all types of fantasy gaming unless you are someone who demands tons of mechanical differentiations to make your fighter different from your buddy's fighter. And in that case just choose a different weapon (those of you with experience in this game know exactly what I'm getting at). :)

Anonymous said...

the Battleaxe RPG and Dominion rules are both GREAT FREE Systems !


Battleaxe
http://www.16cbh.net/

Dominion
http://www.dominionrules.org/

Barking Alien said...

I guess its no surprise that I would invoke older systems like Last Unicorn Game's ICON System for the Star Trek RPG, R. Talsorian's Mekton II or Z and Castle Falkenstein or West End Games' original D6 (Ghostbusters, Star Wars, Men in Black, etc.).

I would also highly recommend Faery's Tale Deluxe by Firefly Games. With a minimal amount of tweaking and houserules this game is far more ingenius then most people realize.

On a similar note, Sketch by Corsair Games (not the free system by another) was way ahead of its time for simplified, rules-lite craziness.

Lastly, laugh a little! Stop taking gaming so seriously and revisit Toon, Teenagers from Outer Space or Og.

Avatar said...

Some of the titles talked above are good samples, I known and agree.
Here, at Brazil, there is a very good RPG system developed by the "already dead" magazine Dragão Brasil (which means Brazil Dragon).
There is a fastplay guide here (http://www.dragaobrasil.com.br/3d&t/fastplay.htm) in portuguese and it's a great system for beginners and intermediary players. They focus on humor, roleplay and the rules allow you play real fantastic adventures (like animes) or realistic scenarios, like investigation.

Zachary The First said...

I’ll second Og. Limited game by design, but can lead to some hilarious sessions.

Tyler said...

Dragon Warriors, recently re-released by Mongoose publishing. Very old-school feel British RPG. No Elminsters or deus ex machina here - this is a dark feel Fantasy game. The rules are a bit limited, but I think that's one of its strengths. It's not a system that was intended to scale by adding 100 more classes to the system - there are about a dozen, and that's it - play with them. Avoid Munchkining.

I'm also a big fan of RuneQuest in its latest incarnation. Basically the CoC Basic RPG game but updated. Also re-released by Mongoose.

I've written a little about both in my own blog, if you're interested. tylerisgaming.blogspot.com

Gleichman said...

Where I could say Age of Heroes, but it's a crappy system and doesn't want to be on the radar anyway.

And with HERO System 6th coming out, I could pull an edition war and say HERO System 4th as quality and HERO System soon won't be words seen together. But I think that's not what you're talking about either.

So I vote JAGS which got some attention, but not nearly enough.

Badelaire said...

I'd go with the Barbarians of Lemuria RPG, and Mazes and Minotaurs. The original BoL was a great one-shot style RPG idea, and the amazing revised edition took that idea and made it a full-fledged RPG.

The original M&M is really a pretty amazing re-design of the original "concept" of D&D (note I didn't say the "game" of D&D). The Revised/Advanced version again takes a great Idea and vastly expands on it into something easily as viable as any professionally published and sold RPG.

Tyler said...

Adventure! gets my vote. No one's ever heard of it except fans of White Wolf's Trinity Universe line and it's still my go-to resource for pulp adventure gaming.

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

Interestingly enough, Supernatural (based on the television show of the same name) turned out to be a really well-designed, playable, and fun game. My teen daughter was really into the show, so I bought it with very low expectations. The production value of the rules are very high (but so is the price of the pdf--although I just noticed that there is a free pdf starter download). The hardcover rulebook just came out and the Amazon price is cheaper that the pdf price on RPGNow.

Lisandro Gaertner said...

I wil have to say Amazing Engine. It was from TSR (ok, ok?) but it was a great generic system that intended to level up players and not characters. It is (obviously) not supported anymore and they left just a few but great world books behind. If I had the money I would buy it and give it a proper treatment...

more, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Engine

Avatar said...

I never had heard about this Amazing Engine, but I really liked it. Some of the gamesets are very odd and curious.
This system never reached my country :\

Helmsman said...

I'm almost tempted to say Exalted because there's only one RPGblogger who ever talks about it, but I know that Exalted is pretty heralded for sure.

Cthulhutech's Framewerk system is pretty awesome as far as a dice mechanic goes. Has a nice feel and lots of neat permutations that most games don't do.
Aces and Eights has a pretty sweet system as well...

And my system (whenever I let it out of it's box) is by far the awesomest. No question, but I can't prove that yet...

Mike said...

Whatever the system was for the James Bond 007 RPG. Those rules were pretty damn good.

Shingo Watanabe said...

@avatar This system which you are talking about is 3D&T? It is a portuguese system as focused in anime/manga adventures, but it is very simple and nice. Some say that it is the most played roleplay system in Brazil. You can download it here http://jamboeditora.com.br/comunidade/downloads/3d&t.zip

I like a lot the WuShu system to. Is terrific how it make the sessions fast, and bring the martial arts movies style game.

Another one that I think is simple and complete is PDQ system from S7S and Truth and Justice, very nice, and the Style Dice is awesome!

Zzarchov said...

@Helmsman

Never! MY system is the best :P


I might suggest "Skies of Glass", the post-apocalytptic game from FTB

Helmsman said...

@Zzarchov

I require proof! Otherwise no :P

Geek Gazette said...

Like I said on facebook, Ubiquity and d6 are two I think are under rated and worth more notice.

MJ Harnish said...

Dreampod 9's Silhouette CORE rules are quite excellent if you like a system that leans towards a simulationist style yet has a pretty fast resolution system. The skill system in the game is also pretty interesting because it accounts for both depth and breadth of training in a particular skill in a mechancially interesting way. The game's mechanics are also pretty forward thinking (in terms of 21st century design) given that it was written in the heyday of the D20 glut.

However, what I find most interesting about it is the fact that the author's pull back the curtain in the book by describing their design decision and then show you how to hack the system to adapt it to your needs. For example, there's a whole appendix that outlines the effects of altering the die mechanics. For a hard sci-fi game it's the best system I've found and it also would be a lot of fun for a group that likes something very crunchy but doesn't want to bog down to much in counting 5' squares or huge stat blocks.

John said...

@Mike: I agree. James Bond 007 is not only a great ruleset for what it attempts to emulate, but is the old-school-era game that strikes me now as most modern in its goals and sensibilities. Not that modern automatically equals awesome, but it's impressive how far ahead of its time the rule design for Bond really was.

Anonymous said...

The games from TwoHourWarGames. Meant to be skirmish-level miniatures, rather than "true" rpg, they've turned into the best rpg I've played.

Aaron said...

I'd have to say "Fighting Fantasy." I'm not sure that it was ever actually released in the United States - it's a British game, based on the Fighting Fantasy gamebook rules. There are a few books that you need to have to get skills, magic and the like, but it's really fun, and it keeps the powergamers at bay.

Rob Conley said...

Harnmaster

@Zach thanks for the Yelnoc Forest reference.

Quim said...

My vote goes to "Organic Rules Components" from Vajra Enterprises, applied to such games as Tibet and Fates worse than Death. It's easy but a complete systems, that worth it. Check it out.

Aaron W. Thorne said...

@Aaron: I think you mean "Advanced Fighting Fantasy," which was an attempt to take the game system from the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and turn it into a full RPG. Not that I own that book, so I can't really talk to it, but I did pick up the "Titan" world book a few years back and it is pretty interesting.