Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Discussion: We Love, Systems We Don’t

Another Friday dawns, where the blogosphere yawns sleepily in preparation for hibernating through the upcoming weekend. But here at RPG Blog 2, we’re keeping things going with a little Friday Discussion. Nothing too serious, nothing too intense, just gamers talking about the hobby they love.

This Friday’s discussion topic is Settings We Love, Systems We Don’t. What setting & system RPG pairings don’t work for you? Which settings do you want to use, but only if you can divorce them from the intended system?

I’ll look forward to your answers, and have a great weekend!

26 comments:

Lisandro Gaertner said...

Only one? Let me name a few: Fringeworthy, Rifts, Talislanta, Cyberspace, TORG, Dark Conspiracy... In general I love some settings but just can't get along the systems they came built in. Maybe that's why I try to convert everything to GURPS.

Dane of War said...

My biggest love/hate relationships lie with Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. and Talislanta (1st edition). The settings are awesome - but overall, I really think the systems suck.

Gleichman said...

Well, if you include loving the system and hating the setting as well... All of them. No exception. Never saw a perfect pairing.

If I must only like the setting and hate the system...

Setting as published?

Still hate them all.

Tim said...

I'd have to go with Castle Falkenstein. I liked the idea behind the setting, I thought it had a good deal of potential as a break from standard fantasy, but the rules were just awful top-to-bottom.

Snarls-at-Fleas said...

Love 4E and try to convert evrrything to it.
Absolutely love WoD setting, but not the system, no thanks.

Jeff Rients said...

Spaceship Zero has a really nifty pulp sci-fi/Lovecraftian horror mash-up setting but the system leaves me cold.

The World of Synnibarr really has some pretty fun gonzo setting elements.

rologutwein said...

Loved Dark Conspiracy as a setting—hated the system. It wasn't just bad, it was REALLY bad. Rifts was kind of the same way, I enjoyed a lot about the setting, but the rules always seemed clunky to me.

Thaumiel Nerub said...

I never have read it, but as Farscape is in D20, I'd ditch the system but loove the setting.

Zenfar said...

TORG!!!!!

James V said...

Exalted: Fun over-the-top Superheroic fantasy, combined with a system so cumbersome that it would actually tire me to run.

I mean it, I was never more tired after running a game than I would be after an evening of Exalted.

Lumrunner said...

RIFTS. But of course you know that already. Palladiums settings are cool with lots of love and detail but the system is hard to use and outdated. I would love to Savage Rifts. It could be epic.

Rob Conley said...

Runequest and Glorantha. Like the system behind Runequest didn't like Glorantha too much.

Scott said...

Space: 1889.

Great setting, horrible rules.

Cyric said...

I love Fading Suns but the system never felt even 66% perfect. It's still one of the best rpg settings out there - so many great ideas and innovations.

Carpe Guitarrem said...

Hmm, I don't have a whole lot of RPG experience...but I feel that a lot of RPGs have systems that don't fit the setting. D&D, in my opinion, is one of them. There's nothing about the system that says "heroic fantasy", more like..."tactical numbercrunching fantasy". Not that I like the setting as much as others...

WoD is another big case. I actually really like the system, and the setting, but they don't exactly mesh quite well. The system isn't visceral and character-entwined enough. (Actually, I'm thinking on perhaps using Greg Stolze's "A Dirty World", his film noir version of the One Roll Engine, to run a WoD game, because his rules seem very fit to that) I still like the WoD system, though (nWoD), and I could see it having a place...even as a D&D system replacement.

da Trux said...

Rifts (probably every other comment says Rifts) and Twilight 2000. I've only experienced 2nd edition, but the fact that you have to use a square root to determine a stat is simply ludicrous.

Rognar said...

I have to agree with Cyric. I love the Fading Suns setting, but the game system doesn't appeal to me at all. There was a d20 conversion, but it seemed a bit shoddy to me and I'm not sure d20 works well for Fading Suns either.

Barking Alien said...

Man thats tough...I don't tend to go with pre-made settings unless they're licenses (Star Trek, Star Wars, Red Dwarf, DC Comics). Most game settings just don't do it for me. As Gleichman said, setting as published is almost alwats bleh.

Maybe Battletech. I've always thought the universe was kinda cool but I can't stand the mechs which are essentially tanks that walk. Why? Just use tanks. They overheat less. Giant Robots that can't do what Giant Robots can do are the opitome of wasted material in my opinion. You want realism go play a WW II military simulator. Sixty foot, humanoid robots are not where you go for realism.

I've thought of redesigning the Battletech milieu in Mekton a few times, complete with a total overhaul of all the mecha but I've just never gotten around to it.

Maybe someday.

kelvingreen said...

Feng Shui is a great setting full of brilliant ideas, but the system actively gets in the way of the genre it's trying to emulate. I'd probably try running it with Savage Worlds if I could find the time.

Doug Wall said...

Almost anything d20 that isn't D&D.

Norman Harman said...

Would love all GURPS settings to be divorced of all GURPS rules.

Not so much of I'd never use but rather wouldn't it have been great.
World of Greyhawk -> Rolemaster/HARP. Would have loved to see WG done up with the number of books, style and treatment ICE give Middle Earth

Christian Lindke said...

I think the Dreampark setting is ripe with ideas for gaming, and meta-gaming gaming, but the resolution system doesn't really work. It appears simple at first, until you look at the NPC design guidelines. Then the game becomes...players lose.

L. Beau said...

Iron Crown Enterprises' Middle Earth Role-Playing. I.C.E. produced a line of amazingly detailed, often well-written Middle-Earth source-books (even if a lot of it was made from whole cloth), which I collected in my early-to-mid teens (late 1980's - early 1990's.) Problem was, the whole shebang was married to a game system that boasted a series of instant-death / spatterpunk critical hit tables that struck exactly the wrong tone for JRRT's elegiac high fantasy.

Example: One critical failure on the movement and maneuver table had the hapless PC pulling his groin, with the unusual side benefit of the making the PC's opponents stunned for two combat rounds, laughing. To me that sounds more like a home-brew add-on for somebody's Paranoia or Tunnels & Trolls game than core system of an RPG based on The Lord of the Rings.

imredave said...

The new heroquest(aka herowars), love Glorantha, hate the heroquest rules. Unbalanced core mechanic that places winning and the damage done on the same dice roll. Since only the loser takes damage, and the damage further reduces the ability needed to win, you'd better win the first dice roll.

Dr-Rotwang said...

Okay, everyone knows I'm gonna say it, so let's get it out of the way: Star Wars d20. Nossir. Good day. There is the door; you may use it.

GURPS Hellboy. Now, I like GURPS, just not for everything. It seemed like too mechanical a system for...you know...punching werewolves and eating pamcakes.

Aaron said...

I, as usual, am late to the discussion, so let me throw something REALLY obscure into the mix: Morpheus, by Rapport Games. The basic idea behind it was sort of playing Dream Park in the Matrix. The way it was supposed to work was that PCs were fairly powerful, but needed to be careful about really going all out, because you could only manage so much before exhausting your energy. The way it actually worked was that the PCs were pretty much spent after one encounter.

Oh... you wanted something more recent? How about Artesia, then? There's just WAY TOO MUCH detail. Who wants to keep track of spiritual Pollution, or Arcana Points for all 22 cards in the Book of Dooms (the Artesia Major Arcana)?