Catching Up

Turn of a Friendly Die: WISH 4: Systems

Describe three systems you have gamed under: one you thought was good, one you thought was all right, and one you didn’t care for. Is there a system you’d really like to try that you haven’t? Which ones wouldn’t you try based on reading them?

d20. Seriously. Knowing first-hand where it came from, and what it used to be like (and swearing off of it in the middle of 2nd edition), I just can’t help but love the simplicity of the mechanic — the SAME mechanic, regardless of whether it’s combat, skill checks, whatever.
Sometimes I enjoy the tactical challenges of the combat rules… Attacks of Opportunity, etc… I loved playing Space Hulk and Battletech, too… sue me. Sometimes I don’t jones on it, but that’s alright too.
Currently, I run a straight (but very money-poor) fantasy campaign, a Star Wars campaign, an Oriental Campaign, Pulp Adventure, Jungle, and I’m thinking about running a one-on-one d20 Spycraft campaign. I’m waiting for Farscape (coming soon, I hope), and I’m buying d20 Silver Age Sentinels as soon as it comes out next month to cover Supers. Of course there’s also d20 Amber, which I think I’m getting really close to revealing the second iteration of — it CAN work… I really believe that.
(The problem there is no one I know is as into d20 and Amber as I am to give it a try, and I’m simply that I’m so sick of using Amber as a setting that I’m going to have to come up with some other ‘godlike’ setting to test the rules in.)
Also, having veritable tablefuls of new material being turned out by independant publishers is great.
All right
GoO’s BESM system is alright. I really liked it for a long time, and I even think I wrote some good stuff for it, but there’s two things that sort of messed it up for me:
1) The dice mechanic is assinine and counter-intuitive. I ignored it as long as I could… so there.
2a) I didn’t end up on a good footing with the folks working at the company… it sort of mars everything I do with the game system.
2b) Bringing on David Pulver was a mistake in my opinion, changing the direction of the company from ‘nearly diceless’ to ‘nearly Gurps’. I which the game had gone the development route of Hot Rods and Gun Bunnies and not the direction of Big Robots and Cool Starships. Those two books show a profound difference in design philosophy… but one was written by David “I’m in charge of the production line now” Pulver, so guess which way they went?
If it weren’t for (2), I would fix (1), which would make this a “Good” game for me. Ahh well.

Also in this category: I wish I liked Gurps more than I do, because they do great sourcebooks and it’d be nice not to have to convert everything to some other system.
Rolemaster is just too easy for me to twink out.
Want to Try
Legend of the Five Rings. I’m running a d20 game using some of the setting, but the mechanics for the original game system look slick, elegant, and seem to fit the setting very well. (I get to see a lot of the game system, since I’m frequently converting stuff to d20… it sort of feels like Shadowrun (multiple dice) meets Everyway’s elements.
Read and didn’t like
I really wanted to like Nobilis. I really don’t.


  1. I’m still reading it, but what part of Nobilis didn’t you like? Or was it mostly everything?

  2. In my perusal (only about an hour, granted), it struck me in exactly the way collections of mediocre poetry grab me — there’s obviously a lot of emotion behind the writing, but the presentation is so off-putting that I don’t care.

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