Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Most Played RPG System

I'm a backer of Privateer Press' Iron Kingdoms setting for DnD 5th Edition. I've loved the setting since it was released for DnD 3.0 back in the day and am looking forward to running it under 5E.

Matt Wilson of Privateer Press made this statement in response to a question about why they stopped supporting the Iron Kingdoms RPG with its own unique system, "5e is the most played RPG system in the history of RPGs, and so if we're going to keep exploring and expanding on the Iron Kingdoms."

Do you think that statement is true?

I know 5E is huge, I mean H-U-G-E, but B/X DnD and ADnD 1E were pretty successful too and they've had the benefit of being played since the 70s and been reinvigorated with the OSR in the last decade.

Let me be clear here, I'm not taking Mr. Wilson to task for his statement it simply made me think about the life cycle of various versions of DnD and the inventory numbers. His statement could be completely spot on and I'm sure he has a better chance of having insight from WotC than I do.

I'd love to hear what you think on the subject.

Friday, February 5, 2021

My Quest

My first RPG was Champions which allowed a neophyte like me to build anything I could imagine once I learned the language of the HERO System. However, I still had a wandering eye that led me to Heroes Unlimited, to TSR's Marvel Super Heroes, and on and on. I don't know if I realized it at first, but part of my Gaming ADD was looking for that perfect system. For a long, long time I thought that was what made a long-term campaign work, clear, concise, and unified rules. The OSR would eventually teach me otherwise and I now know that what makes a long-term campaign work is a DM who can stay focused and roll with the punches and a group who buys into the game. That is it, in my opinion.

But I still own a ton of RPGs and I still have a yearning for that "perfect system". I've been a big fan of Pinnacle Entertainment Group since Deadlands was published and when they launched Savage Worlds I thought it would be my answer for all further campaigns. It was, however, not the answer and that is mainly because I prefer Hit Points and it lacks them. It's also not quite as fast for my tastes as it advertises. I love PEG and I adore the idea of SW, but not the execution.

However, when I took SW for a spin about two years ago I picked up Chaosium's Down Darker Trails and I realized how much I love the Basic Role-Playing System that powers Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, and the forthcoming Rivers of London RPG. I've been thinking about running a BRP game for the last six months or so, but BRP wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

Meanwhile, I've fallen in love with The Design Mechanisms' Mythras RPG (it was RuneQuest 6th Edition for a while) and I really appreciate how many settings and sourcebooks they publish. As a Chaosium fan the release schedule often leaves a lot to be desired. However, Mythras is more fiddly than I like in my D100 games as I don't care for Strike Ranks or Hit Locations.

On top of all of this is a game engine I've been tinkering with for years and is inspired by Mike Pondsmith's Castle Falkenstein. In that game, there are Ability scores just skills and you default to Average in any Skill you have not assigned otherwise.

What I'm getting too is I took Castle Falkenstein's basic Skill premise, plus a D100 resolution system, and pyramid style Skill allocation system that borrows from the World of Darkness, Hero Wars/HeroQuest/QuestWorlds, Chaosium's Magic World, FATE/FUDGE, and the Mythras Companion.

HEre is the set up. 

Your Hit Points equal 12+2d6.

You assign the following values to your Skills: 80, 70%, two at 60%, two at 50%, four at 45%, and two at 40%. Any Skill you don't have defaults to a 33% chance of success.

I borrow weapons and equipment from BRP, Mythras, or Delta Green.

I started using this to run another Star Wars game. This time the Imperial Navy, now led by Grand Moff Kaine, wants to remove Darth Vader for his failure at Battle of Yavin. The Grand Moff has an elite unit of the Navy comprised of Force-Sensitive operatives and he has been given the blessing to train them and deploy them to hunt down any surviving Jedi or bring in any Force-Sensitives that they become aware.

The Players are that squad and their first assignment was to retrieve Talon Karrde from the prison planet Eisen alive if at all possible.

We've played two sessions and I'm having a blast. For me, the percentile resolution system is darn easy for online play and I truly appreciate it.

I plan on developing and previewing the system further on here.

Stay warm and stay well.

Thundarr the Movie

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