Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What Do You Look for in an RPG That You REALLY Want to Run?

I have my go to rulesets, with Swords & Wizardry leading the charge. I feel comfortable with S&W, much like a favorite pair of shoes.

As you can see from my recent postings, Far Away Land has me really excited. I want to run some story arcs - 2-4 sessions, then take a break for a 6-8 weeks, and then bring the players back for another arc. It really seems to be a system built for such, and I think the breaks are good for keeping the system, setting, and quirkiness fresh.

What excited you with newly found RPGs? What newly found RPGs really excite you and why?


  1. Been watching Adventure Time while working on other stuff, that show is totally wacked!!! If the game can capture and convey that sense of bizarreness then it will be a blast! To answer your question, Dungeon World has been the most recent new game I have learned and enjoyed.

  2. Well Erik, I won't say this is a NEW RPG, since I've had the book for a while but I recently got Savage Worlds up on it's feet (using the 50 Fathoms campaign) and we had a blast. Gotta play more...

  3. I look for:

    * Setting/atmosphere coherence (I'm terrible at gonzo)
    * Relative simplicity / malleability of the rules (houseruling should be easy, but explaining shouldn't be hard either)
    * Leanness of exceptions
    * Success of the rule text at explaining the intended gamestyle (playing ever game the same way is boring!

    If I can't figure out how the game would work at the table, or if the
    rules or setting don't cohere in my head, then I won't want to run it.

    If someone else is running it, then the bar is significantly lower.
    They just have to make it make sense to me, for the duration of the

  4. What attracts me first about ANY RPG is the genre and setting. If it's unusual and evocative and makes me say, "Hot DAMN, I wanna play there!", I'll pick it up. The mechanics of the game itself are secondary because, with D6, GURPs, Pacesetter Action Table, and other base systems, I can always use a mechanic I'm more comfortable with if the game system doesn't "click" with me and my group.

  5. Clearly explained rules written in an entertaining fashion a la WEG's first editions of Star Wars and Ghostbusters. Games that make you want to play them ASAP.

  6. Both of my groups have been having a blast with 5e D&D!

    When I look at a new game, I'm looking for something that is easy to use, without a lot of rules, but enough of a resolution system that I can make my own rulings. As far as setting goes? I like something modular, plug-n-play. I want to be able to throw automatons next to elves and guns and longswords. Not that I'd necessarily do that, but still. =)

  7. A simple but subtle rules mechanism interests me, so long as I can expect my players to "get it". I don't mean that my players aren't intelligent, but not all of them have heads for rules, and most of them won't read the rules anyway. So simple enough to be verbally conveyed, subtle enough not to be boring.

    Genre and Setting are both crucial to me as well. I can't get excited about running some types of campaigns.

  8. Oh, one more thing - I've learned from experience that one of my groups does NOT do well with "storyteller" game systems, where the players themselves become partially responsible for the game universe. Fate was a colossal flop with them, even though I was initially excited about it.

  9. Me and my group are very happy with D&D 5E. Simple mechanics, theater of the mind as default,but everything is very organized. We love it so far.


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