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Your favorite tabletop RPG game?

DrHappyAngryDrHappyAngry Member Posts: 1,577
Maybe this is more suited for the Role Playing board, but seemed to fit here.

So what's everyone's favorite table top RPG game and why? This can be a specific edition if you like. I'm not doing this as a poll since there's so many of them, plus trying to get all the editions would be too many options. It can be because you loved the setting or even the mechanics.

For me, I've always loved the Storyteller games Vampire: The Masquerade and Mage: The Ascension. When I first got into Vampire, my mind was blown. Prior to that, my only experience was AD&D 2nd (not 2.5) and some of the earlier 1st Ed books I obtained. The mechanics were so much more clear than D&D and it was all character and role play focused, rather than kill count. The worlds were dark and mysterious with conspiracies everywhere. All the unique clans were extremely interesting. Besides, hanging out with the Goths in highschool made this game all the cooler. The Interview With The Vampire movie had come out right before I got into it, so made it extra cool, where Vampires weren't just bad guy monsters but tragic characters in their own right.

For mage, it was because it was such a unique take on magic, where paradigm and belief mattered a lot. It's definitely one of the most unique systems around with all the magick Spheres being nothing but vague descriptions that you can mix and match together to create effects. It did require the player to take those effects and work them into their characters paradigm and come up with how their character would actually accomplish that. Do you use incantations and draw symbols on the ground? Do you pray to Jesus? Do you build a plasma rifle? Throw bone dust into the air to raise the level of chaos in the area? The system allowed everything from the more traditional Hermetic, Pagan and Shamanistic magics to weird science and VR and cybernetics. It created a crazy world, but was so fantastic in how much uniqueness and diversity it encompassed. Literally every possible thing could be right in that game, it had such a wonderful ambiguity to it.

Outside of those, I absolutely loved the Dark Sun setting for D&D. It turned all the standard fantasy tropes inside out and upside down. You had 7 foot tall Elves that were short lived but could run for days on end at top speed, half dwarves that could labor for days, crazy bug people (Thri-Kreen) and cannabalistic Halflings in the few jungles that remained and everyone had psionic abilities, even the animals. It was also the postapocalyptic D&D setting, where the world was ruined through the use of magic destroying the environment. It was a truly unique place in the realm of Dungeons and Dragons. One problem was the metaplot from the novels kinda ruined it with fixing the problems with the world that made it so interesting. I think I heard with the 4th Ed reboot (ya 4th ed, ugh) that they had rolled back those changes. Hopefully they decide to do something again with the setting. Magic was pretty much outlawed, except for the Sorcer Kings that ruled over the few remaining large cities and the people in their employ.

ZaxaresSkatan

Comments

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,261
    For me, in terms of total time spent and the amount of rules knowledge I have, my absolute favourite tabletop game would have to be D&D. :) I was introduced to it by my older cousin, when I was visiting his place and I spotted the cover of the classic D&D Basic Boxed Set on his table. I was enraptured and begged my cousin to play it with me, but he was... shall we say, not a very nice DM and took GREAT pleasure in sending my hapless PC into all manner of lethal situations. :P It's a wonder I didn't give up on D&D right there and then.

    It wasn't until AD&D 2nd Ed that I really became immersed in the settings and lore though. I read most of the D&D novels put out by TSR for the Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, and even a bit of Greyhawk and Mystara. (Ravenloft and Dark Sun too, when those came out.) D&D 3.X was where I spent the bulk of my time as player and DM, but when 4E came out I was largely put off by the oversimplication of rules and the loss of a lot of lore. I was also starting my professional career at this point and so it made sense to simply let 4E go and stick with 3.5 for my own group.

    In terms of settings, while I mostly play in generic high-fantasy worlds like the Forgotten Realms for my players, my two favourite settings are Dark Sun and Ravenloft. As DrHappyAngry says, the two settings subvert or twist a lot of the standard fantasy tropes while maintaining a very distinct, unique feel and atmosphere. Admittedly I took a lot of liberties with the Ravenloft setting though, removing some of the domains that I felt were not a good fit and altering the timeline to keep some of my favourite Darklords in the Demiplane (for example, Lord Soth is still Darklord of Sithicus, in my altered setting, despite him officially having been returned to Krynn for 4E.)

    Two other settings that I particularly love that don't fall under the D&D umbrella are Call of Cthulhu and Gamma World. The first most people will probably have some familiarity with, but Gamma World, for those who may not have heard of it, is set in a fantastical post-apocalyptic Earth. It differs from what a lot of people tend to imagine post-apocalyptic settings as in that the Earth is not largely barren, irradiated wasteland. There ARE "Death Zones" that are so radioactive that any creature entering them will be killed within minutes, but aside from that, the Earth is still largely lush, green and vibrant... Except that most of the plants and animals living in them are mutated beyond recognition, either physically ("You see a creature that looks like a giant, 3-meter long hooded cobra, except that it also has four humanoid arms growing from where shoulders would be on a human. The hands twist and flutter in motions that make no sense to you; it might be an attempt at a greeting, or a warning to stay away.") or mentally ("As you approach the tree and reach out to pick a delicious looking apple from one of the lower branches, the branch suddenly lifts out of your reach and an unseen voice roars in your head "My children will NOT be devoured by you, interloper!" The pain in your mind grows intense, and you realize that you are under telepathic attack.)

    The technology and civilization levels in Gamma World runs the gamut from tribes of mutated animals using crude Stone-Age level tools, to pseudo-medieval bands of humans (who have developed a certain level of resistance to radiation) that live and work in towns that wouldn't look amiss in Faerun, except that the town guards might be using garbage can lids as shields and carrying daggers that are obviously bayonets that have been looted from a long abandoned military armory, to amazingly futuristic cities that are protected and maintained by robots far more advanced than the levels we have today, that treat all non-human visitors as intruders to be eliminated. (Many human survivors fear to enter these cities because of ancient myths that claim the radiation sickness that killed and warped their ancestors originated from these cities, or because the robot guardians have long since gone haywire and attack all who enter), to even more advanced (seemingly crystalline-based) tech from strange alien ships or structures that are scattered across the Earth.

    Most intriguing of all is that the setting itself provides little clues for how the Earth became this way. We do know that the human civilization of the 21st century had reached heights of technological advancement we can only dream of. Technologies such as gene repair and augmentation would have been commonplace, and humans journeyed between planets, possibly even between galaxies, in advanced spacecraft. And then, something happened. Perhaps war broke out between the ultra-advanced nations of the world. Perhaps a malfunction occurred in the hyper-advanced A.I. controlling our weaponry. Perhaps alien invaders arrived from beyond the stars and attacked the Earth (this option is possibly the most likely given the presence of the alien technology on Earth). But whatever the reason, weapons of horrible power were used, and the Earth and its inhabitants were forever altered by the destruction produced by those weapons.

    So now, we have a world that is both in the process of being reborn and trying to chart its new future. There are a number of rising powers and organizations in the world, ranging from the Archivists (people who try to dig up, repair and worship old technology in the hopes that they will be recognized as the successors of humanity and be granted control over the ruins of hyper-advanced cities that yet remain), to the Seekers of the New Dawn (people who believe that anything associated with the Ancients is dangerous, unclean and corrupt, and they seek to destroy all technology they encounter) to the Zoopremacists (a confederation of mutated animals who believe the future belongs to them and other anthropomorphic animals, and they seek to enslave or consume all humans) and others. The wide range of technology and mutations means that you could create, say, a humanoid bear that wields a chainsaw as a weapon, a Pure-Strain human that uses powered armor, laser pistols and grenades (although you're not likely to find such powerful weapons at early levels :P), a two-headed humanoid mutant with telepathic powers, or even a Treant-esque ambulatory tree that fights by shooting poisonous seeds at opponents.

    It's a really, really unique and interesting setting, and I've never encountered anything like it since. :)

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