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Rhedyn
2019-03-19, 03:06 PM
As opposed to setting specific RPGs.

I have been reading various RPGs for awhile now and I'll stumble upon great RPGs that are basically dead. No one plays them, no one talks about them. No new content is being made. I think this can come from an RPG being 'done'. At some point the idea the RPG is trying to convey is finished. People can only play with a finished concept for so long before they are done with it to. Since RPGs mainly grow through established groups recruiting new people, then people liking your game and praising it but not running it or playing it anymore will eventually cause it to fade away.

Another problem that comes with more specific RPGs is all the material made for it is expected to be cumulative. For example, once enough widgets are printed for a D&D edition it becomes "bloated" and designers can struggle what new widgets to make. Even if you make content that is explicitly "setting specific", the GMs and players out there are tempted to combine things across setting because the game does not fundamentally change from setting to setting.

Two RPG systems that I've seen that are both fairly old now and still making new content are Fate (2003) and Savage Worlds (2003), from what I've seen a 16 year run-time over very similar editions (as opposed to D&D editions) is rare especially among newer RPGs. I think these games stay alive and basically the same since their start because they can focus on a setting, have very specific crunch for it, and change how the game runs enough that people can keep playing the game without "getting done" with it. You avoid bloat because setting specific content is just not reused and you avoid "being finished" because there is always more settings to adapt.

There are exceptions to this idea, for example GURPS focuses on universal crunch that can be applied to settings. The older it gets the more "finished" it is. It's alive enough for now, but I do not see the constant stream of product and kickstarters like I do for the other two.

And of course, D&D being specific to D&D fantasy does not prevent it from being most popular, but 5e D&D is only 5ish years old now. Who knows if/when WotC will decide that 5e is "finished" and move on to a new set of core books?

Faily
2019-03-20, 09:42 PM
If games from the early 2000s are considered old, then some of the games that have stuck around longer must be ancient. :smallbiggrin:

The opinion of what games are being played varies greatly depending on the circles you frequent. Vampire is pretty darn old (V:tM being published in 1991!) in comparison to FATE and Savage Worlds, and yet I feel like almost everyone I know who play RPGs have played Vampire in one form or another, are playing it in one form or another, or want to play. In general World of Darkness and it's ilk (Werewolf, Wraith, Changeling, Mage, Hunter, etc) have been around for a long time, is setting-specific, and is still relevant.

I never heard about FATE before I started to actually lurk actively on this forum, and very few I know have heard about it, and I think you're about the only one I've heard talking about Savage Worlds. But as I said, it depends a lot on what sort of gamers you hang out with.

D&D is always going to be around, with its many specific setting-related books. I don't see it going away soon as 5e has a pretty solid core and loyal base (I don't care for 5e myself, but I acknowledge that they went all in to make a well-designed game with a clear goal in mind).

My impression is that generic RPGs might stick around for a while because of their applicability, but will rarely draw the majority of attention of the buyers and will remain less memorable than setting-specific RPGs.

My 2 cents.

Mark Hall
2019-03-20, 09:50 PM
The Rifts RPG will turn 30 next year. It has only had one edition and a single revision; all of the books are still compatible.

Faily
2019-03-20, 09:54 PM
The Rifts RPG will turn 30 next year. It has only had one edition and a single revision; all of the books are still compatible.

That is pretty impressive! I have some friends that are big fan of Rifts.

And it's funny that the game is older than some people I know too. :smallbiggrin:

Spore
2019-03-20, 11:37 PM
Thing is, it takes QUITE a while for games to reach 'mass' appeal and somewhat hit the mainstream of even a focus group. And for RPGs you generally need a group to accept the new rules and the game so the more basic it is the easier it is to create a group for it.

Imagine that we played Pathfinder, 5. Edition D&D and Degenesis (some post apo game from Germany) only to fail to create a Warhammer Fantasy or 40k group. Both reasons where one player (different for 40k and Fantasy) jumping board, eventually killing interest.

Though honestly I do not support your claim that the rules system is the be all and end all but the range of fluff it can be applied to, including popular RPG tropes. It should start at the standard "adventurers delve the dungeon and find loot x" and its own dynamic can develop into something else entirely but a very simple framework has to be there.

Zilong
2019-03-21, 03:22 AM
I occasionally mention savage worlds:smallfrown:

It is actually my favorite generic system. If I had my druthers, Iíd use it most often. However there is a certain charm and cultural mystique about D&D that I still love and most of my players enjoy. So I usually end up running/playing 5e D&D these days.

Glorthindel
2019-03-21, 05:24 AM
I think an important feature is having money behind it to keep publishing, and the ability (through other media) to keep it in peoples minds.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay was first published in 1986, and its latest edition was released last year, so it is definitely up there amoungst the oldest still-breathing RPG systems. But it has very definitely gone through some ups and downs, with pretty strong highs, followed by periods where it all but disappeared. What has kept it going forward is, despite it being single-setting, is that the setting is very well known and well loved thanks to the battle game (though that thread is burned now) and more recently some pretty successful video games keeping the setting in peoples minds. But on the downside, some pretty shoddy support by Games Workshop (their habit of reviving it, pushing it strongly, then dropping it, cutting off support, and trying to hide the remains) means its constantly on the verge of dying for the last time.

With stronger, more consistant support, it could be one of the big games (especially when you count Dark heresy and the rest of the 40k line as well), but only if the company behind it keeps it at the forefront.

gkathellar
2019-03-21, 05:52 AM
Itís demonstrably untrue that setting-specific games donít have longevity. Closer to the mainstream, WoD, WHFRP, and Rifts have all been mentioned, but Battletech has been publishing RPG incarnations since 1986, and Exalted is nearly 18 now. There are also more niche titles like Traveler (1977) or Ars Magica (1987). You've also got out-of-print games like Amber Diceless (1991), which nonetheless have a huge, incredibly consistent playerbase. Do D&D settings count? Because Forgotten Realms has been around since 1987, outliving four editions of that game, and is at this point probably going stronger than ever (indeed, WotC seems to be betting ever more on FR's incredible longevity).

This is off the top of my head, without getting into Japan's significant and very different tabletop scene.

All that said, the phenomenon of, ďand now weíre finished,Ē is a real one, and not by any means exclusive to setting-specific games. Itís simply the product of having a less franchise-oriented mindset, or of having a smaller idea. And thatís fine. Itís too bad that games like that tend to be forgotten, but longevity is a fact, not a virtue.

Kaptin Keen
2019-03-21, 06:11 AM
Shadowrun is setting-specific, and has been around for ages.

But what about, say, Forgotten Realms? It's so old it's retro, and so bad it's kitch, and it presumably wont ever die. I know Forgotten Realms isn't an RPG, but if setting specific games die out, shouldn't the same hold true for specific settings?

Oh, previous poster also mentioned FR. Right. Um. Move along then, nothing to see here =)

Rhedyn
2019-03-21, 07:05 AM
Itís demonstrably untrue that setting-specific games donít have longevity. Closer to the mainstream, WoD, WHFRP, and Rifts have all been mentioned, but Battletech has been publishing RPG incarnations since 1986, and Exalted is nearly 18 now. There are also more niche titles like Traveler (1977) or Ars Magica (1987). You've also got out-of-print games like Amber Diceless (1991), which nonetheless have a huge, incredibly consistent playerbase. Do D&D settings count? Because Forgotten Realms has been around since 1987, outliving four editions of that game, and is at this point probably going stronger than ever (indeed, WotC seems to be betting ever more on FR's incredible longevity).

This is off the top of my head, without getting into Japan's significant and very different tabletop scene.

All that said, the phenomenon of, ďand now weíre finished,Ē is a real one, and not by any means exclusive to setting-specific games. Itís simply the product of having a less franchise-oriented mindset, or of having a smaller idea. And thatís fine. Itís too bad that games like that tend to be forgotten, but longevity is a fact, not a virtue.
Out of print seems dead to me for Amber (I would argue BECMI is more active with people printing the RC to augment their OSR games). Likewise the Ars Magica scene seems to lack many people talking about playing recently and there is a severe lack of new books.

FR is a setting that has been applied to a bunch of different games each calling themselves D&D. Sure the setting stayed alive, but through edition treadmill.

Oh longevity isn't necessarily a virtue. I just notice that plenty of great games basically disappear without it.

Anonymouswizard
2019-03-21, 07:54 AM
That is pretty impressive! I have some friends that are big fan of Rifts.

And it's funny that the game is older than some people I know too. :smallbiggrin:

I own several games older than me. Mostly setting specific games.

On that note, the real thing is that setting-specific games live and die on their setting, while generic games live and die on their rules. I suspect that this means that generic games have a harder time starting out, as you can't get away with a shoddy ruleset stapled onto an interesting and relatively unique setting*, but that setting specific games have to continually update their fluff to stay relevant or do one very specific idea very well. So while I do own a ton of setting-specific games, I do also have some generics that I'll look into converting the settings to.

Actually, on that note, I bought both Cyberpunk 2020 (the edition is four years older than me, the game six years) and WFRP4e (the setting is over a decade over than me, the game itself eight years, even if this edition was released last year) less than two weeks ago entirely because of the settings. In fact the setting is what defines my purchases these days, I'm just bored of games that try to be as generic as possible because it gives me no idea what it's good at. I know to use Cyberpunk for gritty gun battles and infiltration because of the way the setting favours those, and I know to use WFRP for dark fantasy because of the focus on being corrupted and going insane, but when I first picked up BD&D I had no idea that you were supposed to go into dungeons and collect treasure, the setting information I saw focused on other things.

Cyberpunk is actually interesting. I've been looking for a decently priced copy for years, and it seems to have recently got back into print (my FLGS had the corebook, Forbidden Planet seems to have a bunch of books which aren't the corebook but no corebook). I got it, and the setting would be completely laughable if the game wasn't based around it, and I'm sad that there's going to be a new version based on a different system because that'll mean that Cyberpunk discussion might start to move from 2020. It really is one of those games that does its particular style of setting so well that I'm loathe to go anywhere else for it now. Shadowrun is nice and all, but people seem to insist on playing Metahumans in it.

* Also known as the Vampire the Masquerade strategy.

Mark Hall
2019-03-21, 09:14 AM
Ars Magica is now 32 years old, and on its 5th edition. It is specific setting (called "Mythic Europe").

Rhedyn
2019-03-21, 09:23 AM
Ars Magica is now 32 years old, and on its 5th edition. It is specific setting (called "Mythic Europe").It's also kind of dead, prints no more new books, and the differences between 1-2 and 4-5 are vast. Even 4e and 5e are basically incompatible.

Anonymouswizard
2019-03-21, 03:47 PM
Also note that some games aren't intended to last forever, they'll have X books planned out from the start and then the designers will abandon or continue it as they desire by that point. Nothing new is coming out for Qin: the Warring States because it's completely finished (at least for the French version).

Games will also dissappear for some time and then reappear as developers move onto new ideas and come back to old ones. There was a decade or more between UA2 and UA3, although UA3 itself seems to be more of a limited run deal (there's certainly been no sourcebooks since Book 5, but I think there might be occasional new Campaign Starter Kits). Cyberpunk is back in print and is apparently getting a new edition, and I'm sure with access to Google I could find a few more which have either just geared up or are getting ready to. Depending on how you count things oWoD revived with V20 and/or V5 (or potentially jumped the shark in V5).

Then there are games like Shadowrun and Rifts which are setting specific and have been in print with (relatively) few breaks. Like with generics it's a relatively small number, but like with long-running generics they do exist.

Also, 'RPG' is somewhat vague. It all seems clear, but is Keltia a different RPG to Yggdrassil? It might be a different setting and different brand, but it's the same system. Is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Third Edition a different game to 1e and 2e due to using a different system? If so is 4e a different game or is it a revival of 1e/2e due to using a modifed version of their d% roll under system? How many RPGs is D&D anyway? (by my calculations anywhere up to seven [0e, Basic, Advanced 1e, Advanced 2e, 3.X, 4e, 5e])

kyoryu
2019-03-21, 04:40 PM
For those of you pointing out long-lasting settings, keep in mind that the OP is talking about actively-published, and on the same ruleset.

Part of what they're talking about is the fact that publishers (seem to) need to trot out a new version every x years to sell more things, while generic systems can keep the same core and just put out settings/other add-ons/etc.

I don't know if I agree with that, but it's part of the point. That's why D&D doesn't count (though it's clearly one of the oldest systems) - it's been through a huge number of rewrites. Meanwhile, GURPS has had one new edition since the mid 80s.

gkathellar
2019-03-21, 04:43 PM
Also note that some games aren't intended to last forever, they'll have X books planned out from the start and then the designers will abandon or continue it as they desire by that point. Nothing new is coming out for Qin: the Warring States because it's completely finished (at least for the French version).

This is especially true when a writer is trading on their name, rather than a brand. Designers like John Harper, Jenna Moran, and Monte Cook are basically this hobby's equivalent of wild-and-crazy art house directors, and are well-known enough that basically anything they work on will draw attention and support. People in that category have an ability to keep eating food that is not dependent on continuing any particular franchise, and so their work is often (though not always) more self-contained.

By contrast, major IPs managed by companies will tend to be a little more focused on shelf-life, if only because they've got staff to employ and quotas to meet.


For those of you pointing out long-lasting settings, keep in mind that the OP is talking about actively-published, and on the same ruleset.

I hear that, but generic games don't really have any more longevity in that regard. GURPS isn't an example of how generic games last forever, but rather an anomaly as TTRPGs go in a number of respects.

Mechalich
2019-03-21, 06:03 PM
For those of you pointing out long-lasting settings, keep in mind that the OP is talking about actively-published, and on the same ruleset.

Part of what they're talking about is the fact that publishers (seem to) need to trot out a new version every x years to sell more things, while generic systems can keep the same core and just put out settings/other add-ons/etc.


Core Books sell vastly more copies than splatbooks, always have, always will. The reason is simple: most TTRPG book-buyers are players only, not GMs, and they only buy the books they need to run their characters. A small number of fanatical collect-them-all hardcore GM fans isn't enough to sustain a game as an ongoing in-print concern. The economics are quite clear on this point. Now, it is enough people to sustain a kickstarter-funded print-on-demand business model, which is how Onyx Path stays in business or to churn out cheap PDF-only sales on DriveThruRPG, which is how most FATE content is produced. That's a perfectly viable strategy, but it's a different kind of 'alive' than being actively in print.

In general, being able to successfully publish a new edition and make money off of it is a sign that your game is healthy. A game that limps on without doing so periodically is a zombie.

Faily
2019-03-21, 06:51 PM
On the subject of Ars Magica:

They are currently a "victim of their own success" with 5th edition. 5th edition proved to be their most popular and most liked edition, so much that they started reprinting older material into updated formats once they had covered pretty much anything else they could possibly publish. Once they had done that, they began to reach out on the Atlas Games forums of what people would like of a possible 6th edition, and a good chunk of the feedback was along the lines of "why do we need a new edition? 5th edition is perfectly fine".

However, this is not a problem specific to setting-focused RPGs or generic RPGs either. At some point, you have printed all there is to print of support and splat-books (and as mentioned above, splats never sell as well as corebooks), so you either must look to refining the system you have into a new edition, or you start scraping the bottom of the barrel and begin publishing material of low quality that is just becoming unnescessary bloat. And to be fair, Ars Magica's 5e splats have all been top-notch quality.

The general consensus of their customers and the fanbase has leaned heavily in favor of just keeping 5e, so I don't think Atlas Games is going to invest too hard into pushing for a 6th edition but I could very well be wrong as I haven't checked in on that community in a while.


the differences between 1-2 and 4-5 are vast. Even 4e and 5e are basically incompatible.

Incorrect. Porting over mechanics and characters from 4th to 5th is a quick and painless process, with only minimal adjustments. Trust me, I know, our group switched to 5e when it came out.

gkathellar
2019-03-21, 09:32 PM
once they had covered pretty much anything else they could possibly publish

Hey, they still haven't published rules for the Terram specialists of House Guernicus! So that's like ... one entire thing that there's no sourcebook for.

Probably.


Incorrect. Porting over mechanics and characters from 4th to 5th is a quick and painless process, with only minimal adjustments. Trust me, I know, our group switched to 5e when it came out.

There's even an appendix in the 5E rulebook on what's changed and how to port stuff.

Faily
2019-03-21, 10:05 PM
Yeah, there were a couple of Virtues and Flaws that were removed/replaced, but that was mostly minor from what I recall. Characteristics were done differently, but if you really wanted to be crazy (like we were) you could keep the ones generated in 4e and use in 5e if you absolutely wanted to.

And everyone rejoiced over the changes to wearing armor! :smallbiggrin:

Also, House Guernicus is covered extensively in True Lineages!

gkathellar
2019-03-21, 10:14 PM
Also, House Guernicus is covered extensively in True Lineages!

They specifically mention that there's a tradition of specialized Guernicus Terram users in that book, and then say, "but that's beyond the scope of this book!" It's maddening.

Rhedyn
2019-03-22, 07:06 AM
On the subject of Ars Magica:

They are currently a "victim of their own success" with 5th edition. 5th edition proved to be their most popular and most liked edition, so much that they started reprinting older material into updated formats once they had covered pretty much anything else they could possibly publish. Once they had done that, they began to reach out on the Atlas Games forums of what people would like of a possible 6th edition, and a good chunk of the feedback was along the lines of "why do we need a new edition? 5th edition is perfectly fine".

However, this is not a problem specific to setting-focused RPGs or generic RPGs either. At some point, you have printed all there is to print of support and splat-books (and as mentioned above, splats never sell as well as corebooks), so you either must look to refining the system you have into a new edition, or you start scraping the bottom of the barrel and begin publishing material of low quality that is just becoming unnescessary bloat. And to be fair, Ars Magica's 5e splats have all been top-notch quality.

The general consensus of their customers and the fanbase has leaned heavily in favor of just keeping 5e, so I don't think Atlas Games is going to invest too hard into pushing for a 6th edition but I could very well be wrong as I haven't checked in on that community in a while.

This is the issue I find with single setting longevity. They can only print material for less interesting, more detailed setting lore at this point. It's not like Ars Magica has a generic core and a Mythic Europe line that tied characters and magic more closely to that setting and then could publish a "Yggdrasil" setting to bring deep magic to another kind of fantasy world.

Instead, they finished a great game that no one really plays anymore.

Max_Killjoy
2019-03-22, 10:38 AM
This is the issue I find with single setting longevity. They can only print material for less interesting, more detailed setting lore at this point. It's not like Ars Magica has a generic core and a Mythic Europe line that tied characters and magic more closely to that setting and then could publish a "Yggdrasil" setting to bring deep magic to another kind of fantasy world.

Instead, they finished a great game that no one really plays anymore.

At least to me, Ars Magica also deals with a bit of a niche style due to the "troupe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troupe_system)" setup.

(Assuming that their 5th ed kept troupes.)

gkathellar
2019-03-22, 10:44 AM
At least to me, Ars Magica also deals with a bit of a niche style due to the "troupe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troupe_system)" setup.

(Assuming that their 5th ed kept troupes.)

It was treated as normal, but not necessary if your group preferred not to do it.

Arbane
2019-03-22, 11:29 AM
I hear that, but generic games don't really have any more longevity in that regard. GURPS isn't an example of how generic games last forever, but rather an anomaly as TTRPGs go in a number of respects.

The RPG hobby industry is small enough that all RPGs are anomalies, really.

War_lord
2019-03-22, 10:26 PM
GURPS fell from popularity due to a combination of poor marketing, changing tastes in RPG mechanics among the masses and poor marketing leading to a stereotype of the game as being for grognards with Physics degrees. Unfortunately it's going to keep slowly dying because SJG basically sees it as an afterthought when Munchkin keeps the company successful singlehandedly. There's no will to spend the marketing dollars to convince people to try out a complex system in the middle of the minimalism fad. I wish I could play the games I want instead of having to run them, but alas GURPS GMs are thin on the ground.

Faily
2019-03-25, 11:26 AM
This is the issue I find with single setting longevity. They can only print material for less interesting, more detailed setting lore at this point. It's not like Ars Magica has a generic core and a Mythic Europe line that tied characters and magic more closely to that setting and then could publish a "Yggdrasil" setting to bring deep magic to another kind of fantasy world.

Instead, they finished a great game that no one really plays anymore.


See, for you that might be a problem.

Others, like myself, like to have unique mechanics tied to a setting. It's something that enhances the experience of that setting and gamestyle, custom-made to fit specifically for that kind of storytelling. I love FFG's Star Wars for playing Star Wars, I think it works great for that kind of style that SW often goes for. I hated the similar-but-not-quite-same-system they made for their 5e of Legend of the Five Rings, and felt that the previous system worked much better for L5R's theme. Same goes for Ars Magica. It's a system that's not like anything else, and it works perfectly for that game.

For me, I am usually not a fan of the generic systems. I feel that most of them actually feel generic and don't have that kind of flavor or special quirks that setting-specific systems do.

Also, just because you don't know anyone who don't play Ars Magica anymore doesn't mean that no one plays it anymore.

Rhedyn
2019-03-25, 11:38 AM
See, for you that might be a problem.

Others, like myself, like to have unique mechanics tied to a setting. It's something that enhances the experience of that setting and gamestyle, custom-made to fit specifically for that kind of storytelling. I love FFG's Star Wars for playing Star Wars, I think it works great for that kind of style that SW often goes for. I hated the similar-but-not-quite-same-system they made for their 5e of Legend of the Five Rings, and felt that the previous system worked much better for L5R's theme. Same goes for Ars Magica. It's a system that's not like anything else, and it works perfectly for that game.

For me, I am usually not a fan of the generic systems. I feel that most of them actually feel generic and don't have that kind of flavor or special quirks that setting-specific systems do.

A generic game can still have setting specific mechanics. Are you arguing that you prefer the whole system being tied to a setting? I won't disagree with that. I just notice that those kind of games die out faster regardless of how good they are.

LankyOgre
2019-03-25, 11:48 AM
I think one problem is that you are identifying the same phenomenon, but calling it two different things. In "generic settings," they publish a good ruleset and then every few years go through a cycle of publishing a setting. I have a collection of Fate and Savage Worlds sourcebooks at home. Some of them are a series 2-6 books long, but nothing is ever going to be published again. If I don't like the new settings, or want to incorporate new material, I have to find things from a different setting and Frankenstein it back into my game.
In a "setting specific" rpg, you get a new edition every couple of years.
Either way, a new infusion of ideas breathes life into an old system. I think its a little disingenuous to say Fate & Savage Worlds are "successful," but d20 isn't.

On the other hand, a game like Margret Weis's Marvel Civil War or Firefly had extremely short flashes in the pan. The games depended on specific settings, worked for a finite amount of material, and haven't really been come back to.

Rhedyn
2019-03-25, 02:06 PM
I'm not using the word "successful". I'm only talking about longevity which only implies a bare minimum level of success over a length.

I don't particular care if a setting has longevity because I'm unlikely to ever revisit a setting after a campaign, but it's a good observation that without some sort of renewal, RPG product lines have a limited life.

LankyOgre
2019-03-25, 03:03 PM
I'm not using the word "successful". I'm only talking about longevity which only implies a bare minimum level of success over a length.

I don't particular care if a setting has longevity because I'm unlikely to ever revisit a setting after a campaign, but it's a good observation that without some sort of renewal, RPG product lines have a limited life.

Maybe Iím missing the point then.
Outside of a game like chess or tag that have just entered our culture, product lines need new products. Iím not sure that new settings while maintaining a consistent ruleset is really all that different from new editions.

Anonymouswizard
2019-03-25, 05:19 PM
A generic game can still have setting specific mechanics. Are you arguing that you prefer the whole system being tied to a setting? I won't disagree with that. I just notice that those kind of games die out faster regardless of how good they are.

Except your assertion is not true. I'm trying to think of the industry's long runners that are still publishing and they're generalyy setting-specific, although some have switched publishers several times (hello Shadowrun). The only exceptions I can think of are GURPS, D&D (heavily tied to one genre), and Traveller (heavily tied to the Third Imperium despite theoretically being generic space opera). Of course some of them went through periods where they weren't being actively developed/sold.

In fact, aren't both Call of Cthulhu and Runequest still going strong?

Then you have Vampire. Masquerade was popular enough that it got Requiem into a lot of trouble for not being Masquerade.

Plus, as I said, some games aren't meant to last forever. Does the fact that a game was only intended to have ten books matter in this discussion?

I think this thread has stumbled across something though: setings sell games. While you have those rarerities like GURPS which can sell on specifically being settingless, even most generic RPGs tend to live or die based on what settings they can scrounge up. I'd say that the only reason Fate Core even exists is that Spirit of the Century and The Dresden Files RPG got people excited about FATE3.

War_lord
2019-03-25, 07:16 PM
I'm going to have to push back on the idea that there's anything generic about D&D, it's a game about high fantasy dungeon crawling.

Lunali
2019-03-25, 09:28 PM
It may just be personal experience, but it feels like while the systems last longer, campaigns in generic RPGs tend to be shorter. People seem more likely to get bored of a setting and want to move on to a new campaign.

BWR
2019-03-26, 01:32 AM
I'm going to have to push back on the idea that there's anything generic about D&D, it's a game about high fantasy dungeon crawling.


isn't high fantasy dungeon crawling a genre, hence 'generic' being a good term for the game? generic =/= universal
D&D is actually genre defining in many ways.
D&D is not produced or marketed with a single setting in mind. It can, and often does, support official settings, but is equally usable for any number of homebrew settings that usully have certain basic assumptions about how they work in common. Looking at the most popular releases for the game, you'll note that it is the generic supplements that sell best, not the setting-specific ones.

Knaight
2019-03-26, 02:12 AM
A generic game can still have setting specific mechanics. Are you arguing that you prefer the whole system being tied to a setting? I won't disagree with that. I just notice that those kind of games die out faster regardless of how good they are.

The thing is this really doesn't hold. The old games that still have a following? There's D&D, GURPS, WoD, Shadowrun, Traveller, maybe L5R and Runequest. That's a whole 1 generic game. Savage Worlds really isn't that old, neither is Fate. The pattern there isn't that generic games last longer, and as far as drastic changes between editions go? That's pretty much just D&D, with the occasional publisher shift.

Rhedyn
2019-03-26, 07:23 AM
The thing is this really doesn't hold. The old games that still have a following? There's D&D, GURPS, WoD, Shadowrun, Traveller, maybe L5R and Runequest. That's a whole 1 generic game. Savage Worlds really isn't that old, neither is Fate. The pattern there isn't that generic games last longer, and as far as drastic changes between editions go? That's pretty much just D&D, with the occasional publisher shift.

Personally, I consider drastic mechanical changes between editions to mean that the game didn't last very long. So D&D is relatively short-lived (2014). GURPS 4e (2004) came out after Savage Worlds and I wouldn't say GURPS 4e is all that compatible with 3e material (1988). Same thing for WoD's new line and I can only assume a lack of backwards compatibility with how angry some people were about the new edition. Runequest appears to be BRP at it's core, but I only see proof of backwards compatibility to 2010.

Relatively, having backwards compatibility to 2003 like Savage Worlds is old, because most games die out very quickly (either through lack of interest or enough mechanics changes to be a different game).

I'll also been discounting currently dead games, because I feel like RPGs have a shorter lifespan in the modern era than they used to.

War_lord
2019-03-26, 07:54 AM
D&D is not produced or marketed with a single setting in mind. It can, and often does, support official settings, but is equally usable for any number of homebrew settings that usully have certain basic assumptions about how they work in common. Looking at the most popular releases for the game, you'll note that it is the generic supplements that sell best, not the setting-specific ones.

They have certain basic assumptions about how they work, that's not a generic system. Generic systems can be adopted to anything, although they might excel at some things more then others (Savage Worlds and pulp, GURPS and "low" settings with a lot of realism) you can run anything from Stone Age survivalism to Star Wars. You can run a zero combat cozy mystery set in a Victorian manor or an entire campaign of SWAT raids on the streets of city X. D&D can't do that, D&D can only do Gonzo high fantasy. D&D is not a generic system, you can mess with the flavor text all you want, the core system only supports a certain kind of game.


It may just be personal experience, but it feels like while the systems last longer, campaigns in generic RPGs tend to be shorter. People seem more likely to get bored of a setting and want to move on to a new campaign.

In GURPS on the GM end, it's definitely harder to focus on producing one campaign around a setting at a given tech/magic level without getting bored. D&D has less of a temptation to restart because the core game remains the same no matter what you do.

Anonymouswizard
2019-03-26, 12:19 PM
I'm going to have to push back on the idea that there's anything generic about D&D, it's a game about high fantasy dungeon crawling.

True, it's neither setting specific or generic. Actually, I'd probably argue the at this point it is setting specific, since 4e added in a ton of assumptions as to what a setting should look like.


Personally, I consider drastic mechanical changes between editions to mean that the game didn't last very long. So D&D is relatively short-lived (2014). GURPS 4e (2004) came out after Savage Worlds and I wouldn't say GURPS 4e is all that compatible with 3e material (1988). Same thing for WoD's new line and I can only assume a lack of backwards compatibility with how angry some people were about the new edition. Runequest appears to be BRP at it's core, but I only see proof of backwards compatibility to 2010.

Relatively, having backwards compatibility to 2003 like Savage Worlds is old, because most games die out very quickly (either through lack of interest or enough mechanics changes to be a different game).

I'll also been discounting currently dead games, because I feel like RPGs have a shorter lifespan in the modern era than they used to.

Hey, I didn't know goalposts could exceed the speed of sound.

Rhedyn
2019-03-26, 01:46 PM
Hey, I didn't know goalposts could exceed the speed of sound.
I think the only thing I didn't explicitly say in the opening post was that I wasn't considering currently dead games, I have been pretty clear that non-backwards compatible edition changes are different games in my mind.

LankyOgre
2019-03-26, 03:03 PM
I think the only thing I didn't explicitly say in the opening post was that I wasn't considering currently dead games, I have been pretty clear that non-backwards compatible edition changes are different games in my mind.

I think that you are really being disingenuous if you are calling D&D 3.x, 4e, & 5e three different games but you consider Deadlands, Pirates of the Spanish Main, Rippers etc all the same game.

Beyond that, all you've said is that companies need to continue selling new product to remain viable, which I don't think is revolutionary.

Rhedyn
2019-03-26, 03:27 PM
I think that you are really being disingenuous if you are calling D&D 3.x, 4e, & 5e three different games but you consider Deadlands, Pirates of the Spanish Main, Rippers etc all the same game.
Uhh yeah, I do consider Deadlands Reloaded, 50 Fathoms (and probably PotSM but I do not personally own that), and Rippers to all be the same game, leaning on the same core rulebook, with setting specific crunch.

Meanwhile D&D 3.x, 4e, and 5e are all completely different games that share the same brand.

I do not see where you are coming from.

Knaight
2019-03-28, 12:29 AM
Personally, I consider drastic mechanical changes between editions to mean that the game didn't last very long. So D&D is relatively short-lived (2014). GURPS 4e (2004) came out after Savage Worlds and I wouldn't say GURPS 4e is all that compatible with 3e material (1988). Same thing for WoD's new line and I can only assume a lack of backwards compatibility with how angry some people were about the new edition. Runequest appears to be BRP at it's core, but I only see proof of backwards compatibility to 2010.

Relatively, having backwards compatibility to 2003 like Savage Worlds is old, because most games die out very quickly (either through lack of interest or enough mechanics changes to be a different game).

D&D could be said to have drastic mechanical changes. GURPS? There's a few marginal ones, but it's pretty much the same game it's been since the 1980's. The changes are if anything smaller than the ones between different Savage Worlds setting adaptations.

Anonymouswizard
2019-03-28, 09:13 AM
D&D could be said to have drastic mechanical changes. GURPS? There's a few marginal ones, but it's pretty much the same game it's been since the 1980's. The changes are if anything smaller than the ones between different Savage Worlds setting adaptations.

Yeah, owning both 3e sourcebooks and 4e corebooks the main problems are: advantages and disadvantages have been rebalanced (so double check those Template costs), weapons and armour have had an overhaul, secondary stats are now bought directly instead of changing via ads/disads. For me this was really only problematic for the weapons and armour until 4e Ultra-Tech came back into print.

I mean, if GURPS 4e isn't the same game as GURPS 3e, then Savage Worlds 2e and Savage Worlds: Explorers Edition are different games due to the change in damage mechanics. While I don't own any of the more 'out there' settings mechanically (just 50 Fathoms and Eldritch Skies, although I'm also familiar with Evernight) I do understand that they can at times make radical changes or introduce entire subsystems. Plus while Fate has stayed incredibly consistent since 2010 it has had a massive overhaul from Spirit of the Century (Characters have Refresh equal to their Aspects, Aspects are to be rewarded as character progression...), and even from FATE 2e to SotC. I'm not even sure why Dresden Files is FATE 3e, it's significantly closer to Fate Core in terms of structure.

Just let's not get into whether Fudge and Fate are 'different games' by this definition. Now I just want to play Fudge.

Rhedyn
2019-03-28, 10:42 AM
Yeah, owning both 3e sourcebooks and 4e corebooks the main problems are: advantages and disadvantages have been rebalanced (so double check those Template costs), weapons and armour have had an overhaul, secondary stats are now bought directly instead of changing via ads/disads. For me this was really only problematic for the weapons and armour until 4e Ultra-Tech came back into print.

I mean, if GURPS 4e isn't the same game as GURPS 3e, then Savage Worlds 2e and Savage Worlds: Explorers Edition are different games due to the change in damage mechanics. While I don't own any of the more 'out there' settings mechanically (just 50 Fathoms and Eldritch Skies, although I'm also familiar with Evernight) I do understand that they can at times make radical changes or introduce entire subsystems. Plus while Fate has stayed incredibly consistent since 2010 it has had a massive overhaul from Spirit of the Century (Characters have Refresh equal to their Aspects, Aspects are to be rewarded as character progression...), and even from FATE 2e to SotC. I'm not even sure why Dresden Files is FATE 3e, it's significantly closer to Fate Core in terms of structure.

Just let's not get into whether Fudge and Fate are 'different games' by this definition. Now I just want to play Fudge.I am only familiar with GURPS 4e and only have one 3e supplement. I would consider the changes larger than the Savage Worlds ones, but I will defer to anyone with more experience between the two main GURPS versions. I just know I can still run plot point campaigns/supplements written for Savage Worlds 1e/2e with the current 5e, only having to convert minor things as they come up as opposed to needing to do homework for it. If GURPS 3e supplements are equally useful in 4e by your estimation, then that's fine.

I just haven't been using GURPS as the thrust of my argument because it is kind of an undead RPG.

In some ways even Savage Worlds is a Fudge build (a Fudge game doesn't have to use Fudge dice or the same probabilities), let alone Fate. But Fudge is more a guide to how to make RPGs. I love it, but it gathers dust on my shelf.

Metahuman1
2019-04-02, 11:08 PM
Shadowrun, Warhammer Fantasy, BattleTech/MechWarrior (It's been called both over different editions admittedly.), World of Darkness and Warhammer 40K all beg to differ with the OP's assessment. WOD is early 90's. Shadowrun in the late 80's. And the Warhammer and Battletech/Mechwarrior titles are further back then that, mid 80's if not older.

Rhedyn
2019-04-03, 07:05 AM
Shadowrun, Warhammer Fantasy, BattleTech/MechWarrior (It's been called both over different editions admittedly.), World of Darkness and Warhammer 40K all beg to differ with the OP's assessment. WOD is early 90's. Shadowrun in the late 80's. And the Warhammer and Battletech/Mechwarrior titles are further back then that, mid 80's if not older.
I didn't know any those were backwards compatible with previous editions.

2D8HP
2019-04-03, 08:14 AM
The Lamentations of the Flame Princess line has in-print adventures that are easy to use with 1975 to 1999 Dungeons & Dragons (less so 1974 and 21st WotC "D&D"), a game called Traveller is still on the shelf (I'm not sure how close to the '77 rules it is), and I saw re-prints of Cyberpunk, Pendragon, Prince Valiant, Star Wars, and Vampire this last year.


....In fact, aren't both Call of Cthulhu and Runequest still going strong?...


I haven't seen the 6th or 7th edition of Call of Cthullu which may be different, but the first five editions were compatible, and I still see CoC on the shelf, the 2018 version of RuneQuest is more compatible with the '78 versions (the short-lived 1e RQ, and the longer lived 2e RQ) than they are with the Avalon Hill 3e version.


Runequest appears to be BRP at it's core, but I only see proof of backwards compatibility to 2010....


BRP games are weird as except for CoC it's a pretty compatible rules system with some short-lived setting books (Elf Quest, Ringworld, Other Suns, et cetera), the relatively long lived Stormbringer is dead (much to my sadness), but the system lives on - which you should all use instead of whatever else rules you use so I don't have to bother learning "core rules" that are much different than ones I knew in '81, which are based on '78 RuneQuest and still in use!

M'kay?

Anonymouswizard
2019-04-03, 08:40 AM
I didn't know any those were backwards compatible with previous editions.

Let's see... World of Darkness up until V5 (so it is still technically being punished, C20 and all that). Chronicles of Darkness/nWoD until 2004, although the rules got a shakeup with 2e stuff like stats mostly crosses over. Shadowrun is backwards compatible until 2005, sort of. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4e is more compatible with 1e or 2e then it is with 3e. Can't really say for Mechwarrior.

Rhedyn
2019-04-03, 09:16 AM
Let's see... World of Darkness up until V5 (so it is still technically being punished, C20 and all that). Chronicles of Darkness/nWoD until 2004, although the rules got a shakeup with 2e stuff like stats mostly crosses over. Shadowrun is backwards compatible until 2005, sort of. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4e is more compatible with 1e or 2e then it is with 3e. Can't really say for Mechwarrior.
Let's try this standard: I can run the Evernight (which was released in 2003) with the current edition of Savage Worlds (final print pdf release 2019) without doing "conversion homework" (though some wrinkles have to be smoothed out, but I am confident that I can do that on the fly).

That's the kind of backwards compatibility I am talking about, the older material is still useful. For example, I do not care if particular settings for BRP are dead if you can use the current edition with older content (with at most on-the-fly conversion work), then that is backwards compatible.

So how backward compatible are those games in the sense of "I can and want to use the older material"?

Anonymouswizard
2019-04-03, 09:41 AM
Let's try this standard: I can run the Evernight (which was released in 2003) with the current edition of Savage Worlds (final print pdf release 2019) without doing "conversion homework" (though some wrinkles have to be smoothed out, but I am confident that I can do that on the fly).

That's the kind of backwards compatibility I am talking about, the older material is still useful. For example, I do not care if particular settings for BRP are dead if you can use the current edition with older content (with at most on-the-fly conversion work), then that is backwards compatible.

So how backward compatible are those games in the sense of "I can and want to use the older material"?

Fluff-wiss: very. Crunch wise: WoD didn't need any homework as long as you're not using V5. CofD doesn't need anything. WFRP needs some work (the way skill advances and Talents with has changed, but the core times are the same barring 3e). Similar things for most, although as I said Shadowrun isn't compatible at with pre-4e.

2D8HP
2019-04-03, 09:46 AM
...I do not care if particular settings for BRP are dead if you can use the current edition with older content (with at most on-the-fly conversion work), then that is backwards compatible.

So how backward compatible are those games in the sense of "I can and want to use the older material"?


I'd say it's pretty easy to use '78 RuneQuest material (and all BRP material) with 2018 RuneQuest, 1985 Pendragon with 2016 Pendragon, BRP/RuneQuest with Pendragon is slightly more work, but still easy. '75 to '99 D&D with Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and Labyrinth Lord (and probably other "retro-clones") is easy. 3e, 3.5, and Pathfinder material used together is easy.
1e, 2e, 3e, and 4e GURPS looked pretty close (and I saw new GURPS material in 2017).
Top Secret had a 2018 new version that looked compatible with the '80's version, I saw some other '80's and 90's reprints this last year for Castle Falkenstein, Cyberpunk, Star Wars, and Vampire.
Really 3e/3.5, 4e, and 5e D&D are unusual for their lack of very easy backwards compatibility with each other and older D&D - but they're conversion guides.
If you include "retro-clones" '75 (but not '74) D&D post Greyhawk supplement is the longest RPG rules in use, but if you consider the 2000 release of "3e" a break than '78 RuneQuest through Call of Cthullu and other BRP games to 2018 RuneQuest is the longest lived rules never out of print (and well they should be).
Also, we should all go play my blend of Pendragon/RuneQuest/Stormbringer/other BRP at the Gilman Street Brewery right NOW! , just sayin'.

Rhedyn
2019-04-03, 10:34 AM
Fluff-wiss: very. Crunch wise: WoD didn't need any homework as long as you're not using V5. CofD doesn't need anything. WFRP needs some work (the way skill advances and Talents with has changed, but the core times are the same barring 3e). Similar things for most, although as I said Shadowrun isn't compatible at with pre-4e.Fluff-wise: Savage Rifts is compatible with Rifts, I do not see that as particularly relevant.

For WoD as long as V5 isn't the current edition then that is fine. WFRP seems out, and Shadowrun seems out.

You aren't talking about what kind of old material you would use in the newer version.

Mark Hall
2019-04-03, 12:34 PM
I didn't know any those were backwards compatible with previous editions.

Shadowrun remains pretty playable through 3rd edition, without too much (2e and 3e work pretty well, 1e and 2e work pretty well, 1e and 3e don't work as well). 4e, they redefined some attributes, so it becomes more of a problem, but it's a conversion issue... I could probably use a 1e adventure with 4e rules, with just a bit of translation as I went.

Faily
2019-04-03, 09:53 PM
Legend of the Five Rings has been backwards-compatible from 1e to 4e, and you can easily pick up a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd edition adventure and run it in 4th (or any other combination really). The changes don't require any math really, and mostly just require reworking or refluffing some Advantages/Disadvantages or relocating a skill or two (as some went out of style and others replaced them).

Max_Killjoy
2019-04-03, 09:56 PM
Legend of the Five Rings has been backwards-compatible from 1e to 4e, and you can easily pick up a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd edition adventure and run it in 4th (or any other combination really). The changes don't require any math really, and mostly just require reworking or refluffing some Advantages/Disadvantages or relocating a skill or two (as some went out of style and others replaced them).

And then FFG came along, and shoehorned it into their goofy-dice system from their Star Wars RPG.

Faily
2019-04-03, 10:04 PM
And then FFG came along, and shoehorned it into their goofy-dice system from their Star Wars RPG.

While I have enjoyed the system for Star Wars, I did not like the 5e of L5R. I have a long list of things I don't like about the new system.

Which kinda brings me back to how I want systems that support the setting well, and I would rather take setting-specific systems over generic ones. Generic systems rarely interest me or make me think "oh wow I can run all sorts of games with this". I want a combination of setting and system tailored to the setting.

FFG L5R was just a whole mess of disappointment for me.

flond
2019-04-04, 12:46 AM
While I have enjoyed the system for Star Wars, I did not like the 5e of L5R. I have a long list of things I don't like about the new system.

Which kinda brings me back to how I want systems that support the setting well, and I would rather take setting-specific systems over generic ones. Generic systems rarely interest me or make me think "oh wow I can run all sorts of games with this". I want a combination of setting and system tailored to the setting.

FFG L5R was just a whole mess of disappointment for me.

Admittedly. I'd actually consider the FFG hack much more...fitting to the setting than the RnK which...honestly, always felt pretty generic to me. (Not including "I tell the story of a god ripping you apart. And because I'm such a good storyteller, it happens!" silliness of 1e)

(Though I'd generally agree with you about setting specific (or heavily adapted) systems over generic ones)

Floret
2019-04-04, 03:25 AM
Admittedly. I'd actually consider the FFG hack much more...fitting to the setting than the RnK which...honestly, always felt pretty generic to me. (Not including "I tell the story of a god ripping you apart. And because I'm such a good storyteller, it happens!" silliness of 1e)

(Though I'd generally agree with you about setting specific (or heavily adapted) systems over generic ones)

Yeah... I have to say, I agree. With both points. Now, I haven't played the Star Wars games, so I dunno how close it is, and how much is just retooled, and I did only get into 5Rings with 4th edition.

But the core of 5th edition does fit volumes better, to me, at least. Mechanising emotionality, duty and so on; giving tangible rules-benefits to honour... Some of that might be my playstyle preference, but I must say there are just so many things that work... better for how 4e sold the setting to me than 4e ever did. And for the first time, Shugenja actually feel like priests to me.

On the topic at hand:

Sure. If you define "generic", and "long lasting" exactly the way OP does, then the thesis holds true. I find both definitions to be questionable at best when measuring this, and also question the relevance of the observation that Savage worlds is backwards compatible very long. Good for Savage Worlds players, but I fail to see how it establishes any sort of meaningful pattern, and what conclusions to draw from it.

Rhedyn
2019-04-04, 07:22 AM
Sure. If you define "generic", and "long lasting" exactly the way OP does, then the thesis holds true. I find both definitions to be questionable at best when measuring this, and also question the relevance of the observation that Savage worlds is backwards compatible very long. Good for Savage Worlds players, but I fail to see how it establishes any sort of meaningful pattern, and what conclusions to draw from it.If you are like me, you might want to learn/play tons of different RPGs, but your group doesn't. That means whatever system you get the group sold on is both one you are going to play for awhile and one you can convince the group that they can play for awhile.

This has also been a sad realization for me that plenty of great RPGs are dead and there is little reason to get too invested in them as they will either never produce more content or will make some radical edition change to make your investment in them irrelevant, because RPGs are a social game and most people want to play the new thing (barring some ridiculous calamity of errors made popular by a certain 4th version of a game).

I also like how games like Fate, Cypher System, and Savage Worlds avoid bloat but still can produce content. GURPS has started going down the same route with things like Dungeon Fantasy.

EDIT: Though one of the main points of this thread for me was to see more counter examples or to hear about RPGs that I missed. I don't posit a theory on an internet forum to be agreed with.

Delta
2019-04-04, 07:55 AM
So how backward compatible are those games in the sense of "I can and want to use the older material"?

Shadowrun exceeds your Savage Worlds example, twice. If we consider the cut from 3 to 4 a "new game" (which I'd debate, but it's the one edition change that had major breaking rule changes) in 2005, we have one game running from 89 to 2005 and one from 2005 to now.

Rhedyn
2019-04-04, 08:02 AM
Shadowrun exceeds your Savage Worlds example, twice. If we consider the cut from 3 to 4 a "new game" (which I'd debate, but it's the one edition change that had major breaking rule changes) in 2005, we have one game running from 89 to 2005 and one from 2005 to now. The 89 - 2005 version is dead already. The one after 2005 is still younger, but sure I could concede that a version that old is lasting awhile. But the game has a history then of radical edition changes. So is another one coming, is the game dead, or is this edition actually long lasting?

Delta
2019-04-04, 08:21 AM
The 89 - 2005 version is dead already.

So? It would be a lot easier to argue with you if I understood what your point was, to be completely honest. I feel like the post about your goalposts moving at the speed of sound from post to post still seems really fitting.


But the game has a history then of radical edition changes.

See, what on earth are you talking about here? Shadowrun had ONE radical cut in THIRTY years of publication. How is that "a history of radical edition changes"?

Rhedyn
2019-04-04, 08:50 AM
So? It would be a lot easier to argue with you if I understood what your point was, to be completely honest. I feel like the post about your goalposts moving at the speed of sound from post to post still seems really fitting.
It's not my fault you didn't read the OP.

Delta
2019-04-04, 09:00 AM
It's not my fault you didn't read the OP.

I did. Still doesn't really clear anything up, by your OP, both Shadowrun and WoD completely kill your argument, twice each.

Anonymouswizard
2019-04-04, 09:11 AM
So? It would be a lot easier to argue with you if I understood what your point was, to be completely honest. I feel like the post about your goalposts moving at the speed of sound from post to post still seems really fitting.

I still want to know how limited book count games fit into all of this. Like, the entire point of this thread seems to be based on the idea that a game surviving for a long period of time is a good thing, which I find to be a strange idea. While it might suck that Atlas isn't able to make money off of a sixth edition of Ars Magica, maybe the game is just done, it's hit the end of it's life cycle, and the fact it can't last any longer is a good thing. Time to let Mythic Europe lie low and get people excited about other things.

Like, I get what the OP is saying about how most groups just want to stick with one system instead of learning a new one every campaign. It's certainly not universal, I've had groups which only played D&D and groups which went through four systems in four campaigns, but it does seem to be distressingly common (especially as the one system generally isn't a generic and is almost certainly D&D, which means anything but fantasy dungeon crawling is either impossible or tortued to fit a set of rules meant for fantasy dungeon crawling).


See, what on earth are you talking about here? Shadowrun had ONE radical cut in THIRTY years of publication. How is that "a history of radical edition changes"?

Yeah. It's like, the 2005 edition of Shadowrun seems to be the designers realising that the mechanics were showing their age and tried to overhaul everything to a more modern system. If the same was true of the 4e mechanics I would be expecting Shadowrun to be having another massive overhaul, but the fact is that the core Shadowrun mechanics are more cluttered than outdated, and so unless there's a complete move to Anarchy I suspect 6e will just be cleaning up and streamlining 5e.

Plus honestly, sometimes mechanical shakeups are necessary because the previous editions didn't work as well as the designers intended, or the designers want to bring mechanics to the fore. Unknown Armies 3e is a massive change from 2e, but it's use of Sanity Meters to determine your core stats means that as your character starts to become an isolated paranoid nutcase they're more likely to start acting as an isolated paranoid nutcase to make use of those higher Ability ratings. Unlike 2e where the sanity aspects had little mechanical bite in a game about becoming isolated paranoid nutcases (assuming that wasn't your starting point, which isn't unlikely).

Rhedyn
2019-04-04, 09:15 AM
I did. Still doesn't really clear anything up, by your OP, both Shadowrun and WoD completely kill your argument, twice each.

You are being overly hostile and I have no intention of regurgitating through topics that more reasonable people have already pointed out and made good points with.

Floret
2019-04-04, 09:22 AM
If you are like me, you might want to learn/play tons of different RPGs, but your group doesn't. That means whatever system you get the group sold on is both one you are going to play for awhile and one you can convince the group that they can play for awhile.

This has also been a sad realization for me that plenty of great RPGs are dead and there is little reason to get too invested in them as they will either never produce more content or will make some radical edition change to make your investment in them irrelevant, because RPGs are a social game and most people want to play the new thing (barring some ridiculous calamity of errors made popular by a certain 4th version of a game).

I also like how games like Fate, Cypher System, and Savage Worlds avoid bloat but still can produce content. GURPS has started going down the same route with things like Dungeon Fantasy.

I'm not like you, then. I mean, I do like different games. That's why I try and play different games. Go run one-shots and intro games. Run other games if the groups are spontaneously under strength. While there is overlap, my groups are game-dependend/campaign-dependend, and I have multiple long-running ones parallel. Maybe I'm better at pitching games?

And no new material appearing doesn't... matter. In Germany, Dark Eye 3rd and 4th ed are going strong still, and we recently got re-releases of 1st ed. Does that make it revived, or long-lasting? I got a group together for L5R 4th when the license was already sold, and our potential switch to 5th is only because we like the game better, not because of no new material.

In fact, being able to own everything of a game, and it getting no new material that might invalidate established builds or ideas is a plus for many people I know. A system being still build and rules still outstanding for things existing in the world and potentially being playable was a major criticism I heard about several games.

In short, your preferences are far, far from universal.

Rhedyn
2019-04-04, 09:27 AM
...Like, the entire point of this thread seems to be based on the idea that a game surviving for a long period of time is a good thing...
Whether or not a game lasting a long time is a good thing is up to the individual person/group.

Some people can't stand generics of any shape or form. So they will either need to learn new games, pick a setting specific one that is going strong and hope it stays that way, or play a dead game with more content than they will ever get through.

Some people just buy a lot of books and hope to get to them eventually. How many people have a pile of D&D books that they never used in an actual game because everyone they played with (including themselves) would rather play the newer edition? Playing a longer lasting game helps preventing them from getting burned.


In short, your preferences are far, far from universal. Oh I accept that. You probably also don't play with people that both really want to have a physical book and can't afford to buy too many of those. There is a limit to how applicable "pitching skill" is in certain situations.

Floret
2019-04-04, 09:33 AM
or play a dead game with more content than they will ever get through.

Get through? How do you "get through" an RPG? The amount of possible content is pretty much infinite. Does every class get struck from the record and only gets to be played once?

Do you have an aversion at building your own plots, enemies, npcs and setting elements? Because that could explain your preferences, but would also strike me as a significantly limiting perspective, and not one that can be used as universally as you put forward in this thread.


Oh I accept that. You probably also don't play with people that both really want to have a physical book and can't afford to buy too many of those. There is a limit to how applicable "pitching skill" is in certain situations.

Physical books are really nice, but one copy usually is enough for the table. Costs can be split. One new game every half year should be affordable for everyone?

It sounds to me like you're playing with a rather fixed group of players unwilling to switch games. The solution would be not to try and muse about reasons for long-lasting games, but varying up your players.

Anonymouswizard
2019-04-04, 09:54 AM
Whether or not a game lasting a long time is a good thing is up to the individual person/group.

Some people can't stand generics of any shape or form. So they will either need to learn new games, pick a setting specific one that is going strong and hope it stays that way, or play a dead game with more content than they will ever get through.

Some people just buy a lot of books and hope to get to them eventually. How many people have a pile of D&D books that they never used in an actual game because everyone they played with (including themselves) would rather play the newer edition? Playing a longer lasting game helps preventing them from getting burned.

Oh boy, missing my point entirely. Honestly, a dead game with more content than I can get through sounds great, allows me to find a bit of the metaplot I'm comfortable with and not buy any of the later books.

Heck, while I own generics they generally tend to feel generic. Yes, I do own many different games designed for rather specific themes and settings (for example, becoming an isolated paranoid nutcase, trying to make ends meet while running a starship, being cool and sticking it to The Man...), and yes there'a a large number that I'll likely never get to play due to insanely complex rules or the like. However, there's also a lot that I do get to play, due to either having an intriguing setting (I've found a lot of people willing to try Unknown Armies for this reason) or simpler rules. A lot of it can be presentation, I tend to be in groups where more than one person wants to GM, and so what game we play is always based on who has the most fun idea (and then the GM provides the rulebook).


Get through? How do you "get through" an RPG? The amount of possible content is pretty much infinite. Does every class get struck from the record and only gets to be played once?

Man, guess I've been doing it wrong all these years. No more Wizards, Clerics, or Fighters for me, my next D&D character is a washerwoman.


Physical books are really nice, but one copy usually is enough for the table. Costs can be split. One new game every half year should be affordable for everyone?

It sounds to me like you're playing with a rather fixed group of players unwilling to switch games. The solution would be not to try and muse about reasons for long-lasting games, but varying up your players.

Yeah. I think the only times I've been at a game with more than one physical copy of the rules it was due to the GM getting their own copy when somebody else had a prexisting copy (generally me). I mean, most games only cost £40 for the corebook, most groups can probably come to a comprimise there (either the group splits the cost or the GM buys it, generally the latter in my experience).

Rhedyn
2019-04-04, 10:01 AM
Get through? How do you "get through" an RPG? The amount of possible content is pretty much infinite. Does every class get struck from the record and only gets to be played once?

Do you have an aversion at building your own plots, enemies, npcs and setting elements? Because that could explain your preferences, but would also strike me as a significantly limiting perspective, and not one that can be used as universally as you put forward in this thread.An RPG is done when the players run out of character concepts they want to play in it or when the GM has no more desire to run it.

I have two kinds of groups: My long lasting one and ones I make/GM for. For the old group, if anyone gets sufficiently fed up with the game as player, then that game is done for us. One, but not the only reason for that, would be a lack of player options or already seeing other people use those player options and being uninterested in retreading ground.
From GM end, we normally suffer from mechanical problems becoming apparent, but that can be overcome with a GM being excited at seeing new things that the players could do. For example, one person in our group would want to GM PF again if they came out with an Advance Class Guide 2. People still want to play that system, but no one wants to GM it anymore.

Nearly all of our campaigns are homebrew. I'm only really running published content for side groups. Though for Savage Worlds, GMs are getting in the habit of stealing crunch from several settings to make the setting they want. Like our one-piece campaign is a mixture of 50 Fathoms and Superpowers Companion, while a D&D Fantasy game is a mixture of Hellfrost, Shaintar, and Superpowers Companion (Right now our group really likes the super powers companion). In one of our current campaigns it's just SWADE + the magic system from Lankhmar. I personally ran the Starfinder setting with SWD + Sci-fi companion + Fantasy companion + Horror companion (I also pulled foes from The Last Parsec, Savage Rifts, and an online Pathfinder to Savage Worlds monster converter), the campaign was still homebrew though.


Oh boy, missing my point entirely. Honestly, a dead game with more content than I can get through sounds great, allows me to find a bit of the metaplot I'm comfortable with and not buy any of the later books.
I do not think we are disagreeing here. My statement was more of an "if/then". Some people don't want to play "dead games". Others do. That's not a problem.

Floret
2019-04-04, 11:18 AM
An RPG is done when the players run out of character concepts they want to play in it or when the GM has no more desire to run it.

I have never in my life seen anyone run out of character concepts. And while I've met GMs that stopped running systems (and am one myself), that was either because of change in playing preferences, or temporary. Your situation sounds alien.

As for the rest, I really do not get how you can run out of content in an RPG. Your statements about your playstyle only make me more confused.


I do not think we are disagreeing here. My statement was more of an "if/then". Some people don't want to play "dead games". Others do. That's not a problem.

I think describing games as dead is a weird way to look at them when they still have players, are still perfectly usable, and potentially even have new editions still releasing contents.

Is Elder Scrolls: Skyrim dead? Game and all expansions released years ago. Modders are still on it, and the game is still perfectly playable. No official content will ever be forthcoming. But... does that matter, when the ability to come up with new stuff within the system is always there?

To me, the important thing (The one and only) about an RPG is that I enjoy the gameplay. That includes concepts and adventures, sure, but those are easily added. Do I enjoy the resolution mechanics, and the gameplay? That is the thing I can't easily change. Concepts are a million in my head I will never get to play anyways. The system is relevant because of resolution mechanics and how well it enables themes. I do not need longevity for that.

2D8HP
2019-04-04, 11:25 AM
It's Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying system (BRP) which started with RuneQuest in '78 and was used in many other games, including Call of Cthullu which has been in-print since '81 for the win baby!

LONGEST LASTING (if you don't include TSR D&D plus "retro-clones") RPG EVUH!

-Your welcome.

Knaight
2019-04-05, 02:45 AM
If you are like me, you might want to learn/play tons of different RPGs, but your group doesn't. That means whatever system you get the group sold on is both one you are going to play for awhile and one you can convince the group that they can play for awhile.

This has also been a sad realization for me that plenty of great RPGs are dead and there is little reason to get too invested in them as they will either never produce more content or will make some radical edition change to make your investment in them irrelevant, because RPGs are a social game and most people want to play the new thing (barring some ridiculous calamity of errors made popular by a certain 4th version of a game).

The idea that most people want to play the new thing (outside of D&D) is pretty dubious in a lot of ways, as is the idea that you need more content continually produced. New to you is as good as new, and the groups willing to learn just one game probably overlap pretty heavily with the people who don't care that much about learning new parts of the game all the time. Any one edition of a lot of games provides more than enough there. Beyond that edition changes generally aren't that radical.

Morgaln
2019-04-05, 04:09 AM
I don't need new content at all, as long as I like the setting and/or system. I've been happily playing Werewolf:the Apocalypse Revised for almost 20 years, and I'm nowhere near exhausting all the characters and stories I'd like to try. Likewise with The Dark Eye mentioned by Floret, which, incidentally, does include character classes that come close to a washerwoman in its regular roster; my favorite character is a Schauermann (Dockworker); so if Anonymouswizard doesn't find another class to play in D&D, they might want to switch setting :P

Anonymouswizard
2019-04-05, 07:54 AM
The idea that most people want to play the new thing (outside of D&D) is pretty dubious in a lot of ways, as is the idea that you need more content continually produced. New to you is as good as new, and the groups willing to learn just one game probably overlap pretty heavily with the people who don't care that much about learning new parts of the game all the time. Any one edition of a lot of games provides more than enough there. Beyond that edition changes generally aren't that radical.

Yeah. There's also the lure of the familiar, in my experience groups which stick to one system are less interested in me editions. They have FacePunch Second Edition and enjoy it, why do they need FacePunch3? (Admittedly the D&D fandom is quite strange here, it tends to be fans of games such as GURPS or Fudge who see little need to update.)

But yeah, the thing to remember is that 'new to everybody' is different to 'new to me'. I've never played Nobilis, so even 1e would be utterly new to.


I don't need new content at all, as long as I like the setting and/or system. I've been happily playing Werewolf:the Apocalypse Revised for almost 20 years, and I'm nowhere near exhausting all the characters and stories I'd like to try. Likewise with The Dark Eye mentioned by Floret, which, incidentally, does include character classes that come close to a washerwoman in its regular roster; my favorite character is a Schauermann (Dockworker); so if Anonymouswizard doesn't find another class to play in D&D, they might want to switch setting :P

I actually own TDE5e (English Translation) and am annoyed by my lack of ability to play it for precisely that reason. I think my personal favourite profession is the Healer, the idea of nonmagically trending to wounds and diseases sounds fun.

Rhedyn
2019-04-05, 08:20 AM
Yeah. There's also the lure of the familiar, in my experience groups which stick to one system are less interested in me editions. They have FacePunch Second Edition and enjoy it, why do they need FacePunch3? (Admittedly the D&D fandom is quite strange here, it tends to be fans of games such as GURPS or Fudge who see little need to update.)Well a lot of us (RPG players) are basically the D&D Fandom even if we stop playing D&D for awhile. (I personally do not think Fudge can have a new edition. It's an instruction on how to build a game where everything is optional. Giving different instructions doesn't really change Fudge. I feel like Fudge is compatible with Fate but I think the way it does so is basically cheating so I haven't talked about it much)


But yeah, the thing to remember is that 'new to everybody' is different to 'new to me'. I've never played Nobilis, so even 1e would be utterly new to.Yeah but 2e is the prettier book (though a lot of people do not like 3e's style myself included)

Faily
2019-04-05, 11:02 AM
@flond and Floret

You're more than welcome to like 5e of L5R. :smallsmile: For me, I was very happy with where things had gone with 4e, and I would've liked a 5e to just fix some of the last bugs in the system rather than a transport to a completely different system.

There are strong similarities between SW and L5R for the FFG systems, with some changes (so you can't use the same dice, I guess?) but recognizably similar.

Knaight
2019-04-05, 04:43 PM
Well a lot of us (RPG players) are basically the D&D Fandom even if we stop playing D&D for awhile. (I personally do not think Fudge can have a new edition. It's an instruction on how to build a game where everything is optional. Giving different instructions doesn't really change Fudge. I feel like Fudge is compatible with Fate but I think the way it does so is basically cheating so I haven't talked about it much)

Fudge is pretty playable out of the box with only a few decisions, because there is a mechanical core there. A second edition could easily be released that messed with that mechanical core; it's not worth it mostly because Fudge attracts tons and tons of tinkerers who release various rules hacks, specific builds, etc. and because the core mechanics are still solid. There's no need to update because every campaign is tinkered with anyways (though there has been talk of another anniversary edition at some point with more specific implementations to crib from, which is mostly a funding issue).

Also Fate was made by entirely different people. It's not a new edition, it's one of many specific implementations that happened to be disproportionately popular and that has since changed a fair amount to become its own thing.

Mark Hall
2019-04-05, 05:43 PM
Proposed: Generic RPGs last longer because the product they are selling is the ruleset. While you can tweak and improve the ruleset, at the end of the day, you need to keep it fundamentally the same product, or you lose your audience.

Specific RPGs do not maintain their ruleset as long because the product they are selling is the setting. While rules may come and rules may go, what you need to maintain is the customer's connection to the setting, and they'll keep being customers.

Of course, lots of RPG customers are a knife blade, here, fans of both the rules as they are known and the setting as it is. Change EITHER too much, and you risk losing audience... but fail to change, and you risk becoming irrelevant, or producing everything you reasonably can.

Rhedyn
2019-04-05, 08:54 PM
Proposed: Generic RPGs last longer because the product they are selling is the ruleset. While you can tweak and improve the ruleset, at the end of the day, you need to keep it fundamentally the same product, or you lose your audience.

Specific RPGs do not maintain their ruleset as long because the product they are selling is the setting. While rules may come and rules may go, what you need to maintain is the customer's connection to the setting, and they'll keep being customers.

Of course, lots of RPG customers are a knife blade, here, fans of both the rules as they are known and the setting as it is. Change EITHER too much, and you risk losing audience... but fail to change, and you risk becoming irrelevant, or producing everything you reasonably can.
Oddly enough you are suggesting that setting specific RPGs sell crunch while generics sell settings.

I agree, but it's funny given the normal reason for hating generics seems to be loving how rules can invoke a setting, which implies a love a settings to me.

Mark Hall
2019-04-06, 10:12 AM
Oddly enough you are suggesting that setting specific RPGs sell crunch while generics sell settings.

I agree, but it's funny given the normal reason for hating generics seems to be loving how rules can invoke a setting, which implies a love a settings to me.

To an extent, yeah. While the primary draw of a generic RPG is the crunch, that means your continued customers come for either incremental crunch improvements, or whatever sauce you're pouring over the crunch.

Setting specific games can reach a point where their only possible product is new crunch... update the edition, update all the books. Either that, or they have to, eventually, crawl further up their own asses to create more nuance ("Sub-Bloodline Book: Bruce, and his 4 childer, and their weird preference for Protean 3!"), or get so specific that people might not care too much ("Part of our City Series: Allen by Day! Come see how the 308th largest city in the US operates when all of the vampires have gone to sleep!")

HouseRules
2019-04-06, 05:16 PM
Of course, lots of RPG customers are a knife blade, here, fans of both the rules as they are known and the setting as it is. Change EITHER too much, and you risk losing audience... but fail to change, and you risk becoming irrelevant, or producing everything you reasonably can.

Like Chess. The Mechanics and the Setting has not changed for over a century. There may be changes in the past, but "Modern Chess, 1840" seems to make the rules near universal.

Rhedyn
2019-04-06, 06:57 PM
Like Chess. The Mechanics and the Setting has not changed for over a century. There may be changes in the past, but "Modern Chess, 1840" seems to make the rules near universal.
Chess is a wargame though. You stay in business by selling the minatures.

Anonymouswizard
2019-04-06, 08:25 PM
Chess is a wargame though. You stay in business by selling the minatures.

I'd laugh, but I've owned about six chess sets in my life, and currently own two (one of them a somewhat battered D&D dragon set, the other a decent portable set with a magnetic board).

HouseRules
2019-04-08, 12:45 PM
TSR and D&D started off as a business in selling miniatures.

Amumu00
2019-04-08, 11:49 PM
I downloaded a lot of RPG at apknite very quickly and easily, please use the extension on your computer to download quickly.

2D8HP
2019-04-08, 11:54 PM
TSR and D&D started off as a business in selling miniatures.


:confused: Really?

Can you link to a source for that?

As I remember it, while Arneson and Gygax were indeed miniatures players, Grenadier (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenadier_Models_Inc.) got the license to make Dungeons &Dragons "lead figures" after TSR had published some rules.

Rhedyn
2019-05-01, 10:32 AM
So I heard Shadowrun 6e was announced. Does anyone know if it will be compatible with 5e Shadowrun?

Mark Hall
2019-05-01, 01:04 PM
https://www.shadowrunsixthworld.com/

Here's the webpage about 6e Shadowrun.

War_lord
2019-05-02, 06:21 AM
TSR and D&D started off as a business in selling miniatures.

Pretty sure that's false. Games Workshop did though. The "Beastmen" faction in Warhammer Fantasy exists because Games Workshop had a stock of Broo figures left over from a contract with Chaosium for RuneQuest figures.


Proposed: Generic RPGs last longer because the product they are selling is the ruleset. While you can tweak and improve the ruleset, at the end of the day, you need to keep it fundamentally the same product, or you lose your audience.

Specific RPGs do not maintain their ruleset as long because the product they are selling is the setting. While rules may come and rules may go, what you need to maintain is the customer's connection to the setting, and they'll keep being customers.

Of course, lots of RPG customers are a knife blade, here, fans of both the rules as they are known and the setting as it is. Change EITHER too much, and you risk losing audience... but fail to change, and you risk becoming irrelevant, or producing everything you reasonably can.

Which is why I always argue that "D&D" is a setting, one of the major problems the existing fanbase had with fourth edition is that it changed the setting.

Knaight
2019-05-02, 07:24 AM
Pretty sure that's false. Games Workshop did though. The "Beastmen" faction in Warhammer Fantasy exists because Games Workshop had a stock of Broo figures left over from a contract with Chaosium for RuneQuest figures.

If by "started out as" you mean "has been for their entire existence, right up until the present day".

Floret
2019-05-02, 09:18 AM
If by "started out as" you mean "has been for their entire existence, right up until the present day".

Funnily enough, it's not true for GW. They started out making boardgame boards, were reseller for dnd for a while, and the minitatures came in later, before they overtook the entire company.

Florian
2019-05-02, 09:40 AM
If by "started out as" you mean "has been for their entire existence, right up until the present day".

Nah. GW started out as a reseller chain, then moved "up" to be a 3PP before commencing to launch their own stuff.

Mark Hall
2019-05-02, 09:50 AM
Which is why I always argue that "D&D" is a setting, one of the major problems the existing fanbase had with fourth edition is that it changed the setting.

I disagree with that pretty heavily.

D&D is a (group of) ruleset(s) that interact with different settings. 4e was not my cup of tea, and I hated what they did to Forgotten Realms in 4e, but those are two separate considerations. 4e Dark Sun was great. I actively planned a 4e game set in my preferred version of the Forgotten Realms.

Each edition of D&D has its own mechanical assumptions and conceits, which inform how you play the setting, and can make certain settings less viable; for example, I don't think Dragonlance fits neatly into either 4e or 5e, because many of its setting assumptions (such as the war against mages that lead to the abandoning of all towers save Wayreth; it's predicated on wizards eventually running out of spells and needing to rest, which 4e at-wills and 5e cantrips remove as a consideration). But these are not the settings themselves... Dark Sun works just fine in 1e-5e, because the setting is less tied to the idea of forgetting spells than it is to consuming energy. The Realms work in any edition, because those changes aren't as important to the settings background.

Florian
2019-05-02, 10:06 AM
I disagree with that pretty heavily.

I think the comment you answered to is pretty much spot on.

Some game system emerged from wanting to emulate something that was already there, so they come along with an inbuilt "setting", even if they try to file off the serial numbers and look "generic". They still work best when you know the original sources that were emulated and use them in such a way that you recreate the original starting position that spawned the game system.

Henro
2019-05-02, 03:24 PM
Personally, I don't really care about a game going on forever - if I like the game I'd probably like it to succeed but RPGs don't really "run out" for me. I play APs, I do homebrewed stuff, I basically keep playing in a game system for as long as my group likes it and I feel like the system can handle the types of games I like to run.

I also value settings and fluff quite a bit, as they are major sources of inspiration and what I use to set the tones of my adventures.