34 thoughts on “This is why most contemporary RPG’s have lost their appeal.”

  1. I would say that it’s entirely dependent on the person. Pathfinder isn’t the most popular RPG out there because it’s not fun for people.

  2. I kind of agree I played Edge Of Empire Recently, you have to figure out what the symbols mean what dice you need to do and what each skill does really meaning I didn’t have the confidence to actually do stuff. Dungeon World is a revelation and for the players its so simple so they are not barred from using their creativity for a move they know exactly what to roll so know well why don’t I try this

  3. I’ve noticed a trend towards rules-light narrative systems in my own groups. Our consensus? If we wanted a high rules-fidelity simulationist system, we’d just fire up a PC or console and play an open world game. Computers just handle all the gribbly number crunching and bookeeping better. Fluid narrative interplay on the other hand is still something best done between people.

  4. Why not have both? 

    james day, complaining about a rule needing higher math or having 12 interlocking sub rules is something different then complaining about symbols on dice though.  

  5. Rules lite isn’t all that rules lite, it just means instead of a book telling you the rules (which you can always ignore in favor of narrative anyway) it means as a group you have to come up with, and agree on how something affects a character or the world. Then you need to remember that so it’s consistent and your players can make an educated choice if it comes up later.

  6. Yeah. I have a good collection of old school RPGs, various genres. They’re just source material now. They feel too much like work these days. I think that’s part of the reason people “outgrow” gaming – they don’t have time to fiddle around that much with a game. To keep gaming while carrying on a career, these simpler yet richer games are a godsend.

  7. Every game has two components. Work and fun. If fun > work I want to play. If work > fun I will only play if you pay me. Pathfinder society is starting to be more work than fun. Sorry… DW is ruining PFS for me.

  8. To make a counterexample:

    My favourite game off all time is Burning Wheel (Apocalypse World is a close second). This is a highly complex game. It is however really well designed. There are only few elements that don’t interact with other elements in a way that furthers the agenda of the game. So everything you do has a big picture reason for it to be there. If you want to powergame in this game you have to play your character like you said you would play her. And if you want to play your character you also “have” to powergame in order to reach your goals in the best way you can. 

    It also gives this game a great depth from a mechanical standpoint. This game is supposed to work for 50 sessions type campaigns, but doesn’t need to. 

    And yes, it requires work. However this creates buy in from everyone and leads to a smoother game at the table because everyone is more familiar with the game. It for sure is not casual but because of that you can get an extraordinary experience, not just a casual one. 

    Does that mean i want my games to be complex? Hell no. 

    It just doesn’t mean it is inherently bad. Or that this is what is wrong with RPGs. It is not the right kind of game for you in your current situation. 

    Most games are just bad designed, the complexity is a symptom of that. 

  9. Work is ok if it increases fun more than it increases work. Like a perpetual motion machine: I want greater output than input. I am sure BW does that. But I haven’t played it yet.

  10. Chris McGee And again, I am only stating why they have lost their appeal to me.  I really enjoy reading all the D & D 3.x stuff and Pathfinder, but I don’t ever imagine I would play it.  Not because I think it is bad, just not my cup of tea anymore. Dungeon World was the first game in ages to really excite my playing as a GM. 

  11. Tim Franzke Wasn’t striving for bashing, trolling or otherwise, more of stating a comment of why many contemporary RPG’s don’t appeal to me. Dungeon World is the first new game I have purchased, read, and then wanted to play.  I like the system enough to give Apocalypse World a look now to see how it plays.

  12. Yeah I’m in the same boat. I swore by 4th edition and it is nice in a lot of ways, but not in enough ways now that I’ve found this system. Different strokes, Tim Franzke, nobody said other systems were bad, just that they lost their appeal for Tom, and I feel the same way. It belongs in this community because it is DW that illuminates this concept so well.

  13. I could not agree more and I do not see this post as trolling or bashing. I played Pathfinder for a year. I had to buy a damned program to handle the rules (HeroLab) just to play the freaking game. DW is it for me. I love this game so much. So much better than pathfinder.

  14. Demian Luper

    I like to think I am smart. I don’t see myself as an idiot. It is not my intelligence that is the problem, it is the amount of rules and how I found they got in the way of story.

    Your post seems, to me, unnecessarily haughty – but perhaps I am not smart enough to understand it? (Tongue in cheek)

    Anyway, I am glad I’ve found DW – it means more gaming for me and that is the best part.

  15. Demian Luper, it has nothing to do with being “smart”. I grew up on basic and 1st edition D&D, Gamma World and MechWarrior/Battletech. Credentials and “old geeks are smarter than new geeks” are unnecessary throw-ins. If you have that same old love for crunchy games, good for you. No one said you were blind or lost for it.

  16. Caoimhe Ora Snow I laughed so hard when I read your comment.  Chris McGee Man I have such fond memories of Battletech and Mechwarrior. I really enjoyed that gaming system until the Clans arrived, then I sort of lost interest. How I would love to play some City Tech! Battleteh was one my serious departure from Fantasy RPGs.

  17. Yeah, we burned a lot of hours once the MechWarrior RPG book came out. It took basically a war game and made it a cool RPG. Geez the amount of money I dumped into all those sourcebooks…

  18. Chris McGee There was a group of four of us that played, bought all the source books for the Houses, the technical read-outs. It was a great two – three run in college. It was a good mix of tactical game and RPG, dunno if i would care for it any more, but sure enjoyed it then.

  19. Yeah I don’t think I’d have the time or the patience now. But there was a window in time when we were all a about it – high school for me. Summer.

  20. Demian Luper Yea I know. I played old basic DnD in the early 80’s and was very smart then. Now I’m one of those poor idiots who cant digest the PF core rulebook. I’d blame my age… But then in those days when us smart people played the rulebook was about 5 mm thick. (The red one with the Errol Otus on the cover?)

Comments are closed.