• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

Not Here to Play Games: Struggling with Enjoying the "Game" Part of TTRPGs

Black Flag

Dweller on the Threshold
Validated User
It sounds like you’d dig Powered by the Apocalypse games but your current group might not. Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, on the other hand, is a fairly crunchy diceless game that is worth a look, as it may please both sides of the equation. The main difficulty there is getting people to understand how it works, as it just comes at RPGs from a different direction from the usual.
 

Lukas Sjöström

Society of Unity scholar
Validated User
I've read a hack that was basically a cleaned-up version of the OD&D release, and I've read a little of first and second edition, but I wasn't impressed. The former seemed to have too many gaps, and the latter was surprisingly complicated.

If you want to give me links to where I can buy the hacks, I'll at least give them a read with a fresh perspective.
If you want to read up a bit on the playstyle implied in these games, Principia Apocrypha is a free OSR primer. Check it out to see how much it aligns with your preferences.
 

kvltjam

Async
Validated User
If you want to read up a bit on the playstyle implied in these games, Principia Apocrypha is a free OSR primer. Check it out to see how much it aligns with your preferences.
Seconded. Principia Apocrypha single-handedly changed my mind about OSR games. It is clear and friendly in a lot of the way a lot of other OSR primers... weren’t for me. (It looped back and informed how I approach running Blades in the Dark too, for whatever that’s worth.)
 

Pluvinarch

Registered User
Validated User
It feels like you want story driven narratives instead of the RPG mechanic.
I would sugggest Fate again, as others may have done.

Or something even beyond the RPG frame... Full narrative games, something like FIASCO.
Or if you want to keep the player/GM dynamic but tone down the dice rolling in combat then maybe...
1) Everway RPG - Just use cards to interpret who won the combat or compare who has the biggest stat and be done for it. No dice rolling.
2) Chronicles of Darkness - But keep most combat under the Down and Dirty rule - or just bother to keep it (and any other complex roll) to just one contested roll - the best roll autowins the fight.
 

Lukas Sjöström

Society of Unity scholar
Validated User
It might be good to remember, though, that "story-driven" and "rules-light" are not the same thing. A person can desire an experience of mostly solving problems, exploring, and playing their character without much focus on narrative, but still be far more interested in interacting with the fiction than interacting with the rules.
 

kvltjam

Async
Validated User
It might be good to remember, though, that "story-driven" and "rules-light" are not the same thing. A person can desire an experience of mostly solving problems, exploring, and playing their character without much focus on narrative, but still be far more interested in interacting with the fiction than interacting with the rules.
Absolutely. I tend to think about games in terms of the “verbs” they bring to the table - gameplay loops their rules encourage. Traditional games tend to have a certain set of “verbs” that the foreground - “fight”, “overcome using skills”, and so forth, where more narrative games might put more emphasis on “model relationships” or “emulate genre”. It’s a good thing to consider when pitching a game to your friends.
 

Bren at RPG Net

Registered User
Validated User
I agree with what Amberpup wrote about Pendragon.

Not sure how I feel about personality mechanics. I'm intrigued by the idea of my rolls being versus "myself". Like, sure, my character could pull off a backstab, but fear or honor may prevent me from doing so. I might want to negotiate in good faith with someone who represents our enemies, but my character's hatred may color how I actually proceed. I'm curious about systems that do that.
Pendragon is designed to do exactly that. Like Runequest it uses skills and the mechanics are similar to Runequest.


What little I read about it suggests I might like HeroQuest, although I know my friend whose running RuneQuest dislikes HeroQuest.
I like Runequest. I like Glorantha. I dislike HeroQuest. (It's conflict rather than task focused and it tells you who one, but but not how they won.) But I like Pendragon a lot. You might have some success convincing your group to give it a test run.
 

Derrick Kapchinsky

Registered User
Validated User
Have you looked into Burning Wheel? It's a crunchy game, so it's possible that there may still be too much 'game' for you. But, in my experience, the rules do a much better job of driving the kind of emergent story telling you enjoy than stuff like D&D or WoD does and with much less GM heavy lifting. And there's still plenty of mechanical heft for the rest of your group to enjoy.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
It might be good to remember, though, that "story-driven" and "rules-light" are not the same thing. A person can desire an experience of mostly solving problems, exploring, and playing their character without much focus on narrative, but still be far more interested in interacting with the fiction than interacting with the rules.
And the inverse of course; though they're very focused on narrative purpose and function, I'm not sure most people would consider the Cortex games rules-light.
 

effkat

Registered User
Validated User
I had a similar experience as you. I quit playing for a while, then started playing again but lighter and more “narrative” games. Started with various Fate incarnations then moved on to PbtA. I’d recommend giving both Fate and PbtA (specifically Apocalypse World since it’s a masterpiece and my favorite game ever but ymmv) a try. It doesn’t take many sessions to see if you and your friends like it. Also, although I haven’t played it myself I think Burning Wheel is worth a look. Crunchy but very character focused.
 
Top Bottom