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People who generally stick to one (crunchy) system - why do YOU do it?

Simon Marks

hot DAMN!
Validated User
I'm the opposite to you; I used to play big, crunchy, universal games - specifically Hero and Rolemaster. I really like fiddling with the systems and the wide range of effects that can be performed- especially in Hero/Champions. Now I've moved to much lighter games.

Except never use that Universal Power Pool or whatever it was without a limitation. Creating new powers on the fly in the Hero system is impossible.

I can't recommend GURPs for two reasons.
As mentioned, it contains a lot exceptions to exceptions while Hero seems to have just one consistent framework.
The second reason is because I can't stand the system - it just rubs the wrong way
 

mac40k

Registered User
Validated User
For me it is mostly inertia. I used to love discovering new game systems back in the 80s, but as I got older, not so much. I've been using Savage Worlds as my main system for the last 10 years or so because it is well supported with 1st and 3rd party settings and let's me run most of what I would be interested in with minimal prep. I used to say it was my 80/20 solution in that it will handle 80% of the games I want to run while the other 20% may be better served by a dedicated system. These days, when I pick up a new game I'm more likely to put the effort into converting it to Savage Worlds than learn a new system. That's largely due to familiarity and the perceived effort being less than learning an entirely new system just for that one game. It's not the crunchiest of systems, but it's much crunchier than newer rules light games.
 

ORtrail

Registered User
Validated User
It's been nothing more crunchy then some flavor of BRP since the early 90's for me. I have learned a couple new systems along the way, but in the last 5-6 years it's all about the simpler RPG systems (Supers! Revised, Tales From the Loop, Tiny D6).

I've wanted to like GURPS more (I do have 15 or so settings books/adventures and a copy of the second edition rules) but it just never clicks with me. I get the same feeling with Savage Worlds, despite having only seen it played online.

Note, this hasn't stopped me from supporting a number of RPGs on Kickstarter like MythicD6, FrontierSpace, Zorro, or buying a copy of Mutant Crawl Classics in the last year or two.
 

soltakss

Simon Phipp - RQ Fogey
Validated User
Well, I want to ask the GMs out there, the one who both also tack to heavier systems and sticking to them: why? What is it about it that gets you revving? Basically, I'm you'll all help me get over my, what's the word, nervousness (?), about committing. I was one of those GMs that would flit from system to system, never feeling satisfied. Recently, GURPS has "clicked" for me hard, and it seems most of my groups wants to at least play along to my idea (to wit, to use this system for the next 12 months, and hopefully beyond; turns out they're tired of switching too). Folks?
Once I've found a system I like, I ask myself "Are other systems better than this?". Not as good, not more suited to certain settings, but are they better? And, to a certain extent, I have not found a system that is better.

I play RuneQuest, or variants of it. I have looked at other systems and they do things as well, in some cases, but I haven't found anything that does things better. HeroQuest came close, with its simplicity and scalability, so I use that for some things, such as Super Heroes. I looked at D20, but that wasn't particularly better, GURPS confused me, I haven't looked at Savage Worlds, Powered by the Apocalypse has some nice ideas but doesn't do things better and so on.

Now, I am absolutely certain that players of those systems have exactly the same approach to RuneQuest, that it doesn't do things better than those systems, which is quite right and explains why they stick to those systems.

Of course, I also steal shamelessly from other systems, so things I have found that work really well find their way into my RQ games.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
For me it is mostly inertia. I used to love discovering new game systems back in the 80s, but as I got older, not so much.
I can understand that. I'm not sure its inertia so much as time and energy being consumed through this labor the kids call "adulting." I still regularly get and read new games, but I'm certainly NOT going to try and get my group to play them because they're all busier than I am with family, work, etc.
 

StanTheMan

Registered User
Validated User
I can understand that. I'm not sure its inertia so much as time and energy being consumed through this labor the kids call "adulting." I still regularly get and read new games, but I'm certainly NOT going to try and get my group to play them because they're all busier than I am with family, work, etc.
Yeah, getting to play is key. Also teaching it, and that's where I'm getting tired. Everytime I want to try a new system I realize I have to teach it, and gobs of sessions are eaten by that sort of hand-holding/explaining one does with a new system. Also, the inevitable changes made to characters because players didn't know the implications of certain character choices (that's happened for EVERY system we tried, including, or especially weirdly, in BitD).
 

Vincent Takeda

Chilllin in Rifts Denmark
Validated User
One follows the other I suppose. Crunchy systems have lots of fiddly bits to remember and if you want to be competent at them you have to remember them or be competent at looking them up quickly. This might require focusing narrowly on your particular favorite crunch heavy systems. Like csyphrett I made heroes unlimited my system of choice. The less systems you mess about with the better you're able to keep track of your own systems wonkinesses and the more time you can spend playing.

I find that the only point to checking out other systems is to incorporate new cool mechanics into my main system to replace the bits that arent so good. Hence the name of one of my most recent characters.. Kitbash.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
I would argue that any system does better when players "buy in" - getting a copy of the rules, reading the rules, keeping up with their mechanics, etc. Simple or crunchy.

For example: I'm running a monthly game with two really smart people and Fate Accelerated, but they're uneasy on the rules and we make up a lot as we go. These two are WAY smarter than I am, and handle abstracts WAY better, plus I printed out the free rules for both of them. But they also have to take care of their daughter who is permanently and totally disabled (cannot do anything herself), so they can't really "buy in" between all their responsibilities and her needs.

Conversely, my main gaming group is highly bought into Iron Kingdoms RPG and HERO. At least half of us own all the IKRPG books, and all of us own at least one copy/edition of HERO plus books on our favorite topics. Generally speaking, most of us are competent in the system, and the two players that tend to have trouble are either NOT bought in financially or can't buy in with time.
 

Mega Negi

Registered User
Validated User
Champions/HERO since 1981. The simple reason why is because a well-designed game system functions as a language. One that has to communicate entirely abstract and imaginary things into concrete and explicit terms so everybody can understand what is happening in a world that doesn't exist.

Once you have clawed your way up the learning curve from simple comprehension to mastery of a language, you don't necessarily want to discard it for no reason. I don't want to have to learn a new language every time a new story is to be told.
 

StanTheMan

Registered User
Validated User
Conversely, my main gaming group is highly bought into Iron Kingdoms RPG and HERO. At least half of us own all the IKRPG books, and all of us own at least one copy/edition of HERO plus books on our favorite topics. Generally speaking, most of us are competent in the system, and the two players that tend to have trouble are either NOT bought in financially or can't buy in with time.
In a way I'm hoping by sticking to one system for a long while, I can catch the two people who can't/won't buy in with time. At least, if we do a year of this at the table, that several hours exposure to the rules. So...should be some absorption, right? Right?
 
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