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What is the least playable RPG?

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
I ran a few sessions of Powers and Perils, I don't know if I was doing it wrong but the PCs hit eighth level the first session by beating the spectre because they figured out the fairly obvious clues. Really, I didn't like it enough to keep going but I don't recall it being particularly complex.
It wasn't so much super complex (by my standards) as everything outside of combat was a special-case resolution-wise; no two skills seemed to be resolved the same way.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Superhero 2044 may be what you're thinking of. I think the author is here or at least a contributor. What struck me the most about it is how much it seemed like a time management game vs a supers game. Schedules seemed quite important. I never played it though so it could be a case of looks weird in paper but plays better in real life.
Superhero 2044 was more a case of just, well, missing large chunks of--everything. It had a functional combat system, and the patrolling system you referred to, and that was pretty much it. It had no predefined super powers, for example, and no real common metric as to how to do them yourself.
 

economics bat

Registered User
Validated User
deadEarth.
Many people have alluded to deadEarth in this thread, but none have summarized it! Although everyone likes FATAL and HYBRID, I want to draw attention to this pick -- an otherwise-normal game where playing the game happens to be against the rules of the game.

To summarize deadEarth, the gambler's ruin roleplaying game:

- You roll a series of "mutant effects" during character creation.
- Most mutant effects take the form "you get plus one to stat X, minus two to stat Y, and you also get three more mutant effects."
- Once you have one mutant effect, it is a practical certainty that you keep (recursively) getting mutant effects until something stops you prematurely.
- The only thing that can stop you prematurely is to die during character creation. (a mutant effect that occurs about one percent of the time)
- Any player who dies three times during character creation is not allowed to play deadEarth.

In a campaign group of five people, incredible luck might permit one of those five to continue into the game world!
 

Lockjaw

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Superhero 2044 was more a case of just, well, missing large chunks of--everything. It had a functional combat system, and the patrolling system you referred to, and that was pretty much it. It had no predefined super powers, for example, and no real common metric as to how to do them yourself.
Which from a 2019 perspective probably makes it look unplayable but from a late 70's perspective it's not as bad. The lack of powers was pretty glaring.
 

jamieth

Registered User
Validated User
Well, if lack of rules for using powers makes a superhero RPG unplayable, that would include Masks :) (which, mind you, I personally would agree - that Masks are unplayable just like any other PbtA - but that isn't a position if likely to find support here)
 

GM_Michael

Professional Mistake Maker
Validated User
LUG Dune RPG.

It's unplayable because I've not met anyone else in my gaming circles that owns a copy and I'd never crack the book open for fear of damaging it! :D
I remember when the DUNE CCG came out and folks I knew that worked at L5R mentioned a Dune RPG was in the works. I have never seen an actual copy and until you posted did not realize they did small print run of that game.....
 

Thane of Fife

Registered User
Validated User
Second time I've heard this. I confess me most curious as to the manner in which this be enforced.
My recollection from reading deadEarth (quite a while ago), is that the rules say something like that you're only allowed to make five characters or whatever. I think that the intent is that (as character creation is very random) you can make five characters and pick the one you want, but some of those five might not survive (and thus you will get fewer choices).

The rules don't say what happens if all of your characters die. Therefore, the joke is that if they all die, you are not allowed to play. Probably the intent is that you would just keep rolling them up until you get one that lives, and then you have to play that one. Or, more generously, you get a new set of five.

(I say five, it might be three or whatever).
 
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