Survey Says... (Worst Game System?)
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:43 pm 
 

Spot on.  Fabulous setting, tedious system.  :D


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:31 pm 
 

Penguins of Destiny related to these guys:

Killer Penguins. Demented Denizens of the Tundra
Driven by strange instincts, these fearsome creatures migrate into the Valley every so often leaving devastation and havoc in their wake. Their ever-present threat is one of the major reasons most of the northern nations remain at least partially mobilized at all times. Although only semi-intelligent, killer penguins have been known to ally with evil wizards on occasion - both X the Unknown and the Dark Lord at one time had pacts with the penguin race. Blood-crazed and ferocious in battle, their armor-plated beaks darting everywhere and spearing their enemies, few men can stand against them. Armies flee in fear at their approach, and only the most doughty of heroes can boast of penguin-slaying. Only the fact that they tend to operate singly has allowed civilization to survive in the north: faced with concentrated assaults from the penguins, the northern nations would undoubtedly be vanquished.

(Can anyone name what product this came from? :D )

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:35 pm 
 

Swords & Sorcery, right?

I'd forgotten about the penguins, but X the Unknown was definitely the villain from that game.

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:54 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Swords & Sorcery, right?

I'd forgotten about the penguins, but X the Unknown was definitely the villain from that game.


Right you are :)

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:56 am 
 

AH's Magic Realm was pretty bad, but only because it purported to be a RPG, but was more of a board game. Great artwork, I thought, and great components, but then, it was AH.

But by far the worst actual RPG I've ever played was Serenity. The only thing good about it was that it gave you a reason to use a D12. Bonuses, for, say, hitting something in combat were based on dice levels, so if you had a D6 to hit and got a bonus, it was now a D8. After D12, it became D12+D2, D12 + D4, etc. There was no D20, and I think they made this system specifically anti-D20. I was thrown off the message board for it because I was so critical of the game, and everyone else on there was freakin' in love with it!

Great setting, though. I'd like to adapt it for Traveller.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:02 pm 
 

silver_beetle wrote:AH's Magic Realm was pretty bad, but only because it purported to be a RPG, but was more of a board game. Great artwork, I thought, and great components, but then, it was AH.

But by far the worst actual RPG I've ever played was Serenity. The only thing good about it was that it gave you a reason to use a D12. Bonuses, for, say, hitting something in combat were based on dice levels, so if you had a D6 to hit and got a bonus, it was now a D8. After D12, it became D12+D2, D12 + D4, etc. There was no D20, and I think they made this system specifically anti-D20. I was thrown off the message board for it because I was so critical of the game, and everyone else on there was freakin' in love with it!

Great setting, though. I'd like to adapt it for Traveller.


I've always disliked the "one and done rulebook" settings like Serenity.  They seem to appeal to a very narrow audience of fanatics who don't play any other systems and merely enjoy going over and over the same material as was in the TV show/movie/comic book/novel, etc.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:52 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
I've always disliked the "one and done rulebook" settings like Serenity.  They seem to appeal to a very narrow audience of fanatics who don't play any other systems and merely enjoy going over and over the same material as was in the TV show/movie/comic book/novel, etc.

Mike B.


Wasnt Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium also a one-and-done setting?  I dont recall ever seeing any additional supplements for it.  Maybe I will try to see about picking one up at GenCon.  Yeah right.  :roll:


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:53 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
I've always disliked the "one and done rulebook" settings like Serenity.  They seem to appeal to a very narrow audience of fanatics who don't play any other systems and merely enjoy going over and over the same material as was in the TV show/movie/comic book/novel, etc.

Mike B.


I think there might have been some Serenity supplements, but I don't think the game sold well enough to justify them.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:06 pm 
 

I just recall the cost on the Serenity RPG.  I was put off.

Serenity is one of those Science Fiction settings that people look back on and say, "Wow.  I guess that was brilliant.  Why didn't we appreciate it?"

I loved the TV series.  I couldn't figure out why no one else was watching it.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:08 pm 
 

I think there might have been some Serenity supplements


Yeah, they released Out in the Black, an adventure/source book, and a GM screen.  I think it died out after that.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:06 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:I just recall the cost on the Serenity RPG.  I was put off.

Serenity is one of those Science Fiction settings that people look back on and say, "Wow.  I guess that was brilliant.  Why didn't we appreciate it?"

I loved the TV series.  I couldn't figure out why no one else was watching it.


I watched the dvd set, it was very captivating, quite unlike most stuff on tv now.  Part of the problem was that the powers that be decided the pilot episode, that pretty much introduces all the characters, details the setting, and explains the rationale behind this diverse group of people getting together, wasn't broadcast first.  8O   Kind of like running the GDQ1-7 series and starting with G3...before going back to G1....

I think that if they had run the episodes in the order intended (pilot first, natch), and given it a full season (18-20 episodes, at a regular day and time), we might still be watching Serenity (Season 5 by now?) and Joss Whedon would have another critical cult hit (like Buffy or Angel) on his hands...

The TV industry, much as the music recording industry, employs some of the most entirely stupid individuals this side of politics.  There have been so many critically acclaimed shows (Hill Street Blues, Wiseguy, Seinfeld, Everyone Loves Raymond) that failed to perform in their first season, yet gained a huge following as word of mouth built, and eventually won multiple awards and viewers, you would think the networks MIGHT have caught on by now. Instead, last season, I got sucked into MULTIPLE shows that were cancelled after 3-5 episodes....without even a full season commitment....just because of a couple of badly rated episodes! It's changed my viewing habits so much I won't even get involved anymore unless I read on the web sites that at LEAST a half season of 12 episodes have to be filmed and in the can before I'll delegate any viewing time.

Interesting trivia point: In 24's first season, only 12 episodes were filmed and guaranteed, as Fox wasn't sure the show would gain the viewers necessary to finish out the entire "day", so if you watch season one now it has the odd effect of "ending" the first plot at hour 12, then "continuing" on with a very tangential plot after Fox got the good word the ratings were high enough to finish the season out.  Just think, one or two badly rated episodes the first couple of weeks, and Keifer Sutherland would have been starring in bad B-movies the last five years..... :lol:

Oddly, it seems I'm one of the very few who didn't enjoy the Serenity movie...as a coda to the series, it's alright, as a stand alone product, I don't fathom how anyone could make heads or tails of it without watching the series first...

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:16 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:I just recall the cost on the Serenity RPG.  I was put off.

Serenity is one of those Science Fiction settings that people look back on and say, "Wow.  I guess that was brilliant.  Why didn't we appreciate it?"

I loved the TV series.  I couldn't figure out why no one else was watching it.


The cost has also turned me off to WotC's products. That slick paper and color ON EVERY PAGE has got to run the cost up. I paid $12 for my first PHB back in... 1981 or so. What would that be today, adjusted for inflation?


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:02 pm 
 

Nice Hantlers wrote:Yeah, they released Out in the Black, an adventure/source book, and a GM screen.  I think it died out after that.

Mike: Shame on you!  Both of those are at Generation X!

  


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Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:23 pm 
 

Has everyone seen this hilarious review of CYBORG COMMANDO?

http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10214.phtml

"On its third dice-rolling table?" The tables in question aren't actually part of the rules, but are part of a three page section of the rulebook, which includes three tables and five graphs, showing the reader how the d10x system is the best possible dice system for a game. This tone is symptomatic of the rules. At several times the reader is lectured on how they should use the metric system in play, rather than the "archaic and unwieldy English [sic] system". The rules, of course, go on to tell you that the standard units of measurement can be either miles or kilometres; they are, apparently so similar as to be interchangeable. Rather than using a single system of measurements, the rules lecturer the reader on what they should be using, but provide poorly matching approximates in both systems and end the GMs book with a useful reference table of weights and measures, including conversion equations of troy grains to troy ounces because we're apparently playing the game of cyborg f***ing jewellers or something.

For a game with such attention to detail, character creation is remarkably simple. The player selects their character's stats and skills and then apply the modifiers imposed by the cybernetic body. There are games which elegant in their simple execution. This is one of the other games.


Fundamentally, the problem with the Cyborg Commando game is the idea that playing cyborgs shooting lasers out of their fingers, in a world overwhelmed by aliens, was in some way cool. The writers were sadly mistaken in this. The background seems ridiculously silly and contrived. The alien race has invaded earth "just because" and is virtually undefeatable despite the fact that the book points of there being only one alien for every 11,600 humans. The aliens may be tough, but, at those odds, it is hard to believe that the various world militaries shouldn't be able to defeat them.


Apologies to Gygax, Mentzer and Mohan for posting this...

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:10 am 
 

:lol: now I want a copy to have a look, and see if it is really that bad.  :D


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:39 pm 
 

The troy weight measurements are pure Gygax.  

You never know...someone might need a metrics lesson.

For instance, I first learned what an oligarchy was from the Dungeon Masters Guide.

Anyone want to know the reputed magical properties of gems?

How about the alchemical uses of various monster parts?

How about an optional potion miscability table?

For Gygax, the mixture of metrics and standard measures would have been no problem.  He probably assumed anyone smart enough to play the game would be smart enough to decide for themselves what system of measurement to use...but thought some details might help them decide, or would just be interesting.

It was what made the man brilliant, and what tended to trip him up.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:07 pm 
 

If I owned Cyborg Commando, I would buy the novelizations as well.  Has anybody read them?

  


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:21 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:For instance, I first learned what an oligarchy was from the Dungeon Masters Guide.


I've always been partial to 'magocracy'.

This is an excellent article on the influence of Gygax on our vocabulary:

http://phrontistery.info/disq6.html

I recently received an e-mail from a correspondent who noted that my list of forms of government lacked the word magocracy. I was slightly bewildered that it was not there, for two reasons. I'd thoroughly searched the online Oxford English Dictionary and other sources for all "-cracy" and "-archy" words, so in theory, there shouldn't be any omissions. What's more, it was a word that had been familiar to me for many years. You can imagine, then, my chagrin when I determined that there is no such word - at least, not in any dictionary. That is to say, magocracy is properly *magocracy, using the linguist's convention of an asterisk to represent irregular, improper or non-existent words.

This revelation left me, if not shaken to my lexicographic foundations, then at least perplexed that I had possessed in my vocabulary for many, many years a word that simply did not exist. This admission is rather embarrassing for someone who takes great pride in his knowledge of obscure English vocabulary. How could this happen?

The answer is that for over twenty years, I have been a participant in role-playing games (RPGs), most notably Dungeons and Dragons (usually abbreviated to D&D), an extremely popular game with millions of players worldwide (mostly in their teens and twenties), and also one with its own curious jargon. If you are a non-gamer and have ever had the (mis)fortune to sit in on a game or game-related discussion, you may have been baffled by all the talk of PCs and NPCs, THAC0, non-weapon proficiencies, character alignment and hit points - and, very occasionally, a reference to *magocracy.


From its inception, Dungeons and Dragons has provided a cornucopia of new vocabulary to its mostly younger audience. As a child, I was filled with wonderment at my first encounter with electrum coins, potions of diminution, and lycanthropic foes. What joy to find treasure hoards full of sardonyxes, olivines, and my semi-eponymous favourite, chrysoprases. How delightful to slay one's imaginary foes with a halberd, guisarme or bec de corbin (this last one was particularly amusing because one of the guys in my gaming group was named Corbin, although I don't ever recall his characters using one). And without the game, thousands of youths would still be holding on to the misconception that a brazier is a support undergarment.


The first occurrence of *magocracy in print, anywhere, as far as I have been able to determine, is on page 89 of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide (1979), by Gary Gygax, in a list of forms of government. Many of the terms on my own list of governmental types are found there, naturally, such as gynarchy, oligarchy, and theocracy. But also included on the list are five neologisms:
*geriatocracy: government reserved to the elderly or very old
*militocracy: government headed by the military leaders and the armed forces in general
*pedocracy: government by the learned, savants and scholars
*syndicracy: government by a body of syndics, each representing some business interest
*magocracy: government by professional magic-users only


:salut: :salut: :salut:

:bigsmurf:    (<--closest to an emoticon I can find to represent Gygax)

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Post Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:55 am 
 

Thanks for the link, Zhowar

I have noticed the linguistic impact of D&D on young people.  As a teacher in a private, Christian school, I sometimes pretended that my arcane vocabulary came from my study of history....when students who played RPG's would ask me (for instance) about pole arms or types of armor.

Lycanthrope is my favorite D&D word.

D&D has also crept into a number of pop culture realms...becoming the standard way to think about and depict dragons, for instance.

I like the term, "Gygaxism."  One day, someone might remember that one wargamer had such a wide cultural influence.  We'll see.


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Post Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:32 am 
 

The 90s RPG for Ralph Bakshi's Wizards must hold some kind of award for the worst presentation of source material. The whole selling point is this visually lush movie it's supposed to be based upon, but includes no movie art & cruddy line drawings. Why bother to make a licensed product at all & skimp on using the existing art?

  
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