Monday, February 10, 2014

Like It; Haven't Played It

There are some published rpg settings that I'm really fond of, but I've never gotten around to playing and don't think I ever will. Not that (in most cases) I would be opposed to playing them, but--well, I'll have to explain that on a case by case basis:

Tekumel: I first heard about Tekumel in college and over the next ten years, accumulated as much as I could on it from trips to gaming stores in various cities and ordering things off ebay. Despite having most of the publish Tekumel material in my collection for almost another decade now, I've never played it. I love the richness and wealth of detail in Tekumel, and I like aspects of the world (I've even read all the novels!). I think the problem has been two fold: until the internet, I never really had a crowd that would be willing to play it, and I tend to like to put my own spin on the games I run. (A few licensed properties for brief games being the exception, perhaps.) I'm well aware I could make Tekumel my own but then it wouldn't be Tekumel to me.

Transhuman Space: GURPS puts out a lot of great supplements, and the Transhuman Space supplements are no exception. It's the most detailed and supported near future game that I've seen (post the cyberpunk 80s). And it's really good. I'm unlikely to run this one because my days of playing GURPS are likely passed--particularly for a complicated realistic science fiction game. I did utilize the TS books to play my own near future game--one that was more Transhuman Cowboy Bebop with a bit of Bruce Sterling thrown in.

Glorantha: Though I got into Glorantha later, but scratches a similar itch to Tekumel in that I appreciate the wealth of detail in it and certain aspects of the world. It's a bit more like Transhuman Space in that it hits me in a "what can I steal from this?" place rather than a "I should play this!" one.

Exalted: This one is a bit different from the others, in that I have mixed feelings about Creation, the setting of Exalted. A lot of things about it I find really cool (mainly the underlying concepts of the session), then there are a number of things that are okay, and a few things (like a lot of the place names) I do like very much. Still, the good things are good enough to me, that I have thought about running a game in the setting before--but only after adapting it to another game. The system just doesn't appeal to me, and adapting the system plus tweaking the setting has always teamed so large a tast when I had easier game oppurtunities elsewhere.

So that's my list. What's yours?


Jack Guignol said...

Mine is the Low Life setting.

It's a post-apocalyptic setting where the characters are picaresque evolved/mutated cockroaches, filth, and snack cakes. It's a really weird mix of low humor and sword & sorcery adventure. It's also one of those settings that is so different that it becomes a hard sell. Someday...

Gothridge Manor said...

Pendragon is one I've always wanted to play, but haven't gotten around do it yet. I also like Dragon Age and wouldn't find giving that a go. Any Cthulhu game. For whatever reason I keep missing out on those games.

Trey said...

@Jack - Yeah Lowlife has always seemed interesting to me, too, though never quite enough that I've picked it up.

@Tim - Good call. While I have played Arthurian games, I've never played Pendragon either.

Tom said...

I have always meant to convert Justifiers to a more suitable system. The setting is way too much fun.

Also, I want to run the Cybermech Damocles setting from GURPS Mecha, but using the Mekton Zeta rules set.

Trey said...

@Tom - I haven't heard of Justifiers, but yeah Cybermech Damocles is pretty cool.

Tom said...

Justifiers is a sci-fi game from the late 80's with genetically engineered animal/human PCs. The rules were not very good but the setting was gonzo and fun. I did a review of it not long ago.

I must have it on my brain too, this is the second time it's come up this week.

Chris C. said...

I tend to like to put my own spin on the games I run . . . I'm well aware I could make Tekumel my own but then it wouldn't be Tekumel to me.

I agree. I've really run almost nothing in a world I didn't create myself. Once, long, long ago, I briefly set some adventure in Greyhawk.

Of course in my case, it's less a question of creativity than it is of (a bizarre sort of) pragmatics. When I create my own world, I see far more clearly how things all work together. It takes me much more time to grasp the ins and outs of someone else's world and really understand it than it does to create my own environment.

If I were to run something in someone else's world, I'd probably go for some of the biggies that everybody knows -- Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, that sort of place.

Aos said...

Dark Sun/Athas and your own Weird Adventures are the only two published setting that have ever captured my imagination.
I KNOW it isn't the case, but using someone else's world seems like cheating to me.

Trey said...

@Aos - I can say that. I wouldn't say it feels like cheating to me, but I typically look at someone else's world and think I can do it better--by which I mean better for me. There are a few settings that are so much a holistic thing to me, that changing them would feel like diluting them, so (as above) I usually just don't wind up playing them.

Brett Slocum said...

Here's my list:

Space 1889
Ars Magica
Wilderlands/Majestic Wilderlands
C.J. Carella's WitchCraft

Canageek said...

Catching up on your blog, so sorry for commenting so late. I do this a lot. For me:

Eclipse Phase: Technically I've played this once, at a con. However, I'd love to play an extended game with my own character (I've got one designed in my head: A gun-expert commando type, who is also an XP Podcaster weapon reviewer.) However, the game is rather hard to run from the looks of it, and there aren't many pre-written adventures for it. (Why on earth are D&D and Call of Cthulhu the only games with decent adventures online?)

GURPS: Ogre: Yeah, kind of obscure, but I do like the giant tanks and super fast hovercraft. I'd love to merge it with....

GURPS: Reign of Steel: Crazy dark setting, heavily based on Terminator. I worked out a way to improve it, to give the players a fighting chance, but it would be a ton of work to run.

Autoduel: I love the Mad Max feeling, badass people roaming around in leather and blowing up bad guys with car-mounted rockets.