TTRPG Discussion and Interest Thread

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Hey everyone, I thought it was about time to christen the trad games sub with a thread exploring what interest there currently is in discussing TTRPGs such as Pathfinder, Dungeons and Dragons, Shadowrun, Mouse Guard, and the like.

Personally, I've been interested in any news regarding content for pathfinder's second edition, as I have been living under a rock as far as that is concerned. I am also interested in setting up a deal where users could share campaign materials and ideas for things such as maps, tokens, or even npcs. Truth be told, there is so much I *could* do, that I don't know where to begin

So here we are, what are y'all interested in?

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Well, I've done some Pathfinder, especially the Adventure Paths, but so far most of my expertise has been combined to 1E. (And, unrelated to Pathfinder, to Exalted and various PBtA games). What's the differences between 1E and 2E?

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Same, I have yet to learn 2E or explore much beyond the updates to the setting. it's been looking like they've really overhauled things with 2e, with just about everything bar maybe some spells having been altered or redone. There is just a ton of stuff to look at here

Like, they've adopted what they call the "ABC" system for character creation where you pick Ancestry (the replacement for race, but a bit more expansive), Background, and class. A lot of feats are now tied to the ABC (with some being general feats still) and multiclassing is very different in a way I'm still learning about. Combat seems to have been simplified as have spellcasting, but I know better than to call anything pathfinder simple until I have a go of it myself. In terms of rolls, there are critical fails/successes whenever you are under/over by 10.

Also, Golarion is the official setting now, but they calling it "Lost Omens". There is a ton of stuff to dive into here

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PF 1E vs. 2E: 1E was essentially a D&D 3E clone that Paizo was legally allowed to steal due to the flaws of the OGL. It had many of the same strengths and weaknesses of its predecessor but tweaked things just enough that you couldn't easily port your old 3.5 books. It was, disappointingly, a place where design went to die; I've made the joke that Paizo hadn't done any design innovation since 2006.

2E was something of a rebuild of the chassis. The foundation now lay somewhere between 3E and 4E, and so far as I can tell when Paizo says they're innovating they actually mean it this time. Like 4E, classes are predicated by default as combat machines. You can still absolutely do noncombat stuff, but that's mostly siloed into choices you get to make separate from your class. Also the bonus spread is a lot tighter (again like 4E). Paizo even put out their encounter math (for free IIRC) so if you want to conjure up a monster on the fly you don't have to do some nonsense backsolving.

That said, they're both still D&D clones. The Adventuring Day is still absolutely a thing people need to be concerned with, and if you're playing to just shoot the shit and not care about resource management or working through multiple encounters over time then you should look elsewhere. Not everyone wants to be a fantasy actuary, after all.

(Also Golarion is kinda trash and derivative. Galt is the bit that annoys me most but there's a lot that just makes my eyes glaze over.)

Other than that? There's a lot of stuff out there and even as a TradGames regular I couldn't begin to tell you the breadth of what's out there. But from personal experience:
  • Most recently as a player I am fooling around in Warhammer Fantasy 4E. Licensed by GW, developed by Cubicle 7. There's a lot of stuff to get up to, in part because of the lore, and in part because the game actually gives a lot of options to handle things. Combat? Just one of many specializations.
  • As a GM I last ran Iron Kingdoms Unleashed by Privateer Press. Unlike WHF this was very much a combat engine (the Warmahordes wargame with some RPG changes) with some extra bits attached. For whatever reason the bestiary is limited but because it's based on a wargame I just appropriated rules for those models.

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NGDBSS wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:22 am
Like 4E, classes are predicated by default as combat machines.
Darn it. I'm running War for the Crown right now and my players can't get enough of being social tanks. I'm not sure what they can do for a second act once they finish that adventure path.

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Quackles wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 am
Darn it. I'm running War for the Crown right now and my players can't get enough of being social tanks. I'm not sure what they can do for a second act once they finish that adventure path.
I said classes were. There are totally things you can do outside of combat, and specializations for whatdo there, they just aren't tied directly to classes.

Edit: I pulled up the PDF and goddammit Paizo why can't you keyword more. Anyway, every level you get some kind of "feat". Which does not mean the same thing as in 3E or 4E, but is rather more broad. Depending on which level you just got, you can choose a different kind of feat. Even levels get you skill feats which naturally enhance skill use. General feats, which are the skill feats plus some extras for anyone, can be taken at level 3 + 4n. Ancestry feats (function obvious) can be taken at level 1 + 4n. And finally class feats are just given out on their own distinct schedules based on what class you're in. In addition to these, at level 3 + 2n you can pick up a new skill or increase your training in an existing one on a 4-step scale. Finally, ability increases are at level 5 + 5n and affect four of your Big Six. At <18 they grant +2; at >=18 they grant +1. Yes you can actually run that fighter with Charisma as their highest ability score and not have the game hate you for trying.

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OK, that sounds more interesting. I'll have to check it out!

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Mmm, I'm currently going through the racial justice and equality bundle, and oh boy oh boy do I want to run or play a game of Lancers. I am a big fan of Giant Stompy Mechs. Or, in this case, teleporting mechs, tanky mechs, psychic mechs, mechs who pull the "C'MOVERHERE!" of Scorpion... It's a lotta mechs.

Death's Head for my O.C.Donutsteele, Jaison Lyons, codename "Vaudevillain"

God, there was so much good in there. PbtA games, Troika, Blades in the Dark, a bundle of quickshots (GOBLINS... IN SPACE!) and FATE games, journalling games...

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I'm uh. More or less done with D&D. Nowadays I favor systems like PbtA. Easy to build for, easy to run for.

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Pathfinder 2e has amazingly quick character generation in my experience regardless of class choice. Not even just compared to 1e but also to D&D 5e. Granted, it's not got a million splat books and feature creep yet, but 1e took much, much longer even when sticking to just the core PHB. Even something as simple as stats having a baseline 10 across the board and then going up, or down, based on not just Ancestry but Background and Class too is a fantastic streamline decision that improves so much on its own.

...Admittedly, I've not gotten to play a single game of it yet (my off-site friends are not at all interested despite sinking years into 1e, and Roll20 LFG is legitimately awful) so I can't speak beyond that part.

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i think having Gnome's excellent document of alternatives to D&D is a great thing to have on the first page!

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That list could stand to be updated with a few years of hindsight. Its main thrust is still good but I wouldn't recommend SotDL unreservedly or probably Dungeon World at all. Meanwhile there's new tech about like the above-mentioned Blades in the Dark, Lancer, or Warhammer Fantasy. Maybe also Soulbound?

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Wait, what's wrong with Dungeon World? I like it a lot.

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I mostly play PF1 with a good chunk of 3rd Party Content like Spheres of Power. I just wish I had time for a second campaign.

But one of my crew has said how much they like Dungeon World a couple times, and I'd love to hear more about it, good or bad.

Lately I've been running Stars Without Number but I'm a big fan of Unknown Armies, Feng Shui, and GURPS. Gumshoe is also pretty good.

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NGDBSS wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:25 pm
That list could stand to be updated with a few years of hindsight. Its main thrust is still good but I wouldn't recommend SotDL unreservedly or probably Dungeon World at all. Meanwhile there's new tech about like the above-mentioned Blades in the Dark, Lancer, or Warhammer Fantasy. Maybe also Soulbound?
Valor, too, though that occupies a lot of the same niche Strike! does as far as I've heard. I should probably actually read Strike!'s rules now that I have them through the big bundle.

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Angel wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:51 pm
I'm uh. More or less done with D&D. Nowadays I favor systems like PbtA. Easy to build for, easy to run for.
Understandable. If you don't have a particularly talented GM, DnD is only really ideal for what it's best at; that is to say, the dungeon crawl. It's not as good at anything else.

Angel wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:48 pm
Wait, what's wrong with Dungeon World? I like it a lot.
A lot of people feel like it's a pretty ineffective take on PbtA Dungeon Fantasy, with too many moves and an unwillingness to divorce itself from D&D to make PbtA work.

Also Adam Koebal did some bad shit on stream.

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I'm mostly familiar with DnD (4e/5e), PbtA, and Cinematic Unisystem. I've been interested for a while in trying out Savage Worlds, but never found a game to join.

Friends don't let friends play Pathfinder 2e.

That said, this is kind of the dark ages of the hobby in a mechanics design sense, so for what to run instead I couldn't tell you.

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I have quite a collection of different tabletop RPG books but my actual practical experience is mostly with Pathfinder in a... modified golarion setting (Our GM is creative) (and then in the current campaign our characters got warped to Greyhawk)

I'm interested in trying to refine that system some and would like to at least try out PF2e and D&D 5e for comparison.

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Oh yeah, homebrew is where I really enjoy myself tbh. My friends and I are the type that made an original setting with new monsters and stuff. We kept the mechanics to our houseruled pathfinder at first, but the more we played the further it got modified so it's pretty much its own thing imo. The entire idea is that when the body dies, the soul generally remains, instead of going to an afterlife or just dissipating, so society has to manage the issue of what a person's soul might do after death (which is a big deal given how often you can murder things in fantasy settings).

Naturally, we have an issue introducing new players because they have to learn a new system nobody else uses, but sometimes we just use another more common system instead and it works out decently.

TheGreatEvilKing wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:07 pm
Friends don't let friends play Pathfinder 2e.

That said, this is kind of the dark ages of the hobby in a mechanics design sense, so for what to run instead I couldn't tell you.

 
Dark Ages? Really? What makes you say that?
Even just from a purely dungeon-delving standpoint, we have Skull Diggers to look forward to. And there's so many cool indie games besides.

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Yeah the hobby as a whole had its dark ages in the 2000s. One of the consequences of the OGL was that everyone and their sibling published d20 shovelware during the 3E boom. Eventually that collapsed but in the meantime we got crap like Testament d20 or Etherscope. The one good result of all this was that enough people saw The Emperor Has No Clothes.

Nowadays there's a lot of interesting mechanics work on the scene if you look for it. Most famously we have Apocalypse World and its successors starting in 2010 but that's one rules framework of many.

All that said if we're talking about D&D itself, that's in a stagnant period.

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TheGreatEvilKing wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:07 pm
That said, this is kind of the dark ages of the hobby in a mechanics design sense, so for what to run instead I couldn't tell you.
You mean, 'dork ages', amirite? :mrgreen:

Our big juggernauts are D&D 5e the cargo cult edition and Pathfinder 2. Shadowrun collapsed under embezzlement and ineptitude, and there are...indie games, i guess?

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