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Old 08-01-2018, 07:31 AM   #11
philreed
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Default Re: DFRPG momentarily on Board Game Breakfast

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Originally Posted by lachimba View Post
But compare that to a board game where I can watch a 30 min video on how to play and probably never read the rules (just have a friend look them up occasionally and read an FAQ) and DFRPG still looks pretty complex.
Exactly. It is intimidating to many casual players.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: DFRPG momentarily on Board Game Breakfast

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Exactly. It is intimidating to many casual players.
I've never understood that. Not even intellectually, especially not now with DFRPG.


That someone will happily sit down with Pathfinder and make a character with no quibbles and then complain that DFRPG is "complicated"?!?!?! It blows my mind.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: DFRPG momentarily on Board Game Breakfast

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I've never understood that. Not even intellectually, especially not now with DFRPG.

That someone will happily sit down with Pathfinder and make a character with no quibbles and then complain that DFRPG is "complicated"?!?!?! It blows my mind.
The salient comparison isn't RPG A vs. RPG B; it's RPGs vs. board games. Relative to board games, most RPGs are complicated.

Right now, the games market is on a treadmill: New stuff shows up on Kickstarter or in shops, flashes in the pan, and is replaced in a matter of days to weeks by newer stuff. People want to buy, learn, play, and move on from their new purchases on roughly that schedule. The attention span needed for a "grow your lovingly built character" game isn't there, so RPG creators are largely out of luck unless they keep their rules at board-game-level complexity.

Which isn't to say that nobody plays or has fun with RPGs! But speaking as a publisher, the people who buy once and then play forever aren't the income stream that people who buy new games weekly are.

There are exceptions. D&D and its derivatives have the momentum of history and a massive corporate sales engine on their side. If you're not part of that, then your alternative is to do as I said: Shoot for board-game-level complexity. I believe that's the goal for TFT.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: DFRPG momentarily on Board Game Breakfast

Writing separately to add this: Despite my bias as the game's creator, I firmly believe that the DFRPG is a simple RPG. It isn't board-game-level simple, but it isn't particularly complex.

It has one currency for characters (points) instead of a bewildering jungle of attribute points, special abilities, skills, etc. that advance at different rates based on class and leveling up. It has one currency for gear ($), with coin types being ignorable except for flavor. It has one task-resolution mechanic (3d, roll low) with one task-difficulty mechanic (bonuses and penalties) – not a bewildering number of different kinds of dice rolls where variable targets, numbers of successes, and a host of other things can be used to rate difficulty.

Relative to its parent game, GURPS, it's dead-simple. Just about all the on-the-fly math is gone. "Nuisance" rolls and modifiers have been quietly removed. Options to speed character design (e.g., templates and suits of armor) and play (e.g., ready-to-use, almost GM-less task rules) replace fiddly bits.

But it isn't a tactical board game. It's a Rule Zero RPG, with character development and the expectation that players will run their heroes for a long time, under the watchful eye of a GM. For many gaming groups, that's a very heavy commitment, often simply because they're adults with lives, and have no time for anything that requires the same people to meet regularly for hours and hours.
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: DFRPG momentarily on Board Game Breakfast

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The salient comparison isn't RPG A vs. RPG B; it's RPGs vs. board games. Relative to board games, most RPGs are complicated.
Double checks the thread title...

Rigth, my bad.

My group just sat down last night and played Star trek Ascendancy. Two of the group members balked at the myriad of pieces and the 'thickness' of the rules (is 20 pages of large type really that "big"?). So I fell into my standard roll of "Rules Reader and Referencemancer".

This same group doesn't even blink an eye at diving into Star Wars Armada or X-Wing... which has a dizzying complexity of strategic combinations.

Quote:
Right now, the games market is on a treadmill: New stuff shows up on Kickstarter or in shops, flashes in the pan, and is replaced in a matter of days to weeks by newer stuff. People want to buy, learn, play, and move on from their new purchases on roughly that schedule.
I don't know about that "move on" bit. There is a strong sense of "I want to get my money out of this" in the groups I know. And they do inherently treat 'movie night' and 'games' as completely different levels of "get my money out of it".



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Writing separately to add this: Despite my bias as the game's creator, I firmly believe that the DFRPG is a simple RPG. It isn't board-game-level simple, but it isn't particularly complex.
I agree. DFRPG is my 'go to' level of game complexity if I want to bring newbs into GURPS.

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But it isn't a tactical board game. It's a Rule Zero RPG, with character development and the expectation that players will run their heroes for a long time, under the watchful eye of a GM. For many gaming groups, that's a very heavy commitment, often simply because they're adults with lives, and have no time for anything that requires the same people to meet regularly for hours and hours.
That's the problem with my group. That's why we play board games now instead of rpgs. :(
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:33 PM   #16
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I don't know about that "move on" bit. There is a strong sense of "I want to get my money out of this" in the groups I know.
As with so many things, it all depends on who you know.

I know people who outright say, in words that are hard to misinterpret, "My limit is free time, not money." They can, for instance, afford to spend $1,500/year on games but only 50 hours/year playing games. Told that they could pay a mere $150/year for a whopping 500 hours of play, with the catch that the first 50-100 hours would be spent learning rules, they'd pass because their time budget is 50 hours. The extra $1,350 is worth it to play for those hours and devote mere minutes to learning rules.

On the other hand, I know some people who'd increase the $1,500/year to $2,000/year, $3,000/year, or more if the higher price tag meant fancy toys they could show off even when not playing, or if it bought bragging rights such as an hour with some media star who endorsed the game.

These people are generally nothing like traditional RPG fans, but they control the games market – of which the RPG market is a part – with their $.

I hasten to add that I find these people alien. First, I started gaming in 1979, when it wasn't like this at all. Second, when I started gaming, I was a kid with no money in a family that wouldn't even qualify as "middle class" today. Third, I work in the games industry, which is a variation on being a starving artist (no joke . . . with 23 years of seniority, I'm no better off and no more solvent than the dancers, painters, and musicians I know). So yeah, if you find what I said up there difficult to swallow, that makes two of us.

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For many gaming groups, that's a very heavy commitment, often simply because they're adults with lives, and have no time for anything that requires the same people to meet regularly for hours and hours.
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That's the problem with my group. That's why we play board games now instead of rpgs. :(
That's the main force driving the market in the direction I just talked about. Adults with jobs and lives often have disposable income instead of disposable time. To get the latter, they'd have to dispose of the jobs that give the income, and possibly the children that eat up the time; the first isn't wise, the second is illegal.
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: DFRPG momentarily on Board Game Breakfast

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There are exceptions. D&D and its derivatives have the momentum of history and a massive corporate sales engine on their side. If you're not part of that, then your alternative is to do as I said: Shoot for board-game-level complexity. I believe that's the goal for TFT.
Lots of great commentary and analysis, but I wanted to single this bit out.
If TFT kicks off as well as many of us hope, I would like to see things that can be ported into DFRPG or GURPS. My hope is for some cross pollination.
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: DFRPG momentarily on Board Game Breakfast

Achieving board game level complexity probably means pregen or easily randomizable for both characters and dungeons.

Ponder whether you could do 'base character plus enhancer cards' in GURPS.
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: DFRPG momentarily on Board Game Breakfast

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Ponder whether you could do 'base character plus enhancer cards' in GURPS.
DFRPG (and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy it's based on) doesn't have it built in, but GURPS Action and GURPS Monster Hunters make heavy use of Background/Motivational Lenses. After the End, on the other hand has several 50 point upgrade lenses. You could design something like this for DFRPG:

When building pregenerated characters rserve -20 points in disadvantages, 20 point in advantages, and 10-15 in skills to define some Motivational or Background lenses for DFRPG characters.

Depending on which way you want to go you could either spend all the points in these lenses ahead of time (better for quick grab-and-go one-shots) or you can design the lenses with some choices so that the player can choose a lense and then tailor the lens for their character.

For Upgrade Lenses you can either allow the player to take +50 upgrade lense for their character (which, again, you could either predetermine or create a short list from template Power-Ups) or allow them to take a Mixed-Profession lens from GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 4: Next Level.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: DFRPG momentarily on Board Game Breakfast

Having run two games of DFRPG at a convention for D&D players who were new to DFRPG and having had one of those players literally say: "This is my favourite system" that's something.

They certainly didn't say: "this is too complex for me"

The thing is I ran "I smell a Rat"

We didnt use nine tenths of the DFRPG.

And thats with years of me reading GURPS books and now months of running DFRPG.

The prep on a GM is still considerable.

Compare with even complex Gloomhaven or vanilla Descent.

I do think there is/was space for a dungeon crawl game using GURPS Lite rules.
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