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Old 09-17-2016, 02:06 PM   #1
Disliker of the mary sue
 
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Default what if another role playing game had DnDs cultural Impact?

Here a thought for those people who can think of probable alteritive universe. What would be diffrent if another tabletop rpg had the massive cultural impact in society that Dnd had? Like if Vampire the Masquerade was the first or Gurps.

Like dnd kind of had a massive impact on the rpgs, like it basically codified a bunch of it tropes like how stat work, the dices used, the generic rpg setting of western fantasy and basically had a lot of influence on how video game rpgs work. How would everything change if another game had that position.

Like what if the alpha rpg as I'll call it was like

World of darkness'
Gurps
Shadowrun
Fate


Just a thought experiment I had with some acquiescence recently that I like to hear the genius of this forum comment on.
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: what if another role playing game had DnDs cultural Impact?

Here's an earlier thread where we discussed much the same topic:

http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=90079
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: what if another role playing game had DnDs cultural Impact?

Well ****...
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: what if another role playing game had DnDs cultural Impact?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan Larson View Post
Here's an earlier thread where we discussed much the same topic:

http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=90079
It's just another example of the rule about giving your topics descriptive titles being there for a reason. "What might have been" is a title that could mean just about any "what if" scenario.
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: what if another role playing game had DnDs cultural Impact?

That other thread not withstanding, at its genesis, I normally think of 3 or 4 RPGs that arent D&D.

Boot Hill
Gamma World
Top Secret
Star Frontiers

There were others Im sure, but these are the ones I remember (if only vaguely).

For example I seem to remeber not having an IQ stat in Boot Hill which certainly seems odd, but I DO like the idea of 'How can you honestly play someone smarter or dumber than yourself?'.

Had that been accepted Axiomatically it would have changed a lot. No INT/IQ /WIS stat in games would have meant HUGE changes for Magic Users and Clerics and would have had ripples throughout the industry.

Top Secret was quasi-point buy before it was cool.

Star Frontiers was practically Space D&D with the same kind of tone and feel. I remember that game fondly especially the simple, high resolution, D% rolls that seemed easy and intuitive. In hindsight I think the property was poorly handled, but against the onslaught of Fantasy that the market demanded, I guess there is no defense.

Nymdok
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: what if another role playing game had DnDs cultural Impact?

What is the most popular non-dungeoneering tabletop role-playing game? Vampire: the Masquerade?
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Old 09-19-2016, 01:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: what if another role playing game had DnDs cultural Impact?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nymdok View Post
That other thread not withstanding, at its genesis, I normally think of 3 or 4 RPGs that arent D&D.

Boot Hill
Gamma World
Top Secret
Star Frontiers

There were others Im sure, but these are the ones I remember (if only vaguely).

For example I seem to remeber not having an IQ stat in Boot Hill which certainly seems odd, but I DO like the idea of 'How can you honestly play someone smarter or dumber than yourself?'.

Had that been accepted Axiomatically it would have changed a lot. No INT/IQ /WIS stat in games would have meant HUGE changes for Magic Users and Clerics and would have had ripples throughout the industry.

Top Secret was quasi-point buy before it was cool.

Star Frontiers was practically Space D&D with the same kind of tone and feel. I remember that game fondly especially the simple, high resolution, D% rolls that seemed easy and intuitive. In hindsight I think the property was poorly handled, but against the onslaught of Fantasy that the market demanded, I guess there is no defense.

Nymdok
Thought Gamma World and Star Frontiers were just different flavors of D&D, I know Buck Rogers was.
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Old 09-19-2016, 02:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: what if another role playing game had DnDs cultural Impact?

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Originally Posted by Disliker of the mary sue View Post
Here a thought for those people who can think of probable alteritive universe. What would be diffrent if another tabletop rpg had the massive cultural impact in society that Dnd had? Like if Vampire the Masquerade was the first or Gurps.
There are two independent bits in here.

What if something with different mechanics were the first hit? I expect the answer is not much changes, game mechanics are less important than people make them out to be, certainly to anything cultural outside actual game play, and varied pretty freely even in the "same" games in the early days.

What if something with a different genre were the first hit? I think this one may be rather like what if planned economies worked. The "move around in a limited area and kill things with a few die rolls" central to dungeon delving is in fact central to its cultural impact because it's something that can be easily implemented on not terribly impressive computers, and it's the adoption of this as a standard plot by the computer game industry (and the overlap between the game industry and video entertainment) that produced the cultural effects. Tabletop games or even fantasy novels are niche products, it's the video games and movies (well OK, maybe to a lesser degree anime and card games) that get these tropes out into mass culture.
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Old 09-19-2016, 02:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: what if another role playing game had DnDs cultural Impact?

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
There are two independent bits in here.

What if something with different mechanics were the first hit? I expect the answer is not much changes, game mechanics are less important than people make them out to be, certainly to anything cultural outside actual game play, and varied pretty freely even in the "same" games in the early days.
For an example of how game mechanical basics matter more than people realize, take a look at how people react to diceless-static, card-based and pure-resource-spending-based systems.
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Old 09-19-2016, 03:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: what if another role playing game had DnDs cultural Impact?

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
What if something with different mechanics were the first hit? I expect the answer is not much changes, game mechanics are less important than people make them out to be, certainly to anything cultural outside actual game play, and varied pretty freely even in the "same" games in the early days.
I'm not persuaded that mechanics was particularly important early on, because all the mechanics of the time was more or less thrashing around.

Take D&D. The original D&D rules say that combat is to be run using Chainmail mechanics. Now Chainmail had three different and incompatible systems: One for units of twenty men clashing on the battlefield, one for single men clashing in sieges (and presumably in dungeons), and one for fantastic combat between heroic men and monsters. All three seem to have been incorporated into the D&D rules, and it wasn't always clear which one was being used. But none of them involved d20s; all of them used d6s. The d20s came in as an "alternative combat system," and then stuck.

So where did other stuff come from? Superhero 2044 had point build. Traveller had life paths. RuneQuest had skills, and also had hit points that were based on capacity to take damage and defenses that stopped you from being hit. You could not find any game of that era that was mechanically identical to any major game of our time. Rather, current games take a bit from A and a bit from B and a dash of X. If some other game had been hugely popular, only a few bits of it might have survived in today's mechanicsl
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