What is your most despised Game/System?

Talk about other games and anything off-topic
User avatar
nemedeus
Scholar
Posts: 446
Joined: 20 Jan 2016, 12:53

What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by nemedeus » 22 Dec 2016, 14:24

Just out of Curiosity.

For me, it's BRP hands down. I dislike how little in control i feel with that game, and that the only Mechanic in the game seems to be "Make a Skill Check". Just the complete opposite of Bastards in my eyes.

Why do i say this now? Because i'll be playing in a Call of Cthulhu session tomorrow. It's particularly frustrating because i have a WAY more interesting, and as far as i'm concerned better, Cthulhu game sitting right next to me here - Cthulhu Abides, which i mentioned in another Thread.
"First Rule of War Club: Don't fight in the War Room" - Clint Eastwood, 1920
User avatar
Agamemnon
Grand Master
Posts: 1106
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 13:59
Contact:

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by Agamemnon » 22 Dec 2016, 15:42

The d20 system. 3e or anything built on it. I'm sure there are plenty of people who got something enjoyable out of it, but the whole "system mastery means learning how to perfectly build your character before they ever begin play" and the core design philosophy of "make your dude suck at everything until they've bought the feat chain to be okay at it" is completely anathema to what I want in a game.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
User avatar
Benedict
Standard Bearer
Posts: 1075
Joined: 23 May 2016, 09:52

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by Benedict » 22 Dec 2016, 15:49

Agree with Agamemnon. D20 sucks big time, the worst incarnation of all being 4e. Not that 3, 3.5, Pathfinder, or even the celebrated "back to the roots" 5e were good, just 4e beats them all. :lol:
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
― Touchstone
User avatar
nemedeus
Scholar
Posts: 446
Joined: 20 Jan 2016, 12:53

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by nemedeus » 22 Dec 2016, 16:30

I can't say much about D20, it's not very popular in Germany.

What i can say though is that i hate how it feels like two thirds of the hobby is D&D/D20, and how people don't even LOOK for a better fitting game for their theme. Like, if your campaign is about politics, why not actually have a system that supports it?

In general, i'm starting to really get why certain people say "don't mod a game, look for a more fitting one". This is also why i've really grown to hate universal systems (looking at you, Savage Worlds), as well as adaptations to a different genre.

And i don't get people who can just play D&D forever and all time. I've heard stories of people not wanting to play anything else ENTIRELY because of the D&D BRAND NAME. Makes me sad.
"First Rule of War Club: Don't fight in the War Room" - Clint Eastwood, 1920
dysjunct
Journeyman
Posts: 101
Joined: 20 Jan 2013, 22:47

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by dysjunct » 22 Dec 2016, 16:30

Noumenon. Like White Wolf, but way more pretentious, and for some reason uses dominoes as a resolution system. Its only saving grace is that no one has heard of it.

D&D 3.x is bad too, for the system mastery aspect mentioned above.

I actually like some variations of BRP, mostly Legend and Mythras. The combat has tactical choices and weapons make a difference.
User avatar
Agamemnon
Grand Master
Posts: 1106
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 13:59
Contact:

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by Agamemnon » 22 Dec 2016, 17:03

Benedict wrote:Agree with Agamemnon. D20 sucks big time, the worst incarnation of all being 4e. Not that 3, 3.5, Pathfinder, or even the celebrated "back to the roots" 5e were good, just 4e beats them all. :lol:
Weirdly, I don't mind 4e. It's actually a pretty sound and mathematicaly well-balanced system if you were playing it as a kind of strategic dungeon crawling board game. It just wasn't what I look for in a roleplaying game. It wasn't "D&D."

5e isn't bad, from what I've seen. They are trying. It just happens to fall into that same category for me that Torchbearer and Dungeon World exist in - whatever critique or praise one might offer on the system itself, I can't find a good reason to use it over some other system that better fits the purpose.
User avatar
Marras
Grizzled Veteran
Posts: 856
Joined: 22 Apr 2014, 03:19

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by Marras » 23 Dec 2016, 02:55

For me it has to be d20 system as well. Back then practically all new games used that system like Conan, Judge Dredd, Starship Troopers, Black Company, Iron Kingdoms... I tried, oh how I tried to like it. I persuaded my gaming group to create characters for Conan as it felt the best fit and was modified to some extent. I just couldn't make myself learn all those special abilities, feats etc. and how they stacked or didn't to build even a 3rd level sorcerer as the main antagonist.

Personally I really like Mythras, pretty straightforward system and combat is colorful. The interesting thing about it is that it doesn't have maneuvers like BoB but special effects that grant similar effects afterwards. Both approaches work fine for me.

If I can whine about something else, it's the Fight! system in Burning Wheel. The whole game is yet another one that I never managed to try and in addition to the fact that creation of a single character took 7 hours it just looked like the combat system would take a huge toll on my (the GM) bandwidth if it was anything more than a duel and because ranged combat was it's own subsystem.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with generic systems. They might work wonderfully as long as you happen to like the results that this system gives you. GURPS tends to give pretty "realistic" results unless you use some options, Savage Worlds is geared more on pulp style. Granted, systems don't bend too well on all types of games. I wouldn't use Savage Worlds on politics heavy campaign but BRP or GURPS would work well.
dysjunct
Journeyman
Posts: 101
Joined: 20 Jan 2013, 22:47

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by dysjunct » 23 Dec 2016, 12:40

Agamemnon wrote:5e isn't bad, from what I've seen. They are trying. It just happens to fall into that same category for me that Torchbearer and Dungeon World exist in - whatever critique or praise one might offer on the system itself, I can't find a good reason to use it over some other system that better fits the purpose.
I really like Torchbearer, myself. While (as mentioned in other threads) I am so-so on how the roleplaying rewards in the BW family turn it into a resource-management minigame, I think it actually works in TB due to the general resource-based themes of dungeoncrawls.
User avatar
thirtythr33
Editorial Inquisition
Posts: 1241
Joined: 12 Aug 2015, 03:23

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by thirtythr33 » 01 Jan 2017, 10:13

nemedeus wrote:For me, it's BRP hands down. I dislike how little in control i feel with that game, and that the only Mechanic in the game seems to be "Make a Skill Check".
dysjunct wrote:I actually like some variations of BRP, mostly Legend and Mythras. The combat has tactical choices and weapons make a difference.
Marras wrote:Personally I really like Mythras, pretty straightforward system and combat is colorful.
I also really love Runequest 6 / Legend / Mythras or whatever people call it now but generally dislike BRP otherwise. It's got a lot of tactics in how you craft your magic or choose your special effects, as well as a lot more gritty realism than most games. I'd definitely recommend nemedeus give it a read.

My most despised games are probably going to be a pretty big surprise considering my previous fanboy posts about Adam Kobel and Luke Crane... but they are Torchbearer and Dungeon World. To be clear; I think they are both very good games... for someone who isn't me. I despise how literally everything is formalized into tropes in Torchbearer. Even the "town phase" has a set structure with set locations and known possible outcomes. Creativity and role playing is what a TTRPG is about and Torchbearer goes out of it's way to kill all of it. The most creative thing you can do in Torchbearer is deciding how many bags you should stuff into your bags. Torchbearer would be a good computer-game or board-game though (I'm looking at you, Darkest Dungeon).

I hate how in Apocalypse World/Dungeon World it is literally impossible to play by the rules and not use meta-game knowledge to make character decisions. The frequency that one player asks another player what their character thinks or otherwise gets given answers to questions their characters could not possible have known as a solution to a character's problem really irks me. I'm not usually a "meta-gaming is bad" kind of person, but the fact that straight by the rules a player can ask the DM "How can I get NPC X to do Y?" and he must truthfully answer (no tricks) really annoys me. I just want to say "You figure it out. That's kind of the point of the conflict."
"O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."

- Juliet Capulet
User avatar
Agamemnon
Grand Master
Posts: 1106
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 13:59
Contact:

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by Agamemnon » 03 Jan 2017, 04:24

thirtythr33 wrote:My most despised games are probably going to be a pretty big surprise considering my previous fanboy posts about Adam Kobel and Luke Crane... but they are Torchbearer and Dungeon World. To be clear; I think they are both very good games... for someone who isn't me. I despise how literally everything is formalized into tropes in Torchbearer. Even the "town phase" has a set structure with set locations and known possible outcomes. Creativity and role playing is what a TTRPG is about and Torchbearer goes out of it's way to kill all of it. The most creative thing you can do in Torchbearer is deciding how many bags you should stuff into your bags. Torchbearer would be a good computer-game or board-game though (I'm looking at you, Darkest Dungeon).
Torchbearer and Dungeon World both suffer from the same problem to me. It's an attempt to recapture early D&D/OSR style adventures and themes but in a 'modern' narrative-heavy engine. Both games might be pretty decent and mechanically solid (I haven't toyed with them enough to have a worthy opinion on that front), but ultimately I just can't find a point to them. There is no circumstance I can come up with where Torchbearer or Dungeon World would be my go-to game. If I want something for a more narrative-heavy game, I'll go to Burning Wheel or TROS --- Or, you know. Band of Bastards. If I want something that is supposed to be an OSR style game, it's still hard to beat Moldvay Basic D&D for that purpose. It does dungeon exploration very well and is easy to tweak as needed. If that's not your thing, Warhammer Fantasy (or Zweihander, it's retroclone) or Runequest 6 would still be better than Torchbearer or Dungeon World for that sort of thing.

The first thing I do with any game I might buy, or anything I might design, is to ask "why should I play this over some other game?" Neither of the above titles managed to convince me, on that account. The couple good ideas that I liked in Dungeon World were actually pretty easy to graft onto my B/x setup.

thirtythr33 wrote:I hate how in Apocalypse World/Dungeon World it is literally impossible to play by the rules and not use meta-game knowledge to make character decisions. The frequency that one player asks another player what their character thinks or otherwise gets given answers to questions their characters could not possible have known as a solution to a character's problem really irks me. I'm not usually a "meta-gaming is bad" kind of person, but the fact that straight by the rules a player can ask the DM "How can I get NPC X to do Y?" and he must truthfully answer (no tricks) really annoys me. I just want to say "You figure it out. That's kind of the point of the conflict."
As much as I love Apocalypse World in some ways -- particularly from a mechanical design standpoint -- this is a big issue for me, too. The game really doesn't want you staying in-character. When Baker writes that the game is a conversation between you and the MC, he's not kidding. The entire game is something of a negotiation, on that account, with the rules mostly just dictating the terms of said negotiation.

Codifying the game into moves is really cool, conceptually. On the other hand, I dislike seeing the fiction through a constant lens of mechanical options.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
taelor
Journeyman
Posts: 164
Joined: 23 Apr 2015, 05:55

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by taelor » 03 Jan 2017, 06:38

I hate any game that requires randomized character generation.
GLENDOWER
I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
HOTSPUR
Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?
User avatar
higgins
Heresiarch
Posts: 1186
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 08:00

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by higgins » 03 Jan 2017, 18:15

For me, it has to be 3.x as well (although it's what got me into the hobby). I wrote a huge rant about it into White Wolf forums circa 2007. Holy crap, has it really been a whole decade?
There are quite a few articles and rants on the web explaining why Dungeons & Dragons 3.x sucks, but most of the arguments I've seen focus too much on the details. They talk about alignment, about how classes are set up, about the amount of rules to handle or the number of books you need to buy. Some even point out the player mentality which, granted, is greatly damaged by the play style the system encourages, but I've never really seen anyone cutting the issue to the bone and getting to the core. Here's my attempt to lay out the four main reasons I don't use D&D:

1. Power level.

It would make a lot of sense for a system define a certain power level and stick to it throughout the game. In D&D it’s impossible, because if you want to improve your character in any way, you get a damn package of abilities with every level. The guard dogs you feared in the beginning of the game will be helpless pups after a couple of “adventures”.

2. Restrictiveness.

Rather than make the character you want, you have to mix and match options to get the closest idea you were striving for. If you want to be a proficient brawler, you have to take a level in a certain class (monk). The character progression is pre-set — why did my back-street brawler suddenly become immune to all diseases (monk class ability)? And why can my witchdoctor take animal forms now (druid class ability)? You can pay an instructor to take riding lessons, but then you can't increase the Riding skill until you gain a level (which can take months in-game, or more, if you’re higher level). You cannot make up your own spells. Many character concepts are banned at starting levels (this is especially true with magic-users). And no, you cannot be a good singer because you chose the Fighter class.

3. Mystery killing.

How many times have you seen, or thought yourself: “The guy touched my sword. The blade rusted and crumbled to pieces. This must be the Rusting Grasp spell (obvious, right?), which means that we’re dealing with at least 7th level druid. His Wisdom must be at least 14 to cast that spell, so, his Will save bonus is +7 or greater. He also has a good Fort save, so we better use some spell against him that requires Reflex, which is probably his worst. We gotta keep him away from the bushes too, as he’s got no movement penalties there and he can Entangle us if we follow. He also leaves no tracks behind. Druids also have animal companions, so we better be ready for surprise, and if he starts to lose, he’s got an ability to turn into eagle and fly away. Better watch out for that one, as we need information for him.”

Okay, I must state I don’t do this on purpose, but this kind of information just comes to me during the play. In essence, one tiny detail tells me VAST knowledge about the character we’re dealing with. No mystery at all — I know pretty well of what the character is capable of. And if GM modifies things that it isn’t as I think, this is to possibly cause scorned reaction from players: “Hey, why didn’t you tell you allowed such class? I would have really liked to play such a character,” etc.

4. Logic holes/silliness.

Weapons have damage caps. Roll 1d4 point of damage for hit using a hand crossbow. WTF!? Any crossbow should be a dangerous weapon, and this four damage doesn’t even account for a scratch on most non-starting characters.

Okay, while never mentioned in the books, I can understand that Hit Points are meant to represent also stamina and dodging, not just taking wounds. However, this makes an arrow just as easy to avoid as a punch. Although using this representation is better than having barbarians running around with a dozen of arrows in their chest, it’s still silly. But hey, that’s what D&D is — silly. A friend of mine explained me once how he can make a character who dishes out 1d6+4 damage with a random twig picked up from the forest (don’t remember the mechanics, sorry, but it didn’t require exceptional Strength). It is also amusing that a single shuriken can CONSTANTLY make just as much damage as an average "longsword" (1 damage + 1 point blank shot + 2 weapon specialization = 4 automatic damage). Have fun combining it with the Flurry of Blows and you get a character whose biggest problem is that he cannot physically carry enough shurikens… They just run out before the combat ends. =D

Also, have you ever-ever seen any PC take cover in D&D against a single archer? Their defence trait vs. bullets/arrows is the same as in melée, so it would be stupid to take cover, as there’s no additional danger in charging ahead to hack the archer down. (Some firearms-based settings have upped the base damage of ranged weaponry to address this issue, but it’s not evident in D&D.)

This chapter also covers the impact of a the d20 roll has on a skill/ability checks. In case of the latter, your characters capabilities make up a miniscule part in the final result. Yes, this means that people with no training can outshine professionals time-to-time, and that arms wrestling contests between Strength 8 and 18 characters are mainly resolved with luck.

And as someone has very wisely said — though the skill ranks certainly help to succeed in tasks, they have more to do with qualifying for a prestige class.

There are more and more detailed issues on it, but they tend to fall into the four categories presented above.
"You can never have too many knives."
- Logen Ninefingers, The Blade Itself
User avatar
hector
Dogged Bastard
Posts: 289
Joined: 01 Dec 2013, 03:26
Location: Aberystwyth University

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by hector » 09 Feb 2017, 17:37

As much as I love Apocalypse World in some ways -- particularly from a mechanical design standpoint -- this is a big issue for me, too. The game really doesn't want you staying in-character. When Baker writes that the game is a conversation between you and the MC, he's not kidding. The entire game is something of a negotiation, on that account, with the rules mostly just dictating the terms of said negotiation.

Codifying the game into moves is really cool, conceptually. On the other hand, I dislike seeing the fiction through a constant lens of mechanical options.
Really? I honestly had the opposite impression (and experience in play, once I got the players away from the more D&D-esque mindset they were used to): you're supposed to remain in character right up until you try to do something that there is a mechanic for, at which point the GM asks you for a roll, the roll determines what happens and finally you return to being in character. That said, my only real exposure is through Dungeon World, wherein it says quite explicitly that nobody should be naming moves with the exception of the GM, and that is only to tell the players what to roll.
User avatar
Agamemnon
Grand Master
Posts: 1106
Joined: 05 Jan 2013, 13:59
Contact:

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by Agamemnon » 09 Feb 2017, 18:16

hector wrote:
As much as I love Apocalypse World in some ways -- particularly from a mechanical design standpoint -- this is a big issue for me, too. The game really doesn't want you staying in-character. When Baker writes that the game is a conversation between you and the MC, he's not kidding. The entire game is something of a negotiation, on that account, with the rules mostly just dictating the terms of said negotiation.

Codifying the game into moves is really cool, conceptually. On the other hand, I dislike seeing the fiction through a constant lens of mechanical options.
Really? I honestly had the opposite impression (and experience in play, once I got the players away from the more D&D-esque mindset they were used to): you're supposed to remain in character right up until you try to do something that there is a mechanic for, at which point the GM asks you for a roll, the roll determines what happens and finally you return to being in character. That said, my only real exposure is through Dungeon World, wherein it says quite explicitly that nobody should be naming moves with the exception of the GM, and that is only to tell the players what to roll.
Apocalypse World is pretty explicit in the whole "fiction first" argument. You never say "I'm going aggro." You do something in-character that would be going aggro, then the GM identifies the thing as "going aggro" and you roll for it. The whole thing is very nicely codified, in that way. The thing I'm referencing is the way that you then pause the narrative and then sort through the mechanical data of the specific action you rolled - usually hitched to a "On a success, choose 1. On a 10+, choose 2. On a miss, X." It's always a bit jarring, to me.
Sword and Scoundrel: On Role-Playing and Fantasy Obscura

Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: "Now it’s complete because it’s ended here."
Collected Sayings of Muad’Dib, the Princess Irulan
User avatar
hector
Dogged Bastard
Posts: 289
Joined: 01 Dec 2013, 03:26
Location: Aberystwyth University

Re: What is your most despised Game/System?

Post by hector » 09 Feb 2017, 19:35

That's fair - though I've always found pretty much any die roll with anything but a success/fail binary to have that problem.
Post Reply