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Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

theironjef posted:

System Mastery Episode 12 is up and active. This time we're reviewing D20 Modern. Next time we'll be reviewing the Urban Arcana expansion. I've read them both so extensively that it was difficult to review one without accidentally talking a bunch about the other, but I'm definitely looking forward to talking about gnoll pimps and basketball minotaurs.

I figured I should also come say hi at some point. I'm the other guy in the podcast and the one that does the movie reviews and gaming articles for the site. Glad some of you have been enjoying our goofy bullshit. This thread continually gives me things I want to review for upcoming podcasts (Aletheia in particularly looks awesomely batshit loco) and if you guys have any suggestions for some good/terrible out of print games we should do, let us know. There are only so many things we can find in the FLGS' used bargain bin.

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Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Tasoth posted:

Well, I just bought Hobomancer and Last Stand. The only thing I know about Hobomancer is the game is about riding rails as a hobo and battling things from outside reality.

Oh man, this sounds exactly like the kind of game I would want to read. I will look into trying to get my hands on a copy.

As far as guest hosts goes, like theironjef said, we have had some spotty results trying to record over a distance but it's not NOT something that might happen. Mostly assuming you are intelligible and not much more annoying to listen to than we are.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

theironjef posted:

System Mastery 14 throws a quarter on the rail this week with a review of White Wolf's Street Fighter - The Storytelling RPG. We basically agree between the two of us that this is a great board game buried under a mountain of White Wolfiness and cheap stereotypes.

http://systemmasterypodcast.com/2014/03/05/system-mastery-14-street-fighter/

This was probably the most pleasantly surprised I've been for our reviews. I was totally ready to spend the entire time making fun of it for being a weird video game property and glossing over the mechanics since it's just another White Wolf game. Finding out that it actually has probably the most robust, tactical combat system of any of their products was shocking given it's 20 years old now.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Halloween Jack posted:

I believe that on the RPGnet forums, one of the developers (Achilli?) said that Capcom was very difficult to work with and exercised a lot of control over what went into the game.

I can believe that. I'm sure they were more concerned with marketing to people familiar with their current product rather than establishing some kind of persistent world narrative that tied in Street Fighter. Also, you would want the RPG to focus on whatever the current game was in an effort to boost sales.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Evil Mastermind posted:

You know, listening to the Street Fighter episode actually reminded me a lot of Scion, which was another WW-style "jam <concept> into the Storyteller system, even if it doesn't fit" deal, with the same issue of giving players very limited options to the point where all you can really do is recreate the signature characters except with one different power or something.

Also how has nobody done Scion for these threads?

Oh, Scion. You could pretty easily do stuff outside the signature characters. That wasn't really the problem with it. The problem was that it was completely broken once they released the second book. Scion: Hero, while not perfect or anything, at least had a system that you could play a game in. Once you got to Demigod and God the math just stopped functioning to the point where you can pretty much put away the dice and just start telling people what you do. Also the different god powers were so wildly unbalanced with some being useful and some being absolutely pointless.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Bieeardo posted:

The most horrible thing about Scion for me were the write-ups on the gods. Not only was Artemis a 'skirt-chasing lesbian', but most of the potential divine mothers were described more as divine MILFs. I think it was someone around here who pointed out that the 'jotunblut' power of the Norse group as written up was shockingly insulting to Norse culture-- blood was something you shared with a man that you felt confident calling 'brother', not lesser bodies who might qualify as minions, and certainly not animals.

And for some awful reason, the only thing I can remember from the Demigod opening fiction is a line alluding to a bunch of minotaurs jerking their beef while one of the signature characters gives them a pep talk.

Oh for sure. The pantheons were all described in the most stereotypical and offensively ignorant way possible. Like the Aztec pantheon being strictly "savage" and bloodthirsty and so on. Which I can at least be sympathetic to the writers in that they are trying to distill an entire culture's complex religious beliefs into a five page spread that also includes pictures and a couple sidebars but even so. If it is going to be way too time consuming and difficult to research and present the gods in a meaningful way, at least try to do something interesting or unique with them so that the changes stand out as being unique instead of "I heard that maybe blood or something was important to the Norse? Whatever, we have minion creation rules from Vampire we can transfer over." and then moving on.

It's sad, really, because I was super excited about the game when it came out. A modern day demigods game where you mix pantheons and have awesome superhero-like adventures and poo poo? That sounds awesome. Then I got the first book and was like "Whatever, I can work with this." I got one session in, got a look through the second book and then didn't have a second session.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Evil Mastermind posted:

Check out Part-Time Gods. I reviewed it before, and while it's still a little crunchy, it's nowhere near Scion's level, and it's designed to let you adapt a large amount of generally-defined powers to your godly concept instead of having to bend your character concept around a limited selection of rigid powers.

Looking it over right now and it sounds very interesting. Seems to be a bit of a cross section between Scion and American Gods.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

theironjef posted:

Sure. Your stats range from 6 to -6, with lower numbers being better.

I just need to hop in here and point out that it is, in fact, the exact opposite and Jef is actually a big dumb idiot that smells like a butt and looks like a butt and is probably a butt.

Jesus, man, it's like you don't even care enough to memorize the stupid rules of the bullshit games we review.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Yeah, the whole point of the positive or negative value was adding together the two things (So a +2 stat and a -4 modifier skill to get a -2 check) and then taking the absolute value of that and then rolling that value plus 3 and then taking either the best 3 rolled if value was positive or worst 3 rolled if it was negative. That system was way more complicated than it needed to be.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, I wouldn't argue that at all, it's pretty :effort:. I just wouldn't presume the authors were necessarily trying to crank out a book to just try and squeeze furs of their hard-furned furbucks.

Furbucks made me think it would be a furry themed Starbucks. Which made me look up if someone had already done that. Which led me to find that "furbucks" was the currency in a Furby based video game. Which made me wonder if anyone made a Furby RPG. Which of course someone has. This is the rabbit hole of the internet.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Count Chocula posted:

English majors? People who prefer words to numbers? So much of the hobby is charts and graphs; let the rest of us have our gorgeous, flowery prose. That's what fantasy was in the Lord Dunsany days before Tolkien and Gygax came along. And stop trying to 'understand' everything. Experience it.

Nobilis set my brain on fire like nothing since Unknown Armies and Exalted's Shaping Combat is how I see the world sometimes - it's a narrative that we tell ourselves.

Man, I have a degree in literature and I do not begrudge someone some flowery prose but Nobilis took that poo poo right over the top. Also, it's a game not a book or a movie, I kind of need to understand it. If all I do is "experience" the book and then one of my players asks me how a specific mechanic works I can't just tell him to relax and let the experience of not knowing what the gently caress you're doing wash over him. It's fine to give me all the foofy, flowery poetic stuff when you describe your setting or the characters or things like that but when it comes time to tell how the actual mechanics of a game works I don't want it to read like Bjork telling me about a dream she once had.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Moran writing a book set in Jorune and using the Star Fleet system would be the perfect storm of bullshit to make me go insane.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

I liked the idea of the wild die, in theory. I pretty much always like when a system has some stupid thing that adds to rolling so as to make it more interesting. That said, the whole thing was just poorly thought out. If it was "On a 1, there is some added complication to the action" then that would be awesome. It's the fact that they were like "Maybe don't do anything at all or maybe totally gently caress your players in the rear end! Whatever!" that made the Wild Die a terrible idea.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Mors Rattus posted:

It has some really clever ideas and some really neat writing and it was written by someone who is literally insane.

Basically this is what I took away from it. It's like someone went "But how would time travel actually play out?" and then disappeared for 10 years. When he returned, haggard and wild-eyed, he had a stack of papers marked C°ntinuum. "I know their secrets, now", he whispered to nobody before erupting with mad laughter. His insane cackling echos in his soft, white room to this day.

What I'm saying is this book is cuckoo for cocoa puffs.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

theironjef posted:



You know what I'm sick of? Reviewing things anyone has heard of or gives a poo poo about. Here's a review of a LARP we bought for three dollars. It is exactly that good.

System Mastery 27 - Nexus: Live Action Roleplaying - Play This Book, Vol. 1

At least with this one, the fact that we didn't do any research is excusable since the internet has no idea what the hell this book is.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

I like that they dropped some adventure module from 16 dollars down to one dollar but they still think people are going to pay 10 bucks for loving Nexus. I like to imagine it's because they saw our podcast and were like "Hot drat, it's back on the radar! Jack the price up, boys!"

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Yeah. That was the big surprise for us when reading through Maid. I mean, is it super creepy and weird in a lot of ways? Yes, of course. But as I read I just kept finding myself going "Man, that's a really cool idea. I like how they did that." and it made me feel kind of dirty that I was actively enjoying a book about rapey anime maids. I totally love the system separate from the setting.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

theironjef posted:

Judge me not lest ye have also surrendered to the beacon of ecstasy that is the peanut butter bacon burger.

I hate mayo but my understanding is that it is also customarily added. I would suggest against it.

You might not think peanut butter and mayo on a burger would be good. You would be wrong. It's so goddamn good.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

theironjef posted:

It's always like just D&D except the author is really mad about the bullshit crossbow loading time, or the incubation period of old-timey diseases. Like "Man I like this RPG but I saw an episode of Ancient Warfare and I can no longer tolerate these crossbow loading shenanigans. It's time someone came up with a better way!"

So since we did the podcast already I was able to do some research on this guy. Turns out that he apparently just read a whole poo poo load of books on tips and tricks to be a better writer. Which means my "Favorite Thing" of the mechanic where you have a Motivation and then a Flaw that directly impedes that was just something he lifted wholesale from a book on writing. Also, he ended up using that Fairies in Nightgowns picture for a novel he wrote since the player's handbook for Fantasy Imperium never materialized...for some reason. I guess he always wanted to be a writer and the RPG thing was just a weird side project. Looks like it came from him probably looking at a roleplaying book and going "I could do that. How hard could writing an RPG be." Which explains why everything is just either written out with no explanation of how it works in game (like the spells) or in a chart because he didn't know or care about mechanics at all.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

I can't wait to slog through 1400 pages of incomprehensible Final Fantasy garbage with random tables for just how spiky your hair is. 1-10: Spiky. 11-40: Very Spiky. 41-80: Big and Spiky. 81-100: Super Saiyan.

What I really want, though, is that WWE RPG so I can talk about my man-crush on The Rock for the entire podcast.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Ningyou posted:

Summerland bills itself as 'a roleplaying game of desolation and redemption in the Sea of Leaves,' which probably sounds snappier than 'the Last of Us with less angry MUSHROOM PPL and more buried trauma,' but...well. Let's unpack this, mm~?

The description of this started out so interesting. Unexplainable phenomenon with crazy collapse of the world so you get a green post-apocalypse instead of the traditional brown Mad Maxian one. Then randomly it decides that this game is actually about unbearable human suffering and trauma and trying to get over it. Also how broken does someone have to be that a group of hard scrabble survivors would be like "We know you have immunity to the forest magic because your poo poo's all hosed but ummm...we'll take our chances with the killer trees, thanks. Please, leave". Like unless that guy is straight up some kind of homicidal maniac, you'd think you would want to keep him around.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

No but for real though. Like a lot of vodka.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Heliotrope posted:

You know, when you guys joked about a Riverdale High game I immediately thought "Monsterhearts." Veronica is a Queen, Moose is a Werewolf, Archie is a Mortal who keeps changing his True Love, Jughead is a Ghoul with a Hunger for hamburgers. I don't know what the rest would be though :v:

Having never played or read Monsterhearts, Reggie could be a Serpentine or a Witch

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Evil Mastermind posted:

Oh, I hadn't heard of that.

Aren't the Marvel and YuGiOh dice games just reskins of Quarriors?

More or less. Though the D&D version added an experience mechanic to it so you can have heroes gain xp the longer they're around but lose it all if they die. I like the dicemaster game but I wish they supported play across the different versions so you can have a team with wolverine, blue eyes white dragon, and a beholder.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Man, it is super weird to hear that people are calling Witch Girls a fetish thing because it really doesn't present itself as fetish material at all. The art has no standard sexualization to it and even the transformation stuff doesn't have that "lingering on the transformation itself" thing like in that picture you posted. There is maybe one chapter opening story about Lucinda that is hosed up but that seemed more to reflect that the character is a terrible person than it being about sexy transformations. All the rules for play and everything else was just standard RPG. Maybe I just can't see it because I'm not into that poo poo.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

I guess it comes down to whether author information means anything to you and stops you from enjoying the product. Like some people can't enjoy Ender's Game now because Orson Scott Card is an rear end in a top hat. For me, if I found out that the guy that wrote Willow was a transformation fetishist and was wanking to the scene where everyone turns into pigs that would be weird but wouldn't make me hate the movie. I think Lucinda is a lovely character but then I think the given sample characters for a lot of games are lovely. You can use WGA for a totally normal tween witch romp where nobody even has any skill in the Alteration school.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

hyphz posted:

Turns out that System Mastery has solved that problem for us.

DAME HILDA PUNCHWITCH

This makes me happy. You ended up statting her out almost exactly the way I did except I had taken Tough instead of Goody Goody since it gives a universal +1 to resist magic instead of just harmful spells. Also good to see you found the Sweet Tooth drawback is the most obviously able to be ignored. Didn't mention it in the podcast but it's the only one of the Negative Knacks that can be entirely obviated if you get one rank in summoning since that lets you summon candy. It's also fun to note that the sample combat takes place without the aid of magic. If we get rank 3 in Alteration, we can cast Grow on ourselves to get up to the d12+2 Body die type which is important since that is the break point where we gain yet another action. So if we Hulk out, we can get one more punch in for 60 total damage. It is worth noting that a Dragon, one of the big bads of the monster section, has 34 HP.

edit: Actually, it looks like we do even more. The damage calculation should be base damage 12 + 6 for Fighting + 4 for punch action (every 3 ranks in fighting gives +1 damage) + 2 for wand = 24 damage per punch or the equivalent of a Rank 6 damage spell, the highest rank given in the game.

Grnegsnspm fucked around with this message at 17:51 on Mar 18, 2015

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

PJOmega posted:

What school is made irrelevant by Netflix?

Film school! Boom! Thanks, I'll be here all week.


I couldn't ask for a better representation of the cheese dude mascot.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Rand Brittain posted:

It's also a small industry where everybody is struggling, so I don't think it's really surprising for fans to get defensive and try to push back against bad reviews, since they can meaningfully hurt the game by putting a few people off who might have been interested.

This is entirely why we went with the out of print/super old qualifier for the games we review. We don't want to make it so that some local game store loses out on some money because we dumped all over the Dark Legions of the Shadow World 8th Edition New for 2015. Getting super defensive about a game you already own and that isn't for sale anymore confuses the hell out of me. I guess if it's something you define yourself by, like "I am a D&D 2nd Ed player" then someone saying "2nd Ed was a dumpster fire of bad ideas and worse implementation" might seem like they are attacking you personally.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Kai Tave posted:

Don't forget the Lawnmower Man RPG! I actually briefly owned a copy of that thanks to an RPG book white elephant exchange and it was about as dumb and pointless as you might imagine.

I found a copy of that on ebay a while ago and I am still kicking myself for not picking it up for the podcast. I love that incredibly stupid movie so much and I really wanted to see what the hell you would even base a game in that universe on.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

I need a Snakeman named Cuban Pete

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

God drat you people. I've spent the better part of the day with theironjef hashing out how to make a workable system out of TORG that eventually turned into Sliders meets Marvel's Exiles meets Quantum Leap that is basically nothing like the source material anymore outside of "there are other dimensions" and "they have governing laws to their reality".

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

theironjef posted:



Space 1889! Did you want an interesting gaslight fantasy space RPG? Or did you want a boring, wordy, pointless, vaguely racist diatribe about the pluck of the 1880's British Empire and aqueduct design? Today, you get both.

Mostly just the aqueduct design, though. Like, the gaslight fantasy is in there. It's just buried in the encyclopedia entry about average rainfalls and the history of British colonialism.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Hyper Crab Tank posted:

Is it this one? It has the good taste to use Papyrus on the cover. How can it not be excellent?

e:f,b

We have a winner. That is indeed the one sitting on my shelf for Books of Podcast Future.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Plague of Hats posted:

Speaking of System Mastery, I went to the used book store and found something I'd like to send along after I read it. Here's a taste:



Please don't post my yearbook photos, thx

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

chaos rhames posted:

loving dominos?

No, just regular dominoes.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Pieces of Peace posted:

Apologies to theironjef. (Double apologies if I'm getting confused and John is the one who hates steampunk more)

We both do. It's terrible. Jef probably has more hate in his black heart, though.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

theironjef posted:

I can dig it, but Jon don't know from Final Fantasy, so he'd probably be confused and irritated. Actually, that's generally my favorite kind of show.

Motherfucker, I have played almost every Final Fantasy game outside the very latest ones. Don't you throw me under the bus because you're too lazy to read a large book of stupid crap.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Oh yeah, I'm not saying we SHOULD read it. Just that if we did I would be enraged and saddened for entirely different reasons. That reason would be a total lack of Blitzball. I mean, come on. We can all agree that's the best thing to come out of any Final Fantasy game, right?

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Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

The discussion about satire and if it works or not made me realize what the game actually reminds me of. It's the RPG equivalent of Scary Movie and its (Blank) Movie ilk. It is sold to you as a comedy that is a satire of genre conventions but ends up being the lowest effort poop and dick humor slapped onto endless "jokes" that are actually just references to things in pop culture. In the same way that Epic Movie doesn't hold together as a cohesive piece of cinema, HOL doesn't really stand up as being a cohesive, playable game. I hate both of these things but at least one of those lovely movies is done in 90 minutes and I can dick around on my phone during it. I had to actually spend hours reading HOL while it stupidly invited me to laugh at monkey cheese "mature" humor and references to such timely pop culture icons of 1994 as Elvis and the Silver Surfer.

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