Saturday, March 22, 2014

March Madness Non-D&D Blog Challenge: Days 19 to 22 Catchup

 Yeah, yeah, I know.  You're supposed to do one each day, but it didn't quite work out that way for me this week.  Anyway, here are my responses for 19 thru 22:

19 What is the fluffiest RPG you have played?
I haven't played many games that I'd consider fluffy.  At first I thought that perhaps this is because my wargaming and historical roots led me to crunchier games.  But on reflection I couldn't even think of very many games, played or not, which I would even call fluffy.  So I'll go with a Paranoia and Empire of the Petal Throne in a tie for first place.  Paranoia had simple rules because it's really all about the silly fluff of the setting.  The rules are simple because they aren't very important to play.  EPT had more rules (OD&D based) but it, too, was all about the unique setting, with totally new monsters and creatures, totally new PC races, and all sorts of new and different stuff which no other game had.

20 Which setting have you enjoyed most?
Well, again I'm going to make this one a multiple  tie for first place.  This time it's Paranoia and EPT, plus Eberron and Exalted.  I'm a collector of settings and even just maps of settings.  When it comes to buying gaming products I'm looking for settings first.

Paranoia is perhaps an odd choice here, because the setting, Alpha Complex, has only just enough detail to grease the wheels for play but is otherwise totally unmapped.  The complex is not detailed in any way, and the wider world setting for the complex is not detailed either.  But I found that made it a lot of fun to develop those areas--more fun than for other games.

Next is EPT, which is a fascinating mix of non-European cultural elements plus bits of science fiction sprinkled in.  The setting has a lot of supplements to dive into and even it's own languages and writing systems.  I love the depth, the detail, and the non-European vibe.

And then there's Eberron.  I resisted buying any Eberron stuff for the longest time.  I'm not even sure why.  Perhaps it just sounded too weird to be "proper" D&D fantasy.  But once I started reading up on the setting I was hooked.  I'm still collecting the books now.  It really is an excellent twist on D&D, with comfortably familiar D&D elements but new takes on every aspect.  I also liked that the world was not a dumpster full of every historical and literary trope like D&D's Forgotten Realms or Pathfinder's Golarion.  Each area of Eberron felt like it's own entity, not just a light re-skin of Aztec meso-America or something.

Last is Exalted.  This is another game which I totally ignored for a very long time.  White Wolf's game line never really interested me.  They all seem to be based on the idea that the PCs are sort of superhero-ish, more powerful than mortals but flawed and living outside of the normal world.  That's not really my thing.  I prefer games which are more down on the gritty/realistic end of the scale. And I'm not sure I'd ever actually run a game of Exalted, except for a dark game with the PCs as Abyssal lords of undeath.  But the campaign world is brilliant.  I love all the cosmological concepts for how the world is structured,  how the Exalted fit in, and even way the world frays at the edges into Chaos.  This is another setting which I'm slowly collecting just for the setting itself.

What is the narrowest genre RPG you have ever played?
Wow, there are a lot of contenders for this one.  Call of Cthulhu and Paranoia top the list.  But Call of Cthulhu can easily be set in many time periods, so I'll go with Paranoia.  In Paranoia the PCs live in a massive closed city called Alpha Complex.  An entire game can take place inside of Alpha Complex, so it's literally narrow in physical setting, but it is also narrow culturally.  There's really just the one culture, albeit with many hidden, odd subcultures.

What is the most gonzo kitchen sink RPG you ever played?
Hmm, I don't think I've every played a gonzo game.   The genre just doesn't interest me.  The closest I can think of is Gamma World, at least the way we played it.  So I'll go with Gamma World.  You roll up a mutant with random abilities, then wander around running into all sorts of random mutants and oddball groups of survivors.

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