View Full Version : What Makes a Good RPG?

2011-08-04, 11:54 PM
when you try and think of the best possible RPG its seems hard.. well i beg to differ i think it should be an easy thought but a very difficult build. When i think of what the best RPG i think of a game that starts off appealing to all walks of life, people of faith, and every type of personality. while this would be extremely hard to do, it is still attainable. D&D is by no means perfect but it is a good starting base. It lets you build who you want, obviously there are limitations to it but it is well done. you get to chose who you want to be whether human or elf ect... what you want to specialize in str, int, con ect... all of your abilities, skills, and masteries. im just starting to scratch the surface of this game. to recap variety brings people to a game because they can be who ever they want... is that not the purpose of all RPG games; to immerse yourself into a different being to do what you want. not only do you need diversity you need what i think is the most complex part... simplicity with complexity. i know contradictory right :P but no i think they go hand in hand with RPG's. you need it simple enough to attract new comers, but complex enough so that everyone else doesn't get bored. who want to play a game you can pick up in 5 minutes and master? that's why you need it to be basic enough where you can pick it up, but then grow as you play and learn how to truly benefit from all outcomes. after you got variety and both simplicity and complexity you gotta go for the game changer. the game changer is something that happens after you have been playing, something you have been striving for in the game. a part of the game that you have wanted or have strive to become. what's the point in selecting all of your talents and abilities if they don't become something or make you a greater player? this is displayed in D&D its my favorite part when you finally get to the part of the game where you take a transformation. it really does change the game. im not saying D&D is perfect by any means but they have the right ideas coming through the game. so as we look back i think the main things you need are Variety, Game Changer, Simplicity, and Complexity. i could ramble on forever but i think these are the basics. What do you guys think?

Totally Guy
2011-08-05, 02:20 AM
I'd recommend reading more games. Include some weird ones that do weird things.

You'll learn that there is no objectively "best RPG" even in concept. There are instead RPGs that do different things that you can subjectively judge against what they are trying to be.

2011-08-05, 03:15 AM
As Totally Guy said, read more systems, seriously. Especially GURPS (renowned for it's flexibility) and various points buy systems, they tend to be more flexible than the D&D styled "Pick a class.". Or just look into Freeform gaming, no real limits there. Or a rules-light, story orientated system.

But yhea, read up and feel free to borrow stuff from one system you like and use it in another if they're somewhat compatible. (Like D&D but hate it's magic system? BESM's spell-casting system might work better for you! Want to play a dragon but getting migraines just thinking about making one a player character? Take a look at Slayers. And so on and so forth.) Or just make something new to cover/change an aspect of a system you don't like. (Just be careful with the balance.)

2011-08-05, 03:27 AM
I'm not sure the level of complexity is all that important. I've had fun with FATE, and that can easily be learned in ten minutes. I've had just as much fun with 3.5.

I think two things are important for me:
Functional and coherent rules. The rules should adequately portray what they are meant to portray. Difficulties should make sense: if a character can leap 20 feet straight up, but can't jump over a narrow creek (stupid example), it seems fishy.
Fluff. Seriously. If I were to buy an RPG book or PDF, I want to see some interesting writing in it. On a purely intellectual level, I can appreciate elegant rules. But my gut tells me that I want to see pictures, world building and background, and that's what I'll buy.