View Full Version : What game(s) changed the way you play?

2007-03-10, 08:34 PM
I accept that there may be nothing that qualifies for some people who might be playing in essentially the same way as they always have. Or indeed that it wasn't a game that caused significant change in their play style.

For those who this does apply, what was your gateway game to a different kind of experience? I've gone on at length elsewhere (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=252750)about the effect of Wushu, but while that's my every-game now, it isn't what kicked off my journey that ended there.

My gateway game was Feng Shui in 1997. It came at a time when I'd been through AD&D 2e, and was starting to burn out on all things White Wolf (though it wasn't the last I'd see of their games). It was a breath of fresh air, a complete change to everything I'd seen up to this point. The idea that effect, rather than the composite of actions should determine difficulty was completely new to me. That you should get creative with the narration of what you were doing (stunts).

Also the distinction at the mechanical level between those who mattered (named characters, like the PCs and Big Bads) and those who didn't (mooks). It gel-ed really well with the source material, to which I was (and still am) a big fan. I think it was the first time I say mechanical genre emulation of any kind. Or at least recognised it.

Freeform magic was another revelation. Sure it gave the GM a whole load of power with fiat, but it ditched all the kludge of spell lists and the like.

"The map is not your friend". First time I'd seen this very advice to forget about sweating the details of what was where. And letting players invent stuff in the environment without asking the permission of the GM.

Something else that I'd never considered before: having a defined structure for any game. Three fight scenes with a linkage between them, an ideal format for any action game, really. Starting out with a fight too.

The only bits I didn't like were the arcanotech from 2056, and the sheer volume of Fu schticks (nothing in comparison to Exalted, say, but still too much for me). Even so, they were minor considerations. I'd still consider running Feng Shui now if I thought my players needed a little more direction than Wushu.

So how about you? Does anything qualify for you?

Bears With Lasers
2007-03-10, 09:19 PM
Nobilis. Recently, Dogs in the Vineyard and Spirit of the Century have taught me a lot about using mechanics to directly shape the playing experience.

2007-03-10, 10:01 PM

How and in what way did it affect the way you play?

2007-03-11, 12:38 AM
My first game was D&D 3.0/3.5 (my cousins played the former, my high school group the latter), but my real turning point was my introduction to Exalted when I hit college.

I attribute the change partly to the system and partly to the groups. Before, I'd mostly played with a pretty goofy crowd, not as much concerned with character as with mechanics, and the guy running the after-school group wasn't even particularly concerned with verisimilitude (He dealt with the fact that half the group was--shall we say irregular--by waving his hand and saying "You find as you wake up that some of your friends have mysteriously vanished and others mysteriously appeared." But then I hit that group--they were all three years older than me, ran far more to character-driven games (how I ended up being the sane one I still have no idea, though), and of course, it was the first time I'd ever messed with a system that gave bonuses for good description (my acquired tendency to describe attacks in detail has carried over to every game I've played since) and permitted customization without ruining a character for a role. And seeing equal mechanical emphasis on noncombat and combat--well, I learned about ways of sidestepping encounters, about taking the story in my teeth and running with it, and about occasionally doing The One Thing My GM Doesn't Expect.

2007-03-11, 01:40 AM
Oh... probably Mage and its' associated books. The magic system was freeform, creative, and it was probably the first thing in a paper and pencil RPG which got me really _thinking_ about things.

In the long run, it definitely changed how I play, and how I DM as well.

2007-03-11, 01:44 AM
The later years of AD&D were pretty good for my group's gaming experience. The dawn of the Complete Handbooks and the Combat and Tactics book was pure gold for that edition. Skills and Powers was OK. I'd have to say that a lot of the old Greyhawk stuff, and even some Mystara stuff flavored the game table. Return to the Tomb of Horrors made some great memories as well. :smallbiggrin:

2007-03-11, 04:25 AM
I have to second that one...
Taught me what RPing is all about.

2007-03-11, 11:57 AM
"D&D" (+"HeroQuest") taught me about dungeons, then about the wider world.
WEG's "SWd6" taught me about pacing pulp action games.
"Cyberpunk 2020" taught me that good mechanics can simulate *anything*.
"Ars Magica" taught me about character-driven role-play.
"Pendragon" taught me about putting long-term development, meta-plot (what happens when the characters aren't around) and symbolism into games.
"Fading Suns" taught me how to mash anything and everything into a game, but do it in a way that works.