Sunday, August 24, 2014

#RPGaDay Post 24

I ran across the idea for this blogfest at The Other Side and decided to participate because it seemed like a good way to get back into the groove on posting since work has been keeping all of us so busy lately.   At least a few of these topics have been covered in previous posts but here it goes...

Most Complicated RPG Owned
I have owned some of the games - Hero 5E, GURPS, and MERP for example - that would most often be thought of as complicated.  I traded MERP away because I was looking for something that felt like the animated version of The Hobbit and it did not.  I owned the original GURPS boxed set (that I lost to the ravages of time) but I did later get the GURPS Third Edition book but I passed it down to my cousin after introducing him to the hobby.  I had planned to get the Fourth Edition books but I have not as of yet.  After owning several versions of Champions over the years, I snagged a copy of Hero System 5th Edition and was totally captivated by the big black book.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find a group to use the rules with so I got rid of Hero 5E in the last great game purge; I will never have another one, by the way!

The most complicated game in my collection is Adventures in Fantasy.  The complicated manner of the rules does not come from rules density or a bunch of number-crunching but from the rules being presented in a sloppy, confusing manner.  Anybody that has spent some time reading through these rules will tell you that they are at least one edit away from being presentable.  For instance, during the character generation section of the rules each player has a set of characteristics (similar to D&D Abilities) that are generated with percentile dice.  The rules state that there are 5 basic characteristics and 2 optional characteristics to generate.  The number of characteristics  does not match the characteristics described.  I believe there is only one optional characteristic labelled as such.  The only way I found out for certain was looking at a third party product!  Another area that suffers from poor editing or poor presentation choice would be the formulas.  The formulas do not require intense calculations but are presented in a less than ideal method.  If you have a formula that requires you to add half of your strength and one-third of your stamina to get your hit points it might look like this:

STR/2 + STA/3 = HP (No, this is not the actual formula but an example.  I was just being too lazy to look it up.)

That is easy to follow and it should be clear that STR is strength, STA is stamina, and HP is hit points. The formulas used throughout Adventures in Fantasy do not follow that standard but actually look like this:

A/2 + B/3 = C

The formula does not serve as a shorthand reminder but actually requires you to read the example paragraph and follow along to figure the score.  It is not truly complicated but it is very inconvenient. It gets worse in other sections of the rules that include much more detailed formulas to use.              

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