Wednesday, 27 August 2014

#RPGaDAY: Day 27 - Game you would like to see a new/improved edition of

This is quite the hot topic at the moment, what with Onyx Path rolling out the All-New World of Darkness Second Edition Show (formerly [apt and/or pretentious title] the [iconic antagonist] Chronicle), and D&D (ostensibly) 5th Edition now fresh off the printers and allegedly smelling of fish (literally, and I've certainly had gaming products which had that particular ink-smell problem before).
Angel sarcophagus ON THE MOON!
Sign me up!*

The God-Machine Chronicle release for nWoD is a truly massive overhaul, involving pretty major alterations to every aspect of the game's design. The basic resolution mechanic is the same, but there is a lot more focus on intrinsic abilities, and the 'Condition' mechanic, which basically borrows a page from Fate's playbook and allows a great many powers and effects to pin a description on their target which either gives them penalties or gives other characters advantages against them until they can resolve the Condition in some way.

It also links experience and character progression directly to in-play action rather than raw game time clocked, and decouples morality and sanity. There are a huge number of changes that I really like, and in particular the preview material for Mage and Forsaken suggests that the writers have a much, much stronger handle on what they are actually trying to do with the game than they did with the first editions.

Of course, it's a tabletop game and I mostly (only) play WoD in a LARP setting where about 50-75% of the changes would be a massive headache to implement, but I can hardly criticise the games for that; it would like complaining that hammer is no good for whisking eggs, or at least that my frying pan is too shallow to make sauces in. National-scale LARP societies is not what the game is written for (and given White Wolf's history with the Cam, you can see that they might really not want to go there again.)

This one is newer than mine; I don't know if
there is a yet-newer one.
On top of the announced games, I'd like to see them take a revised run at Geist, which is the game I run and - as we work in a much smaller arena than the big four (Requiem, Lost, Forsaken and Awakening) - it would be something I actually could implement. It's needed as well, as there's still a lot that doesn't entirely tie together in the game as is. I'd like to see Synergy function as a balance mechanic rather than being shoehorned into the linear, unidirectional morality system (they are apparently doing something of the sort with Werewolf's Harmony, so I might just nick that when it's unveiled).

This (or Unisystem cinematic) is
basically my new edition of anything I
don't like the system of.
I hear that there is a new Feng Shui out/due, which would be interesting to take a look at, although my ideal wuxia RPG would be one more removed from the Shadowfist setting. There is also Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd Edition, which intrigues me strangely. Onyx Path, again, is revising the Aeon series (Adventure!, Aberrant and Trinity) and that intrigues me, especially the first two (I was never really taken with Trinity, although a closing down sale at the game shop means I have, like, all the material knocking around at home).

But this is all tangential to the point, which is what would I like to see revised, rather than what is being revised. I have to admit, this question is complicated by the fact that I realised recently that I can pretty much run anything I like the setting of, but not the system, in Fate Core with a little prep work; possibly less than learning a new system would take.

I suspect that there are games I would get excited about a new edition for. Hell, I was mad keen when I heard there was a new AFF, wasn't I? But I don't think that there is anything that I think 'man, if only they would revise that', in part because I'm now an experienced enough rules hacker to be confident changing anything that doesn't make sense, and I haven't felt bounded by 'canon' setting since Kung Fu Vampire Hunters at the latest.

Look for the #RPGaDAY hashtag for more on new editions, and check back tomorrow when I'll talk at you about the scariest game I've ever played; or something like it anyway.

* If there are no angels in sarcophagi on the moon in GMC, please tell me; break my heart clean.**

** I would totally accept Mars as an alternative.