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GM or System?


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#1 Loswaith

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:23 PM

Im posting this here as it has alot more to do with the content of the various posts in this section than any others, and it seems to be a kind of unofficial review forum so to speak.

Basically the general Idea i get from most of the reviews is that the game is good though the general aspects points are made about seem to be more inclined towards the GMs ability to portray the system across to the players and the NEW factor of the game itself, rahtet than the merits and flaws of the system itself.

By new factor I more the basis when something is new people are generaly more intrested and get enjoyment from it because its new and fresh moreso than other aspects such as quality and the like.

In the 20 odd years I have been playing RPGs, its become obvious that the quality of the GM means alot to how good a system is percieved.  A good GM can put a shine on a turd, while a bad one can sully a diamond.  This is not just limited to the GM by any means as the players themselves can have an influence on this as well but the GM is typically the largest factor.

What I am curious about is what is the system like taking out the GM factor, meaning GM and player skills/factors aside how does the system/game stand on its own merits/flaws.  I hope others are just as curious as well, and any responses are helpful to more than just me.



#2 NezziR

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:44 PM

Good question. I agree that GM presentation has a lot to do with game quality, but putting that aside, the system is solid and has a lot of fun elements. The core concepts of the game, the dice pools, the card system, the character sheets and career details, and other minutia work well and do what they are supposed to do.

I think a more important point is, the game is easy to learn and easy for GMs, experienced and not, to step in quickly and produce a quality play experience.

Don't be blinded by the shiny tokens. There's some good stuff here. The focus seems to have shifted from 'imposing restrictions' to 'granting freedoms'. It will become more clear once you've had a chance to read the books.



#3 Loswaith

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 07:07 PM

Well the general premis is to not have to get the game to have a reasonable idea about it. 

Two main factors to that is it may never be released in Australia (which happens fairly regularly) be it due to the shops not wanting it to stock it or it simly not being provided or a number of other factors, and the cost of it likely being around $150AU to even just look in the box.  Rarely do any of the games shop around my area let you crack open a boxed set to look at, and when they do its under the provisor you will buy it anyway.

Care to elaborate on "the system is solid and has alot of fun elements"  as in of itself the comment offers no real information (no offence meant by the comment).

I also think the shiny tokens while wont distract experienced GMs/players too much past the initial new factor, it will heavily influence new (to role-playing) GMs/Players into treating it more like a board game or computer game (though having experienced games in a group with new can curb that effect), as I have seen happen with systems without the shinies.  A major shame realy because if it does then I think they will miss alot of the richness that role-playing can offer.

 



#4 NezziR

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:41 PM

"the system is solid and has alot of fun elements" doesn't refer to anything you haven't seen. It's the dice pool system, the multi-level success/penalty system, the 3-Act episodes, the 2-page bestiary layout, and all of the other thoughtful things that went into creating the system.

Being able to accurately evaluate a game like this takes time. There's the initial test, like the demo games, then theres a cooldown to think about things, then another game. After a couple of games and some time to think about things you get a feel for what the problems and the strong points are.

I've played three so far, with that 'cooldown' to think about things, and I still think it's a very solid system and it's fun to play. There's a lot of information on the games in my "Nashville" demo thread.  I've found a few problems, but I've gotten them all resolved, to my satisfaction, in the forums. That's just me though. Opinions may vary. Ultimately, you have to play it yourself and make your own decision. Actually, take my review with a grain of salt, please. Try it yourself and make your own decision.

GL, I hope you get to take a good look at it - and I hope you enjoy it.

Edit: I think something needs to be said. I've had a lot more time than most to examine things. I work at home, and I (currently) work a midnight shift (12 hour shifts, 7 days a week, till after the holidays). Things are pretty quite on midnights and I end up with a lot of time to fill. I've spent that time reading, writing, and wh*ring the forums. So, I have a leg up on the average person as far a exposure goes. It's been nice though. It's been a great way to keep myself occupied during the 'long dark'.

 



#5 Jericho

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:07 PM

 I'm a long time GM of WFRP, D&D, Star Wars, MERP etc.

I'm the permanent GM of my group. They have always wanted me to GM, and, barring a few very short adventures GMed by others, I've always been the one, and with great pleasure.

Where I'm getting at is that as the years go by, the main aspects I look for in a game is simple yet good rules, and a ruleset that doesn't overload the GM with things to do "in the background". A game geared for GMs. I get the feeling that V3 goes in that direction: giving tools to the GM to liberate him and facilitate his work. Players can handle convoluted and complex rules, but the GM, sometimes dealing with a dozen NPCs in the same scene, can and is often swamped by a rules overload situation.

I want rules that will let me create whatever scene I can think of, with as many NPCs as needed, but that will give me rules to stay afloat while GMing it !


———
The time of change has come!

#6 NezziR

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:12 PM

...and it's very much like that. Less load on the GM. My 'trips to the books' to look up rules are much more infrequent. In our last game, I think we had to stop once to look something up - we wanted a closer look at the first-aid and healing rules.



#7 schoon

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 04:12 AM

I honestly don't think any game will be able to take out the "GM Factor."

The quality - or lack thereof - of the GM is going to be intrinsic to the players' experience and perception of the game.

That said, I agree entirely with earlier posts that this system does tend to make the GM's life easier, and gives him a number of tools for "telling a tale."



#8 Loswaith

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 06:16 PM

It also gives them some additional tools for laying the smack down on the PCs.  Or even tools allowing them to ignore the story telling.  Its once again purely dependant on the GM.

Simple fact a good GM will make a game look and feel good (reguardless of the quality of the system), a bad one can make a brilliant system look and feel crap.






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