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Beatty

Just discovered Genesys, skeptical

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So let start by saying I have played and love the FFG line of Star Wars RPG. The mechanics are extremely easy to learn yet in depth enough to keep you going for a long long time. (Still wish there was a complete Race and Planet listing somewhere but supplements wouldn't sell if there was I guess.) Now, that said I am unsure of any generic RPG system because I hate to say it but Brand absolutely matters. If the Star Wars game wasn't themed Star Wars I would have never even looked at the book on the self at all.

 

So aside from the Arkham Horror (which another company has the rights for the Call of Cthulhu RPG already) I don't know of a single theme I would go for. Runewars is a cheap rip off of a generic fantasy game and I have never liked it and Android is just a generic Shadowrun rip off. The only way I see this working is if they can get the rights to something that actually attracts a larger audience. But honestly I can't think of one right now. And as for a Hero theme how many failed Marvel RPG's are there? I played several and they're all Awful!

I know I'm being cynical but I am also being honest. If a RPG doesn't have a good theme it FAILS bad. That has always been the law of RPG's. I've been playing since the early 80's and I have seen many games. Some games had amazing mechanics but the theme was bad so it failed. Some the theme was great but the mechanics drove players away. The balance needs to be there and I just don't realistically see it happening. Role playing is already a niche gaming type and using a Niche theme like Runewars would fail. That theme may work for a board game but not for a RPG. 

So what themes are left?

Edited by Beatty

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I think Genesys is mainly for people who already know the swrpg system and want to do more with those dice in games that aren't Star Wars. I know a LOT of people, including almost everyone in all three of our tabletop games ( two swrpg and one 5e d&d) that want to do more with these dice than just Star Wars. Heck, there are tons of fan made fantasy conversions that people have made up to fill that need. 

 

Branding doesn't matters for this, in my opinion. This game is for people wanting to use narrative dice in their games. And we don't know what this book is going to actually cover and how in depth.  I trust FFG to make something that's going to allow their players to make something great.

 

Maybe this system will get a few new players at local game shops, because hey, not everyone likes Star Wars or wants to play something in that setting, but they've heard good things about the narrative dice.  I think the game will just be fine. We have six months until the book comes out, who knows what it has in store for us! 

 

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Your analysis is nonsense.

You start out by saying a system can't be successful if it doesn't have a popular theme coupled with good mechanics, but then you dismiss Android and Runewars as ripoffs as if that's a definitve world view of their popularity, except  for the fact they are successful themes.  Both backgrounds are very popular in FFG's line, so by your own definition since they have a good set of mechanics in the NDS, and they have popular themes, while you may not like them, they are popular, it should do just fine, by your own standard.

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Interesting analysis, but ultimately flawed. Brand matters in a good many cases, but not in all. If indeed brand was the only issue, games like Savage Worlds, Cortex Prime, and Fate Core wouldn't sell. But we know that they do, otherwise they'd be out of print (and their companies out of business). Brand matters, sure, if you're selling a Pepsi Cola versus a generic cola-flavored soda at Walmart. But the truth is that most gamers don't play solely in the worlds they're provided; they tweak things, twist things, make things the way they want them.

If brand was the only thing that mattered, FFG's Star Wars system would enjoy even greater success among Star Wars fans. That's not the case, however, as many people have taken to playing Star Wars games in Fate, Stars Without Number, Savage Worlds, and many other systems, because they prefer those systems. You could say, in those cases, that system matters more than brand. Discounting Genesys because it doesn't have a brand that would attract you is short-sighted.

For the record, Android is not a "cheap Shadowrun rip-off," because Shadowrun wasn't the first to do cyberpunk. The cyberpunk genre ostensibly started with the novels and short stories of William Gibson in the early 80s, and were originally codified into a RPG under the unassuming name "Cyberpunk" a year before Shadowrun's first edition hit the scene. In truth, Shadowrun is derivative of both the cyberpunk and fantasy genres, and while it does a fair job integrating the two, it owes its success to both. Android goes back to the basics, and is the spiritual successor of the cyberpunk name, since it is a direct spawn of the original Cyberpunk RPG (the one that, as I said before, predates Shadowrun) and the subsequent Cyberpunk: Netrunner card game released in 1996. So if anything, you could say that Shadowrun is a rip-off of Android - or at least its ancestor.

As it stands there are plenty of settings out there, and with FFG being as skilled as they are at getting their hands on good properties for licensing, I imagine we are going to see some pretty amazing stuff for Genesys. To be so skeptical so soon after the initial announcement is probably jumping the gun a little bit.

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1 hour ago, Desslok said:

Um, GURPS and HERO? They're still going strong, even 30 years later.

More like GURPS has all the settings. How many ecpansion books does that game have? GURPS horror, GURPS magic, GURPS dinosaurs, GURPS kitchen sink, GURPS Mars Attacks!, etc... Same for RIFTS, wich has everything at the same time ;) (I just got RIFTS Savage Worlds, and the Glitter Boy class made me grin like a pyromaniac in a fireworks factory.)

My problem with a generic systhem is that you have to do all the stat work yourself. Not sure I wanna stat out each and every race/ equipment/ship class for Star Trek.

Edited by Robin Graves

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Actually, RPGs based on licensed properties generally don't sell as well as ones based on original settings. Their are several possible reasons for that and it is debatable

Genesys, GURPS, Hero System, Savage Worlds, FATE, Fudge, D6, D20(sort of), Tri-Stat are all generic systems with no specific setting or even genre attached. You may have heard of some of those, as some of them are the biggest and most established names in RPGs. Generic systems were crazy popular for a while, but have fallen somewhat out of vogue in recent years. Perhaps the pendulum is swinging back again. A company generally does a generic system because they want to produce a lot of different RPGs and don't want to constantly reinvent the wheel. Many of them started out as games in specific settings and where then tweaked, revised, and rebranded as generic when the company decided they wanted to do more. A big advantage of a generic system is the near endless stream of supplements that can potentially be done for it. GURPS, as was mentioned, has a ridiculous number of sourcebooks (many, many of the remarkably good, even if you don't play GURPS).

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I have to respectfully disagree with the OP.  Other then Star Wars, every system I've ever played has been original or based on it's own unique world.  

It can be a bit of harder sell, because you don't have that instant name recognition, but is certainly very doable.  FFG does have some recognition, as they're a fairly good sized gaming company, admittedly more for card and board games.  They have a lot of people who are fans of their games though, and might be interested in playing a rpg based on some of their licenses.  Android, 5 Rings, Descent, etc etc.  They could probably technically do Cthulu, as Lovecraft is old enough to be public domain, though that has been done to death.

I will be curious to see how it sells.  It's  a risk for FFG, and isn't guaranteed to be an immediate success, but if done well I think could sell nicely.

 

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2 hours ago, Split Light said:

They could probably technically do Cthulu, as Lovecraft is old enough to be public domain, though that has been done to death.

 

 

There are a number of non-Call of Cthhulhu rpgs out there, Trail of Cthulhu, Achtung Cthulhu (actually double statted for Call of Cthulhu too) and CthulhuTech.
I think they can do an "Arkham Horror" rpg setting for Genesys without too much trouble. All of FFGs other Chtulhu themed games have a Pulp Adventure feel, than the cosmic exsistensial horror of Call of Cthulhu. So a Genesys game would also serve a different audience than Call of Cthulhu.

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6 hours ago, Beatty said:

So aside from the Arkham Horror (which another company has the rights for the Call of Cthulhu RPG already) I don't know of a single theme I would go for. Runewars is a cheap rip off of a generic fantasy game and I have never liked it and Android is just a generic Shadowrun rip off. The only way I see this working is if they can get the rights to something that actually attracts a larger audience. But honestly I can't think of one right now. And as for a Hero theme how many failed Marvel RPG's are there? I played several and they're all Awful!

I know I'm being cynical but I am also being honest. If a RPG doesn't have a good theme it FAILS bad. That has always been the law of RPG's. I've been playing since the early 80's and I have seen many games. Some games had amazing mechanics but the theme was bad so it failed. Some the theme was great but the mechanics drove players away. The balance needs to be there and I just don't realistically see it happening. Role playing is already a niche gaming type and using a Niche theme like Runewars would fail. That theme may work for a board game but not for a RPG. 

So what themes are left?

Fails badly. Adverbs are not a tool of Satan. :P

 

But I think you're looking at it incorrectly. The whole point is that it provides the tools for someone to world build. Do you want to play a dungeon hack? A Song of Ice and Fire inspired game of fantasy intigue and politics? Or, the dumbed-down Game of Thrones version, which is condensed politicking with boobs? How about a hard sci fi story like the Expanse novels or series? A team of WWII SOE Commandos, larger than life types like William Grover-Williams? A team of elite MI6 00 agents? Steampunk exporers?

That's what Genesys offers. The rules act as a foundation for your world, and whilst they may have world-specific books for the IPs they have in house at the moment, you may not need it. Want to stat out a flying airship that will do battle with the goblin-build airships of the First Orc Empire? Or just pit a Ferrari 488 against a McLaren 720s? Page XXX has stats for building vehicles. Want rules for how a psionic attack can shatter a magical shield? Chapter ABC has the information on magic and psionics that you need. Need to hack Sense/NET's mainframe whilst your Panther Moderns stand guard? Hacking is found on Sidebar YYY in the Skills chapter.

This is what Gensysis offers.

 

 

 

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Keep in mind:

FFG has a LOT of games to draw IP from. Most are NOT licenses; they own the IP. (And much of HPL is into the public domain; the trademarks aren't, but FFG already has a trademark that people know is Cthulhoid - Arkham Horror.)

THe one that has a long history of selling is Legend of the 5 Rings. The LCG is about to come out; I'd be surprised if the new edition of the RPG wasn't next year or sooner, and even more surprised if it was anything other than either Genesys or it's old Roll & Keep; the R&K engine isn't getting much new blood, so I expect it to be in the Narrative Dice System family.

Twilight Imperium has a large following... and they already did an RPG for it... which was just another percentile system with little to make it stand out as an RPG... but with a better engine, it could be a really great setting. (It was both too close and not close enough to Chaosium's engine for its own good. Most percentiles games are.)

Plus, the Dragonstar, Fireborn, Grimm, and Midnight settings could very easily get their next editions as supplements or even standalone "powered by genesys" cores. Dawnforge is unlikely, but maybe.

And then the Boardgames: Android/Netrunner setting, Battlelore, Comsic Encounter, Doom, Descent, Rune Age, Runebound...
Of these, I only see two supporting lines - Android/Netrunner, and CE.
Battlelore might or might not. It's distinctive enough... 

The thing is, if they launch with GOOD setting books for much loved settings either available or announced as coming shortly, they might be able to make the game catch fire with crossover players... both from other NarrDS games, and from the board games. I know 5 or 6 TI fans who would buy a TIRPG core in a heartbeat - they've offered me double cover for the old edition... and they like the NarrDS for both WFRP and SW...

SW is big enough to be a draw-point for it. If they can leverage their other titles, it could go big.

No one really seems to want generic - they seem to want compatible but standalone, but if enough good settings are out for an engine, then many who find it nor horrible will play it for the setting, and expose others to it, and snowball up the system. GURPS pulled a lot of people with various licensed settings: Conan, Humax (Flinx of the Commonwealth), Riverworld, Prime Directive, Traveller, Autoduel (they own it), World of Ogre (they own it, and still mangled it), Discworld, Uplift, Horseclans, The Prisoner, Vorkosiverse... and others. Most of the modern ones making money are "Powered by GURPS" rather than gurps Supplements.

So, I hope they leverage the excellent list of settings they have. Several other boardgames, too - but those don't have enough to launch a setting book from. Who knows? I certainly don't, but I'm looking forward to the L5R 5E, whichever dice system it uses. Even if it's the one from End Of The World...

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13 hours ago, Lanuria said:

I think Genesys is mainly for people who already know the swrpg system and want to do more with those dice in games that aren't Star Wars. I know a LOT of people, including almost everyone in all three of our tabletop games ( two swrpg and one 5e d&d) that want to do more with these dice than just Star Wars.

Exactly. Especially for some small (one evening) adventure/world/whatever ideas we have, the narrative dice are nice. And explaining this to new roleplayers is also quite easy. 10 minutes and they know how to play.

But what FFG obviously never manages is to design easily distinguishable icons. The SW ones already are sub-optimal, and in my optinion, these are even worse (only star-like icons?). We had to paint the SW icons in different colours and this really sped up the whole process.

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5 hours ago, mulletcheese said:

It's a shortcut around disney.

If FFG wanted to add more space opera content without going through the Disney censorship first they can use genesys. As long as the games are compatible it will work.

It is also a contingency plan should FFG lose the liscence - now they can produce the game with no need to have liscence approval.  

Considering the number of posts wanting a generic ruleset, or a stand alone core book, this seems very much in demand.   If the Star Wars roleplay dice are indeed compatible, then this will do well and mitigate and loss of license.

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Some decent points but still Highly Skeptical. Also I played GURPS and me and my groups didn't like it. But as for Original Settings being successful I will agree that is true but definitely not in all cases. 

 

I just don't see myself playing this without some serious Miracle on FFG's developers part. 

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It's fine if you don't think you'll be into it, but expecting it to fail because of your own reservations is a bit short sighted honestly.

Between GURPS, Savage Worlds and Fate, it's clear that generic RPGs can carve out their own section of the market if they're compelling enough. And FFG is starting from a pretty good base with such a popular, unique core mechanic.

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1 hour ago, Tom Cruise said:

It's fine if you don't think you'll be into it, but expecting it to fail because of your own reservations is a bit short sighted honestly.

Between GURPS, Savage Worlds and Fate, it's clear that generic RPGs can carve out their own section of the market if they're compelling enough. And FFG is starting from a pretty good base with such a popular, unique core mechanic.

I agree mostly, but it isn't like this is just a proposed standalone generic system.  As others and myself have pointed out, FFG has a number of their own IPs they can use for setting material. They have a couple/few others that I've no idea if a sourcebook on them is worth the effort, but they're possible.

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I think what's going to ultimately make or break Genesys is just how friendly it is to people creating their own "theme books."

Going by DarthGM's "Fallout: Edge of the Wasteland" conversion he did off of the Star Wars RPG, I'd say that it's not going to be all that difficult.  And there are people that are going to put in the work to create all the different stats; I've seen folks do system hacks for Savage Worlds, FATE, and even Green Ronin's AGE system (done well before they published Fantasy AGE, including a pretty solid Star Wars AGE hack).

I've seen a number of folks do various setting hacks for Green Ronin's Mutants & Masterminds superhero RPG (it's been joked that in creating an RPG that can handle pretty much anything seen in comic books means it can handle pretty much any setting or genre you can dream of), and some of those setting hacks took a lot of work on the GM's part.

Now FFG does have a fair number of IPs they own that they can make into theme books supporting Genesys (Android, Arkham Horror, Midnight, Legend of the Five Rings) to help get the ball rolling.  For instance, when Savage Worlds came out, it probably helped that it had Deadlands as a notable and fairly distinctive setting to help support it, while GURPs has had no shortage of setting materials to draw upon.  FATE had the benefit of having Dresden Files to help raise the system's general profile, with FATE Core simply being such a sound system that's easy to tinker with that making system hacks for it is almost ridiculously easy.

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Deadlands was not only notable, but had a strong (if small) and vocal fanbase who largely liked the mechanics, and that the mechanics were in fact derived from those of Deadlands Classic. (SavageWorlds is essentially the minis game mechanics from the Deadlands Minis game, but with non-combat added back in.)

Plus, they got several others out in key times... Pirates of the Spanish Main, Rocketmen, and Mageknight.  Four fairly developed settings that they brought to a playable standalone core... and that's about when it really started to pick uo.

It's similar with Palladium - all their games use one core, but each major setting has its own core rulebook.

FFG did likewise with End of the World.

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21 hours ago, 2P51 said:

I agree mostly, but it isn't like this is just a proposed standalone generic system.  As others and myself have pointed out, FFG has a number of their own IPs they can use for setting material. They have a couple/few others that I've no idea if a sourcebook on them is worth the effort, but they're possible.

Is this any different to the other generic RPGs? Fate has several licensed tie ins, although some tend towards the more obscure. Savage Worlds started as an update/adaptation of the Deadlands rules, a game which was already reasonably popular, and then the new edition of Deadlands was launched as a Savage Worlds product. GURPS has its fair share of licensed settings too, I believe? Not super familiar with GURPS myself.

EDIT: Didn't read Donovan's post before making this one. Oh well, beaten to the punch :P

Edited by Tom Cruise

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On 7/2/2017 at 1:13 PM, Robin Graves said:

More like GURPS has all the settings. How many ecpansion books does that game have? GURPS horror, GURPS magic, GURPS dinosaurs, GURPS kitchen sink, GURPS Mars Attacks!, etc... Same for RIFTS, wich has everything at the same time ;) (I just got RIFTS Savage Worlds, and the Glitter Boy class made me grin like a pyromaniac in a fireworks factory.)

My problem with a generic systhem is that you have to do all the stat work yourself. Not sure I wanna stat out each and every race/ equipment/ship class for Star Trek.

That seems like a 'you problem'. Cortex Plus Prime, 2d20, Fate, Savage Worlds, Cypher System. We're in a glut of generic systems people can hack into what they want.

And GURPS didn't start with all that. GURPS started with a core book. What makes you think Genesys won't have Horror, Magic, etc., if there's demand? FFG is known for churning out product.

 

On 7/3/2017 at 6:38 AM, Beatty said:

Some decent points but still Highly Skeptical. Also I played GURPS and me and my groups didn't like it. But as for Original Settings being successful I will agree that is true but definitely not in all cases. 

 

I just don't see myself playing this without some serious Miracle on FFG's developers part. 

You're clearly not the target market for this. There's no miracle coming. If "FFG Star Wars, but generic" didn't sell you, they're not really going to offer you anything more.

The game's going to do just fine without your dollars.

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Well said, CitizenKeen!

I feel like it's been said beautifully already; if you were playing SWRPG and thinking "these dice are so elegant in their simplicity, execution, and axes of resolution - I would like to use them for other settings" then FFG have a present for you. If not, then you'll be confused about why all the hype.

 

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