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lenrussell

Why a new RPG system?

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The Narrative Dice System allows for a much more creative interpretation of dice results beyond the Pass/Fail binary of previous systems. I was a huge GURPS, DnD, and Pathfinder fan. After experiencing SWRPG, those other systems lost their appeal. Genesys is an extension of that philosophy and a welcome change for many of us looking to enjoy other familiar genres with new tools.

Edited by verdantsf

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8 minutes ago, lenrussell said:

What sets Genysis apart from so many that have come before?

GURPS, d20 System, Interlock, Hero, Fuzion, Fudge, Dominion Rules, Cyberpunk, etc.

 

As @verdantsf said: the two-axis dice system is unlike anything that's come before it. Wrapped around that core mechanic is a solid and serviceable but not novel mid-level crunch system. Without the dice you're left with something akin to 2d20 or Savage Worlds. With the dice, you're left with something unlike anything I've seen, and I've been looking for a good generic system since I got my hands on Hero's BBB.

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Genesys is something narrative and tactical at the same time, which means that you have time to do your tactical actions but you need your mind open to see tha scene as a whole, cause the scene is part of the narrative and not just a "ok, let go to this arena and fight, we don't care what is happening outside".

It's more cinematic and abstract also, so a lot of things have just a vague description of options. Somethings really doesn't matter, like ammo or a detailed description, but in the other hand, this is an invitation for players create things, inside and outside the game.

The system is generic, but in my opinion, it's easier to create things than the others generic systems. People like to say that Genesys is "simple but elegant". It's possible to play everything you want without burocracy.

I really believe that Genesys would be a better core system for a lot of games we have outside, like Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, World of Darkness (Vampire, Werewolf, etc.), etc. The combat is easier, the flow is better, the system is dynamic.

Just keep in mind that the core is a toolbox. We all are here trying to create and shape these things. Don't be mad if you read the book and don't feel that the things are finished there. They aren't. The book has some rules, a lot of examples, but you'll need to be an inventor, a designer. Or just wait for the finished books and suplements to play with the things done. It's important, while creating new things, to explore the book, searching for details that can help you to create what you want.

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to everyone interested in running Genesys...

I won't say it's the ONLY system that has ever utilized the concept of both success/failure AND advantage/setback, but it has managed to create a beautifully simplistic way of exercising those two features, and I love the system for that

I've been running the various Star Wars versions of Genesys for a couple of years, and I love the cinematic quality of the system - things move very quickly, compared to far more strategic versions, and the success/fail/advantage/setback systems really offer players a lot of opportunities to be creative AND not feel "boxed in" by only success/failure systems that can seem to rob you of great ideas and heroic moments cuz a die turned up 5 instead of 15...

HOWEVER...and I can't stress this enough...USING boost/setback dice and advantage/threat, and to a similar extent the story points, are ABSOLUTELY VITAL to the system working as intended

You gotta stress to your players (and to yourself) that finding reasons to assign setback/boost dice, and spending advantage/threat, and using those story points frequently and not hoarding them, is really, REALLY important for the system to work the way it's meant to

also, I *personally* find the boost/advantage/setback/threat/triumph/disaster...garblegarbleblahblahblah...*sigh*...I just wish the terminology for the die results weren't quite as convoluted and abstract as they are - makes it really hard to remember which is which

also...the threat die symbol particularly...what the **** is that? I mean, failure makes decent sense (an x), explosions for successes, okay, the up-carrot (arrow) for an advantage (something that "improves" outcome) sure, why not - but what the **** is the threat symbol supposed to be? triumph and despair...shrug, I guess they're all right...I mean, honestly, the star wars symbols made a little more sense, but of course they've got an existing franchise of symbology to draw from, but as far as genesys is concerned...

anyway - minor gripes - point is, it's a really fast, really cinematic system - which is great if you want fast flowing, free-wheeling and cinematic-styled adventures, which is great for lots of genres...

for a heavy tactical experience, though - you might want to look somewhere else - lets be fair, genesys is a great system BECAUSE there are things it does better than other systems, and there are things that OTHER systems do better than Genesys does...

you want to trip out hardcore? check out Phoenix Command, a system that hasn't been in print for like 20 years :) had a combat system divided into 0.5 second rounds, and an advanced combat system that could actually track the flight time of subsonic projectiles (like grenades launched from the m209 under-barrel mounted GL on the m-16) as objects moved on the battlefield, and a hit-location table that used a d-1000 and 3 different sillohuette profiles and could track via the pen value of a weapon how far a bullet would penetrate a human body and which major organs it would impact on its way through (admittedly, it didn't account for bullet tumbling or fragmenting rounds, but lets be honest, that'd be going a little too far, doncha think?)

**LOL** man, I miss that system...

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7 hours ago, CitizenKeen said:

two-axis dice system is unlike anything that's come before it.

actually there was "ORE" One-Roll-Engine before that also had two axis results.

 

... my 2 cents

Edited by Terefang

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4 hours ago, Bellyon said:

I really believe that Genesys would be a better core system for a lot of games we have outside, like Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, World of Darkness (Vampire, Werewolf, etc.), etc. The combat is easier, the flow is better, the system is dynamic.

I think Genesys is great, but I would never use it for Cyberpunk or World of Darkness. Genesys is just too cinematic in it's design. The Cyberpunk rules are the polar opposite - Friday Night Fire Fight is based on technical data from real life fire fights.  Most times I would rather play a Genesys game, but I don't think Cyberpunk (as apposed to a cyberpunk themed setting) would work under Genesys. WoD isn't as bad, but I personally think I would struggle to convey the dark themes and horror of WoD using Genesys, which is way less serious. Specifically your comment "The combat is easier", in both of these settings combat isn't meant to be easy, it is meant to be scary - You are not a super hero.

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14 minutes ago, BruceLGL said:

I think Genesys is great, but I would never use it for Cyberpunk or World of Darkness. Genesys is just too cinematic in it's design. The Cyberpunk rules are the polar opposite - Friday Night Fire Fight is based on technical data from real life fire fights.  Most times I would rather play a Genesys game, but I don't think Cyberpunk (as apposed to a cyberpunk themed setting) would work under Genesys. WoD isn't as bad, but I personally think I would struggle to convey the dark themes and horror of WoD using Genesys, which is way less serious. Specifically your comment "The combat is easier", in both of these settings combat isn't meant to be easy, it is meant to be scary - You are not a super hero.

Oh, well, I know both Cyber and WoD, even Shadow, are more lethal, and maybe you have a point, but like you also said, could be ok to play a cyberpunk scenario ou something dark that wouldn't be these famous scenarios.

But to be more clear, when I've said the combat is easier, I wasn't talk about the difficult of the game, but that the mechanics are simplier. I remember when I played Cyber 2020 with my friends, and was insane the number of d6's we used in every fire spray. A lot of dices, a lot of math... WoD is horrible also, at least the first versions.

I agree that in some way Genesys are less lethal, but a cyberpshychotic full of implants and some heavy guns would be a BIG problem anyway.

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There is never a "need" for a new system, but I find that sometimes I like a different style of play and Genesys certainly seems to provide this for me. I mostly play 5E D&D nowadays and that system is pretty cut-and-dried in its style, but Genesys's narrative process is pretty cool if the group likes more acting and less roll-play. I like the fact that the use of good and bad effects can be GM generated or can be suggestions from the group. I've only played a couple of games of Genesys but I find that I pay better attention during someone else's turn because I might be able to contribute.

For example, in a critical part of an adventure I was playing last night one of the players was trying something really desperate that had little chance of success. He was making a plea to the GM about something that he thought might earn him an extra blue die and when the GM said "no" the player offhand said "well, doesn't matter either way because that's what my character would have done." Before he rolled I interrupted and mentioned to the GM that I thought that his comment was more compelling than his actual argument and that the comment might earn him a blue die instead. The GM agreed, since he was going to follow his character's path even if it was stupid. You don't get that kind of interaction for most game systems.

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4 hours ago, Terefang said:

actually there was "ORE" One-Roll-Engine before that also had two axis results.

 

... my 2 cents

You know, I went on a hunt for a a similar mechanic to Genesys on forum.rpg.net a while ago, and someone suggested ORE. And it came across to me as 1.5 axes. Like, the width helps interpret the height, but on a default non-combat check, what does a 5x1 mean?

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39 minutes ago, CitizenKeen said:

it came across to me as 1.5 axes

IIRC its actually 2.5 axes, Success, Magnitude and Speed (Initiative)

39 minutes ago, CitizenKeen said:

but on a default non-combat check, what does a 5x1 mean?

how fast/slow you could perform even if you do great/marginal.

Edited by Terefang

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3 minutes ago, Terefang said:

IIRC its actually 2.5 axes, Success, Magnitude and Speed (Initiative)

how fast/slow you could perform even if you do great/marginal.

But how does fast/slow matter if you fail? That was always my thinking on ORE (having not played it) that it was 1.5. The Height is how well you did, the Width was some other aspect (like Magnitude or Speed or somesuch). But with a width of 5 and a height of 1, let's say you failed, then the width doesn't matter, right?

How is it 2.5? What're the three things measured in a roll? Can you give me an example?

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6 minutes ago, CitizenKeen said:

But how does fast/slow matter if you fail?

wasted time.

Example: repair a car -- You spend one week on repairing it, but in the end realize there is a critical part broken you did not consider and could not fix within that particular week.

 

it has a lot narrative potential

Edited by Terefang

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4 hours ago, Sturn said:

Us old RPGers grew up eating our RPG meat and potatoes dry. But we liked it, because that's all we knew. FFG's new system is still meat and potatoes, but now we've discovered what we were missing. Gravy. Lots of gravy.

... having played a lot of different games over the last 30 years, Genesys just has different spiced gravy, ... but gravy that makes me tick.

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10 hours ago, Sturn said:

Us old RPGers grew up eating our RPG meat and potatoes dry. But we liked it, because that's all we knew. FFG's new system is still meat and potatoes, but now we've discovered what we were missing. Gravy. Lots of gravy.

That's where I'm sitting.  Sure I had plenty of good times, but thinking back how the many stories would have played out with this dice mechanic really does set the mind aflutter.  I find myself unsuccessfully trying to bolt the concept onto other systems, and thankfully we now have this toolkit to just drop in whatever setting we like.   It's not complete by any stretch of the imagination, but it has all the essential tools I need to finish the work on my own, like a well-appointed toolbox. 

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