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WhiteWeasel

Jumping to Genesys!

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I have been homebrewing my own stellaris factions/setting for some time now in the starfinder system. But lately, I've had quite a few grievances of the starfinder system. It was too crunchy and had the general feeling of: "That's the logical solution, but the rules don't let you do that." I've been looking into other generic/hackable systems, and I decided upon genesys since (it was on sale at my LGS) I'm homebrewing my own setting, might as well get a system that supports it from the ground up. 

So far I've skimmed through the rule book and like what I see mechanically. The narrative dice look like a breath of fresh air to the d20 systems I've been playing all my life. Now, of course, I don't yet have a full understanding of the games intricacies or used the system before, but I hope it all turns out to be what I was expecting. Could someone highlight the strengths and weaknesses of genesys for me?

 

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Hi @WhiteWeasel and welcome in the Genesys world!

I've also played a lot of d20 variant (Star Wars, Saga, Mutants and Masterminds, 13th Age) and with the new Star Wars (that use the same rules of Genesys) and Genesys itself it's really like fresh air.

The strengths are many, most important for me is the narrative approach and the streamlined rules. All my players like it very much.

The weakness can be the dices (I hate using the app) that must be buyed and, at least for the first couple of sessions, learning how to interpret the dices results like for example: success with threats, failure with advantages, failure with triumph and so on. Players and GM must thinks narratively and use the dices to create the story and this can be difficult in the first sessions.

In any case, I think it's one of best RPG system in the world!

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What I love about the Narrative Dice System is how easy it is to keep things moving. It's much easier to plan for sessions. Once you have your NPCs statted, you're pretty much done. The dice help you tell the story by telling you why someone succeeded or failed. Situational dice are awesome for this. Instead of a straight stat vs. stat explanation, you can succeed or fail because of the environment, emotional strain, deep conviction, great equipment, or just plain old luck. If you're learning how to GM this system, I recommend two podcasts in particular.

The Dice Pool Podcast https://www.thedicepoolpodcast.com/ - These guys are active on the forums here and have a ton of experience and advice as GMs. They do actual-play and informative episodes. Both are amazing.

Silhouette Zero https://www.silzeropodcast.com/ - Two brothers host an actual-play podcast of a single-PC campaign with support NPCs in FFG's Star Wars setting. There a few rule differences between systems, but those are easily overlooked. Their use of the narrative dice has been highly instructive for me. Plus, they're really fun to listen to.

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Rather than just repeating what others here have said; another great strength of this system is player buy in.

 

What I mean by that is how much the players themselves get to contribute to the narrative. While the dice shape the narrative, the narrative turns into mechanics. The players get to come up with just as many plot changing ideas as the GM does. With the GM just being the moderator that keeps things on track. So this system really gets the players engaged. Rather than the players just reacting to everything the GM cooks up.

 

This also helps feed into way less prep time as GM. The 'negative' being thatbit puts more responsibility into the players hands. Depending on your table this may not be a problem.

 

The only other downside I can think of is if your table are mostly hardcore strategic players. This game can work stricter and crunchier combats (using miniatures with a grid) but it's definitely something a table would have to homebrew for if they wanted to include it.

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