Recommended "Tabletop" RPGs

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Recommended "Tabletop" RPGs

Postby Fenrir » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:35 am

Wasn't exactly sure where to put this, whoops, but it's a question so this will do.

Planning to start a two person RPG with a friend of mine, two person in the sense of him being the protagonist while I manage the world and just about everything else.

My question for you then, o great ones who are far more experienced in this than I, is which tabletop system would you recommend?

I'm planning something fantasy, your typical dungeon crawling, but I want a decent emphasis on whatever story I come up with, and I want the game to allow for things between dungeons too. I want the protagonist to be able to visit cities and stock up between outings, that sort of thing.

Beyond that, I don't really know. I've only done this sort of thing once, for like half an hour and someone else DM'ed, so obviously this won't be pretty. But I imagine we'll both have fun.

Oh, and, obviously, we'd like to do this online, so it'd ideally be something designed for long distance play, in a PDF format or what have you.
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Re: Recommended "Tabletop" RPGs

Postby Adul » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:25 am

For classic fantasy dungeon-crawling fun times, you really can't go wrong with the one that started it all: Dungeons & Dragons.

Though that doesn't really answer the question, because when it comes to D&D, the question on everyone's mind is "which edition?"

My personal favorite is AD&D 2nd edition, most likely because of my Infinity Engine bias. The Baldur's Gate saga, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment all used 2nd or "2.5" Ed AD&D, and I used to play it a lot as a teenager with friends when I used to DM. It's an older, rather strange ruleset, with lots of eccentric rules that probably wouldn't make much sense to a newcomer (or to anyone, for that matter). It's sort of the weird uncle of the D&D editions. And it has a bunch of great, since discontinued campaign settings like Planescape, Dark Sun, and Ravenloft. (And some less-than-great ones, too.)

I also like the 3rd edition, which is more of the "mainstream" edition among players (or at least used to be). It's a lot slicker, streamlined, and generally tends to make more sense. The trade-off is it has less "personality" than 2nd Ed. Still, it's well thought out, fairly complex but intuitive, and it has depth. It was used in some video games like Neverwinter Nights and Icewind Dale II, and maybe some others I'm forgetting. A good ruleset overall.

There is also 3.5, which is a rebalancing of 3.0. Don't know much about it, to be honest. I think NWN2 as well as some other video games in the early 2000s used it.

4th edition brought a lot more streamlining, balancing, and simplification. I don't much care for it, because IMO it changed some fundamentals that made it no longer feel like D&D. It's too "gamey" for me, with added emphasis on combat and less on role-playing. It also messed a lot with the Forgotten Realms setting, advancing the timeline by over 100 years, and bringing a bunch of weird changes that fans mostly hated.

Don't know much about 5th edition, as I lost interest well before it was released. I also haven't played the original AD&D, or 1st edition D&D, which is more of a board game, as far as I can tell. Perhaps someone else can give their opinions about those.
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Re: Recommended "Tabletop" RPGs

Postby neildarkstar » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:56 am

I'm in complete agreement with Adul... right down to 2nd Edition. I played a bastardized version of original D&D for a while, in which we used a DM guide called "The Cyclops", but we ended up morphing the original into 2nd Edition. Anyway, it's entirely possible to do all the things you are talking about Fenrir... and using only 2nd Edition without boxed sets. Use the AD&D 2nd Edition combat setup, character generation and leveling, remember movement and mapping, and you can make any kind of world you want.
"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." - Movie "Flypaper"
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