Whats the best thing about a game you don’t like

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Oct 8, 2021 5:55 am
SavageBob says:
The Harrigan principle is great, but my issue with it is that it robs the player of one of the joys of roleplaying games, the dice rolling.
Just to be clear -- and Adam already said this but since my name is attached to it, I'd like to be extra clear -- this is no "Harrigan Principle," let alone one that recommends you take rolling away from the players to cut down transactions been the player and the GM. My point was that some systems are really good at this, out of the box -- many of my favorite games to GM in PbP have mostly or exclusively player-facing rolls, often roll under. Super easy for the GM to call for a roll / test, or for the player to be proactive and roll it in advance. I can drone on about this at length, but yeah, new thread needed.
Last edited October 8, 2021 5:56 am
Oct 8, 2021 12:56 pm
SavageBob says:
The Harrigan principle is great, but my issue with it is that it robs the player of one of the joys of roleplaying games, the dice rolling. To that end, I've adopted a similar idea that I first saw Emsquared propose. Namely, you deputize your players to put on their GM hats and guess at difficulties and the like rather than wait for you as GM to set them. In the above example, it might look like this:

Player: I look for traps. Here's my Perception check. 14.
GM: You don't find any traps.

In a system with GM-set difficulties, it might look like this:

Player: I look for traps. From what you've described, this is a small but cluttered room, so I'll make a Hard check. Success with 2 advantages. If this stands, I'll use the advantages to impress the noble we're escorting.

GM: Perfect. You don't find any traps, but Lord Fontleroy is very impressed by your speed and efficiency.

In other words, trust the players to do some of the GM-work for you. Worst-case scenario, the GM adjusts the roll if the player severely under- or overestimated the difficulty or modifiers. I've had mixed results getting players to do this, as I think many are reluctant to step on perceived GM toes. But I do think it's potentially the best of both worlds.
It's old school mechanics. Back then, you did not roll to find traps, the GM rolled for you. The principle was, if you had a bad roll and the GM told you there were no traps, you might be tempted tho think you simply had failed to find them. Similarly, if you rolled really good and the GM told you there were no traps, you were now 100% sure there were no traps.
I guess the point is, when you search for traps, you should never be sure either way...
Oct 8, 2021 5:03 pm
nezzeraj says:
Speaking of PbtA, I love Apocalypse World but hate the sex moves. Just...why? I always take those out.
I completely agree. I like the idea - of driving stories that are complex and interesting. But, even when by myself, sex scenes in movies make me feel awkward.

Rifts mechanics and rule organization is all out of wack. But I love the lore and artwork.
Oct 9, 2021 12:24 am
Constablebrew says:
nezzeraj says:
Speaking of PbtA, I love Apocalypse World but hate the sex moves. Just...why? I always take those out.
I completely agree. I like the idea - of driving stories that are complex and interesting. But, even when by myself, sex scenes in movies make me feel awkward.
The Apocalypse World Sex Moves do not try to emulate, simulate, or mechanise 'sex', they represent and mechanise the consequences of sex, i.e. they only deal with what comes after, not the act. Most people fade to black, then pick up afterwards with what it meant, not how it went.

Apocalypse World Burned Over leaves out those moves, if you want a version without them.
Oct 9, 2021 12:49 am
vagueGM says:


The Apocalypse World Sex Moves do not try to emulate, simulate, or mechanise 'sex', they represent and mechanise the consequences of sex, i.e. they only deal with what comes after, not the act. Most people fade to black, then pick up afterwards with what it meant, not how it went.

Apocalypse World Burned Over leaves out those moves, if you want a version without them.
Another good example could be Urban Shadows, which changed the Sex Move to Intimacy Move. The intimacy moment does not have to be physical (and even a physical intimacy moment does not have to be sex: for example a Vamp feeding), it can be emotional instead.
Oct 9, 2021 1:34 am
Yeah, AW tried to do that by calling them 'Special Moves' and not 'Sex Moves', but only the Child Thing deviated from them being about sex.
Oct 21, 2021 2:08 pm
Just a gentle reminder here:

As I understand it the intent of this thread is to express your like or dislike for specific aspects of certain rulesets. It is NOT intended to persuade others to like or dislike the same things as you, nor criticize their preferences.

Also, someone stating their dislike for something does NOT mean that they are unable nor unwilling to find a workaround. That's a separate discussion altogether and not the point of this thread.
Oct 21, 2021 4:10 pm
I generally dislike the dice system AW/PbtA uses, and therefore I generally dislike that rpg line. But I absolutely never run a game in any system now without constructing Fronts for it. Fronts/Fundamental Scarcity/Impending Dooms are just brilliant ways to structure plot in a way that allows for flexible storytelling.

Least favorite thing from my favorite system - FFG Star Wars - are the abundant "remove Setback" Talents (basically "trap" choices), particularly when paired with the rigid "Talent Tree" format... Luckily Genesys fixed both of those things!
Oct 21, 2021 9:28 pm
Best thing about my least favorite system (Pathfinder) is the archetypes that let you sideload a set of abilities into a class that they wouldn't normally have. Halfway between 3.5 and 4e's multiclasssing, it's a really great idea. Unfortunately, Pathfinder's overall lack of balance ended up making a good number of them either vastly underperforming even though they were interesting (Time Thief for rogue) or so strong that they became a problem to GM (Synthesist for Summoner), but the core idea was solid and I'd like to see it more often.

Worst thing about my favorite system (13th Age) is that two classes (Barbarian and Ranger) are too simple. They're intended to be the simplest of classes, and I like that the classes are all just as powerful while still being asymetric when it comes to complexity, but I just feel like these two classes are a bit too straightforward. You do one thing in combat over and over again and they're just not fun for me. Still, that's why very angry fighters and druids exist, I suppose!
Oct 22, 2021 9:11 am
Falconloft says:
Best thing about my least favorite system (Pathfinder) is the archetypes that let you sideload a set of abilities into a class that they wouldn't normally have. Halfway between 3.5 and 4e's multiclasssing, it's a really great idea. Unfortunately, Pathfinder's overall lack of balance ended up making a good number of them either vastly underperforming even though they were interesting (Time Thief for rogue) or so strong that they became a problem to GM (Synthesist for Summoner), but the core idea was solid and I'd like to see it more often.
Is this first or second edition of pathfinder?
Oct 22, 2021 9:53 am
I play only 5e, so I suppose it's both my favourite and least favourite system.

The thing I like least is the time to build a character sheet. It takes SO long for new players, and once it's done much of it is never used. It's mainly all that skill and tool proficiency nonsense where the time is lost (because if you picked a spellcaster, then you have only yourself to blame).

The thing is, there is a variant rule, a better rule, in the DMG.
dmg says:
Background Proficiency
With this variant rule, characters don’t have skill or tool proficiencies... Instead, a character can add his or her proficiency bonus to any ability check to which the character’s prior training and experience (reflected in the character’s background) reasonably applies. The DM is the ultimate judge of whether the character’s background applies.

For example, the player of a character with the noble background could reasonably argue that the proficiency bonus should apply to a Charisma check the character makes to secure an audience with the king....
There's more in the DMG about this rule and how to use it. I like this variant, but it depends on trust between the players and DM. But even if you're not playing with this rule, it's a good tool for DMs and players to sneak in.

There it is. One of my least favourite things in 5e. I find the vanilla skill rules overly complex, lack subtlety, and the variant rule works better in the narrative environment of PbP.

Oh yeah. And Healing Word. That sucks.
Oct 22, 2021 4:23 pm
Adam says:

dmg says:
Background Proficiency
With this variant rule, characters don’t have skill or tool proficiencies... Instead, a character can add his or her proficiency bonus to any ability check to which the character’s prior training and experience (reflected in the character’s background) reasonably applies. The DM is the ultimate judge of whether the character’s background applies.

For example, the player of a character with the noble background could reasonably argue that the proficiency bonus should apply to a Charisma check the character makes to secure an audience with the king....
I consider myself a big advocate of the DMG whereas some ppl dismiss the book as expendable, has a number of optional things in it that I like to use in about any game... but I've never noticed this optional rule.

Pretty cool.
Oct 22, 2021 8:05 pm
runekyndig says:
Is this first or second edition of pathfinder?
First.
Oct 22, 2021 8:07 pm
Adam says:
I play only 5e, so I suppose it's both my favourite and least favourite system.

The thing I like least is the time to build a character sheet. It takes SO long for new players, and once it's done much of it is never used. It's mainly all that skill and tool proficiency nonsense where the time is lost (because if you picked a spellcaster, then you have only yourself to blame).

The thing is, there is a variant rule, a better rule, in the DMG.
dmg says:
Background Proficiency
With this variant rule, characters don’t have skill or tool proficiencies... Instead, a character can add his or her proficiency bonus to any ability check to which the character’s prior training and experience (reflected in the character’s background) reasonably applies. The DM is the ultimate judge of whether the character’s background applies.

For example, the player of a character with the noble background could reasonably argue that the proficiency bonus should apply to a Charisma check the character makes to secure an audience with the king....
There's more in the DMG about this rule and how to use it. I like this variant, but it depends on trust between the players and DM. But even if you're not playing with this rule, it's a good tool for DMs and players to sneak in.

There it is. One of my least favourite things in 5e. I find the vanilla skill rules overly complex, lack subtlety, and the variant rule works better in the narrative environment of PbP.

Oh yeah. And Healing Word. That sucks.
This is one of the things they grabbed from 13th Age. It's a nice option, and for me, makes more sense than just having ranks in a skill.
Nov 19, 2021 12:18 am
I like 5E, just not the stigma of politics that surrounds it. I like that it is modular, and that Hardcore mode made it a grittier game.

Favorite game is Mythras, the only thing I don't like is how long the learning curve is to learn to make optimal characters for their professions.

I cannot overstate the elegance of the system compared to all other d100 and 99% of d20 games - at least in my opinion. Some folks don't or won't play D100 games. Too bad.
Nov 30, 2021 2:29 pm
Best thing about a game I don't like: 5e has brought in many new players and reignited the passions of many for D&D.

Worst thing about a game I love: 2e limiting Weapon Specialization to only Single Classed Fighters. Never understood that.
Dec 24, 2021 3:40 am
Best Thing About a Game I Don't Like: The simple elegance that is the advantage/disadvantage mechanic in 5E. It isn't really fair to say that I don't like 5E, as I both run and play it. I just don't care for the fact that it makes PCs nearly unbeatable. Anyone capable of using (who owns, of course) a wand of polymorph can take out a tarrasque. There's something inherently wrong with that. One of my players killed a nalfeshnee by dropping conjured warhorses on it from a height of 200 ft.

Worst Thing About a Game I Love: I dislike the Golarion setting for Pathfinder because it is so ingrained into the rules for such that it's a pain to adapt a different (or original) setting.
Last edited December 24, 2021 3:41 am

KCC

Dec 24, 2021 9:03 am
I feel similarly pained over 5e’s beefy heroes! I want there to be danger and risk. Not hopeless drudgery, mind. But genuine adventure.

I have heard similar things about the Glorantha (?) setting got Runequest. So much so that people suggest the No Brand Mythras instead if you want the rules and not the setting, such is the level of them being intwined.
Dec 24, 2021 12:57 pm
KCC says:
I feel similarly pained over 5e’s beefy heroes! I want there to be danger and risk. Not hopeless drudgery, mind. But genuine adventure.

I have heard similar things about the Glorantha (?) setting got Runequest. So much so that people suggest the No Brand Mythras instead if you want the rules and not the setting, such is the level of them being intwined.
Hârn is the same way. It's nearly impossible to extract the rules from the setting. Or change them much without having to iron out all the ripple-effect changes that would occur. Shame, really. It's a good -if super crunchy- system.
Dec 24, 2021 1:27 pm
WhtKnt says:
Best Thing About a Game I Don't Like: The simple elegance that is the advantage/disadvantage mechanic in 5E. It isn't really fair to say that I don't like 5E, as I both run and play it. I just don't care for the fact that it makes PCs nearly unbeatable. Anyone capable of using (who owns, of course) a wand of polymorph can take out a tarrasque. There's something inherently wrong with that. One of my players killed a nalfeshnee by dropping conjured warhorses on it from a height of 200 ft.

Worst Thing About a Game I Love: I dislike the Golarion setting for Pathfinder because it is so ingrained into the rules for such that it's a pain to adapt a different (or original) setting.
Totally agrees with you here

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