What system should I try (as a player)?

Event registration for Gary Con is coming up, and while I have my eye on a few events already, I’d also like to try a couple of new (to me) games while I’m there. I’ll definitely get in plenty of old-timey D&D-like fun, since that’s my jam. Last year I played in a Crawling Under a Broken Moon DCC funnel and a Mothership play test, for a change of pace.

BSers have pretty wide range of gaming tastes, so my question for you all is: What are some other game systems that I should try this year, and why? For example, if you really like Call of Cthulhu, tell me why I should try it. Or should 2020 be the year I give Savage Worlds a go? I’m not really looking for specific event recommendations, though you’re welcome to suggest those too.

1 Like

I will always recommend Shawdow of the Demon Lord, Delta Green, and Paranoia!

Shadow of the Demon Lord because it’s a great blend of dark fantasy and gritty RPG

Delta Green because it’s modern day Government agents Fighting the Cthulhu Mythose, Ala X-files / Warehouse 13 Style

And Paranoia because it takes the standard RPG game and pokes fun at it in fun and funny ways. I’ve never seen people Not smile at a Paranoia Game

1 Like

Thanks! Paranoia has been on my list to try for years, but for some reason it hadn’t occurred to me to look for a game at Gary Con. As for the others, I’ve not heard of Shadow of the Demon Lord before, and I only know a little bit about Delta Green (mostly from @Fafhrd mentioning it on the show), so I’ll have to check those out.

1 Like

There are three games that have made a good impression on me in the past couple of years, but I’ve no idea if anyone will be running them.

  1. Genesys - the one with the odd dice. Actually works great as a narrative tool in describing successes or failures and in determining how well you succeed. We were skeptical, but pleasantly surprised.

  2. Shadows of Esteren - great setting. It’s gothic dark fantasy. The system is relatively light, and emphasizes a characters drives over physical attributes.

  3. Shadows Over Sol - another game we were skeptical of but ended up enjoying. It’s a harder SF (no FTL, set within the solar system. Intended as SF horror, it would also work excellently for an Expanse type setting. It uses a standard poker deck instead of dice, and it makes good use of the suits, numbers and face cards to provide useful information (in other words, not just a dice stand-in, but the game is designed around the features of a card deck.) The cards are why we were skeptical, but the players loved and and have been asking me to run it again.

1 Like

I’m not a fan of trying to pitch too wide a range of games, because everyone has different tastes, so only using the context that you have presented here, I’m going to pitch something that’s still pre-production, with a quick start available:

It plays with the more modern concept of the rolls being player facing, and there are some really neat mechanics going on that are both interesting from a fantasy RPG point of view, as well as doing a novel job of adding in some RPG versions of tropes from the boardgame as well.

This wasn’t really on my radar until I was offered a review copy, and it turned out that it was a really pleasant surprise. Now I want to see what the finished version is going to look like.

2 Likes

The only thing I would add to the above is this: If you backed a Kickstarter and you’re waiting on physical rewards, and someone is running that game… well then get in that! That’s something I’m planning on doing as I’d like to try to play those games before I attempt to run them.

1 Like

Thanks, Tom. I don’t see Shadows of Esteren or Shadows Over Sol on the schedule, but it looks like there’s a couple of games using Genesys, one based on 80s movies that sounds hilarious, and another based on the Fallout video games. I’ll have to see if one of those fits my schedule.

1 Like

That’s really cool, and a good overview. I remember playing the board game a few times, many years ago, but I’d not looked at the RPG before. I don’t see any events at Gary Con using it, but I’ll keep an eye out.

I try to get in any game I’ve heard of (and some I haven’t) that I don’t already know. Last Gamehole I played 5e (first time), TimeWatch, DCC (twice), etc. Just trying to try all new things.

1 Like

I’m a huge fan of Call of Cthulhu. I love the investigative aspect of the game and the desperate horror of discovery that comes with that. The immersion can be really powerful, if you put your brain to the clues and push to find answers. If you’re looking for heroic, this isn’t it. If you’re looking to wrack your brain in what may well prove to be a horrific discovery that will likely drive your character to death or insanity, this is your game. I love it! I would strongly recommend getting into one of the “You Too Can Cthulhu” games if you can swing it. I try to get into at least one of their games each Gameholecon and Garycon. They are a fantastic group and are big on using props to immerse players in the setting…

3 Likes

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I had my eye on a Delta Green game, but it was at the same time as Zeb Cook’s Return to the Isle of Dread, so that didn’t work out unfortunately. I’ve still got some space on Saturday morning, so I’ll have to see if there’s any Call of Cthulhu happening then. The other new thing for me at Gary Con this year will actually be a really old thing: a session of Dave Arneson-style Blackmoor being run by Bob Meyer, who was one of the original players in Dave’s game.

2 Likes

Sounds like you need to come to Gamehole Con in November.

I’ll run you, and whomever else would like to join you, through Delta Green.

2 Likes

I’ll look into “You Too Can Cthuhlu”. I’ve played, maybe a half dozen CoC games. Never horrible, mostly meh, except a game some “KevThulu” ran. That was off the CHAIN! I’d take that again any day.

@Young0ne2,
Laramie Wall has entered the game

1 Like

That’s a generous offer, and I’m tempted. Every Wisconsinite I talked with at Gary Con asked if I was coming to Gamehole, or told me that I should come to Gamehole. It sounds like a great con, but I doubt that I can make three con trips each year. I’ll see how Gary Con and NTRPG go, and decide if I want to swap one of them for Gamehole next year.

2 Likes

My feeling is that I like to try any pre-1990s system I haven’t experienced before. It’s my way of connecting with the roots of the hobby and I’m continually blown away by things that were there at “the beginning.” On my list of things yet to try are original Boot Hill, pre-3rd edition Gamma World, and Metamorphosis Alpha.

3 Likes

Hey! I think I was in that TimeWatch game with you. It was an absolute blast!

1 Like

Play something weird. A couple Gamehole Cons ago, I got in a Bluebeards Bride game, not my usual cup of tea, but it ended up being just about the best role playing experience I’ve ever had.

Otherwise some of my personal favorites are Hollow Earth Expedition - it is awesome pulp action, or Blades in the Dark - it has some of the best heist mechanics I’ve seen in a game.

TimeWatch- I think it was Sunday morning? Our characters ate a lot of pies in the American Southwest.

1 Like

Yes. That’s the one. Had an awesome time at the table with you!