Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

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Re: Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

by VoiceOfReasonPast » Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:23 pm

A glorious double post to talk about a strange trend in the world of tabletop wokeness: Diverse Tabletop RPG Anthologies (tm), usually featuring a collection of random micro RPGs that you can stuff into a single book (because micro RPGs have a low page count).

There are entire publishers that focus on this stuff. They usualy try to guilt-trip you into buying them by highlighting how most of the writers are female and/or from an exotic region like Latin America, and that they never "got the attention they deserve" in this *white* tabletop market.
You might be wondering why these are always anthologies. Surely the world of digital distribution makes it piss-easy to sell them individually. But that's part of the other sales pitch: They keep harping on how all the wonderfully talented and diverse writers get equal pay (aka you have to pay a premium even if you're only interested in one of the games advertised).

Of course this is all marketed from an ignorant Burger perspective. Actual RPG writers from Latin America or other places aren't these poor, downtrodden individuals who aren't allowed into the big boy clubhouse because they're just not *white* enough.
Regional RPG markets can be very insular. Every tabletop community worth its salt has at least one big national RPG that plays in the major league with the likes of D&D, but never really seems to leave its home market.
Part of it is likely money. Margins for RPG books can be pretty slim without having to pay for a translator. RPGs from English-speaking countries have it easier since you generally have an easier time finding someone with enough English skills to translate them into your mother tongue, and even failing that you can probably just release it in English and still find enough customers. But how profitable would it be to find someone who knows Portugese to translate some animu RPG from Brazil?
One of the countries that probably got the most attention in terms of translations is Japan, but even then there can be years between a new translation, and they never really make a big splash.
And finally, many national companies might just be happy being the big fish in the small pond. Trying to break into the English-speaking market might just not be worth it, because it's already oversaturated. You're never gonna be as popular as in your own turf.

Take Germany for example. Das Schwarze Auge aka The Dark Eye (aka Realms of Arkania if you're a hardcore PC gamer) is one of the biggest RPGs over here. They've tried to dabble into the English market with the 4th edition, and are doing it much more earnestly with the 5th one, but I can guarantee you the vast amount of people playing it digitally on Roll20 and shit are German. TDE itself just isn't terribly interesting if you have no investment into the setting with its decades worth of lore. In fact not even the Germans are too attached to the system itself (I swear every fan site has a list of alternate systems, ranging from conversions to Savage Worlds to heavily-streamlined forks of the main system).

Plus that Latin America one might be a scam. It's spearheaded by two blokes form the UK. Are these Latin writers even real?

Re: Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

by VoiceOfReasonPast » Fri Nov 26, 2021 5:03 pm

I think there was some debate in the SR community about whether or not grenades actually deal double damage, because the shockwaves bouncing around can "hit" targets multiple times, and since a grenade usually explodes on the ground the shockwave will immediately bounce upwards with the rest of the shockwave.

I think at this point you might as well switch over to Phoenix Command (an infamous RPG from the 80s that was all about hyper-realistic modern combat physics simulation).

EDIT: Speaking of the weird depiction of weapons in RPGs, D&D and its derivatives are always a bid weird when it comes to firearms, at least in cases where they aren't part of the core rules. It seems that they really don't want to disrupt the pristine Tolkienesque technology level common in these systems, so firearms tend to have obtuse extra rules (from jamming to at least partially ignoring armor depending on the distance) and are often the most expensive base weapon you can buy, putting them way out of league for low-level parties.
A particular weird example is Pathfinder, where the firearms are so expensive (you have to pay at least 1,000 gold for all but the shittiest ones) that their fancy new firearm-focused class that came with the supplement - the Gunslinger - needed a class ability that gave him access to an actually affordable, jurry-rigged firearms that - for some reason - only he knows how to actually use. Very immersive.

Re: Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

by Guest » Fri Nov 26, 2021 4:48 pm

They also wildly overestimate the force of a grenade. I think you already referenced SR and it's "chunky salsa" rules.

Re: Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

by VoiceOfReasonPast » Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:07 pm

The less bad ones just handle it like a fireball. Anything more complex, and you get systems that treat grenades like Warhammer artillery. They never seem to realize that you can also roll a grenade.

Re: Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

by Guest » Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:54 pm

I don't disagree with you on scatter rolls. I don't think any RPG handles grenades well.

Re: Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

by VoiceOfReasonPast » Fri Nov 26, 2021 10:39 am

But scatter rolls are traditionally more cartoony the more you fuck up the throw.

Re: Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

by Guest » Fri Nov 26, 2021 7:11 am

Scatter rolls are a different mechanic to dice pools. Scatter rolls being stupid does not make dice pools universally bad.

Re: Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

by VoiceOfReasonPast » Fri Nov 26, 2021 6:54 am

That's why you need those powers that let you reroll successes.
Guest wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:55 pm
The point of a dice pool is that as the pool expands, the chance of zero hits (total failure) reduces drastically but never becomes zero. It's well suited for relatively grounded games like shadowrun and a bad fit for superpowered games like vampire.
I wouldn't call a cartoonishly-unlikely failure "grounded". How often have you seen a mercenary/soldier throw a grenade, only for it to bounce back? That one's always a possibility thanks to RPGs and their love for scatter rolls, especially in Shadowrun where the grenade rules have so much verisimilitude that you have to figure out how the shockwave propagates.

Re: Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

by Le Redditeur » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:58 pm

Storyteller had to include the ridiculous bit about how every 1 cancelled a success - increasing the amount of dice you roll actually doesn't really increase your chance of success.

Re: Basements & Beards- Analogue Gaming Thread

by Guest » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:55 pm

The point of a dice pool is that as the pool expands, the chance of zero hits (total failure) reduces drastically but never becomes zero. It's well suited for relatively grounded games like shadowrun and a bad fit for superpowered games like vampire.

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