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Best RPGs of 2010
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Luke
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:37 am    Post subject: Best RPGs of 2010 Reply with quote

So each year I put up a post to get a feel from Wellingtonians what RPGs published that year have been their favourite.

Though this thread is aimed at RPGs published in 2009, please feel free to mention supplements or any RPG you encountered this year that stood out.

Last year's thread is here: http://www.nzrag.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=2965 (which I accidentally deleted doing this post Embarassed ).

With my own budget for games dropping again, I found it hard to choose 5 RPGs released this year. 2010 saw me revisiting a lot of games I already owned.

It was also a strange year. It saw me selling my top rated RPG for 2006 and 3 of the 5 RPGs I have chosen are ones that I unlikely to ever play or run. Strange times indeed Smile

My top five for 2010 are:

1. Eclipse Phase: I think this is technically a 2009 RPG but as I missed it last year, I am giving it the top spot. It may not be a game that I would personally run (or even play) but I have massive respect for it as the book oozes quality and has been the dark horse success of 2010 by anyone's standards.

2. Gamma World D&D4e: This game is a bit of a break out hit. I didn't get much chance to play it but it eclipsed its big sister D&D Essentials releases. It shows great design matched by a strong focus on fun.

3. Dresden Files: This should have been the year of Dresden Files but Eclipse Phase stole its thunder. Again, there is no denying the gorgeous final product and briliant design work of this RPG.

4. Eoris: I have been waiting for this one for over a year and it finally arrived. Its a beautiful book filled to the brim with imagination bordering on madness. I am not sure I will ever do anything with it but I am mighty glad to have it on my shelf for some reason.

5. Icons: This RPG gets a lot of mixed reactions but it achieves as close as I have seen to my preference of the balance between the chaos of factors that makes for good superhero stories. Plus Morgue had a hand in it.

A notable mention goes to Dark Sun. Its not a stand aalone RPG so it doesn't qualify but it was an excellent extension and reimagining of what D&D4e is capable of.

My 2009 choices: D&D4e, Mouse Guard, Summerland, Anima, WFRP3e.

My 2008 choices: CthulhuTech, Dragon Warriors, D&D4e, Dark Heresy, Grimm.

My 2007 choices: CthulhuTech, Star Wars Saga Edition, Monte Cook's World of Darkness, Savage Tales of Solomon Kane and BlissStage.

My 2006 choices: A Game of Thrones OGL, Spirit of the Century, Qin, Burning Empires and Agon.
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Conan



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm...

I think mine would have to be - in no particular order:

Smallville: I was really impressed by this game. It is extremely well designed and just naturally guides players through a clever reward system that encourages players to act within the tropes of the style of television show that Smallville emulates. The huge array of patches that have been run - True Blood, Batman, Vampire Diaries, Buffy, Angel... it is is a very well designed game full of great advice and design.

Leverage: Also from MWP - I'm yet to play this game, but just like Smallville it does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of caper/team style shows. Again it has loads of advice and is the best source I have seen for advice on how to have roleplayers play Cons without having any previous knowledge. All around, a brilliant game.

Gamma World 4e: For pretty much all the reasons Luke has mentioned. Smile

D&D Essentials: Although it is effectively just a continuation of 4e, I have been really impressed by the Essentials range. A great set of tools for new players, excellent quality counters for people who can't afford minis and a great new format all at a really affordable price point.

WFRP3e: I know this is actually from the year before, but I have kind of rediscovered this game recently and I love it! Being someone who loves lots of "bits" this just appeals to me. It also is a great take on the Warhammer setting.

Special mention should go to Rogue Trader, I really loved where this game was headed. Unfortunately we found space combat was a bit too brutal. I think I'd be keen to give the game another shot - but it was more Warhammer 40K for me than Dark Heresy managed to be.

Conan
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's mine:

1. Apocalypse World. Wonderfully evokes the world (well, enough that the rest naturally comes out in play). The mechanics create great stories - I've had the edge of my seat feeling as dice fall, to see if it is a good or bad roll, but never as often. Fun to MC (=GM) as well, with a nice, natural flow to things.

2. Fiasco. Never has failing at terrible plans been so much fun.

I can't speak to more. I'll give honourable mentions to:
- FreeMarket. Although I haven't had a chance to play a decent (i.e. several session) game, the setting and box set are lovely. One shots have been enjoyable but point strongly to it being a long-term game.
- Time & Temp. Yet to play this, but it looks extremely funny.

And throwing Luke's "the game is supposed to come out this year" out the window, Trail of Cthulhu, as we concluded a long-running (2+ years, with some breaks on the way) game in which our heroes saved the world from the big C himself, with only about four PC and several dozen NPC casualties along the way. Not bad!
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Mashugenah
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the coolest new game I played this year was Apocalypse World, though Smallville has its moments too.
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Luke,

I'm interested in why you choose to say a game that you would be unlikely to run or play is your best of the year? Does quality of the book (or other non-play related elements) really matter more to you?
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Luke
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe you can recognise a good RPG without it being necessarily being something you want to run or play. Excellence is distinguishable from personal preference.

Also, just because I did not encounter 5 new RPGs that I had a strong urge to run/play this year, does not mean that I had no strong urges to run/play RPGs. Smile
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MikeSands



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair.
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Luke
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conan wrote:
Special mention should go to Rogue Trader, I really loved where this game was headed. Unfortunately we found space combat was a bit too brutal. I think I'd be keen to give the game another shot - but it was more Warhammer 40K for me than Dark Heresy managed to be.


Rogue Trader or Death Watch?
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Conan



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luke wrote:
Conan wrote:
Special mention should go to Rogue Trader, I really loved where this game was headed. Unfortunately we found space combat was a bit too brutal. I think I'd be keen to give the game another shot - but it was more Warhammer 40K for me than Dark Heresy managed to be.


Rogue Trader or Death Watch?
Rogue Trader, I haven't played Deathwatch yet.
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morgue



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gamma World as break-out hit: I called it. Somewhere. In conversation with Luke I think. It's smart, smart, smart macro design (i.e. "what role does this game play in the life of the customer" - never has an RPG had such a clear answer to this question).
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Luke
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

morgue wrote:
Gamma World as break-out hit: I called it. Somewhere. In conversation with Luke I think. It's smart, smart, smart macro design (i.e. "what role does this game play in the life of the customer" - never has an RPG had such a clear answer to this question).


Including the fact that the supplement boxes are supposedly reminiscient of cereal boxes Smile
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itowlson



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

morgue wrote:
i.e. "what role does this game play in the life of the customer" - never has an RPG had such a clear answer to this question


And that answer is...?
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morgue



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

itowlson wrote:
morgue wrote:
i.e. "what role does this game play in the life of the customer" - never has an RPG had such a clear answer to this question


And that answer is...?


"This is the game you play when you need a one-off that will let you blow stuff up and make wacky jokes."

It has all the strategic/tactical stuff that makes the blowing up of things compelling (and familiar as the main selling point of 4E), and expertly-judged stupidity to set up all the dumb jokes you want.
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Conan



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

morgue wrote:
itowlson wrote:
morgue wrote:
i.e. "what role does this game play in the life of the customer" - never has an RPG had such a clear answer to this question


And that answer is...?


"This is the game you play when you need a one-off that will let you blow stuff up and make wacky jokes."

It has all the strategic/tactical stuff that makes the blowing up of things compelling (and familiar as the main selling point of 4E), and expertly-judged stupidity to set up all the dumb jokes you want.


As someone who is running a semi-serious campaign of Gamma World at the moment, it is also actually very well suited to less silly roleplay as well for more than a single one-off game. In fact, I'd argue that it isn't intended to be played as a one-off but as a short campaign. A filler between longer games.

Conan
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Luke
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conan wrote:
In fact, I'd argue that it isn't intended to be played as a one-off but as a short campaign. A filler between longer games.


I think the term "one-off" encompasses short campaigns. The essential element is that you can pick it up and play it for a short finite length of time with no expectation that it will continue.
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