Hypothetical TribeMeet RPG

Ardavion

Gang Hero
Nov 22, 2011
1,628
3,019
193
As I've posted in the TAG WAR UK 2024! Thread, I'm tempted to run an RPG over the weekend.

Thing is, whilst saying I'd run one is all well and good, knowing that:

Enough people would want to play
The setting was something people wanted to roleplay in
The system used was something people can understand and use

Would be helpful to determine whether or not it would in fact get off the ground.

I'd appreciate people intending to attend TribeMeet and interested in playing an RPG would be able to comment on this thread, answering as many of the following questions as possible:
  • How much time would you want to spend across the weekend playing an RPG (given that you're also probably keen to play wargames, and I'm not wanting to monopolize your entire weekend)? This lets me know if it's a quick, one-shot session or if there's enough life in it to make a longer narrative out of it.
  • When would you want to play the RPG? Some people will likely play late in the evening after games are done, but some might want to play during the day as they go back to hotels etc. in the evening; given that Sunday evening isn't viable, it affects the style of session as well.
  • What kind of setting(s) would you enjoy playing? Pulp? Horror? Sci-Fi? Fantasy? Western? Military? Post Apocalyptic? Martial Arts/Kung Fu? Superhero? Some kind of mix? Something completely different I've not thought of?
  • If possible, what kind of system(s) do you prefer? D&D's D20 system (and if so which edition)? Pinnacle Group's Savage Worlds system? The World of Darkness' D10 dice pool system? GURPS? Fate/Fate Core? There's a whole load of systems out there, and several people can have very strong opinions of which systems are good, and which they'll not stomach playing. If you can't think of systems you like, what systems would you absolutely not want to use?
  • Would you be fine with pregenerated characters, or would you want a "session zero" (likely the Friday evening, but at this point it's very flexible) making characters? I'd still make some spare characters for if someone drops in afterwards, or bring spare blankets character sheets for people to make ahead of time on the Saturday, but I appreciate people might want to put their own mark on their character.
Once I've gotten an idea of what people would want (if anything), I can put together a couple of ideas to float to potential players.

I'd hope for an absolute minimum of three players (maybe even two?), maybe an average of 4-5, but absolutely willing to run with a larger group, so don't be shy thinking "five people have already responded, I'll just leave it" - some of those people might not end up being able to play anyway for whatever reason, so you and your input is always welcome! If you also need to drop out mid-session and possibly return later I'm sure I can work out how that can happen in the confines of the session.
 
Could be a good evening activity instead of / alongside the usual board games / giant BFG game.

For short one and done sessions its probably best to stick to a simple system. I'm not familiar with many systems so no idea which is simpler. Even N95 rules with some adjustments to keep players fighting longer would probably work well IMO.

The underhive would make a cool setting too, although I think setting should be on preference of the GM as they need to be more familiar with the setting than the players.
 
Could be a good evening activity instead of / alongside the usual board games / giant BFG game.
I was thinking similarly, but wanted to open the possibility up for anyone wanting to do an RPG but need to leave on the evening.
For short one and done sessions its probably best to stick to a simple system. I'm not familiar with many systems so no idea which is simpler. Even N95 rules with some adjustments to keep players fighting longer would probably work well IMO.
Simple systems definitely exist, but whether people like those systems can be a deal-breaker.

Savage Worlds' tagline is "Fast! Furious! Fun!", where stats are die types (D4 through to D12) and you're typically rolling your one die trying to beat a result of 4 unless (rarely) otherwise specified. One of my friends absolutely hates it.

Another of my friends can't get her head around any system except D&D, which is hilarious to me because it's an incredibly convoluted system in many respects, especially as it pertains to different character classes. (I'm not particularly keen on running D&D, but I've got base books for 5th(?) edition, and pathfinder 3.5 if there's interest in that way)

One of the simpler systems would be World of Darkness or Shadowrun, which use dice pools; you roll as many dice as character stat+skill and total up the number of dice that rolled highest (second highest in some circumstances) as successes, ones as fails, and you compare to see if you succeed, succeed with complications, fail, or fail with complications; some variations have "exploding" dice, where max rolls provide an extra dice to the pool. I don't know if people like that sort of system or prefer something else. WoD uses D10s, Shadowrun uses D6s.

A similar system would be from Legend of the Five Rings, which is roll-and-keep; your stat/skill would be #K#, i.e. 5K2 means you'd roll 5D10, keep 2 of those dice and add them together, 3K1 would roll 3D10 and keep the result of one of them, 6K6 would mean you'd roll 6D10 and add them all up etc. Not seen that system used in another setting than L5R's Fantasy martial arts setting, but systems can be dressed in different settings, it just takes a bit of time to map from one to the other.
The underhive would make a cool setting too, although I think setting should be on preference of the GM as they need to be more familiar with the setting than the players.
To be honest, if there's enough games of Inquisitor and Necromunda being played over the weekend people might have had their fill of 40k roleplay - the Inquisitor system is pretty much analogous to one, just without more of the social interaction skills of other systems. Not saying I won't run such a setting, but I'm aware people might fancy something different.

I'm very much a GM that wants to run an RPG people will want to play, rather than "This is my hobby project, have fun! I specifically request it!"; I can still make the narrative something of my own, but I can look at running something people will want to play (see "people might have had enough 40k from playing other stuff", so running something different might be more enjoyable).

For instance, if someone said "I'd like to play in a modern superhero setting using the world of darkness system", I could make it a setting where supers are looked down upon, ostracised and heavily policed, or where superheroes bounce around battling supervillains like it's a normal day, or superheroes have to be licenced and represented by a company and have to balance the books doing promotional work/movies/book deals to make money to pay for building damage they caused fighting crime, or that players are in fact supervillains fighting a guerilla war against an alien invasion that has killed off all the superheroes.

I cannot stress enough that I'd prefer to make something people will want to play, rather than make something and hope people will be interested in playing.
 
I would be up for an RPG session, I agree with looking into a different setting. I am used to DND and both versions of pathfinder, but I think running something more unique could be fun.

Also on the talk of making pc's I would go with pre rolled characters as making them can take up a huge amount of time.

I am reading up on the old end of the world system from fantasy flight, which is really good for one shots.
 
The upside of the D&D system is that its quite intuitive. Just roll a D20, add a stat and hope for high numbers. From there its as complicated as you want to make it. For a 1-shot, make the story a bit more railroady, take out XP tracking and just have characters level at set points, remove gold and instead award items at certain points and its quite straightforward. It is also easy to tailor to practically any fantasy setting.

From the few systems I've played, the Iron Kingdoms RPG is pretty good for simplicity, particularly for one shots with premade characters. Its basically the same 2D6 + stat system used in Warmachine/Hordes with the GM setting target numbers for everything outside of combat.

If you've played those games, imagine every PC has the profile of a Hordes Warbeast plus a few extra RPG style stats like Agility, Wisdom etc. You would definitely need premade characters, but there are plenty of premade ones available. Downside is it's very setting specific without major modification.

The Mechwarrior Destiny RPG also looks pretty good, although I've not played it. Quite unique in terms of story creation. The players basically create the story on the fly between them as they go along with the GM just keeping it on the straight and narrow.

Would you be wanting to run a minis-based combat system or pure Jedi mind tricks? Might be fun to have players bring a mini to represent their character (if using minis) and possibly even generate a character in advance before the weekend, although some people could also just take a pre-gen if they prefer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Space Truckin
I am reading up on the old end of the world system from fantasy flight, which is really good for one shots.
I have the "Zombie Apocalypse" and "Revolt of the Machines" books from that system; it teeters on the edge of being a Fate/Fate Core system ("plus/minus/blank" dice affected by "generic" character traits you try to apply to a situation), which is perfectly fine, but can be a bit disorienting for some trying to understand why some people manage to make a trait that seems to apply in every situation, while a slightly differently worded trait is hyper specific and almost useless (that may have been a GM issue).

I also often find the character creation one of the more fun aspects of the system as it allows you to make "you", with your friends' input to balance your character.

I do enjoy the books as they give a "before" and "after" state, and provide different approaches to the "same" apocalypse. Shame Fantasy Flight appear to have given up doing RPGs, going by their website, so getting the other two books to complete the set will be a bit of a slog.
The upside of the D&D system is that its quite intuitive. Just roll a D20, add a stat and hope for high numbers. From there its as complicated as you want to make it. For a 1-shot, make the story a bit more railroady, take out XP tracking and just have characters level at set points, remove gold and instead award items at certain points and its quite straightforward. It is also easy to tailor to practically any fantasy setting.

From the few systems I've played, the Iron Kingdoms RPG is pretty good for simplicity, particularly for one shots with premade characters. Its basically the same 2D6 + stat system used in Warmachine/Hordes with the GM setting target numbers for everything outside of combat.

If you've played those games, imagine every PC has the profile of a Hordes Warbeast plus a few extra RPG style stats like Agility, Wisdom etc. You would definitely need premade characters, but there are plenty of premade ones available. Downside is it's very setting specific without major modification.

The Mechwarrior Destiny RPG also looks pretty good, although I've not played it. Quite unique in terms of story creation. The players basically create the story on the fly between them as they go along with the GM just keeping it on the straight and narrow.

Would you be wanting to run a minis-based combat system or pure Jedi mind tricks? Might be fun to have players bring a mini to represent their character (if using minis) and possibly even generate a character in advance before the weekend, although some people could also just take a pre-gen if they prefer.
I've not played Iron Kingdoms or Mechwarrior Destiny, so I'd not immediately jump onto those systems, but if there's enough enthusiasm for either of them I can look at buying the books. Iron Kingdoms' 2D6 plus stat sounds similar to the Powered By The Apocalypse system, which I've only ever heard good things about, but I don't own it (very keen to buy it, but that's putting the cart before the horse as far as this RPG goes; again, systems/settings people want to play).

As far as minis go, I'm thinking "theatre of the mind" for now to reduce pressure on players (and/or me) to make a mini per character (plus NPC minis, plus terrain), but again once a popular setting is defined and the narrative made, I can pre-gen a bunch of characters that people can make a mini for if they so choose; if enough people make enough minis to guilt me into running a mini-based combat system...
 
Zombie apocalypse would be a nice easy setting with or without minis. I’ve got more zombie minis than I know what to do with. Plus everyone knows the setting so can come up with their own survivors quite easily. Plus no convoluted game breaking magic involved.

That said, any generic fantasy setting would be easy enough too. Everyone knows what an elf is and what a paladin should be doing for example.

I’m easy on setting though tbh. Could equally be Star Wars, Superheroes or anything that sounds remotely fun.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Karandrassh