24 August 2014

#RPGaDay: Day Twenty-Four - Most Complicated RPG Owned

Living Steel gave Rolemaster a run for its money.
I never did buy into Phoenix Command, but I seem to remember that Living Steel and the Aliens Adventure Game (both of which are based on PC) are pretty damned complicated. I've got copies of them both on the shelf next to me, and a cursory glance through the rules confirms that many charts and tables are required to perform any manner of combat check. I always felt that anyone who bothered to foster their familiarity of the system might be able to run it reasonably quickly. That person was not me.

I also own a few Rolemaster and Hero system books. GURPS can also be pretty complicated, though I was exposed to it a lot growing up and I know it doesn't have to be a nightmare to play/run. And, of course, I always considered my copy of Shadowrun first edition to be nigh-incomprehensible. I played in a few games of SR in my earlier years (never wanted to run it because I was a Cyberpunk 2020 guy) and I always relied on the GM to know what needed to be done and why.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Twilight: 2000 (first edition) by GDW. I remember picking it up because it looked so damn cool. I got it home, read the rules, and was instantly befuddled. It was the first game I'd ever seen where you needed a worksheet to create your character, which you then transferred to a proper character sheet. The fluffy parts of the game were awesome, but learning that system was a struggle. GDW eventually released a simpler version in the second edition, but damn.

I keep a lot of these complicated games around because, when you look past their systems, there's a plethora of very evocative content in there. Care went into creating these worlds and settings. Inspiration is important. I may never play these games, but it's nice to comb them for interesting ideas and tidbits that I can employ somewhere else.

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