#RPGaDay 2017: Day 14

#RPGaDay ‘s question for day 14 asks about which RPG would choose for open-ended campaign play. This is my default attitude toward gaming, even now with all the schedule and life things which come with age and responsibility. When I think of running one of my regular RPG choices, and when I think of starting play with a new group, I imagine campaign play. Campaigns in my experience are open-ended. The campaign has a beginning, and then there is what comes after. There is no middle, and there is no real end. We know that play in that campaign will stop eventually. We know that play resumes from time to time. The start of a campaign, however, is the launching of an imaginary world you can visit and revisit for the rest of your life.

You can imagine then, that many of the games I have gathered into my library over the years suit this form of play more than others, and you would be right. Some, though, are better at it than others. Many games have a sweet spot which, once crossed, transform play in some way which might not be desired, or before being reached place restrictions on play which do not mesh with current plans within the group.

Our question today asks about a singular choice, but as the response yesterday was somewhat empty of specifics, I will do two today, Star Wars Roleplaying by FFG, and Mythras by the Design Mechanism.

Both of these games are notable in their capacity to support long-form play which does not distort expectations. Character improvement rates are easily controlled and the games themselves are very slow to reach a point where that advancement reduces challenge. These provides risk to the players without undue burden on the GM, and also provides all the players with the experience they signed up for for as long as they may want to pursue it without artificially adjusting progression.

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Where Mythras stands out is in the depth, quality, and care shown in this iteration of the excellent d100 lineage of games. The character creation system works as a significant collaborator in inspiring the players to make interesting characters rooted in the chosen setting, the mechanics provide a surprising amount of situational awareness and control to the players, and the long history and flexibility of the framework provides ample aid to anyone looking to add something which (inconceivably) they cannot find in the core Mythras rules as presented in Mythras and Luther Arkwright: Roleplaying Across the Parallels.

The Mythras Imperative rules and 3rd party publication license further extends the reach of all this d100 goodness to truly staggering levels making the campaign that never ends an easy possibility.

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Where Star Wars stands out is in the ease for many gamers to adopt it as a setting in regard to the effort needed to become conversant with its style, tone, and locations. Character creation is relatively quick and straightforward with only a few steps which are easy to do in sequence with the core rules and in collaboration with the other players. The vaunted narrative dice work better as a tool to emulate the genre and open up new vistas of collaboration than most people expect, and the games function well as single core books, or in concert with the wide variety of expansions giving the campaign-minded GM either a solid template on which to build, or a wall of support from which to expand.

Question 15: Which RPG do you enjoy adapting the most?

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