#RPGaDay 2017: Day 16

Today’s question for #RPGaDay is ‘Which RPG do you enjoy using ‘as is’?

Being someone who usually plays games RAW (Rules as Written) with a side-order of ROAR (Rulings Over or in Absence of Rules), the simple and useless answer would be ‘pretty much all of them.’ There are a few exceptions here and there, from time to time.

In order to make checking this post worthwhile, I will go for one system I play RAW that many people do not. Which system?

Palladium Fantasy

Image result for palladium fantasy

Palladium Fantasy is a fantasy RPG from the 80s which tried to address some of the common complaints or frictions some players had with the early versions of D&D which were in print at the time.

It held close to the maxim that the imaginary worlds we were creating were ours, and that the rules were starting points. It struck me that the line was all about inspiration and suggestion. This point is backed up somewhat by taking a look at the cover art for the game since its inception.

Image result for palladium fantasyRelated image

Related imageRelated image

As these images suggest, in the world of Palladium Fantasy, and all the other worlds which would use the same system, scale is not considered to be a problem. There is a wild abandon in this system which encourages freedom of choice, which responds to player gambles, which says ‘Lets try!’ instead of ‘You cannot do that.’ It has, as a system, no sense of balance, only measurement.

It lets the group decide what they will play today; it just wants to help.

For some, this chaos, which of course bled into the presentation of material, was a bit much and the system has become a common internet joke, as in “I love the setting, but you have to play it with something else.”

I among the people who do not agree. I love the setting and I run the system as it is.

How? If the system is reputed to be so problematic that it has reached meme levels of recognition for it, how can I run it without house-ruling it?

In conjunction with Day 13’s post, how this was possible was partly due to my natural predilections, and partly due to taking the time to read the game and figure it out in its own context, not in comparison to something else. This was the game, as I have said elsewhere before, that taught me to get involved in character creation and involved the players in world creation. Before that, we would work in isolation. That works in a lot of games, and it can even work in Palladium, but it works better in Palladium’s ‘Megaversal System’ when you collaborate. It is a system built around being able to model whatever from wherever and to throw it into the mix. The group that exercises choice and control over what they will play will get out of the experience a result commensurate to the effort that they put into building a foundation for that experience.

Reading the rules for the game are part inspiration, as it is full of cool ideas, and part work, as it is organized by topic, not by function or by ease of reference. Bookmarks, memory, notes, all help give a new GM the sense of the shape of the system. Once that has been achieved, everything else gets easier.

Now of course there is a GM pack which does all of that for you, but, it is worth doing the work on your own, I think.

Once the group gives itself permission to forsake the false god of ‘balance,’ and once they learn to model the world the way this game does instead of another game, then suddenly, the play is the thing! Epic journeys, foul villains, slides into corruption or returns from it, can all begin to appear in the course of taking on roles and stepping into a world where your imagination is expected to burn as bright as the sun~


Question 17: Which RPG have you owned the longest, but not played?



3 Responses to “#RPGaDay 2017: Day 16”
  1. Hmmm, I might have to give Palladium Fantasy a go at some point, it’s not a game I’ve ever tried. I have to admit that at the moment I’m struggling not to simply answer question 16 by just saying Fate again (since I don’t think that would be very interesting and would replicate day 15’s video), I’m going to have a think about it and film a video this evening 🙂

    • Runeslinger says:

      I had a similar collision of thought; I adapt it AND use it RAW? Really? I double checked to ensure I am not a politician. Confirming that I am not, I had to clear my head and start over.

      I am sure you will find something, or at least something worth listening to~

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] games I’ve run as is includes Palladium, in particular Mystic China. I’d recommend checking out Runeslinger’s blog and video about this infamous […]

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