January 4th, 2002


RPG Priorities

I realize this is a question that's probably been around and around and around, but I'm just curious about the importance of:

Metaplot (If any)
Publisher / Customer Service

Which of these is important to you? And why? What priority do they have?

For example, there are RPG authors whose work I will purchase without a second thought because of their past work.
The presence or lack of a metaplot doesn't concern me. If there's a really awful metaplot, I'm fully cognizant of my ability to ignore it. If there's a decent or interesting one, I'll follow it.
There are publishers that I refuse to support - I'm done buying WotC products because I have so consistently been disappointed by their work.
Setting is my #1 priority in games. If I can't get a decent grasp of setting after reading the first chapter or so of the basic book, I'm not interested. If I have a decent grasp and hate it, no way. The setting has to be interesting and internally consistent.
Support, for me, is not a big deal. It's nice to have, but if all a game line will ever have is a basic book, I will only complain if it fails to contain rules or information essential to the game in some way.
System is relatively unimportant. If a game has a system I dislike with a setting I do like, I'll just grab a different system from elsewhere. Like WoD, for example (I'll save my Storyteller System Rant for another time/place). If I were ever to run WoD again, I'd use a modified version of the L5R 2E system.

Let me give you a few examples:

Game Lines I Like:
L5R -- I like John Wick's writing. The metaplot is ... eh. I'll drop parts of it, but, on the whole, I've seen worse. AEG's customer service has always been good to me when I had a problem or question. The setting is decent -- one of my favorites, actually. There's a lot of support that, while not necessary to running the game, is nice to have if I decide I need it. And the system (with a few minor tweaks) is one of the best I've seen in a long time.
7th Sea -- See L5R, as the writeup would be nearly identical
Tribe 8 -- I was not familiar with the author(s) when I got this one. So far, I like the Metaplot. Dream Pod 9's Customer Service is one of the best I've ever had the chance to deal with. The setting hooked me within three pages of the front of the basic book. The support isn't required to run a decent game, but it's VERY well done, if a bit pricy. And the system supports the setting well without being overly cumbersome.
Over The Edge -- Jonathan Tweet is ... amazing. So is Robin D. Laws. If there's a metaplot, it's so subtle as to be unnoticed. Atlas Games has excellent customer service. The setting is ... bizarre. But very familiar. The support is totally optional -- but is very well-done. And the system is incredible.

Game Lines I Dislike:
WoD -- I have no strong feelings about their authors. The metaplot (which I will choose to ignore) sucks. White Wolf's customer disservice department is very good at disgruntling me. I do like the setting and some of the concepts that underlay it. They've done their best to make sure that the game is barely playable with just the basic book. And the support they provide is ... mediocre at best. And the system totally blows.
D&D -- Jonathan Tweet's presence is a plus. No metaplot present. WotC's Quality Control is awful -- but I've never had any bad experiences with their customer service department. No setting inherent in basic books (there are grains of setting, but not nearly enough to be considered a complete setting). Support isn't required, and is overpriced and of low quality. And the system is a huge step backwards for gaming.

hey everyone...

if there is anyone who likes wrestling and is interested in joining up with one or multiple RP e-feds, please respond to this entry. there are two feds that i am in that are currently accepting applications, one of which i am helping to run. thank you!!

~*The Queen of the Ring*~
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