Another doubleshot. What am I going to do, post a short answer when I don’t have much to say?
Will I be playing in 20 years? I hope so. Once in a while you see old dudes playing D&D. I sort of played Champions with an old dude a couple of times. Aside from being a dick and an antisemite and a shitty GM he wasn’t so bad.
Favorite licensed RPG. My first thought was that I don’t play many licensed RPGs and that it would be Firefly hands down. The game is actually called Serenity but I keep calling it Firefly.
Then my second thought was “Star Wars you dum-dum!” Star Wars the RPG has been around so long that somehow I forget that it’s a licensed thing. Honestly, I think part of it is that we generally play Star Wars like generic space adventure game. Lando doesn’t show up to party with us, we don’t kill the Emperor in every campaign, and there’s usually not a lot of force stuff going on.
So then which is better Star Wars vs Firefly? Firefly uses a better system, it’s the cortex system, the version I’m talking about anyway, they came out with a different one later, which is pretty good overall. I think I might have said it was my favorite system when I was rambling about that?
But the answer is Star Wars because of my stupid brain.
I kind of don’t like licensed stuff because that story has already been told, why are we messing with it? Star Wars is big enough that you can pretty much do whatever, there’s a billion planets and a gajillion alien species and whatever you want is fine. I like playing Firefly BUT sometimes people add in aliens and Dyson spheres and other things that I can’t completely shut out that part of my brain that goes “NO! That’s not canon!”
One time we played a game session where the Terminators sent their Terminators back in time to kill John Conner while he was visiting Jurassic Park and also the Transformers were there. And Sarah Conners came back as the Crow. That was fine because it was ridiculous on the face of it.
But, for instance if someone wanted to play the new Aliens RPG and they added in demons and magic and whatever was going on in the game Doom there would be a part of me that would be all like “that’s not Aliens!” Which is dumb but it’s still there.
I have a “funny” streak of anti-creativity when it comes to RPGs, you know funny because RPGs are all about creativity and it makes me a jerk. Funny like that. If you want to play a generic space game with Xenomorphs and Event Horizon and Doom monsters, cool, whatever but something about doing the same thing with Aliens makes it less appealing to me. I guess I’m just really invested in corporate IP.
Another example for no reason. Earthdawn is a game I like (as long as you’re not a spellcaster). Out of the handful Earthdawn campaigns I’ve played in the one that I liked the least is the one where the GM brought in a bunch of D&D lore because then why not just play D&D? What I like about Earthdawn is that it has its own thing going on, turning the horrors from Earthdawn into the D&D style devils from the 9 Hells makes it less interesting to me.
I just realized that the old Marvel Superheros and DC games are licensed products too. I guess the main takeaway here is that for some reason I don’t think of old games as being licensed even when they are. Probably for the same reason, we never played FASERIP Marvel with the Marvel universe people. We didn’t bust Dr. Doom for selling crack as the X-Men, we made our own characters and mostly stayed away from established stuff other than stuff like Hydra or Sentinels and things like that that are “generic”.
I remember one time I put Omega Red into a Marvel adventure because I thought Omega Red was cool and the heroes smashed the shit out of him in two turns. It would have been one turn but I fudged the mudge so he only got his ass kicked super bad instead of being crushed utterly. This RPGADAY thing is supposed to be about positivity but I’ll continue with more negativity. That’s another reason I don’t like licensed stuff generally, the “oh yeah, we killed Magneto and the Red Skull the other day so now we have the Cosmic Cube” of it all.
I never played the old Middle Earth Roleplaying game, which is a shame because it’s fun to say MERP, but a common complaint I’ve heard about (besides everything) it is that any character from the books, even if they’re the innkeeper from the Prancy Pony is super OP level a billion to make sure the PCs can’t hurt them. Which is kind of an odd complaint because why are you trying to kill Farmer Maggot, but also I get it, it’s weird when your PCs suck compared to literally everyone else ever.
Obviously other people have different likes and dislikes but for me there’s no reason to stat out the characters in licensed games because I don’t want to interact with them in that way. It’s like how in lots of, mostly older, RPGs they have stats for gods. Makes no sense to me, why would you ever need the stats for Odin unless you were doing some weird mega high level kill all the gods campaign?
Now for the contradiction. If you ever play Firefly, which you should mostly the older one but either ruleset is good, here’s how the campaign should end. The PCs are running down an alley as part of a heist or a chase or a climatic run to the ship to get away scene and then Jayne appears at the end of the alley and mows them down with Vera.
As the PCs lay in the dirt dying Zoe appears besides Jayne –
“Who are they?”
Jayne “They come running at me, it was self-defense!”
Wash and Kaylee pull up on a quad mule with a bunch of salvage parts on the back –
“Who are they?”
Zoe “I don’t know, Jayne says they attacked him.”
Mal walks by impatiently “We don’t have time for this, get moving!”