General Tabletop RPG Thread


If I want to play a game with a giant rulebook, I’ll get started with Advanced Squad Leader.


Re: 2nd ed PF. This may (jesus christ finally) mark the end of my playing pathfinder. I’m not gonna buy more books. I made this mistake once, I wanna play something better but literally since I found out about burning wheel years ago my last pathfinder campaign is still going.


I actually legitimately like PF’s rules and think it doesn’t require extensive house ruling. Also it’s free online to get almost everything you need. Since it’s hard to get everyone in on a new system anyways, using one that is effectively openly licensed online is easy.

So I don’t mind new books. I’m mainly just worried that rather than fixing a few of PF’s problems, they want a 5e-esque revamp and that’s unnecessary (and silly, since PF 1e was a response to 4e being too much of a dramatic revamp).


They know their audience. And Tresi is definitely not their audience.

I’ve played more Pathfinder than any RPG in my life (even counting D&D3) and the enthusiasm of Paizo fans still surprises me.

A collectors edition of the playtest document.


I’ve possibly played more 3/3.5 D&D than 2, but only by a hair. I never found Pathfinder to be more compelling in any material way than either of them.


I could go on and on about why I prefer PF to 3.5 (and 4e, and 5e), but I don’t think it will enrich anyone here.


I’m with ya. I, too, think that PF is a bit better than 3.5. Though I always refer to it as DnD 3.75.


Not having played Pathfinder I always assumed it was only superficially different from D20.


This is correct. It’s 3.5 with a few quality of life changes made.


Yea, from what I’ve played, I couldn’t start explaining the differences between 3.5 and PF. Sure they are different and one could probably fill a page explaining how, but overall PF just feels like maybe differently balanced 3.5. Fundamentally they are almost same game.


It seems to me like the choice of rule system is not nearly as important to the flow and feel of the game as the mix of people at the table. A great group can make any system feel fun, and even the most elegant rule set won’t save you from an obnoxious player.

We play D&D 5e because it’s the lowest common denominator, and because it’s easy to learn and remember different rules when you’re watching them used regularly in popular shows like Critical Role and Acq. Inc.


The system and the group are different axes. The system is a series of rewards and constraints to favor a particular style of play.

While possibly true, a group shouldn’t have to do this and a game doesn’t have to “feel fun” to be a enjoyable experience or generate a memorable story. Why would you play with an obnoxious player?


I’m just a huge virtual table-top fan at the moment. Having typically hand-wavey minutia like lighting be actually handled by the interface is great. I can’t wait for a good 3d table top experience.


So much RPG culture wrapped up in “bad roleplaying is better than no roleplaying” and “system doesn’t matter” and “I’ll just play with hypothetical cat piss man”. (I know you already know this, just giving a rhetorical answer to a rhetorical question)


The system and the group are different axes.

Yep, and one of those axes is a lot more important than the other in determining how your game plays. That axis is not game system.

a game doesn’t have to “feel fun” to be a enjoyable

Yes I will acknowledge that some people enjoy pain more than fun. I am not one of those people.

Why would you play with an obnoxious player?

Exactly. Get a good group, have a good time. Never worry too much about choice of system again.

I’m not saying choice of system doesn’t matter, I’m just saying it’s not the term dictating the shape of the upper bound on the enjoyment function.

Further, comparing 5e vs 4e vs PF vs FATE vs Lady Blackbird in terms of which one you prefer as much sense as saying you prefer songs that have pianos in them. I’m not going to refuse to sit down with an awesome group because they play PF not 5e. If I’m sitting down with a table full of 3e veterans maybe we’ll play PF. If I’m DM’ing for a group of Critical Role fans who have never played before, we’ll probably go 5e. If it’s a one-shot at a game store meetup, maybe take the opportunity to try/showcase something a little different like Hell for Leather. These things can all coexist happily, and all simultaneously be good.

As with colors and ice cream flavors, I don’t get the pressing need to name a favorite.


These are the words of someone who has not played with many systems.


Spoken like someone who has not played with many different groups.


As a professional RPG designer who has played and run a wide variety of systems with dozens of groups, trust me, system can make a huge difference in terms of engagement, theme, and the quality (or likelihood) that your stories resolve in a satisfying way.

(Also just FYI I have a Kickstarter running right now for a new roleplaying game which is basically proof of this because it takes a concept which never works right in RPGs, flying aircraft, and actually makes it fun.)


Looks like it might be fun. I’ve kept wanting to bring the Apocalypse to the table again, and it might be neat to have another option.

In terms of which is more important in having a good time at the table? I’m going to say that the group is a hell of a lot more important. I’ve had, to some degree, the same group since High School, with people trading out, leaving, rejoining, new people coming in, drama exploding the group, and one guy who started the group with me from Western Civ way back still there for most of it.

And it’s the people who are important. The people help to guide what systems you can actually do and how much engagement there is in the system. For a couple of years, we couldn’t play anything but 5e, because one of the people in our group didn’t want to try anything else but D&D.

And even a good system can lead to a bad game if the wrong people are there or running. I’ve had a horrible experience with Burning Wheel (which I know is loved here), but that may be due to where I was at the time, my tastes, or who was running it. And this guy was an ace player, but I never liked any game he ran. We also played two seasons of a Dresden Files RPG, which because of who ran it is probably very different from what other people have seen from the game at their table.

I’d say the list, in order of importance: People, Coordinator (GM, DM, Storytell, Person who owns Fiasco), System.


I remember the foundational days of that group :wink:

Yeah, group is super important. Good friends with good intentions can have fun in and around almost any system. Think about how many sessions we had where we went hours without rolling and dice!

But at the same time, I am actually pretty confident that if we’d used something like Burning Wheel back then instead of D&D 2nd ed, we would have had MORE fun and told more stories. Our narratives definitely had their stalling points that a better system would have helped us through.