Multi-System and Non-System Gaming Materials

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Supplement Four
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Multi-System and Non-System Gaming Materials

Postby Supplement Four » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:33 pm

I am very sad to see that the Conan line is on "pause" for the moment, with an uncertain future. But, I wanted to make a comment to Mongoose about something I read in Matt's announcement pertaining to the system-less book that Vincent was writing.

I may be in the minority (and, I may be in the majority--I don't know), but I can't stand "system-less" material. This may be just one customer describing his tastes, but I always prefer rpg's to pick a game system and stick with it.

My favorite rpg of all time, Traveller, is "king" of being applied to various game systems--and I can't stand it.

I was interested in Vincent's book because (1) Vincent wrote it, and (2) because a book on geography probably won't have a lot rules displayed in it anyway.

But, then again, it could have some mechanics here and there (as in "...these people are so fierce, give them a +X on morale checks...").

Vincent, when writing the book, might find some neat little rules he could insert here and there (as he did with the Player's Handbook), but because he's writing a "system-less" book, he'll refrain from including them in the work. Plus, anyone using the Savage or Runequest version of the game would find these little checks and rule next to useless--only a guideline to base their converted rule off of.

So, Mongoose, the market feedback from this Conan-gamer is: Please just pick a single system and stick with it. I really don't care if the switch is made to Runequest or Savage Worlds or some other system, or if it's left with 3.5 d20. I just want to follow one game system--not multiple systems and have to deal with "systemless" material.

I'm sure others will pipe in about the virtues of multi-system games. But, if a single customer's preference matters at all, you now have mine.

I tend to never buy rpgs that are multi-system, and when I do, I usually just pick one system and stick with it, avoiding the systemless books.

As I said, though, I'm prolly in the minority here.
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:38 pm

Well, Return to the Road of Kings was systemless, wasnt it? And that, Im sure youll agree, was pretty good?
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:41 am

PrinceYyrkoon wrote:Well, Return to the Road of Kings was systemless, wasnt it? And that, Im sure youll agree, was pretty good?
It sure is, and if you read my entire post, you'll see that I mention stuff like that.
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Postby Demetrio » Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:19 am

Personally I think an rpg publisher is well advised to have a single system for a game. The multi-system route divides resources between the systems, so rather than say get 5 Conan supplements for a single system, you get three, one for each of the three systems and maybe some online conversion packs full of stat blocks to allow adventures to be run under the other systems. It's different if you have different companies churning out different system material for the same game becasue you're not then dividing a single company's resources.

I'd have liked Mongoose to further refined Conan d20 (essentially making a 3rd ed), simplifying mechanics, organising feats better, things of that nature rather than producing the Warriors Companion etc that added bumf without really addressing underlying issues - in fact exacerbating them.

While I admire their bold plans for a three system approach, I'm not surprised they were scuppered. I merely regret the atlases.

I'd rather have seen a decision to go to either %ile or SW system than a bastard mix. I wouldn't have been pleased as I frankly can't be arsed to convert all the old material to a new system, or any the new material to the old system - I have things I'd rather do with my time. I know some people don't mind converting adventures from system to system. i'd suggest they are more a minority. I used to be far more devoted to rpging than I am now. Now I enjoy it but I have chosen to limit the time I spend on rpgs. So really I want adventures I can play out the box without significant conversion.

So one system to rule them all is what I say.
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Postby Troll66 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:37 pm

I think the way it was going to be as far as I know is:
1.no more D20 (or precious little)
2.a one off Savage worlds Conan book- plot point similar to SK - maybe a supplement
3.MRQ Conan will full Mongoose support
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Postby Demetrio » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:03 pm

That wasn't actually what they said.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:01 pm

Troll66 wrote:I think the way it was going to be as far as I know is:
1.no more D20 (or precious little)
2.a one off Savage worlds Conan book- plot point similar to SK - maybe a supplement
3.MRQ Conan will full Mongoose support
Maybe I didn't read it as completely as I thought I did. I thought I read that they were going to do a SW book and a MRQ book and continue with the d20 3.5 stuff as usual.

So, you'd still have the d20 3.5 stuff as the "core" Conan line with a few MRQ and SW supplements thrown into the mix.

My fear was that MRQ or SW would sell well prompting Mongoose to make more Conan material for that particular rules version--to the point where there is no more recognizable "core" rule version.

For someone who only wants to follow one system, that's a nightmare.
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:31 pm

Supplement Four wrote:I thought I read that they were going to do a SW book and a MRQ book and continue with the d20 3.5 stuff as usual.
I think the idea was for Mongoose to go with MRQ version, (with maybe a SW version as well), but the thing to appease D20 guys was the series of atlases, which would have been good for all systems because of their lack of rules. I imagine there would have been a kind of Road of Kings, expanded to 13 volumes. I dont think there would have been any further support for D20 specifically.

Its all gone now, it seems. We can only guess what will happen next. Maybe a few more D20 products before the licence is up?
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Postby flatscan » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:44 pm

PrinceYyrkoon wrote:Its all gone now, it seems. We can only guess what will happen next. Maybe a few more D20 products before the licence is up?
Let's hope so. Empires of the Hyborian Age PLEASE!!! I've been waiting for that book for a loooooooooong time. It's already been written and was on the schedule earlier this year. Release the book Mongoose. You know you want to! :D
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Postby Azgulor » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:46 pm

flatscan wrote:
PrinceYyrkoon wrote:Its all gone now, it seems. We can only guess what will happen next. Maybe a few more D20 products before the licence is up?
Let's hope so. Empires of the Hyborian Age PLEASE!!! I've been waiting for that book for a loooooooooong time. It's already been written and was on the schedule earlier this year. Release the book Mongoose. You know you want to! :D
Yes by Crom!!!!
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:56 pm

Supplement Four

Further to your statements. I know what you mean, but, if it comes to either having dual system books, or no books, I'll take product every time. This happened with Call of Cthulhu. Chaosium issued quite a few few dual stat books, (BRP and D20), Arkham, Kingsport, etc., and I didnt mind the extra stats. The D20 stuff was tucked away in the back of the book, amounting to about twenty extra pages, and I dont think it impacted upon the price at all. And a resouceful GM could use this extra info for other games, in fact.

When Chaosium released Thieves World back in the day, it had stats for around EIGHT systems! No one complained, surprisingly. It was seen as a great leap forward.

Systemless books are only really useful if theyre accompanied by stat books. Im not sure how commercial a fully fluffy book is. If I buy that kind of thing, it tends to be low on the priority list.
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Postby Supplement Four » Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:21 pm

PrinceYyrkoon wrote:I know what you mean, but, if it comes to either having dual system books, or no books, I'll take product every time.
No argument here. Definitely would like to see Conan survive in some edition. I'm not a huge fan of the d20 system, but if that's the system Conan uses, I'm OK with it. Switch to another system (and the system is a "good"), I'd be OK with that, too.

But, if the choice is multi-system or nothing at all--give me multi-system.

When Chaosium released Thieves World back in the day, it had stats for around EIGHT systems! No one complained, surprisingly. It was seen as a great leap forward.
I acutally have that set, almost in tatters, from years ago. I think that was a different kind of animal, though. The Thieves World rpg didn't have a system of its own, so I think people accepted that the game include the major mechanics systems of the day (Traveller was included!).

Had Thieves World been established with its own game system, and then switched to a multi-system game servicing eight different systems, there may have been some griping had there been an internet for those griper to voice their opinions.
Systemless books are only really useful if theyre accompanied by stat books. Im not sure how commercial a fully fluffy book is. If I buy that kind of thing, it tends to be low on the priority list.
It depends on the book, but I typically feel the same. I can make up my own background. I like fluff, but honest, well-thought-out rules are what I'm looking for in an RPG. Fluff must support the rules and rules must support the fluff.

I know there are many gamers out there who feel the opposite. They could care less about the rules (usually because they're using their own favorite or house system). All they want is fluff.

I like a good mix of the two. One good game system + interesting fluff = great game.
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Postby Saeros » Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:40 pm

I would not be opposed to purchasing books that had no game system information in them, and then downloading the game system stats of my choice from the internet.
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Postby Jotenbjorn » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:34 pm

Multi-system and non-system books always fail. Ask the fine folks who publish 7th Sea how well their 7th Sea/D20 books went over. Nobody wants to buy a book when 1/3 of the material is stuff they simply can't use. Not when they cost as much as they do. Nonsystem books also fail because people like crunch.
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Postby warzen » Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:32 am

squidyak wrote:Multi-system and non-system books always fail. Ask the fine folks who publish 7th Sea how well their 7th Sea/D20 books went over. Nobody wants to buy a book when 1/3 of the material is stuff they simply can't use. Not when they cost as much as they do. Nonsystem books also fail because people like crunch.
Except d20 is the most verbose system still alive. Doing stats for AD&D wouldn't take that much space, so yes, nobody want to lose 1/3 of the pages but why choose a product that is taking so much space ?

W.
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Postby Jotenbjorn » Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:57 pm

warzen wrote:Except d20 is the most verbose system still alive. Doing stats for AD&D wouldn't take that much space, so yes, nobody want to lose 1/3 of the pages but why choose a product that is taking so much space ?

W.
Because it's by far the most popular system. Ignoring the most popular system would be an even bigger mistake than using multiple systems in the first place.
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Postby warzen » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:26 pm

squidyak wrote:
warzen wrote:Except d20 is the most verbose system still alive. Doing stats for AD&D wouldn't take that much space, so yes, nobody want to lose 1/3 of the pages but why choose a product that is taking so much space ?

W.
Because it's by far the most popular system. Ignoring the most popular system would be an even bigger mistake than using multiple systems in the first place.
which is contradictory to what you were implying about the success of adding d20 to 7thsea books.

I'm missing something cause I can't follow what you're trying to explain.

W.
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Postby Jotenbjorn » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:55 pm

warzen wrote:which is contradictory to what you were implying about the success of adding d20 to 7thsea books.

I'm missing something cause I can't follow what you're trying to explain.

W.
It's not contradictory at all. Multi-system books are a bad idea, and multi-system books that ignore the most popular game system are doubly so.
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Postby RPGnerd » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:43 am

I'd prefer that Conan be either systemless or single system to Runequest, a system they own that is much better than OGL/d20.

I won't use the rules in the Conan books, they just don't make realistic characters in Howard's style. I use CoC/BRP to make characters and it works great for me so I'm obviously biased. If it used RuneQuest then I'd use that.

I use them well as sourcebooks and have all the 1st edition, but only a few of the second ed. I was unimpressed by the book binding and had pretty much all I needed to run my games so I stopped buying them as I dislike OGL/d20 and not much new information was added.

If they want single system, market wise its much better to go with Runequest as you tap the Runequest market, BRP and Call of Cthulhu Markets.

D20 players are not interested in Sword & Sorcery/Pulp as the above markets are. They want Tolkien/epic fantasy in general and are a totally different market. The proof is the sales of D&D.

System loyalty is strong for CoC/Runequest/BRP...just look at Ebay, I spent over $300 getting a CoC book in mint condition. Not many d20 players will do that. Exploiting a smaller group but perhaps larger market of older more affluent players aimed at a Runequest Conan seems to make the most sense overall.
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