Tag Archives: Alpha Omega

RPGaDay 2016- Day 20 Most challenging but system I have ever learned.

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I’m not a huge fan of complex games systems, I’ve played a few and I tend to find that they get in the way of the game. As with a great many in the roleplaying community, I’ve moved towards a preference for rules light systems that favour flexibility over rigid details that cover every minor occurrence in a game.

In terms of games that I considered complex at the time, it’d be AD&D 2nd ed. It was the first rpg that I properly played, the first I ran, the first I learnt and given that I was in my early teens at the time, it was a pretty damn complex game but it was also the game that set me on the path i’m on today, decades later.

For games that at truly complex, maybe Shadowrun, 3rd is probably the most complicated i’ve ever gotten properly to grips with. Shadowrun is one of those systems that has rules that cover everything, including the infamous chunky salsa rule for rebounding shockwaves from explosions. If you ever want an interesting challenge, check out the various rules for building and creating your own cyberdeck and programs in Virtual Realities 2.0.

The most complex i’ve read and tried to get to grips wth is Alpha Omega. That game has something like 12 modifiers that apply to EVERY SINGLE COMBAT ROLL, including, attacker’s stance (lying down, crawling, crouching ducking, standing), defender’s stance, attacker’s movement speed, defender’s movement speed, relative distance between attacker and defender, cover, concealment, lighting, distance between attacker and defender and more. That’s all before you get to monstrosity that is it’s magic system.

 

RPGaDay- 2016 Day 19, Best way to learn a new game?

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The best way to learn a new game kind of depends on whether you are running a game or playing it, there is some overlap, but there is a much greater onus on the person running the game than those playing it.

Starting with playing, I honestly believe you can just show up and have the DM walk you through the game, starting at CharGen and working through to a very simple adventure that highlights the key components of the game, usually combat, exploration, social interaction and skill challenges.

Personally, as a player I like to get ¬†copy of the rules of any game i’m going to play, ahead of time, so I can familiarise myself with CharGen and the rules that are likely to be applicable to the type of character I want to play.

As a DM I think the job is harder. The job of the DM is to learn pretty much all of the general rules of the game and be able to walk the players through the system. Thats not to say that the DM need know all the rules straight away (if ever really) but they should know all of the basics so the game can run reasonably smoothly and then they should note down any additional questions to check between sessions. In most cases, between those first few sessions, the DM will likely have a fairly long list of questions but as the campaign develops it should dwindle to nothing.

Personally, I also like to get a pre-written adventure when I’m learning the game, one written by the games designer preferably. This lets me understand how the game is intended to be run and played and helps me understand how to create my own stories within the framework of the game. I know a lot of people frown upon pre-written adventures but they are something that I find to be a great resource, even if I never run them.

At the end of the day, learning a game can be a painful process, especially if it’s a complex system, like Shadowrun or Alpha Omega, but as long as everyone is on the same page, forgives mistakes and are willing to adapt to week by week changes in how the rules are interpreted until things get settled, then it can be a very rewarding and exciting change from the norm.