Author Topic: Game Books  (Read 1238 times)

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Offline Erik Luken

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Game Books
« on: December 22, 2009, 10:39:47 PM »
When y'all are browsing through a game book in a store, what makes you decide to buy the book?

Assume that it is a system you have not tried, you have sufficient time to browse through a book, and the book is open (not shrinkwrapped or anything).
 

Offline boggo2300

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2009, 08:54:16 PM »
Interesting background, thats the big hook, thats what got me to gets me to start spending big

Matt
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Offline Cassaralla

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2009, 05:40:13 AM »
Background for me as well.  Has to be something interesting to get me to give a book more than a passing glance.
 

Offline Sotak246

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2009, 07:17:03 PM »
Pretty much the same thing for me as well.  A good background story will get me to buy a game even if I dont plan on ever playing it.  I collect several games that I dont play but love the storyline.

Mark
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 07:11:51 AM »
Another vote for background. This is probably why mediocre games set in well known backgrounds sell so well. If you can put a Star Wars or Star Trek label on a game you can almost guarantee a good seller, regardless of mechanics.

Steve
 

Offline ShadoCat

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2009, 04:47:58 PM »
I like mechanics.  I have my own backgrounds and I look for or kit bash mechanics to implement my backgrounds.

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2009, 05:26:12 PM »
Quote from: "ShadoCat"
I like mechanics.  I have my own backgrounds and I look for or kit bash mechanics to implement my backgrounds.
Good game mechanics are what keep me playing but background is what inspires me to read the mechanics in the first place :)

Steve
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2009, 04:45:43 PM »
The game I've been working on most lately I'd planned to leave with no background or setting. Just the mechanics to let the GM fit into his/her own setting. I personally have always been like Shadocat, mechanics to bash into my own setting.

Now let me ask this.
If you come across a pair of books, one setting and one mechanics, how likely are you to take an in-depth look at either? Presuming that at least one of the books piques your interest.
 

Offline boggo2300

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2009, 05:29:38 PM »
(looks shamefacedly at my bookshelf of Battletech source and rulebooks) Yes,  I agree with Steve, the source material is what gets me in (I didnt even buy GURPS until Gurps:Traveller was released) but the rules are what keeps me playing.  And dedicated source books are like honey......


Matt
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Offline Sotak246

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2009, 07:47:23 PM »
Like I mentioned earlier it is the background that gets me to buy the book, but a game with good mechanics will get me playing a game even if I bought it to read and not to play.

Mark
 

Offline ShadoCat

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2009, 12:03:46 AM »
Quote from: "Erik Luken"
The game I've been working on most lately I'd planned to leave with no background or setting. Just the mechanics to let the GM fit into his/her own setting. I personally have always been like Shadocat, mechanics to bash into my own setting.

Unfortunately, I think that you and I are atypical.  I think the market out there leans toward backgrounds.  Just looking at the responses here in a forum that appeals to those who are predisposed to crunch over fluff, even this end of the bell curve prefers backgrounds.

Quote from: "Erik Luken"
Now let me ask this.
If you come across a pair of books, one setting and one mechanics, how likely are you to take an in-depth look at either? Presuming that at least one of the books piques your interest.

Jumping up and waving from the far end of the bell curve...  ...one lone vote for mechanics.

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2009, 01:18:27 PM »
Some games are made by the setting, BattleTech and Traveller would not be the same without the Clans and Houses or the Spinward Marches.

I guess my goal is to create a system that a GM can put into his own setting, and as an adjunct create a setting for those who don't wish to, or don't have the time/skills/etc to do so.
 

Offline Hawkeye

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2009, 02:01:34 PM »
I am with the majority too, I´m afraid, it´s all about background for me. I even got into BTech after reading the two first Stakpole books and finding an Ad for the boardgame on the last page of one of them  :)
The background so fascinated me, I ordered the game without knowing anything about it aside from those two novels.

I have lots of AD&D, Traveler, Shadowrun, Renegade Legion,... Sourcebooks without ever realy playing them, I just love to read about interresting settings.

Of course, there is also stuff like Full Thrust on one of my bookshelfs, which is pretty generic (and Aurora, obviously, which I have to create the background myself too)

I think there is a middleground here. I just mentioned Full Thrust. It has sort of a background, but it is very brief and realy just for flavor. A gamesystem without _any_ background will be a hard sell to most people, I belive.
Also, the gamesystem in Full Thrust is rather simple which helps one, to concentrate on creating the background for a campaign. If the rules are very complex, I have to do enough to get them streight, at least in the beginning, so I appretiate it, not to have do both at the same time (yes, I am primarily a single player guy nowadays)


Edit: I could swear your post wasn´t there when I started typing, Erik, because what you are describing is exactely the Full Thrust approach.
Ralph Hoenig, Germany
 

Offline boggo2300

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2009, 04:18:05 PM »
The generic's are a different kettle of fish, I started getting things like Full Thrust & VBAM, while looking for a replacement for Starfire, unfortunately, they just didnt sit right, and I could never get really into them, because.... no background to speak of.  Even Starfire I came into because of the Interstellar war material in the Steve Cole edition, but I also came from SFB looking for something less rules monstery.  

Im rambling a bit here, so back to the point,  The Background is what will hook me in, the rules are what will keep me, I'm not 100% sure it will work publishing them in completely separate books though, I'd suggest at least a page or 2 of background in the rules book as a suggested setting maybe.

It always helps I think for people to have some hooks available to start their own background (I'm stilll cribbing from GDW's twilight war and rebuild from Twilight 2000, 2300AD for my Aurora settings)

Sorry for the stream of conciousness in this post. I got a little sidetracked

Matt
The boggosity of the universe tends towards maximum.
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Game Books
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2009, 04:48:20 PM »
Streams of consciousness are good :)

I guess my biggest complaint with integrated rules/background games is that the rules use the background, and excising the background to fit it into your own cuts the rules by too much. A prime example of this would be prestige classes from 3.x/4 D&D. They are meant to represent members of organizations. That is great and all, but if the organization does not exist in the game world, then the prestige class has no meaning.

As for the system I am working on, there probably will be some background material, but the bulk of the initial book will be rules. If nothing else, to explain/expand upon the races and some of the creatures presented in the bestiary section.
 

 

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