face lifts for old games

edited February 2006 in Story Games
That Morrow-Dogs thread got me thinking about older games.

You know what could be really fucking cool with a few updates? Gangbusters.

Anyone out there besides me have this game? It has a lot of cool ideas, especially for a game made in 1983. There's XP rules in there similar to TSOY's keys, and nothing that says there needs to be a "party." Characters can be criminals or police or reporters or whatever, and they can be absolutely against each other.

The resolution system is kinda clunky, but it'd be easy to fix it up a bit. In general, very cool.

And I suppose that Hero Quest is the face-lifted version of RuneQuest.

Any games out there that you'd like to see getting a cool update?

Comments

  • Timelords (if I recall the name correctly) - A game out of Britian based on the Doctor Who television series.

    The resolution system was more table-oriented than I like, but I'm a sucker for the Doctor. The basic set-up was pretty cool.

    Hrm, maybe it was the "Doctor Who" game proper... Or maybe I've fused them in my head.... Drat, now I wish I was at home at my bookshelf so I could look it up.
  • edited February 2006
    Dark Sun with motherfucking The Shadow of Yesterday.

    Funny, I was planning on creating this very thread for a few days now (actually with focusing on old AD&D campaign worlds).

    Dragonlance: PTA (issues)
    Dark Sun: TSOY. All the fucking way. (or HeroQuest, if that's your flava)
    Planescape: Stranger Things. :-) ("Tiefling: The RPG")
    Ravenloft: Conspiracy of Shadows or My Life With Master for the "other side". :-)
    Others: Burning Wheel, Riddle of Steel, Iron Heroes, or HeroQuest, depending on what you're into.

    EDIT: Sorry, I misread this: I didn't suggest games for facelift, so much as suggest old games to be run with new games. Is that kosher?
  • Heya,

    I'd love to see a fun, updated Mechwarrior. That was one of my favs back in the mid 90's. I guess it's not too old, but sheesh that was over 10 years ago now. I'm getting old :(

    Peace,

    -Troy
  • One game I'd actually like to see facelifted: Justifiers. Without "furry-ing" it. Cool ideas, cohesive hard SF, but suffers all the old school problems plus rule disjoints. I'm hoping that, eventually, Herr Blair will able to do his "She-Bangs" system all over that mess.

    -Andy
  • Matt,

    I've always been a big fan of Gangbusters and played it quite a bit (years and years ago). I've never thought about it before, but I think you're right about its "progressive" features. And compared to a lot of other rpgs, it was pretty easy and straightforward for the GM to create scenarios, because it really did have a built in situation creation scheme.

    Not quite a facelift, but in the direction Andy was taking the topic: I think you could use TSOY to play old school, 1st edition Cyberpunk.

    --Jon
  • Andy:

    I think old games with new rules kinda counts as a facelift. Gangbusters is almost TSOY already, with some sim stuff added in.

    The Key of "That's the Chicago Way"

    The Secret of Albert Finney's Tommy Gun of Fury.

    Yeah. I can dig that.
  • edited February 2006
    Man, this sorely tempts me to grab the Gangbusters pdf.

    *UPDATE* It was only $4. I was weak.

    -Rob D.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that actually tries to replicate the zaniness of the comics (which sort of leeched into the cartoons), where there's more commentary on and satire of pop culture.

    Actually, any game that can pull off satire would be intriguing.
  • Games that could use a facelift?

    Exalted. And I don't mean the friggin' Second Edition that's coming out in a couple of months.

    I once tried to tackle this question on the Forge, but got very little useful advice. I wound up splicing in a bastardized version of TROS's SAs, but it didn't work very well.

  • Hmmm. Exalted's a hard one to tackle. What are you looking for, and what do you want to ditch?
  • Someone wants to help? Wow! I was just bitching, but actual help is welcome, too, as long as you're willing to talk crazy moon talk with me.

    What I want is a Narrativist version of Exalted—a game whose rules live up to all the rhetoric about power and responsibility in the flavor text. I want to keep the setting and the crunch, and make the Virtue rules and the reward system actually work.

  • How about the other end of the question, Metal -- what do you want to ditch?
  • edited February 2006
    Hmmmm. Let's take this to a new thread:

    http://www.story-games.com/forums/comments.php?DiscussionID=173
  • From personal experience, Weapons of the Gods has proven to be _such_ a titanically good fix for exalted as to be almost shocking.

    Main problem is that you need to develop a lot of your own lore sheets, which is time consuming, but very rewarding. In terms of play and action, it's pretty much spot on.

    Most notably, the passions and deeds system ends up making the virtues look small and puny and really captures what I always felt they _should_ be.

    -Rob D.
  • Stranger Things: Planescape? Probably be the only way I'd play it, now that I've heard it. In fact, I want to play it so much at a Gameday just to see if I could lure in the guy and gal (Shemeska and Clueless are the only names I know them by) into playing to see what their reactions would be.
  • edited February 2006
    Well, Talislanta needs a facelift, for sure. I'm largely responsible for the 4th edition being such a gamerthink mess*. Steve Sechi had plenty of great progressive ideas that we shot down because "that's not how an RPG works." Gah. Anyone have a time machine I can borrow? I need to take a copy of TSOY back to 1996.

    Sorcerer. No, I'm not kidding. That game rocks the house, but it was written in a totally different RPG landscape. A new version, written with today's perspective, would be a juggernaut of awesomeness.

    Feng Shui. This is still the game to beat for full-throttle action goodness. Throw in a killer situation-creator (it almost has one now), decide exactly what the reward system is supposed to be doing, and you're golden.

    * okay, it's not that bad. but it could have been a lot cooler.
  • I, too, agree that the world is ready for, and needs, a Sorcerer Second Edition. One that gives the reader enough insight, exposure, and examples to work with so that they get the game on the first read (much like Sorcerer and Sword) without having to come to The Forge to ask questions. I would pay a hefty bit for that.

    And yeah, totally forgot that you did Talislanta (I now recall Clinton mentioning that about you when we did our first ST playtest)... I never really got into it that much, although I did pick up the (2002? 2003?) later release... Unfortunately the background section was so utterly Big that I could not get very far into it... *sigh*

    If you do Talislanta ala easy cultures, regions, and races through TSOY... man. Wow.
  • I don't think Sorcerer needs a new edition (i.e., new mechanics, new powers, new setting). But it certainly needs a re-write, particularly regarding the Conflict Resolution mechanic.
  • HQ could use a facelift, I think. I want all its modular bits (keywords, magic...) to be described with templates, so I don't have to analyse things to make my own in line with them.

    I want it to celebrate fiddly mechanical bits and system diversity (oh horror!) in a systematic manner.

    I want it to be laid out beautifully.

    I want it to dump the GM and empower the players to make adversity and rewards for each other.

  • I'm no longer at the helm of Talislanta. The current folks in charge are doing d20, which the Tal fans seem pretty happy with, so more power to 'em. But oh... the things that could have been.

    I thought of another face-liftable game:

    Shadowrun. Again, a good situation-creator would make this game sing! Give the GM tools and budget to create a shadowrun mission with a tasty risk/reward thing attached... mmmmm (I'm trying to do this very thing with my own game THE JOB). Keys and Secrets would also rock. Is TSOY the answer to every design problem, or what?
  • edited February 2006
    Is TSOY the answer to every design problem, or what?
    Yes. When I finish Galactic, I'm going to do a TSOY supplement of some kind or another.
  • Agreed on HQ. The basic mechanical principles of that game still amaze me with what they do, but rest of the System in the book is pretty mediocre. Also, they should fold the overview chapters out of Thunder Rebels and the ILH into the main book; i desperately needs a bit of focus.

    Actually, isn't some of this maybe happening with the imminent QuestWorlds?
  • Actually, isn't some of this maybe happening with the imminent QuestWorlds?

    Dunno. What have we heard about it?

    I'm pretty excited about the prospect of HQ uncontaminated by Glorantha.

  • Shadowrun. Again, a good situation-creator would make this game sing!

    I glanced at the 3rd-edition book, and I didn't see even a section on situation creation. It was all just "Here's weapons and spells and security systems and guards and robots and hacking and medicine and corps and maybe if you throw it all together you might get an adventure." Am I off-base with that impression?

  • [Questworlds] what have we heard about it?

    Not a whole lot, honestly, but at the very least, it's a chance to present the same basic mechanics in a new context. My dreams wish for it to be all of the Awesome player-driven stuff we've seen in indie games in the past five years (which the basic mechanics can support pretty well) combined with examples of how to do neat fiddly things with them for a whole variety of different situations, instead of just three relatively similar magic schemes.

  • I glanced at the 3rd-edition book, and I didn't see even a section on situation creation. It was all just "Here's weapons and spells and security systems and guards and robots and hacking and medicine and corps and maybe if you throw it all together you might get an adventure." Am I off-base with that impression?

    In my experience, that's pretty much the standard approach to situation creation.
  • Good to see somebody is finally giving Starfaring a facelift, just in time for the 30th anniversary.
  • edited February 2006
    Exalted.

    Use Polaris.

    To elaborate:

    Zeal is still Zeal. Weariness becomes Curse.

    Initial Aspects: (blank) Caste, Daiklaive, Anima Powered, and a shared fate with some person.

    Ice becomes Legend, Light becomes Heart.

    Full Moon becomes Sun, New Moon becomes Moon, Mistaken becomes Abyss.
  • Hrm, maybe it was the "Doctor Who" game proper... Or maybe I've fused them in my head.... Drat, now I wish I was at home at my bookshelf so I could look it up.

    Well, my dad ordered me a licensed Doctor Who RPG back when I had no idea what an RPG was (my gradeschool's daycare had a D&D board game, and I honestly thought that was what all the fuss was about with the dragon-worship newscasts and Jack Chick tracts). It was a Fasa game based on the system they'd used in their Star Trek game. I just remember that you had a fixed number of attribute/skill points and you used roman numerals for the attributes, with III as human average and VII as supreme timelordely powarrrrrr. The skills were some sort of 2D6 thingummy that i can't remember.

    Since it was based on a system where the only gear you had was ship issue, the equipment and powers stuff was kind of freeform. I just remember also that it came in three codices bound with rough brown paper to look like cracked leather.

    A proper Doctor Who game would be more of a horror story structure with the high technology stuff in place of the occult. I think 90% of the stories ran as: materialize just after some atrocity has begun, get blamed/framed for it, then assist those fighting it (who had previously accused you) because they are overwhelmed what with their puny human understanding of the universe.

    So if I were to give any of the various attempts at a Doctor Who RPG a facelift, it would probably be with the situation development side of things. I'd probably even enforce a Mountain Witch type of four-episode structure to capture the format of the TV series.

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