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Prime Directive - Best Version ?

 
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josebracken
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Joined: 22 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:53 am    Post subject: Prime Directive - Best Version ? Reply with quote

Hello Everyone !

I'm JB, and very new to the Federation Commander universe. It's hard getting gaming stuffs here in the Philippines, in the science fiction category most seem to be into games like Warhammer 40k, Warmachine, Firestorm Armada, and if it is Trek related the new Wizkids releases. I very appreciate your efforts !

If I going to invest in Prime Directive, which version do you recommends ? GURPS, D20, D20M, or the new Traveller ? All of these things I am familiar with. Savage World or D6 would be really cool, as there are many player here in the Philippines of Savage and the old Star Wars D6. Any hope for a Pathfinder, Hro or D&D 4 version ?

Your advices would be very appreciated !

Respectfully,

JB
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whichever one you (or the largest group you can find) are already familiar with.
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CarlZog
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never played GURPS, but I'll take Traveller over D20M. It's just better suited to the feel of the setting, I think.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes and know. it depends on what you want out of it.

I think each game system does SOME aspect better than the others.
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SYKOJAK
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How so Steve? In your opinion, what does each system do better than what the other system(s) do? I am not asking you to pick a side or choose a favorite. I would just like to know what the pros and cons of the respective RPG systems are.
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aramis
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My preference is for PD1E... the dice pool system it uses is slick, and it does mimic the kinds of "stop and stare" we see in the films with it's initiative system.

It's certainly not suitable for everyone, but it's the best I've run for Trek in general.
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CarlZog
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aramis wrote:
It's certainly not suitable for everyone, but it's the best I've run for Trek in general.


I think a core issue with PD in any version is that people are trying to use it to play Trek-style adventures and campaigns. If you want to roleplay Trek, there have been a ton of good games made for that. But the SFU has a very different feel from that of Trek, and the adventures and system should reflect that.

While Star Trek RPGs are about recreating the TV shows' spirit of exploring new life and civs, SFU RPGs should be about exploring the intrigue and adventure that underlies the complex, militaristic universe-at-war of SFB and F&E.

To that end, it seems to me that what matters in a SFU RPG is a system that can accommodate espionage, politics, military characters, and adventures with the prospect of lots of shipboard action. Mechanics should be pretty gritty and realistic rather than cinematic in encounter resolution.

Based on those criteria, I'd favor the GURPS variation, though I'm eager to see the Traveller edition. I think the D20 and D20Modern rules are too prone to creating cartoonishly powerful characters and combat encounters that amount to open terrain slugfests. I like the original PD rules too for a lot of its elements, but they seem very limited.

Admittedly, GURPS can be a pretty demanding system that does not appeal to everybody. Character creation can be daunting and tactical choices in combat take some getting used to.

I anticipate that the upcoming Traveller version of PD may prove to be one of the best. Traveller is a system that envisioned its characters as being or having been in a military. Its combat mechanics are designed around a style of SF combat that I think closely reflects the tech levels and feel of the SFU.

Scaling SFU ships to the Traveller system sounds like it is proving to be a challenge, but I think it's still much closer in feel and intent that most of the other systems.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not the guy to ask for a comparison of RPG styles or systems.

Maybe Jean or somebody else. I can spell RPG two times out of three but the only RPG I really play is one called "Die in Place" that I am certain no more than two or three of you have played. (Don't ask.)
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SYKOJAK wrote:
How so Steve? In your opinion, what does each system do better than what the other system(s) do? I am not asking you to pick a side or choose a favorite. I would just like to know what the pros and cons of the respective RPG systems are.

I'm not SVC, but here you go:

D20:
Pros:
Probably has the largest player base out there, so fionding players familar withthe system shouldn't be difficult.
Ever OGL/D20 source book can be used in PD20. This make is very easy to travel to a planet with magic, or with victorian era technology, or with modern day technology, or super-powers, or etc...
Cons:
Since the system is set-up for fantasy rather than Sci-fi, some of the ruling seem a bit off. Livable, but off.
Character advancement is straight-forward, linear, and simplistic.

D20M:
Pros:
Plays so close to d20 that if you've playyed on, you can play the other within 5 minutes of looking at it.
Has more of a sciencey (is that a word?) or sci-fi feel to it.
Can still use all the D20 source ooks (with minor tweaking) and all of the D20M source books, as is.
Want to adventure ona cyper-punk type planet? You're covered. Ultra-modern, got it. Near Future... good to go. And so on.
Cons:
While easy to handle, character developemnt is still rather linear.

GURPS:
Pros:
Lots of variety in source books available, so manytypes of worlds can be explored.
Character creation, while detailed and finicky can produce a wide range of charaters with exactly the skills you desire.
Cons:
The charater creation system is much more detailed than either D20 / D20M - but worth it in the long run.

although that's not even the tip of the iceberg, that will get you going.
One system is not necessaarily better than another, it's more a matter of taste 9and players).
I'd prefer to run PD sessions using GURPS (even though I have only a passing familiarity with it), but all of my players are D20 players... so there you have it. I managed to conveince them to at least use D20M. But that was done by finding 4 copies fothe D20M sourcebook on the clearance rack at the local game store adn "acquiring" all 4 so everyone had a reference book at the table during play.
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aramis
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CarlZog wrote:

I think a core issue with PD in any version is that people are trying to use it to play Trek-style adventures and campaigns. If you want to roleplay Trek, there have been a ton of good games made for that. But the SFU has a very different feel from that of Trek, and the adventures and system should reflect that.

While Star Trek RPGs are about recreating the TV shows' spirit of exploring new life and civs, SFU RPGs should be about exploring the intrigue and adventure that underlies the complex, militaristic universe-at-war of SFB and F&E.
[...]
Scaling SFU ships to the Traveller system sounds like it is proving to be a challenge, but I think it's still much closer in feel and intent that most of the other systems.


In Traveller terms, the CA should be about 19,000. Displacement Tons (Td in Traveller speak). Maybe as low as 16KTd. Depends upon how one marks edges in the thick black lines when measuring.

Now, as for doing trek with SFU games, the SFU is an Alternate Trek Universe... a mirror not so dark as the ones seen in Trek Canon. But almost all the core Trek tropes can be done in the SFU without much harm.

And, at the moment, the only Trek RPGs in legit print or PDF are the SFU ones... being able to do "Real TOS" with them is an asset. The only thing that PD doesn't replicate is the excessive power of hand-held phasers.

But, to be honest, not being able to vaporize a few cubic meters of rock with a Type I is actually better for gaming.


Last edited by aramis on Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jeffr0
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad wrote:
I'd prefer to run PD sessions using GURPS (even though I have only a passing familiarity with it), but all of my players are D20 players... so there you have it. I managed to conveince them to at least use D20M. But that was done by finding 4 copies fothe D20M sourcebook on the clearance rack at the local game store adn "acquiring" all 4 so everyone had a reference book at the table during play.


Whatever system gets the game onto the table! System choice is ultimately a question of "by any means necessary."

I prefer GURPS for PD because it handles sort of a baseline "realism" well by default... and whatever you'd want is there in the rules/sourcebooks but you can get along just fine with winging it or improvising. The game can be daunting and there is a bit of a learning curve, but it's easier once you realize that 98% of it is optional. If your potential players refuse to play anything else but D20, then it doesn't matter which system is "better".
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While D20 has the largest player base, most of them are fantasy players with a minimal interest in scifi or trek. We actually sell a lot more GURPS books because GURPS is more scifi.
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