The most awful RPG in the world...


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The Exchange

Rockheimr wrote:
'Skyrealms of Jorune' really sucked. It was trying to do the same kinda thing as Tekumel, as regards setting, but was about fifty times worse in every way. Names were twee and silly just for the sake of it, the GM and players were referred to throughout by in-game 'alien' words, and the setting was just dull, dull, dull.

Poor Thriddle, you must not have had a good Sholari

Liberty's Edge

Star Frontiers had a interesting storyline, but I never had fun playing it, and I could never find anyone else who really wanted to give it a shot. It had too much silly-factor. The backstory and mechanics seemed like a questionable amalgam of CoC, Star Trek, and Warhammer 40k.


Big Eyes, Small Mouth d20.

Some Marvel game that I can't remember that was diceless but used counting stones or something like that... see it was so bad I forgot the name.

3E: Sad when 3.5e is the improvement; a game which eventually gets old fast and forces people to try things like BESM d20 or some Marvel game that you can't remember.


Lylo wrote:
Rockheimr wrote:
'Skyrealms of Jorune' really sucked. It was trying to do the same kinda thing as Tekumel, as regards setting, but was about fifty times worse in every way. Names were twee and silly just for the sake of it, the GM and players were referred to throughout by in-game 'alien' words, and the setting was just dull, dull, dull.

Poor Thriddle, you must not have had a good Sholari

No offence, but that's exactly the kind of twee-rubbish-speak (twoddle perhaps ;-) ) I was talking about. It just does nothing for me, and when used to reference important things in the rules (such as GM's themselves for example) it goes beyond merely being annoying and is actually disruptive.

Eh, but I know the game has it's fans, each to their own. :-)


Jib wrote:

...

Now as I have noticed on this post/ Thread (which is a good thing! So many of you have played and are interested in many RPGs) someone might just love Space Time... I only wish they would have/ could have run that game for ME!

I also bought Space Time, never had a chance to talk to the 'designer' though... I did manage to sort of build a couple of what I thought might be valid characters. But the rules to do stuff were so much worse than the rules to build characters that I never did anything with them.


Logos wrote:

Theirs this thing where you go in these gawdawful dungeons, for no apparent reason with monsters that make no ecological sense, and you kill them for the treasure they have, which makes no economic sense.

Stop! You're making me salivate! I love dungeon crawls!


Andrew Turner wrote:
Star Frontiers had a interesting storyline, but I never had fun playing it, and I could never find anyone else who really wanted to give it a shot. It had too much silly-factor. The backstory and mechanics seemed like a questionable amalgam of CoC, Star Trek, and Warhammer 40k.

I played Star Frontiers when I was in 6th grade. We had a blast with it.


Hmm bad games....

I bought the Hercules/Xena RPG and after trying to play my group got frustrated with the badly written rules and just used D&D instead.

The Doctor Who FASA RPG was overly complicated rules and took way too many liberties with the Dr. Who universe. Yes, I still bought the whole thing anyway.

The Exchange

Rockheimr wrote:


No offence, but that's exactly the kind of twee-rubbish-speak (twoddle perhaps ;-) ) I was talking about. It just does nothing for me, and when used to reference important things in the rules (such as GM's themselves for example) it goes beyond merely being annoying and is actually disruptive.

Eh, but I know the game has it's fans, each to their own. :-)

none taken, i'm right there with you... way too silly.


Who wants to hear a story about a homebrew RPG?


There is this RPG named Cimarron (sp?) that is supposedly the worst ever.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

That's likely The World of Synnibarr.

PRG.net has a review that begins...

The World of Synnibarr Capsule Review by Darren MacLennan on 03/08/01
Style: 1 (Unintelligible)
Substance: 1 (I Wasted My Money)
I tried to review it. I really did. But you can only hold your face to the blowtorch for so long.
Product: The World of Synnibarr
Author: Raven c.s McCracken and Bryce Thelin, who will not be spared when the revolution comes.

Yeah, it's that strange. Giant Mutant Fire Clams.


Hahahaha

Scarab Sages

Chris Mortika wrote:

That's likely The World of Synnibarr.

PRG.net has a review that begins...

The World of Synnibarr Capsule Review by Darren MacLennan on 03/08/01
Style: 1 (Unintelligible)
Substance: 1 (I Wasted My Money)
I tried to review it. I really did. But you can only hold your face to the blowtorch for so long.
Product: The World of Synnibarr
Author: Raven c.s McCracken and Bryce Thelin, who will not be spared when the revolution comes.

Yeah, it's that strange. Giant Mutant Fire Clams.

Synnibarr wasn't that bad, is wasn't good either, just 'meh'.

My votes for worst are;
Skyrealms of Journe (already listed on a previous post) and Talislanta. Both had great backgrounds, creatures and races to play but the mechanics made them unplayable.

Dark Archive

The worst game ever has no name. It is the game that I played on saturday that a very good friend of mine is working on creating right now. Someone convinced him that it would work out great to combine the stats from D&D with the skill system from White Wolf, add classes and then use a point based advancement system ala GURPS. Add on top of that the fact that he has come up with no method of awarding said advancement points other than he thinks it's a good time to give five or so points, and that many of the battles we fought we actually resolved in "cinematic cutaway scenes" ala every videogame ever made where our characters fought but we did not get to run them, and you have to have the makings of the worst game ever, and yet the majority of the players, all under 18 except for me and one other guy, thought it was the best thing ever created.


I have to say that various links on these threads had me laughing to tears. Thanks.

Many of the 'worst's listed here, I'd have to agree with, others are ones I'm fond of/have written for.

It often is simply a matter of taste (although F.A.T.A.L. is a dead ringer).

Scarab Sages

Phoenix command system...

CRazy tables for lethality...

Funniest Quote in teh Dragon soemthing related game...

"We would have believed it was an accidental shooting, if he hadn't reloaded....twice"

Scarab Sages

pming wrote:


Yup, fairly recently too..."Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 2nd Edition". It's like they took out all the stuff that made WHFRP an "adult-oriented FRPG" and played it to the 14 year old Pok-e-mon crowd. No longer to we have "Necromancers" or "Demonolgists"...we have wizards with "Colors" (Blue Mage, Red Mage, etc.). Combat went from deadly and chaotic, to 'kinda bad, but predictable'. A few other things seemed to be heavy on the "lets tone this down for the kiddies". Overall, I was very disappointed. :( I'll stick with my 1e WHFRP and Realms of Chaos books, with full-frontal (back, side, etc.) nudity, thankyouverymuch. :)

Actually, I just ran this for some friends of mine. I ran it very much in the vein of 1e, and all but one had a blast. And yes, I did kill a PC in the second round of combat.

In comparison to 1e WHRFP, they made it more balanced across the board, whereas in 1e my druid was by far the more powerful party member simply because of how priests advanced. I pretty much skipped every other priest level under that system, but I still got the skills and the advances.

A lot of the changes also involved a lot of what Black Libraries was putting out in the Warhammer novels. That's where the entire Winds of Magic thing came from. Which works as long as you don't have a mage in the party. But if you do, then it gets ridiculous quick.

Mage: I use my mage sight to follow the winds of magic.
Me: You see a very strong brown wind...
Laughter for 20 minutes.

Scarab Sages

Worst game...Not counting 4E...It's a toss up between Role master and Palladium. I've had some really good DMs and not a single one could actually make these systems work.


My worst ones to date are

Battle lords of the 23rd century (1st printing comes to mind)it felt like some just printed their game notes up and slapped them in a book. the 3rd ed is a lot better in the layout.

Twilight 2000 1st ed rule system at the time for me was to complex i was 14 at the time and the math was a little confusing plus having to path a tank round thorough a tank was a pain.


Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly, I'd rather not think about the worst RPG I've seen, let alone tell people about it. Not only would I need a shower and two weeks of therapy, but... some things are better off trapped in the box. And I mean, the box.


Xaaon of Xen'Drik wrote:

Phoenix command system...

CRazy tables for lethality...

Funniest Quote in teh Dragon soemthing related game...

"We would have believed it was an accidental shooting, if he hadn't reloaded....twice"

It was darn hard to play especially if you got the advanced table book with all the goodies... who the heck thought 1/10 second combat phases made sense.

The 7 Swords and Targa and Dragon stuff was from their awesome setting that seemed to be about scavanging trying to preserve/rebuild society with rules that did not handle scavenging or talking to people but dealt with microseconds of combat.


I'm surprised no one has mentioned the short-lived Dangerous Journeys Mythus system. I have never seen such complicated character generation!


Chris Mortika wrote:


And I loved, and continue to love, TORG. I marvel at the elegance and simplicity of the baseline mechanics, the card use, the "Pixaud's Practical Grimoire" magic system.

TORG was responsible for many of my most enjoyable RPG moments.


The Jade wrote:
Logos wrote:


for real? Dogs in the vineyard seems to get about 80% hate, also twillight creations put out a Boardgame/rpg esque system. Played it once and have since warded it back into the box with unholy gusto. bad badb ad.

l

That's a surprise. I played Dogs in The Vineyard last year and had a fantastic time. I can still remember each scene of the adventure but then my GM was fierce.

I have only every heard really good things about it.


From what I've heard the game FATAL should be considered seriously as the worst RPG ever.


I wasn't going to post any links as this game really doesn't deserve any publicity, but after a few minutes reading this review looks entertaining.

FATAL review


Liam Whalen wrote:

I wasn't going to post any links as this game really doesn't deserve any publicity, but after a few minutes reading this review looks entertaining.

FATAL review

I disagree, mildly. It's not that FATAL isn't an awful game, worthy of any condemnation and perfectly suitable for the Vatican's list of Condemned Books, but... RaHoWa is worse. Not only ethically appalling, but the game system is actually worse than FATALs, and incomplete to boot.


It wasn't 'bad' per se, but having gotten used to d6 STAR WARS, the d20 version was pretty g&++&*n poor, whilst the d20 DEADLANDS was an abomination compared to the original rules. In both cases that was only due to comparisons with the original, superior product. If my group had come at both games fresh, they'd probably have been okay.

I wouldn't describe it remotely as 'bad', but I find the WoD Storysteller system very meh. This may be because our player who introduced us to it had gone on non-stop for about four years about how awesome it was before we started playing it and it didn't live up to the billing (I don't think anything could, although Chaosium CALL OF CTHULU nearly did). It's okay.

Pat Payne wrote:
From a fanboy perspective, Robotech by Palladium. It abjectly failed to capture the atmosphere of Robotech, and failed even worse to be at all faithful to the original three series (Chohjikuu Yosai Macross, Chohjikuu Kidan Southern Cross and Mospeada).

My group had a blast with ROBOTECH. It was clunky, old-school (the rules book was so 1980s it hurt) with tons of redundant rules and more types of missile than you would ever need. All of that said, we had a laugh and recreated the entire voyage of the SDF-1 from Pluto to Earth pretty successfully. When the players were in their Veritechs scything through Battlepod formations, it felt pretty true to the show.


Jib wrote:
Ever shelled out money for what appears to be a great RPG only to get it home and after a close read discover it is unplayable? Or how about hearing the hype on a game only to discover that it wasn't very good? Ever discovered the rule system of a game is too complex to make heads or tails of? What about a game with no back story or limited setting? Please share away so we know what to avoid.

Great topic Jib!

I have a whole slew of them listed on my site at:

Dr. Games RPG Lib

Most of the truly, truly hideous ones came out back in the late 70s and early 80s when the field was wide open.

Wizards Trip/The Fantasy Trip had to be about the worst one (check the list above) on all counts.

Simple is not necessarily bad, but it was in this case! Wizards and Fighters shared the same basic stats. As the wizard cast spells his STR went down. You get the idea.

A totally unbalanced and unplayable game (though it had some great general articles and great production values for the time) was The Fantasy Roleplaying Game (yes, that was its name) that included amongst other things rules for forcing your will on other PCs! :-D My favorite part of the game was that a simple fumble on a spell could turn a "light campfire spell" into the "AZATHOTH'S SCREAMING FIREBALL OF ARMAGEDON!!!!"

I was an Avalon Hill fan back in the Jack Dott days. Powers & Perils was the in-house entree into the world of RPGs. It was extremely complex and tied fairly tightly to a hex map for combat resolution. You could practically hear the designers playing Panzerfaust in the background. In some ways, it was a precursor of the current generation of MMORPG based RPGs such as D&D 4.0. (By the by, Hasbro has revived some of the classic games now under the AH logo.)

In service,

Rich

The Original Dr. Games Site.

Dark Archive

FATAL beats all.
/thread

Really.

Sovereign Court

Back in the 80's I picked up a copy of Aftermath, a post-apocalyptic RPG. Looked like it had potential.

The first tip off should have been the two page character sheet printed in a 4-point font, filled front and back. The combat system was kinda convoluted to the point where my young teen mind at the time could not comprehend it. I think I still have it in storage ... I should dig it out and see if it still is as convoluted as I remember.


d20 Star Wars would give the title a fair nudge. I ran a complete, epic campaign with that piece of garbage, and it almost drove me spare and came awful close to breaking up my group. Stupid ruleset, and everybody involved should be ashamed of themselves. Would give a long, loooong rant on the subject, but it's late and I want to go to bed.


zylphryx wrote:
... I should dig it out and see if it still is as convoluted as I remember.

I looked at my old copy a few years ago. Yes it is, and seriously a bummer in tone. Its rules portray an apocalypse landscape a little TOO realistically, and lets face it, apocalypses aren't really all that fun in reality...

It's more fun to blast Hoops in Gamma World than fight over moldy cans of dog food in Aftermath ..

On a tangental note, I would vote the "most-awful-to-play-yet-cracking-good-fun-to-read" award to HoL. That game is just too funny for words. Whenever I get too spun up on gaming, I read the core book or its suppliment Buttery Wholesomeness and it puts the smile back on my face.


Pat Payne wrote:
From a fanboy perspective, Robotech by Palladium. ...............In short, this is one of the worst licensed RPGs I've come across.

Shame, I loved its alignment and skill systems but the experiance model was a little haphazard. As for the mech not living upto the series ... ever heard the phrase "but the books were so much better" ... i can deal with the fanboy.

My Fave setting was espionage with cyclones in the congo.

EDIT: to stay on topic, StarWars d6. luck dice was cool but everything else dated FAST


Ravenstar.

It seems like a good setting, but the mechanics are flawed. I'd love to take the time to convert it over to a D20 Modern/Pathfinder-Dragonstar hybrid, but currently I've already got enough on my platter.

Liberty's Edge

My vote goes to KABAL - Knights and Berserkers and Legerdemain. I got this stinker at a GenCon (in the late '70s or early '80s). You needed a calculator to figure out your To-Hit chance every round. If I remember correctly, you had an offensive rating and a defensive rating. My chance to hit you was my offensive rating divided by the sum of my offensive rating and your defensive rating, expressed as a percentage. Oh, and those ratings might change from round to round due to various modifiers.

Also, I recall that you needed to use a calculator with cube roots to figure out your characters weight!!!

It was like someone asked Texas Instruments to design an RPG...

Liberty's Edge

How to determine your character's height in KABAL...roll 20d6, taking the square root, then multiplying that number by 21.5 to determine height in centimeters. I'm not kidding!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Heymitch wrote:
How to determine your character's height in KABAL...roll 20d6, taking the square root, then multiplying that number by 21.5 to determine height in centimeters. I'm not kidding!

That yields an average of 5'11", with 93% of the scores coming in between 5'4" and 6'5". Rather on the tall side for the Middle Ages.

But, yeah, kind of hard to do in your head at a noisy table in a gaming convention.


EVERYTHING FROM PALLADIUM BOOKS. To say the Palladium system is broken is a large understatement, it's plain F.U.B.A.R. A level-based system where level progression means jack for about half things, the starting attributes decide just about -everything-. On top of that, Kevin Siembieda is the master of writing about things he knows jack about, his level of documentation on most topics being on the lowest standards of marvel comic's writers: if you read any suposed "real world notes" on his books regarding anything from explosive decompression to physics to firearms, chances are it's all a line of bull... except for his latest books, where does blatant copy/paste jobs from wikipedia.


Dangerous Journeys was terrible

we generated chatacters for it once - played for 1 session, and in said session, we got 3 rounds into a combat, in 7 hours!

the party mage had a grand total of 1,200 spells!


Logos wrote:
...Dogs in the vineyard seems to get about 80% hate...

Wow. Really??

I love Dogs in the Vineyard. One of my favorite RPGs.


Heymitch wrote:

My vote goes to KABAL - Knights and Berserkers and Legerdemain. I got this stinker at a GenCon (in the late '70s or early '80s). You needed a calculator to figure out your To-Hit chance every round. If I remember correctly, you had an offensive rating and a defensive rating. My chance to hit you was my offensive rating divided by the sum of my offensive rating and your defensive rating, expressed as a percentage. Oh, and those ratings might change from round to round due to various modifiers.

Also, I recall that you needed to use a calculator with cube roots to figure out your characters weight!!!

It was like someone asked Texas Instruments to design an RPG...

That reminds me of Villains & Vigilantes (which I love, BTW). The hit point formula was something like:

[0.3*Str/10 + 0.2*Agi/10 + 0.4*End/10 + 0.1*Int/10] * (weight in lbs.)/4

Good times!

EDIT: Actually, I'm misremembering. You're supposed to multiply the various factors together, not add them. So it's like:

[(1 + 0.2*(Str-9)/3) * (1 + 0.3*(Agi-9)/3) * (1 + 0.4*(End-9)/3) * (1 + 0.1*(Int-9)/3)] * (weight in lbs.)/4


I am surprised no one has mentioned _Wraeththu, Enchantment to Fulfillment_.

It's only redeeming aspect, as far as I can tell, is the printed dice at the top of the book's pages-- allowing you to flip to a random page and get a simulated die roll.

Otherwise, and this may melt your brain, you play hermaphrodite conquering evolved once-humans in a post-apocalyptic world who hunt people, avoid boredom and have flower-penis sex with one another. You read that right.

You. have. flower. penis. sex. with. each. other.

And I cannot scratch out my mind's eye. Ever. It's just stuck there. I can only occasionally blot out the pain.

Feel free to understand my suffering when you read the review here.

-Ben.

EDIT: Ah, that's what I get for trusting the search function. I see it has been mentioned. Well then, allow me to second its "terrible atrocity against your mental well-being" status.

Scarab Sages

terraleon wrote:
I am surprised no one has mentioned _Wraeththu, Enchantment to Fulfillment.
Wraeththu, Enchantment to Fulfillment wrote:

I mean, the book f#$@ing writhes with body issues. Every single time that the Wraeththu are described, no matter what the area is, the Wraeththu are much better at it. They’re taller, thinner, prettier, more agile, less hairy, have better senses, are more spiritually togther, more psychologically stable, able to process food better, less sexually jealous, never get fat and can’t be poisoned. Worse yet, in the descriptions of the Wraeththu, it’s always mentioned that humans are worse at whatever than humans are.

You’ve probably seen the type in a lot of fanfic, where there’s a superior species that’s just better than humans, and spends most of its time crapping on the heads of the stupid humans – whalers, lumberjacks, jocks – who are just jerks, and unable to appreciate just how stupid and dumb they really are. Maybe the Wraeththu novels aren’t like that. I have no earthly idea. However, I can tell you that the description of the Wraeththu makes them sound exactly like the kind of story.

That's weird, I thought for a moment, they were describing Tolkien's elves...?


Go Go Gadget Thread Necromancy!

My very first published game design was an RPG that I wrote when I was in high school, called "Renegades". Published in 1985. I may well have had the very first "Cyberpunk" RPG ever published. It's also a candidate for "Very Bad RPG!"

I had just discovered d% rolls. And being a Mathematical Prodigy (tm), figured if two d10s could get you a d100 result, that three dice could get you a d1,000!

Wait - there's MORE!

You used the d1,000 mechanic for hit locations, by rolling them three times and taking the middle value to find out which part of the hit location table you used; hit location tables covered front, back, lateral, and top-down.

Character creation was based off of d1,000 driven life paths.

Most of the lifepaths were, ahem, based off of the neuroses of a 15 year old kid with coke bottle glasses who weighed about 105 lbs, constantly got turned down by girls and picked on by the guys who were bigger and more athletic, and dammit, life would be so much better as a hulking cyborg with a bazooka for an arm. :)

Gun stats were pulled from talking to guys in the Army.

It was sold in the 1980s by mail order, and, yes, I sold enough of them that they partially paid for my college education with them. I eventually bought a second phone line for my bedroom and ran a BBS on it.

People actually paid long distance fees (and subscription fees) to play this thing by calling long distance to Alaska in the 1980s.

Should you find this somewhere, you can identify it by the following:

It's got a blue cover with black line art of a peculiarly asymmetric cat girl attempting to pick a lock, with a hulking cyborg with a bazooka for his left arm behind her. The interiors were printed from a dot matrix printer, and then photocopied at 94% to 'blur' the dots together.

I will cheerfully pay someone $20 for a copy of this (cover price was $10).

I will pay $30 for video of someone burning a copy. They have to show the hit locations on the footage clearly enough for them to be identified, and the book must be burned completely. :)


I picked up Maid RPG for a laugh, but I was actually pretty shocked by exactly how goofy the mechanics turned out to be; I still can't really get my head around it. Everybody rolls their maid up on a series of twenty or thirty random tables and then, as far as I can tell, the rest of the game resembles something like a simplified version of D&D 4E's skill challenge system.

It is a pretty hilarious read, it's just hard to see it actually being fun to play.

Sovereign Court Contributor

P1NBACK wrote:
Logos wrote:
...Dogs in the vineyard seems to get about 80% hate...

Wow. Really??

I love Dogs in the Vineyard. One of my favorite RPGs.

Dog's is is also one of my all time favorites. I also love SFB.

That said, Misery Bubblegum Theater. I WANT this to be the best RPG I've ever played. It seems like it could be, plus attract total non-gamers. BUT, the rules are so poorly written I can't even try it out.

I wanna cry like a 30 year old circumcisee. Or an obsessive repeat self-vasectomist with only a broken spork.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Really, Lou, aren't all repeat self-vasectomists obsessive? (And, tell the truth now, if you were a self-vasectomist, and all you had on-hand was a spork, wouldn't you rather it be broken?)

Dark Archive

Has anyone tried Marvel Universe RPG? It came out in 2003, and it's the first RPG I played. (And I loved it)
It's badly written, but it was fun to play. Did I mention that it doesn't use dice?

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