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  • Looking for RPG recommendations

    So, I'm looking for an rpg/setting primarily set in the modern era, because that's a niche that I don't really anything to fill. I'm looking for something urban fantasy, ideally with a strong focus on personal horror, or at least a horror flavor to it (ideally with it as the focus). I'd like something that focuses on the classic monster archetypes, especially mad scientists and artificial beings/corpse chimeras/"frankensteins", my favorite monster archetypes. While the primary modern setting is important, it having potential to handle historical eras and even alternate universes would be cool as well. As would the ability to handle multiple types of horror. It would be awesome to find something that gives me that wonderful feeling where I can watch a horror movie or read a good creepypasta or just hear about a weird event and immediately start thinking about how to incorporate it into the story. Also, something that keeps the mortality porn to a minimum. Also also, it would be nice if there's a community for it, and the fans/devs/mods are nice.

  • #2
    Urban Shadows and Monsterhearts definitely scratch the itch both, running off of the Apocalypse World engine and being different games of personal drama focused on classic monsters in modern horror. Urban Shadows is more about city politics and social debts while Monsterhearts is focused on (promise not to laugh) dark teen romance, but they're both stellar games with fairly lively communities. Super simple rules and really slick work overall, with a ton of content coming out soon for Urban Shadows.

    The Dresden Files RPG runs off of Fate Core (my favorite generic system) and while it's somewhat married to the setting of the novels, it would be an hour of work tops to steal the rules to run your own urban fantasy/horror romp. It's strongest selling point is how easy it is to build your own critters and characters of all stripes. Also in Fate is the delightful Nitrate City, a 40s noir in an alternate Los Angeles where the monsters of the silver screen have entered reality and now have to scrape by in the hardscrabble world beyond the stage.

    Those are the immediate ideas beyond more traditional horror stuff like Fear Itself (mortal investigators searching out horrifying demons) or Delta Green (government agents versus the Cthulhu Mythos) where you're stuck as not-the-monsters, which I don't think you're looking for but they do have active communities out there; Delta Green in particular has a ton of fan-creator interaction and has for decades.


    Just call me Lex.

    Female pronouns for me, please.

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    • #3
      What's the point

      It'll never be alright

      I'm sorry

      I'm sorry

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      • #4
        I'll echo Atamajakki's recommendations. Another good choice is Nameless Streets, which uses the HeroQuest rules. I don't know what kind of community it has, though.

        I can't think of anything else. There are options, though. And they're pretty good.

        And regarding your last post: It doesn't look to me like you have anything to apologize for. I know you're not fine, but you've done nothing bad or wrong.

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        • #5
          If you aren't wedded to a modern setting or a traditional RPG format, you could try Fallen London. It's set in an AU Victorian London.



          Basically London got bought by “the bazaar” and dragged into a giant underground cavern called the Neath. The Neath, however, is really really weird (There are reasons for this, and a substantial portion of the game is about piecing together WHY this is happening). You used to be a surface resident, until you decided to come down and join the (very dark) party. The game is about living in fallen london and all of the cool and weird stuff that happens, from spider-councils to extraordinary hats.

          It’s a free game that you can play on your web browser at fallenlondon.storynexus.com (works on mobile) or the app for both Google play and the app store. The game uses a choice-based action system. You have 20 actions (40 if you’re exceptional - subscription) and you get another one every ten minutes. Each action can be used to do something, whether it be working your way towards the end of a story or making a more substantial choice. The fun part of fallen london is the story and writing, though. Like it’s honestly a literary masterpiece.

          In short, fallen london is: Deep. Dark. Marvelous


          When one is accustomed to privilege, equality seems like oppression.

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          • #6
            I'm apologizing because I knew when I made that post it would never work. Nothing but ChroD is going to fill that hole, and it doesn't matter whether I stay or go. If I go or try to make my own setting, which will never succeed with ChroD existing, the bitter feeling will still be there.

            When the most meaningful thing in your life, the thing you've given so much to, gets ruined and trampled on and poisoned, the only thing you can do is pretend and lie to yourself and go forward, and act like nothing is wrong.

            I was going to take another try with a sharper knife I found when I realized that I went through something like this before. I was a Star Wars fan as a kid. Then I grew up and started seeing the problems with it and how much the prequels sucked, and drifted away, and thought there was no way I'd ever end up being a fan of it again, it was just too dragged down. And then, I don't know how it happened- I had resolved to leave World of Warcraft, and I was looking for something new- I ended up a massive Star Wars fan, and it's my second largest fandom after ChroD. So I know I can cope with it.

            Star Wars has a lot of silly shit. It has awful shit, even in the original trilogy. Sure, WoD and ChroD have had things that are as bad or worse when it comes to racism and sexism, but they've mostly gone past that, and none of it was ever as central and unavoidable. So ChroD actually has the advantage there. I cope with the Star Wars prequels being officially canon, so I can cope with Mage and Promethean. They're the prequels of ChroD. And unlike the Star Wars prequels, I have the ability to actually fix them.

            If I support ChroD, I might be supporting people with some abhorrent views who have hurt me immensely, but I can support Star Wars even though it was created by a man I loathe with intensify beyond anything I've ever felt for a tabletop game author and is owned by my least favorite soulless yog-sothothian conglomerate, and I've come to terms with supporting them.

            So I'll fix it. I'll fix Mage and Promethean, and I'll go forward, and I won't even argue, because my versions are as canon as anything else. There is no canon, and copyright and ownership are ichor-felching handmaidens of capitalism that I have no respect for. I'm not going to bother to argue with people who defend the bad parts of Mage or Promethean, because I have realized that the things they like are only their version, which has no more or less value than my version. I'll edit my PDFS, and I'll write up my hacks and post them and show them to my friends, and they will be my canon, because I have as much ownshership as anyone else.

            I hope I can do this. There are tears in my eyes and I still want to die more than anything, but if I keep going maybe it will work.

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            • #7
              Unknown Armies might be worth looking into.

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              • #8
                And to switch from the topic of lying to myself so I can continue living, I love UA a lot.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Geckopirateship View Post
                  And to switch from the topic of lying to myself so I can continue living, I love UA a lot.

                  I just read your message.

                  Man, make the game you want if that's important to you. I know I've been in places where roleplaying is great therapy for me, and I've also felt the need to utterly tear down and rewrite settings and rules to suit my needs (Changeling: The Dreaming) comes to mind. No one should shame you for that. Just do you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Geckopirateship View Post
                    I'm apologizing because I knew when I made that post it would never work. Nothing but ChroD is going to fill that hole, and it doesn't matter whether I stay or go. If I go or try to make my own setting, which will never succeed with ChroD existing, the bitter feeling will still be there.

                    When the most meaningful thing in your life, the thing you've given so much to, gets ruined and trampled on and poisoned, the only thing you can do is pretend and lie to yourself and go forward, and act like nothing is wrong.

                    I was going to take another try with a sharper knife I found when I realized that I went through something like this before. I was a Star Wars fan as a kid. Then I grew up and started seeing the problems with it and how much the prequels sucked, and drifted away, and thought there was no way I'd ever end up being a fan of it again, it was just too dragged down. And then, I don't know how it happened- I had resolved to leave World of Warcraft, and I was looking for something new- I ended up a massive Star Wars fan, and it's my second largest fandom after ChroD. So I know I can cope with it.

                    Star Wars has a lot of silly shit. It has awful shit, even in the original trilogy. Sure, WoD and ChroD have had things that are as bad or worse when it comes to racism and sexism, but they've mostly gone past that, and none of it was ever as central and unavoidable. So ChroD actually has the advantage there. I cope with the Star Wars prequels being officially canon, so I can cope with Mage and Promethean. They're the prequels of ChroD. And unlike the Star Wars prequels, I have the ability to actually fix them.

                    If I support ChroD, I might be supporting people with some abhorrent views who have hurt me immensely, but I can support Star Wars even though it was created by a man I loathe with intensify beyond anything I've ever felt for a tabletop game author and is owned by my least favorite soulless yog-sothothian conglomerate, and I've come to terms with supporting them.

                    So I'll fix it. I'll fix Mage and Promethean, and I'll go forward, and I won't even argue, because my versions are as canon as anything else. There is no canon, and copyright and ownership are ichor-felching handmaidens of capitalism that I have no respect for. I'm not going to bother to argue with people who defend the bad parts of Mage or Promethean, because I have realized that the things they like are only their version, which has no more or less value than my version. I'll edit my PDFS, and I'll write up my hacks and post them and show them to my friends, and they will be my canon, because I have as much ownshership as anyone else.

                    I hope I can do this. There are tears in my eyes and I still want to die more than anything, but if I keep going maybe it will work.
                    Good for you. That's part of the toolbox nature of ChroD, if you don't like something, you don't have to use it. You can hack it and make your own canon. Nobody can fault you for that, and if you respect that other people have their own canon(s) different from yours, everyone can live and let live.


                    Onyx Path Forum Moderator

                    My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

                    Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                    • #11
                      I don't usually post, I prefer to lurk. but from reading both the mental health thread and this one, it's the second mention of suicide I've seen from this user today.

                      Please, promise us you will seek professional help. A RPG forum is no substitute for psychiatric counseling.

                      And since I'm not a psychiatrist I'll give you my two cents on the issue you are having:

                      You look like you are trying to learn to like things despite their 'faults' or the opinions of their creators. This is a good thing, otherwise everything and anything will eventually let you down. I'm a big Zombie Movie fan, love George A Romaro's works, but I'm not a fan of his politics. However it's easy for me to overlook what I don't like because the interpretation is up to the viewer. And works stand apart from their artist, as well as other works. So if a plot point of Land of the Dead is supposed to be anti-communist I don't get bent out of shape because I don't like communism. A new hope is not any worse of a movie because of the prequels or because its owned by disney. I can like and even support those things without endorsing the views of the author or the views he or she intended to express in the artwork, because I'm supporting art. I could recommend 'Gabriel Over the Whitehouse' as a movie without endorsing either Christianity or Fascism (which the movie depicts in high regard), in same way I can recommend you try reading Chick Tracts (cause I find them funny) without it being an endorsement of Jack Chick's evangelical views.

                      I get that you have strongly held beliefs, but even people like Laci Green and Anita Sarkesian say that it's OK to like 'problematic' things. Don't throw away things you love over trivial bullshit, you only punish yourself.

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                      • #12
                        About rules, you can use the most confortable for you, but be careful about the level of power when you create enemies.

                        About background, my suggestion is to create your own background mixing from different franchises. The creation of worlds is part of the fun. Why not to create stories about the future to be changed because anybody made a different decision or by a lucky break?

                        My current project is mixing a new sci-fi game "Eclise Phase" with "World of Darkness", the factions from "Scion" and "Kult: lost divinity" and creatures from (coming soon) Starfinder, A world has suffered a apocalipsis by a rebeletion of the machines, and there are found cosmic gates to uchronies or parallele, something like a "backup" in the space-time continuum to help in the restoration if the world were damaged by a cataclysm. On of the main menaces are the exurgents, an artificial alien virus can infect biological livings and artificial inteligences. One of my goals is the players think they are in a hardcore setting, and when the supernatural elements appear, they doubt about rational explanation. (Please, I have to be jailed tonight because it is fullmoon and I am a werewolf!!).

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                        • #13
                          I know its not modern day, but I think you might like Eclipse Phase, gecko.


                          Dave Brookshaw, Mage and Deviant Developer, writer of many things

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                          • #14
                            I second Dresden Files and Fate in general. If you do run Dresden Files, make sure your players understand you are running your a setting inspired by Dresden Files. The one Dresden Files game I was in was soured by a couple of players arguing with the GM ("Harry Dresden did it!" "It's that way in the books!" )

                            Savage Worlds has a few Modern Settings. Check out their Pinebox, TX setting (12 to Midnight and East Texas University).

                            Call of Cthulhu has a modern version and it differently falls under horror. I hear Trail of Cthulhu is better, but I have never played it.

                            If you are burnt out on running games, give Fiasco a try. It's a one shot GM-less game with a bunch of playsets from a bunch of different genres.



                            Also, you may just need a palette cleanser from Modern Horror in general. I suggest Deadlands (Western), 7th Seas (Swashbuckler), Exalted (Fantasy), or Diaspora (SciFi).


                            Last edited by wonderandawe; 10-18-2016, 11:09 AM.


                            Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

                            The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
                              I know its not modern day, but I think you might like Eclipse Phase, gecko.
                              I love EP! I'm glad to here you like it too, it's a really great game (okay, the non-FATE rules can be a bit clunky, but I'm mostly a setting person anyway). I'll admit that the focus on mind uploading was a bit of turn off (I'm considering getting a giant back tattoo that says "CONSCIOUSNESS CANNOT BE UPLOADED"), but it's fairly easy to work around. Just say that an Ego Bridge physically moves part of the brain, and a cortical stack contains a piece of brain matter that acts as a substrate for the consciousness. That taken into account, the rest of the setting is fantastic.

                              I would totally love a "Before the Fall" sourcebook, though. Mostly because I could use it to run a Metal Gear Solid game.

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