For me the answer has to be Ghost Ops. The reason is that up until that point I had always thought of these FUDGE and FATE sorts of games as flesh creepily ill defined. Do you know that feeling when someone has taken political correctness too far and won’t let you use the phrase Brainstorm in case you offend someone with epilepsy and wants you to use Thought Shower instead.
I have yet to meet anyone with epilepsy who found Brainstorm offensive but plenty who found the idea that they would be offended offensive.
Ghost Ops changed that as it has a really tightly defined setting, really solid character creation with loads of options but without complexity. It was skills based and you could customise your characters to your liking. It really changed my who perception of FUDGE so much so that I periodically check RPGnow looking for a decent fantasy FUDGE game to download. I have looked at a couple so far an not found exactly what I am looking for. There is always the option of configuring one myself and that is an idea I have on a back burner.
So although I really like FUDGE it is the Ghost Ops game in particular that I credit with the being the game that really made the impact. Ghost Ops is now my system of choice for modern day games.
Here is something else that has made the game stand out in my mind. When I first looked at Ghost Ops, I only had access to the free quickstart rules. The publisher contacted me after my first blog post about the game. They not only answered the questions I had about the game they also sent me the (not free) extended quickstart as that edition explained some of the things I was struggling to grasp from the quickstart rules. The failing being my lack of experience with FUDGE. Furthermore that contacted me again later after I had told them I was going to play through the sample adventure to see how I got on and then most recently they sent me the full game upon its release. They didn’t need to do that, they didn’t need to invest that much time and effort in me. After all I hadn’t spent a single dime on their game, I had just downloaded the free version.
Contrast this with ICE this week…
I made the suggestion of using yesterday’s RPGaDay post to put Rolemaster into the spotlight a bit. I saw that Nicholas was on the boards shortly after I posted that but it got no response. I followed up by pointing them to a blog where I had done what I suggested and promoted RM as a game deserving more recognition and I got a positive response from the blogger who said they would have to check it out again sometime. I went back to the ICE forums and suggested that they send the blogger a complimentary copy of the RMFRP book. If the guy is prepared to take a fresh look then for god sake make it easy for them, earn a bit of goodwill and maybe get a bit of free publicity out of it. I think someone, maybe Brian pointed out that the ICE forums are on a bit of autopilot right now. It certainly seems that there is noone at the helm that is for sure. Obviously I got no response to my suggestion and an opportunity to promote RM is lost.
OK, so this opportunity may appear small, but it was one person reaching out to one blogger and getting one positive response. In marketing that is a 100% success rate.
ICE could have used RPGaDay on several days to raise the profile of RM.
Day 3: What gives a game staying power? Well RM has been around for 4 decades I am pretty sure you could have used that to comment on all these blogs taking part.
Day 16: Describe your plans for your next game? Well ICE’s next game is RMU, or even why not suggest to bloggers that there next game becomes a RMU playtest? You could easily gather all the JDale changes into a single PDF (I have done this myself for my RMU game) and send it and the Beta2 pdfs to any bloggers that respond.
Day 21: What dice mechanic, they could be commenting and describing the Open Ended d100 roll or the 66 critical. These both put the RM name and brand in front of people.
Day 23: What game do you hope to play again? Pose the question when was the last time they had played Rolemaster? You may get responses about rulesmaster/chartmaster but it is easy to compare RM to PF and RM is tiny by comparison.
Including day 24 there were five days in which either one or many RM fans could have pushed out the ‘give RM a fresh look’ message. It is just a pity that no one took the opportunity. The contrast of course is that Feral Games had already won the goodwill of this blogger and gets a mention with out having to do anything.