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Patrick Zoch
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A question suggested by

Roger Hobden
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Have you played an RPG that had a corresponding tabletop game? Which did you like better and why?


(example: Infinity RPG and Infinity Corvus Belli miniatures wargame published by Modiphius)

Do you have a question you want asked as QOTD? Post here!

And if you want to find an old QOTD: The big QOTD Summary and Subscription Thread Volume 3
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Peter Robben
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I love CoC and a lot of the Cthulhoid board and card games.

So, yes.

Same for Star Wars and Star Trek. Warhammer; Probably others.

Have game, will play...
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Yes I have! I'm GMing Wrath & Glory for my RPG group and also running a mini narrative campaign of Shadow War: Armageddon that's linked to it. The former is the main game and the latter represents a small commando group under the PC's command that undertakes side missions to help them out. As for which one I like better... Shadow War is quicker play and easier rules while I find some of Wrath and Glory to be a bit fiddly. I'm an RPG person at heart so I prefer Wrath and Glory, although with that said I haven't given up on the FFG 40k RPGs just yet.
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Sure. I played Warhammer Fantasy Wargames and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I much prefer the RPG which is more "zero to hero" than the "big damn heroes" of the mini game. Oh, Blood Bowl and now Blitz Bowl are two of my favorite board games.

Legend of the Five Rings has always been a RPG that just falls short of clicking with me. On the other hand, we had a good time with Clan War back in the day. No surprise, the mini game is just more straightforward.

Dungeons & Dragons has a recent history of solid board games. I'd rather RPG, but I'm always down for a game of Lords of Waterdeep.

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The obvious giant during the 80s and 90s: Warhammer.
WFRP and WFB shared the same universe - they started to diverge starting from WFB 4th (to make the universe more suitable for army lists and competition formats), but later re-merged (I think).

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D&D has a board game but I feel like most of the sales come from people who just want the miniatures.
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Yeah. I played Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles (5th Edition) and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1st Edition). That's the big one. WHFB was a glorious mess of rules, but I did have fun with it for a good long while, and that's what got me into painting miniatures. The Old World is a really excellent, well-developed setting for both wargames and RPGs. I think WFRP is the better game (especially the 2nd edition), though of course they're driving at very different things.

I've also played Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy Roleplaying Game, which has a corresponding miniatures game, Warmachine. Which is an okay game, though one I never really got into. I had problems with the RPG, which frustrated my attempts to build characters that were both interesting and useful.

I've played West End Star Wars, though I don't know that there's a directly attached game to that one. There are a myriad of other Star Wars games, though, and I've played a lot of those. Many of those games have their charms. Some of them are really good.

Lots of good stuff there.
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Knight Hawks?

It was OK for fighters but I liked playing Star Frontiers better for making the "team" more cohesive and reducing individual downtime, particularly in larger battles.
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If Dungeon! counts as the board game version of Dungeons & Dragons (Original Edition), then yes. Liked the RPG a lot better. Because I like RPGs a lot better.

I've owned the D&D boardgame but never got 'round to playing it.
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I have played Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game once. There was zero role playing. The scenario was very time driven (and I believe this is true of most of the scenarios). It was very tactical, almost puzzly. Despite the fact that I'm primarily a board gamer, I'd much prefer to play a D&D RPG than a D&D board game.

I have also played, and liked, Lords of Waterdeep. But I don't considered it a board game for the RPG. Rather it is a board game set in the same world as some D&D adventures. Similar to Risk:Star Wars's relationship to a Star Wars RPG.
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Looking through my BGG list, I found the interesting case of Deadlands (Original Edition) - Deadlands: The Great Rail Wars - Savage Worlds. For those that don't know, Great Rail Wars was the inspiration for Savage Worlds.

I'm a roller coaster on Savage Worlds. Great Rail Wars was a pretty cool mini game with inconsistent support. On a given day, there's a 50/50 chance which I like better.
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Another shoutout for Lords of Waterdeep, which is excellent. I briefly had Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game, but ended up cannibalizing it for RPG parts (the tiles and minis are cool), then getting rid of the rest. I really did think I would play it, but then realized it was too close to D&D - but significantly simplified - for me to enjoy it.

Basically, the depth and length of RPGs makes them an unfair comparison to board games, bc they serve different roles. I play board games a ton, but it's a different dynamic. So the only board games I'd prefer are likely for RPG systems I haven't had time to get into, where I'd rather play a BG than an RPG one-shot. Star Wars is an example. If I could play in a SW campaign, it would win every time. But given my current schedule, give me a transient board game instead. Or Lovecraftian BGs, which might not be the same license as the CoC RPG but certainly exist in the same thematic space.
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Oh, I do think board games handle mysteries better than RPGs I've seen, so give me something like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases over a Holmes RPG. Admittedly, I've not played a Holmes RPG; but mysteries in RPGs in general tend to be clunkier. More bounded structure can sometimes be a good thing.
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AD&D vs. Spellfire~ I had a lot of fun with both equally.

D&D 3.0 vs. Legend of Drizzt~ After the newness of LoD wore off, it wasn't much fun anymore so the pen and paper version!

Iron Kingdoms rpg vs. Warmachine~ the IK rpg did not utilize the D&D 3.0 mechanics that well and therefore I felt it did not measure up to its wargame counterpart. Even so I do like the rpg but not as much as the miniatures game.

Realms of Terrinoth vs. DiskWars~ While I would love to play in the setting, I dislike the Genesys rpg system. DiskWars was my first FFG purchase and while I no longer play it (no longer in consistant contact with fellow players), I cannot get myself to throw away my DiskWars.

Shadow of the Beanstalk vs. Android boardgame~ Like Realms of Terrinoth, want to play in the setting but dislike Genesys. The Android boardgame is such a unique experience!



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I played the D&D adventure system games (Castle Ravenloft etc.). They are okay but very gamey. That said, it was fine when I didn't feel like DMing.

Played Lords of Waterdeep; didn't care for it. If you put a D&D coat of paint on a spreadsheet Euro, it's still a spreadsheet Euro.

I've played Arkham Horror and was enamored with it for a while but now have zero desire to play again.
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pdzoch wrote:
Have you played an RPG that had a corresponding tabletop game? Which did you like better and why?

Heavy Gear (2nd Edition) vs. Heavy Gear Tactical? I liked the RPG better: the tabletop game was fine, but geared (ha!) towards at least 15 gears for each side, and those rules were a bit impractical with so many units.

(I remember having fun with Heavy Gear and Heavy Gear II also, but this is maybe for another QOTD...)
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dysjunct wrote:
They are okay but very gamey.


?
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D&D / D&D Miniatures - prefer the RPG

FFG RPGs / Warhammer 40K - prefer the tabletop game, but the RPGs are excellent.

Star Wars RPGs / Star Wars Miniatures - prefer the RPG, but love the game.



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In every instance I can think of where an existing RPG had boardgame spinoffs, the boardgame was a mere trifle gaining a thematic frisson by its connection to the RPG. A couple of examples I've enjoyed beyond the multitude of D&D and Call of Cthulhu spinoffs which have already been mentioned:

Gamma World (3rd Edition) and Gammarauders
Paranoia (Mongoose Edition) and Paranoia Mandatory Bonus Fun! Card Game

There are also cases where an existing boardgame had an RPG spinoff. For me those RPGs were mainly a way to expand enjoyment of the boardgame, rather than something to enjoy purely on their own terms.

Car Wars and GURPS Autoduel
BattleTech and MechWarrior
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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cleonhard wrote:
In every instance I can think of where an existing RPG had boardgame spinoffs, the boardgame was a mere trifle gaining a thematic frisson by its connection to the RPG.

...

There are also cases where an existing boardgame had an RPG spinoff. For me those RPGs were mainly a way to expand enjoyment of the boardgame, rather than something to enjoy purely on their own terms.


This is an interesting dichotomy, and a pretty accurate summation of what the relationship between the RPG and the board game is supposed to provide to the gamer.

I'll posit that there are two more cases. Less interestingly is the case where there's an intellectual property that the game is tapping into. Let's call this the "Star Wars" case. In that case the different games are looking to promote different play experiences, some of which do a better job than others.

The more interesting case is where there's parallel development of the intellectual property in the RPG and the associated board game. Warhammer Fantasy is the best example I can see here. The parallel development of the RPG and the tabletop miniatures game led to cross-seeding between the two implementations, and there are some really interesting things to have come out of that relationship.
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Birmy wrote:
dysjunct wrote:
They are okay but very gamey.


?


Meaning, there's a lot of decisions you make that are tactically correct but are anti-immersion. Mostly concerning monster movement.

For example, in D&D you might make a tactical decision involving forcing the enemy through a choke point and then splitting the party to flank them. That is a decision your characters would actually make.

In the D&D adventure games, you (the player) get to place the monster mostly wherever you want on a tile. This isn't your character making a decision, or the monster making a decision. It's just something that happens that is critically important to winning the game, so you do it, even if it makes no tactical sense for the monster to move there.
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robbbbbb wrote:
The more interesting case is where there's parallel development of the intellectual property in the RPG and the associated board game. Warhammer Fantasy is the best example I can see here. The parallel development of the RPG and the tabletop miniatures game led to cross-seeding between the two implementations, and there are some really interesting things to have come out of that relationship.

Yes. I was tempted to mention Chaos in the Old World in this thread as one of my favorite boardgames, but I can't really say that it's derived from an RPG (WFRP) any more than it is from a prior boardgame (WFB). At this point, it's very difficult to piece apart what elements of that setting ultimately trace back to one or the other.
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Shadowrun vs. Shadowrun: Crossfire I vastly prefer the RPG. The game just... didn't capture any of the feel I want from a cyberpunk game. I like Shadowrun (4th & Twentieth Anniversary Editions) more than the board game, and that is my least favorite version of the RPG! About the only positive thing I can say is at least the board game is cooperative. At some point I'll play Shadowrun Returns the video game and then I can compare that to the experience.

Dungeons & Dragons vs. Betrayal at Baldur's Gate. They basically rethemed the board game Betrayal at House on the Hill with characters, places, creatures and items from D&D and... it wasn't that bad! I actually think it fixes a few problems with Betrayal at House on the Hill. Does it play like D&D? Not really, but if you go into it not expecting that, it's not a bad experience. Though it might be more based on the video game Baldur's Gate than on any pen-and-paper RPG...
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dysjunct wrote:
In the D&D adventure games, you (the player) get to place the monster mostly wherever you want on a tile. This isn't your character making a decision, or the monster making a decision. It's just something that happens that is critically important to winning the game, so you do it, even if it makes no tactical sense for the monster to move there.


That is an abstraction that doesn't bother me at all. Think about it; you could have all sorts of rules for how heroes can taunt foes, push them, use attacks of opportunity, lurk shadows in doorways, etc, etc...or you can just say "we'll assume the heroes do all that (and are more competent at it than assorted wolves, ghouls and zombies and such)" and so just let the heroes place the monster where they want. Same overall effect, much simpler rules.

(Also, half the time the reason you want a monster in a specific space is very abstracted to begin with).

(Also also, don't let that come across as a recommendation of the system; its got a lot of flaws. Though I find that a dose of houseruling makes it a lot more fun)

(Also also also, ghoul bites is very painful)
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D&D board games in various forms, Warhammer and the various Cthulhu games from Fantasy Flight.

I much prefer the RPGs for D&D and Warhammer over their board game versions. The Cthulhu ones I enjoy equally for different reasons, but Mansions of Madness (2nd Ed) and Eldritch Horror remain two of my favourite board games.
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