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File: 1708342802851.jpg (279.42 KB, 1198x1686, SteamPunk.jpg)

 No.39546

Anyone got recommendations for a left-wing TTRPG that's not whimsical gay coffeeshop shenanigans?

 No.39547

Can't you just put something together with GURPS?

 No.39548

>>39547
Always, but it's nice to hear about new and unfamiliar games.

 No.39550

What do you mean by left wing TTRPG exactly? Like the mechanics are left wing? The flavor? The plot?

 No.39551

>>39550
Ideally the set-up of the game, with supporting mechanics. As opposed to the D&D colonialist oppression cycle.

 No.39552

>>39551
Just do D&D but remove all non-humans and replace dungeons with castle-cities occupied by monarch liches mind controlling the local population.

 No.39553

>>39552
And by D&D I mean any other dungeon crawling system because the D&D rulebooks are bogus. Personally I'm waiting for Shadow of the Weird Wizard by Rob Schwalb

 No.39554

>>39552
>dnd without the non-humans
Alternatively, remove all the non-furries / turn the orcs into crocodiles or something.

 No.39555

File: 1708358527773.png (3.79 MB, 1448x2048, ClipboardImage.png)

>>39551
>>39552
You can do D&D but change where the adventure takes place and what the motivation is, but it is true that the mechanics are geared towards colonial "adventurism."
>Just do D&D but remove all non-humans
For what purpose? The only thing that makes this colonial in character is the realtionship. There's nothing stopping you from having a setting where the elves and dwarves and orcs are just various societies in the setting who don't interact closely enough to blend together (maybe only dwarves can survive underground or that sort of thing). The racist/colonial part is just the part where you have some kind of morality or supremacy built into the identities of the fantasy races, which is not a necessary part of it. You can have fantasy racism too (without being racist) if you just make it clear that the racism is a social construct within the world rather than an objective reality in it. It can serve as an antagonizing force against the player characters.
>replace dungeons with castle-cities occupied by monarch liches mind controlling the local population.
That's one option. You could also have the setting be more like steampunk and industrial revolution flavored and have the campaign be about "dungeon crawling" in giga-factories where instead of (or in addition to) grabbing loot (means of production) you are liberating the workers from wage slavery. It's not that hard to whip up some social mechanics for gathering followers (organizing a union/party). Older editions of D&D even have rules for that sort of thing. The power scaling in D&D is actually fairly suited to the meteoric rise of revolutionaries, although the system as a whole is not that well suited to it. The point is, you can do a lot with reflavoring and a little homebrew.

 No.39556

>left-wing pop culture
uggggghrhgrhghr

 No.39562

>>39556
>pop culture
TTRPGs are for the most part organic and driven by creativity within a small local community. There are some popular adventures people run a lot, but even those are relatively niche.

 No.39563

>>39551
>As opposed to the D&D colonialist oppression cycle.
Okay, so there's a trick to this.

The first step is to play D&D or any other normal TTRPG

The second step is to accept that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and there is no hidden political meaning behind your fantasy adventure. Let yourself go far o'er the Misty Mountains cold, through dungeons deep and caverns old and seek out your pale enchanted gold without trying to find hidden meanings or political messages everywhere.

Finally, take a break from all the things leafing you to over-analyze fantasy settings before it turns you schizophrenic.

 No.39564

File: 1708399494717.gif (1.88 MB, 356x200, bilbo face.gif)

>>39563
>hidden meanings or political messages
>uses The Hobbit as an example
Tolkien wasn't shy about putting politics or messages in his stories. There's plenty of examples to point to, but you already gave one of the most obvious ones by quoting the song: the return of a race to their ancestral homeland.

Were the dwarves returning to Erebor intended to be an explicit allegory for Jews returning to Israel? (insert the Tolkien allegory quote) No, but there are obvious parallels, especially in the degree to which Tolkien based dwarves on Jewish culture (not just the stereotypes either, but the way he constructed their language too).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khuzdul
>Khuzdul (pronounced [kʰuzˈdul]) is a fictional language created by J. R. R. Tolkien, one of the languages of Middle-earth, specifically the secret and private language of the Dwarves. He based its structure and phonology on Semitic languages, primarily Hebrew, with triconsonantal roots of words. Very little is known of the grammar.

The point is, a lot of media is political whether you recognize it or not. That doesn't mean that it's BAD if it has politics you don't agree with. But OP wasn't going on a crusade against anybody who enjoys kicking in the door, killing goblins, and hauling away fat loot. They just wanted something different, which is also fine.

 No.39565

>>39562
sorry, i just think that seeking 'left-wing' entertainment is loser behavior

 No.39567

>>39564
>Tolkien wasn't shy about putting politics or messages in his stories.
Yeah, he wasn't shy about not having them and denying multiple times that Lord of the Rings was an allegory for anything. Most of the "politics" in his work are broad themes like "war is bad."

>but you already gave one of the most obvious ones by quoting the song: the return of a race to their ancestral homeland.

Erebor was not the ancestral homeland of the dwarves. That's Moria.

>Were the dwarves returning to Erebor intended to be an explicit allegory for Jews returning to Israel?

It would be if Erebor was their actual ancestral homeland, which it isn't or if retaking the mountain was their original goal instead of a happy accident.

>No, but there are obvious parallels, especially in the degree to which Tolkien based dwarves on Jewish culture (not just the stereotypes either, but the way he constructed their language too).

The Hobbit was written before Tolkien had fleshed out the dwarvish language. That said, it is true that Tolkien based the dwarves at least partially on the Jews, though to my understanding he was doing the well-meaning-but-misguided-old-man thing of responding to Wagner making his dwarfs obvious negative Jewish stereotypes in the Ring Cycle by making his dwarves at least partially based on positive Jewish stereotypes. That said, I don't think the dwarves are literally supposed to be fantasy Jews so much as he used that as an influence.

>The point is, a lot of media is political whether you recognize it or not.

That's true, but that doesn't mean that all media is directly political or some kind of propaganda. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

>But OP wasn't going on a crusade against anybody who enjoys kicking in the door, killing goblins, and hauling away fat loot. They just wanted something different, which is also fine.

OP can do whatever he wants, he should just not do it under the impression that going through dungeons and killing goblins is somehow propaganda for colonial oppression.

 No.39568

Oh lord not another 'everything is political' discourse. It only means that all media is made under a political context, it doesn't necessarily say anything about its complexity or themes or whatever.

 No.39579

>>39563
I mean, even if we retreat from political theory a moment, I do feel like D&D is mostly a violent home invasion with a coat of tiefling paint on it. I want something that's less about killing "always evil" creatures and taking their stuff, and not an exercise in unrestricted merchant brigandry.
Call of Cthulu is a favourite because it boils down to "work together, face down an oppressive enemy with intelligence and fortitude, care for yourself when you're too hurt to go on." But I've played a lot of CoC.

 No.39580

>>39551
WoD maybe?

 No.39581

What about Eclipse Phase?

 No.39585

Blades in the Dark, easily. They heavily based it on the Dishonored series, i.e. you play a street gang in a brutal, industrial metropolis in a post-apocalypse with heavy social stratification and widespread corruption. I've seen someone homebrew a mechanics for running a gang of revolutionaries

Also, Eclipse Phase

 No.39587

OP if you want something more cyberpunk there's the Cyberpunk TTRPG (the universe 2077 is based on), as well as Shadowrun which is a fusion of fantasy and cyberpunk. Both of those allow you to play as some kind of renegade fighting The Man, but being cyberpupnk are pretty doomer about it.

>>39579
Honestly the problem with D&D isn't what it is but what it isn't. Over the years, the mechanics have drifted toward being heavily combat focused when originally the backbone of the game was the exploration mechanics. It also used to have explicit rules for building up a following and so on, but that's mostly relegated to open-ended roleplay in the system now. The OSR games are trying to re-popularize that older style of play where combat is almost considered a failure state. Idk if there are any specific games that specifically avoid the "invade someone's home and steal stuff" parts. A lot of them use the old system where the value of your loot translates directly to XP.

>>39567
>Most of the "politics" in his work are broad themes like "war is bad."
There's a lot more than that, but "war is bad" is still politics my dude. There's also a lot about rightful kings and cooperation between peoples and racism and environmentalism and so on. It's pretty hard to bulid a big world and tell sweeping epics about kingdoms rising and falling without engaging in politics. In Tolkien's case the sympathy lies mostly with mythic feudal ideas and an earnest belief in christian morality. It doesn't have to be a direct allegory either, those aspects pervade the story. The plot of Lord of the Rings hinges upon multiple small acts of kindness that in aggregate produce the triumph over Sauron (Frodo sparing Gollum, Faramir releasing Frodo and Sam, etc). The story as a whole is a morality play about how the spontaneous and organic righteousness of good people can lead to the thwarting of an evil tyrant's master plan. It's borderline Christian anarchist. That's a better sort of politics, but it's still politics (and pseudo-feudal christian politics specifically). OP wants something that (like this) is consciously political but (unlike this) has genuinely left-wing politics.

It's not that big of a deal. You can enjoy Tolkien without having to worry about his complicated politics. The stories are still enjoyable regardless. You don't have to enjoy them for that aspect. You can enjoy them for the adventure or for the prose/poetry or for the details of the world.

 No.39594

>>39587
>Over the years, the mechanics have drifted toward being heavily combat focused when originally the backbone of the game was the exploration mechanics.

It literally was created from a tabletop wargame, mate. All editions of dnd were 80-90% combat and combat relevant stuff. Exploration was part of the adventure but wasn't actually covered mechanically, only through roleplay. Read any classic Gygax adventure, all the traps and secrets were not covered by mechanics aside from damage and saving throws. You had to actually listen to description, make your own guess, have your own idea to push the shield on the wall aside or touch specific place with 11ft pole (because if you do it with 10ft one, you will be in the range of the trap because GM is a massive dickhead). Hell, most of the adventures involved more descriptions of action using 10ft pole than any actual roleplay (and given high lethality of combat and low survivability, characters were rarely more that a stat sheet). And when exploration meanichs were introduced in 3.0 like with skills governing search and trap disarm, many old fans were pissed because now you could actually solve stuf mechanically through dice roll instead of being better in predicting how much of a dickhead your GM is today.

And that stuff can be done without any system at all. And it's a very boring way to go about it.

 No.39597

>>39594
D&D had multiple influences. Chainmail was the basis for the combat, but it was drawing from other things like Braunstein for the actual structure of the game. In early versions (pre-whitebox) they didn't even have its own combat rules and just said to use Chainmail to resolve combat. The subsequent 1e, B/X, 2e, etc versions had explicit rules for how to interact with the world and dungeon. I'm not talking about skill checks for searching and the like, but rules for how progressing through the dungeons works, the passage of time, and consumption of supplies. That aspect of the game was about resource management, and taking that risk to get more resources in the form of treasure. Plus rules for attracting followers and building an estate. All of that stuff got either moved to supplemental material or cut entirely in later editions, starting with 3e, which made the game less about the dungeon layout and more about the combat grid. Afterward it only got more fixated on those rules. 4e overcommitted and had everybody using mechanics to move each other around like chess pieces. 5e reigned that in, but it has even fewer rules for anything besides combat.
>Hell, most of the adventures involved more descriptions of action using 10ft pole than any actual roleplay (and given high lethality of combat and low survivability, characters were rarely more that a stat sheet)
Yes, and that's an entirely different way the play style has changed. It used to be thought of very much as a game first. The roleplaying elements weren't the driving element. As the hobby got more popular, people starting wanting to put more focus on the story and characters, but that didn't have as much of an effect on the actual rules because most of that part of playing the game isn't defined by rules anyway.

 No.39600

>>39597
Too much trivia for where simple "i was wrong" would suffice. If we open almost any edition of the dnd and simply started counting lines of text, attributing it to different aspects of the game, it will be clear that everything else aside combat is an afterthought.

>I'm not talking about skill checks for searching and the like, but rules for how progressing through the dungeons works, the passage of time, and consumption of supplies. That aspect of the game was about resource management, and taking that risk to get more resources in the form of treasure.

Inventory management is not the same as exploration. The vast majority of people are not particulary interested in Excel simulators.
>which made the game less about the dungeon layout and more about the combat grid
A meaningless statement. 3e had more rules that could interact with dungeon layout than previous editions. It's just that playstyle has changed and people started to ignore those rules.

 No.39602

>>39587
>There's a lot more than that, but "war is bad" is still politics my dude.
There's a difference between the way politics and ideology bleeds into everything or many broad themes being political in a sense, and something being an intentional political screed or even some sort of secret propaganda.

>There's also a lot about rightful kings

Not really. Aragorn et al is more King Arthur than any kind of political monarchism. While Aragorn IS a direct descendant of Isildur, his place as the rightful king has more to do with him fulfilling a series of prophecies than because he's Aragorn son of Arathorn son of Arador son of Argonui son of Arathorn son of Arassuil son of Arahad son of Aravorn son of Aragost son of Arahad son of Araglas son of Aragorn son of Aravir son of Aranuir son of Arahael son of Aranarth son of Arvedui son of Araphant son of Araval son of Arveleg son of Arvegil son of Argeleb son of Araphor son of Arveleg son of Argeleb son of Malvegil son of Celebrindor son of Celepharn son of Mallor son of Beleg son of Amlaith son of Eärendur son of Elendur son of Valandur son of Tarondor son of Tarcil son of Arantar son of Eldacar son of Valandil son of Isildur and therefore had the right to be king.

In fact, Gondor was actually ambivalent about the House of Isildur's right to govern Gondor, since the House of Isildur ruled the fallen Kingdom of Arnor, not Gondor, which was ruled by the (now long extinct) House of Anarion.

What you miss here is that Tolkien was intentionally engaging in myth-making, and in doing so, he was heavily borrowing from myth and legend.

So, yes, while things like Christian morality plays a part in driving the story forward, the story is also a more or less direct reference to the Ring of Gyges, an old Greek myth about a shepherd who discovers a big crack in the ground after an earthquake and when he invesigates, find an elaborate tomb with the corpse of a giant man wearing a golden ring. The shepherd take the ring and either he or one of his decedents notices when fidgeting with the ring that when its put at a certain alignment, it gives the power of invisibility. This person, Gyges, then hatches a plot to use the power of the ring to become the king's messenger, seduce his wife and then assassinate him, becoming the king himself. The Ring of Gyges was used in a discussion on virtue in Plato's Republic, where Socrates argues that a person who used the power of the ring unjustly and became a tyrant would become a slave to their own appetites and would never truly be happy, while a actions taken justly and in virtue is the only thing that brings true freedom, that a life lived in virtue is its own reward. And this is also one of the big themes of Lord of the Rings. It's not just random acts of kindness, goodness and virtue are portrayed as genuine strengths, while evil and vice are portrayed as seemingly powerful and tempting, but ultimately self-destructive.

 No.39605

>>39602
>What you miss here is that Tolkien was intentionally engaging in myth-making, and in doing so, he was heavily borrowing from myth and legend.
He was doing that while also intentionally being anti-war, pro-environment, anti-racist, etc. Neither one invalidates the other.

>>39600
>If we open almost any edition of the dnd and simply started counting lines of text, attributing it to different aspects of the game, it will be clear that everything else aside combat is an afterthought.
>Inventory management is not the same as exploration. The vast majority of people are not particulary interested in Excel simulators.
You are just ignoring the parts of the game you don't care for. A lot of people then and now are most interested in this aspect of the game, since it's what defines the Dungeons part of it. It's just as easy to handwave the combat mechanics in this manner. It is pretty boring to reduce a fight to the death to a point scoring system. Combat also used to be pretty simple, even if rules like THAC0 confused players. In order to say that those early editions were dominated by combat rules you'd have to count things like class description pages or spells for that.
>3e had more rules that could interact with dungeon layout than previous editions.
3e had many more rules in general. The proportion shifted towards combat. When later editions started paring down the rules, everything else started getting cut first.

 No.39607

>>39605
>In order to say that those early editions were dominated by combat rules you'd have to count things like class description pages or spells for that.

Also, monster stats and so on. Yes, those count. When most of the description of creatures is their combat stuff, saying that system wasn't focused on combat is blatantly stupid. Why shouldn't class rules count? It's what makes your characters distinct from one another and 80% of that is about combat.

DnD was ALWAYS about combat primarily. Rest of the stuff was an afterthought or even outright left to GM fiat.

>The proportion shifted towards combat.

Not really, if you want to cotinue saying that, you should actually start bringing some data. In fact if we take stuff like class abilities and so on, there were much more fo them that weren't about combat or at least had dual purpose (like bardic music). The game started to become more than home invasion simulator exactly at that point.

 No.39608

File: 1708550286111.png (149.02 KB, 639x444, ClipboardImage.png)

>>39607
>DnD was ALWAYS about combat primarily.
>In fact if we take stuff like class abilities and so on, there were much more fo them that weren't about combat or at least had dual purpose (like bardic music). The game started to become more than home invasion simulator exactly at that point.
The way people played the game certainly has shifted away from this, but that's because it's started to lean more on free-form roleplay. That's not the same thing as having mechanical support for things other than combat. More to the point, it removes the game's infrastructure that makes the dungeon delving inherently challenging. Without any time or resource limits, there's no sense of urgency so the players can wander around as much as they want. The only source of tension becomes the combat, and the game leans more heavily on that. By 5e it's gotten to the point that players are incentivized to rest frequently because it resets their status to full for most things, and the system is built on the assumption that they'll go into every encounter fully refreshed.

>Also, monster stats and so on. Yes, those count. When most of the description of creatures is their combat stuff, saying that system wasn't focused on combat is blatantly stupid.

That's just circular reasoning. "The game is combat, so anything in the game is combat." Monsters stats were barebones because if you weren't fighting them they would behave similarly. By the way, random encounters weren't meant to always be combat. A lot of people just decided to play the game so it was always attack-on-sight. Here's a source that includes the reaction tables from early editions to illustrate the intent behind the design (picrel from 1e).
http://osrsimulacrum.blogspot.com/2020/09/across-editions-reaction-table.html
Even monsters were never just about combat, but I left them out because they skewed more towards combat than other parts of the rules like class features and spells. Some of those were combat related, but not all of them. It's silly to suggest spells like Knock, Rope Trick, Clairvoyance, Locate Object, etc fall under combat rules. The same goes for most class features. How is detecting secret doors, climbing sheer surfaces, or detecting and removing traps a combat rule?

Maybe you personally played a combat-heavy game as a pure fighter, but that's not all the game used to be.

 No.39611

File: 1708571664399.png (466.65 KB, 570x311, ClipboardImage.png)

>discussion about Fantasy setting story (games)
>Discussion derails into Tolkien debates
LMAO every time. Never change /hobby/, never change.

 No.39625

>>39608
>More to the point, it removes the game's infrastructure that makes the dungeon delving inherently challenging.
No, that's not what makes it challenging, especially in the settign where spells trivialize most of the stuff anyway.

>That's just circular reasoning. "The game is combat, so anything in the game is combat."

Are you retarded or something? "Most rules and stats of monsters are only relevant in the combat, so we consider them combat rules" There is no circular logic anywhere. You are just trying to stretch the argument because of nostalgia goggles.

>Monsters stats were barebones because if you weren't fighting them they would behave similarly.

Which means their main purpose is combat. Thank you for proving my point.

>By the way, random encounters weren't meant to always be combat.

Neither they are in later editions. Hell, it is even explicitely stated in DMG for third edition. But unlike in earlier editions, they actually expanded on this, monsters have different behaviours and reactions, not one ubiquitous charisma roll and one table of outcome, which makes all those monsters look like different skins over same NPC code.

>Some of those were combat related, but not all of them.

MOST of them. I bet if we do one for one comparison, we will see that later editions have a lot more class features that have use outside of combat. Both for 3e and 5e.

>It's silly to suggest spells like Knock, Rope Trick, Clairvoyance, Locate Object, etc fall under combat rules.

Then don't suggest it, moron. Again, if we do onr for one comparison of spells, how much would be combat related and how much would have use outside of combat? You know the answer, i know the answer, everyone fucking knows it, but you still pretend otherwise.

All you do is show how fucking shallow earlier editions were for anything outside combat, rules wise.

 No.39632

File: 1708628399860.png (327.84 KB, 640x773, ClipboardImage.png)

>>39611
What would a D&D campaign based on The Last Ringbearer look like? It would be sick to play as a group of "fixers" for Saruman or something and you have to contend with hobbits who keep radicalizing the locals.

 No.39633

>>39632
>>39632
>It would be sick to play as a group of "fixers" for Saruman or something and you have to contend with hobbits who keep radicalizing the locals.
Ever read the alternate history of LoTR from the perspective of a mid level Mordor functionary? It was written years ago by a Russian guy in the style of Tolkien. A game based on that would be amazing, it's well written.

 No.39634

File: 1708637673232-0.pdf (1003.27 KB, 197x255, The Last Ringbearer.pdf)

File: 1708637673232-1.png (346.53 KB, 640x360, ClipboardImage.png)

>>39633
That's what I was referencing, the book is called The Last Ringbearer.

I don't think it was directly based on that but Dimension 20 did an actual play series in a similar vein, as flunkies of legally distinct Sauron in legally distinct Middle Earth.

 No.39651

>>39634
shit, yes the name was right there in your post. I still remember reading it years ago but forgot the name. It's so good. It should be put in front of anyone who's just read LoTR. Thanks for the D20 rec.


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