Some games like The Cypher System and to a lesser extent 13th Age, leave me with a feeling that something is missing.

When I play or run an rpg, I like a fair mix of dice rolling, resource management, interaction with players and DM (GM is dead to me), and Engaging the Scenario™.  Cypher abstracts many things: stats, health/wounds, space and movement, magic items, and others.  For me the game feels like a sponge.

Many will say this is a opportunity to Just Be Creative™.  I will say, I can do that in any game.  If the DM poo-poos my creation, that’s on him or on me if I am running it.  If a system stifles out imagination, that’s on us, not the system.  Most game books I have read encourage us to use our minds, with the rules being a framework to go on, not a crutch.

Some abstraction is necessary as we cannot simulate everything at the table, though Rolemaster (website is wonky) tries very hard to do that.  Simulation can be overused as well which is why I am not a Rolemaster fan either.  Some games will have you keep track of each wound separately (Hackmaster). I am sure there are others in this group that are heavy into the simulation, these go too far the other way.

I guess I am a wargamer at heart, I prefer a game map/board with figures.  A healthy amount of “kick in the door …” is required or I get bored, whether playing or running a game.  Most versions of Dungeons and Dragons, many if not most or all OSR titles, Palladium, and any OGL based game will likely fit the bill in this regard.

Too much use of abstraction removes some substance from the experience.  That, to me, is a deal breaker.

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