Today hasn't exactly been a fast day for me, so I thought it was time to ask some questions. =P What do you guys consider to be some of your favourite RPGs? Just a couple of mine...
Legends of the Wulin/Weapons of the Gods - Shame both of these games got off to rocky starts with publishing, because they are both perfect examples of how an RPG can emulate a genre, in my opinion. I've never seen wuxia done as perfectly as Legends of the Wulin, modelling everything from talking to people through swordplay, making people fall in love with you via killing them or wire-fuing between areas to try and prevent each other from escaping combat. And you've got to love some Daoist Sexual Alchemy.
Exalted 2e - Quite eagerly awaiting 3e! Thanks to the Ink Monkeys and their tireless work on the 2.5e errata, this game has now become vaguely playable, which has jumped it instantly to the top of my list. Creation is an amazing setting, deliciously kitchen-sink fantasy, a rather grimdark tone despite it's anime-wuxia-Greek tragedy mythic heroes. Orichalcum grand daiklaives, ho!
Tenra Bansho Zero - Not so much a favourite at the moment, but the idea is amazing. I havn't read much of it since I picked up my Kickstarter pre-release, but the setting is awesome (little girls and boys piloting giant super-armours using Shinto mirrors made of mind-wiped demons, super ninjas, ultra ki warriors transformed by Samuraization surgery to become super-warriors, priests possessed by magic worms which give them everything from immortality to worm-whip arms), and it has one of the most interesting improvement systems yet to keep characters diverse and constantly striving to do new things (You're given Kiai to spend to do amazing things, which when spent become Karma. Karma is your XP, but also, if you reach 108 Karma, you become an Asura and become an NPC. To remove Karma, you have you change your Fate, either by changing your opinions on things, clearing up story hooks for your character and such. Removing Karma gets you more Kiai, which you can spend to become Karma, etc.)
7th Sea - This game had one of my favourite skill systems ever, and it was also the first game I saw where magic had a distinct flavour, while not being some amazingly good alternative to do every other characters shtick for them, but better (on the flip side, sadly, a lot of these magics were infinitely useless or highly circumstantial). Despite some poor game design, such as how Drama Points were handled, how magic was used and Drama Points as XP, it was a pretty good setting, with some rather good stuff to it. Got to love being able to make a Eizen Noble with armour and toughness so good, it takes, at minimum, eight cannonballs directly to the face to have a chance of knocking him out at character generation.
nWoD - I use this blanket category as for one, the system itself is just damn smooth, despite some oddness (sticking a shotgun in someone's face is less effective than shooting them a couple of yards away), and makes a lot of the supernatural elements still overly powerful, but keeping them grounded enough to never get too over the top (an Elder vampire can still get his face blown off by a hillbilly with a shotgun, if he's unlucky). But nWoD has some of my favourite settings when it comes to RPGs; Geist: The Sin-Eaters and Changeling: The Lost are freakin' beautiful, Hunter: The Vigil is awesome and Promethean, while it's a bit hard to actually find a group for, has a great idea.
Mutants and Masterminds - Fun fact: I have never once used this for superheroics, even before the splatbooks for other genres. Mutants and Masterminds is one of the best, most balanced games I've seen for if you ever want to play a game vaguely on tone with Western superheroics; it does shounen anime, over-the-top Devil May Cry style action, I've even played some of my best mecha RPGs in this system. Very generic, very good, highly recommended.
Eberron 4e - I tend to prefer 3.5 for my games, but 4e is the only way I can ever seen Eberron being played. Rangers shooting bows on par with Wizards throwing fireballs, who're just as good as Fighters smashing people in the face with greatswords. Awesome setting.
Cthulhutech - It plays horribly, and the writers are pretty crummy in a lot of aspects (later books involve very childishly handled plot elements taken directly from hentai films, not to mention the multiple instances of 'We've broke the rules for this NPC to give them more character, but if you ever do this with your players, you're a Bad GM and you should Feel Bad(tm), but I really do love the idea for this book. For how popular Lovecraft got within recent years, I never found his idea of Eldritch horror particularly interesting, or frightening, and the idea of playing completely powerless people getting picked off like slasher film victims never intrigued me. However, turning that idea into Neon Genesis Evangelion: Lovecraft Edition was a stroke of genius, in my opinion. Engines which abuse Eldritch chaos to create insane amounts of power, so in violation of breaking the laws of physics that looking at it's inner workings drives you mad? Awesome.
Legend of the Five Rings - I rather enjoy the setting, and the system. Not much to say, but my only disappointment in the system (which seems somewhat less prevailant in 4e) is just how constrictive your School makes your character; I never liked in 3e all Crane Bushi were super-fast Iaijutsu duelists, or all Crab Bushi super-armoured heavy weapon experts with huge penalties for going outside these niches.