I finished reading the core materials on a system called Monster Hearts last night and it prompted a lot of thoughts for me. Fairly disparate thoughts though, so this post is going to be a bit random, fair warning.
1) I probably would have had no interest in reading this system if I'd encountered it on my own. What got me interested was The Drunk & The Ugly's campaign The Harvester and their excellent voice acting. A system about being a teenager and the horrible, melodramatic social jockeying teenagers do to each other, on top of being a vampire, werewolf, witch, fae, etc.? Yeah, not so much... I've never been good at the social-ing in real life, how the heck would I role-play it? But listening to people with voice acting talent/skills create characters in the messed-up little town they're in who occasionally I want to give a big hug to and tell them it'll be alright? Well, that's enough to get me to plunk down some money to check out the system.
2) Plot. I have to have plot. As awesome as the D&U folks are with characters, if they weren't driving forward with a plot and were instead just bouncing off each other, I'd get bored and have wandered away after a couple episodes. I'm certain of this because I did with the Miss Frieda's Halfway Home campaign. And I'm pretty sure I stuck it out through a few books where I didn't care about the characters in order to find out the resolution to the plot. I'll give away those books and won't reread them, but they at least get read to the end. So give me plot.
3) I will never convince anybody in my gaming groups to play this system with me. a) I don't want to GM it: haven't got a story that seems to fit, b) creating a story would take work I rather spend writing, c) you want me to keep track of how much social interaction? (::curls into a ball in fear::). My GM in the ShadowRun group has no time to learn a new system, even if they had the interest in this particular one (which I'd doubt - not crunchy enough for them), and very little interest in being a player. Yes, I have actually found a GM who prefers to GM over play. I'm so dang lucky. GM's partner also has no time to learn a new system and I rather doubt they want to revisit high school. At least one of the other players in my Thursday group is explicitly not interested in "teenage bullshit drama". And most importantly, my partner is of the 'you couldn't pay me enough to be a teenager again' variety.
4) I mean, they're right – being in our 30s is a heck of a lot better than being a teenager ever was. If a genie showed up and offered to magically deage me to whatever physical age I wanted, you couldn't get me to go younger than 25.
5) So, you know, what do I think about the actual system? I like that it is so social interaction focused and that includes sex and sexuality. It's weird how a major part of the human experience is swept under the rug in so many systems and, given my cultural upbringing, also very weird to see it featured so prominently in this system. However much sex is on the minds of the modern American teenager.
Like I said, a jumble of thoughts