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shadz
12-11-2006, 07:15 PM
I have recently been on a kick to break out of the D&D stuff. I am currently looking at a few different RPG systems/settings to play in. Currently I am reading the core books for:

The Burning Wheel
The Cross Roads of Eternity
Fantasy Imperium
The Riddle of Steel(waiting for it to be shipped)
Legend of the Five Rings (d20, also waiting to be shipped)

I figured I would start a thread where we could talk about non-D&D games. Feel free to chat about any system you have played. Tell us:
Did you like it?
Why or why not?
Good/Bad points
Would you recommend it?

Let's get this going! I'm interested to see what else is out there that is hidden by the "WIZARDS/D20" conglomerate!


P.S.: I will comment on the above listed games when I get a chance to play them.

fmitchell
12-12-2006, 10:01 AM
As we all come out of the catacombs, blinking slowly at the unfamiliar light ...

Actually, what I look for in a game system these days is simplicity. My philosophy is that, when *any* conflict or significant decision point comes up, the players and I should be able to roll dice, quickly determine the outcome of that round or that skill use, and move on.

I wrote an article at my website (http://www.frank-mitchell.com/games/comp-char-gen-1.html) on a few "light" systems I liked. You could start there. I've never actually played Heroquest, Fudge, or FATE, yet, but I've played the others at least once.

Once I GM'ed GURPS (everybody groans), and I like the system. It has a reputation for complexity, but most of the complex bits are *options*, which means that you can play without them (unlike d20). Look at the free "GURPS Lite" version, which strips the rules to a playable bare bones.

I've also played older editions of Runequest, Call of Cthulhu, and a few other "Basic Role Playing" variants. It's a very flexible system, and apart from needing a character sheet listing *all* skills it's fairly simple and straightforward. You could also look into the Mongoose edition of Runequest, which is (a) in print, and (b) evolves the system slightly (with a few undesirable mutations).

Recently I ran a PDQ-based game, and apart from the over-complex damage system I grafted onto it, it worked out surprisingly well. Mine was homebrew; I'd suggest you start with Truth & Justice (superhero), Dead Inside (modern dark fantasy), Questers of the Middle Realms (satirical heroic fantasy), or the recent Zorceror of Zo (fairytale fantasy).

Some other games that look interesting, but which I haven't played yet:

True20 (a simplified d20)

D6 Adventure/Space/Fantasy (I'd suggest getting *one*; the others are mainly retreads of the same mechanics, with different slants and slight renamings. "Adventure" seems like a nice compromise, but if you're committed to Fantasy or Space go for it.)

Savage Worlds (faster dice mechanics than GURPS, but "universal" in similar ways.)

World of Darkness (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, etc. ... kind of pretentious to me, but others swear by them, and the core book could form the basis of a "humans against the darkness" campaign.)



If you'd like to venture further afield -- as "Burning Wheel" and "The Riddle of Steel" indicate, you could consider these:


Primetime Adventures (your game as a weekly TV series)

Dogs in the Vinyard (haven't read yet, but it's gotten a lot of buzz)

The Shadow of Yesterday (only skimmed)


PDQ is also a significant departure, but it's such a simple system you might at least take a look at it.

Actually, here's a belated question: what are you looking for? An interesting background? Simpler mechanics? More realistic mechanics? A better combat system? A better magic system? A system for capturing social dynamics?

shadz
12-12-2006, 06:43 PM
Actually, I'm not sure what I'm looking for. I just thought I would try to break out of the rut of D&D and expand my gaming world. I guess I'm looking for something in the fantasy genre, but any more than that, I'm kind of at a loss. Being I haven't actually done any other gaming than D&D, it's hard to say. Just tying to branch out really. Some of the stuff I have read so far in 'Burning Wheel' was actually pretty cool. Character creation is kind of long winded, but it seems to be a more 'roleplaying' centered system. Which is something I need to work on anyway. I guess I'm looking for ease of play and understanding while sticking with a fantasy setting. The down side to looking right now is that I am kind of in between groups, so I can't even truly play test. But I'm sure I'll know it when I find it.

fmitchell
12-12-2006, 09:46 PM
How could I have forgotten?

My current favorite game I've yet to play is Spirit of the Century, which uses FATE 3.0 (my review was of FATE 2). It's set in a Pulp 1920's, but with only minor changes you could move it backward to the Victorian Era or forward to the 1930s; with a few more changes you could move it sideways to pulp fantasy a la Conan.

There have been three (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/12/12619.phtml) RPG.net (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/12/12464.phtml) reviews (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/12/12558.phtml) in the past two months. You can get previews on the Evil Hat Games website (http://www.evilhat.com/?spirit).

Farcaster
12-13-2006, 03:40 PM
In addition to the published Fantasy games, you might also considering the plethora of unpublished (free) fantasy rpgs out there. You might just find a diamond in the rough. Here is an excellent website for finding free RPGs: http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/freerpgs/bykeyword/fantasy.html

He_Who_Kills
12-14-2006, 08:55 AM
I haven't played it and only skimmed over the players handbook briefly, but Castles & Crusades (http://www.trolllord.com/newsite/cnc/index.html) looks promising. In my opinion, it seems like the type of game D&D 3rd edition should have been - a more logical next-step. Also, the first campaign, Castle Zygag, is written by Gary Gygax. And there is new material being produced, though not at the deluge pace(which is nice). All that said, it might mean the game hews a little to close to D&D for you.

However, if you're looking for something that isn't WotC (i.e. 3.0, 3.5, etc.), but still has a bit of the flavor of D&D and it's previous editions, you might consider it. I plan on picking C&C up and running it in the new year.

shadz
12-20-2006, 04:13 PM
In addition to the published Fantasy games, you might also considering the plethora of unpublished (free) fantasy rpgs out there. You might just find a diamond in the rough. Here is an excellent website for finding free RPGs: http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/freerpgs/bykeyword/fantasy.html (http://www.darkshire.net/%7Ejhkim/rpg/freerpgs/bykeyword/fantasy.html)


That's an awesome site farcaster. I will have to check into it more. This is good stuff guys. Keep it coming! I want to know everyones take on this stuff!

ronpyatt
12-21-2006, 08:38 AM
Wushu http://www.bayn.org/wushu/wushu-open.html cuts far away from D&D and number crunching. The combat mechanic during a fight is limited only by the GM's dice cap, and dice are determined by the number of actions described by the players. A statment such as "I punch the orc" will get you 1 die. But a statement such as "I take on the first orc with the hilt of my sword to the gut, and as he's bent forward I use his body as a ramp to launch myself with a half summersault and a flurry of kicks to the nearby orcs, balanced on one hand on top of first one's back, and in a final gesture kick down and back hurdling the first one into the remaining orc, sending my sword up to cut the rope on the hot oil to drench them," might get you 5 to 8 dice. Wushu is all about the dramatic, larger than life fights.

bilros02
04-27-2007, 03:25 PM
Eh, you could always check out my personal system Gaia Saga, my play testers seem to like it fair enough.

www.gaiasagaonline.com (http://www.gaiasagaonline.com)

Digital Arcanist
04-29-2007, 11:55 AM
Did anyone mention Firefly with the Cortex gaming system? I've never played but I am trying to get in on the play-testing for the Highlander game with the same system.

QumullusTheNimblest
06-22-2007, 08:07 AM
I've become bored with running D&D (3.5), too and recently polled my players on their interest level in other genres, settings, etc... Sadly, they were strongly in favor of sticking with the world, characters, & systems they know & love. However, they were a little "open" to some new things, just tentatively so. So, I've been reading many of the same rule systems/games that you've all mentioned above and came to a compromise with my group. We've added a version of Aspects & Fate Points from FUDGE/FATE 2.0 (both Free downloads!) to our D&D game. It's takensome tinkering (and we're STILL tinkering), but -WOW!- what a kick it's given our game! They suddenly aren't digging thru rulebooks during combat, they're showing SO much more creativity and sense-of-story, and the interplay between players/characters at the table has blown me away these past few weeks. A group of former hack-n-slashers are now having a good time with more "cinematic combat" and character-driven story, AND, their GM (me) is really enjoying D&D again, it's like a new game (tho the same, really).
So, I guess i'm saying try importing something into your current game to "shake things up", you might be surprised! (plus I now have them asking about other games! - we're going to try Primetime Adventures soon - woot!)

PhishStyx
06-22-2007, 01:34 PM
I think my favorite fantasy game would be Amber, but these days, I think I'd rather redo the system as a rules-medium/lite diceless game,
almost certainly with my long-time favorite, Unisystem.

panzer-attack
06-28-2007, 05:53 AM
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has got to be my favourite fantasy RPG.

Farcaster
06-28-2007, 02:15 PM
I played the original Warhammer Fantasy RPG, but that was years and years ago. I understand they have a new version out. In fact, I had the opportunity to try it out the other day at one of the game events here in Seattle, but I didn't have time. I hear the critical charts are just as nasty as ever though :D

fmitchell
06-28-2007, 09:46 PM
Found this one the other day: Plain English Role Playing (http://www.mearls.com/old_site/PERP.html)

It's still in "Alpha", and has been for the last 8 years ... but at least it demonstrates you don't need some $40 tome to have a workable RPG. (As do Fudge, Fate, PDQ, even various SRDs)

panzer-attack
06-29-2007, 02:47 AM
I played the original Warhammer Fantasy RPG, but that was years and years ago. I understand they have a new version out. In fact, I had the opportunity to try it out the other day at one of the game events here in Seattle, but I didn't have time. I hear the critical charts are just as nasty as ever though :D

Yeah, Warhammer is still just as deadly as ever. I actually really like the new edition, they've ironed out a lot of the problems with the original game. In my opinion though, the best thing about Warhammer is the setting itself.

Moritz
06-29-2007, 08:29 AM
You mean there are other fantasy games aside from D&D? NO WAY!

Just kidding. But straight up - Fantasy Hero sucks.

D&D is the only way to roll.

bigeshu
06-29-2007, 01:20 PM
Just curious, but would Exalted count as Fantasy or Superheroic?

Kaninchen
08-10-2007, 09:55 AM
Finally someone mentions Exalted! It's the game I'm most wanting to play (and White Wolf needs to hurry up with the 2nd edition Abyssals book plzkthxbai). I'd call it Fantasy, given the very high magic and low technology levels, but Superhero isn't inaccurate either. For superhero gaming with stupid amounts of power, Aberrant is the shit.

D-hawk
08-10-2007, 10:36 AM
I've been looking at Don't Rest Your Head, a sort of modern fantasy where the characters all suffer from insomnia, but have discovered a sort of secret world hidden in the night, called the Mad City. The characters all have a couple of special abilities they can use to accomplish their goals in the Mad City, but they risk falling asleep or going mad. It looks like a fun game that's pretty far from the d20 norm.

I'd like to play it, but I've also been interested in Mortal Coil and Dread recently.

Moritz
08-10-2007, 11:04 AM
One Two Freddie's coming for you.

Which reminds me.

I ran a game once where the players were all in a shared hallucination. And sometimes during the game they'd all wake up in an asylum. Only to fall back to sleep and be in the game, It took about 4 waking periods and a few group therapy sessions before they discovered that the game was a hallucination. They were pissed.

Oh, and then I ran a game once where the whole experience was on a holodeck. However, it wasn't until the end of the campaign that I told them, "And then you wake up - and you're all standing in a holodeck." They were pissed too.

Kelbin
08-10-2007, 08:28 PM
I loved RuneQuest 3 cause it taught players to be concerned about fighting, wearing armour, and running like hell.

Jonas Boggs
08-10-2007, 09:49 PM
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has got to be my favourite fantasy RPG.

I have just purchased a few of the WFRPG books and look forward to trying it. I have quite a few of my local friends who swear by it and it is gaining quite a large following.

I'm also about to start in on an online campaign a friend is running on rpol.net

Moritz
08-13-2007, 07:44 AM
Have we mentioned EarthDawn yet? It's a product that's generated in the Dallas area by some old friends of mine from high school.

I don't know what's worse, that I can trace my nerd roots back to high school or that I know people who make games.

Either way, it's good to be a nerd. :)

Argent
08-13-2007, 08:06 AM
Have we mentioned EarthDawn yet? It's a product that's generated in the Dallas area by some old friends of mine from high school.

I don't know what's worse, that I can trace my nerd roots back to high school or that I know people who make games.

Either way, it's good to be a nerd. :)

We hadn't mentioned Earthdawn yet, but it had to be one of my favorite non-D&D systems. I just loved the concept for it, which made starting a new group so incredibly easy; you've been huddled inside this protective shell all your lives, now its gone, get out there. Just a really great concept.

Most of the time, though, I'm happy to stick with D&D. But our D&D game is so house-ruled up, that it may bear little resemblance to main-stream D&D. But we like it like that, and that's what counts.

BeZurKur
09-17-2007, 05:06 PM
There is Ron Edwards, Sorcerer game. The core book is for the modern age, but his first supplement, Sorcerer and Sword, sets it firmly in the sword and sorcery genre. His analysis of what makes sword and sorcery is one of the best essays I read on any fantasy. Really good stuff. The rules are lite but robust.

shilar
09-19-2007, 10:35 PM
I actually like Paladium FRPG a bit rules heavy and unbalanced(but then what Paladium product isn't) but what an amazing setting.

Moritz
09-20-2007, 09:53 AM
I have a few Paladium books. I buy them for the art and the fantastic setting that they have to offer. I've never really got into the rules, just too awkward for me, but there are some books that just give me great ideas.

Jujitsu_squirell
10-10-2007, 09:26 AM
Seems like noone has mentioned Risus. http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/risus.htm is a great simple system. If you want a simple game that doesn't rely on dice for everything then this is it. You can create a character in as little as 2 minutes once you know the rules which take about 20-30 minutes to learn. I recommend using it as a serious system and doing away with the inappropriate cliches rule. OIt forces people to really think about their choices and also to be creative if they want to be on a even footing when ambushed. It doesn't penalize you for not doing so but definitely encourages you.

PhishStyx
10-10-2007, 02:01 PM
I've always been intrigued by Risus, but it's just too rules light for most of my players (2/3's of my current players are long-time GURPS guys)

Skunkape
10-11-2007, 06:31 AM
On Monday, I purchased the latest version of RuneQuest, the deluxe book, so I'll be checking out their latest changes to the rules as soon as it arrives! Although I run a DnD 3.5 game, I really don't like the alignment and levels systems of the game, but I do like the large number of magic spells, stated monsters and magic items that come with the game, so I'm stuck with either doing a lot of homebrew work using another system, or putting up with the alignment/level system.:)

Unless I really hate the RuneQuest revision, I'll be using it for my next campaign.

ronpyatt
10-12-2007, 12:19 AM
Seems like noone has mentioned Risus.
Fantastic system, and yes running a serious game is doable with Risus. There are many genres to choose from, and with fleshed out PCs the games could last for years. As with any RPG, a good story to get your game on is all it takes to make Risus rock. What's nice is that you can take modules or settings from other games and use them as is.

Monster conversion chart? Well, it's sort of like this conversion of a flayer.
D20 flayer
Mind Flayer, Ulitharid
Large Aberration (Psionic)
Alignment: Usually Lawful Evil
Climate/Terrain: Any Underground
Challenge Rating: 12

Risus flayer
Mind Flayer, Ulitharid, Large Aberration (Psionic) = 2
Alignment: Usually Lawful Evil = 2
Challenge Rating = 6 (or more as appropriate for the party's encounter)

At least I hope I didn't mangle Risus with this...

Talaisan
10-12-2007, 12:10 PM
I've got one so far unmentioned. Ironclaw. Fantasy renaissance setting (at the very beginning of the change between knights on destriers and gunpowder weapons). The system seems like it's meant to give the finger to d20, since that's the only standard polyhedral not used, but once it's demonstrated, everyone I've shown it to has said 'Oh! That's just really, really easy!'

Biggest problem? Do you know how many people will look at the game, see 'furries' and immediately say no?

Grinnen Baeritt
10-13-2007, 11:51 AM
I agree about Ironclaw, the dice mechanic appears a bit cumbersome at first... but it works. The system is quite simple to understand..

Who to play it with? Kids. Get them to read some Brian Jacques Novels (Redwall Mossflower etc) for background. My daughter loved it when I played in with her and a few of my more mature gaming friends.

What system other than D&D to choose? It all depends on what you want out of your game, be it simple, magic heavy, crunchy etc.

I suppose you could do a sliding scale based on a comparision with D&D 3.5.

Being a bit "Old School" my favourites are Rolemaster, Warhammer, Runequest, Dragonquest, Harn and Chivalry & Sourcery. (Yes I favour crunchy...;))

The BRP System is one of the oldest ones out there (Call of Cthulu, Runquest etc) and is also one of the best.

Fudge is one of the easiest, I'd have to say that 3.5 is the most rules intensive out of ALL of the Popular systems I've come across.
(There is a system called Imagine RPG which beats it for the depth of rules in the Core Rulebook..but there are few others). Rolemaster, in comparision is fairly rules light (very CHART heavy, although in practice apart from the weapons tables very few are ever used in practice).

For ease of use in play I'd have to say Fudge... simplistic for beginneers but easily adapted for those who want depth.

Edward
10-13-2007, 12:19 PM
I prefer open-source games, because you can legally modify them as much or as little as you want and then distribute or even sell your version without any legal problems. Also, there are often free supplements available.

As for genre, I definitely prefer systems which are generic and universal (strictly separate from the world and suitable for any genre). Why should you have to switch to different rules just because the party travels from a fantasy world to a sci-fi world? It isn't that hard to design a system to be generic.

For those who like rules-light systems, I recommend Yags (http://www.glendale.org.uk/yags/index.html).

Here are some others.

http://www.freeroleplay.org/games
http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/freerpgs/bykeyword/open-license.html (http://www.darkshire.net/%7Ejhkim/rpg/freerpgs/bykeyword/open-license.html)
http://www.ogmiosproject.org/Schrodinger/Schrodinger4.htm

Talaisan
10-15-2007, 10:39 AM
Above all, do not play Ironclaw with a group compsed of children and perverted furries. Lawsuits will happen. Traumatic memories and so on.

MortonStromgal
10-16-2007, 04:09 PM
So if you want to stick with something D&D

1. Still want to use your D20 books - Mongoose Runequest, minimal changes to use the same books if you can accept it wont be 100% the same (+5% for every +1, and Pow = Wis)

2. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - It may even do D&D better than D&D


If you want something not like D&D

1. World of Darkness - So the best thing about White Wolf is the encouraging of roleplaying both in terms of experiance and mechanics. The new virtue/vice system while silly works well in game to motivate a player to play in character.

2. Pirates of the Spanish Main - I'm not a huge Savage Worlds fan but you get everything you need in one book and I think its differnt enough from D&D to give it a look.

Moritz
10-16-2007, 04:14 PM
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay?

Sounds like 5000 mini's in a fantasy setting.

Malruhn
10-16-2007, 09:11 PM
It is.

And they are against 5000 OTHER mini's... it never ends!
____________________

I've played about every game and system out there, but I keep coming back to D&D. There's something about having a bag full of unmatched dice that can't be beaten by things like old-school-Traveler (2d6, anyone?), or the d% games.

I'm just prejudiced.

Skunkape
10-17-2007, 06:39 AM
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay?

I had the first edition of the game, that is, until it was stolen. Anyway, it was a different approach to fantasy gaming. Not sure if it's everyone's cup of tea, but had some cool ideas.


2. Pirates of the Spanish Main - I'm not a huge Savage Worlds fan but you get everything you need in one book and I think its differnt enough from D&D to give it a look.

I always get the name of that game confused with the WizKids Pirates collectable game. I know, two completely different games, but...

I do like alot of the concepts behind the Savage Worlds system, especially how simple it is!

Moritz
10-17-2007, 07:51 AM
Love the WizKids Pirates game. Love it. I sink many ships.

MortonStromgal
10-17-2007, 11:45 AM
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay?

Sounds like 5000 mini's in a fantasy setting.

No minis needed. Theres maybe 4 pages dedicated to minis and movements all of which are concidered "advanced" rules. It has a very 1e feel with random character creation. Includes 50 base careers (classes) everything from rat catcher to pitfighter and 50 advanced careers (prestige classes) demon slayer to grand wizard. There are 4 races human, elf, dwarf and halfling and it uses 2d10 sometimes as d10 sometimes as pecentiles. Its a very fast system with low hit points. When your hit points hit 0 however you are still up an fighting it just means the next attack has a chance of killing you in one blow (it may just scratch you to). The magic system is very wild. You can put d10s into your spells to beef them up or have a better chance of success but if you roll double tripples etc bad stuff happens. You have skills more like the old AD&D proficency system only you get them more frequently and you can raise them. The basic system is a percentile roll under and I highly recommend it to anyone who liked any edition of D&D before 3.X

Edward
10-09-2008, 04:12 PM
For anyone interested, there's a pretty good review of Yags here (http://thefreerpgblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/yet-another-game-system-yags-by-samuel.html).

Guardian of Hell
10-18-2008, 12:58 PM
My favored system is the 3.5 ed of D&D (the earliers were not as good, and the 4th is just wrong.) However, I do play GURPS and a little of the d20 System games Wheel of Time and Warcraft. Both Warcraft and WoT sadly lacked much material, so I have in essence given up on them. GURPS however, is possibly the greatest competitor to the legendary D&D, in my opinion, having a great number of supplements and a good deal of things to be done with it.

In truth, D&D is the best system for fantasy, GURPS is possibly the best for other genres such as sci fi or eastern myth. (Also, World of Darkness gets a token of praise from me, but since I haven't played it I'm not one to comment.)

Webhead
10-20-2008, 12:43 PM
Fantastic system, and yes running a serious game is doable with Risus. There are many genres to choose from, and with fleshed out PCs the games could last for years. As with any RPG, a good story to get your game on is all it takes to make Risus rock. What's nice is that you can take modules or settings from other games and use them as is...

Risus! Whoo! Love the game! :peace:

Sarky
03-13-2009, 10:35 AM
Well, I saw Rolemaster , Hârn tossed out there. Both excellent systems. Thouhg, if you want something a little more light, try HARP, produced by Iron Crown Enterprises. It is basically a scaled down Rolemaster, with a nod towards DnD. There is a lite ruleset here.
http://www.harphq.com/free_downloads/3000L_HarpLite.pdf

Webhead
03-13-2009, 11:10 AM
My favorite non-D&D games right now are Savage Worlds, Wushu, Unisystem and Mutants & Masterminds. Interestingly, any of those systems could work well to run a fantasy campaign which I would probably find preferable to any official D&D system.

joshuadunlow
03-13-2009, 11:18 AM
2. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - It may even do D&D better than D&D


It can, and it does! With a little modifications to the setting, i have used Warhammer for a more D&D styled rpg than it's own original setting. Not that the original setting sucks, but i like anything that's easy and not a d20 game.

Valdar
03-13-2009, 01:29 PM
Generic systems work well, but what they lack is built-in teamwork. If I were going to run another Fantasy game with a generic system, I'd definitely want "roles" built into the sourcebook, whatever they may be, so that characters can synergize their skills, rather than have every character try to do every thing.

jade von delioch
03-13-2009, 02:16 PM
I think it funny that when people ask for non-D&D games D20 games always pop up, even though this is still 3rd edition D&D's basic rule set. So basically, your still playing D&D, but in a different setting/genre.

Here is a list of one that i have found to be worth wild:

Magical Land of Yeld
Panty Explosion
Fireborn
Conspiracy X
Buffy/Angel
Shadowrun 3rd edition
Palladium Fantasy or Beyond the supernatural 2nd edition (the only balanced palladium games.)
Marvel Universe (diceless)
Savage worlds
Everway( Diceless= good system, bad setting)


Oh, and OGL is the biggest crime in the world

TwilightSea
03-13-2009, 02:20 PM
If you're a fan of Square-Enix's RPG series, Final Fantasy, there is a fan-made system for it called the Returners system. It runs on a percentile system and the 3e beta came out roughly a year ago. If you're interested here's the URL. http://www.returnergames.com/

jade von delioch
03-13-2009, 02:22 PM
I knew i forgot one.... thats a good game too.

joshuadunlow
03-14-2009, 03:23 AM
If you're a fan of Square-Enix's RPG series, Final Fantasy, there is a fan-made system for it called the Returners system. It runs on a percentile system and the 3e beta came out roughly a year ago. If you're interested here's the URL. http://www.returnergames.com/

Awesome

morbius
03-14-2009, 07:14 PM
anyone ever play either A Game of Thrones RPG made by Guardians of Order (now out of business) or A Song of Ice and Fire made by Green Ronin Press. I havent actually played them but The book series by George RR Martin is incredible. I'm thinking of buying the game manuals but wanted to get more player info.

MortonStromgal
03-14-2009, 08:22 PM
anyone ever play either A Game of Thrones RPG made by Guardians of Order (now out of business) or A Song of Ice and Fire made by Green Ronin Press. I havent actually played them but The book series by George RR Martin is incredible. I'm thinking of buying the game manuals but wanted to get more player info.

Yes, theres two versions one d20 more similar to the mongoose conan d20 than D&D and tristat which I can't compare to anything because it was the only time I've played tristat.

jade von delioch
03-14-2009, 11:29 PM
Tristat was an ok system. The Song of ice and fire game is interesting-they put out a free quickstart for last years Free rpg day.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-15-2009, 09:50 PM
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has got to be my favourite fantasy RPG.
Mine too, both editions. Extremely dark and gritty is the way i like it.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

I played the original Warhammer Fantasy RPG, but that was years and years ago. I understand they have a new version out. In fact, I had the opportunity to try it out the other day at one of the game events here in Seattle, but I didn't have time. I hear the critical charts are just as nasty as ever though :D
Oh yes, the charts are as nasty as ever. You must make time to give it another try for it is great fun. I realize that their are loyalists devided between the two editions, so let me say that both editions are great, so ignore the loyalists.
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Yeah, Warhammer is still just as deadly as ever. I actually really like the new edition, they've ironed out a lot of the problems with the original game. In my opinion though, the best thing about Warhammer is the setting itself.
I never had a problem with the old edition, eg magick a bit out of control, being just one of the complaints-not mine. Both editions, however, are different enough w/o loosing the dark and gritty flavor for folks to choose their edition favorite. I, myself, play both, only allowing my mood to determine the edition. If i were to make a choice or be burned alive, not unlike that poor soul in the show, The Tutors, i would choose 1e. Sure, 2ed fans can accuse me of some bias since i started with 1e, and my only response would be: they may be right.:confused:
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My favorites:
1) DnD1E w/generous houserules thrown in.
2) WFRP: Both editions
3) Traveller: CT & MT

I read answers many of you have given and all i can say is... i'm envious. I wish i had the time and/or opportunity to try out others. There are so many that look to be great fun so it saddens me that i may never get a chance to play them in this lifetime. If anyone ever comes across the secret to life extention or immortality, email me, i'll join the club willingly ad immediately. Until then, i'll settle with teleportation so as to be able to join many of your campaigns.

Hey Farcaster: i realize you've had it implemented for a while now, but i wanted to just say that i love the thread merging. Great idea. I guess that's why your 30th level. :)

tesral
03-16-2009, 01:08 AM
Generic systems work well, but what they lack is built-in teamwork. If I were going to run another Fantasy game with a generic system, I'd definitely want "roles" built into the sourcebook, whatever they may be, so that characters can synergize their skills, rather than have every character try to do every thing.

You say that like it was a bad thing. I want the players to find their "roles" not have them spelled out for them. There are not four roles. I'll say it as often as necessary. When you don't have a box, thinking outside of it is easier. I much prefer a game that does not stuff each character into a box.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-16-2009, 03:24 AM
Agreed.

If played correctly, having, for example, 6 thieves in a party, they should be vastly different from one-another. One doesnt need titles to differentiate classes. Of course, probably only the older players would know this for we played in a time where character development was #1 in the game. Which would also explain why we hurt so bad when our character/s died.

tesral
03-16-2009, 10:16 AM
Agreed.

If played correctly, having, for example, 6 thieves in a party, they should be vastly different from one-another. One doesnt need titles to differentiate classes. Of course, probably only the older players would know this for we played in a time where character development was #1 in the game. Which would also explain why we hurt so bad when our character/s died.


And it is possible to have an all thieves game, and have nothing but Core thieves and have very different characters. Without feats, kits, other other game system gadgets.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-16-2009, 10:53 AM
Ahh! The memories of yesteryear. Today, i approach character development as i did so many years ago. This is just one more reason why high stats werent crucial in our game. Low stat/s helped define your character and helped guide him or her approach all things adventure. Now-a-days if a character doesnt have all high roles, folks huff and puff their complaints, even going so far as to claim that their character doesnt have a fair chance-give me a break!

Webhead
03-16-2009, 12:15 PM
And it is possible to have an all thieves game, and have nothing but Core thieves and have very different characters. Without feats, kits, other other game system gadgets.

Yep. To anyone who tells me that every 2e Fighter is exactly the same I say: you're not playing the right campaign.

Oh yeah...and we didn't have an all-Thief party but we did have a 3/5-Thief party. Every one of the 3 Thieves was very different.

Valdar
03-16-2009, 02:45 PM
You say that like it was a bad thing. I want the players to find their "roles" not have them spelled out for them. There are not four roles. I'll say it as often as necessary. When you don't have a box, thinking outside of it is easier. I much prefer a game that does not stuff each character into a box.

All genres will have their archetypes. Why not design those archetypes to be interdependent, rather than having each character strive to do everything, and hope that there will be some sort of interaction between the characters beyond raw RP? I'm sure it would happen, but why not write the game to encourage it? Are your players not imaginative enough to work within a structure? Or is this just a desire to be able to do everything and not depend on the rest of the party?

I'm not saying stifle RP by giving people boxes. What I'm saying is, figure out what "good stuff" your campaign has, then divide the stuff up between two to four roles, so that no one character can have access to all of it. Three pure roles and three hybrid roles seems like a good mix. That way you've got some interaction built into your system. How people interpret those roles is completely up to them- just make sure that succeeding in the game requires all of them.

tesral
03-16-2009, 04:15 PM
All genres will have their archetypes. Why not design those archetypes to be interdependent, rather than having each character strive to do everything, and hope that there will be some sort of interaction between the characters beyond raw RP? I'm sure it would happen, but why not write the game to encourage it? Are your players not imaginative enough to work within a structure? Or is this just a desire to be able to do everything and not depend on the rest of the party?
.

I never said I build characters that strive to do everything. That is your assumption. I object to the ready made pigeon holes that assume that every character is a combat pigeon.

I've built PCs virtually worthless in combat. I can't think of a single PC I built around their role in combat. Not playing a game that provides such combat shaped boxes and assumes that you must fit in one, it isn't so hard.

There are not four roles. There I said it again. Combat is only one aspect of the game and in my games not even the most important aspect. Build your PC around their role in combat and you might spend a lot of time reading a comic. The whole four roles thing assumes that combat is the be all and end all of the game and any character not built for one of those roles is doomed, useless or useless and doomed.

Thank you, I play a different game. The roles we play are not limited to four.

LAST CRUSADER
03-16-2009, 06:17 PM
games that are actually made for the swords and sorcery genre (i hate calling it fantasy because my fantasies are often in other genres) are far too often tied to a particular campaign setting and require a good bit of adaptation to be used in a different world. as an old time gamer who startedwith AD&D first edition i've usually created my own settings and rarely had any interest in G.M.ing a game set in someone elses world. the one exception is arthurian england and really i created my own version of that too.
as a result i prefer to use games that were not made for the swords and sorcery genre and use them there anyway. most people who do that sort of thing use a universal system like GURPS but not GURPS because let's face it no one accually plays gurps they just buy the recources to read and lift ideas from. i like to use super hero games no matter what setting i'm playing and the reason is that superheroes are not just my favoite genre anyway but also the most versitile genre there is. if you can make super heroes work, you can make anything work so superhero games are the true universal game systems. check out the link below to the system i use

tesral
03-17-2009, 08:02 AM
games that are actually made for the swords and sorcery genre (i hate calling it fantasy because my fantasies are often in other genres) are far too often tied to a particular campaign setting and require a good bit of adaptation to be used in a different world.

I don't encourage cross game characters. Build one for the game you are playing in.

Valdar
03-17-2009, 10:24 AM
I never said I build characters that strive to do everything. That is your assumption. I object to the ready made pigeon holes that assume that every character is a combat pigeon.


I never mentioned combat or pigeonholes, or having four roles- that was you ranting about D&D 4e again.

In my experience, without some sort of structure to what characters can and can't have, when using generic systems like GURPS, players try to cover all the bases, and all the characters tend to look alike (usually it's "fencing mage"). To avoid this, and to create some inter-character dependencies, the system should reward specialization and disallow certain combinations, whatever those happen to be (even the Yrth setting gives you either fencing or Magery, but not both). Sure, players are going to resist this and play the "you're limiting my creativity" card, but it makes for more interesting games when each character is specialized in what they do, and rely on each other to accomplish things.

InMediaRes
03-17-2009, 11:18 AM
If you game with people so obtuse they can't figure out how to diversify between the 4 of them, then you'll probably get a bad game to begin with. However, if the GM penalizes for not covering a certain base with any character, every player will feel they have to be good at everything. Take a moment at character creation to say what you want from the game, and that everyone should aim for a different role. You'll probably end up with a much more interesting game than if you limit it to "fencing" and "magery".

Webhead
03-17-2009, 12:03 PM
All genres will have their archetypes. Why not design those archetypes to be interdependent, rather than having each character strive to do everything, and hope that there will be some sort of interaction between the characters beyond raw RP? I'm sure it would happen, but why not write the game to encourage it? Are your players not imaginative enough to work within a structure? Or is this just a desire to be able to do everything and not depend on the rest of the party?...

My general preferences lean very heavily in favor of less "role" or "class" based systems mostly because I like to think that characters (just like people) are an individualized amalgamation of their particular life experiences. Thus, I like to have the ability to build a character piece-by-piece, adding the things that make sense for the concept and leaving out the things that don't. That said, I'm the sort of player that starts with a concept first and then builds around that rather than the other way around.

To me, classes are essentially mandatory "archetypes" which are good in their own way: giving uncertain, unfamiliar or unconvinced players some structure from which to start conceptualizing. I love example archetypes. Why I feel "sample archetypes" are superior to system-enforced "classes/roles" is because they both achieve the same thing (giving players and idea of what to do with their characters) but archetypes are just examples of what can be done, not what has to be done.

Example: Without the interference of house rules, if you want to play a 3e Rogue you have to have the Sneak Attack ability. Sure, you can ignore it, but if you're a Rogue, there it is. Likewise, unless you take a level of Rogue (which may or may not make sense for your character) you will never be able to have the Sneak Attack ability. What if you want your warrior-type to have learned some guerilla tactics but the loads of skill points that Rogues get don't make sense for him? Or the ability to find/disarm magical traps?

My experience with both "class-based" and "classless" systems has shown me that even in more free-form character creation, players I've known tend to find a theme or "role" (combat or otherwise) and build to it, but they also get to be a little more creative about it. They still want to be unique and useful and know that "doing everything" is both boring and unneccessarily taxing on their characters' resources.

That's just me in a nutshell. "Classes" or "roles" work for certain play styles of certain campaign concepts of certain sub-genres, but on the whole I like flexiblity of not being required to categorize characters in such a way.

gdmcbride
03-17-2009, 02:43 PM
In my experience, without some sort of structure to what characters can and can't have, when using generic systems like GURPS, players try to cover all the bases, and all the characters tend to look alike (usually it's "fencing mage").


My experience is quite the opposite. Whenever you get rid of structure and let player's imaginations roam free, you get a rich panoply of varied and interesting characters.

The last BRP game (one of those dreaded generic systems) I ran set in an urban Conan-esque Hyborian age generated these characters:

1) A pretty boy wizard raised in wealth but later enslaved who struggled with his literal inner demon but finally managed to conquer it gaining his freedom at the cost of much of his power.

2) A hedonistic dethroned leader of a once major religion who was on the verge of suicide when rescued by the intervention of fate and the PCs. He eventually went on to rebuild his church as a temple of thieves and became one of the city's great crime lords.

3) A temple prostitute and seductress turned assassin and later aligned with demons to become the campaigns primary villian.

4) A mysterious rogue from the east who unified the splintered city gangs and became the boss of bosses while keeping his reputation as a 'ghost'.

5) A fledgling fire mage who nearly lost his soul to the flame of magic, turned his back on sorcery and demons and went on to found his own secret monastery beneath the city.

6) A captured half-man/half-yeti dragged down from the high mountains of far Khitai in chains to serve as a beast in the arena. He went on to earn fame in the fighting pits of Shadizar and to prove himself anything but a mere beast.

Just some examples. And really these brief sketches don't begin to touch the complexity of the characters. I'm sure for example if Amon the Ghost's player were about, he would look at the blurb and go 'wow...that was so NOT what Amon was about. You didn't even mention his sister!'

But the point remains, I'm a big fan of unleashing player creativity. It leads to personally very satisfying results.

Gary

LAST CRUSADER
03-17-2009, 04:33 PM
Are we all debating about theories of game design or debating the merits of particular systems ? I cant tell.
The system i created uses classes with plug in powers. The class determines your stats and the stats determine how well different powers will work. If you want to take a warrior who has mind control, you can but his mind control wont be as powerful as a controler with mind control.
I like to encourage people to build ballanced characters who wont feel bad when they're alone, by taking at least one defense, one offense, one transport, and one information power. You don't have to do it but it's good advice. If you want to be a team player and count on the members of the team to fill in each others gaps so you can specialize, well, thats good to, but in the genre i usually g.m. (superheroes) you can bet you're gonna end up on your own at some point and if the party is specially designed to work together, well, you've all heared the term "divide and coquer"

Valdar
03-17-2009, 05:06 PM
The last BRP game (one of those dreaded generic systems) I ran set in an urban Conan-esque Hyborian age generated these characters:


Sounds like I really need to give BRP a look. I've been tossing around the idea to run a GURPS space game, but that's just because I played it for so many years. (I thought I was joining a BRP game, but it turned out to be Tri-stat instead...)

fmitchell
03-17-2009, 08:28 PM
My experience is quite the opposite. Whenever you get rid of structure and let player's imaginations roam free, you get a rich panoply of varied and interesting characters.

That might be a difference in systems. GURPS provides exact definitions and point costs for abilities and skills in any genre. Thus, a GURPS GM needs to prepare a list of what characters can and can't use from the whole Basic Set. (although classifying each advantage/disadvantage as Exotic, Supernatural, Mental, Physical, Social, etc. makes description easier).

On the other hand, BRP provides a simple base to which GMs can add whatever they want. A BRP GM can say "we're playing in the world of Conan, and here's how magic works". Even then, having played briefly in the BRP game Gary ran (as a healer turned serial killer), I still remember a lengthy player's pack which included what skills were available and how to allocate points.

While I haven't proven this hypothesis yet, I think a GURPS game, especially with new players, might work better with GURPS Lite + a subset of the full rules ... especially if the GM cares about genre enforcement.

MortonStromgal
03-18-2009, 12:32 AM
Sounds like I really need to give BRP a look. I've been tossing around the idea to run a GURPS space game, but that's just because I played it for so many years. (I thought I was joining a BRP game, but it turned out to be Tri-stat instead...)

Personally I don't fee BRP does future gaming as well as GURPS but its stronger in present day or historic timelines. YMMV

gdmcbride
03-18-2009, 12:35 AM
On the other hand, BRP provides a simple base to which GMs can add whatever they want. A BRP GM can say "we're playing in the world of Conan, and here's how magic works". Even then, having played briefly in the BRP game Gary ran (as a healer turned serial killer), I still remember a lengthy player's pack which included what skills were available and how to allocate points.

I'm not sure I'd call the player's pack lengthy -- it was thirty pages including the cover page and the table of contents page.

That included all the world background, everything you needed to make a character, and the basics of the system.

There was that and my three pages of hidden information and the map of the city. And that's all the written material there was for the Shadizar campaign. Everything else developed organically over the course of the campaign.

Gary

tesral
03-18-2009, 09:53 AM
That might be a difference in systems. GURPS provides exact definitions and point costs for abilities and skills in any genre. Thus, a GURPS GM needs to prepare a list of what characters can and can't use from the whole Basic Set. (although classifying each advantage/disadvantage as Exotic, Supernatural, Mental, Physical, Social, etc. makes description easier).
.

That is what the various genre books are good for. Setting the parameters.

I mainly like GURPS books for idea grazing. I don't play GURPS but in general I love the books. After D&D and Star Trek the GURPS part of my RPG library is the largest.

fmitchell
03-18-2009, 05:03 PM
That is what the various genre books are good for. Setting the parameters.

Fourth Edition, in an attempt to consolidate rules and fix inconsistencies, made that harder. Reading the "Basic Set" is like drinking from a firehose (particularly in character generation), and the new genre books have very broad scopes. GURPS 4e GMs now have to get very specific about allowed character and combat options. Players can get by with only the first volume of the Basic Set, but even that's a $40 investment, compared to $30 or less for the PHB. If players are cheap or uncommitted, a GM almost has to write his own "Powered by GURPS" worldbook.
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(Regarding the Shadizar campaign)


I'm not sure I'd call the player's pack lengthy -- it was thirty pages including the cover page and the table of contents page.

That included all the world background, everything you needed to make a character, and the basics of the system.

OK, that's fair ... you did include the essential rules of BRP in the pack. With Chaosium's book, you can summarize official rule options with a form in the back of the book, cutting out about 10 pages or so.

Still, you CAN summarize BRP in 10 or 11 pages. While the GURPS in-play rules are about as simple, character generation -- with myriad advantages and disadvantages -- can get much more complicated. Especially if players don't want to plunk down $75 (or even $40) for a new game, GURPS requires a little work upfront from the GM.

Valdar
03-19-2009, 11:01 AM
Fourth Edition, in an attempt to consolidate rules and fix inconsistencies, made that harder. Reading the "Basic Set" is like drinking from a firehose (particularly in character generation), and the new genre books have very broad scopes. GURPS 4e GMs now have to get very specific about allowed character and combat options. Players can get by with only the first volume of the Basic Set, but even that's a $40 investment, compared to $30 or less for the PHB. If players are cheap or uncommitted, a GM almost has to write his own "Powered by GURPS" worldbook.

Yeah, I'm suspecting that my Space game will be cut-down GURPS or built-up BRP (still need to pick up the book, but I think I've got the idea). I've told interested parties that I'll need at least a month or two to clear out existing projects before I get started on the game.

No motivation at all to use tri-stat. From looking over the basic tri-stat book, it looks like I'd have to create every skill and advantage from scratch (unless I'm doing a mecha campaign). The fantasy tri-stat game I'm in now is pretty anemic, though that might be the GM's fault more than the system.

Webhead
03-19-2009, 11:31 AM
As far as good "generic" systems to work with, I am quite partial to both Unisystem and Savage Worlds. Both are very simple and easy to work with and have a lot of potential flexibility to meet the GM's campaign/genre needs. Both are "Attribute & Skill" based systems with "Merits and Flaws". Both have quick and easy "roll high, compare to difficulty number" resolution mechanics and offer optional "action point" systems to allow players to influence rolls and other outcomes.

Character creation is relatively fast and accessible and character sheets are clean and not hard to decipher.

fmitchell
03-19-2009, 03:29 PM
Yeah, I'm suspecting that my Space game will be cut-down GURPS or built-up BRP (still need to pick up the book, but I think I've got the idea).

You could also use GURPS sourcebooks with BRP. Converting GURPS bonuses (on a 3d6 curve) to BRP percentiles (on a flat probability) won't be exact, but might be close enough if you use Difficult and Easy rolls when the percentiles start stacking up. Damage should be 1:1, and everything else is in English units.

Since I'm currently GM-ing BRP, I do appreciate the lack of advantages/disadvantages that add special cases to the base rules. OTOH, I kind of miss GURPS.

Edward
03-19-2009, 03:36 PM
In my experience, without some sort of structure to what characters can and can't have, when using generic systems like GURPS, players try to cover all the bases, and all the characters tend to look alike (usually it's "fencing mage"). To avoid this, and to create some inter-character dependencies, the system should reward specialization and disallow certain combinations, whatever those happen to be (even the Yrth setting gives you either fencing or Magery, but not both). Sure, players are going to resist this and play the "you're limiting my creativity" card, but it makes for more interesting games when each character is specialized in what they do, and rely on each other to accomplish things.

I require characters to have professions, just as we all have professions in the real world. However, the profession is just a description of what they do. I don't have them choose from a list. Instead, as the first step in creating their character, I ask, "What's your profession?" They can design any profession they wish.

Professions are very useful because a) they help the player develop a character concept and stay focused on that concept, b) they give the player something to say when PC's and NPC's ask, "What do you do?" and c) they give other players a one-word summary of the character's abilities. If a player says, "I'm a scout," then other players will have certain expectations about that character's abilities. Usually, the player realizes this and makes sure the character has the appropriate skills.

I don't believe it's useful to have four fixed professions. That limits creativity and causes frustration. Allowing each player to design a profession is pretty simple in a skill-based system; just allow them to decide which categories of skills are most easily learned. If they learn, say, magical, academic, and outdoor skills quickly (i.e. at a lower cost), then they probably won't be able to learn melee or craft skills quickly. One character can't be good at everything.

Of course, the party is likely to need certain skills. Someone needs to be good at healing, someone needs to be good at sneaking around, and someone needs to be good at fighting. I do make unobtrusive suggestions, and usually that's enough, but I don't push players in directions they don't want to go. If the players don't coordinate their characters and develop all the necessary skills, the party suffers. They usually learn to cooperate sooner or later. Sometimes it can be a painful process, but they learn from it. If the GM forces them to have certain skill sets, they won't learn anything.

amardolem
03-19-2009, 03:56 PM
I'm there (yeah that's right I just realized there's 2 more pages after what I'm replying too, so the topic has changed t00 bad nyaaa) I would love an all Thief game (not an all rogue game) THIEF, THEIF, THEIF!! there i said it...had to get it off my chest.

:biggrin:
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heres what I was replying too:
And it is possible to have an all thieves game, and have nothing but Core thieves and have very different characters. Without feats, kits, other other game system gadgets.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-19-2009, 04:18 PM
I'm there (yeah that's right I just realized there's 2 more pages after what I'm replying too, so the topic has changed t00 bad nyaaa) I would love an all Thief game (not an all rogue game) THIEF, THEIF, THEIF!! there i said it...had to get it off my chest.

:biggrin:
--- Merged from Double Post ---
heres what I was replying too:
All theif game? Been there; done that. If done right, it can be incredibly fun. One of the most enjoyable games i've ever ran in my 30+ years of dnd play.

Valdar
03-19-2009, 06:48 PM
You could also use GURPS sourcebooks with BRP. Converting GURPS bonuses (on a 3d6 curve) to BRP percentiles (on a flat probability) won't be exact, but might be close enough if you use Difficult and Easy rolls when the percentiles start stacking up. Damage should be 1:1, and everything else is in English units.

Since I'm currently GM-ing BRP, I do appreciate the lack of advantages/disadvantages that add special cases to the base rules. OTOH, I kind of miss GURPS.

I think I'll either be doing a completely custom game, or basing it on a specific work- I'm currently swaying toward an X-files type game in a world on the brink of science-fiction technologies, so the players get to investigate what goes wrong with FTL, first contact, total conversion plants, portable particle accelerators, even time travel- think Event Horizon except the players get to live a little longer to go investigate more wierd stuff (with a dash of Call of Cthulhu, as the party will discover that hyperspace is exactly where all the eldrich horrors are from...)

Back on topic, I've played fantasy games with the following non-D&D systems:

GURPS
Iron Crown
Tri-stat
Tunnels and Trolls
Hero
A completely homebrewed percentage system

I'd say out of all of those, GURPS and Hero were the best- they avoid the problem that percentage- or 2d-based systems have in that your 1st level character has about a 15 percent chance to do anything he cares to attempt...

MortonStromgal
03-19-2009, 10:57 PM
I think I'll either be doing a completely custom game, or basing it on a specific work- I'm currently swaying toward an X-files type game in a world on the brink of science-fiction technologies, so the players get to investigate what goes wrong with FTL, first contact, total conversion plants, portable particle accelerators, even time travel- think Event Horizon except the players get to live a little longer to go investigate more wierd stuff (with a dash of Call of Cthulhu, as the party will discover that hyperspace is exactly where all the eldrich horrors are from...)



Have you looked at Mongoose's Traveller? They have an SRD but you really need the rule book to appreciate it IIRC

Valdar
03-20-2009, 09:45 AM
Have you looked at Mongoose's Traveller? They have an SRD but you really need the rule book to appreciate it IIRC

Nope- I think that will be a little high-tech for what I'm going for, but if it's got something free online, I'll check it out- thanks!

tesral
03-20-2009, 10:26 AM
Have you looked at Mongoose's Traveller? They have an SRD but you really need the rule book to appreciate it IIRC

What is the system?

Valdar
03-20-2009, 11:47 AM
What is the system?

From the downloads, it looks like an update to the old-school Traveler game by GDW- same stats in the same 2-12 range, but a lot more of your background goes into the game.

I think it's a little advanced for what I'm looking for- since my game will start on Earth in 2099, before alien contact or FTL, all I'd be using is the core system. And since Tri-Stat has left me with a bad impression of 2d systems, well...

(Not that 2d bothered me in Car Wars, but it was a little more structured.)

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-20-2009, 12:00 PM
What is the system?
Blasphemer! :mad:

MortonStromgal
03-21-2009, 01:41 AM
From the downloads, it looks like an update to the old-school Traveler game by GDW- same stats in the same 2-12 range, but a lot more of your background goes into the game.

I think it's a little advanced for what I'm looking for- since my game will start on Earth in 2099, before alien contact or FTL, all I'd be using is the core system. And since Tri-Stat has left me with a bad impression of 2d systems, well...

(Not that 2d bothered me in Car Wars, but it was a little more structured.)

I can understand not liking 2d6, personally I haven't played it yet just thought the damage mechanic was really interesting. I didn't play classic though by the time I found traveller it was new era.

jade von delioch
03-21-2009, 11:12 AM
Tri-stat was ok. Its a lot of work for a GM i think when comes to character creation. You have to work with each player when they make their character so that they don't come out over powering. Its pretty easy to minmax in that game. beyond that it was fun to play.

tesral
03-21-2009, 11:27 AM
I can understand not liking 2d6, personally I haven't played it yet just thought the damage mechanic was really interesting. I didn't play classic though by the time I found traveller it was new era.


My exposure to classic Traveler was brief. I remember character generation being long, pointless and you could die. From my point of view you played out 25 to 25 years of your character's life in a few die rolls. Why would you play the game? I retired an Admiral? I don't need an adventure, I need a nice cottage and a garden. It let you with a random set of skills that might not relate to any character concept of even a whole person. The weakest link of the game and the one that started it.

I would seriously hope that is gone.

Other than that I don't have any negative feelings about the system. But not enough play to have a positive feelings about It was long ago and the memories dim.

Azatoth
03-21-2009, 11:44 AM
My personal favorite for campaign setting and system is Legend of the Five Rings, 3rd ed by AEG. But I also like Palladium games, Shadowrun, the old World of Darkness specifically Vampire the Masquerade and GURPs.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-21-2009, 12:14 PM
My exposure to classic Traveler was brief. I remember character generation being long, pointless and you could die. From my point of view you played out 25 to 25 years of your character's life in a few die rolls. Why would you play the game? I retired an Admiral? I don't need an adventure, I need a nice cottage and a garden. It let you with a random set of skills that might not relate to any character concept of even a whole person. The weakest link of the game and the one that started it.

I would seriously hope that is gone.

Other than that I don't have any negative feelings about the system. But not enough play to have a positive feelings about It was long ago and the memories dim.
I disagree it was the weakest link, or a weak link at all. This 'design' was to encourage players to get out and play, not to role to the position of admiral, or whatever. It made sense too, for the greater risk involved, the greater the skills-or whatever-earned, or greater the chances of death. This is not unlike dnd, if a party of greedy 3rd level players wished to aquire the treasure of an old dragon, then sure, they would aquire alot if they didnt die, but the risk of death would be high. Same concept. Most players rolled for 4 years of experience, if that, then went out on there own.

Oh, and btw, with Mongoose Traveller, they did do away with death in careers potential.

To this day, Traveller CT is in my top three, but if you want somthing with near the same flavor(w/o the deaths by rolling), go Mongoose Traveller. They're pretty similar.:biggrin:

MortonStromgal
03-21-2009, 01:49 PM
I found new eras character creation INSANELY fun!
Like if you want to be a psion well you have to then not take careers cus the older you get the weaker your powers so if you wanted high powers you ended up with weak skills

or for regular folks if you wanted alot of skills watch it cus with age your attributes start going down. Plus unlike AD&D I didn't feel pidgen holed. I could take a few years as a marine then pursue an acting career and finish it up begin a cop before travelling the universe. Honestly its my favorite type of character gen system. It provides me a framework for an interesting background while giving me relivant abilities and an reasonable amount of flexibility.

gdmcbride
03-21-2009, 02:01 PM
Traveller? Do away with its lifepath character creation system? That would be getting rid of one of its most distinctive element. That would be like D&D getting rid of hit points and armor class or Warhammer getting rid of careers.

The newest generation of Traveller books do a better job of refining the system. You can't die (unless you want to add that option) though you can get maimed. There are many more interesting events that serve as adventure hooks. Characters tend to be a lot more even in their power level.

Old Traveller had a worse problem in my opinion than dying in character creation (the bit people always make fun of). You could roll up a merchant with a smattering of skills, maybe part ownership of a ship and a pistol or ... you could roll up a marine with gun skills maxed, tech skills out the yin-yang, his own mercenary battle cruiser and battle dress (think power armor). Worse than rolling freakishly bad was rolling freakishly good. A super powered character could really mess up a party dynamic. Mongoose's version almost entirely fixes that.

I disagree that having a lot of character history (as much as 24 years at the systems intended edge) eliminates roleplaying. That's like saying that all the backstory in Firefly (you know ... about the war) eliminated the ability to have adventures in the present.

Firefly/Serenity by the way is a great example of a classic traveller campaign (although with slightly different background color). Characters with lots of history together enter a new phase of their life, hop from planet to planet having freewheeling adventures aboard their free trader/scout ship/pirate raider/mercenary transport, and maybe somewhere along the way get tangled up with The Big Threat to Life as We Know it.

And once you start play, Traveller was a happy little rules-light, skill-based system from the dawn of RPG history. Oh, yeah and fire fights with modern weaponry -- deadly with a capital D.

Gary

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-21-2009, 02:08 PM
I may have mis-spoke, Morton Stromgal, bad things can definitely happen that forces a player to begin playing said game.

tesral
03-22-2009, 12:52 PM
The newest generation of Traveler books do a better job of refining the system. You can't die (unless you want to add that option) though you can get maimed. There are many more interesting events that serve as adventure hooks. Characters tend to be a lot more even in their power level.



I've never been fond of "rolling" for my character path. The system did need a serious balancing. However my interest in random generation ends with the most basic of stats. At that point give me a pool of possible and a budget.

One of my problems with the random life path giving me 24 years in the service is none the intangibles are there. If you spend 24 years in the Navy and make Admiral, you are going to know people and people are going to know you. High ranking officers are not ciphers. Where is the buttload of contacts and old boys? Why have I spent 24 years in the service and know nothing and no one?

From my point of view it gives you too much, and not nearly enough. The only things you take away from that are rank, skills and stuff. It is, forgive the term, "unrealistic" for a retired Admiral to walk out of the service a total unknown, that has lived in a vacuum. In the Traveler Universe he has had a life of adventure. Why are they looking for more?

So I see the life path as flawed in two directions. It gives too much. Years of experience. It gives too little. No intangibles and general knowledge to go with those years of experience.

I have little book called "Heroes of the Future". It is a random generator for melodramatic character backgrounds. Lightly applied it can give you ideas. Used with a heavy hand you get the stuff of Space Opera melodrama. I think that book gives you better hooks. It's all hooks.

If I were running the game the life path would be shorter and not so random. If you truly have no ideas random could be done, but I would never stick a character with that. Random generation can produce truly stupid results. Stupid results should not be forced on a character. I would limit the rank and time you could spend in the service. No Admirals. I would add some intangibles, contacts, and some knowledge of the Universe at large.

gdmcbride
03-22-2009, 01:56 PM
First, you won't be a retired admiral. Even under the old system it was impossible to get more than one promotion per term.

Second, Traveller doesn't say you are an unknown. It has a primary statistic that is all about your social class. The higher it is, the less likely you are to be 'unknown'.

Third, Traveller doesn't just tell you skills -- it gives you a lot more to go on than that. And yes, it doesn't fill in all the intangibles. A life path is not a fully created character background, it is just a very valuable aid for people who sometimes have trouble being creative.

Look, rather than debate this, you should go here. (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=407433) This is a thread on rpg.net where a committee of people use the random generation system to create a character. It also gives a really solid example of what the system is capable of.

Ultimately, I completely understand that this system is not to everyone's taste. It does limit creativity by forcing you to stay in the context of the rolls. But, it can still be fun.

In fact, when I bought the new version of Traveller, I sat down with a few people and we spent an hour rolling up a character. By the end, we had a washed up scout who had cast out of the Scout Corps for a crime he didn't commit. It sounded like a good start on a character to me.

Gary

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-22-2009, 02:23 PM
You really missed the proverbial spacecraft on this one, tesral. Being a 32 year player of Traveller, one must play a few sessions in order to begin to truly understand the system. That said, Traveller isnt for everyone, of course, neither is dnd, wfrp, or (insert random rpg). :cool:

Rook
05-21-2009, 02:06 PM
Runequest is great for those want to play in a more realistic melieu. It requires more thought and strategy when it comes to combat since your character can be killed with a single attack, no matter what their level. No 150 hp warriors taking blow after blow from two-handed swords without it even slowing them down.

fmitchell
05-21-2009, 02:21 PM
Regarding (Mongoose) Traveller's character generation: I wrote up a couple of examples on this page (http://www.frank-mitchell.com/games/comp-char-gen-4.html), a little more than halfway down. (Yes, I know, I should have used a TOC or broken up the pages ...)
--- Merged from Double Post ---

Runequest is great for those want to play in a more realistic melieu. It requires more thought and strategy when it comes to combat since your character can be killed with a single attack, no matter what their level. No 150 hp warriors taking blow after blow from two-handed swords without it even slowing them down.

Jonathan Tweet has an interesting article in praise of high HP (http://www.jonathantweet.com/jotgamehitpoints.html) and another criticizing RQ's armor and percentile mechanics (http://www.jonathantweet.com/jotgamerunequest.html). I don't entirely agree with him: grinding down hit points makes D&D dull for me, but I do think roll-over mechanics scale better. (I'm on the fence about his armor argument.)

MortonStromgal
05-21-2009, 02:46 PM
Regarding (Mongoose) Traveller's character generation: I wrote up a couple of examples on this page (http://www.frank-mitchell.com//games/comp-char-gen-4.html), a little more than halfway down. (Yes, I know, I should have used a TOC or broken up the pages ...)

I think the whole thing is relivant to this thread. Nice job on character creation breakdowns. I would have liked to see a few other systems in there though. :D

fmitchell
05-21-2009, 03:05 PM
I would have liked to see a few other systems in there though. :D

http://www.frank-mitchell.com/games/comp-char-gen-1.html

PhishStyx
05-21-2009, 03:50 PM
In response to the original question, I've found that Armageddon & WitchCraft, Nobilis, Amber, Theatrix, Serenity, and Shadowrun all make for good gaming.

If you aren't sure where to locate any of the above, just PM me.

tesral
05-21-2009, 08:29 PM
It is more the people you game with than the game you play.

Rook
05-21-2009, 11:39 PM
I checked out the articles you mentioned; he makes some valid points. I'm definitely not knocking the D&D hp system as its the system I've used most extensively, but RQ's system, while not perfect, is indisputably more realistic.


Regarding (Mongoose) Traveller's character generation: I wrote up a couple of examples on this page (http://www.frank-mitchell.com/games/comp-char-gen-4.html), a little more than halfway down. (Yes, I know, I should have used a TOC or broken up the pages ...)
--- Merged from Double Post ---


Jonathan Tweet has an interesting article in praise of high HP (http://www.jonathantweet.com/jotgamehitpoints.html) and another criticizing RQ's armor and percentile mechanics (http://www.jonathantweet.com/jotgamerunequest.html). I don't entirely agree with him: grinding down hit points makes D&D dull for me, but I do think roll-over mechanics scale better. (I'm on the fence about his armor argument.)

gajenx
05-24-2009, 06:33 AM
My favorite part of RQ is the lower power of magic so it is more balanced to the warrior and thief archtypes in the game. Also, love how it is based more on utility than combat for magical use.

Rook
05-24-2009, 03:51 PM
I agree. I've always found magic in literature more appealing when it was more utilitarian and ritual-based rather than some mage chucking fireballs and lightning bolts at will (although I have played a walking tank or two).

My favorite part of RQ is the lower power of magic so it is more balanced to the warrior and thief archtypes in the game. Also, love how it is based more on utility than combat for magical use.

gajenx
05-24-2009, 06:26 PM
I know thus when I do play magic users I almost always am never a combat caster but an enchanter, illusionist, or utility style wizards with indirect type spells.

Rook
05-24-2009, 08:56 PM
I tend to create theme-based mages. I'm not as familiar with some of the later edition (D&D) specialty classes that probably do the same thing, but my mages would focus on particular types of magic, certain elements, etc. I always found setting and keeping to limits made characters more interesting and fun.

renyee
05-27-2009, 05:27 AM
I've used True20 for the last 3 years. It's a good, generic system for those that don't want to deal with a lot of game mechanics. Very simplified compared to D&D3x. The True20 system is quite easy to learn if you have either have no experience with RPGs or come from a D&D background, especially third edition, since it relies on the d20 dice.

Harwel
05-29-2009, 04:32 PM
I was a big RuneQuest fan back in the Second Edition days, still like the d100 system and BRP (Mongoose's RQ incarnation looks OK but might not be for me). I played GURPS for some time as well as some homebrews while RuneQuest/BRP seemed to be in limbo for a long time.

Honestly D&D is probably one of my least-favorite systems... but as someone else said, it's not really what you play, it's who you play with. I still play a D&D 2e Planescape game because it's what the DM wants to run.

While I've never played True20, it seems pretty good. I don't like bulky rulesets so much... though many of the "rules-lite" systems (like FATE or PDQ) are a little too improvisational for my taste. I guess my taste runs kind of "rules-medium".

gajenx
05-29-2009, 05:52 PM
I have to agree with you there Harwel. I am definately a rules medium person. Though still will forever love RQ. I had a friend whose older brother worked at creating the 2 ed. RQ stuff and then switched companies to work with Steve JAckson games. So thanks to my friend and his brother I have a well balanced homebrew character creation stuff for RQ and a more expansive Martial Arts and Magic system. (Magic based some on GURPS).

Webhead
05-29-2009, 09:23 PM
...I don't like bulky rulesets so much... though many of the "rules-lite" systems (like FATE or PDQ) are a little too improvisational for my taste. I guess my taste runs kind of "rules-medium".

I might suggest taking a bit of a closer look at Unisystem, Savage Worlds and/or BRP as they might be to your liking. They are much more unified and streamlined than the "bulkier" systems like d20 while maintaining enough options and crunch to avoid the more "improvisational" style of PDQ and others.

I've not much hands-on experience with BRP but I can vouch for the fact that both Unisystem and Savage Worlds are solid systems that manage to be both very customizable and very easy to run. They are in my Top 3 favorite game systems.