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reichugo
01-20-2010, 12:41 AM
Im in my mid 30's and have been gaming since i could talk. Played DnD for the first time in 1979 with my older cousins and have been playing rpgs off and on since.

For the past 15 years ive been a player in a rotating WoD game with an awesome GM and lots of different players. I realized a couple of weeks ago I had a bunch of stories I wanted to tell. So now Im looking at putting together a game for my group and allowing my longtime gm friend a break to play a little.

So now im looking for a system to use and tweak for myself. Ive noticed a lot of debate on here about systems so I thought I would list what im looking for and maybe some of you more experienced gamers could offer suggestions?

Well here we go:

The story I want to tell is coming of age story set in a space western setting.

The inhabitants will be mostly human with the chance of some alien

It will be a heavily RP game but needs an effective but not overly complicated combat system.

Im looking for a skill based system.

The power level will be "agent" level with the powerbase tied mostly to robust technology options. I want technology to be the reward and the "leveling up" experience

I would like some basis for vehicle combat.

Well this is what I have right now... would love any input!

Thanks
B

Sascha
01-20-2010, 07:10 PM
Diaspora (http://www.vsca.ca/Diaspora/) may be right up your alley, there. It's FATE-based, which is skill-based and has all sorts of conflicts resolved using the same mechanical system. It has varying tech levels and rules for tiered gear, and a side section for alien species. There's also the SRD (http://www.vsca.ca/Diaspora/diaspora-srd.html) online, so you can peruse how the rules flow.

Richard Littles
01-20-2010, 07:31 PM
I can recommend Hero System and GURPS since they are multiple genre toolkits. They do not have a setting attached to the core rules, but they do sell setting books. There's a lot of hard work when using both systems because you have to create all the equipment, vehicles, etc... by hand (literally) or using their respective character creation software. The difficulty is pre-loaded upfront in the actual creation of the world to the creation of characters.

Character creation is as open as you want it to be. You can let players choose what they want their characters to be and let them select freely from the skill list. If you want a more structured approach both systems use package deals for jobs, races, culture, etc... The package deals contain only the basics the character needs for the core of the package and can flesh out their character with additional skills etc...

The actual game mechanics are quite easy to grasp that follow the same procedure for skills to combat, except for handling damage. Depending upon the realism you want you pick the rules that suit your game style best. The best part of all both systems is all you need is the core rules to run anything from superheroes to horror to pulp or any combination you want.

reichugo
01-20-2010, 08:01 PM
Thank you both for the responses!

I took a look at the diaspora links provided and its very intriguing. I a was wondering if there there was either a transcription of play or some sort of video so I can watch gameplay. My biggest concern is that it appears to be a bit more abstraqct than my group may be comfortable with. As much as I would like them to be more freeform I'm not sure we are there yet.

I have a lot of experience with hero system playing supers but I should investigate it for scifi. Gurps intrigues me but I don't know much about it. The stigma I've seen associated with it is that is overly complicated... what's your feedback on that?

Thanks again
B

Richard Littles
01-20-2010, 08:06 PM
Thank you both for the responses!

I took a look at the diaspora links provided and its very intriguing. I a was wondering if there there was either a transcription of play or some sort of video so I can watch gameplay. My biggest concern is that it appears to be a bit more abstraqct than my group may be comfortable with. As much as I would like them to be more freeform I'm not sure we are there yet.

I have a lot of experience with hero system playing supers but I should investigate it for scifi. Gurps intrigues me but I don't know much about it. The stigma I've seen associated with it is that is overly complicated... what's your feedback on that?

Thanks again
B

It's only as complicated as you make it to be. Is it difficult? Yes, but only on the front end which is world design and character creation. On the actual running it's pretty simple, much more simple than other so-called easy systems. If you have questions about Hero System feel free to ask me and I'll try to answer them as best I can.

In my personal experience of being in rpgs, out of all the systems I've played since 1984; the only one that I keep coming back to is Hero System. It does everything I need it to and it's a logically written system. I love Hero System so much that I'm writing a setting book for it.

reichugo
01-21-2010, 01:22 AM
Richard,

So this is a pretty basic question but I thought I would ask you as you seem very well versed in HERO.

How would you run a game in that system where everyone is basically innately human but the technology carries the abilities?

Like I said above I have all my experience in Champions and cant really wrap my head around how that game works in a non super setting.

Thanks again for all your input!

B

Sascha
01-21-2010, 01:46 AM
I took a look at the diaspora links provided and its very intriguing. I a was wondering if there there was either a transcription of play or some sort of video so I can watch gameplay. My biggest concern is that it appears to be a bit more abstraqct than my group may be comfortable with. As much as I would like them to be more freeform I'm not sure we are there yet.
It's not so much that it's freeform, but that it places importance on different things. With the Fate point economy, it gives players the ability to dictate when something will be mechanically important, instead of being the consistent modifiers other games might make 'em. It also assumes the players *want* to be more involved in the narration side of things, which not all actually do :P

Dug up a few first-session actual play threads over on rpg.net, though nothing that seems to show the meat of the mechanics ...
[Diaspora] War and Pieces (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=484091)
[Diaspora] The Rynox Cluster (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=485772)
[Diaspora] AP with kids (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=482685)

... and one that isn't so much an actual play, but might be mined for better understanding of FATE (specifically, Diaspora's flavor).
Selling you on Diaspora (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=471802)

I'll see if I can find something crunchier, by way of rules illustrations.

Whatever way ya end up going, hope you and your group have fun ^_^ (And post the results~)

reichugo
01-21-2010, 08:51 AM
Thanks so much sascha!

Ill check those links after work I appreciate your legwork!


B

Richard Littles
01-21-2010, 10:21 AM
Richard,

So this is a pretty basic question but I thought I would ask you as you seem very well versed in HERO.

How would you run a game in that system where everyone is basically innately human but the technology carries the abilities?

Like I said above I have all my experience in Champions and cant really wrap my head around how that game works in a non super setting.

Thanks again for all your input!

B

I would build all the powers as a Focus and depending upon what you think is fair for that equipment. Under the Focus section in the Power Advantages Steve Long wrote up a series of questions to help a person define what exactly that they want. Just remember that Hero System is built from the ground up on Reasoning From Effect. I would recommend you buy the Hero System Equipment Guide since it goes into detail on how to build weapons, equipment, and other items. Since this is a science fiction setting Star Hero would also be a good purchase.

Skygalleons
01-21-2010, 11:05 AM
I would strongly recommend Cortex as it was initially created to support the penultimate space western - Firefly. The rules are much simpler that GURPS or HERO and are extremely flexible.

Webhead
01-21-2010, 09:21 PM
I would strongly recommend Cortex as it was initially created to support the penultimate space western - Firefly. The rules are much simpler that GURPS or HERO and are extremely flexible.

I was going to suggest Cortex as well.

MortonStromgal
01-22-2010, 12:12 AM
I would say Cortex (Firefly) or Savage Worlds with the Deadlands book. The original Deadlands had such a great cowboy feel and I think the Savage Worlds version has 80% of that. Being Savage Worlds you could easily add in the space bits. Explorer edition is just $10 but any savings you got over Firefly will be then lost and then some on getting the Deadlands book for it.

reichugo
01-22-2010, 01:32 AM
So i guess my question now is:

What are the pros and cons of the 5 systems listed?

hero
gurps
diaspora
cortex
savage world

also I think im looking mostly for the system and not the setting issues as im comfortable with creating most of it.

thanks again for all your input!

b

Skygalleons
01-22-2010, 12:29 PM
I can offer my two bits on the topic.

Hero
Pros: great system, flexible, well established, and detailed.
Cons: LONG Chargen process, crunchy, min/maxers paradise

gurps
Pros: You want to find a rule for ANYTHING, and I mean anything, GURPS can provide it, very detailed, extremely well supported
Cons: The poster child for crunchy, grossly complex, math intensive

diaspora: I know nothing about this game, so I must defer comment.

cortex
Pros: Rules lite, extremely flexible, easy to learn
Cons: The system is so flexible that it can confuse a new GM, as written the ship/vehicle rules are weak, combat isn't initially intuitive. (The website http://www.cortexsystemrpg.org has extensive fan material to fix these last two).

savage world: I don't know much about SW beyond it being the foundation of Cortex.

I hope that helps.

Richard Littles
01-22-2010, 12:54 PM
My personal pet peeve is when people bash a system and not tell the complete truth in order to sell their favorite system. The other pet peeve is people passing their opinion off as fact and using out dated rules to prove their opinion. Any system can be min-maxed from my experience.


I can offer my two bits on the topic.

Hero
Pros: great system, flexible, well established, and detailed.
Cons: LONG Chargen process, crunchy, min/maxers paradise

I believe you are speaking about 4E and 5E, but in 6E the min/maxing paradise was basically removed with the decoupling of figured characteristics. Character generation is about the same as any other system when you're not used to it. Character generation takes about an hour tops with Hero Designer. The only real con to Hero System is that it's difficulty is in the front end of character creation and world design, which is due to the sheer amount of options available. It's a unified rule set with no exceptions put into it. Running games is pretty simple and use the same mechanics for everything, except for damage.

There is a plethora of fan material that is available especially on Killer Shrike's webpage (http://www.killershrike.com/).


gurps
Pros: You want to find a rule for ANYTHING, and I mean anything, GURPS can provide it, very detailed, extremely well supported
Cons: The poster child for crunchy, grossly complex, math intensive

GURPS is pretty much similar to Hero except that it's not a reason from effect system. GURPS is a combination of what Hero System can do, but uses some exception based rules. The only time I've seen the math get grossly complex is when you're designing vehicles, but from what I've heard is that those rules have been redone in 4E.


cortex
Pros: Rules lite, extremely flexible, easy to learn
Cons: The system is so flexible that it can confuse a new GM, as written the ship/vehicle rules are weak, combat isn't initially intuitive. (The website http://www.cortexsystemrpg.org has extensive fan material to fix these last two).

You left out that in Cortex it is unable to handle a character like River or any character that is overly complex or powerful. The rules for vehicle combat are non-existent or do not work as intended. This is something the game designer, Cam Banks, publicly admits to Cortex having those severe failures in the rules. The more experienced a character gets the greater chance of failure they have because of the way you start with a 1d4 and go up from there. The rules aren't unified and in order to get all the rules you have to buy all of the various renditions of the Cortex System like Buffy, BSG, Firefly, etc...

Skygalleons
01-22-2010, 02:02 PM
My personal pet peeve is when people bash a system and not tell the complete truth in order to sell their favorite system.

Perhaps you may want to tone down your own rhetoric. A bash of a system would be along the lines of 'System X sucks' if you read carefully, I did not do this. I listed pro and cons of each system I knew anything about. I'm not trying to sell a system, I simply answered the question reichugo asked.



The other pet peeve is people passing their opinion off as fact and using out dated rules to prove their opinion.

Try retracting the claws. I said in the first sentence that I was offering my two bits. That is typically understood to be an opinion.



I believe you are speaking about 4E and 5E, but in 6E the min/maxing paradise was basically removed with the decoupling of figured characteristics.


Just because a company feels compelled to change their system every few years to generate revenue, I am not so compelled to run out an oblige them. I didn't even know there was a 6E. It's nice to see they finally fixed a 25 year old problem.



Character generation is about the same as any other system when you're not used to it. Character generation takes about an hour tops with Hero Designer.

It takes less than 15 minute to make a character in d6, so I have to fault this statement and what if you don't have Hero Designer?



The only real con to Hero System is that it's difficulty is in the front end of character creation and world design, which is due to the sheer amount of options available. It's a unified rule set with no exceptions put into it. Running games is pretty simple and use the same mechanics for everything, except for damage.

Now who is selling their favorite system?



You left out that in Cortex it is unable to handle a character like River or any character that is overly complex or powerful.

Quite true, but then again reichugo said he was running a space western not Supers. If he had, I would not have recommended Cortex.



The rules for vehicle combat are non-existent or do not work as intended. This is something the game designer, Cam Banks, publicly admits to Cortex having those severe failures in the rules.

Not sure which post you read, but in the one I wrote, I stated that 'the ship/vehicle rules are weak' and pointed reichugo to a source that would help with that problem.



The more experienced a character gets the greater chance of failure they have because of the way you start with a 1d4 and go up from there.

Not exactly where you are coming up with this one, but I guess this a case of "people passing their opinion off as fact".



The rules aren't unified and in order to get all the rules you have to buy all of the various renditions of the Cortex System like Buffy, BSG, Firefly, etc...

This statement isn't true. You want the most up to date version of the rules, all you have to do is buy the most recent product, which happens to be Supernatural, and just to let you know, Buffy isn't a Cortex setting.

Richard Littles
01-22-2010, 02:28 PM
Perhaps you may want to tone down your own rhetoric. A bash of a system would be along the lines of 'System X sucks' if you read carefully, I did not do this. I listed pro and cons of each system I knew anything about. I'm not trying to sell a system, I simply answered the question reichugo asked.

Try retracting the claws. I said in the first sentence that I was offering my two bits. That is typically understood to be an opinion.

Using words like crunchy with no explanation leaves a lot to be desired. It also leaves the impression that you think less than favorably of a specific system. If you notice I only spoke of the systems I was intimately familiar with and left out systems I didn't care for or know not much about. I only pointed out the flaws in Cortex when you failed to mention them.


Just because a company feels compelled to change their system every few years to generate revenue, I am not so compelled to run out an oblige them. I didn't even know there was a 6E. It's nice to see they finally fixed a 25 year old problem.

The last rules revision of the Hero System was 9 years ago in 2001. That's not every few years to generate revenue. Yet, you felt it necessary to give advice on a system you didn't know was updated last year at GenCon and fixed many of the problems that were in the system.

EDIT: Hero System mechanically is still the same as it was when it was first published in 1981. There have been revisions to the rules to clean up errors and inconsistencies, but the basic game mechanics have remained the same.


It takes less than 15 minute to make a character in d6, so I have to fault this statement and what if you don't have Hero Designer?

Now you switch the systems for character creation from your preferred to d6 (nevermind that you don't actually give a company for this system since there are plenty out there using the d6)? Even under d6 Star Wars I've seen people take up to an hour to create a character. I've seen people take two or three days to make a character in 3.x and earlier editions of D&D. Even without Hero Designer, character creation usually takes an hour tops. Anyone not familiar with a system is going to have problems and it will take time for them to create a character. This is normal for any system and isn't really a con. The more you use a system the easier it becomes with character creation.


Now who is selling their favorite system?

I presented only the facts of what I know of what the systems I described. I don't even like GURPS, but I stated what I knew it can do.


Quite true, but then again reichugo said he was running a space western not Supers. If he had, I would not have recommended Cortex.

I didn't realize that River was a superhero character. Everything I've seen of the character is that she's a highly skilled combatant that cannot actively control the skills she has, but she's definitely not a superhero.


Not sure which post you read, but in the one I wrote, I stated that 'the ship/vehicle rules are weak' and pointed reichugo to a source that would help with that problem.

I think it's quite telling that you're referring someone to fan created material to cover one of the most basic problems with the system since the company itself hasn't done so. Also telling someone that in order to update the rules of the Cortex System by buying the latest iteration using a movie/tv show license shows their business model quite well. I don't mind buying books for a system, but when the company requires you to purchase the latest flavor to get all the updates leaves a lot to be desired. It also tells me the system isn't a universal system that can't handle everything. Cortex is a good system for what it does in the limited genres they have licensed, but for being a universal system to handle anything leaves a lot to be desired.

reichugo
01-22-2010, 03:20 PM
Thanks guys! Appreciate the feedback and didn't mean to start a fight!

So far this is what I'm thinking

Diaspora is probably not gonna work as I don't really get it and my group will probably understand it even less than I do.

Cortex was looking good until the information on vehicles was revealed. Being a tech game the vehicles need to be well fleshed out

Savage worlds is still a mystery.

Gurps and hero seem the best but I am concerned that the math will be challenging for my group. Which system builds better vehicles and equipment?

Thanks again all... ill probably be starting a blog like threads here soon.

B

Richard Littles
01-22-2010, 03:28 PM
Thanks guys! Appreciate the feedback and didn't mean to start a fight!

So far this is what I'm thinking

Diaspora is probably not gonna work as I don't really get it and my group will probably understand it even less than I do.

Cortex was looking good until the information on vehicles was revealed. Being a tech game the vehicles need to be well fleshed out

Savage worlds is still a mystery.

Gurps and hero seem the best but I am concerned that the math will be challenging for my group. Which system builds better vehicles and equipment?

Thanks again all... ill probably be starting a blog like threads here soon.

B

Hero System is much more simplified for building vehicles and equipment. I know that GURPS requires a lot of complex formulas just to design even the simplest types of vehicles. In Hero System, vehicles are treated just like characters for design, so it's pretty easy to work with. Equipment is just as easy and is bought with the Focus power limitation and other limitations to simulate them being equipment instead of powers. If your players can handle reasoning from effect they should be able to create anything they want with ease. To cut down on actual design time you might want to look at the Hero System Vehicle Sourcebook or Star Hero. Star Hero gives you the low down all types of science fiction genres and presents plenty of examples of equipment and vehicles.

EDIT: As far as the math is concerned, in Hero System you just use simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. No complex formulas for anything. The only formula that I can think of that is complex is how to figure mph/kph for movement, but even then it's just straight multiplication and division.

Skygalleons
01-22-2010, 03:41 PM
Using words like crunchy with no explanation leaves a lot to be desired. It also leaves the impression that you think less than favorably of a specific system.

That sounds like another opinion. I happen to like HERO.



If you notice I only spoke of the systems I was intimately familiar with and left out systems I didn't care for or know not much about. I only pointed out the flaws in Cortex when you failed to mention them.

Again I'm not sure which post you are reading. I specifically stated that I knew nothing about diaspora and not much about savage worlds. I specifically mentioned the ship rules flaws, so I don't see what you are basing your increasingly inaccurate statements on.



The last rules revision of the Hero System was 9 years ago in 2001. That's not every few years to generate revenue. Yet, you felt it necessary to give advice on a system you didn't know was updated last year at GenCon and fixed many of the problems that were in the system.

On this point, I guess it is another matter of opinion. HERO 5E was released in 2002 and 6E was last year. Per my perspective, that is close together. If your perspective is different, that's fine with me. I'll save my money.



Now you switch the systems for character creation from your preferred to d6 (nevermind that you don't actually give a company for this system since there are plenty out there using the d6)?


My what selective memory you have. I mentioned the d6 System in response to this claim "Character generation is about the same as any other system when you're not used to it." Since d6 doesn't take this much time, my response was to refute your claim of HERO not being all that difficult.

If reichugo does not understand that the d6 System is from West End Games, I'll be glad to point that out to him. None of the posters in this thread has cited what company publishes each system. You don't even mention who publishes HERO as most gamers can fill in the blanks.

In addition, you seem to think I have some vested interest in peddling Cortex. I have never received money from any entity associated with Cortex, can you say the same regarding HERO?



Even under d6 Star Wars I've seen people take up to an hour to create a character. I've seen people take two or three days to make a character in 3.x and earlier editions of D&D.


That seems to be an issue with those gamers and not the systems being used.



Even without Hero Designer, character creation usually takes an hour tops.

Then why did you mention it?



Anyone not familiar with a system is going to have problems and it will take time for them to create a character. This is normal for any system and isn't really a con. The more you use a system the easier it becomes with character creation.


So far, this is the only thing you've said that I agree with.




I didn't realize that River was a superhero character. Everything I've seen of the character is that she's a highly skilled combatant that cannot actively control the skills she has, but she's definitely not a superhero.

However, you refer to her or a PC like her as "overly complex or powerful". Which she is and Cortex isn't configured for that. Again, had reichugo stated he was looking for a system for "overly complex or powerful" characters, I would not have suggested Cortex.



I think it's quite telling that you're referring someone to fan created material to cover one of the most basic problems with the system since the company itself hasn't done so.

I noticed you gave a link to a system you seem to have a vested interest in.



Also telling someone that in order to update the rules of the Cortex System by buying the latest iteration using a movie/tv show license shows their business model quite well.

You are the one who wrongly stated that you had to buy all the books to get the rules. This isn't true. Buy one book and you have all the rules. However, if you want the latest version of the rules, it is logical that the most recent release would have the latest version of the rules.

It just so happens that one of the primary designers of Cortex is a frequent visitor to the website I mentioned and he openly explains any changes and if you ask him, he'll e-mail them to you at no charge.

I'm not sure what business model your product will be using once it's printed, but I happen to like Cam's way of doing things and hope you can match it.



Cortex is a good system for what it does in the limited genres they have licensed, but for being a universal system to handle anything leaves a lot to be desired.

Cortex has never claimed to be a universal system, something it is certainly not. However, and repeated yet again, reichugo asked for a system for a space western, something Cortex can do quite well.

Finally, you seem to have taken exception to just about everything I have said and that is your right (I know you are big on rights). However, I do not see replying to you further as being a constructive use of my time. However, for the record, I do NOT have a problem with HERO, in fact I like it very much, but even you have to admit that it is more complex than Cortex.

The thing is, what system reichugo chooses is up to him and not you or me. I suggest you push in the control rods and simply move on as I have done.

Richard Littles
01-22-2010, 03:55 PM
@Skygalleons: It is his decision on what to choose which is why I replied to your inaccuracies. Like the one where Hero System 5E was released in 2002. It wasn't and it was released in 2001 with 2002 being the year they printed Fifth Edition Revised.

Hero isn't any more complex than any other system if you can grasp the underlying principles of the system itself. The major one is reasoning from effect. In my last playtest group I ran for Inceptum Terminus, the only person that had extensive experience with Hero was myself. My players had no problems picking up the system even for character creation. Each one of their characters took about an hour to create and they were superhero level characters.

Don't get me wrong about Cam Banks, he's a really nice guy, and I've worked with him a long time ago on the 3.x D&D Dragonlance site. I have nothing but good to say about him. He's one of the most honest people I know of in the gaming industry. My comments about Cortex are not a reflection upon him as a person or as a game designer.

You've even said it yourself that in order to get the latest updates and changes to the Cortex System you need to buy the latest licensed setting book. If you took anything I said about your statements personal, then I apologize because that was not my intention. I was correcting misconceptions you had about the Hero System since they updated the rules to 6E last year.

reichugo
01-22-2010, 08:02 PM
Hey guys thank you both a ton.

You both have been a big help (as was sascha) and I've learned a lot here. Please take a deep breath and realize you are both immensely knowledgable people with differing opinions. I appreciate your convictions but I wasn't trying to start a fight. I am a student to both of you so fill my head with your knowledge and thankyou again.

RL can you explain reasoning from effect?

Off grid for a couple days so will pick this up when I get back... let the debate continue.

Thanks
B

Sascha
01-22-2010, 08:09 PM
Glad to help ^_^ Good gaming to you and yours~

Richard Littles
01-22-2010, 08:19 PM
Hey guys thank you both a ton.

You both have been a big help (as was sascha) and I've learned a lot here. Please take a deep breath and realize you are both immensely knowledgable people with differing opinions. I appreciate your convictions but I wasn't trying to start a fight. I am a student to both of you so fill my head with your knowledge and thankyou again.

RL can you explain reasoning from effect?

Off grid for a couple days so will pick this up when I get back... let the debate continue.

Thanks
B

Sure, reasoning from effect is basically that you start with basis of the special effect and work your way backwards. For example, a frying pan and a baseball bat are both hand-to-hand attacks that do non-lethal damage. It would take a lot of beating on a person to actually kill them with these two weapons. The weapons do a lot of stun damage rather than killing damage. The only thing that is different about them is that one is shaped like a frying pan and the other looks like a baseball which is the special effect. They are functionally identical in use. A frying pan might do more damage than a baseball bat depending upon what it is made from like a cast iron frying pan would do more damage over an aluminum one. However, the damage isn't usually greater than +1 for different materials.

If you compare a baseball bat with a sword, one is designed for non-lethal attacks that do more stunning than actual physical damage and the other is designed for killing. The effect is the overall special effect or form the attack takes. So the special effect of the attack is cast iron frying pan, baseball bat, cinder block, mace, and a sword. To build a frying pan, baseball bat, cinder block, and a mace you would take the power Hand-to-Hand Attack xd6 (Focus *meaning it's an item not inherent to the character*, Obvious *means that everyone knows where the attack came from*, Accessible *means that someone can take it away from the character*) and you can add on other limitations like Range Based on Strength and 1 Charge, Recoverable (means that the character can only throw it once, but can be picked up after throwing it). For the sword you would build it starting with Killing Attack-Hand then add on the Focus (Obvious, Accessible), Range Based on Strength, 1 Charge (Recoverable).

In a nutshell you start with the special effect (baseball bat) and work your way backwards to the power that best fits what the item does. You add on Power Advantages and Limitations to further define exactly what the item does until you get exactly what you want. If you want I can give you an example of a weapon or armor build from my book as an example.

MortonStromgal
01-22-2010, 09:16 PM
Savage Worlds and Cortex are almost identical, slight variations. Savage Worlds has far more things you can do with it only because its well supported and cost $10 (Deadlands, Solomon Kane, Necropolis, Hellfrost etc). The real question is Cortex vs Deadlands the Savage Worlds edition. Deadlands is going to give you a western style game right down to the poker chips (used for hero points) and playing cards (used for magic and initiative) then you can tack on the space stuff from Savage Worlds to make your game. Firefly (Cortex) is going to give you well Firefly.

Mechanically the only difference between the systems I can think of is
Cortex (Attribute die + skill die)
Savage Worlds (Skill die + hero die) The hero die is always a d6
Cortex Hit Points
Savage Worlds Wound Levels

Otherwise I think the mechanics are 99% the same.

Game Geeks has reviews of a lot of Savage World books
YouTube- Game Geeks #82 Sundered Skies for Savage Worlds
YouTube- Game Geeks #53 Pirates of the Spanish Main
YouTube- Game Geeks #77 Shaintar by Talisman Studios
YouTube- Game Geeks #89 Daring Tales of Adventure # 1 - 4
YouTube- Game Geeks #90 Ripper a Savage Worlds setting
YouTube- Game Geeks #93 Slipstream
YouTube- Game Geeks #99 Necropolis 2350 by Triple Ace Games
YouTube- Game Geeks #108 HellFrost by Triple Ace Games
YouTube- Game Geeks #114 Daring Tales of Chivalry & Space Lanes
YouTube- Game Geeks #121 Sundered Skies Supplements
YouTube- Game Geeks #131 HellFrost Adventures by Triple Ace Games




And a couple for cortex
YouTube- Game Geeks #104 Serenity Out of the Black and RPG Adventures
YouTube- Game Geeks #95 Cortex System RPG

reichugo
01-22-2010, 09:26 PM
Oh and what do you guys know about unisystem?

Webhead
01-23-2010, 03:59 PM
Oh and what do you guys know about unisystem?

It's a good system (in my "Top 5" game systems). It runs quickly, the system is simple and intuitive, character creation is very easy. For what you are looking to run however, there are two challenges to using Unisystem:

1) There is no "central" or "core" book for Unisystem as of yet which means that different bits (magic rules, spaceship rules, monster/alien rules, etc.) are spread out over different books

And

2) It does low-to-mid powered games pretty well at this stage but doesn't have much support for higher-powered or more superpower/magic/psionics-intensive games. Not that there isn't material out there (there is) but that most Unisystem games focus on the more "mundane" end of the power scale...for PCs anyway.

If you wanted to run a Sci-Fi Western with Unisystem, these are the books I would suggest you pick up:

All Flesh Must Be Eaten (core rules, some alien creation rules; $30)

All Tomorrow's Zombies (additional Sci-Fi rules including full starship and vehicle creation rules; $25)

Fist Full of Zombies (additional rules for some "Western" tropes; $20)

The prices are for hardcopies at full MSRP. If you are willing to get your books from Amazon or acquire some in PDF format, you can save quite a bit. Buying all 3 off Amazon would run you $59.94 with shipping included. Buying hardcopy of the corebook and PDFs of both supplements would run you $45.75.

If you have any questions about the game system itself, let me know.

fmitchell
01-23-2010, 05:55 PM
Maybe you've already made up your mind, but let me throw out a few alternatives:

Basic Roleplaying (http://catalog.chaosium.com/product_info.php?cPath=37&products_id=1256), the RuneQuest system without the setting, is one of the archetypal skill systems. Skills improve through use, not XP. There's a "Quick Start" (http://catalog.chaosium.com/product_info.php?products_id=3700) on the Chaosium site, and the full book includes rules for Psychic Powers and Superpowers (which I don't like, but that's me). Its downsides are that there's not a lot of support for science fiction at the moment (although the monograph Aces High, available from Chaosium, covers the West), and that there's no plug-and-chug method of creating non-human characters. Arguably, "game balance" is kind of an illusion, and skills usually matter more than basic stats (except for combat), but if your game has a lot of melee combat, or psychic combat when an alien has a high INT or POW, the difference will crop up.

I don't think anyone's mentioned Traveller (http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/rpg/series.php?qsSeries=51) yet, which is made for science fiction. The Mongoose version is surprisingly good, as long as you stick to the main book. The disadvantage of Traveller is that it takes a while to roll up a character using their Career system, and there are implicit assumptions about technology and society even if you ditch the Imperium.

I'd also suggest PDQ or PDQ Sharp (http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/freebies.asp#pdq) or as a starting point, but if you had trouble with Diaspora, and you like your games cut and dried, PDQ might not be for you. There's no SF support for PDQ either, but luckily making stuff up is not only easy, but encouraged.

Snuffy
01-27-2010, 12:48 PM
I'm still reading through Traveller and haven't played it yet. There's also a Book Zero which is an introduction book which has the core rules for $4.95.
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=58279
I'm contemplating picking it up myself.

Since your an old school gamer, do you like using battle mats or not? Curious what games listed use them or not. I have a personal dislike of battle mats, but other people like them.

I'll add to the list of other games, but I'm sure people will tell you to run away from this one, Rifts Dimension Book.
http://www.palladiumbooks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=816&Category_Code=D800
There's so many settings book and world, town creation books that you can go any direction you desire to create the universe you want. I like the system, but I've done quite a bit of tweaking of it also.

shadowmane
01-31-2010, 04:38 PM
You could always try D6. Its easy to learn, has a great vehicle system which is scaleable. You can get all of the books on PDF for free here (http://unifieduniverse.com/). Also, there is an 8 page lite system based on it here (http://antipaladingames.com/minisix.html). You can adapt just about any setting to the system that you like, and its very flexible.

Snuffy
02-02-2010, 09:44 AM
You could always try D6. Its easy to learn, has a great vehicle system which is scaleable. You can get all of the books on PDF for free here (http://unifieduniverse.com/). Also, there is an 8 page lite system based on it here (http://antipaladingames.com/minisix.html). You can adapt just about any setting to the system that you like, and its very flexible.
I know this is for the OP, but thank you for the links. Always like reading different systems.

jayouzts
02-19-2010, 10:42 AM
If you want to check out Savage Worlds you can get a Test Drive version here

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/php4/archive.php?sectioninit=SW&fileid=99&watchfile=

kitsune1842
05-11-2010, 04:42 PM
I was just bouncing throught he forums and noticed your question, there is a fairly new game out in the last year called Eclipse Phase which is a simple percentile based skill based system. Its easy to learn, great for sci fi, and published under a open gaming license that means you can DL a PDF of it for free and use it, and tweek it all you want and even put out your tweeks without worries about someone out there getting mad at you for doing so. Character creation is also way way more simple and easier to understand than HERO System. The one thing in there that you were wanting that it does not have is a lot on vehicular combat, there are really not a lot of rules for space ship battles since the default setting has no real FTL available.

tesral
05-12-2010, 01:43 AM
I can recommend Hero System and GURPS since they are multiple genre toolkits.

For heroic level I would lean towards GURPS. It scales it better than Hero. Hero sometimes betrays its origins as a supers game.