View Full Version : Seeking a system to call home!!!

02-28-2011, 01:49 PM
Hello everyone,

Let me cut to the chase. I am looking to run a game for 2 players with the general idea being that they are thieves or assassins in a high fantasy organized crime syndicate. I do not feel that Pathfinder (the game that we were playing for our last campaign) will work well for this game due to the stacking of huge amounts of HP and other factors that make a game of this type not work the way I want. I would like the game to be more story and event driven and less hack-and-slash, and I want the players to have to plan out the actions of their characters because of mortal risk. Basically I want the game to have a feeling like Shadowrun in a high fantasy / low tech setting. I do not have a lot of experience with generic RPGs...matter of fact I have never run a generic RPG, but I do have experience with non-level/class based RPG's in the form of a few White Wolf games and Shadowrun 2e and 3e.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! :biggrin:


02-28-2011, 02:29 PM
I've never tried it personally, but a friend of mine reported good results using GURPS Fantasy to get the more deadly combat feel you might be looking for.

02-28-2011, 03:09 PM
I will look into GURPS, I have just heard in the past that it is extremely difficult to learn and run.

02-28-2011, 04:19 PM
I'll speak up for HERO. You can limit how much BODY/STUN (HERO's hp) the players can buy. Add in hit locations, wounding, bleeding and other optional damage effects, it gets pretty deadly pretty quick.

From my experiences, it was a lot easier to pick up HERO than GURPS. Still complicated, but made more sense for some reason.

02-28-2011, 04:26 PM
A simpler system that does fantasy well would be Savage Worlds.

03-01-2011, 06:20 PM
You could try Savage Worlds, I've run a few different genres with it and it works pretty solidly - there is a free "test drive" version of it, that is honestly a pretty complete summary of the full system.

You could also look at Basic Role Playing (BRP), the system used for Call of Cthulhu/Runequest, as it has a free version. There is OpenD6, MiniD6, both free. Tristat DX is free. One Roll Engine. Gurps, as mentioned - there is a free lite version of it as well. Branching out again there is non free Cartoon Action Hour and BASH Fantasy. I'm not even up to date with all the new stuff available.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
03-01-2011, 06:38 PM
A simple, yet dark and gritty, D10 system I would suggest would be WFRP (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 2ed). I am currently running a Gotrek and Felix campaign. Yes, just like the novels. Great fun.

03-04-2011, 06:58 AM
GURPS and Savage Worlds are both very good systems, but I can think of another one that you might also consider, Basic Role Playing. It's the system that the well known game Call of Cthulhu uses. While I'm not a big fan of Cthulhu based campaigns, I do like the system. You can check it out with the quick start, which you can find here (http://catalog.chaosium.com/product_info.php?cPath=37&products_id=3700).

The main thing I like about BRP, whenever you use a skill where there is a possibility of a bad result with a failure of the skill, ie not just practicing said skill, there is a chance that the skill will improve. That's right, BRP is a non-class based system. Skills normally range from 0 to 100 percent. Anyway, check out the quick start and see what you thing, won't cost you anything and might be just what you're looking for.

11-24-2011, 08:36 AM
There is a game tailor made for what you were looking for- Crafty Games (http://www.crafty-games.com/) is soon to release a game using the Mastercraft system (the slimmed down Spycraft 2.0 game system, used in Fantasy Craft). Ten Thousand Bullets (http://www.crafty-games.com/node/347) will be about underworld crime and film noir.

11-24-2011, 06:30 PM
I will look into GURPS, I have just heard in the past that it is extremely difficult to learn and run.

Nab the 4th Edition Quick Start (http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG31-0004) for free. GURPS (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/details.html) is well written and it's designed to be a toolkit. There are LOTS of options, but the basic game works like this. Look at your rating in your skill, add or subtract relevant modifiers for your "effective skill". Roll 3d6 and try and get under that rating. The lower you roll, the better you succeed. Wa la! GURPS.

In combat, you roll to hit and the defender rolls under an applicable defense. If you hit, you roll damage. There are options for tactical combat using a hex grid, examples and options for all kinds of combat options you might want to add in based on the way you want combat to work.

There are rules for weapon types doing more or less damage to various areas of your body, armor reduces damage, there is bleeding, disease, poison, environmental dangers... You can add in what you want and disregard the rest.

The game is WELL supported online. PDFs abound from the Dungeon Fantasy (http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/dungeonfantasy/) series to Pyramid (http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/) magazine. Lots and lots of support!

11-24-2011, 06:50 PM
I'll second GURPS and Warhammer if you want gritty.

11-25-2011, 12:32 PM
Third for GURPS and Warhammer (i prefer 2e but YMMV), Savage World isnt a bad choice either but its more "pulpy" however unlike GURPS character creation doesn't scare the players away. Burning Wheel would also be an interesting choice but... idk it would work well but I feel the learning curve is pretty high. You may also want to look at FATE, I forget what the fantasy FATE game is called but much like Burning Wheel, FATE is very belief and goal driven but with less of a learning curve.

12-05-2011, 02:34 AM
If you want a Shadowrun feel, use Shadowrun. Crank down the tech and crank up the magic. The system is not permanently welded to the setting. They have stats for primitive weapons.

01-03-2012, 12:00 PM
You may also want to look at FATE, I forget what the fantasy FATE game is called but much like Burning Wheel, FATE is very belief and goal driven but with less of a learning curve.

I think you mean Legends of Anglerre (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/15/15277.phtml), which is really nice Fate take on fantasy. As a fan, I also make note on Strands of Fate (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/15/15255.phtml) which is generic. Fate is a bit personal though and not for everyone. I have personally come to love it as a GM. If gritty is your aim though, while it is possible with Fate I do feel it requires a bit system know-how to do.


01-03-2012, 07:35 PM
I've lived in D&D for years and the roof never has stopped leaking.

01-04-2012, 05:30 PM
The orginal Theives World by Chaosium would have been perfect for you there is a site that prints the out of print books here is the link however they are out of print too at the moment.

http://www.nobleknight.com/ViewProducts.asp_Q_ProductLineID_E_317_A_Manufactu rerID_E_27_A_CategoryID_E_12_A_GenreID_E_

01-04-2012, 06:12 PM
That was a mult-system deal. It didn’t have a native system. I have the thing.

01-04-2012, 06:29 PM
I do too I love it myself the D20 one is OK but the orginal was far better.

01-13-2012, 10:47 AM
You could take a look at this (http://basicfantasy.org/main.html) and see if it would work with what you want.

01-15-2012, 02:33 PM
For grit, and relative simplicity, Basic Roleplay is a good choice. It's full of options you can tack on if you want more granularity, or play the basic rules as they stand. It's grown out of old RuneQuest, so it has good solid bones, and has been the basis for many different games across many genres.

I'm returning to the GURPS fold myself, and I think it would serve your needs, but I agree with keeping it simple. Start with the free quick start rules, play some examples of combat and skill use, build some basic characters, and get a feel for it. Even the basic set (two big books) are so full of optional rules and flexibility that you might be overwhelmed at first, but they really are all you need for most games.

01-16-2012, 09:07 AM
I've been looking at my Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition. There is so much fan support for Savage Worlds. You really can't go wrong with that system.

01-16-2012, 05:35 PM
post removed.

04-20-2012, 12:41 PM
If you are still in search of a game system for your concept, we might both be able to help each other. Take a look at the No Man's Land preview at the link below. This is a preview/play-test version of the rules and some background.

No Man's Land is based on a modern setting, but the Sundered Epoch: Generations v4 includes medieval weapons and armor and the rules for non-humans solves your need for fantasy races.

The system its self is designed for the action hero style of play. High successes give bonuses. Characters rarely die unless the story calls for it (which fits most action hero films), and you can increase the danger by adding fairly simple rules to the system like Critical Wounds, Killing Blows, and Hit Locations.

The magic system is rather innovative and gives you the stable feel of D&D style spell descriptions, but also the flexibility to modify the spells as needed in the game and you can create new spells on the fly.



05-20-2012, 12:56 PM
I support GURPS Lite also. Download it for free, try it out, add what you want and throw out what you don't like. I have played it since it started as "The Fantasy Trip" and still love it. My brother recently rejoined us after a layoff of 15 years because he missed GURPS so much.


05-21-2012, 06:39 AM
I've come around to GURPS as well. It's a simple core with a lot of room for complexity if thats what you desire.

The roll under and bell curve are really attractive to me in the system.

You can't go wrong with the free Lite presentation.