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View Full Version : What's a good system for my future campaign?



Sicarius
10-24-2013, 10:36 AM
Future as in I plan to spend over a year hashing things out because I'm currently dming a Pathfinder campaign, and future as in sci-fi.

I plan to set my campaign a few hundred years in the future, after a first contact type global event happens where a ship crash lands on earth and humanity is able to reverse engineer and understand a relatively limited amount of tech from it. 'Slow' ftl drives, cryo sleep, etc. No artificial gravity, no laser weapons, etc.

I'd like to start the campaign off not as space horror, but exploration. No contact with sentient aliens. Maybe rogue AI or harsh other planets.
No cyberpunk virtual reality type hacking if it can be helped.

I'd eventually like to introduce alien civilizations that far outmatch my human players/the human race in terms of tech, and who may have various psychic abilities.

I'd like to be able to have tactical combat where my players will have to greatly outthink their advanced opponents in order to win, but I'd also like my players to have non combat specializations if they so choose.

I'd rather not use GURPS or Savage Worlds if it can be helped. Any ideas?

nijineko
10-24-2013, 11:26 AM
that's too bad, because between GURPS Lite and the Future Tech stuff, you'd have it perfectly covered. besides which, GURPS is simplistic and easy to run.

i could throw names at you, like: Star Frontiers, Alternity, Gamma World, After the Bomb, 2300AD, d20 Future, Fading Suns, Heavy Gear, Robotech, Battletech/Mechwarrior, Pax Draconis, Warhammer, Star Wars, Mekton, Spacemaster, Systems Failure, and more... but what are you really looking for in a game system?

it would also help if we knew why not GURPS or Savage Worlds, so we don't recommend something similar. ^^

Sicarius
10-24-2013, 01:50 PM
Well, I've never actually used GURPS, but some of my players have made it clear they won't use it. I'm not sure why, but I'd rather not spend time convincing them.
If Savage Worlds has a book for SCI FI type things, I might take a look at it. I tried to hobble together a future magic/horror thing from the core book a year ago, and my players didn't take to it.

What I'm looking for specifically? Something that allows for tactics such as cover and environment usage, or at least the potential for me to shoehorn a homebrew version of those in. I'd like it to have both combat AND noncombat skills. Classes are nice, but if it's just a skill pick system I'd be fine with that as well.

TorteStone
10-25-2013, 02:10 AM
I'm a fan of the Basic Roleplaying system myself. http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/24384/Basic-Roleplaying?it=1&filters=0_2140_44290_0_0 It's the core book that Call of Ctulu is built off of, and it has all of the things you are talking about.

-Will-

nijineko
10-25-2013, 09:25 AM
Well, I've never actually used GURPS, but some of my players have made it clear they won't use it. I'm not sure why, but I'd rather not spend time convincing them.
If Savage Worlds has a book for SCI FI type things, I might take a look at it. I tried to hobble together a future magic/horror thing from the core book a year ago, and my players didn't take to it.

What I'm looking for specifically? Something that allows for tactics such as cover and environment usage, or at least the potential for me to shoehorn a homebrew version of those in. I'd like it to have both combat AND noncombat skills. Classes are nice, but if it's just a skill pick system I'd be fine with that as well.

in my experience, of the people who say they are prejudiced against GURPS, almost all of them do not have any actual experience with the system. if it were me, i would challenge them on it, and ask them to explain, with examples taken from actual personal experiences, why they don't like it, and which version they are talking about. i'm surprised by how many offer the various rpg motivational posters as their "proof". ^^

GURPS Lite is one of the easiest systems to run ever. it takes five minutes to setup, and about that long to learn as well.

but in any case, let's assume that you won't use GURPS, regardless of the reason.


i have seldom seen any system really take into account cover and environment in a well-done fashion, except for old school wargames. thus you will probably be ad-hoc-ing it in any system you play. as a gm, i always try to sprinkle in details of the environment into my descriptions, so that they players feel like they can interact with it. and when they ask if something can be found, i almost always allow it, unless there is a specific overriding reason, or it is really illogical for the thing they are searching for to be there.

when it comes to environment, i think of the range of result rolls that a normal person in the game system could make, and then compare that to the range of results that the players can make. i think of each condition: traction, terrain, visibility, cover, damaging effects, anything else that will affect movement and/or combat, and make a simple chart of scale of conditions and penalties.

then i could use that for a guideline for everything. any time i might switch game systems, i would have to adjust the numeric values on the chart for the new system values (maybe add a new column for the new system instead), but otherwise it should work great for just about anything.

in actual game play, i just do all that in my head, but i should write it down sometime.

Skunkape
10-25-2013, 10:46 AM
I really like GURPS, but I always worried about whether items the players were getting would unbalance things as far as points were concerned. Granted, that was all my issue, but it's a very easy routine to fall into with GURPS.

Another good system to consider is BRP, which TorteStone mentioned above.

I really like both systems because they are NOT class/level based systems, which was fine for me years ago, but which I really don't like running so much anymore!

TorteStone
11-28-2013, 02:14 AM
So Sicarius,
Did you find a good system yet?
-Will-