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fmitchell
07-25-2007, 10:58 PM
Following a trend in other sections, I'm going to ask: what's your favorite generic/universal game system? And why?

fmitchell
07-25-2007, 11:24 PM
BTW, I forgot OGL and other d20, so if you want, lump those into "d20 Modern".

PhishStyx
07-25-2007, 11:26 PM
I voted for Unisystem. The reason I prefer it is that of the listed systems that I'm familiar with, Unisystem is among the simplest, fastest running games, which is what I want. . . a game that runs like the wind and hits like a lightning strike. :p

fmitchell
07-26-2007, 03:41 AM
. . . a game that runs like the wind and hits like a lightning strike.

Which is why I voted for FATE. I'm in a FATE game now, and it runs very fast: one (sometimes opposed) die roll for every PC or NPC action, which also determines the severity of "consequences" the loser takes from a conflict. The fact that a conflict could be a gun battle, a dog fight, a chess game, an interrogation, or whatever is a definite plus.

For what it's worth, PDQ is a close second, with GURPS and BRP/RQ tying for third. I've yet to play Unisystem or Savage Worlds, but they seem light enough for my purposes.

Conversely, I played a whole bunch of HERO in college and after, and d20 more recently; they've just got too much crunch for me.

PhishStyx
07-26-2007, 04:07 AM
I know that FATE gets a lot of interest on RPG.net, but I have a hard time justifying buying the special dice, knowing that none of my players would have them.

I know there are rule options for using regular dice, but that involves a conversion of its own, slowing things down some. Moreover, I've always had trouble with that whole + and - thing on the dice. Getting useful information out of WEG's DC Universe Batman/Superman dice was a pain enough, and I don't foresee this being easier somehow.

I like Rob's & Fred's writing a lot, but the dice thing is a hard one for me to get past. Now that said, if someone wanted to run it, I'd play it without hesitation. The only (real) game I won't play anymore is Hero/Champions.

Skunkape
07-26-2007, 09:28 AM
I voted for GURPS only because it's the one listed that I've had the most experience with. I've been looking at Savage Worlds lately and also have All Flesh, which uses the Unisystem, and they look good as well, but I don't have nearly the same amount of experience with those systems.

Farcaster
07-26-2007, 04:52 PM
I had to go GURPs as well. I did take a look at d20 Modern, but I couldn't get myself past the level based system for the futuristic/supers type game that I wanted to run. By the way, HERO is a generic system? My memory of it must be a bit foggy, because I thought it was a super-heroic type game.

fmitchell
07-26-2007, 11:00 PM
I had to go GURPs as well. I did take a look at d20 Modern, but I couldn't get myself past the level based system for the futuristic/supers type game that I wanted to run. By the way, HERO is a generic system? My memory of it must be a bit foggy, because I thought it was a super-heroic type game.

Hero has been positioning itself as a more or less generic system for a while now, ever since Justice, Inc. They've got a bunch of genre-specific books: Fantasy Hero, Pulp Hero, Star Hero, Ninja Hero, ... However, I've seen a few fantasy characters built on the Hero system, and they strike me as superheroes with a fantasy theme. System really does matter.

Skunkape
07-27-2007, 08:07 AM
Hero has been positioning itself as a more or less generic system for a while now, ever since Justice, Inc. They've got a bunch of genre-specific books: Fantasy Hero, Pulp Hero, Star Hero, Ninja Hero, ... However, I've seen a few fantasy characters built on the Hero system, and they strike me as superheroes with a fantasy theme. System really does matter.

I've always gotten that feeling with the Hero System as well. I know they've tried to make it more of a generic game system, but it does seem to make the fantasy heroes seem like supers. I do like the way they handle modern/future action oriented characters though.

I've played plenty of those kinds, not just spy versions, but private eye/mercenary types and they never felt like supers to me when I play/ran those kinds of games.

Course as much as I like GURPS, the system doesn't quite do it for me when used in a supers setting. For some reason, Champions is the only system that seems to fit that bill for me. Course, I like 4-color level games for playing supers so that probably has something to do with that opinion!:D

Brian Vilarino
07-30-2007, 04:50 PM
I'd have to say my favorited would be D20 Modern. A lot of people can't stand it. IMHO, it' provides quick combat resolution, it's not really a clunky system as Palladiums is, and it's a great "Doorway" rpg. People who are coming out of playing D&D will find it a lot easier to move into other genres through it as well. I like HERO system as well, for is versatility in character creation. But, and maybe it's just because of the GM's I've played with, Combat resolution takes forever.

fmitchell
07-30-2007, 10:47 PM
I'd have to say my favorited would be D20 Modern. A lot of people can't stand it.

I'm actually one of those people. First off, I'm biased toward skill-based systems like GURPS, RuneQuest/BRP, and Fudge/FATE; classes and levels seem too restrictive.

Of course, if the classes make sense, I'll play d20 ... but "Smart Hero"? "Strong Hero"? A better approach would have been to base classes on roles within society or within a modern-day adventuring group ... but no, professional specializations are "advanced classes" that you can only pick at third level (when you're allowed to have 6 ranks in a skill).

Have you taken a look at True20? It's a simplified d20 that, among other things, breaks down the multitude of classes into three "roles": Adept (magic/psychic powers), Expert (skills), and Warrior (combat bonuses). The True20 Companion also introduces a point-based "build your own role" system.

Or what about Mutants and Masterminds, True20's precursor? It's slanted toward super-heroes, but perhaps a "powered-down" version might work. (I've never tried to crunch the numbers; I suspect it would look a lot like True20 with more math.)


I like HERO system as well, for is versatility in character creation. But, and maybe it's just because of the GM's I've played with, Combat resolution takes forever.

No, it's the system. I played a bunch of HERO back in college, and it always slowed to a crawl in combat ... or when somebody started configuring his power pool.

Skunkape
07-31-2007, 08:36 AM
or when somebody started configuring his power pool.

Our house rule was that you had to have powers configured prior to trying to use them to keep play moving, if you weren't ready to go with a minimum of wait, when it was your turn, you lost it.:D

But yeah, that's one sure way to kill the momentum of the game!

fmitchell
07-31-2007, 09:25 AM
Our house rule was that you had to have powers configured prior to trying to use them to keep play moving, if you weren't ready to go with a minimum of wait, when it was your turn, you lost it.

Heck, I remember one session back at our base almost totally consumed with the gadgeteers configuring their gadget pools. Even out-of-combat, it's not fun.

Brian Vilarino
07-31-2007, 12:23 PM
I'm actually one of those people. First off, I'm biased toward skill-based systems like GURPS, RuneQuest/BRP, and Fudge/FATE; classes and levels seem too restrictive.


I'm not really biased one way or the other. There are skill based systems I love. More recently Dogs in the Vinyard. I could never really get into GURPS although, I have lots of friends that love it. I love Rune Quest but haven't played it in years.


Of course, if the classes make sense, I'll play d20 ... but "Smart Hero"? "Strong Hero"? A better approach would have been to base classes on roles within society or within a modern-day adventuring group ... but no, professional specializations are "advanced classes" that you can only pick at third level (when you're allowed to have 6 ranks in a skill).


I totally agree with you. I would have liked it a lot more if they had the classes based on different roles in society.

As for True20, I've picked it up, but really haven't had a chance to read through it yet. I'd plan to though. I just haven't had the time with the current game that I'm running.

Moritz
07-31-2007, 03:39 PM
Hate HERO

d20 Modern? Maybe.

Everything else on the list.... not really sure I've played any of them. So, eah, my vote shouldn't count.

fmitchell
07-31-2007, 04:41 PM
I know there are rule options for using regular dice, but that involves a conversion of its own, slowing things down some. Moreover, I've always had trouble with that whole + and - thing on the dice. Getting useful information out of WEG's DC Universe Batman/Superman dice was a pain enough, and I don't foresee this being easier somehow.

FUDGE always uses 4 dice, each marked '+', blank, or '-'; subtract the minuses (if any) from the plusses (if any), and you get a number between -4 and +4, with 0 being the most common. Modify a relevant ability with that amount, and that's your roll. I can't do math in my head, but even I can't screw that one up.

As for buying the funny dice, see Baby's First Fudge Dice (http://www.fudgefactor.org/2001/12/01/babys_first_fudge_dice.html), which shows you how to (permanently) turn an ordinary d6 into a Fudge die.

thedragongoddess
08-17-2007, 02:31 AM
From the games I've played so far, not many yet, I've found that I like GURPS the best. For someone starting out, it's an easier system to learn. I've played some DnD and WoD, liking WoD better, and I found them both to be alot harder to figure out damage and soaking and such. But all in all, DnD character making is a pain in the butt. GURPS was so much easier to make a character with. You're given a total amount of points from your GM and you pick what advantages you want as well as skills and disadvantages.

I'm speaking strictly as a player here, a newer one at that, and I found GURPS to be less confusing. You simply roll 3d6 for pretty much everything except damage and instead of having to count your successes, usually at a difficulty of 7 or 8, or having to add your die roll to your skill roll and such, you just add the dice and make sure your roll is under your skill. I started out roleplaying with WoD online and it kept confusing me, though I'm getting better at it now. I've only played DnD with a group a few times, and though I was getting to like it, I kept going back to GURPS.

Maybe it was my GM's that were making the game better for me. I got very lucky and the 2 GM's I've had for GURPS were absolutely AWESOME!! They knew the books like the backs of their hands and the settings and stories they came up with were just great and very challenging.

When I created my first GURPS character, the only thing I was adamant about was I wanted her to be part dragon and to be able to fly without wings. Voila! I got what I wanted with ease.

Anyway... that's my humble opinion.

ronpyatt
08-17-2007, 08:10 AM
I have to say PDQ and Fudge/FATE are my choice systems, but I choose PDQ over FATE for the dice (2d6).

I like the Fudge dice, but it has been difficult for my players to wrap their minds around using + and - for rolls. I would liked to have seen a straight 3d6 version done without a conversion table.

fmitchell
08-17-2007, 05:22 PM
I like the Fudge dice, but it has been difficult for my players to wrap their minds around using + and - for rolls. I would liked to have seen a straight 3d6 version done without a conversion table.

Fudge dice are equivalent to 4d3-8, so you could roll 2d3 - 2d3 (2 black d3 and 2 white d3, subtract black total from white total) and get the same distribution.

Fudge v2 has an appendix on a d6 version of FATE. (e.g. Mediocre is 1d6, Average is 2d6, etc. against a difficulty from 1 {negligible} to 30+ {revolutionary}.) You could go back to that if you don't like funny dice at all.

If you like fixed dice, I'm sure there's some way to calibrate a 3d6 scale to produce something like FUDGE results, e.g compare 3d6 + 2*levels above average against 10 + 2*difficulty above average. However, that means a difficulty four above your ability is nearly impossible, and four below your ability automatic.

fmitchell
08-20-2007, 03:04 AM
FUDGE itself has rolling methods for 3d6 and 4d6. See this copy (http://members.dsl-only.net/~bing/frp/fudge/fudge3.html#sec3.22), among others.

The 3d6 method is almost like mine, except that 4 and 17 count as -/+ 4. The 4d6 version is conceptually simple, but a bit difficult to explain or justify to players used to a simple d20.

fmitchell
08-23-2007, 06:09 PM
So, no love for Savage Worlds or BRP/MRQ?

Skunkape
08-24-2007, 07:56 AM
I'm more inclined to change my vote from GURPS to Savage Worlds since I've re-read the rules. Course, I've explained all of that in my post on the Savage Worlds thread.

teckno72
04-21-2008, 07:14 PM
I picked D20, but I'd be much more likely to convert it to the World of Darkness games. They're universal enough for me. :cool:

Webhead
04-21-2008, 10:48 PM
My favorite generic RPG systems in (VERY rough) order of preference:

1) Unisystem (particularly Cinematic Unisystem)
2) FATE 3.0
3) Risus
4) PDQ

I really, really like FATE and would be tempted to vote it as my current favorite generic system. The only thing really stopping me is that it is so different from more traditional RPG rules-systems that not everyone "gets" it right away. I'm running a "Deadlands" campaign using FATE and my players are having fun, but I don't think they've quite grokked to the way Aspects behave within the game. That said, Aspects are probably the single coolest design element in any RPG ever! I seriously dig on the idea of them and am tempted to plug them into other game systems. They're that cool...but they can be tricky for some folks.

Cinematic Unisystem is one of my faves. It takes the already no-nonsense simplified mechanics of Unisystem and then makes it even faster and easier to run. For gosh sakes, the GM doesn't even have to roll any dice! I love it!

I love both Risus and PDQ for much the same reasons as they are built on rather similar design philosophies. I think Risus rests a bit closer to my heart but that may just be because I discovered it many years before I ever heard about PDQ. A friend of mine asked me to run a Risus game out of the blue a while back. I can't wait to do it! If he enjoyed it that much, I really need to make that my goal.

Not much of a fan of d20 Modern, GURPS or HERO. The first felt a bit too constrained by d20 tropes and the latter two always had a bit more crunch than I prefered. Never played more than a game or two of any of them, so this is mostly an objective assessment of my reaction reading through the corebooks.

Oh, and I haven't played Savage Worlds yet, but by every indication, I really ought to.

trechriron
07-02-2008, 01:49 PM
So, no love for Savage Worlds or BRP/MRQ?

I love it!! Just awesome fun.

squidyak
07-05-2008, 02:36 PM
What, no Alternity love?

tesral
07-08-2008, 01:30 AM
I've seen a few fantasy characters built on the Hero system, and they strike me as superheroes with a fantasy theme. System really does matter.

Hero started life as "Champions". A superhero game and the point/skills balance still favors that. Writing up normals is chunky.

GURPS is a Heroic game and the point/skills balance favors that. You can do superheroic with it, but you're better off playing Hero.

System can matter.

Webhead
07-08-2008, 10:54 AM
System can matter.

Yep.

MortonStromgal
07-23-2008, 05:46 PM
I'm going to say BRP even though all I've played is Cthuhlu because I like it better than GURPS which is my favorite generic system.

Bearfoot_Adam
07-30-2008, 01:20 PM
I have to agre wit hone of the first posts in going for unisystem. It's an easy system to pick up and you can still do big heroic things. I'm just starting ot really look into gurps and am likeing it so maybe that will change my choice.

Law Dog
08-03-2008, 12:36 PM
Hero started life as "Champions". A superhero game and the point/skills balance still favors that. Writing up normals is chunky.

GURPS is a Heroic game and the point/skills balance favors that. You can do superheroic with it, but you're better off playing Hero.

System can matter.

Right on the money. GURPS supers seems wonky. HERO agent level and below seems not differentiated enough (i.e. my STR of 13 and your STR of 15 aren't really too different).

Of course, if your are looking at strictly genre emulation, I still think that Marvel Super Heroes RPG (FASERIP) simulates whats on the comic book page better than anything. (Obviously Spidey was out of karma the night Gwen Stacy died :biggrin:).

Webhead
08-03-2008, 09:09 PM
...Of course, if your are looking at strictly genre emulation, I still think that Marvel Super Heroes RPG (FASERIP) simulates whats on the comic book page better than anything. (Obviously Spidey was out of karma the night Gwen Stacy died :biggrin:).

Loved MSH. Great supers game. Wish I could play/run it again in the near future. Would probably need different players though. Not that it wouldn't be "fun" with the current group, they just prefer to play angsty, anti-hero types. Not exactly the kind of thing I have in mind...

Zig
11-22-2008, 05:39 AM
I was 13 and at some con in LA. Gurps had just come out and my friend and I had just played the first Gurps tournie, were in the elevator with some older guys and talking about it, I say to him "I didnt like it, there were only three stats and there didnt seem to be anything diffrent or special about my character, at least in D&D you could have a stat that goes up to 18 and makes you feel like theres something amazing about your character" we continued the discussion about why we didnt like the game and when the doors opened one of the older guys said "well that was very informative..." I looked at him and he smiles and says "Hi, I'm Steve Jackson" :eek: my awe didnt end until after the doors closed.

Honestly there will never be a better generic game than Hero system in my mind because its the only one I have ever seen with rules that actually govern creating anything you can imagine. I've played Fantasy Hero and I didn't see any problems with agent level characters, sure a 13 feels about the same as a 15 in regard to stats when you know they could go up to 100+ etc, but that changes quickly once people start spending expirence points.

The only complaint I have is my agreement with others that there is far far too much number crunching required in Hero system and basically if you dont have the right books or have prepaired a week in advance its damn hard to run a game off the top of your head. the math involved in the various levels of combat system (hit location, limb impairment etc) can get overpowering as well. for this main reason its also fairly difficult to get new people into the game, it has a mean learning curve and many times new players just feel overwhelmed. once I tryed fixing this by elimination of the speed system (just gave everyone one action every other phase) and divided the thugs and villians stun by 10 (meaning a common thug could get hit about twice by any character before going down, or once by a powerful character) all in all it ran a lot more smoothly.

bananapants
11-23-2008, 11:57 PM
My favorite universal system for a narrative heavy game focused on character and story conflict is Dogs in the Vineyard, and I have successfully adapted it to a variety of times and genres.

For (semi-)modern games that have a bit more combat to them I like Spycraft a lot, and it is a joy to run as well. I highly recommend it for espionage or just modern team-based play.

cliff
02-26-2009, 06:55 PM
I'm definitely a GURPS fan here... at one point, my GURPS collection was 100% complete (although that only lasted a few weeks as I then stopped collecting for a while). I'm into grittier games, and it's a great system for that... plus, I just love being unrestricted in what I do with it.

I agree that 4-colour Supers generally do not work too well in GURPS, although I haven't tried to run Supers in 4e - I do understand that it works a LOT better now. That said, even when running Supers I tend to go for grittier supers too.

What I love about GURPS, though, is the sheer volume of content. So much of it is well researched that, even if I weren't using GURPS as my system I'd still have a lot of use for the worldbooks.

My preferred campaign style is one of insurrection and rebellion, which works well in a gritty rules system.

Zig
02-28-2009, 04:03 AM
The only thing that realy bothers me about GURPS is that the books are so darn expensive, paying 60 bucks a book is just way out of line with what I want to pay. Most other systems have a core book and then adventure or world books... with Gurps I have a core book for each type of campaign I want to run, as well as source books for added rules, then world books, and adventure books, encounter books, etc... all in all just way to expensive for me to consider, especially when there are other universal systems out there that have every type of rule/supplement you could want included with the core system.

fmitchell
02-28-2009, 10:00 AM
The only thing that realy bothers me about GURPS is that the books are so darn expensive, paying 60 bucks a book is just way out of line with what I want to pay.

$60? Each book is at or under $40 list price; you can find decent discounts online (especially through Amazon). Also, take a look at e23 (http://e23.sjgames.com/), which provides adventures and smaller supplements as PDFs, in addition to digital versions of the larger books (at $25 or so).

You don't need every book, if you have an idea what you want to do. A few examples:

If you've got other source materials that you want to port to GURPS, and you're willing to do some work, all you really need is the Basic Set ($40 and $35). Total cost: $75. Seriously ... you can do any genre with just the Basic Set, if you're long on time and short on money.

To run a straight Banestorm campaign, you'll need the Basic Set books ($75, if you don't have it already), the Banestorm book ($35), probably Magic ($35 hardback or $30 paperback), and maybe Fantasy ($35) if you want to tinker with the world. The most you'll pay is $180; already having the Basic set reduces the cost to $105.

To do your own fantasy world, you'll need the Basic Set ($75, if you don't have it already), almost definitely Fantasy ($35), probably Magic ($30-$35), and maybe Thaumatology ($35) if you're not happy with the standard magic system. Maximum cost is also $180 or $105 if you've bought the Basic Set already.

To run a science fiction campaign set in space or another world, you'll need the Basic Set ($75, if you don't have it already), Space ($35 hardback or $30 softcover), Spaceships ($15 dead tree or $10 PDF), probably Ultra-Tech ($35), maybe Bio-Tech ($35) and/or Spaceships 2 ($8 PDF). If you want to be completely geared up, you're looking at $203, or $128 if you've already bought the Basic Set.

If you're doing near-future SF on Earth, you probably want the two Tech books, for $70 + $75 for Basic Set if you don't have it already.


And so on.

I admit the price of entry is steep -- $75 -- compared to other games. GURPS Lite is free, but really only covers basic human characters and the bare-bones skill/combat rules; it's hard to know what larger subset would be useful to a majority of players (advanced combat rules? more skills? unusual advantages/disadvantages? which ones?).

On the other hand, D&D requires three books at $35 apiece (although players need only one), and new World of Darkness requires a $25 general rules book plus a $35+ game-specific book (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, etc.) Neither game can move into other genres without additional work (or in D&D's case, a major overhaul).

The only other generic games I can think of are Hero ($50 retail, although it seems to be out of print), Basic Roleplaying ($40), True20 ($15 for the "Pocket Edition"), Savage Worlds ($10 for the "Explorer's Edition"), and some free DIY games like Fudge and PDQ. Each is cheaper than full GURPS, sometimes substantially so, but except for Hero each limits itself to human or near-human PCs.

EDIT: As to the other games at the top of this page:

d20 Modern is out-of-print and effectively dead as far as I can tell, but you can download the SRD for free or find the dead tree for about $30. Even then, "Future" and "Arcana" are separate products, unlike GURPS Basic which includes a selection of future equipment and spells.

Unisystem doesn't have a single "generic book"; you have to pick a specific game (like Buffy, AFMBE, or Witchcraft) and stretch it to your needs.

Omni System is $24 dead tree or $10 PDF, but it's pretty obscure, and I wasn't that impressed.

The "generic" D6 line from WEG is segregated into Fantasy, Space, and Adventure, each with duplicate rules and each pretty bare-bones.

Valdar
02-28-2009, 11:57 AM
And, the advantage to writing your own worldbook is that you can base games in properties that would need licensing for a worldbook to be published. I've based games in both the Star Trek and the Dendarii Mercenaries worlds- it looks like they finally got around to publishing a Vorkosigan Saga worldbook (long after the series ended), but chances are very low that Paramount will ever agree to let SJ publish a Star Trek book...

fmitchell
02-28-2009, 12:29 PM
... chances are very low that Paramount will ever agree to let SJ publish a Star Trek book...

I guess GURPS Prime Directive, from Amarillo Design Bureau, would do in a pinch. It's even "Powered by GURPS", so it contains a subset of the full GURPS rules in it (i.e. you don't need the Basic Set). Unfortunately, it's based in the "Star Fleet Battles" universe, an alternate history based on TOS (complete with un-bumpy Klingons) and the Animated Series (complete with Kzinti), plus their own inventions and interpretations. I had it for a while, and then sold it off; nothing really grabbed me -- not being a major Trek fan -- and I already had a plethora of GURPS books to create my own space opera with. YMMV.

cliff
02-28-2009, 04:18 PM
I already do Warhammer 40k, so the cost of ownership for GURPS isn't a big deal on top of it. My love affair with GURPS also started back when the books were $20, come hell or high water.

Valdar
02-28-2009, 08:32 PM
I guess GURPS Prime Directive, from Amarillo Design Bureau, would do in a pinch. It's even "Powered by GURPS", so it contains a subset of the full GURPS rules in it (i.e. you don't need the Basic Set). Unfortunately, it's based in the "Star Fleet Battles" universe, an alternate history based on TOS (complete with un-bumpy Klingons) and the Animated Series (complete with Kzinti), plus their own inventions and interpretations. I had it for a while, and then sold it off; nothing really grabbed me -- not being a major Trek fan -- and I already had a plethora of GURPS books to create my own space opera with. YMMV.

Holy crap that's awesome- I should chase that down. I have a friend who goes to cons dressed as a very convincing old-trek non-bumpy Klingon- Those were the "Human-fusion" Klingons in the SFB universe, right?

Imposter
02-28-2009, 10:00 PM
While I'm perfectly aware this isn't on the list I'm going to say the Zodiac Final Fantasy RPG. I know it's not generic because it has final fantasy in the title, but it has rules that cover futuristic settings or traditional fantasy. There are no classes, you define who you are, not a bunch of bogus predetermined roles.

Once you've created your abilities, which are overall very well balanced, everything is as streamlined as the old video games. Choose your method of attack, choose a target, GO.

It misses out on the reams of alternate rules that half the RPGs out there present, grappling a ridiculously stunted opponent in strawberry jello on a Thursday, for instance...but let's be honest, who here doesn't already know those rules from a previous game?

Anything missing is easily filled in by a little something called imagination, without spending an hour finding the right appendix in the right book.

Fantastic.

PS: It's free in PDF right here...
http://www14.brinkster.com/zodiacrpg/

Webhead
02-28-2009, 10:52 PM
Recently, Savage Worlds has been shaping up to become one of the most interesting and promising "generic" RPGs that I've yet come across. I have generally had a very poor reaction to most "generic" RPGs with the exception of Unisystem. Savage Worlds on the other hand, seems both enthusiastic, energetic and free of a lot of the clutter that ruins most "omni-systems" for me. It seems to focus on simplicity while providing a rather solid foundation to build upon.

Does it do everything equally well? No, but neither does any other "generic" RPG I've read. But it does lend itself to being very flexible and easy to extrapolate from.

templeorder
05-05-2009, 11:47 PM
I built my own system and support a online presence as the Incarna Gaming Network... i got tired of all the systems i played little idiosyncrasies that drove me nuts after a while.

Sigmund
05-30-2009, 11:35 PM
I like GD3 by Precis Intermedia

korhal23
05-31-2009, 01:46 AM
My vote goes to Spycraft. By default, Spycraft is, naturally, a spy/espionage game. But the back of the book has rules for changing genres, and one of the supplements removes classes... Basically Spycraft 2.0 is a d20 Modern replacement/reboot.

Harwel
05-31-2009, 02:19 AM
I voted BRP. GURPS would be a second place, I love the versatility and gobs of cource material, but it's a little rules-heavy. True20 seems pretty good. I haven't looked at Savage Worlds in a while, sounds like it bears a second look.

Killwatch
06-02-2009, 08:39 AM
Palladium:

Because you can go anywhere and be anything. No CCs for it? Make it up. Fantasy, Old West, Mecha, Military, Supers, Ninjas, Espionage, Horror, TMNT, Space Opera, Post Apoc.

Then you have the ability to affect your character's stats based on skills. You don't like that you rolled a pitiful 3 for your strength? take this skill and make it better! It was the first game I came across with detailed yet still simple mechanics for combat. From AD&D2ed I was able to dodge and parry OMFG!

Character Classes? Comprehensive. Dragon? Sure. Mega Hero? Right here. Merchant? Check the third shelf.

Psionics, Super Powers, Magic, Chi abilities
And for the most part it is point based. I don't have to worry that I had cast x spell 6 times in a day. Again from D&D a bonus.

I like the stats, good range without being annoying
IQ-Intelligence
ME-Mental Endurance: Basis for psionics and psionic defense
MA-Mental Affinity: Base level of empathy allowing for trust or intimidation
PS-Physical Strength: Allowing for Carrying and Damage bonuses
PP-Physical Prowess: Influencing strike parry and dodge bonuses and your base dexterity
PE-Physical Endurance: Poison saves, Coma/Death saves, and Chi
PB-Physical Beauty: allowing for Charm/Impress rolls
Spd-How fast you can run in a second

It is one of the few and definitely the first role playing game I came across that actually awarded points for being creative, using your skills, coming up with good ideas even if they didn't work, and awards for playing in character.

I like that I can play a class or I can choose to pick my own skill sets.

I like that when I am invulnerable nothing but magic and psionics can attempt to hurt me. Not tanks, not being hit with a building, and there is no roll for it, it just is! No ranks. No tests. Even DC and Marvel don't do that.

One of the criticisms people like to poke at the system with is game balance. But game balance rests with the players and the GMs to decide. The game really is like laying out a line of firearms from a derringer to the Macross Cannon and saying where do we want to play? Do you want to throw tanks like they are made of Styrofoam? Do you want the gritty realism of getting shot once and it actually hurting? Anything you want to do at whatever time or place setting you want and you got the tools right there.

Palladium was born out of D&D, and now D&D is looking more and more like its progeny.

I also like WOD and am a bit surprised to see it not listed

PhishStyx
06-02-2009, 09:43 AM
I am both amused and intrigued that you've picked as your favorite modern/universal game one that I find to be neither modern nor universal. :)

Killwatch
06-03-2009, 03:42 AM
explain

GoddessGood
06-03-2009, 09:15 AM
I've heard good things about some of these, but my experience with Savage Worlds has been only good so far. I like the rules-lite, universal experience :)

Webhead
06-03-2009, 09:52 PM
I've heard good things about some of these, but my experience with Savage Worlds has been only good so far. I like the rules-lite, universal experience :)

:rockon:

PhishStyx
06-03-2009, 10:05 PM
explain

Where should I begin? Perhaps with the unbalanced and often misprinted weapon damages? Or maybe the -10 dodge rule that was, then wasn't, then became a verboten topic on the PMB? Or the more than 75% chance to hit pretty much anything? How about the fact that the only thing even remotely hinting at "universality" among Palladium's games (& with Rifts sometimes even within the game, itself) is the cutting & pasting of the skills and combat sections? How about the fact that only 2 currently in print games use alignments, and the OTHER one is D&D, itself not exactly the bastion of modernized game writing?

Oh hell, lets just skip to the end and mention that I don't know of any other large game company that not only does not playtest (and I have that fact on the word of not 1 but 4!!! different Palladium authors!!), even the Kevin Siembieda doesn't use the system when he runs games!!

Killwatch
06-04-2009, 04:29 AM
wow that was missing the point all together.. Youd din't address how it wasn't. I read what you didn't like about it. You brought up alignments, but all of their games use alignments. You brought up skills, but all their games use the same skills. You brought up the -10 which is a schism but still does not point to non-universalism.

and as for your facts, without names or some means to back it up, it means nothing.

So now that you have argued against my statements by attacking it's merits instead of the point I will discuss the merits

1) Kevin doesn't game palladium: ok so what? I'm would be surprised if he has cut it out altogether, but I haven't met many players who like playing the same game for decades without breaks. And even softbatch cookies get old after a while. It may be akin to not bringing work home with you.

2) Non Universalism: I think GURPs does universality the best. But palladium was the first to venture into it, GURPs 1986 and Palladium 1981. So at least give props to Palladium for breaking from D&D and trying to do somethign better and that has lasted. But you really can take any character from any part of the megaverse and drop him into any other part and it is playable. The difference? They might not survive. And I think that is great! I LIKE that you can set the scale yourself.

3) Skills: So copy and paste? and? I really don't see your point here. Isn't this a good thing? Something to remove any confusion from hey my book says I get this from this skill. But we are going to use the skill from this book instead and you just lost yours. Although they do create new skills depending on the setting. Like in N&SS there is a crap load of expanded martial arts, and orient based skills, of course this might have soemthign to do with it being NINJAS and Superspies, implying some kind of asian martial artsy kind of directionality-ish thingy

4) Misprinted weapon damages? haven't noticed. The only thing that I have seen is the RPG. However I think it is on the players as I have found that the differences between the M203 that does 1d4x10 and the RPG listed as doing 1d4x100 are different weapons. Otherwise, again they cut and paste. Hell even in the HU Revised ancient weapons list displays a graphic that is in the 1st edition PFRPG.

5) Minus Ten Rule: Makes sense as firearms and lasers move faster than you and your ability to dodge or parry. Makes armor all the more important. I don't use it but like I said I can see the point. But I didn't really see your argument regarding this. Is it that it exists/existed? or that people have argued about it? IF I am reading you correctly it seems that if somethign is broke or once existed it should always exist so that it shall forever suck? and if this IS the case then you bite your own tail by insinuating that palladium sucks and that since it tried to make itself better it sucks even more by trying something new and finding it doesn't work,...

6) Ah Alignments: I have never seen the problem with alignments. But for those who do here's a suggestion; don't use them. I know its a complicated idea but if you think long and hard enough you might just get it.
Now for the pro of alignments: I view them as the characters own core morals. Sometimes it's hard sticking to your principles and sometimes you fail. Agreed I dislike the moniker "Selfish" and prefer D&Ds "Neutral" but I certainly prefer Palladium's alignments. I have moved Aberrant up to "Selfish/Neutral" because while it can be mean, mean isn't evil, it may be, but it is largely self centered and honorable.
And if you look at the alignment "restirctions" you see that most of them say "may" or "will try". I think it may be a sign of poor RP ability to completely discount alignments out of hand. I see them as avenues to explore and challenge myself as a player, putting myself in someone else's shoes, and not just myself in armor. That kind of playing is good for B&B playing (Booze and Buds).
Me? I prefer a more cerebral/amateur theatrical experience. The more information you give me on a character the more detail I can use to spin an individual with their own hopes, dreams, secrets, shames, etc. Thusly I have put more stuff in for PC generation borrowing from WOD GURPs and CP2020. So that a character will have a fleshed out PC with history nature disposition and alignment. Can you be a dick and principled character? Sure, and it would be fun finding out what that would look like.
So alignments are just what I feel as at the core of the character. not the whole story, just there core sense of right and wrong. Can it change? Sure but what would it take for you to give up your core sense of right and wrong?
But again, I think of it a amatuer acting. you take a ROLE in which you play. If you want to just play yourself then you might as well be playing video games for all the effort or creativity needed to play it.

7) Play testing: Again back it up. But I haven't seen any problems. Maybe I am missing soemthing or forgetting but I haven't found a whole lot to back up your argument. If they aren't, the game seems to be running fine without it. Maybe you have had some bad experiences with it either as a player or GM, and maybe it was the group. I know that a bad player or a rules raper can ruin a game for some GMs, but they either don't bother me or don't last long in my group so it's a moot point.

So back to the point; how is it not a universel system?
I can take a Paladin from PFRPG and put him in Ninjas and Super Spies of Rifts or Macross or TMNT. Of course he might not have the right skills, and if he doesn't adapt quickly will die in MDC envornments but I don't consider it the fault of the game. I LIKE that technology actually advances and that 5d6 weapon in modern times is pretty kick ass but in 500 years one of the smallest arms does 1d4x100 SDC

Can it improve? Sure, but I haven't come across a better base system to build off of yet. Maybe I will.

PhishStyx
06-04-2009, 11:14 AM
Have seen this thread on rpg.net (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=74137)? Note that multiple Palladium authors post in that thread to discuss what actually goes on at Palladium book, including why there is no official playtesting.

However, if you don't want to read the entire thread, here is the watershed post (http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=1445566&postcount=184) from it. There are a few other sources around, but this one beats pretty much everything else for accuracy
--- Merged from Double Post ---



and as for your facts, without names or some means to back it up, it means nothing.

You sure you don't work for Palladium? Perhaps in a voluntary capacity?


So now that you have argued against my statements by attacking it's merits instead of the point I will discuss the merits

What does that mean? How else should I debate a topic? Random words? Ad hominems and other fallacies?
At no point, did I attack you personally like you chose to attack my intelligence below.


1) Kevin doesn't game palladium: ok so what?

At his own little mini-convention held in his warehouse, he does NOT run his own system where every other GM that day is apparently supposed to.


2) Non Universalism: I think GURPs does universality the best.

I agree there; GURPS does appear to do universal gaming better than anyone else. As far as I can tell whether Palladium or GURPS came first nearly 30 years ago is irrelevant. Nonetheless, Palladium not only doesn't do it the best, it barely even tries. There is no official universal method of making perception tests or any other sort of base Attribute test. There is no universal method of making skill tests. I mean sure, you roll your d100, but after that you're on your own for any hint of results. And there is NO discussion of modifiers to those results.



3) Skills: So copy and paste? and? I really don't see your point here. Isn't this a good thing?

No. It is not. The point of writing new books, even when you are including previously written information is to look at that information again and make a new determination about it's usefulness. Simply copying information without looking at it is lazy and makes for bad gaming.



4) Misprinted weapon damages? haven't noticed. Then you haven't been reading your own books.



5) Minus Ten Rule:

6) Ah Alignments: I have never seen the problem with alignments. But for those who do here's a suggestion; don't use them. I know its a complicated idea but if you think long and hard enough you might just get it.

Well look at that, just one person criticized your favorite game and you start in with insults. Congrats, very PMB of you.

And I love that we come around to the old chestnut argument of Palladium, placing the blame for its problems on the player. I don't like it, so there MUST be something wrong with me (alternately: disagreeing with you means that I MUST not work in the industry, so my opinion is valueless. I'm sure you'll pop that one up later on.) No, alignments are virtually worthless in gaming, and they mark your game as a dinosaur (that would be NOT modern). There are several discussions on this site about alignments



7) Play testing: Again back it up. But I haven't seen any problems.

Well, when you blind yourself to them, how could you?
Good games have fewer house rules or rule fixes, and I don't know of any other game where the game company owners had a semi-public fight with the freelancers over whether a rule should be implemented (refer back to the -10 argument for details on that.)


So back to the point; how is it not a universel system?


Apparently, your definition of universal is very different from others' definitions, but sure, lets play it your way.

So you have your average super and say a Nightspawn/bane, and you drop both of them into Rifts. Which one becomes MDC and which one doesn't, and why?

Oh yeah one more thing, have you ever tried to make say, Spider-Man or Green Lantern using the Heroes Unlimited rules? Can't do it, can ya? See, I think that's the real reason that Palladium won't allow attempts to be done.



Can it improve? Sure, but I haven't come across a better base system to build off of yet. Maybe I will.

Have you looked?

Tamburlain
06-05-2009, 12:14 AM
Generic, eh? Well, I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but again I'd go with Burning Wheel.

Harwel
06-05-2009, 03:07 AM
Does anyone have any feedback on Cortex RPG? It's apparently kind of like Savage Worlds, but less pulpy, less minis/battlemat focussed, no playing cards. Does anyone have any hands-on with this? I guess some people have experience with at least, say, Serenity, which is Cortex-based.

Killwatch
06-05-2009, 07:13 AM
ok cool
1) Don't know if that is really bill coffin
2) It explains a lot about the scheduling
3) When you said he doesn't even play his own games I miinterpreted it as he was playing other people's games. A less confusing statement would be that he doesn't play at all. As many RPG writers know actually gaming takes a hit when you produce your own game. So I am not surprised that he doesn't. Jolly Blackburn had an article in KODT about what it takes to produce your own game and this was one of the pitfalls.
4) I will agree that when I notice a poor layout it isn't a surprise
5) he has a chinchilla?
6) That may all be true, still like the game. Still universal. and the system may need a revamp, but it's another thing I like about it. The changes are relatively minor throughout the evolution. I mean can you imagine what it would mean for players if they had to buy every very new edition of the books they already have? The entirety of Palladium has 2 editions. D&D? 10 editions (chainmail, white books, D&D, D&D Basic, AD&D1, AD&D2, AD&D2 P&S, D&D3, D&D3.5, D&D 4) and I am sure I am forgetting something. Has D&D gotten better. Yes but nothing drastic enough to make all the editions worth while. The bigges thing was that they got rid of THAC0.
7) Even if it is Bill Coffin it is only one side of the argument. I don't know what the response or defense might be, or even if there would be but If I was to rant and rave about some guy on an RPG board I could convince them that that person was a complete unreasoning moron.
8) Have I Looked? I got tons of games sitting on my shelves collecting dust, mainly because I like bits and pieces or gave it a chance and found it wanting and end up using it as source material. Palladium is 1/3, D&D is another third. the final third if my library is indies, WODs, and a bunch of other stuff.
9) "So you have your average super and say a Nightspawn/bane, and you drop both of them into Rifts. Which one becomes MDC and which one doesn't, and why? "
If one of them has anything that bumps there SDC for any supernatural reason they generally become MDC. All supernatural damage becomes MDC.

10) "Oh yeah one more thing, have you ever tried to make say, Spider-Man or Green Lantern using the Heroes Unlimited rules? Can't do it, can ya? See, I think that's the real reason that Palladium won't allow attempts to be done."
Um yes I can and I have. Back in the day I converted everyone from DC vs Marvel. It took a pinch of creativity but I thought we were in a creative hobby.
But aside from this, how does this prove/disprove the universalism of Palladium?

11) Blind myself to problems now you are just taking argumentative short cuts. IO have got tons of edits or did you miss that part where I said that I have found faults but I haven't found anything better. Oh wait you did because you asked if I looked. Do you read what you wright? Does it have problems? Yes. Have I took creative license in the alst thirteen years to fix what I see as problems? Yes Are they major problems? No. Are they tons of minor tweaks to abilities or powers etc that add up to a lot? indeed.

12) -10 dodge rule. So you don't see either side of that argument? PC survivability vs realism? really? And as for a good game needs fewer house rules, BS. Ok check that. even if a game was perfect, some gamer somewhere would find something to edit or spin in another way. In the core rules for palladium KS encourages players and GMs to change the game to suit them. A good game allows for the player to edit the game because somehow we all ended up with our own ideas and visions. Again, I can't think of a game that I wouldn't want a major overhaul of if I was going to run it. I like WOD but its a rip off of CP2020 in the way that it works its skills+atts. But it is game evolution, things change, things are tried and die off or prosper. and I think having palladium around as a stable gaming venue is a good thing. Just like having D&D around is a good thing, or Shadowrun, and GURPs.


13) "Well look at that, just one person criticized your favorite game and you start in with insults. Congrats, very PMB of you.

And I love that we come around to the old chestnut argument of Palladium, placing the blame for its problems on the player. I don't like it, so there MUST be something wrong with me (alternately: disagreeing with you means that I MUST not work in the industry, so my opinion is valueless. I'm sure you'll pop that one up later on.) No, alignments are virtually worthless in gaming, and they mark your game as a dinosaur (that would be NOT modern). There are several discussions on this site about alignments"

Who hurt you? And that was not even the start of an insult. PMB of me? Somethng confuzzles me at this point. If you dislike palladium so much why are you going there? I don't like 4e, I don't go to 4e boards. The only thing I would have to say is that I don't like this game, and that would be pretty dickish of me. Secondly, what kidn of sense does it make that, correct me if I am wrong, you are saying that I am defending a game blindly against attacks. And if everyone on PMB is doing so then they are arguing against themselves. So they are both attackign and defending their game with blind fervor. OR what might make more sense is that you have been attacked for saying something like palladium sucks on a PMB and was thusly attacked for attacking and now you are saying how vitrious PMBers are because you attacked them on their home soil.

Virtually worthless? Ok what are the good points about it?
So there are several discussion on alignments? really? wow I am "shocked" Again I think it is a misinterpretation of what alignment is or could be. I don't think that enough players give enough thought to it.

Not working in the industry makes your opinion valueless? no your lack of real arguments is what makes your opions almost worthless. I think its funny that you think I might say that :). No everyone can have an opinion and I know all too well that no matter where your are or where you come from that you have an equal chance of being a moron (not you specifically, but I think I have to point these things out now)

and I don't see where I began the insult with that line. Now maybe you have gone long and deep into thought about characterizations, character psychology, personal habits, sociology, etc and considered it all bupkis, but I don't know you and haven't heard why you might think that, other than your adamant opinion that it is a dinosaur of a concept.

14) kind of pointless if I don't read my own books. Can you point to something? and is it really all that surprising that mistakes are made in editing?

15) Nope don't work for palladium. Submitted stuff but my works would require a whole rewrite and I understand that would piss a lot of players off. I gave it a shot and would have been upset withmyself if I didn't. So, by your line of thinking, I should probably be on your side of the hater fence.

16) "No. It is not. The point of writing new books, even when you are including previously written information is to look at that information again and make a new determination about it's usefulness. Simply copying information without looking at it is lazy and makes for bad gaming."
wait what? So at one point you are condemning palladium for not being universal, at another for differing weapon damages, and now saying that changing what skills do is a good thing? Listen the only major skill lists that I find are in the core books. Why? Because if all you want to play is is Rifts adn don't want to buy the mega-core palladium book you don't have to. Unlike D&D and other games where you need to by the core book and the setting book, the core setting book has everything you need. Yes its redundant if you have more than two or three setting books, but if you are new to it then it's a complete game. Everything else is cake. Seriously? YOu don't see the benefit in that? Spending less money to play a game? Buying one book and calling it a day?

And isn't making up new descriptions for old skills well stupid? I mean how many descriptions do you need for skills like Pilot Auto? Pilot Race Car? Horsemanship? Computer Ops? Hacking? Weapon Proficiency Rifle? Hand to Hand Martial Arts? What exactly here were you hoping to edit or alter without making a new skill? ISn't it nice to know that if I have WP Sword in ancient england that that won't means something else in another setting? If I know ninjitsu in Rifts: Japan that it means the same thing in Heroes Unlimited? Honestly and truthfully what is your grievance there? If you need a new skill for seomthing the books allow you to make it up. Explain please.

17) "Nonetheless, Palladium not only doesn't do it the best, it barely even tries. There is no official universal method of making perception tests or any other sort of base Attribute test. There is no universal method of making skill tests. I mean sure, you roll your d100, but after that you're on your own for any hint of results. And there is NO discussion of modifiers to those results."
So your real argument isn't that it isn't universal which it is, but that it lets you decide how hard things are on a "wildly complicated" 1-10 scale??? Now agreed I have modified this to 100+ and all, but The fault isn't with the "penalties", it's with the cap I believe.

18) As for the low intelligence. If I were to say that people wwith purple shirts have small penis' would that offend you? Probably not unless you knew that you were wearing a purple shirt, but hopefully you would be ok with havign a small penis. Now to kind of reach back, did I just say that you had a small penis or was this an example? In reality no I did not say you had a small penis. In perception I guess I may have.
The "you" mentioned in the previous post could have been a general you unless you are feeling a bit self conscious about something or if you have been too use to being attacked,....

19) Merits: You are right that was poorly worded. what I meant was was that you were not providing actual points to argue simply arguing in a is not/am soft opinions to kind of way. My apologies. I am sorry for the confusion.

PhishStyx
06-05-2009, 03:05 PM
No, you pretty much called me stupid and now want to back out of the name calling part of it while still insinuating that I'm less intelligent than you because I don't like Palladium.

Go back to drinking your kool-aid.

fmitchell
06-05-2009, 09:42 PM
Could we please try to keep this thread civil?

Incidentally, the thread is "Favorite Generic/Universal Systems", not "Why Anyone Who Likes/Doesn't Like System X is an (Insert Insult Here)". Even after reading these respective screeds I don't know whether Palladium is a good system or not, although at this point I don't care.

Man, I thought the D&D edition wars were bad.

If you want to debate the merits and flaws of Palladium or any other system further, take it to another thread where uninterested parties can safely ignore you. Anyone who tries the "he started it" defense will get a serious Time Out.

korhal23
06-06-2009, 12:15 AM
Does anyone have any feedback on Cortex RPG? It's apparently kind of like Savage Worlds, but less pulpy, less minis/battlemat focussed, no playing cards. Does anyone have any hands-on with this? I guess some people have experience with at least, say, Serenity, which is Cortex-based.

Harwel, I have experience with Serenity on the Cortex System, though not the normal generic Cortex. It's very simple and fluid, I think, and a very fun system. But it's only not minis based because not all movements are in intervals of 5, so like WoD you're still keeping track of positions and all, and I typically use MapTool for that. It's a great system in general though.... something specific you're looking for, info wise?

Harwel
06-06-2009, 01:35 AM
Harwel, I have experience with Serenity on the Cortex System, though not the normal generic Cortex. It's very simple and fluid, I think, and a very fun system. But it's only not minis based because not all movements are in intervals of 5, so like WoD you're still keeping track of positions and all, and I typically use MapTool for that. It's a great system in general though.... something specific you're looking for, info wise?

Mostly I'm wondering if it has a "trait" system similar to SW (SW's could mostly be easily ported I'm sure) and any impressions of the basic magic system. I downloaded a free "primer" which is basically a 2-page character sheet and a 1-page rule summary, which is giving me a good idea of the basics, and I'm interested so far. Thinking I might want to run a combination fantasy / post-apoc setting with it, but if the magic system is "meh" and it would be a lot of work to make a different one, I might stick with BRP for it. Just trying to get a feel for before I spend money, so any info would be welcome.

Also just general wondering about how the gameplay is and how "light" the rules are, are there combat rules for say grappling and other special maneuvers, or is the GM generally winging stuff like that? Maybe I should just stop being cheap and buy it and find out. :lol:

Killwatch
06-06-2009, 07:40 AM
Good System: Subjective. I like it. But I am simply arguing for its universality. I can have a paladin and a teenage mutant ninja turtle piloting veritechs, I think that is pretty universal.

As for calling you stupid; again I just think you are being overly sensitive. Again! my point was that if you (you = general masses you) dismiss alignments because they seem "restrictive" then you might not be the best RPer at the table.

Let me stop you before you start; yes you can BE a good RPer without alignments but rather than them being restrictive I think of them as enforcing good RPing if not simply encouraging.

And backing out? See, looking back I would have thought that you would have been more offended by my last post than the previous ones, but to each their own.
__________________________________________________ _______________

Palladium Universalism:
If indeed the topic is universalism and universalism is defined as being able to play in any genre, any setting with any character FROM any setting or genre then yes Palladium is indeed Universal

All skills translate to every other game
All powers translate
All weapons translate
All stats translate
All combat translates

The only hitch is with transferring into an Mega Damage Capacity world. Spells Psionics and Powers influence the MDC of a being. The books give you straightforward guidance on these by providing conversion books, which if it is another ploy to get more money it is a worth while one as it collects a bunch of stuff from all over the game's differing genres and puts them in one place so you could be quite content on just buying the CBs.

But the books also tell you that if you don't like the MDC setting you can use whatever multiplier you want for damage conversion, most common are 1:1 and 1:10.

The system itself is the only one I know of where the skills actually influence stats after initial generation. Body Building doesn't just make allow you to lift more by adding a modifier to a die roll, it makes you stronger and tougher.

Gymnastics doesnt just give you a +% to balance and the ability to do backflips, it actually increases your dexterity, as it frickin should :D

If you don't like how you rolled you can edit your character's stats. The other side of this is well why not just go through a point based system. They are fine, but I like that Palladium gives me the why's of stat increases.
Here is the major caveat; in every core book it says that if you want to change something about the game, you can. If you want to develop a point based attribute/skill system, its allowed

So what have I changed in 14 years of playing:

IQ Based skill point system

Skills based on a 10 skill and go from Basic to Expert and Master categories
Power Stacking

Exponential Point Based casting, so if your fireball costs 15 pts and does 5d6 and you have 150 spell points, you can blow your load in one spell by casting a 5d6x10 fireball. You are utterly useless thereafter and may slip into a coma as you have 0 points left but you have that choice. It may be the final moment of a giant battle where you heroically sacrifice yourself to win the day. Or you are just a guber showing off and killing yourself for no good reason

I use a 15 second segmented attack system borrowed from Champions

I use a character generation system modified mostly with CP2020 stuff but with WOD GURPs and other sources for character background and quirks

I allow power stacking. If you want to be a telepath and just a telepath then fine you are only a telepath. A kick ass one who can get through the toughest mental defenses out there, but just a telepath. The result is cheaper uses of power and then exponential growth of the ability

I have added stats;
Spirit as a basis for Spiritual or Magic powers. In the game Psionics are based off of ME (mental endurance) makes sense, but both Chi and Magic are based off of PE (Physical Endurance) which never made any sense to me. I mean why is a marathon runner more spiritually enlightened and powerful than someone who meditates on the secrets of the universe all day? So I left Chi with PE and created Spirit

Luck: Just to enhance odd things happening, bad luck instances. The good part is is that no matter what your luck is you get at least 1 Bolstered roll or the opportunity to Reroll a really bad one.

I added another damage scale. Normally its SDC-HP. With SDC its all flesh wounds however serious. HP is getting internal damage. I've introduced WTL or will to live which means you are out of combat you are unconscious and dying, but if someone can get to you before you bleed out then you may be saved. It 1) gives you better survivability by taking out of combat and possibly making someone else a target, and 2) more damage capacity.

I start bonuses to stats at 11+. 10 is average so I don't see why waiting until 16, which is suppose to be professional level attributes (professional athletes, geniuses, models etc) I mean if you are above average you should get SOMETHING for it.

I've moved the cap on skills from a flat impartial 98% to IQx10% Sure that could mean you have a scholastic skill of 250% but if you have an IQ of 25 (Translate as RW IQ of 250), then it should be able to understand how things work on a more visceral level. So how does that work? I can imply huge penalties. I want to solve the problem of string theory, while doing my gymnastics routine and taking out those 6 bozos.
Really?
Yes.
All right roll Master level math at -200%
Fine I still have 50%
(Jerkwad)
What was that Mr GM Guy?
Nothing, Jerkwad

Right now I am playing with the idea of borrowing COCs sanity points. That is the part of the game that really stuck out for me.

Wow I thought I changed a lot more. These seem relatively minor. But I guess most of what I have done is minor tweaks to powers and abilities.

I guess you might say if I am changing this much why not play something else? because I do like the system.I like how the attributes and skills work. I like knowing that I can play any other game genre using the system. Cyberpunk, Cthulu, Shadowrun, Star Wars, Star Trek, Supers and it wouldn't take much effort at all.

I like that the powers spells and abilities are clearly defined. This does X, not Y not W, just X. I like that the skill system

I like point based spells, chi abilities and psionics. Especially coming from a D&D background where you forget your spells and being able to only cast X Spell so often.

There are so many other systems that I think does something really really well, but lacks in other places. Palladium does everything well, not really really really well but good, but gives a very strong base to work with. And maybe KS is a prick and does treat his employees and freelancers like crap and can't get things out when he says he is going to, but I guess he is the RP version of walmart. No wait again that is D&D, but still I hope my meaning comes across. It's a good extremely versatile system that makes a lot of sense to me.

korhal23
06-06-2009, 10:54 AM
Mostly I'm wondering if it has a "trait" system similar to SW (SW's could mostly be easily ported I'm sure) and any impressions of the basic magic system. I downloaded a free "primer" which is basically a 2-page character sheet and a 1-page rule summary, which is giving me a good idea of the basics, and I'm interested so far. Thinking I might want to run a combination fantasy / post-apoc setting with it, but if the magic system is "meh" and it would be a lot of work to make a different one, I might stick with BRP for it. Just trying to get a feel for before I spend money, so any info would be welcome.

Also just general wondering about how the gameplay is and how "light" the rules are, are there combat rules for say grappling and other special maneuvers, or is the GM generally winging stuff like that? Maybe I should just stop being cheap and buy it and find out. :lol:

Yes, it has an EXTREMELY in depth traits system, both positive and negative qualities. As the game is skill based, and the initial character creation is point buy, advantages cost points to acquire, and disadvantages give you extra points to work with.
I can't comment on the magic system though, as there's no magic in Serenity. Sorry :(
The rules are fairly moderate I'd call them. 90% of the time the game is very rules light, but some of the combat maneuvers are a little crunchy too call it truly rules light.... for instance you actively block and dodge and whatnot, and yes there are grappling rules. In terms of rules heavy or lightness, think basically a different, barebones version of d20. Some crunch, mostly up to the GM though.

Webhead
06-06-2009, 03:38 PM
There are definately some large similarities between Savage Worlds and the Cortex System.

Savage Worlds supports the use of minis with very quick and simple mechanics but doesn't require them as most abilities, ranges and combat options are defined in pretty broad terms. It just depends on how concerned you are with "accuracy". The nice thing is that, even using minis, it doesn't take two hours to resolve a combat with dozens of opponents.

I will review Cortex (a la the Serenity RPG) in the near future on my Youtube channel and offer a bit more indepth opinion on where my preferences come from but, in short, I think Savage Worlds is a bit more slick, easy to use, flexible and well-playtested than Cortex. They have some similar mechanics but I feel that Savage Worlds has more to offer as a system. In particular, I much prefer the way Savage Worlds handles damage and injury compared to Cortex.

If I ever end up running a Serenity campaign, I will use the Serenity RPG for the source material, but I will end up using the Savage Worlds rules.

Harwel
06-06-2009, 03:59 PM
Yes, it has an EXTREMELY in depth traits system, both positive and negative qualities. As the game is skill based, and the initial character creation is point buy, advantages cost points to acquire, and disadvantages give you extra points to work with.
I can't comment on the magic system though, as there's no magic in Serenity. Sorry :(
The rules are fairly moderate I'd call them. 90% of the time the game is very rules light, but some of the combat maneuvers are a little crunchy too call it truly rules light.... for instance you actively block and dodge and whatnot, and yes there are grappling rules. In terms of rules heavy or lightness, think basically a different, barebones version of d20. Some crunch, mostly up to the GM though.

So if it was a steak, and rare was rules-light (and rules-heavy is well done), it would be "medium rare"? Sounds like it's worth checking out. I'm guessing if I want to add a little more crunch or variety, I could import some Savage Worlds stuff, or just plain make it up as I go and make house rules on the fly if necessary.


There are definately some large similarities between Savage Worlds and the Cortex System.

Savage Worlds supports the use of minis with very quick and simple mechanics but doesn't require them as most abilities, ranges and combat options are defined in pretty broad terms. It just depends on how concerned you are with "accuracy". The nice thing is that, even using minis, it doesn't take two hours to resolve a combat with dozens of opponents.

I will review Cortex (a la the Serenity RPG) in the near future on my Youtube channel and offer a bit more indepth opinion on where my preferences come from but, in short, I think Savage Worlds is a bit more slick, easy to use, flexible and well-playtested than Cortex. They have some similar mechanics but I feel that Savage Worlds has more to offer as a system. In particular, I much prefer the way Savage Worlds handles damage and injury compared to Cortex.

If I ever end up running a Serenity campaign, I will use the Serenity RPG for the source material, but I will end up using the Savage Worlds rules.

Thanks for the comparison. I'd expect SW to be more evolved than Cortex, since it's been around longer. There are some things about SW that I don't care for, of course some would be easy to house-rule away (eg the deck of cards for initiative, wild die).

Webhead
06-06-2009, 04:06 PM
...I'm guessing if I want to add a little more crunch or variety, I could import some Savage Worlds stuff, or just plain make it up as I go and make house rules on the fly if necessary.

Since the core mechanics are so conceptually similar, I see Cortex and Savage Worlds being really easy to import and export ideas between them (perhaps even SW's "powers" system). Even characters can be pretty easily converted by quickly eye-balling their attributes, skills and edges/flaws and plugging away.

I think it's probably worth owning both if for no other reason than that.

korhal23
06-07-2009, 01:29 AM
More like if your steak was rare at the center (the story and whatnot), but cooked with an blowtorch of some kind so that the outside of it is a bit past medium (the combat). Some of the segments of the book give the illusion of being crunchier than they really are, as I'd say only the combat is even close to true crunch.

And to counterpoint Webhead, I prefer Cortex. But like Webhead, I recommend just getting both and comparing them side by side because they are so very similar, and you can tell Cortex took more than a few notes from SW's song.

MortonStromgal
06-07-2009, 02:04 PM
I want to like savage worlds but the TN of 4 and the wild die bug me on top of for being this "generic" game it feels like its missing stuff. I think it does action movie and possibly pulp well but for gritty it missed the bar completely.

PhishStyx
06-07-2009, 03:43 PM
I apologize for thinking that me being called names and personally attacked by someone else was against the rules here. Clearly, I am SUPPOSED to be personally attacked and then pissed on by the mods for being stupid enough to think I have equal value as everyone else here.

Harwel
06-07-2009, 11:13 PM
I went ahead and bought the Cortex pdf from RPGNow, based on the feedback from you folks here, and the fact that RPGNow had a free download of a 20-page player introduction for the Cortex-based Demon Hunters game which allowed me to learn a little more before buying. I'm going over it right now to see how it suits my campaign ideas. Thanks for the feedback all, and I'll be sure to post my thoughts later. :)

Killwatch
06-08-2009, 03:51 AM
Phishstyx:
That comment had nothing to do with the board, nor as far as I can tell, is a reply to something someone has said. So if you are complaining about the mods tell them not us

Secondly, You have been here long enough to get 19 levels worth of posts? And I'M the one you get upset with, some schmuck who knows a little about what I am talking about, with out even intending to insult you? Surely you must have tougher skin than that. 19 levels worth of hit points should have afforded you with some sort of resistance.

We all make choices. Now two of your choices here are the following;
A) get re-offended feeling like I have just talked down to and get upset all over again
or
B) realize that you aren't at my table, do not have to play my game and let me to my "delusions" of how great palladium is and let me suffer in my own private hell, while you glide with the angels in whatever game you enjoy so fervantly. Shake your head and say to yourself, "poor bastard"

Deadone
06-08-2009, 01:49 PM
To me its D20 Modern all the way!

Harwel
06-08-2009, 10:31 PM
I just finished reading (most of) the Cortex universal rules. I have to say I was fairly impressed with what I saw and it looks very usable. The trait system is well-done, and it would not only be fairly easy to convert stuff from Savage Worlds (as has been mentioned), but Advantages and Disadvantages from GURPS (and there are tons of them) could convert at roughly a "5pts = 1 die step" rate, which really opens up a lot of possibilities.

The magic "system" presented is kind of "well, you could maybe do something like this, or something like this, here are some example spells, go!" There's really not much there, and there's a lot of onus on the GM to flesh it out if you're going to run a campaign with magic. Psi and superpowers are likewise pretty sketchy. That can be good or bad depending on your point of view, of course. There's enough framework there that you can get some basics and it's easily modified.

Their handling of skills is also interesting, skills are very general up to d6 (ie Guns) but once you go to d8 you have to specialize (eg, Pistol or Rifle). Again, very easy to re-do the skills as more specific if that's not your cup of tea without breaking anything.

Looks like there are some folks expanding on it, and the publisher is working on a third-party licensing agreement, so I think there's a lot of potential there. I think it's definitely worth a go. Without having played either yet, I'm leaning pretty heavily towards Cortex over Savage Worlds, there are a number of mechanics I prefer in Cortex.

bananapants
06-09-2009, 10:58 AM
To me its D20 Modern all the way!

I'm curious to hear more about what you like about D20 Modern.

I really like the basic class design, the ways to differentiate but also mix, and the balance that provides.

I don't like the limited selection of feats, the somewhat lackluster utilization of skills or talents in the feat selection, and the generic feeling that the classes create.

For modern play I'm a big fan of Spycraft or Dogs in the Vineyard.

tesral
06-09-2009, 12:00 PM
I'm not real fond of any class system for modern heroic, or future play. I always feel as if the system is too limiting in the kind of options you can get and does not give you enough of those options.

Look at your own skill set. Simple question: Could you build you with "X" system? If not then that system isn't good enough for a modern or post modern setting. I fear that d20 modern fails the test. Not enough skills points and too few skills to make the grade. And I'm not even mentioning the clunky nature of the class advancement structure.

I'm good with d20 for fantasy play mainly from long use and familiarity. It's an old friend whose flaws I am used to and forgiving of. I don't like it outside of that structure, the flaws become glaring.

Harwel
06-09-2009, 12:19 PM
I'm not real fond of any class system for modern heroic, or future play. I always feel as if the system is too limiting in the kind of options you can get and does not give you enough of those options.

Look at your own skill set. Simple question: Could you build you with "X" system? If not then that system isn't good enough for a modern or post modern setting. I fear that d20 modern fails the test. Not enough skills points and too few skills to make the grade. And I'm not even mentioning the clunky nature of the class advancement structure.

I'm good with d20 for fantasy play mainly from long use and familiarity. It's an old friend whose flaws I am used to and forgiving of. I don't like it outside of that structure, the flaws become glaring.

I'm pretty much with you. True20 isn't too bad at it, but again there's other stuff I'd rather be using. I'm very partial to skill-based systems since they afford the most flexibility in terms of character creation. Even going back to the early 80's, once I discovered RuneQuest I preferred it to D&D and found it hard to go back to class-based games ever since.

Harwel
06-12-2009, 01:59 PM
I keep hearing good things about Unisystem, but I'm discouraged by the lack of a setting-less core rulebook. If I'm going to spend my hard-earned dollars on a rulebook these days, I don't want to slog through (or pick my way through) pages and pages of a setting I care nothing about. Frankly I wouldn't have tried Cortex (very good system IMO) had they not published a generic core rulebook, since I don't care to play any of the settings they publish, nor I do care for setting-specific games.

Anyone care to sell me on Unisystem? Where does it have an advantage over anything else out there? So far I've heard "it's fast" but so is a lot of other stuff these days.

Webhead
06-13-2009, 12:42 AM
...Anyone care to sell me on Unisystem? Where does it have an advantage over anything else out there? So far I've heard "it's fast" but so is a lot of other stuff these days.

Unisystem's greatest "selling point" and probably its greatest strength is that is has a very "unified" set of mechanics and unlike some other such games that boast this, it keeps it all pretty simple.

Basically, in Unisystem characters have attributes, skills, advantages and disadvantages. Whenever you attempt any attribute or skill test you roll 1d10 and add the appropriate Attribute and Skill levels. The target number is always a "9".

Example: Your character is firing a handgun. He has a Dexterity of 3 and a Pistols skill of 2. You roll 1d10 and add 5 (3 + 2) to the total. If your total is 9 or more, your character hits whatever he was aiming at.

It does get a little more detailed. If something is particularly difficult, the GM might assign a penalty to your roll. Also, during opposed actions between characters, the higher roller wins. So in the previous example, if you were shooting at an enemy and the enemy made a "Dodge" roll greater than your "Shooting" roll, he would avoid your attack.

Also, kind of like the "success" system in World of Darkness, the higher you roll above the target number of "9" the better your attempt was which can be advantageous for your character.

The d10 roll is open-ended...both ways. If you roll a "10" on the die, you get to roll again for a chance to increase the roll even more. However, if you roll a "1" on the die, you make a second roll to see if your roll goes even lower. It's a very simple mechanic that also livens up the dice rolling by keeping things from being predictable.

Character "health" is measured with a simple "Life Point" system which are basically Hit Points but with a few other quirks. If you are reduced to a low number of Life Points, your character is badly wounded and takes penalties to his actions. Your character dies when they reach a certain negative threshold.

It's all very simple and works fluidly and quickly in play. A lot of the different Unisystem games offer interesting twists to change up the way the game is played. One of my favorites is taken from the Buffy/Angel/Army of Darkness versions. This is a (completely optional) change where the GM doesn't have to roll any dice. Basically, all NPC stats are created in terms of "difficulty numbers" which the PCs have to beat in order to "best" the NPC in a particular field.

Example: Vampire thug #3 has a "Dodge" skill total of 12. This means that a PC must roll a 12 or better to hit him so long as he can "dodge" the attack. Vamp thug #3 also has a "Brawling" skill total of 13. When he attacks a PC, the PC has to roll higher than a 13 if he wants to avoid a fist to the head.

It's a good system if you want something a little lighter than d20. It's still one of my favorite RPG systems out there today.

Harwel
06-13-2009, 01:20 AM
Thanks Web, very useful information. What's funny is it sounds almost EXACTLY like a homebrew game system I used to play in the early-mid 90's. Its basic task resolution mechanic is basically identical, 1d10+Attribute+Skill and 1s and 10s had a (50%) chance to "explode". Target numbers were variable (rather than assess bonuses or penalties) and attributes were scaled differently based on your examples (2d6 range).

Maybe I'll pick up AFMBE or Witchcraft or something and look a little closer when my budget allows. I'm looking for a good universal system to run some stuff, starting with a low-fantasy type game and some scifi (probably post-apoc) to follow. So far it's between Cortex and BRP, but I'll give consideration to Unisystem as well.

Webhead
06-14-2009, 02:55 PM
...Maybe I'll pick up AFMBE or Witchcraft or something and look a little closer when my budget allows. I'm looking for a good universal system to run some stuff, starting with a low-fantasy type game and some scifi (probably post-apoc) to follow. So far it's between Cortex and BRP, but I'll give consideration to Unisystem as well.

Based on what you're looking for, if you want to give Unisystem a try, AFMBE would be a pretty good place to start. The book not only contains all the core Unisystem rules and rules for some limited "magic/powers", but the "Zombie Creation" rules can actually be adapted as a (admittedly rudimentary) system for "Monster Creation".

Also, for low-fantasy and sci-fi/post apocalyptic there are two supplements for AFMBE called Dungeons and Zombies and All Tomorrow's Zombies which provide plenty of extra material for those genres as well.

Let me know how it goes if you decide to check it out.

Harwel
06-17-2009, 03:07 AM
I was prowling RPGNow for freebies today, and lo and behold, they were offering a free download of Unisystem-based Witchcraft. I downloaded it and am going over it. So far it looks pretty good. Damage is simpler than Cortex, and the core mechanic works.

I've kind of eliminated BRP, and I'm more or less between Cortex and Unisystem right now. They all do "gritty" pretty well. Unisystem may have a bit of a speed advantage in terms of always rolling d10 for task resolution instead of figuring out the dice to roll, then finding them, blah blah. I also like how Unisystem has provisions for diceless play and/or reducing die rolling. What will probably be the tie-breaker is how much work I need to do on the magic system (not up to that in Witchcraft yet).

Omegaman
06-17-2009, 09:56 AM
GURPS works really well. You take whatever you want to use and leave the rest. Plus, the skill system is quite a bit better than palladium's. And as a bonus, you don't need tons of different dice. Just d6. And usually not more than three.

cliff
06-17-2009, 01:51 PM
And as a bonus, you don't need tons of different dice. Just d6. And usually not more than three.

I'm a GURPS player myself, but I just thought I'd point out... a lot of gamers like using lots of oddly shaped dice.

If we're not using a lot of strange dice, can it really be called role playing? ;)

Webhead
06-18-2009, 12:21 AM
...If we're not using a lot of strange dice, can it really be called role playing? ;)

It absolutely can...but this is no place for a flame-war so I'll keep my mouth shut...;) :D

cliff
06-18-2009, 01:35 PM
It absolutely can...but this is no place for a flame-war so I'll keep my mouth shut...;) :D

You seem to be under the impression that I feel this way... I was just stating a common feeling amongst the folks that don't tend to venture very far from one particular system. As I said, I prefer GURPS, even if it is harder to find a game.

Webhead
06-18-2009, 08:39 PM
You seem to be under the impression that I feel this way... I was just stating a common feeling amongst the folks that don't tend to venture very far from one particular system. As I said, I prefer GURPS, even if it is harder to find a game.

Oh, I was just cracking wise. ;) There's all different kinds out there. Interestingly, I like games on both sides of the fence: those that use only a single kind of dice (Star Wars, Unisystem, Wushu) and those that use a rainbow of polyhedrons (Savage Worlds, Call of Cthulhu and more).

cliff
06-19-2009, 07:03 PM
OK, fair enough... heh.

<muttering>I like my 3d6 games, I really do...</muttering>

;)

Dark
06-19-2009, 07:08 PM
Oh, I was just cracking wise. ;) There's all different kinds out there. Interestingly, I like games on both sides of the fence: those that use only a single kind of dice (Star Wars, Unisystem, Wushu) and those that use a rainbow of polyhedrons (Savage Worlds, Call of Cthulhu and more).
Call of Cthulhu :love: good times!

Webhead
06-19-2009, 09:42 PM
Call of Cthulhu :love: good times!

Indeed! :cool:

trechriron
06-27-2009, 06:24 PM
I have to modify my results.

1) FATE 3.0
2) PDQ/PDQ#
3) GURPS 4e

In that order.

Webhead
06-28-2009, 05:03 PM
I have to modify my results.

1) FATE 3.0
2) PDQ/PDQ#
3) GURPS 4e

In that order.

Mine are in need of updating from my original post as well:

1) Savage Worlds
2) Unisystem
3) Wushu

...In that order.

MortonStromgal
07-01-2009, 11:30 AM
So I just got done reading Cortex and at leased on paper I think it may be my favorite generic RPG. Not house rule free but closest thing I've seen to it since nWOD. For those who have not read it, its very similar to savage worlds only it changes the things I don't like about savage worlds.

korhal23
07-01-2009, 12:14 PM
So I just got done reading Cortex and at leased on paper I think it may be my favorite generic RPG. Not house rule free but closest thing I've seen to it since nWOD. For those who have not read it, its very similar to savage worlds only it changes the things I don't like about savage worlds.

Yeah I'm definitely a fan of Cortex System. I want to get my hands on the Supernatural book, and I love the Serenity book for it.

Harwel
07-01-2009, 12:43 PM
Yeah, Cortex is pretty good. It's like Savage Worlds and Unisystem hooked up and had a baby. My only real gripe is the wonky and numerous probability curves which make it kind of hard to determine chance of your success before trying something. Some might consider that a plus, of course.

It doesn't have much of a magic system yet. I put together some quick and dirty rules for porting GURPS magic to it though, so it's all good. :p MWP put out a Free RPG Day "quick start" for the Castlemourn setting for Cortex, but it never got fleshed out. In my book a system it isn't truly generic until you at least have a decent magic system in place. ;)

I'm not sure I like "complex actions". Seems a little slow and cumbersome and ultimately it's hard to tweak difficulty without dragging it out.

Cortex is nice, but overall I think I slightly prefer Unisystem. They're really close though.

korhal23
07-01-2009, 12:53 PM
It doesn't have much of a magic system yet. I put together some quick and dirty rules for porting GURPS magic to it though, so it's all good. :p MWP put out a Free RPG Day "quick start" for the Castlemourn setting for Cortex, but it never got fleshed out. In my book a system it isn't truly generic until you at least have a decent magic system in place. ;)


Supernatural has some magic in it that would probably be easier to pull into the main game :P

Harwel
07-01-2009, 01:13 PM
Supernatural has some magic in it that would probably be easier to pull into the main game :P

I've been holding off on Supernatural until I heard more about the magic in it. I don't really have any interest in it outside of the magic system, since I already own the generic rules. I don't want to spend money on it unless it really fleshes magic out. I'm unfamiliar with the show, so I don't know what kind of role magic has or how big that role is, so I have no idea what to expect from that game book. Reviews to date haven't helped the decision.

GURPS is actually not bad to convert to Cortex though. http://cortexsystemrpg.org/index.php?topic=3013

korhal23
07-01-2009, 05:41 PM
Well, there isn't much in it. But that's because you're not supposed to be a true mage in that world, hunters are supposed to be normal people. Yeah, you're probably better off just making stuff up for Cortex, as none of their games have a magic emphasis.

Harwel
07-01-2009, 06:01 PM
Well, there isn't much in it. But that's because you're not supposed to be a true mage in that world, hunters are supposed to be normal people. Yeah, you're probably better off just making stuff up for Cortex, as none of their games have a magic emphasis.

Yeah, I got that impression from a thread on rpg.net. MWP's own Cam Banks said in that there wasn't much new in there rules-wise, it was mostly some new traits and stuff that were specific to the setting. Another poster said something like "there's some mysticism stuff in the appendix". I saw nothing in there compelling me to buy it.

I hold out hope that they'll actually do Castlemourn or another fantasy setting. After all, what kind of generic system doesn't handle fantasy, probably the single most popular genre for RPGs? ;)

spidey
10-26-2009, 03:20 PM
Following a trend in other sections, I'm going to ask: what's your favorite generic/universal game system? And why?
My homebrew FASERIP system is my favourite generic system. I have been using it every week since 1984 involving 64 players and it works great. Perfect balance between ease of play and realism.

Richard Littles
10-26-2009, 03:29 PM
I love Hero System so much that I can't seem to justify playing other systems. Hero System is a toolkit now and has been one since Champions 4E/Hero System 4E published in 1989. Under 5E and later, the superheroes aspect has been shunted to a genre book called Champions with the main rulebook not focused on a single genre.

Elderbree TM
07-07-2010, 10:32 PM
Have to second that last one, HERO system is the best (IMO) generic rule book.

So I would say my top 3 faves are:

1) HERO System 6th edition
2) Hero system 5th Edition Revised
3) Hero system...... 5th Edition :p

malchya
07-11-2010, 12:45 AM
I have to throw in my two cents worth. My favourite generic rpg is Canis Publishing's One Brain Cell. Very rules light, very flexible and quite a bit of fun....

fmitchell
07-25-2010, 10:52 PM
I have to throw in my two cents worth. My favourite generic rpg is Canis Publishing's One Brain Cell. Very rules light, very flexible and quite a bit of fun....

The web site (http://www.canis-publ.demon.co.uk/roleplaying/Default.html) appears to be down. Can you give a brief summary? Is it anything like Risus (http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/risus.htm)?

---------- Post added at 09:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:41 PM ----------

BTW, I can't remember what I voted for originally (BRP?), but here are my current choices:

1) FATE 3.0
2) PDQ/PDQ#
3) Basic Roleplaying
4) GURPS 4e

... more or less in that order, with honorable mentions for Mongoose's Traveller, Mongoose's RuneQuest II, Barbarians of Lemuria, and HeroQuest for specific genres and scales of play.

Kane
08-01-2010, 12:59 PM
None of the generics captured the kind of game I wanted all the way, so I have been refining my own for...years now.

Of the ones listed, though, I do LIKE Savage Worlds, but agree that its primarily a pulp-hero game. Can not to realistic/gritty very well. Cortex sounds very interesting! GURPS just never clicked with me mostly due to needing to roll low. Goes against my grain! That and the way negative traits are handled leads very easily to power gaming without a VERY aware GM.

templeorder
08-02-2010, 09:34 AM
GURPS just never clicked with me mostly due to needing to roll low. Goes against my grain!

What about rolling low is against the grain? I'm just looking for insights to improve an experience, as my own Incarna (www.incarna.net) system uses a quasi % system and rolling low is the key. Is it just that most systems are about accumulated dice totals instead of % based?

fmitchell
08-02-2010, 10:39 AM
What about rolling low is against the grain? I'm just looking for insights to improve an experience, as my own Incarna (www.incarna.net) system uses a quasi % system and rolling low is the key. Is it just that most systems are about accumulated dice totals instead of % based?

Every percentile system I can think of rolls low, so don't sweat it.

Rolling high does have a few slight advantages over rolling low:

Adding or comparing numbers is a little faster than subtracting them, especially for the mathematically challenged. Penalties subtract from the die total in roll-low, whereas a penalty in roll high might add to the "target number" or opposing roll.
The GM can withhold the "target number" until the player rolls, allowing for more surprise. Theoretically, he could also ask players to give him a "margin of success" and then declare whether the action worked or not, but that's not quite as natural.
Once skills/attributes/whatever go over 100%, either progress stops or the rules must define what "over 100%" means. (In GURPS, skills over 20 face a similar problem: are there enough skill penalties that a 21 is more useful than 20?) By contrast, roll-over scales up naturally ... although at high enough skill levels the dice rolls become almost superfluous.

Mathematically, there's no difference, and the relative advantages I listed above are debatable. (At least one thread here debated them.) Really, it depends on the assumptions and goals of the game's design. Do you want experts to "top out" at some point, or can they go "beyond the impossible"? How common are penalties to the die roll? (If every conflict is roll vs. roll, the game may not have skill penalties at all.) What about bonuses to the die roll? Are listening at a door or sneaking past a guard skill contests, straight rolls, or something else?

tesral
08-02-2010, 11:50 AM
Once skills/attributes/whatever go over 100%, either progress stops or the rules must define what "over 100%" means. (In GURPS, skills over 20 face a similar problem: are there enough skill penalties that a 21 is more useful than 20?) By contrast, roll-over scales up naturally ... although at high enough skill levels the dice rolls become almost superfluous.

My method for handleing this is that no roll can be better than 90%. Failure is always an option. However skills higher than that are not useless. As they subtract from penalties.

I.E. If you have a 98% in fall off a log for example, and due to low gravity there is a 15% penalty to falling. Maximum skill 90% You need to roll a 75% or less to fall off that log. However, your 98% skill reduces the penalty to 7%. You need only roll 83% or less.

fmitchell
08-02-2010, 11:55 PM
My method for handleing this is that no roll can be better than 90%. Failure is always an option. However skills higher than that are not useless. As they subtract from penalties.

A 10% failure chance is kind of high. Basic Role-Playing, for example, only defines 00 as an automatic failure -- a fumble, actually. (Fumbles are rolls greater than {100 - chance-of-failure / 20}, or somewhere between 96-00.)

And, as in the GURPS case, skills over 100% provide a safety margin against various penalties ... but what if there aren't enough penalties? Shouldn't a guy with an adjusted skill of 120% have some sort of edge over the guy with 99%?

In the descendants of RuneQuest, critical or special successes are a fraction of adjusted skill. (BRP defines "specials" as 1/5 of the skill and "criticals" as 1/20, while Mongoose RuneQuest, and some older games, have no "specials" but define "criticals" as 1/10 of skill.)
Optional rules in BRP let characters with combat skills over 100% make two attacks or parries, each at half their skill.
Mongoose's RQII, on the other hand, uses a character's skill in excess of 100% as a penalty to his opponents' skills in opposed skill rolls, including combat.

Some designers question whether adding up little penalties isn't a drag on play. BRP defines "Easy" and "Difficult" rolls as double and half the base skill, respectively, and the rules encourage GMs to use this mechanic instead of adjustments over +/-20%. OTOH, Heroquest 2, on a 1-20 scale (sort of), considers any single adjustment less than +/-3 not worth the trouble.

Which just goes to show that every design decision has its own problems. I prefer mechanics with a bell-curve, but since most rolls are close to average, bell curves magnify differences in skill.

But this is way off topic ...

Kane
08-03-2010, 04:03 AM
What about rolling low is against the grain? I'm just looking for insights to improve an experience, as my own Incarna (www.incarna.net) system uses a quasi % system and rolling low is the key. Is it just that most systems are about accumulated dice totals instead of % based?

See, with percentile systems I can understand it more, but it still bugs me. I think its just going back to all the games I played as a young child and all my early RPGs, higher was always better. Another way to approach it is that a roll of 100 is your goal. You roll the D100 and add your result to the appropriate skill/stat. Under fails, over succeeds. Too far under is a botch, far over a critical.

---------- Post added at 01:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:59 AM ----------

Oh, and just to throw this out there, my system is a mish-mash of everything I have liked over the years. The core mechanic is similar to WoD, but target numbers are dependent on attributes and ALL rolls are contested. The action taker rolls their skill vs the opposing skill of the defender.

fmitchell
08-03-2010, 08:23 AM
Speaking of dice mechanics, one system I've gained more respect for is D6, especially its Star Wars incarnation. (The later "generic" books were OK, but riddled with typos, repetitions, and questionable design decisions.) Here I'll just talk about SWD6 as a generic system.

In it's "pure" form, everything in D6 is an attribute or skill roll: attack, defense, soaking damage, etc. The damage system tracks conditions (stunned, wounded, etc.), not hit points; damage is based on the difference between the damage roll and the "resistance" roll. What you end up with is a very lightweight, highly consistent system.

The D6 mechanic also represents skill acquisition somewhat more accurately: as you learn, your performance gets less random and reaches greater heights, with a Wild Die to represent beginner's luck or a screw-up. Using the rule that a 1 on the wild die takes the highest other die away, more highly-skilled characters are slightly less inconvenienced. (The alternative is to give a nasty twist to the character's success or failure ... but some DMs take it too far, as an instant death. A 1 in 6 instant death.)

Another design that interests me somewhat is Lamentations of the Flame Princess, an "old school" game that resolved the problem of elves and thieves having abilities that other classes could not hope to attain. In his version, all special abilities like Detect Shifting Passage, (finding) Secret Doors, or Find Traps is a d6 roll, with every character having a default chance. A class called the Specialist, replacing the Thief, gets "skill points" to improve its chances as it gains levels. I haven't read too far in yet, but it looks like Fighters, Magic Users and Clerics are stuck at default numbers, as are the "classes" for Elves and Dwarves. On the other hand, only Fighters, Elves, and Dwarves improve combat abilities at each level, and naturally only Wizards, Clerics, or Elves can gain spells. (Those damn elves.)

tesral
08-03-2010, 08:58 AM
A 10% failure chance is kind of high. Basic Role-Playing, for example, only defines 00 as an automatic failure -- a fumble, actually. (Fumbles are rolls greater than {100 - chance-of-failure / 20}, or somewhere between 96-00.)

In retrospect I agree. But at that time that is what i used. Accurate reporting.




And, as in the GURPS case, skills over 100% provide a safety margin against various penalties ... but what if there aren't enough penalties? Shouldn't a guy with an adjusted skill of 120% have some sort of edge over the guy with 99%?

Good examples. Some cases however how do you exceed success? I can see using >100% in opposed rolls. But, for example, lock picking? One could translate it into speed perhaps. The better past perfect the quicker you open the lock. One could also build the margin of success into that as well. Success by the critical factor (mentioned in your post) and you do the task in less time, for time critical tasks.




Some designers question whether adding up little penalties isn't a drag on play. BRP defines "Easy" and "Difficult" rolls as double and half the base skill, respectively, and the rules encourage GMs to use this mechanic instead of adjustments over +/-20%. OTOH, Heroquest 2, on a 1-20 scale (sort of), considers any single adjustment less than +/-3 not worth the trouble.

There is a point to that. However bieing a avid d20 player every little increment you can get is a help. A +/-1 is a 5% increment. Not something to sneeze at. In bell curve systems it means even more.




Which just goes to show that every design decision has its own problems. I prefer mechanics with a bell-curve, but since most rolls are close to average, bell curves magnify differences in skill..

Ayup.

fmitchell
08-04-2010, 07:37 AM
I can see using >100% in opposed rolls. But, for example, lock picking?

Perhaps everything should be an opposed roll: the thief's Lockpicking vs. the lock's Thief-thwarting. A few games I'm familiar with take that tack. But yes, in an unopposed test any extra over 100% makes no difference, except by increasing the critical success chance.

BTW, HeroQuest 2, which has free-form abilities, introduced the "more than 2 or don't bother" rule because in any contest the system allows players to gain a bonus from abilities related to the primary ability (e.g. "Warrior of Sartar", aided by the "Sword of My Forefathers", "Catlike Reflexes", etc.) in play many players would scan their character sheets for any and all additional abilities that might give them a bonus, slowing down the game.

tesral
08-04-2010, 09:35 AM
I don't see an opposed roll on a lock myself. The lock is, it doesn't change. A lock cannot make an "extra effort" to not be picked.

The later bit is simply bad organization on the part of the players. There is a least one in every game that no matter how many times they do it they can't remember how to do combat or some other critical skill. I would grind my teeth is frustration watching the other side of the table paw through books at every melee. JHC guys, learn the rules that pertain to you PCs. Use your freaking computers to print cheat sheets if you must.

templeorder
08-05-2010, 10:17 AM
So i prefer skill levels reflecting a learning curve and increased chances of success resolved using a % check. Then i can add in "opposed" values... but you learn to pick a base line lock, which as stated before does not change. Some can be easier or harder... but most are not. And I dont think there is always a chance of failure (or success) - sometimes with the right tools, time and skill its a no brainer. If i want to throw randomness in, i do it for story.. someone who worked to get 100% should reap the rewards.

tesral
08-05-2010, 02:21 PM
You can find locks you can't pick. However the Alexandrian solution usually works. Becasue one method did not succeed does not preclude bashing the thing in.

templeorder
08-06-2010, 10:08 AM
Ahh yes, the great dwarven lock opener. Raise shield, pound repeatedly, lower shield, see if open. Right up there with the great dwarven trap detecter... "heavy armor.. check, gauntlets... check, shield.... check, waddling humorous run... check" - hold shield above head and RUUUUUUUN!

Crom on his Mountain
08-30-2010, 05:44 AM
Alternity

tesral
08-30-2010, 07:29 AM
Alternity? TSR's lost child?

Crom on his Mountain
08-30-2010, 03:57 PM
Alternity? TSR's lost child?

That it is. Too bad too, it's a really great system that just came out at a really bad time.

tesral
08-30-2010, 04:45 PM
TSR had such a hard time branding anything as Not D&D. As to a bad time, it's almost an understatement. Bad time = as the company is folding like a house of cards.

I have one Alternity book, the player's manual picked up at a used book store. I can't say I've looked at it in depth. At the time it came out I was short on cash and didn't have time for other game systems. I have seen they go fairly cheaply in the used market.

Edsel2012
01-02-2011, 03:14 AM
My favorite universal system for a narrative heavy game focused on character and story conflict is Dogs in the Vineyard, and I have successfully adapted it to a variety of times and genres.

For (semi-)modern games that have a bit more combat to them I like Spycraft a lot, and it is a joy to run as well. I highly recommend it for espionage or just modern team-based play.

---------- Post added at 02:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:13 AM ----------

look at..

tesral
01-02-2011, 08:47 AM
I can't say I've heard of that one (Until now). Speak more my friend.

bananapants
01-03-2011, 09:53 AM
Which system are you looking to hear more about?

tesral
01-03-2011, 12:19 PM
Dogs in the Vineyard

fmitchell
01-20-2011, 11:25 AM
Dogs in the Vineyard

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogs_in_the_Vineyard

http://www.lumpley.com/dogs.html

http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/10/10742.phtml ("Thus the rules could very easily be used for almost any setting with similar ideas ...")

MisterBook
01-20-2011, 08:53 PM
Other: Tri-Stat BESM, before Blight Wolf took it over.

tesral
01-20-2011, 09:15 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogs_in_the_Vineyard

Thank you.

Bellum
03-07-2011, 09:58 AM
Bit of a newbie rper here. I've only dabbled around with D&D, Unisystem, and FATE (In that order). Got to say, FATE offered by far the best role playing experience I've had so far. D&D felt like the dungeon crawlery wargame it was (which I think computers do better these days, yeah?). Then I played a game of AFMBE. It was a move in the right direction for me, but it felt incomplete. It didn't have any rules for tactical combat, which I didn't like so much. It was hard to visualize without that bit of aid. FATE (DFRPG specifically, though I want to try others out, too) is quite wonderful. The way aspects twist play and narrative up into a single unit is so elegant it blew my mind when I first read it. Plus zones. Despite my earlier wargame comment, I feel lost without a box or hex or something to tell me where everyone is.

And I like the ladder. I know it confuses a lot of people, which seems a bit strange to me considering you need at least two calculus credits to finish a D&D character sheet. xD

Mr_Sandman
08-18-2011, 11:33 AM
I voted GURPS, but to be fair I don't have much experience playing many other generic systems. I like the verisimilitude GURPS offers. To me, ordinary humans and normal gear in GURPS feel much more "real-world" than any other system I've looked at. I feel makes it easier to add on the magic/supers/sci-fi gadget/psionics/etc. to, and still maintain a logical world with suspension of disbelief. It also provides a great, easy to grasp "base-line" to start from when mixing genres and word-building. GURPS doesn't do every single genre better than every other games (most say HERO does supers better, for example). But in total I think does any particular genre well enough, and it does universal better than any other game. That makes it the best choice for genre mash-ups.

That, and all the skills... delicious, crunchy skills! :)

Besides that, I've been playing and collecting GURPS books since the 90s, and have an entire shelf of them, and I know the rules well enough that its easier (and cheaper) for me to port any particular setting into GURPS than to buy and learn a new system.

Stealing from and paraphrasing from memory William H. Stoddard (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/187698.William_H_Stoddard), he uses GURPS to create a game that feels like physical people in a physical world, BESM to create a visual world where the focus is on what things look like, and FUDGE for a game with a narrative logic and focus.

Q-man
09-07-2011, 08:04 PM
I'm a Savage Worlds fan, at least as far as universal systems go. The rules are simple and generally stay out of the way when playing, leaving the players free to be creative with their actions. Combat has a decent amount of tactics in it, and the feel of a mini's game which keeps it lighthearted and fun. With the tokens the players get to bend the rules you can really get that cinematic feel during the sessions when the players use them effectively.

The only other universal systems I've played are D20 and BRP, so I'm not sure how much my vote counts.

tesral
09-18-2011, 10:21 AM
As much as anyone else.

Lucifer_Draconus
12-31-2011, 04:21 PM
I voted for Unisystem but I also REALLY like Palladium's Multiversal system (hickups n' all).

Tonpa
01-03-2012, 04:24 AM
Voted Fudge/Fate as I'm fan of the Strands of fate system, my go-to system now in fact.

Cheers

shadowmane
01-16-2012, 06:40 PM
I voted "something else". Wushu is my current favorite generic system. If I had to choose a second, it would be MiniSix.

Descronan
04-20-2012, 03:44 PM
Of the "brand name" RPGs, my favorite is Savage Worlds. However, I built my own system that fits somewhere between d20 and Savage Worlds on the Rules Lite/Heavy spectrum. It fits the feel that I am looking for in a typical game. It is realistic enough to keep me grounded yet fictional and cinematic enough for action-hero pulp games.

I'm looking for reviewers/play-testers if you are interested, PM me.

Ceo_Druidechta
04-24-2012, 10:46 PM
And, as in the GURPS case, skills over 100% provide a safety margin against various penalties ... but what if there aren't enough penalties? Shouldn't a guy with an adjusted skill of 120% have some sort of edge over the guy with 99%?

Actually, in GURPS, you can take penalties on your rolls to get enhanced results. Depending on what you're doing, you may not be able to improve things much, though. When picking a lock, you can do it in a fraction of the normal time, but there isn't a lot else you can do that really matters. But if you want to show off by picking every lock blindfolded, with a hairpin, using your toes, then go for it.

In combat the potential to improve results by taking penalties is dramatic, though. A swordsman with ludicrous skill can make Rapid, Deceptive, Committed Attacks, while targeting vital areas through gaps in armor, becoming a whirlwind of death.

And if the players have enough points to play with that they can afford master-level skills without taking dangerous weaknesses in other areas, then the GM should be putting them in situations where high skill penalties are unavoidable. Otherwise the adventures aren't scaled to the power level of the characters.

---------- Post added at 10:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:40 PM ----------

I'm a fan of GURPS. I like how the rules try to simulate the action in a general way, rather than reducing everything to abstractions. I find I can use it to run everything I want to GM, and resolve things fairly quickly and smoothly.

I used to use BRP for Call of Cthulhu, and GURPS for everything else. The rules-light nature of BRP is a point in its favor, and I like the innovative experience mechanic. But the randomness of the system sometimes caused issues, and some rules were a little too abstract. The rules for double-barreled shotguns caused some scowling in my group, for instance.

CoC turns out to be an easy setting to convert to GURPS. Once you get the hang of it, you can read an adventure written for BRP and convert stats to GURPS in your head. So I just didn't need to use BRP. And I prefer to devote as much of my limited brainpower as possible to the campaign, not to keeping multiple systems straight. :D

---------- Post added at 10:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:17 PM ----------

I notice some people comment that they like GURPS for some genres, but not for superheroes. I wonder, are they talking about the current edition of GURPS? The Supers sourcebook for 3e was one of that edition's low points, but the 4e version is much better. I can't say a lot about it, since I don't GM Supers games. But I find it is much better liked. I have a copy, but I only mine it for ideas to use in other genres.

People sometimes say "GURPS" when they mean "GURPS Third Edition". Considering that 3e was retired nearly a decade ago, that seems strange to me. If you don't specify an edition, the implication should be 4e. But not everyone seems to see it that way.

Reggie2602
08-04-2012, 12:24 AM
For me the answer's ovious- it's HERO all the way for me baby!!

girtablilu
05-05-2013, 03:58 PM
I would have said GURPS early in 2004, but then I found out all my books were about to be worthless with the 4E coming out. Since then I found BRP (Basic Roleplaying) in 2008 and have been happy with it.

nijineko
05-06-2013, 02:38 PM
3e gurps is forward compatible with 4e gurps...

Ceo_Druidechta
05-06-2013, 03:42 PM
I would have said GURPS early in 2004, but then I found out all my books were about to be worthless with the 4E coming out. Since then I found BRP (Basic Roleplaying) in 2008 and have been happy with it.
I don't see why you would need to change systems just because a new edition came out. Steve Jackson won't track you down and beat you up if you play the wrong edition of GURPS. And most 3e books can be used with 4e. The 3e crunch books are useless in a 4e game, but the setting and genre books are easy to convert. I use the 4e rules exclusively, and own every dead-tree 4e book. After getting rid of every 3e book that was rendered obsolete, I still have more than twice as many of them. And I never had a full set of 3e books, not even close.

Edit: And when I say, "3e crunch books are useless in a 4e game", I just mean the 4e versions of those books work better. Some of the 3e crunch books actually can be used in 4e, with a bit of hand-waving. For instance, the core magic system is almost identical, so the old Magic and Grimoire are usable pretty much as-is. With a little common sense, you can convert the weapons and armor in High Tech and Low-Tech, though what you get will be less realistic than what is in the 4e books. The number of 3e books that simply cannot be used with the 4e Basic Set is not that large. I don't recommend mixing editions like this, but in the early days of the 4e era, some of us were doing it, while we waited for books to get updated. I switched to 4e as soon as the Basic Set came out, then phased out my 3e crunch books over a period of years, as the new-and-improved editions were released.

That said, I kind of like BRP, and used to use it for Call of Cthulhu, while using GURPS for everything else. But since GURPS does everything BRP does, it was pointless for me to keep on using both of them.

Ceo_Druidechta
05-06-2013, 04:29 PM
Deleted by author

nijineko
05-09-2013, 04:18 PM
thank you for the better description of how/why 3eGurps is forward compatible. =D if i had time to play it, i would look for some people to game with.

Vyrolakos
06-05-2013, 01:49 PM
I know this poll was originally posted in 2007, but I couldn't resist voting (although maybe a time limit should be set on polls?!?).

So, let me see, which is my favourite generic universal role playing system?

It's gotta be GURPS! :biggrin:

I started playing GURPS when it came in a box, and as long as you don't fall for the trap of allowing players to pull skills/abilities/powers from any old source book, and you decide what parts of the rules you want to use, it plays really well. I'm particularly fond of the way the rules are mostly logical, there's very little abstraction, you just describe stuff and the rules deal with it.

It's one negative, is that it tends to attract min/max'ers. I guess any game that counts points and allows complete customisation will suffer from this, but the way I've always looked at it, is that in other systems, the mechanics of balancing skills/powers/attributes and advantages/disadvantages, are hidden from obvious view, they're still there, you just can't see them or calculate them in an obvious fashion, like you can in GURPS.

Heimdall
06-06-2013, 12:52 AM
Ive been reading EABA lately

Sweeper
06-10-2013, 02:41 PM
My Top 5 favorite Systems are Generic in one form or another.
In alphabetical order they are:
Fate, Gumshoe, GURPS, Hero, and Savage Worlds.

Each have their own advantages and disadvantages, but I like each on it's own merits.

Boats
02-27-2015, 08:57 AM
I like d20 modern but it's not quite what I wanted for the campaigns we like to run. GURPS just has everything we needed and more. Most of my guys are D&D/ Pathfinder players so it was a little tough converting them over to a D6 system, but they figured it out. One thing they couldn't stand was the one action per round rule, so we changed it. I had to evolve my GM tactics to allow them to use two rounds each turn instead of one... It went off flawlessly! They absolutely love GURPS now! We generally run Modern, Horror, Zombie Survival, or Pre-Apocolypse games, and GURPS works great for them all. We are about to run a Fantasy game just to mix it up and they are all really looking forward to that as well. My vote goes to GURPS.

trechriron
03-05-2015, 03:21 PM
I like d20 modern but it's not quite what I wanted for the campaigns we like to run. GURPS just has everything we needed and more. Most of my guys are D&D/ Pathfinder players so it was a little tough converting them over to a D6 system, but they figured it out. One thing they couldn't stand was the one action per round rule, so we changed it. I had to evolve my GM tactics to allow them to use two rounds each turn instead of one... It went off flawlessly! They absolutely love GURPS now! We generally run Modern, Horror, Zombie Survival, or Pre-Apocolypse games, and GURPS works great for them all. We are about to run a Fantasy game just to mix it up and they are all really looking forward to that as well. My vote goes to GURPS.

Outstanding!! I really dig GURPS 4e, I just don't have the patience and time for the fiddly-bits at the moment. But I regularly STEAL stuff out of GURPS for my other games. There's just way too much great info in there to pass up! :-)

DMMike
04-27-2015, 01:08 PM
This poll never ends, does it? You know, D&D has some modern weapon examples, and one of their bloggers just posted modern armor rules. ;)

I happen to like these generic, yet somewhat biased toward fantasy, rules:
http://modos-rpg.obsidianportal.com/

Hyper-Man
04-27-2015, 05:44 PM
Have to second that last one, HERO system is the best (IMO) generic rule book.

So I would say my top 3 faves are:

1) HERO System 6th edition
2) Hero system 5th Edition Revised
3) Hero system...... 5th Edition :p

HERO System is what I have spent at least 90% of my gaming budget on since entering the hobby in 83. I miss the George Perez cover art of the 4e days but the current 6e/Champions Complete/Fantasy Hero Complete rules are my favorite.

Tom B
04-28-2015, 10:43 PM
I've yet to find a generic system that works for me better than CORPS by BTRC. It's consistent, reality-checks well, and Greg Porter tells you how the provided tables are calculated so that you can easily extrapolate further results.

Ohtar
10-10-2015, 05:02 PM
BRP is my favorite. The rules are simple and easy to learn (I seriously have everything memorized except for some optional rules) and it's really easy to implement new/homebrewed mechanics without breaking the game. I also like that size is an actual stat instead of some abstract size class (how much bigger than me is that Dragon?). If you want some semblance of realism, BRP is the system to use.

I also like how combat in the system has to be dealt with tactically: Player Hit points are low, big things have more hit points and do more melee damage. I know gritty, tactical combat isn't for everybody, but I personally love it.

BRPs biggest flaw is that it can be a bit math heavy. You have to calculate Hit Point, Derived Stats, Damage Bonuses, Stat Bonuses (if you're using that optional rule), and dynamic Critical/Special/Fumble ranges (if you're using that optional rule, but why wouldn't you?).

d20 Modern was really restrictive and, like most d20 based systems, really unstable.
GURPS is WAY too complicated and counter intuitive. I've never seen a GURPS game that did not have every player constantly with their nose in the book trying to figure out how to do some mundane action. Plus the vehicle rules are wonky.

jpatterson
10-17-2015, 10:02 PM
no d6 love =(

nijineko
10-18-2015, 11:22 PM
GURPS is WAY too complicated and counter intuitive. I've never seen a GURPS game that did not have every player constantly with their nose in the book trying to figure out how to do some mundane action. Plus the vehicle rules are wonky.

That is a fairly common reaction from anyone who hasn't played/witnessed GURPS lite. GURPS is ridiculously simple. it's all the options that make it potentially complex, if someone were to actually try to use them all (which you aren't actually supposed to do, if you read the rules).

GURPS lite is a free download, and is all you actually need to play GURPS. The books are only for those who want to measure in their preferred amount of crunch into their fluff.

Skunkape
10-19-2015, 10:04 AM
BRP is my favorite. The rules are simple and easy to learn (I seriously have everything memorized except for some optional rules) and it's really easy to implement new/homebrewed mechanics without breaking the game. I also like that size is an actual stat instead of some abstract size class (how much bigger than me is that Dragon?). If you want some semblance of realism, BRP is the system to use.

I also like how combat in the system has to be dealt with tactically: Player Hit points are low, big things have more hit points and do more melee damage. I know gritty, tactical combat isn't for everybody, but I personally love it.

BRPs biggest flaw is that it can be a bit math heavy. You have to calculate Hit Point, Derived Stats, Damage Bonuses, Stat Bonuses (if you're using that optional rule), and dynamic Critical/Special/Fumble ranges (if you're using that optional rule, but why wouldn't you?).

d20 Modern was really restrictive and, like most d20 based systems, really unstable.
GURPS is WAY too complicated and counter intuitive. I've never seen a GURPS game that did not have every player constantly with their nose in the book trying to figure out how to do some mundane action. Plus the vehicle rules are wonky.

I really like BRP and that's become my go to system for most of my games, but there are some things that BRP doesn't do to my liking. Not really happy with how it handles super powers and the magic spells aren't to my liking. I prefer a more high powered game for supers and magic, but I do like that BRP is a skill based game over a level based game!

As far as GURPS is concerned, I really liked how GURPS handled magic, but once again, I didn't care for how it handled super powers. I also didn't really have sessions with my players having their noses in their GURPS books. Maybe when we were making characters or advancing characters, but not usually when we were playing a session.

Course everyone has their own likes and dislikes for a particular game system.

Ohtar
10-19-2015, 08:46 PM
The thing about how BRP handles powers is that the way they are presented in the books are just examples of how they can theoretically be implemented. That's why I like that system; as a GM I can handle powers, feats, and advantages/disadvantages how I feel they work best for the setting. For magic you can go with automatic cast using magic points or spell slots. Or you can have a skill roll [either for a general Lore(Magic)/Knowlege (Magic)/Perform (Ritual) roll or a specific roll for each spell or spell type (wards/curses/enchantment)] and either spell slots or magic points. You can even use combinations for handling different magical traditions. I agree that "Super Hero" campaigns are wonky in BRP, but that has more to do with the low stats and hit points than the way powers are implemented, since there is no official way to handle powers.

nijineko
10-22-2015, 08:50 PM
As far as GURPS is concerned, I really liked how GURPS handled magic, but once again, I didn't care for how it handled super powers.

oh? i've always rather liked point buy systems like GURPS and Champions for Supers Campaigns. What did you not like about it?

Skunkape
10-23-2015, 12:40 PM
GURPS is a little more gritty than Champions. I prefer the 4 color level of game than what you generally get with GURPS. The power levels in GURPS tend to be lower. To me, GURPS is good for a Wild Cards level game, while Champions is good for an Avengers level game!

tesral
10-25-2015, 01:46 PM
oh? i've always rather liked point buy systems like GURPS and Champions for Supers Campaigns. What did you not like about it?


GURPS is a little more gritty and Champions. I prefer the 4 color level of game than what you generally get with GURPS. The power levels in GURPS tend to be lower. To me, GURPS is good for a Wild Cards level game, while Champions is good for an Avengers level game!

The point balance in Hero favors super heroic play, from it's start as Champions specifically a super hero game. And Yes GURPS is mainly intended for Heroic stuff, ergo a bit clunky for supers. However it build normal characters with greater ease.

nijineko
10-26-2015, 10:35 PM
huh, i never had problems building 4color level supers in GURPS. i really sincerely don't get the perceived difference.

it's really easy to build characters that can take on the Avengers in GURPS Supers, or so my experience has been.

it's easier if you have some system mastery of GURPS, but still, Supers makes it pretty easy to replicate 4color - maybe i'm missing something?

randomwny
07-29-2016, 02:13 PM
Monte Cook's Cypher System