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Thread: RPG's other than D&D

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    RPG's other than D&D

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    I have recently been on a kick to break out of the D&D stuff. I am currently looking at a few different RPG systems/settings to play in. Currently I am reading the core books for:

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

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

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


    P.S.: I will comment on the above listed games when I get a chance to play them.
    Dice, I always need more dice.....

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    As we all come out of the catacombs, blinking slowly at the unfamiliar light ...

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

    I wrote an article at my website on a few "light" systems I liked. You could start there. I've never actually played Heroquest, Fudge, or FATE, yet, but I've played the others at least once.

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

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

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

    Some other games that look interesting, but which I haven't played yet:
    • True20 (a simplified d20)
    • D6 Adventure/Space/Fantasy (I'd suggest getting *one*; the others are mainly retreads of the same mechanics, with different slants and slight renamings. "Adventure" seems like a nice compromise, but if you're committed to Fantasy or Space go for it.)
    • Savage Worlds (faster dice mechanics than GURPS, but "universal" in similar ways.)
    • World of Darkness (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, etc. ... kind of pretentious to me, but others swear by them, and the core book could form the basis of a "humans against the darkness" campaign.)


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

    • Primetime Adventures (your game as a weekly TV series)
    • Dogs in the Vinyard (haven't read yet, but it's gotten a lot of buzz)
    • The Shadow of Yesterday (only skimmed)


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

    Actually, here's a belated question: what are you looking for? An interesting background? Simpler mechanics? More realistic mechanics? A better combat system? A better magic system? A system for capturing social dynamics?
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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

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    How could I have forgotten?

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

    There have been three RPG.net reviews in the past two months. You can get previews on the Evil Hat Games website.
    Last edited by fmitchell; 12-12-2006 at 10:49 PM. Reason: Fix URL
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Lightbulb

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

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    Castles & Crusades

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

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    In addition to the published Fantasy games, you might also considering the plethora of unpublished (free) fantasy rpgs out there. You might just find a diamond in the rough. Here is an excellent website for finding free RPGs: http://www.darkshire.net/~jhkim/rpg/freerpgs/bykeyword/fantasy.html

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

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    Wushu http://www.bayn.org/wushu/wushu-open.html cuts far away from D&D and number crunching. The combat mechanic during a fight is limited only by the GM's dice cap, and dice are determined by the number of actions described by the players. A statment such as "I punch the orc" will get you 1 die. But a statement such as "I take on the first orc with the hilt of my sword to the gut, and as he's bent forward I use his body as a ramp to launch myself with a half summersault and a flurry of kicks to the nearby orcs, balanced on one hand on top of first one's back, and in a final gesture kick down and back hurdling the first one into the remaining orc, sending my sword up to cut the rope on the hot oil to drench them," might get you 5 to 8 dice. Wushu is all about the dramatic, larger than life fights.
    Last edited by ronpyatt; 06-22-2007 at 12:51 PM.

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    Eh, you could always check out my personal system Gaia Saga, my play testers seem to like it fair enough.

    www.gaiasagaonline.com

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    Did anyone mention Firefly with the Cortex gaming system? I've never played but I am trying to get in on the play-testing for the Highlander game with the same system.

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

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    Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has got to be my favourite fantasy RPG.

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    I played the original Warhammer Fantasy RPG, but that was years and years ago. I understand they have a new version out. In fact, I had the opportunity to try it out the other day at one of the game events here in Seattle, but I didn't have time. I hear the critical charts are just as nasty as ever though
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    Plain English Role Playing

    Found this one the other day: Plain English Role Playing

    It's still in "Alpha", and has been for the last 8 years ... but at least it demonstrates you don't need some $40 tome to have a workable RPG. (As do Fudge, Fate, PDQ, even various SRDs)
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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