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Poll: Do you prefer class-based or skill-based RPG systems? - Page 2
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View Poll Results: Do you prefer class-based or skill-based game systems?

Voters
34. You may not vote on this poll
  • class-based

    2 5.88%
  • skill-based

    21 61.76%
  • a combination of the two

    11 32.35%
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  Click here to go to the first special guest post in this thread.   Thread: Poll: Do you prefer class-based or skill-based RPG systems?

  1. #16
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    For me (to expand a bit) the setting is what draws me to the game.

    Shadowrun I was reading William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy when I spotted the 1e book.

    All Flesh Must Be Eaten Everyone likes Zombies. I was in Hobby Town I think and spotted Fistful 'o Zombies. I have all of Louis L'Amour's westerns. Woah, Zombies and Westerns.

    Paranoia I'm a computer geek since 1980 or so and a gamer. That's why I got the first one way back. Then again in Hobby Town I spotted Paranoia XP.

    Eclipse Phase I've recently been reading Transhuman books (can't think of the name off hand; Richard something) and thinking of how it would work with Shadowrun when someone on rpg.net mentioned that Eclipse Phase was coming. I got the PDF and then the dead tree book at GenCon last year.

    The list goes on. I don't look at how the rules work to get a book. Heck, I spotted a bunch of Spycraft 1e books at, again Hobby Town that were going for 70% off so I snagged the ones for something to read. Hollow Earth Expedition was one I played in our game day last Thanksgiving. I picked up the core and expected it'd be a great game. The GM, unfortunately doesn't normally GM so it was a bit stilted so I picked up the rest and will be running it at Tacticon in September.

    Like any other book I see at the book store, the story has to be interesting. Game books don't say "Mechanics are class based with leveling to gain new abilities" or "Combat is managed though Attribute + Skill tests with a success of 5 or 6 and a shitload of modifiers that aren't in one place in the book" on the back. It talks about fighting dragons or jacking in to the matrix.

    Now perhaps one part of longevity is because the mechanics make sense. As people start to play the new game, they pop up here and talk about how realistic the game is or how easy combat resolution is.

    That's my observation and experience for what it's worth

    Carl
    GMing: Shadowrun 4th
    The Denver RPG Group - My Shadowrun Site - My Shadowrun Blog - Shadowrun Mooks
    I also administer the Mosaic and Stained Glass forums if you happen to be artistic


  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freejack View Post
    Game books don't say "Mechanics are class based with leveling to gain new abilities" or "Combat is managed though Attribute + Skill tests with a success of 5 or 6 and a shitload of modifiers that aren't in one place in the book" on the back.

    Carl
    Depends on the rule system because GURPS and Hero System don't have a setting attached to the basic rules. They are toolkits and they talk about what you can do with the rules inside the book. Their setting and genre books are separated from the core rules.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freejack View Post
    For me (to expand a bit) the setting is what draws me to the game.
    That's true enough. A compelling setting is key. An RPG without a setting is just Yahtzee...and I have that game already.

    That said, I can like a setting and if its "official" mechanics don't agree with me, I'll find something more suitable to plug it into. Just because I like a setting doesn't mean I have to be chained to the rules it comes packaged with.

    Shadowrun is an excellent example. I really like a lot of the aspects of the setting but I never did reach a comfort zone with any edition of the official mechanics. Thus, I would have no problem running in the Shadowrun setting but if I did I would end up using some other ruleset that works better for me.
    HARRY DRESDEN WIZARD
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  4. #19
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    I'm going to have to go with "skills based" for my preference. As you mentioned, there are definitely merits for both, but I think a skills based system gives the player more control over the idea he/she is creating. I think it also allows for greater customization and unique characters.

    Take, for example, the Assassin class in 1E AD&D. I don't know about you, but I think that just about any character class could in theory be useful as an assassin. The act of stealthily killing another for money and not getting caught could be accomplished by fighters, thieves, clerics, mages or whatever. It's more like an occupation than a class. Leave the class out of it and go by skill-sets, and you could build pretty much whatever you like.

    That's my take on the subject. I hope I explained that right, and it doesn't just read like babbling! LOL

    Great question, Hiraevun.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Littles View Post
    Depends on the rule system because GURPS and Hero System don't have a setting attached to the basic rules. They are toolkits and they talk about what you can do with the rules inside the book. Their setting and genre books are separated from the core rules.
    Of course I like HERO a lot more than I do GURPS. That's off-topic, but had to put that there.

    I chose both, because what I liked doing with HERO was toolkit classes, while giving them TONS of flexiblity, which I guess would be like a skill-based system. At least in fantasy (and maybe other genres) classes help promote variability and niche roles amongst the players, so they all can shine but in different ways and without outshining another player.

    E.g. my classes had powers I defined for them. So the fencer felt different than the lancer (or whatever). They were both warrior classes, but how they were built allowed them to fill different niches in combat. But that class really helped guide character creation.

    Of course, what I really like is archetypes and balance. As long as it is straightforward and easy to build towards a certain archetype and be just as useful as another character, I don't care if that came from skills or classes.
    Last edited by yukonhorror; 04-14-2011 at 10:42 AM.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

  6. #21
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    Hey guys, I am a D&D player from way back in the late 70's. Started with the little books from the white box. So playing in a game that uses classes is natural to me. I do like the idea of skill based advancement, but sometimes people make characters with all kinds of skills that are all over the place and don't have a good concept. But if you have a good GM to guide people in making characters then Skill based systems does allow a lot of flexibility. But I also agree that the setting is what attracts me to many games. ShadowRun a great setting. Dresden Files, Eclipse Phase and many others. I am almost to the point that I think that the rule system is less important than the GM's Skill and the players involvement in the adventure or game.

    Saulster

  7. #22
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    I'll have to put my vote in with skill based systems. What I've seen so far with class/level based systems is an unbalanced and unsmooth transition of power. Effectively the characters plateau in power in a lot of areas all at once and there is no natural progression. Now I did like Warhammer Fantasy's occupation system if the GM allowed flexibility. That system was effectively a skill based system with some structured "archtype" templates to guide you.

    At present, I've been developing my own system and of course its skill based. But at the same time you can fairly easily add up the points it would take to build the character and make that a "level". But there are no strict rules preventing say a wizard from learning a fighter skill or vise verse. Role-playing games are supposed to be an escape from reality's confines so why do RPGs have rules "preventing" unusual skills in unusual characters?

    Another reason for skill based systems is the organic growth of your character's power. If you have a role-play heavy game then RP skills will take center stage. If it shifts to a combat focused game then combat abilities will take center stage.

    As for the setting, I've always been the kind of GM/player who created my own worlds and settings so the existing game setting is kind of a waste for me. I'll use elements of almost any setting. For example, in Star Wars I allow cybernetics and pretty much use the Shadow Run cyberware rules. I also like sanity loss so use a modified Call of C'thulu sanity rule. So while the setting is important, so too are having the right rules that fit your setting. And with the right rules it just amplifies the setting and makes it seem all the more engaging.

    I think that's what frustrates me so much about so many D&D games I've been in. The setting is this high fantasy, high action game yet so many players/GMs play it as a boring strategy game instead of the dramatic cinematic system it is supposed to reflect. If only the combats felt more like the battles from LOTR...
    Randal Snyder
    Sundered Epoch.org

  8. #23
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    I voted a while ago for skill based systems, in particular, I prefer the Basic Role-Playing System by Chaosium! All skills are scored with a value from 0 to 100 %, 200 % with an optional system. The 101 to 200% lets you get multiple attacks with combat skills but no need to go into those rules here.

    The nice thing about BRP is that once you successfully use a skill in a game session, there's a chance for that skill to improve. I've been working on some house rule modifications for my fantasy world which I think work really well. I can't really do that with a class based system like DnD or Pathfinder, but can with BRP.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



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