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View Poll Results: Favorite Generic/Universal System

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  • d20 Modern

    16 11.35%
  • GURPS

    39 27.66%
  • Basic Role Playing or Mongoose RQ

    12 8.51%
  • Savage Worlds

    17 12.06%
  • Fudge/FATE

    10 7.09%
  • Omni System

    0 0%
  • Unisystem

    8 5.67%
  • Prose Descriptive Qualities

    1 0.71%
  • HERO

    18 12.77%
  • Something else (please explain)

    20 14.18%
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Results 31 to 45 of 146

  Click here to go to the first special guest post in this thread.   Thread: Favorite Generic/Universal Systems

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    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 ).

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Law Dog View Post
    ...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 ).
    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...
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  3. #33
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    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" 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.

  4. #34
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    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.

  5. #35
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    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.

  6. #36
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    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.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zig View Post
    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, 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.
    Last edited by fmitchell; 02-28-2009 at 09:24 AM.
    "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)

  8. #38
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    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...

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    ... 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.
    "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)

  10. #40
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    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.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    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?

  12. #42
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    Zodiac

    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/
    Last edited by Imposter; 02-28-2009 at 09:08 PM. Reason: Durr....

  13. #43
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    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.
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  14. #44
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    Incarna

    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.

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
    www.incarna.net
    Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.

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    I like GD3 by Precis Intermedia

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