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

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harwel View Post
    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?

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by korhal23 View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Harwel; 06-06-2009 at 01:31 AM.

  3. #63
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    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

    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.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harwel View Post
    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.
    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.

  5. #65
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    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.
    HARRY DRESDEN WIZARD
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by korhal23 View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Webhead View Post
    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).
    Last edited by Harwel; 06-06-2009 at 03:28 PM.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harwel View Post
    ...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.
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  8. #68
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    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.

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    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.
    Playing: Pathfinder
    Running: infrequent VtM game


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    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.

  11. #71
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    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.
    Last edited by Harwel; 06-07-2009 at 10:24 PM.

  12. #72
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    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"

  13. #73
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    To me its D20 Modern all the way!

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    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.

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    D20 Modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadone View Post
    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.

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