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View Poll Results: Favorite Generic/Universal System

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  • d20 Modern

    16 11.11%
  • GURPS

    40 27.78%
  • Basic Role Playing or Mongoose RQ

    12 8.33%
  • Savage Worlds

    17 11.81%
  • Fudge/FATE

    10 6.94%
  • Omni System

    0 0%
  • Unisystem

    8 5.56%
  • Prose Descriptive Qualities

    1 0.69%
  • HERO

    18 12.50%
  • Something else (please explain)

    22 15.28%
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  Click here to go to the first special guest post in this thread.   Thread: Favorite Generic/Universal Systems

  1. #76
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    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.

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  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    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.

  3. #78
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    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.
    Last edited by Harwel; 06-12-2009 at 01:10 PM.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harwel View Post
    ...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.
    Last edited by Webhead; 06-12-2009 at 11:48 PM.
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  5. #80
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    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.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harwel View Post
    ...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.
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  7. #82
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    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).

  8. #83
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    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.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegaman View Post
    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?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliff View Post
    ...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...
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  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webhead View Post
    It absolutely can...but this is no place for a flame-war so I'll keep my mouth shut...
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliff View Post
    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).
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  13. #88
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    OK, fair enough... heh.

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

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Webhead View Post
    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 good times!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark View Post
    Call of Cthulhu good times!
    Indeed!
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