That's a long list of comparisons. It would be simpler to highlight the features of E-RPG alone, and then it will be more easily comparable to other systems. Besides, I have been using E-RPG for about 8 years, in which time the other systems have changed a bit since then.
Originally Posted by fmitchell
There are 8 attributes which make up the primary attributes of the character. Four secondary attributes are the average of two of each of these 8 (example: Strenght and Stamina determine Toughness). Other statistics, such as startic skill points,starting money, life-points, movement, etc. are directly derived from these. After determining your 8 primary, you determine the rest from them.
Skills are chosen from a large list. Each skill has an attribute it is primarily based on. When using a skill you roll the die associated with the attribute. Stronger attributes have higher sided die. You then add your skill level to the result. This is compared to a target level. If you roll equal or higher then you succeed. Higher rolls offer bonuses to your success. For instance, rolling higher on a lock-pick skill test will result in the action taking less time, while rolling a high attack will grant bonuses to damage.
Most skills have proficiencies, which are focuses of the skill. For instance, you may be skilled at tracking, but are particularly proficient in tracking in the wilderness. These proficiencies have levels just like a skill. When using a skill in that aspect you get a bonus to your skill test equal to your proficiency level. For example, a character skilled in Light swords gets their skill level added to any attack with a weapo in the light sword category. If they have a proficiency in short swords they also add that proficiency level to the result.
Everything is based off of these skills. Even the use of magic and psionics uses these skills (more on that below).
Items (particularly weapons and armor)
All items have a basic level of 0. Some items, such as weapons, armor, and tools grant bonuses to particular attributs. For instance, some swords are more effective at attacking than axes, but axes do more damage and are slower. These items may have their own attributes (for weapons it is generally attack, damage, defense, size).
Furthermore, well made items may have bonuses to their attributes (think master work but more defined). The level of quality iscalled the equipment level. You could have a set of lock picks with an eq of 3 and this grants a 3-point bonus to using the lock picks. Other items, such as backpacks, can reduce things. For instance, a normal backpack redistributes a load more easily on a character so the weight of items in the pack is treated as being 10% less. Higher level packs may have greater design and so greater weight reductions (it doesn't really reduce the weight, but it reduces the effect weight has on the character).
Characters gain experience by completing objectives in the adventure. This may be combat, or a puzzle, or convincing someone. There is no real experience points simply for killing monsters or using a skill. Instead it is based on wether the character can achieve a goal. Without a goal, the action is relatively useless.
The players spend experience on new skill levels at a rate of 10 x the new level. The can learn new skills through various training or study methods, or through autodidaction
Combat is time based. Each character has an initiative (determined by reaction and wisdom) that decides in what order they can start. All combat starts on round 1 with the character with highest initiative going first. On their turn they declare an action. Actions take x-amount of rounds to complete and are resoled on that round. For instance, a character declares an action on round 1 that will take 3 rounds to complete. They roll their die on round four to determine the action.
Actions can be interupted if another character takes action against you before you complete the action. For instance, if you are casting a spell and someone attacks you before you finnish the action could be interupted. You can canel actions to change to a new action (such as defend) at any time. However, starting a new action starts the round countdown all over again.
Magic is skill based. Your character learns a magic skill which is applied to casting a spell. If a spell is cast the spell level determines the effect. Characters can learn spells like skills. Furthermore, any character in the game can cast a spell if they can find it, read it, etc. However, without magical training (having a magic skill) success is difficult.
Spells take time in the game to cast. The more complicated the spell, the longer it takes. Time is reduced by the magician's familiarity with magic and the particular aspect and/spell. Therefore the higher the skill level, proficiency level, and spell level the less time it will take to cast the spell. There are no other restirctions to wht spells can be cast. If a character has access, and is willing to take the time, they can attempt any spell.
Another type of skill. These skills have psychic effects that we fleshed out through research. We don't provide force lightning or other psuedo-magical psychic powers, although it is very easy to make your own.
Reputation has alot to do with social encounters. This is earned with experince, but the GM determines how much of your exp earned is also earned as good or bad reputation. Intentions have nothing to do with repuation, it is simply based on how the world percieves your actions. So you could have a bad reputation doing good things if the world does not see your actions as being good.
None are provided, but these are easily created if neeed.
No classes. We have a book that provides 50 pre-generated archetypes that can help provide a class-like structure if need be. 5 Archetypes are provided with the core rule book.
It is utterly simple to modify. I have changed and rearranged just about every component to try to break the system. Using the skill based system for all types of actions leaves it all open, including using mana based systems for magic, spells per day, alignments, etc.
In my opinion the system puts alot more power into the players to dicide how things are played in the game. Each player can focus on the type of game they want and enjoy that aspect. While the system is fairly basic at its core, it is open enough for a good level of complexity as you want it. For instance, if you want complex social interactions you can manipulate situations through rp and skill tests or you could simply just roll your die and hope for the best. Combat is the same way. For the tactical combatant it opens alot of doors, but if you don't like that sort of thing, the simple roll die to hit and do damage mechanic is also fine.
Character development is at its core completely within the player's hand. Any directions is fine, and you could change direction as you play. If youre character was intended to be both a decent magician and fighter, but someone is developing a more focused fighter, and you find yourself becoming more and more magic oriented, you can simply focus your character development away from one and towards the other. Class roles become less important as you develop your character towards those game elements you are interested in.Anyways, that's the crux, in as simple a narrative as I can imagine. Sorry if it seems long, and I hope this answered the question.
You can also download the demos for free here if you want more detailed info on it.