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  Click here to go to the first special guest post in this thread.   Thread: WEG D6 vs. GURPS vs. ...?

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    Question WEG D6 vs. GURPS vs. ...?

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    The older I get the more I loathe class/level based game systems. I am trying to find a game system that I can fall in love with. I played WEG Star Wars D6 many years ago and enjoyed it. A friend also suggested GURPS. I enjoyed Shadowrun 1-3, but 4e is giving me a headache.

    I am currently looking at the latest WEG D6 offerings, and the GURPS Lite PDFs. Are there any others similar (I'm not well versed on available game systems)? How do you feel the D6 compares to GURPS? Pros/Cons of each?

    I don't mind D20 vs. D6 rulesets (although I would prefer a bell curve). I do mind class/levels.

    Things I have noticed. D6 systems have you roll the dice, add to a total. Shadowrun counts each die on their own. GURPS has you roll under. How do you feel about each of these die systems?

    Also, another point is that I am in an area that doesn't have a big gamer base, and most are playing D&D. The few people I have interested are not only new to these games, but to gaming in general. I don't want to scare off new gamers. Also, I don't have a ton of time anymore (single father of 7 & 8 year olds, stupid work schedule, etc) so I would like something that runs smoothly, and quickly (for both player and GM).

    Another consideration is my love for "Lowe Tech" as I like to call it. In fantasy settings, I like magic to be special, fantastic. I like special bonuses, even small ones, to feel like you got something! Where a +1, be it a magical bonus on a sword or some other effect, is significant. I also feel the same way about magic-like systems in general. As a tangent on this, I feel that way about anything that gives a bonus/negative. I don't want to hear players complain about a modifier being 'only a +1/-1'. If I give a +1 for something, I want it to mean something.

    I used to run a D&D3.x game and this was my website - http://liquidmateria.info/wiki/Terra_Novos - in it, I described how I wanted my D&D game to flow, the rules I had allowed, etc. This should give you some insight into what I like. Keep in mind, I wrote that up back in 2007.

    Anyhow, what game system would you suggest I take a look at?

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    With respect complexity, I can't really judge (all systems are complex in my eye), but I really like HERO. What I like best about it over Gurps is I think it is more combat oriented (I like cinematic combat). Also, I found HERO more straight-forward then GURPS, because things are SO general. Gurps still has defined elements, where as HERO has frameworks to make your elements. Problem with that though is YOU have to build it, so it is a bit more time intensive. With respect to a fantasy setting, you could control what magic is available and how it can be used.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukonhorror View Post
    With respect complexity, I can't really judge (all systems are complex in my eye), but I really like HERO. What I like best about it over Gurps is I think it is more combat oriented (I like cinematic combat). Also, I found HERO more straight-forward then GURPS, because things are SO general. Gurps still has defined elements, where as HERO has frameworks to make your elements. Problem with that though is YOU have to build it, so it is a bit more time intensive.
    I'll have to check Hero out. Thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by yukonhorror View Post
    With respect to a fantasy setting, you could control what magic is available and how it can be used.
    I understand. I was wondering if certain systems leaned towards my way of thinking. Some systems are more/less forgiving of modifiers, i.e. a +1 in a d100 system isn't as significant.

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    regarding your modifiers comment, I think it is the tone you set with your players. When I first started playing (AD&D 1st ed), if we got ANY kind of magic item, it was AMAZING. +1 sword, HOLY CRAP, KICK BUTT!

    I don't know which really lean towards your thinking. With regards to HERO though, no classes, races, etc... Everything is defined by the GM/player. From a fireball spell all the way down to a sword. There are lots of good examples though, to help you understand how to build things. Since there are no classes, one fighter could be DRASTICALLY different from another. Good luck.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellanon View Post
    I'll have to check Hero out. Thank you. I understand. I was wondering if certain systems leaned towards my way of thinking. Some systems are more/less forgiving of modifiers, i.e. a +1 in a d100 system isn't as significant.
    Since you're dealing with a bell curve that has a spread of 3-18 on 3d6 a +1 modifier can be very significant or not. It all depends on the level of the skill that the bonus is adding to. For a 16 or less roll, a +1 modifier isn't that much, but if the skill roll is 11 or less it becomes very significant. One of the things I've noticed about Hero, regardless of genre, is that the game is more story orientated then on kill the monster and take the treasure. Treasure, like magic items, doesn't play a huge role in the games. If you have any questions I'll be more than happy to help you out.

    To check out the Hero System without making a significant investment of the full rules, I recommend starting with the Basic rulebook. It has the core rules that are in every game, but leaves out all the options.

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    Roll-under vs. roll-over vs. dice pools is mainly a matter of taste. Roll-over and roll-under are mathematically equivalent, although roll-over allows a few simplifications like comparing difficulty number to roll + modifiers vs. adding all modifiers at once to derive a target number. Dice pools have asymmetrical bell curves (except in Ubiquity and other d2-based systems), and changing both number of dice and target number per die makes figuring the odds in your head much harder. White Wolf, notably, moved toward fixed targets (7 or 8, exploding on 10) with variable numbers of dice.

    Of the two games the OP originally mentioned:

    D6: A fairly clean and simple system that tends toward cinematic action. D6 Adventure/Space/Fantasy are crufty and not well edited, but they're now free downloads from RPGNow or http://opend6.wikia.com/wiki/Open_D6_Resurrection_Wiki . http://www.antipaladin.com/ has a cleaner and simpler (and still free) version of the D6 rules.

    GURPS: A crunchier system that tends toward gritty realism. You can dial up or down the realism, depending what rules you want to adopt. Unfortunately, reading the 4e Basic Set is like drinking from a firehose; look at GURPS Lite 4e to see a stripped-down but complete version, then add in whatever makes sense from the Basic Set (or Martial Arts, or Powers, or Magic, or Spaceships ...) SJ Games does have a lot of support out there, mostly in PDFs from e23, but Munchkin is their cash cow so GURPS is a secondary priority.

    Richard Littles (unsurprisingly) mentioned HERO. The last time I dealt with HERO, in 4th edition, it did superheroes well and other genres ... well, most characters resembled low-powered, themed superheroes. I've yet to see 5th (the most supported) or 6th (the newest), so maybe genre emulation has improved.

    Other recommendations include, Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying (BRP), Mongoose's RuneQuest II (nearly the same as BRP and tuned for fantasy), Barbarians of Lemuria and its companion volume Barbarians of the Apocalypse, FATE (based on Fudge dice, used in Spirit of the Century, Dresden Files RPG, Starblazer Adventures, Diaspora, and others), and PDQ/PDQ# (based on 2d6, used in Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies, Truth & Justice, The Zorcerer of Zo, Jaws of the Six Serpents, and others.) Savage Worlds gets an honorable mention, although it's really not my cup of tea.

    I actually wrote a long, tedious, and largely unread series of essays to pick a system for myself. Conclusions and random notes are here: http://www.frank-mitchell.com/games/...har-gen-6.html
    "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)

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    Seeing how you like Shadowrun I would suggest looking at Ubiquity (Hollow Earth Expedition, Desolation, All for One) & Storyteller (The system for World of Darkness, Scion, and Exalted by White-Wolf). Both are similar to Shadowrun in some ways. I would particularly look at Desolation which is a post-apocalyptic fantasy game and the Dark Ages World of Darkness line (Dark Ages: Vampire, Werewolf, Mage; all out of print) seeing how your looking for a fantasy game.

    Personally I really like GURPS 4e but I like a bit less rules and setting tid bits. Desolation is currently our fantasy game of choice.
    Last edited by MortonStromgal; 11-26-2010 at 08:32 PM.
    Playing: Pathfinder
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    Quote Originally Posted by MortonStromgal View Post
    Seeing how you like Shadowrun I would suggest looking at Ubiquity (Hollow Earth Expedition, Desolation, All for One) & Storyteller (The system for World of Darkness, Scion, and Exalted by White-Wolf). Both are similar to Shadowrun in some ways. I would particularly look at Desolation which is a post-apocalyptic fantasy game and the Dark Ages World of Darkness line (Dark Ages: Vampire, Werewolf, Mage; all out of print) seeing how your looking for a fantasy game.

    Personally I really like GURPS 4e but I like a bit less rules and setting tid bits. Desolation is currently our fantasy game of choice.
    I like Shadowrun, but I cannot use Shadowrun for anything but Shadowrun without a headache (I tried many years ago). I'm not specifically looking for a fantasy world either. I am sorry I wasn't more clear. Basically, I need a classless, leveless, universal system. One of my players has NEVER role played, and the other is only familiar with fantasy. I want to be able to set them off on numerous adventures in different genre without needing to learn a whole new system. On a tangent here, one of my biggest complaints in my last regular group centered around new systems. Each time a we switched GMs, we were learning a new gamesystem and/or rerolling characters. Drives me nuts. As a GM, I want one system, one set of rules that I can adapt as needed to whatever situation. So, while I love Shadowrun, it is limited not only in genre, but also in setting. D&D isn't limited in setting, but still limited in genre.

    After taking a long look at game systems, and discussing it with my players, we're leaning towards D6. We like the feel of the system, and we like the cost.

    One of my campaign ideas was having them stumble across a device (magical or technological - essentially the same depending on perspective) that would do in a similar fashion what the devices from Sliders and Quantum Leap would do - but that's another thread for in a different forum. ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellanon View Post
    After taking a long look at game systems, and discussing it with my players, we're leaning towards D6. We like the feel of the system, and we like the cost.
    Good choice. For new players, or those with heads overstuffed with other rules, D6 works great. It's extremely customizable, not by accounting for every possibility but by presenting a simple and flexible framework. (BRP and the systems I listed above follow the same philosophy.)

    Not to shill for SJ Games, but a lot of their books for 1st-3rd and 4th edition make good generic gaming references. If you're doing Sliders & Quantum Leap, you might invest in the *-Tech books, specific 3e setting books (e.g. Egypt, Imperial Rome, Japan), Infinite Worlds (4e), and/or Time Travel (3e). For discussions of specific genres, look at Space (4e), Fantasy (4e), Mysteries (4e), or Horror (3e for now, but a 4e update is coming). Thaumatology provides ideas for alternate magic systems, and Spaceships provides a ship-building system largely independent of GURPS mechanics.
    Last edited by fmitchell; 11-27-2010 at 10:07 PM.
    "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)

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    Ahhh, I would look at Savage Worlds then. I'm not a big fan of it mechanically but the number of fan conversions out there is astonishing. Lots of great free material out there and the explorer edition book is only $10

    Some of the converstions
    http://savageheroes.com/conversions.htm

    Rule book
    http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Worlds-...0969792&sr=8-1

    But D6 is a good system to
    Playing: Pathfinder
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    Check out BRP. Basic Roleplaying System. Classic. Easy percentage system. The new big gold book offers piles of customization ideas. Here's a great forum community.

    Here's the free quick start to give you the nickel plus $2.50 tour. :-D

    On Dice Mechanics (my two cents and experience):

    Roll under systems have a benefit of being "self-limiting". Modifiers affect the target number, you roll under to see if you succeed. This tends to be easier to describe and moves faster in play (in my experience). Drawbacks can be in deciphering "ties" (who rolled under the best?) in opposed rolls and of course conflicts. BRP uses a simple table to decipher the critical success vs. failure, etc. options in combat. It does give you the advantage of not having to share opponents stats with your players.

    Simple additive systems like d20 also move fast in play (general skill checks) as adding small numbers tends to be quick for most people. Also, AC/DC/Saves as target numbers can speed up conflicts but sometimes feel like they take the control of the defense out of the opponent's hands.

    Dice pools are nifty IF you can keep the number of dice rolled lower. Say 10 dice tops. Shadowrun does not accomplish this. World of Darkness can until you get supernatural. I used to be a big dice pool fan, but having that many dice on the table doesn't add anything for me. It's just as easy to roll a few dice, add or look at them and compare to a target number.

    Roll and keep systems work better to limit dice while allowing better results. Also, instead of having an unlimited range (d20's DC 45...) you have a better chance of scoring the highest result. The range is limited and the additional dice give you a better chance of success (or in some cases penalize you). I personally like this approach and may be incorporating something like it in my own system. Barbarians of Lemuria/BotA uses this method with the addition of "penalty dice" that force you to take the lowest.

    I think the D6 method is nifty in theory, but in play it annoys me. It takes people longer to count up the results. In some games the number of dice rolled was silly. Frankly, I think it makes play clunky (in my opinion).

    On Systems (my opinions again):

    D6 is nothing really special IMHO.

    GURPS and/or HERO are both solid offerings. Despite being tossed into the same category, there are remarkable differences between them. GURPS leans more on the "realistic" scale and HERO on the cinematic. GURPS is more lists of rules where HERO is truly effects based. GURPS is "simpler" at first glance but character creation is involved as there can be plenty of options. HERO has the physics of its game universe covered in 700+ pages of rules, that you can create ANYTHING with. It has a steeper learning curve, but once you have the design basics down, you won't have to keep learning new "sub systems" to design the powers you want.

    GURPS has some strong historical supplements and things like high-tech are very well researched and detailed. HERO seriously tickles my magical/power buttons and the genre books are chock full of great ideas for running a game for that genre.

    If I had to summarize the differences; GURPS details reality, HERO details characters. Both can make incredibly fun games but require some expertise with the system. For some reason this has become a dirty word in the RPG world, but it's worth noting that most systems cannot offer a GM the kind of support that GURPS or HERO do with their detail.

    BRP: Doesn't have advantages or feats. The various power/magic systems are different. There is no "unifying" effects based power structure like in HERO. It does use a basic percentile roll under mechanic. The new gold book has so many options that customizing a game shouldn't be too difficult. In general, in the BRP world, things covered by advantages in most systems would be built into races or equipment in BRP. You choose to play a elf and you get elf-like things with it. Requires more work for "designers" but for GMing and Playing, you pick stuff and then roll. The game is SUPER easy to teach, characters can be made in less than an hour, and combat moves fast (and is deadly as default).

    I hope some of my brain regurgitation was helpful. :-D
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

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    I have to vote for either Basic Role-Playing or Savage Worlds with a heavier vote for BRP. Nice thing about both systems is that you can run them with just 1 book! I prefer BRP though as I really like the skill system/experience system. Use a skill during the adventure where failure can be a bad thing, you get to make an experience check with possible improvement in the skill.

    That way you see character advancement on a session per session basis.
    Skunk
    a.k.a. Johnprime



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    Don't forget Mini 6 (Six?) from Anti-Paladin Games, a scaled down version of D6. I put my vote in for Savage Worlds also though it isn't bell curve, which I understand your feelings, as I like bell curve myself.
    Abstruse Decapod

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    Dice pools have asymmetrical bell curves (except in Ubiquity and other d2-based systems), and changing both number of dice and target number per die makes figuring the odds in your head much harder.
    Can you please expound this point about the Ubiquity system, or show me where I can find more about this? The asymmetrical bell curve is one thing I don't like about the D6 system, but I am recently interested in HEX.

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    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binomial_probability for an explanation of probabilities when each die has only two outcomes (0 & 1, success & failure, etc.). Doing the math, when both probabilities are the same (p = q = 0.5), the resulting curve is always symmetrical. Most die pool systems have a probability of less than half (p < 0.5), so the probability curve

    BTW, D6 would be symmetrical and approximately a bell curve, with an average of 3.5 x (number of dice), except for the Wild Die.

    To play with the numbers, see http://stattrek.com/Tables/Binomial.aspx. http://anydice.com/ displays probabilities for arbitrary die rolls. (Hint: to see results of six dice in the World of Darkness, type "output [count {8..10} in 6d10]". 3D+1 in WEG's D6 translates to "output 2d6 + [explode d6] + 1".)
    "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)

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