PDA

View Full Version : Help Khan Pick a New RPG! - Second Edition



The Rose Dragon
2009-03-02, 04:28 PM
While waiting for the release of ASoIaF RPG, Warriors & Warlocks and Mecha & Manga and Dragon Fist, I need to buy myself a birthday present in the form of a new RPG.

So, looking around at RPGNow, I've reduced my potential choices to the following, and need your help to make my decision.

_/_/_/_/

Hong Kong Action Theater! 2nd Edition & Blue Dragon, White Tiger

Good: First edition is praised

Bad: Already have Tri-Stat core rules; don't know differences between 1st and 2nd Editions

_/_/_/_/

Modern20

Good: Cheap; has bundle

Bad: No FX rules in core; possible redundancy due to similarity to d20 Modern and True20

_/_/_/_/

Weapons of the Gods

Good: High artistry; wuxia-based

Bad: Expensive; too much artistry for little mechanics

_/_/_/_/

Savage Worlds

Good: Said to be highly flexible; high artistry

Bad: Seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it system

_/_/_/_/

Eat everyone's flesh and pretend you're a superhero when no one can tell you you're not

Good: None

Bad: Go to jail forever; no available food if successful; no past criminal experience; am against killing; no well-defined system

_/_/_/_/

Anything Else

Good: To be explained by you

Bad: To be explained by you

_/_/_/_/

Please explain why you suggest your pick and describe it in terms of usability, complexity and artistry (fluff, artwork, presentation, page layout, your mom, etc.).

Thank you for your contribution to the sum of the High Overlord of All Things' (i.e. me) knowledge of RPGs.

EDIT: Wuxia and post-apocalyptic games favored. Already have Exalted.

Kurald Galain
2009-03-02, 04:50 PM
Eat everyone's flesh and pretend you're a superhero when no one can tell you you're not

Please tell me that's an actual RPG system...!

Knaight
2009-03-02, 05:05 PM
Savage Worlds is a pretty good system, and it is cheap. But you can get the same sort of thing(fairly light system, setting universal, skills based, Bennies in Savage Worlds are similar to Fudge points in Fudge, narrative focus, not class based) from Fudge, which is free online, which is why I never got around to getting it, but do know the rules(pretty much).
Actually, I strongly advise picking up the Fudge 10th Anniversary Edition. Its not free, but it has so much more than the free PDF.

Good: Rules light, fast, highly flexible, easy to use, strong core system, nice dice system, lots of easy to add mods, really good dogfighting(planes) system for games that need it.

Bad: Pretty much requires a good GM. You will start to use the adjectives on the trait ladder too much in normal conversation if you play too much(read the free PDF, and that will make sense).

Click Here, then on Download Now, for PDF (http://fudgerpg.com/)

sailor_grenoble
2009-03-02, 05:07 PM
Qin might be a good fit:

Good: Wuxia (the game is set in the Warring States period of China's history, at the time the movie Hero takes place, and the game allows you to play characters who can eventually be as powerful as characters from Hero, Seven Swords or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon),
simple yet elegant system (stat+skill+dice against difficulty)*,
the Taos (special powers), combat maneuvers and spells
the amount of setting details,
the art


Bad: IMO, the PCs start a bit too weak to really be heroes,
many chinese names (for a westerner, that might be a difficulty),
much less flashy than Weapons of the Gods or Exalted,
I can't say anything about the quality of the translation from French to English, as I only have the former
far less splatbooks in English than in French (but I think that they will all be translated eventually


http://www.7emecercle.com/7cv2us/rpg/qin.html

* actually, the game uses something it calls the yin-yang dice: you roll 2d10 and substract the lowest from the highest, plus a few other peculiarities

The Rose Dragon
2009-03-02, 05:16 PM
Qin: The Warring States has surprisingly good English, since it is based on China and made in France, two countries that stereotypically suck at English.

I wasn't aware it had supplements, though.

Satyr
2009-03-02, 05:40 PM
I don't know much about Wuxia stuff, as this is completely not my genre, but I found Legends of the Five Rings surprisingly enjoyable. The game is set in a fantasy version of feudal Japan, with powerful clans, a Mordor equivalent and a bit of magic, and it makes actually fun to play it. Even for someone like me. The artwork is nice, the fluff is cool in the basics, but somewhat annoying through years and years of metaplot which seems to be based on the idea that every new event must be even more spectacular than the last, but the setting and the rules are well made - as long as you stay away from the D20 version, that one is truly bad. Another advantage is, that you only need the core book for the game, but it still offers more and helpful books for a sensible expansion.

I would also recoomend to remove your kneecaps with a rusty spoon before wasting money on Savage Worlds. I really don't understand how people could prefer it to a more flexible, and better made game like Gurps or the Unisystem games.

Eat everyone's flesh and pretend you're a superhero when no one can tell you you're not

Well, there is All Flesh Must Be Eaten, which is an excellent, flexible game about mostly everything. It is a Unisystem game, so it is almost as flexible as gurps, even though it includes a lot less options (on the other hand, this makes it also much more conscise). This is an excellent, flexible game (there are splat books for Science Fiction, Fantasy, Wuxia and so on for a reason), even though it always includes an undead mencae to the sampled settings. And yes, there is a compatible superhero game in preduction for it.
Like most good games, you only need the core book for the game, but the additional splat books are helpful and well-made expansions for new and exciting games. Yes, even the Zombie Wrestling one.

The unisystem is a very flexible and often used system, that can easily be used for many different settings and styles of campagins; All Flesh Must Be Eaten is only the best known and probably most succesful one. Another example is the free Witchcraft (http://www.edenstudios.net/witchcraft/WitchcraftCorebook.zip) game, which is like the World of Darkness, only better (and yes both Versions of the world of darkness. combined.).

Actually, now I want to make a game where the player characters are Zombies who get superpowers from devouring other people.

I actually don't know how far the English version of DeGenesis has proceeded by now, but that is one impressive (German) endtime roleplaying game with somewhat complicated rules but the best fluff in the genre and similar great artwork and concepts behind it. Here (http://www.degenesis.de/download/DEGENESIS_Grundregelwerk.pdf) is the free download of the German version. And yes, the game is as great as it looks.

And, there is always Gurps. Best available roleplaying game. It is not difficult, but it offers more options than any other game (yes, I differentiate between difficulty - and complexity of a game. Gurps is complex, but since all rules are stringent and based on the same standard, it is still easier than many other games). And, Gurps sourcebooks are the best in gaming. Whatever you want to play, and which system you use, you are also well advised to use the fitting gurps sourcebook for your genre at hand. And the game is great as well.

sailor_grenoble
2009-03-02, 05:43 PM
Qin: The Warring States has surprisingly good English, since it is based on China and made in France, two countries that stereotypically suck at English.

I wasn't aware it had supplements, though.
Qin has many supplements in French, and I think the GM's screen in planned to be released in English in spring 2009.

Supplements in French include:
L'écran (the screen): the booklet that comes with the screen contains the highest Taos levels, rules for magic and legendary items and fighting styles
L'Art de la Guerre (the Art of War): book of armies and military affairs
Mythes et Animaux Fabuleux (Myths and Fabulous Animals): undead, demons, yao (awaken animals), etc...
Linzi: a town
Tian Xia: a huge campaign (comes in two tomes)
Shaolin et Wudang (Shaolin and Wudang): supplement moving the setting from 240 BC to around 1730 AC, from Qin Shi Huang Di to the Qing Dynasty, the Shaolin Temple and the chinese rebels against the Mandchous


EDIT: and I second GURPS, but with one caveat: GURPS isn't a system you use for out-of-the-box games. You have to know what you want to do and which rules are really necessary.
There are two great advices when dealing with GURPS:
"GURPS is like a cow: don't try to eat it all at once"
and one taken straight from the rulebook:
"when in doubt, roll and shout!"

The Rose Dragon
2009-03-02, 06:08 PM
It is not difficult, but it offers more options than any other game (yes, I differentiate between difficulty - and complexity of a game. Gurps is complex, but since all rules are stringent and based on the same standard, it is still easier than many other games).

That is precisely why I'm not getting GURPS.

Most of my players aren't aware they can disarm their opponents in D&D, or charge them, or bull rush them, or that they can use Knowledge skills to determine their weaknesses. They are great roleplayers, but the moment it comes to rolling dice, those university graduates are replaced by utter morons, because they never read the book properly (because they don't have the book, mostly).

So the more options I give them, the more they'll suck at the game.

Raum
2009-03-02, 06:11 PM
So, looking around at RPGNow, I've reduced my potential choices to the following, and need your help to make my decision.


Savage Worlds

Good: Said to be highly flexible; high artistry

Bad: Seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it systemCheck out the Test Drive rules from here (http://peginc.com/downloads.html). That should give you a good idea of what the rules look like. It's also enough to run a short adventure if you'd like to try before you buy.

Some of what I like from Savage Worlds: Fast combat
Easy / quick NPC creation (check out the "Training Wheels character sheet from the link above)
Little accounting (this is a major help when GMing)
No levels (characters grow in variety of capabilities rather than power of capabilities, entry level characters still have a chance of hurting experienced characters)The biggest drawback to Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition is the limited magic abilities. For more extensive magic you'll need to pick up some of the setting books or the fantasy world kit.

For artistry (and a complete system, no need for SWEX) I recommend Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane (very cool pointless time and skill based magic system) or Pirates of the Spanish Main (no magic, good swashbuckling and ship combat rules). Neither requires SWEX and both (particularly Solomon Kane) have some excellent artwork.


Eat everyone's flesh and pretend you're a superhero when no one can tell you you're not

Good: None

Bad: Go to jail forever; no available food if successful; no past criminal experience; am against killing; no well-defined systemHmm, maybe you want to look at All Flesh Must be Eaten? :)

Knaight
2009-03-02, 06:17 PM
"This is precisely why I'm not getting GURPS..."

Alright, if you pick up the Fudge 10th Anniversary edition, and feel the need for a more defined combat system(by default there is a lot of GM fiat, but its extremely easy to be a GM and use GM fiat because of the trait ladder), I would advise just skipping the chapter on Fudge Martial Arts, and taking the Fudge Fu system instead. Fudge Martial Arts is almost as heavy as D&D combat, Fudge Fu very light weight and flexible. Although you might also want to look into Fate and Spirit of the Century (both free online, but Sotc is better with the book, unless you like reading off a computer screen. Ugh.) Fudge has a lot of options, but the GM is supposed to just pick a few(ie, you use Fudge Martial arts, or Fudge Fu, or Simultaneous Combat, or any number of others, but only the GM needs to know about the rest of them, the players need only know about the one they are using).

The Rose Dragon
2009-03-02, 06:25 PM
Check out the Test Drive rules from here (http://peginc.com/downloads.html). That should give you a good idea of what the rules look like. It's also enough to run a short adventure if you'd like to try before you buy.

Actually, I did check those rules. Twice. I'm still no closer to understanding how you can fail anything. Maybe I'm just a bit tired.

I am interested in Savage Worlds mostly because of the Dawn of Legends (which was originally Autumn Arbor, which was great) and Shaintar: Immortal Legends. Does having Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane allow me to understand those?

EDIT: By the way, just so you know, whatever you're suggesting needs to have a .pdf on RPGNow.com for me to be able to buy it. Shipping is a bitch and I prefer to keep my purchases limited to two online stores.

lordhack
2009-03-02, 08:59 PM
I love Savage Worlds, so my recomendation is going to go there. Don't know what you know about the game, but it has no setting. This means if you want to play something that doesn't have a good system, or if you don't want to buy/learn a new one, it can be an excellent plug in. I first bought it to try and make a Star Craft game, and it worked very very well. If that sounds appealing to you, grab it for sure, it's also cheap. If not, go with something else.

Raum
2009-03-02, 09:45 PM
Actually, I did check those rules. Twice. I'm still no closer to understanding how you can fail anything. Maybe I'm just a bit tired.You fail by rolling less than a 4 after applying modifiers. An extra of average (d6) skill with no modifiers will fail 50% of the time. A wild card (PC or major NPC) with the same average skill and no modifiers will fail 25% of the time. Success is weighted towards the PCs and 'boss' NPCs. Even so, failure is more common than it looks simply because modifiers are often applied.

SW is fairly tactical. It encourages you to seek modifiers. Take ranged combat as an example...unless you want even average skilled NPCs to have a 50% chance of hitting (not a good idea in a game where 2:1 odds is an easy encounter) you will seek cover. Or darkness. Or anything else to make it more difficult for ten archers to hit you. Because if you don't, half of them will hit. Melee combat has similar tactical choices - do you hit normally and hope for a raise (extra d6 damage) or take the negative modifier for a called shot to do extra damage? Or perhaps you'd rather 'trick' your opponent to set him up for an ally? Tricks do a couple things for you, they weaken / stun opponents and are an effective way for non-combat specialists to be effective in combat situations. Yes, this is a game where throwing sand in an opponent's eyes (an Agility trick) is a viable option. :)


I am interested in Savage Worlds mostly because of the Dawn of Legends (which was originally Autumn Arbor, which was great) and Shaintar: Immortal Legends. Does having Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane allow me to understand those?No, stick with SWEX if you're looking at the licensed settings. I haven't picked up either Dawn of Legends or Shaintar so can't comment on them artistically. I mentioned Solomon Kane because it doesn't require SWEX, it's full color wit some impressive art, and I like the magic system (no spell points). If you're interested in other fantasy settings, I'd look at Winterweir and Hellfrost - both expected to be released this month. (I'm looking forward to Hellfrost personally.)


EDIT: By the way, just so you know, whatever you're suggesting needs to have a .pdf on RPGNow.com for me to be able to buy it. Shipping is a bitch and I prefer to keep my purchases limited to two online stores.I prefer to buy dead tree versions so don't really follow which pdf's are available. I will say I like Deadlands, Rippers, and Runepunk in addition to Solomon Kane and Pirates. I've used monsters from Necropolis and Tour of Darkness (also used equipment from ToD for a modern campaign) but I'm not that interested in playing either. 50 Fathoms has a well detailed elemental magic system, ship combat and trading rules, and, from what I've seen, a good introductory campaign. But the setting itself doesn't seem extensive enough for a long term campaign other than the plot point it comes with. I also picked up Necessary Evil but I'd probably recommend Dawn of Legends for the superhero genre (going by reviews).

Frankly, Savage Worlds' rule set is a strength (assuming you want fast, streamlined, and simple rules) but I'd spend more time looking at the settings. There are a lot out there, choose those which spark your imagination.

Whatever you choose, have fun!

Knaight
2009-03-02, 10:38 PM
EDIT: By the way, just so you know, whatever you're suggesting needs to have a .pdf on RPGNow.com for me to be able to buy it. Shipping is a bitch and I prefer to keep my purchases limited to two online stores.

Take Fudge 10th Anniversary off the list then. That said, I still have Fudge stuff to suggest. I'm pretty sure you can get Now Playing as a PDF, and it is really good. It links up to TV shows, but it basically just has advice on how to make episodic, interesting sessions, while still having an overarching story, as well as a system. That said, if you can find Terra Ingocnita as a PDF, its better.

ShneekeyTheLost
2009-03-03, 12:29 AM
How about BESM?

Good points:

* Lots of Wuxai/fantasy/tech elements available
* Simple, easy to use system
* Make your own anime character!

Bad Points:

* Impossible to make a 'serious' character
* Decency goes flying out the window just by purchasing the system

Also,


Eat everyone's flesh and pretend you're a superhero when no one can tell you you're not

Good: None

Bad: Go to jail forever; no available food if successful; no past criminal experience; am against killing; no well-defined system I hear that Dr. Lecter had written up a system for this that worked quite well. Forward queries to said system to Ms. Starling at the FBI.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-03-03, 03:43 AM
ASOIAF, you say?

Get The Riddle of Steel and you can stop waiting. It's got the most historically realistic combat system ever, yet fights are over far faster than in D&D, and require a fraction of the tables of Rolemaster. (Admittedly, ASOIAF is pure D&D combat, just with lasting effects. Slicing through plate armor? Please.)

It's the best new RPG I've come across since Issaries, Inc.'s HeroQuest. Aside from combat, the rules are very light, with a focus on the PCs' motivations and goals. The magic system is cool, open, and as brutal as the deadly combat. The big downside is that Driftwood Publishing has withered and died, and the game may be hard to obtain in print at stores.

potatocubed
2009-03-03, 04:47 AM
I'd recommend avoiding FUDGE* and skipping directly to FATE. I don't know if Spirit of the Century is available on RPGNow, but it's certainly available as a pdf.

SotC is pulp action adventure, but the basic FATE system can be adapted to wuxia or post-apoc or whatever very easily.

*FUDGE the game, that is. FUDGE the food should be indulged in wherever possible.

Also, have you considered Cthulhutech?

Pros: Gorgeous artwork. Cool setting. Far more than just 'Cthulhu vs. mecha'.

Cons: System is a bit meh (and not complete in the main book - you'll need Vade Mecum as well, at least). Most players are only interested in 'Cthulhu vs. mecha'.

Mark Hall
2009-03-03, 03:31 PM
Anything Else

Good: To be explained by you

Bad: To be explained by you


Apocalpyse Prevention, Inc. (http://www.flamesrising.com/apocalypse-prevention-inc-release/) looks promising, and there's currently a GMs Day sale on RPG.now. Plus, if you buy the hardcopies from Lulu, you get a coupon for the PDFs free.

The Rose Dragon
2009-03-03, 03:51 PM
How about BESM?

Already did buy it, actually. For a low-powered (as opposed to M&M) effects-based system, it's great. But it's still not geared towards gritty post-apoc games.