View Full Version : DM Help Looking for the right system for my situation

2016-05-11, 10:45 PM
I'm in a tabletop RPG group with 6 other people(counting DM), and we play DnD 4e using VOIP and text-chat in whatever table simulation program we're using. Sometimes our current DM gets burnt out and we'd like to play something, but no one in the group is really willing to step up and try running a game. Out of everyone in the group, I have the most experience with playing RPGs, but due to living arrangements, I myself can only respond in text, and this fact is what makes me hesitant to try running a game myself.

I've had success in another group running Zap-style Paranoia where there really were no rules at all(I as a GM roughly decided things based off a dice roll and whatever seemed cool/funny at the time), and did run a couple DnD 3.5 modules. I'm worried about my ability to "keep up" with 6 PCs while having to deal with a lot of rules. So that leads me to this: I'm trying to find a system that is simple and/or light on rules so that if I wanted to try to GM, I wouldn't have as much to keep track of while also dealing with all the players. I don't mind if character generation itself is confusing, as long as rules in-game are not.

As far as the group goes, their overall RPG experience is mostly limited to DnD 4e, with some attempts at playing DnD 3.5 that didn't work so well due to rules confusion. So anything that is also easy for the players to learn would be helpful too. In addition, for any system that might fit well with my situation, I'm wondering if there are any with more open-ended character generation than 4e's strict role system.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

2016-05-11, 11:29 PM
F.A.T.E. Core and F.A.E. (Fate Accelerated Edition) are both rules-lite and fairly quick easy to pick up. The biggest Pro for your situation is that a lot of the game boils down to collaborative story telling with basic character stats called "Approaches" (ie Careful, Forceful, Sneaky) which dictate a character's strengths and weaknesses, modified by environmental and character based modifiers called "Aspects", which are rolled to accomplish one of four actions: create and advantage, overcome [a challenge], attack, or defend. A Con for your situation is that it tends to be fast paced and I can easily see it being overwhelming with 6 players, unless you really double down on the turn order or what-have-you.

You can find more information here (http://www.faterpg.com/) and here (https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/117231873544673522940). While F.A.E can be purchased digitally (pay-what-you-will) here (http://www.evilhat.com/home/fae/).

It runs pretty similar to how you described the Paranoia game you ran, but more standardized.

2016-05-12, 11:40 PM
I was looking at the FAE SRD, and I actually really liked what I saw. I tried playing around with a framework file that someone made for Maptools, but couldn't get it to work right. I'm now wondering what the best way would be to keep track of all relevant Aspects while making sure the PCs can see the stuff they know too.

Nothing as far as system has been decided though, so I'm still open to other system ideas.

2016-05-12, 11:51 PM
I could recommend Apocalypse World, not because it has few rules but because they're pretty intuitive and once you've read the book you can run it. (It's not long) It's also cheap, and makes for good stories.

Fall of Magic is as rules-lite as games come, and is actually very close to the Paranoia game you were running, yet is a bit more serious (and fantasy!) Its oddity is that everyone has their own character while also sharing control of the Magus, and everyone is a GM. It also comes with a really cool map on a scroll if you get the physical version, and has an easy-to-use digital version. Character generation is picking a name and a title. What that title means is 100% up to the player. It's weird at first, but once everyone gets into it FoM is very fun.

Dungeon World may be the best option, being Apocalypse World's system forcefully mated with D&D to very fun results.

Depends on what they're interested in playing, honestly.

2016-05-12, 11:52 PM
Savage Worlds is great, it even uses all of the standard DnD dice so that helps too. It doesnt require a battle grid (though maps help so everyone is on the same page) and its very easy to pick up and play.

2016-05-13, 12:03 AM
Unfortunately I've only run FAE as pen and paper, so I don't know any good programs to use with it. We just used a sheet of paper with the "zones" and aspects witten down, tokens for the characters involved, and I had another sheet eith other aspects the players didn't know or that didn't come into play yet. A lot was done impromptu, so there wasn't much to write down ahead of time.

2016-05-13, 03:15 PM
Roll20, at least, has pretty good support for a number of Powered by the Apocalypse games (Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, etc.); I'd recommend going to one of those - they've got most genres covered. And anyway, you don't really need much to make them work.

2016-05-13, 03:52 PM
If everyone is already familiar with D&D 3rd and 4th edition, then some kind of B/X clone might be worth a look. Basic Fantasy and Lamentation of the Flame Princess are both free, as is Swords & Wizardry (which is an OD&D clone). They are all actually very lightweight games, but the basics will all be instantly familiar to D&D players of any edition.
If you run a campaign that isn't combat heavy, there is very little dice rolling involved, and aside from spells there are almost no special abilities that require lengthy explanation.