PDA

View Full Version : Looking for the Right System



Azreal
2017-04-06, 06:06 AM
So I'm looking at setting up a campaign that would take place in the Percy Jackson Universe. I'm just not sure of a good system for it. I usually use DnD but it doesn't really suit the universe well enough.

For those unfamiliar essentially the Gods of old still exist in the modern day and Demigods are still being born who fight against those supernatural threats such as angry gods and monsters. Normal humans can't see the Supernatural and when it happens it's twisted so it seems well mundane for lack of a better word.

So I come to you GitP and your nearly infinite knowledge of all things RP.

Altair_the_Vexed
2017-04-06, 06:42 AM
You could try Mazes and Minotaurs (http://mazesandminotaurs.free.fr/revised.html)?

It's a sort of joke game system, in that it pretends that instead of creating D&D based off Elric and Conan and Lord of the Rings, the early RPG designers were really into Clash of the Titans, Jason and the Argonauts and the various other Greek epic fantasy movies of the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Despite being a bit of a joke, it works fairly well. I've used parts of it in other games too - like the mysterious island generator. Most importantly, it's free.

Berenger
2017-04-06, 08:24 AM
Scion: Hero (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scion_(role-playing_game)) is basically Percy Jackson: The RPG with the serial numbers filed off.

Azreal
2017-04-06, 08:49 AM
Scion: Hero (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scion_(role-playing_game)) is basically Percy Jackson: The RPG with the serial numbers filed off.

Is the Second Edition not busted like the first?

Berenger
2017-04-06, 09:45 AM
Is the Second Edition not busted like the first?

I have been in a first edition game for several months now and it feels far from 'busted'. Then again, our storyteller just mentioned that the combat system is easy to break by min-maxing and asked us not to do so on purpose, so that might be a prerequisite.

CharonsHelper
2017-04-06, 09:51 AM
I have been in a first edition game for several months now and it feels far from 'busted'. Then again, our storyteller just mentioned that the combat system is easy to break by min-maxing and asked us not to do so on purpose, so that might be a prerequisite.

That sounds broken to me.

That's like saying that a car isn't broken because the brakes work so long as you stay under 15mph.

Berenger
2017-04-06, 10:16 AM
That sounds broken to me.

That's like saying that a car isn't broken because the brakes work so long as you stay under 15mph.

It's more like saying that the car isn't broken because it works as long as you don't try to drive through a small river. Some cars are built to handle this well, some are not and this is definitely one of the latter. Doesn't make it a bad car for the city if that is what you are looking for. That said, im currently unaware of any system in which the combat capabilities of the characters can't be tweaked enough to cause problems if the players are not on the same page regarding the desired power level.

Azreal
2017-04-06, 10:31 AM
It's more like saying that the car isn't broken because it works as long as you don't try to drive through a small river. Some cars are built to handle this well, some are not and this is definitely one of the latter. Doesn't make it a bad car for the city if that is what you are looking for. That said, im currently unaware of any system in which the combat capabilities of the characters can't be tweaked enough to cause problems if the players are not on the same page regarding the desired power level.

My issue is that getting one stat is all it takes to break combat. Like you cannot make a Dex character or you break combat.

Eisenheim
2017-04-06, 10:53 AM
Fate is usually a good system for emulating the feel of books or movies, because you can tune your game for the world you're aiming for. I'd give that a look.

CharonsHelper
2017-04-06, 11:05 AM
That said, im currently unaware of any system in which the combat capabilities of the characters can't be tweaked enough to cause problems if the players are not on the same page regarding the desired power level.

Right - hence my car metaphor.

Every car will have issues braking if you slap a rocket on the back of it. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to be able to go freeway speeds without issues.

Mark Hall
2017-04-06, 11:36 AM
Part-Time Gods (https://thirdeyegames.net/part-time-gods/) by 3rd Eye Games.

Eloy also did Camp Myth (http://paizo.com/products/btpy92l4?Camp-Myth-The-RPG), which bears some obvious hallmarks of Percy Jackson.

Beleriphon
2017-04-06, 11:41 AM
Right - hence my car metaphor.

Every car will have issues braking if you slap a rocket on the back of it. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to be able to go freeway speeds without issues.

The issue is more that the car has a rocket you can accidentally turn on by pressing the wrong button the radio.

Anonymouswizard
2017-04-06, 12:30 PM
Is the Second Edition not busted like the first?

It looks to be much more balanced, we can't really make a final verdict until we see the final version.

Now I like Scion enough that I've previously tried to fix 1e, but yeah it looks like 2e is at the very least going to be competently balanced compared to 1e, if not overall. At the very least it's going to be more flexible out of the gate, at the cost of requiring 2 corebooks for post-visitation scions.

GrayDeath
2017-04-06, 01:54 PM
Supporting Scion if (and ONLY if) your Group consists of "Fluff over Mechanics" and/or "non-System-Breaker" Players, which sadly excludes most D&D Veterans.

Yes, mostly it does what you want, yes, Epic Attributes, especially Dexterity, break it pretty easily.

Not non-fixeable, but if you want it to be playable for "regular MinMaxers" out of the box, you might want to look elsewhere.

CharonsHelper
2017-04-06, 03:40 PM
Supporting Scion if (and ONLY if) your Group consists of "Fluff over Mechanics" and/or "non-System-Breaker" Players, which sadly excludes most D&D Veterans.

Yes, mostly it does what you want, yes, Epic Attributes, especially Dexterity, break it pretty easily.

Not non-fixeable, but if you want it to be playable for "regular MinMaxers" out of the box, you might want to look elsewhere.

Because it's cool to look down your nose at fellow nerdy gamers who have badwrongfun by enjoying strategy, tactics, and character customization. :smallwink:

Anonymouswizard
2017-04-06, 04:00 PM
Supporting Scion if (and ONLY if) your Group consists of "Fluff over Mechanics" and/or "non-System-Breaker" Players, which sadly excludes most D&D Veterans.

Yes, mostly it does what you want, yes, Epic Attributes, especially Dexterity, break it pretty easily.

Not non-fixeable, but if you want it to be playable for "regular MinMaxers" out of the box, you might want to look elsewhere.

It can be made workable by switching to a more nWoD system (melee attacks are Strength+Skill, DVs subtract from dice rolled, soak subtracts from damage, etc.), banning one knack, and dropping Epic Attributes to +1 automatic success per level, but that still leaves a bunch of broken boons (IMO more easy to balance on the fly, but still rather problematic). I'd even argue for dropping Epic Attributes entirely and having superhuman abilities be represented entirely by Knacks (which are cool, except for Untouchable Opponent or whatever it's called). There's a few other bits that need fixing (minimum speed on weapons springs to mind) but I get the feeling it's much more a victim of 'not enough playtesting' than 'utterly unplayable'.

But yes, I'd heavily recommend against running 1e right out of the box, or at the very least get your players to understand that you might ban or rework some stuff during the game. It's a great idea and the hints of a setting in the books are awesome, it just isn't in a balanced state as a game.

Berenger
2017-04-06, 04:01 PM
Because it's cool to look down your nose at fellow nerdy gamers who have badwrongfun by enjoying strategy, tactics, and character customization. :smallwink:

Enjoying strategy, tactics, character customization and being a nerd are certainly not the opposite of preferring fluff over mechanics (or mechanics over fluff). :smallconfused:

Knaight
2017-04-07, 09:06 AM
Because it's cool to look down your nose at fellow nerdy gamers who have badwrongfun by enjoying strategy, tactics, and character customization. :smallwink:

Two things:
1) Strategy, tactics, and character customization are all still in place. It's mechanical optimization that ends to break things.
2) Acknowledging that a game will only suit certain people is not looking down at the people it doesn't suit. If I say that (for instance) Warbirds will only suit people who are interested in Carribean politics and WWI style dogfights, and not people who dramatically favor fantasy dungeon crawling it's not a statement that fantasy dungeon crawling is bad. It's a statement that not everyone likes everything and as such the recommendation doesn't suit everyone.

GrayDeath
2017-04-07, 12:27 PM
While others have already said it, let me say it too: I am NOT looking down at anybody (with the possible exception of people telling me Tofu tastes better than a good Sirloin Steak^^). I am merely telling him/her/it what Scion does, and what it doesn`t, do well.


Being a bit less touchy-sarcastic and just read what I wrote without too much negative interpretation might help seeing that. :)

Azreal
2017-04-07, 01:21 PM
Sorry for the late reply but we tried Scion before and combat was awful to deal with and the nature of the campaign would most certainly have a decent amount of combat.

Knaight
2017-04-07, 01:31 PM
Sorry for the late reply but we tried Scion before and combat was awful to deal with and the nature of the campaign would most certainly have a decent amount of combat.

I'd be inclined towards a superhero system personally. That means that half a dozen people will be here to suggest Mutants and Masterminds before the day is done, but I favor Wild Talents. The various ORE games all interconnect okay (at least as well as the various d20 games do, for reference), so there's also an option involving a bit of patchwork between Nemesis and REIGN if you want modern fantasy where the fantasy powers are more in the vein of spells and fantasy combat than superhero stuff.

CharonsHelper
2017-04-07, 01:40 PM
Enjoying strategy, tactics, character customization and being a nerd are certainly not the opposite of preferring fluff over mechanics (or mechanics over fluff). :smallconfused:

I didn't mean anyone to take my last post literally. I thought that was what blue was for - silly sarcasm. I even added a winky-face! I'm sorry if I seemed grumpier than I am.


1) Strategy, tactics, and character customization are all still in place. It's mechanical optimization that ends to break things.

I would argue that when you inherently break the game when you customize in many ways, you don't really have that much customization.

Azreal
2017-04-08, 06:33 AM
I'd be inclined towards a superhero system personally. That means that half a dozen people will be here to suggest Mutants and Masterminds before the day is done, but I favor Wild Talents. The various ORE games all interconnect okay (at least as well as the various d20 games do, for reference), so there's also an option involving a bit of patchwork between Nemesis and REIGN if you want modern fantasy where the fantasy powers are more in the vein of spells and fantasy combat than superhero stuff.

One of my players had a bad experience with Wild Talents but I personally haven't looked into it.

Also we've used M&M before and I don't know why it didn't come to mind before.

Anonymouswizard
2017-04-08, 09:36 AM
Remember that Mutants and Masterminds works a lot better in a high powered game with flashy effects (although it does do things other than that, it excels when everyone is going big, out there, and over the top, whatever you're doing).

Now it would work brilliantly for a 'children of the gods' game where everyone is big and dramatic, but on the off chance you don't want that:

Fate works well if everyone is interested in going with story conventions, and works for anything. For bonus points skills automatically scale with the campaign power level, Great (+4) Physique is Great for the characters, a trained soldier might have Average (+1) Shoot or Good (+3) Shoot depending on the game. It's not perfect, but with the right group it works.

Azreal
2017-04-08, 11:52 AM
Remember that Mutants and Masterminds works a lot better in a high powered game with flashy effects (although it does do things other than that, it excels when everyone is going big, out there, and over the top, whatever you're doing).

Now it would work brilliantly for a 'children of the gods' game where everyone is big and dramatic, but on the off chance you don't want that:

Fate works well if everyone is interested in going with story conventions, and works for anything. For bonus points skills automatically scale with the campaign power level, Great (+4) Physique is Great for the characters, a trained soldier might have Average (+1) Shoot or Good (+3) Shoot depending on the game. It's not perfect, but with the right group it works.

I guess I'm looking for a system which can handle a mission based campaign, where people sign up for a session and that's the party for that night. So each session can vary wildly and will obviously have to wrap up in one play. So one session could be social, another stealth based, and the next combat. So M&M in my experience can do all of those things and my players are familiar with it. Would FATE work better for that or would M&M should I use a different system?

Eisenheim
2017-04-08, 12:27 PM
Fate sounds really good for you. Characters can remain fun and competent even when their specialty isn't foregrounded, and there are no fiddly subsystems to get stuck in. Once you have characters, it's easy to drop in and out, and it's easy to scale challenges and play time based on how many players you have.

Most of fate core is free in the SRD. I say take a look.

Anonymouswizard
2017-04-08, 01:56 PM
Fate sounds really good for you. Characters can remain fun and competent even when their specialty isn't foregrounded, and there are no fiddly subsystems to get stuck in. Once you have characters, it's easy to drop in and out, and it's easy to scale challenges and play time based on how many players you have.

Most of fate core is free in the SRD. I say take a look.

Most of Fate Core is PWYW pdfs, I own literally all of those (I have a rule that if I'm going to run anything I'll put down money on it, but until then I'm going for 'free digital buy physical', I'm hoping Lose Threads gets a Dead Tree Edition).

I'm not 100% it'll be suitable for the OP's needs, the characters really should be made as a group and while it's easy for people to drop in and out of the game after that it can be difficult to join part way through the game (depending on the player, it's mainly the Aspects that give problems).

ImNotTrevor
2017-04-08, 02:35 PM
Weirdly, I'm going to put my hat in with FATE on a condition:

Use FATE Accelerated.

Regular Fate has, IMO, a lot of needless clutter that takes away from its strongest feature: Aspects.

FATE Accelerated stays very close to its best feature and doesn't stray far from it. So I'd push towards that one if you want a very streamlined experience that does what FATE does best without any clunk or clutter attached.

Eisenheim
2017-04-08, 04:45 PM
I'm not 100% it'll be suitable for the OP's needs, the characters really should be made as a group and while it's easy for people to drop in and out of the game after that it can be difficult to join part way through the game (depending on the player, it's mainly the Aspects that give problems).

This really depends on the game and the group. None of my fate groups have ever done the linked backstories/aspect generation part of from the book character creation, and it's worked fine. I think the important thing is for the game to have strong stories or central themes everyone can tie their character into. As long the GM establishes that and works to drop people in and out as needed, pickup fate works very well.

Anonymouswizard
2017-04-08, 05:11 PM
This really depends on the game and the group. None of my fate groups have ever done the linked backstories/aspect generation part of from the book character creation, and it's worked fine. I think the important thing is for the game to have strong stories or central themes everyone can tie their character into. As long the GM establishes that and works to drop people in and out as needed, pickup fate works very well.

Oh no, I mean I've met people who can't come up with an Aspect to sae their life (although I don't insist on all five being filled in if you joined partway through, you're essentially trading less compels for less things to invoke). I'll agree that the 'linked backstories' version is not the only way to do it, and I don't particularly like it myself, but the point was it's not exactly a system where you can turn up with a premade character and expect it to be fine.

Eisenheim
2017-04-08, 05:31 PM
That's entirely fair, I just don't think about characters generated without GM consultation at all at this point. Are there really games generic enough for that to work?

Knaight
2017-04-09, 05:35 PM
That's entirely fair, I just don't think about characters generated without GM consultation at all at this point. Are there really games generic enough for that to work?

Generic systems are pretty much the worst case scenario in terms of being able to make a character without GM consultation - it's the hyperspecialized games where this can actually work.

Azreal
2017-04-09, 09:29 PM
I think I should explain a little better. We are gonna have a character creation Session 0 and all the players make their one character they will have for the whole campaign. It's just they won't all play at once every session. Hence dropping in and out. They will however all work from the same base and know each other.