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Logic Cannon
2007-10-23, 03:13 PM
A couple of my friends and I are looking to potentially take a break from d20-inspired gaming (heresy, I know) and were wondering what systems you'd recommend. Any setting or theme is possible, as we're quite flexible but generally prefer a fair amount of combat as well as roleplaying.

captain_decadence
2007-10-23, 03:24 PM
I would recommend the White Wolf Old World of Darkness system (I don't know the New World of Darkness System that well, sorry) but if you like combat, it's not really for you. Combat in that game is slow slow slow slow slow. Maybe it's just my groups, but dear god it takes forever.

I've heard good things about the GURPs system, maybe try that?

Dizlag
2007-10-23, 04:25 PM
When I'm not playing d20, I'm playing Savage Worlds (http://www.peginc.com/Games/Games.htm). There's a Test Drive set of rules on that page to download for free and it's a great introduction to the system. If you like it, then pick up Savage Worlds Explorer's Guide (http://www.amazon.com/Savage-Worlds-Explorers-S2P10010-Staff/dp/0979245567) for only $10 ... it's cheap and has updated rules.

In short, it's a rules light system that still has skills and edges (feats). There are numerous campaign settings that cover a wide variety of genres. The latest is called "The Savage World of Solomon Kane" based on the works of Robert E. Howard the creator of Conan. I'm loving his collected works on Solomon Kane, a Puritan swordsman wandering the world during the 19th century fighting all things bad.

We just finished the 50 Fathoms campaign ... swashbuckling pirates, weird playable races, and sea hags on a world that is flooding. THE best campaign I've ever been a part of. Very kewls!

Good luck!

Dizlag

Raum
2007-10-23, 05:22 PM
It really depends what you're looking for - do you want rules heavy (Exalted) or light (Over the Edge), free (Risus, Fudge) or in print (WFRP, Unisystem), with a setting (Shadowrun) or without (TriStat), and what type of setting? Those are just a few possibilities.

Taking a stab in the dark, I'd recommend the following:

Shadowrun - moderately rules heavy fantasy / cyberpunk
Over the Edge - light rules but out of print, can still get in PDF form
Exalted - complex rules, over the top fantasy
WFRP - moderate to heavy rules, gritty fantasy
Spirit of the Century - light to moderate rules, cinematic pulp
Witchcraft - moderate rules, modern horror, available free in PDF or for $ in print

Darth Mario
2007-10-23, 05:35 PM
I see that this thread has been declared the active one (try not to create three threads in the future :smalltongue:).

Never played GURPS (that's Generic Universal RolePlaying System, if I remember correctly), but I also have heard good things. They're not kidding about the Universal part, you an literally run almost any setting using the rules.

I myself am partial to the Shadowrun RPG, if you're interested in a cyberpunk setting.

Kiero
2007-10-23, 05:37 PM
Check out John H Kim's bigass list of free RPGs (http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/encyclopedia/) - there's a lot out there that cost nothing more than your time to peruse, and some are pretty good.

Non-D20 isn't really very specific, what are you looking to get from a different system? What aspects of D20 do you like, and would like to see in some new system, and what aspects do you dislike, and could do without?

What specifically do you feel is missing from your play experience without non-D20 games?

Lord Zentei
2007-10-23, 05:59 PM
GURPS is good. Some argue that the flavor of the core rulebook is a bit dry, but that's due to it being a "Generic, Universal" system. The worldbooks provide the flavor. It can handle just about anything from stone age to ultra-tech, from mundane to magical and superhero, as well as different genres including horror, mystery, etc.


Basic outline:

You have four basic stats, ST (strength), DX (dexterity), IQ (intelligence) and HT (health). An average human has a score of 10 in each. You then buy extra stat points for them using "character points" (or dump them to gain bonus points to spend elsewhere). The usual heroic character starts off with 100 points (an average human is assumed to have 0-25 points or so). Stat modifications cost plus or minus 10-20 character points per point, usually.

Then, you buy "advantages" and "disadvantages" with the same points, these are sort of like Feats. The disadvantages provide bonus points, with their effects ranging from the merely annoying to the crippling (literally). Also there are limits to how many you can take: usually up to -40 points worth, or a single disadvantage of any points value (if you want to be a masochist there are things like Blind and Cursed -- the latter meaning that the GM can pick on you whenever something bad happens to the party, and you have no complaint coming, because you are Cursed :smallbiggrin: ).

Advantages and disadvantages usually cost about plus or minus 5, 10 or 15 points. Examples include Strong (or Weak) Will, Charisma, Social Class, Wealth Class, Combat Reflexes, High Pain Threshold, etc, etc.

You can take up to 5 very minor disadvantages called "Quirks", these are roleplaying flavor things worth -1 point. But you must roleplay them.

Finally, you take skill points, these are classified into Mental and Physical, and then according to how hard they are (Physics is "Hard", Computer Operation is "Easy"). GURPS skills are very much more numerous than d20 ones, they are the focus of the game, really. Skills are based on your stats, for instance you could have IQ+3 in your Mathematics skill.

You can take templates of sundry sorts and add them to your character, but these composed using the core build system: for instance taking an Elf, you would gain -1 ST, +1 DX, +1 IQ and a number of advantages and disadvantages; the cost of taking this template is equal to the cost of taking these modifications to a basic human player.

The skill roll is the core mechanic, it is a 3d6 roll, try and score less than or equal to your skill, modified as per conditions declared by the GM.

Combat is resolved by skill rolls: each class of weapon is an independent skill, though here (and in some other places as well) you can "default" certain skills to others (for instance you could use a Broadsword using your Shortsword skill-3). You make an attack roll, the opponent makes a defense roll to Parry, Block or Dodge. There are advanced options such as Feint (reducing the opponent's effective Defense by the difference of a skill roll-off) and so on.

Magic is resolved by skill rolls: each spell is an independent skill. There are complex prerequisite trees for learning them. You take Fatigue damage upon casting spells, this cost is reduced as your skill in a given spell increases.

Hit points are equal to your ST, though you can buy additional ones. Fatigue points are equal to your HT, again you can buy additional ones. These extra points are treated as advantages.

Weapon damage is based on ST, going by a table that plots thrusting and swinging weapons against your ST score. Most weapons have bonuses to this (for instance, a weapon could have "Thrust+2" as its listed damage).

Armour is "Damage Resistance" (Damage Reduction by any other name) and a bonus to your defense roll. The former can be bypassed by a critical hit.

Damage types gain a multipliers to effective damage once you pierce the armour: impaling x2, edged x1 and bludgeon x1.

shadowdemon_lord
2007-10-23, 06:03 PM
Well, their's the obvious. I'm starting playing a new system called Witchhunter, it's based off of the WhiteWolf system (so I'm told) but has a different setting. It's made by a combinatoin of the people who did Living Death and who do Arcanis, if your familiar with either. It's based in the late 1600's, and you can basically play anyone you want that would fit into the that setting. The catch is that something has happened to you in your past that has made you aware of the supernatural, and you can now recognize supernatural events for what they are (most people can't). Other people who are similarly awakened (collectively called Witch Hunters) will immediately recognise you for what you are because they will get some sort of indicator of what made you a Witch Hunter when they see you. The game seems to be a bit europe centric far as I can tell, but with some effort could probably be done with characters in a different part of the world.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-10-23, 06:04 PM
I agree. For basic gamin', GURPS is king. Now, for niches:

Futuristic: For apocalyptic futuristic, take Rifts. For cyberpunk, take Shadowrun. They are the best at what they do.

Horror: OWoD or NWoD are made of win.

Modern: hmmmmm.... out of ideas. Can't really recommend here.

Medieval: Again, out of ideas. But there's a plenty of this one, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Kurald Galain
2007-10-23, 06:04 PM
Try Whitewolf. You can dramatically speed up combat with a houserule or two.

Oooorrrr.... well, it depends on what you want, really. Cyberpunk 2020 is nice. Amber DRP is interesting but possibly unplayable depending on your group. Paranoia is a must, even if only for a single session, and it does do lots 'n lots of combat. TORG is cute. And don't forget about Call of Ctulhu.

Lord Zentei
2007-10-23, 06:08 PM
Try Whitewolf. You can dramatically speed up combat with a houserule or two.

Oooorrrr.... well, it depends on what you want, really. Cyberpunk 2020 is nice. Amber DRP is interesting but possibly unplayable depending on your group. Paranoia is a must, even if only for a single session, and it does do lots 'n lots of combat. TORG is cute. And don't forget about Call of Ctulhu.

All good suggestions. Though be warned that if you take some of these (notably Paranoia, Cyberpunk and Call of Ctulhu), get used to dying very very quickly, and in the case of CoCth, horribly. :smallamused:

toddex
2007-10-23, 06:11 PM
I agree. For basic gamin', GURPS is king. Now, for niches:

Futuristic: For apocalyptic futuristic, take Rifts. For cyberpunk, take Shadowrun. They are the best at what they do.

Horror: OWoD or NWoD are made of win.

Modern: hmmmmm.... out of ideas. Can't really recommend here.

Medieval: Again, out of ideas. But there's a plenty of this one, so it shouldn't be a problem.


Please define acronyms when attempting to introduce someone to something new. I would def be interested in post apoc systems and zombie horror systems.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-10-23, 06:16 PM
GURPS was explained above. O and N before WoD mean Old or New world of darkness, a series of games published by white wolf that exist in one universe.

Post apoc, Rifts is the best at what it does. It's REALLY fun and interesting, and for one reason or another, seems to degenerate into more RP'ing, which is good.

As for zombie horror....tough one. D20 modern is probably best, because modern zombies is too much of a niche.

Oh, and by the way, nice hijack.

Lord Zentei
2007-10-23, 06:19 PM
Please define acronyms when attempting to introduce someone to something new. I would def be interested in post apoc systems and zombie horror systems.

GURPS has both of these. The sheer number of weird world-books they have is staggering.

One of the more far-out examples: they actually had a "Bunnies and Burrows" variant at one point, which allowed people to play rabbits in the manner of Watership Down.

reorith
2007-10-23, 06:45 PM
fear rpg is pretty slick

http://www.fearrpg.net/

Qooroo
2007-10-23, 06:53 PM
That's a...broad question.

Exalted for Epic Fantasy
Scion for Epic Fantasy in the modern world
Angel/Buffy for a really good replica of the tropes/style of those shows
Savage Worlds for pulp action

Matthew
2007-10-23, 07:06 PM
West End Game's D6 Engine
Ars Magica
Earth Dawn
Harn Master
War Hammer Fantasy Roleplay

Logic Cannon
2007-10-23, 07:09 PM
I see that this thread has been declared the active one (try not to create three threads in the future :smalltongue:).

Never played GURPS (that's Generic Universal RolePlaying System, if I remember correctly), but I also have heard good things. They're not kidding about the Universal part, you an literally run almost any setting using the rules.

I myself am partial to the Shadowrun RPG, if you're interested in a cyberpunk setting.

Sorry about posting in triplicate - a couple hours ago I was having terrible connectivity and kept failing to post. My failures must've been less so than I'd imagined.

Lord Zentei
2007-10-23, 07:13 PM
Sorry about posting in triplicate - a couple hours ago I was having terrible connectivity and kept failing to post. My failures must've been less so than I'd imagined.

It happens to me also, sometimes. The thing is that the post can be sent to the board, but the browser can fail to load the modified page/index, so attempting to re-submit simply sends another copy to the board.

To avoid this, try to see if your post has indeed been submitted by checking on the forum in an extra tab or browser window before trying again, just to be on the safe side.

UserClone
2007-10-23, 07:15 PM
Um, ok, I have technically only tried the D20 version (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/hr02.html) of Grimm (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/gr01.html), but I REALLY like this game. Check it out.

Winterking
2007-10-23, 07:21 PM
Aces & Eights is a good western roleplaying system, and it's new, so the company (Kenzer) has plenty of support on their website. Granted, the system does use d20s, and a range of other dice, but it is different enough from any other d20 system(or The D20 System) to merit its mention here.
From combat (no initiative, just a steady increasing count, with actions taking a certain number of "counts") to a Shot Clock (shooting a firearm at a specific part of the body, and then after range modifiers, other modifiers, PC skill, and the luck of a die roll, determining where the shot--or shotgun blast--actually hit), to a very elaborate, yet reasonably simple craft/skill system, it's an interesting and highly realistic representation of an alternate Wild West. No monsters or ghostrock or werewolves, though, nor steampunk/technomagery. Just gritty cowboys and townsfolk. The rulebook is gorgeous--leather bound, full of classic wild west etchings, sketches, and paintings, and the alternate history is believable and well-described.
My favorite part of it, however, is the fact that, just like in real life, increasing skill/level/experience is no more important than increasing your wealth, and in contrast to most rpgs, actually working to increase your character's funds is one of the best ways to make him/her more effective.

kjones
2007-10-23, 07:27 PM
I second the nomination for Aces & Eights, and would also suggest Hackmaster as an excellent non-d20 system RPG, but be forewarned - the rules on both counts are somewhat on the heavier side.

I would also recommend Rifts as my post-apocalyptic game of choice. Just make sure characters are created together so you don't overshadow one another.

Finally, if you just want to be a god and kick some tail, try Exalted. My brother is in a campaign right now and says it's a lot of fun and worth a try.

UserClone
2007-10-23, 07:31 PM
Um, ok, I have technically only tried the D20 version (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/hr02.html) of Grimm (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/gr01.html), but I REALLY like this game. Check it out.

Lord Tataraus
2007-10-23, 08:03 PM
Firstoff, d20 is one of many more systems. Never look for a game to be non-d20, look for the style of game you want, then look at the many options and pick one. Every genre has numerous options with a variety of differences be it setting, d20 or no, etc. So this question can't really be answered with out narrowing it down some more. I personally like Risus, Mutants and Masterminds 2e, Cyberpunk 2020 and WARS RPG.

UserClone
2007-10-23, 08:15 PM
Um, ok, I have technically only tried the D20 version (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/hr02.html) of Grimm (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/gr01.html), but I REALLY like this game. Check it out.

....
2007-10-23, 08:29 PM
Storytelling system (Monster: The Angst) is a good one. Works for more realistic combat, and very RP condusive.

Only other one I have experience with is Shadowrun, and one quick game of Chaosism's CofC.

And Violence. But no one plays that.

Levi Kornelsen
2007-10-23, 08:52 PM
Check out John H Kim's bigass list of free RPGs (http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/encyclopedia/) - there's a lot out there that cost nothing more than your time to peruse, and some are pretty good.

This is good, good advice.

Logic Cannon
2007-10-23, 09:05 PM
Firstoff, d20 is one of many more systems. Never look for a game to be non-d20, look for the style of game you want, then look at the many options and pick one. Every genre has numerous options with a variety of differences be it setting, d20 or no, etc. So this question can't really be answered with out narrowing it down some more. I personally like Risus, Mutants and Masterminds 2e, Cyberpunk 2020 and WARS RPG.

Well it's mostly come down to some of us (not necessarily myself) being tired of rolling d20s to determine the fate of the world, and I figure I'd have more success rounding up potential players by doing something new they could get excited about.

All the same, thanks so far to everyone who's offered helpful hints. I'm sorry for starting three (dear lord) posts on this topic, I was having connectivity issues with the forum earlier and kept attempting to submit the topic and failing. I guess it turns out I didn't fail as badly as I thought I did...

Belteshazzar
2007-10-23, 09:35 PM
GURPS mayhaps. D6 only and I am intrigued by its pointbuy flexibility. However, my group is not yet weary of D20. Perhaps later.

Lord_Kimboat
2007-10-23, 10:06 PM
The one that I would recommend most highly is Hero (http://www.herogames.com/home.htm)! This system gives you the freedom to create whatever sort of character you want, in whatever setting - while maintaining enough 'crunch' in the rules that it isn't like playing a free form.

Personally, I think that d20 has the support for users. It has hundreds of very clever writers to make sure that nothing is hugely broken, that there are lots of good adventures that are easy to play and DM and that the system is easy enough for pretty much anyone to understand.

On the other hand, Hero uses 3d6 instead of a d20 providing a bell curve; all characters are points based to provide balance and there are systems to include almost anything. If you want to change the setting, fine, there are several that are available. If you just want to make something up and go with it, that's pretty easy too. While it certainly isn't as well supported as d20, I can certainly say I've found it just as fun to play.

Golthur
2007-10-24, 12:31 AM
Ones I've played quasi-regularly and thoroughly enjoy:
Call of Cthulhu (BRP version) - deep and dark unspeakable horrors. If you want more "shoot 'em up" and less "we're all doomed", check out the Delta Green supplements for this as well.


Deadlands (Classic version) - the weird west. Chock full of shamans, mad scientists, gunslingers, hucksters, and blessed - with mechanics that actually encourage roleplaying. Go figure.


Paranoia - Trust the Computer. The Computer Is Your Friend. As Troubleshooters, you go on [deleted for security reasons]. It's awesome for one-offs, but not really good for the long haul.

horseboy
2007-10-24, 01:10 AM
Well, from what I've not seen listed yet, there's Rolemaster, Earthdawn, or Traveler.

ZebulonCrispi
2007-10-24, 02:14 AM
While I have not played it myself, I have heard nothing but praise for Dogs in the Vineyard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogs_in_the_Vineyard).

EL HUEVADOR
2007-10-24, 02:44 AM
GURPS I recommend; so long as you're playing a relatively "realistic" campaign.


GURPS is best if the PCs are heroes that are regular people--exceptionally capable, skilled, and determined people, but regular people nonetheless.

If you keep the game running within a few a degrees of separation from real life it's great. Character creation and customization is top notch, and mechanics are near invisible.

Once you start getting into the realms of super ultra powerful world shattering fantasy things get clunky, though.

Charity
2007-10-24, 04:39 AM
Harn Master does indeed rock, though I havn't played in.... some time.
Lets see, Runequest is a good one, Shadowrun, that is very genre specific though. GURPS of course, hell I used to like Traveller, though all your characters will be retired or dead before they start play. The old Starwars was fun... though with a bucket of D6.
btw
Has anyone else played Powers & Perils? or is it only me?

raygungothic
2007-10-24, 06:54 AM
Take a look at Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. The world isn't the same as the over-the-top one of the tabletop wargame; most of the usual fantasy elements exist, but they tend to get backgrounded in favour of a grim and gritty style. Players start as rat catchers and dyers' apprentices rather than heroes and wizards.

There is a lot of interesting rules-material in GURPS, but it's a long way from a ready-made campaign or world, so it can be a lot of work for the GM to get going. It runs on a strong "only GM-permitted parts of the rules" principle, so system balance is rather in the GM's hands. I like GURPS a lot but am hesitant to recommend it outright unless you're prepared to get a bit experimental with it or really, really want to run something inspired by one of the more oddball sourcebooks. In keeping with the name, its "genre studies" books like Space and Swashbucklers often give pretty good overviews of a genre, its conventions and their incorporation into a game. On the other hand, GURPS is not THAT generic; it is at its strongest dealing with skilled humans or humanoids with only a few extraordinary abilities in a relatively "realistic" gameworld, and can struggle a bit with other paradigms.

Beleriphon
2007-10-24, 06:59 AM
Post apoc, Rifts is the best at what it does. It's REALLY fun and interesting, and for one reason or another, seems to degenerate into more RP'ing, which is good.

I've played RIFTS extensively, and its arguably the single worst designed game system that uses one of the coolest concepts for a game world ever to deliver the terribleness that is the RIFTS system.

InaVegt
2007-10-24, 07:12 AM
I've played RIFTS extensively, and its arguably the single worst designed game system that uses one of the coolest concepts for a game world ever to deliver the terribleness that is the RIFTS system.

I believe Fatal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FATAL) is worse.

Dausuul
2007-10-24, 07:36 AM
I agree. For basic gamin', GURPS is king. Now, for niches:

Futuristic: For apocalyptic futuristic, take Rifts. For cyberpunk, take Shadowrun. They are the best at what they do.

Actually, my recommendation for apocalyptic futuristic would be to take the Rifts setting and slap it on a GURPS chassis. That way you get the awesomeness that is the Rifts world, without the horribleness that is the Rifts rules.

(Oh, GURPS stands for Generic Universal Role-Playing System. It's from Steve Jackson Games. Nobody ever uses the full name, though.)

Although this does bring up something I've been wondering about with GURPS 4E. My experiences from 3E indicate that combat tends to break down when you get into the higher power levels, mainly because the defender always makes his/her defense roll, and so you're reduced to sitting around waiting for somebody to roll a crit and bypass defense. Does 4E address this issue at all?

hamlet
2007-10-24, 07:45 AM
Future: Alternity, Hero, and Gurps, though I'd probably shy away from Hero at first. The calculus involved kills kittens for fun.

Modern/Near Future: Alternity all the way baby. Or GURPS.

Superheroes: Palladium Heros Unlimited (pleasantly abusable, simple, and fun to use, inclusive of just about any concept of hero you could possibly want), GURPS powers, Hero 5th edition (though again, the math is angry and tough)

Westerns: Aces & Eights and no other

Wierd West: Deadlands

CyberPunk: Shadowrun 3rd or Alternity (Yes, Alternity can do it all)

High Fantasy: AD&D, Hackmaster, BECMI D&D (Basic, Expert, Companion, Masters, Imortals), Palladium FRPG

High High Fantasy: Arduin (it's the best you can get for the Blackmoor style fantasy genre wherin you can have a master of the arcane arts in the same adventuring party with a gizmo tech master and nobody would blink twice).

Low Fantasy: AD&D 2e, GURPS, Warhammer FRPG

Fantasy Grim and Gritty: Gurps though with house rules, AD&D 2e with some basic house understanding of what happens in the world, Warhammer played to the hilt

Tyrrell
2007-10-30, 03:56 PM
I'll praise my favorite game, Ars Magica, as being rock solid, having tons of excellent support, and having the best magic system in the history of gaming.

But, here's the deal the set of entities known as non-D20 games has somewhere between 6 and 100,000 times as much variety as the set of entities known as D20 games.

"Non D20" doesn't give you appreciably less variety to choose from then saying "role playing games". Heck, Hero system (a non-d20 game) when run for superheros is in many ways more similar to Mutants and Masterminds (a d20 game) than D&D is.

There are such vast swaths of game space between the Adventures of Baron Von Munchousen and Phoenix Command ,that the only advice that I have to give you is to go out purchase every available suppliment for my favorate game so that the game line is more profitable and I can be more assured of getting more products published down the line:smallbiggrin: .

Fax Celestis
2007-10-30, 04:01 PM
Everway. No dice, just a tarot deck. No stats, just scores for the four elements.

Lord Tataraus
2007-10-30, 04:24 PM
Everway. No dice, just a tarot deck. No stats, just scores for the four elements.

Woah! That sounds awesome!

Anyway, all I have to add is Cyberpunk 2020 is a great game, don't know too much about Cyberpunk 3v except that there isn't much out for it.

Crazy_Uncle_Doug
2007-10-30, 04:27 PM
Here are my picks:

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Either 1st or 2nd edition. 2nd is a bit more balanced and has the advantage of being in print, but they pretty much play the same.

Exalted: High-power campaigning. Imagine starting at level 20 and going from there. That's pretty much Exalted. Combat is a little different. After initiative, everyone goes once the speed of their action is up, thus instead of waiting for your "turn" in combat, you're acting whenever the speed of your last action is up. Complicated at first, but it runs smooth once you have it down. I love it.

Ars Magica: Basic concept is that one plays a Mage and his entire retinue in a historical mythic Europe. Class balance is for suckers. Mages are far, far more powerful than any other type of character. Number crunching in the game can be a pain, but if you work some of the formulae out beforehand and write them down, you can bypass most of it in play. The magic system really shines with player creativity.

Hackmaster: Yes, the game that's basically DnD 1.5e with a bunch of other bits thrown in. It's a direct spin-off of the grandfather of fantasy RPGs, and the popular KoDT comic. It's good ol'-fashioned hack-and-slash gaming with tongue-in-cheek writing. The downside remains that playing it requires a greater investment than playing DnD (the multiple volumes of the Hacklopedia of Beasts is almost insane).

Aces & Eights: Another good one from Kenzerco, this is a wholly independant and creative game altogether. It's a wild-West RPG, set in a North America of alternate history. Combat is a mirror-image of Exalted. Rather than acting and waiting, in this game you declare what you want to do, wait for the speed of the action to go, then do the declared action. Even basic combat can get a tad complicated. There are advanced combat rules, entirely modular so it can get as simple or as crazy as you like.

Illiterate Scribe
2007-10-30, 04:45 PM
I've got to recommend Inquisitor. It's not very widely played, but it is very good. Hyperdetailed (a good thing), but wow, is it gritty, both in terms of background and ease in getting yourself killed or worse. It's fairly freeflow compared to other systems, and you need to keep an eye out balance-wise, but it's for the best.

Idiotbox90
2007-10-30, 07:45 PM
FATE: It's generic, but easy to adapt to any setting. Easy conflict resolution and mechanics that encourage roleplaying.

Eldmor
2007-10-30, 08:09 PM
I believe Fatal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FATAL) is worse.
My imagination has got the best of me, yet I can't find it on the internet anywhere. Someone willing to help me ruin my mind?

I'm playing New World of Darkness using Mage: The Awakening, and so far it feels like a good system. The Dice Pool system is simple, and it seems hard to break the game. (Don't quote me on that.)
I've heard some good things about Big Eyes, Small Mouth for those into anime table-topping for it's adaptability into near any setting.

Jayabalard
2007-10-30, 09:58 PM
GURPS I recommend; so long as you're playing a relatively "realistic" campaign.


GURPS is best if the PCs are heroes that are regular people--exceptionally capable, skilled, and determined people, but regular people nonetheless.

If you keep the game running within a few a degrees of separation from real life it's great. Character creation and customization is top notch, and mechanics are near invisible.

Once you start getting into the realms of super ultra powerful world shattering fantasy things get clunky, though.it does supers pretty well too... you just have to intentionally move into that genre rather than creep into it like D&D does.

shadowdemon_lord
2007-10-31, 12:13 AM
Serenity is an interesting RPG. Based on the show Firefly, it's western meets sci fi, and does it well. It's the wild west with space ships, laser guns, protien packets, and a powerful corrupt empire that says it's working for the good of mankind. The heart of the empire (called the core worlds) are rich, awash in high tech stuff and very civilized. The outer planets (called the rim) are poor, have a wild west theme to them, and are full of people who don't like the alliance (the war for independependence from the alliance happened within living memory of the campaign world, you can even play veterans of it). The system is fairly easy to understand, rules lite, and discourages roll play. You can certianly make characters in it that are just incredibly good at something, but it'll cost you quite a bit in other areas. Due to the nature of a wild west setting, and the ease with which you can make your character competent in a number of things, playing a balanced character definitely has it's perks. Combat is fairly realistic. If you don't have cover, your going to get shot up. The high tech stuff is also fairly hard to come by on the rim, so you can take out almost all of it save the protien packs and the ships.

TheOOB
2007-10-31, 12:47 AM
If you can find the books, 7th Sea is a great system. The game system is very simple and streamlined, making it one of the best systems ever for bringing new people into role playing games, plus it's about pirates.

The system is skill based(rather then class based), and instead of making you focus in one field, the system encourages you to make broad characters with many different skills. You can take various special qualities to focus your character in one area, such as sorcery or swordsmanship, at the expense of versitility, but you still get enough to make an interesting character who is more powerful in their choosen field, but not brokenly so (anyone can be good with a sword, a swordsman can just get better, and magic is powerful but not broken until master level, but by the time a sorcerer is a master you should be the stuff of legend anyways).

The system uses only d10s, but you never roll more then 10 at a time (that is acually a game rule), and the system provides a nice bell curve which is uniform enough where you feel awesome at all times, but has just enough randomness to allow you to occasional do crazy insane things, as well as have a feeling a danger.

Plus the system has a drama system in place to reward you for being really awesome :)

Overall it's a great system, I've delt with the Avalon(English) secret service, saved a town mayor from their "bodyguards" who imprisoned them, and played a major role in the medic corps of the first battle of the Highland(Scottish) civil war, and that was just last session.

Serenity
2007-10-31, 08:15 AM
I'll second an earlier nomination for the Buffy/Angel RPG. You don't need to know anything about the show, and it's really easy to create your own unique setting to got with the rules. Fairly standard point buy, but the mechanics are really easy to learn--basically for anything you want to do, its d10+Attribute+Skill trying to get a total of nine or better. Combat is fast and furious, and even the Xanders in the party can contribute virtue of getting the most Drama Points. The Magic system is the trickiest thing about it, as it simply offers a system for making your own spells. The Magic Box supplement does list all the spells ever used in the show, though. Magic is very powerful, but has the chance to backfire spectacularly and can't be pulled out too much in a given encounter.

Winterwind
2007-10-31, 08:27 AM
If you happen to speak German, DeGenesis (http://www.degenesis.de/) is my most favourite system by far, and it's available for free download..

I posted why I like it in some other thread, so I'll just quote what I wrote back then:


I don't think anyone around here has heard of my favourite RP system, which would be a postapocalyptic RPG called DeGenesis, currently only available in German, but being translated into English right now.

It takes place in what remains of Europe and Africa after a meteor shower has struck Earth and wiped out most of the civilisation, bringing about a new ice age - the Arctic ice has engulfed the North Sea, while Africa has a moderate clima now.
Together with the meteor came something else - the Foulness, a kind of fungus which began to spread from the many craters, causing insanity and mutation amongst the people who came into contact with it: Slowly, mankind begins to mutate into its own worst enemy, the psychonauts, who sway in midst of the Foulness to melodies only they can hear, merely parts of a hive mind, possessing terrible powers.
Meanwhile, mankind has begun to rebuild in the ruins, shattered into a myriad tribes and organisations. Africa has flourished to the dominating power and begun raiding Europe for the remaining artefacts of the elder civilisation and slaves to work in the oil fields, while Europe clings desperately to its once glorious past, stalking through the ruins.
Another threat: shortly before the Eschaton, the end of the former world, a powerful organisation has scattered bunkers around the world, with the elite of the elite frozen in a cryogenic sleep to wake up when the time is right and rebuild what was lost, while a crew of loyal servants guard their century long slumber. But in the long time the servants have grown inbred and superstitious, praying to the Sleepers as if they were gods, whereas the cryogenic sleep has erased most of their memory - when they awaken, they are but empty hulls, ready to absorb the insane ramblings of their servants about world domination, and still equipped with the mighty technology of the elder civilisation.
And these are but a few of a myriad further metaplots.

So, why do I like this one most? Let's see...

It has a fascinating background: Lots of organisations and cultures all intertwined with each other. Secrets and foreshadowing of greater things happening without anyone having the greater picture. And it tells the tale of both mankind's grimmest hour, with dangers everywhere, and its most glorious moments, when hope and will for survival triumph against the odds. And there are few heroes or villains - but many very, very human beings...

It's focussed on atmosphere instead of mechanics: It has the most fascinating ratio between setting/atmosphere and mechanics I have ever seen in a system - I'm not sure whether the mechanics part is even as long as one sixth of the fluff. That's quite the opposite of a mechanics focussed game like, for example, ShadowRun.
Also, the fluff consists for a great part out of stories, in-character descriptions and more, all designed to enhance the atmosphere. I have never seen an RPG even approximately as well written.

It has lots of metaplot: Like I said, all over the books there are hints at things happening in the background, hints that, if put together, lead to a rather frightening picture, when menaces partially thousands of years old begin to surface, or when one begins to understand a tiny part of the diabolic plans of the Sleepers' masters. And yet, the descriptions are never so definite as to stiffle a gamemaster's creativity - quite the opposite, they enhance it and inspire new ideas instead.

It has a great system: The system is, as previously stated, very short, yet highly flexible. It's skill- and experience based (as opposed to class- and levels), it is simple, and it both allows for a lot of character progression and succeeds at keeping the characters more or less human at all times.

It's fast: One of the fastest systems I have ever seen. This becomes especially apparent in combat - where other systems often need half an hour or more for the resolution, DeGenesis usually needs only ten minutes.

It has the right degree of lethality: Usually one can assume to survive one hit. But not much more. This makes for a system where characters don't die arbitrarily because of a freak chance hit, but is lethal enough to be more or less realistic and to make combat an appropriately dangerous choice.

Its free: At least, the core book is - completely downloadable for free from the publisher's website. The idea is that the people shall see how the system is for themselves, and decide later on whether they want to buy the book in paper form, or any supplemental books (which are strictly not necessary for play, given that they contain mostly metaplot and further setting informations, rather than rules)

It takes place right where I live: Well, more or less, at least, but a few of the old cities have survived and, usually, have a background somewhat related to the real cities (I was rather amused when I learned that the place of my birth, Wroclaw, actually still existed - and anyone who is somewhat familiar with Polish history will understand why I was amused all the more when I learned it was now under the control of an enigmatic figure calling himself the Piast :smallbiggrin: )

The English website would be here (http://www.degenesisrpg.com/), by the way, and even contains a download of a document with a short introduction, quick start rules and an adventure (which, unfortunately, I deem a rather poor representation of what DeGenesis is like).

Yes. I love that system. :smallsmile:
(My avatar is more or less taken straight out of the core rulebook, by the way, of course after stickification)

Squee_nabob
2007-10-31, 12:00 PM
I also want to support HERO (herogames.com) as a good non-d20 system.

The important things to know going in...

HERO is a build it yourself game. It's basically a programming language, and you write your own programs. Do you want to play high fantasy? Make your own magic system and spells. Superheros? Define your own powers. etc.

With that said, HERO has some wonderful genre books with lots of useful advice for first time GMs as well as pre-made character and antagonist books. This is a major leg up to help, if you are used to using pre-generated stuff.

HERO has wonderful customer service. the major game designer (Steve Long) will generally answer any question you might have, in about 24-36 hours, plus a good set of forums.

Finally, HERO has a good set of rules that don't come apart (with a few things that I've house ruled, but that wasn't hard). And you can use it as a base line, thinking "That's an interesting setting, but would I rather play it in HERO?"

(For example, old world of darkness has an interesting and well developed setting, but combat rules that are tacked on and in some cases quite silly.) Solution? Play Vampire HERO, etc.

Tweekinator
2007-10-31, 02:01 PM
I'll second 7th Sea as being awesome and also suggest looking into All Flesh Must be Eaten for the zombie element that everyone craves.