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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Skill/Point based RPGs

    I remember someone saying in the E6 thread about how skill/point based games are often grittier or more realistic.
    Does anyone know of any apart from GURPS?
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    I'm a Weirdo who loves a really open-ended point-based system called the Hero system. It's extremely complicated and difficult to run well, but if done well it's a very, very rewarding system.
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Unknown Armies is point-based, and is VERY gritty and, heh, hehe. hehhehe. MWAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA *cough*

    Excuse that. But the setting itself is very gritty, so the grittiness isnt' really a byproduct of the system.
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    I think the Battletech RPG was skill based. I never had the opportunity to actually play it though, so I can't attest to where it is on the realistic/fantastic scale.

    I'm pretty sure that the Storyteller system (or whatever it is) that White Wolf uses is supposed to be skill based as well. Yet another system that I haven't actually gotten to play though, but from what I've heard it's probably less oriented towards "realism" than d20 is.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Its not so much the skill/point based systems that make things more gritty, but more the damage system. In D&D damage is only really relevant if it is coming at you faster then you can heal it, or if you are low of healing resources. In addition, damage doesn't even mean anything until you get knocked down to 0 or below hp (barring things like power words). You can get shot a hundred times, but as long as your still standing you take no penalties.

    You can have a class/level based system like D&D and still have things be gritty so long as the damage system that is in place makes it so damage is always relevant. For example, in True20, which is very similar to D&D in most respects except the damage system, even if you are a high level, a low level thug with a knife can kill you in one or two hits, its extreamly unlikely, but it can happen.
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    In addition to Shadowrun...

    L5R RPG
    Call of Cthulhu
    Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
    Rolemaster

    Are all good "gritty" games.

    A "not gritty, but skill point based" game is 7th Sea.
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Original & 2nd ed Star Wars RPG from West End Games
    Star Trek RPG (FASA)
    Star Trek RPG (Last Unicorn Games)
    Shadowrun (FASA)
    Babylon 5 RPG
    World of Darkness lines (White Wolf)


    I think the big difference is that weapon damage remains fixed in relation to player's damage taking capacity.

    In many level based games hitpoints just go up and up so there is no concievable way even with chain-natural 20's etc a single blow can kill a high level character. All the above games even a low level toon can take out a high end character with a lot of luck.
    Last edited by TheRiov; 2007-06-30 at 11:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    BESM is a character point system as well... but it isn't very gritty
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
    I'm pretty sure that the Storyteller system (or whatever it is) that White Wolf uses is supposed to be skill based as well. Yet another system that I haven't actually gotten to play though, but from what I've heard it's probably less oriented towards "realism" than d20 is.
    That depends on what you mean by "realism." The Storyteller system doesn't micromanage the rules quite so much as d20 does, and (especially as they get more powerful) characters can do some blatantly supernatural things, but I think in some ways, White Wolf is more realistic. You can take a called shot, for instance. You can actively attempt to evade someone's blow, rather than just add a number to your AC. You can't shoot someone twelve times in the face and have them stay standing (unless they've got some powerful supernatural protection). And because the system's a little looser and more flexible, you don't run into some of the flagrant breaches of reality that you see people on this forum complain about in D&D. At least, that's been my experience with it (and I play a LOT of White Wolf).

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRiov
    I think the big difference is that weapon damage remains fixed in relation to player's damage taking capacity.
    I think this is exactly the difference, you're right.
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    I have to disagree with ilovefire. Unknown Armies is gritty, and that is partially because the rules make firearms and magical combat spectacularly lethal.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Ars Magica is another skill/point based system, and even though it's fantasy, it's pretty gritty. Healing's not easy to come by, and resurrection is usually impossible.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Fading Suns are skill-based, and while they are not very gritty, the mechanics are very well-balanced and movie-realistic, as to say - it's one of those games where it's possible for the hero to kill a dragon (if there were dragons in this game), but lose to six mooks who wouldn't be able to kill the dragon themselves.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimp View Post
    I remember someone saying in the E6 thread about how skill/point based games are often grittier or more realistic.
    Which is a nonsensical supposition, likely based on having no experience with them. Skill or point-based games are no more or less realistic or gritty simply by dint of being point-based.

    GURPS can be gritty or not, depending on how many points characters are built on and what optional rules you're using. The old World of Darkness games were most certainly not gritty at all, nor were they particularly realistic, never mind stuff like Adventure! or Abberant. Spirit of the Century is definitely neither gritty, nor realistic, and it's origin system FATE again depends entirely on how you tune it.

    I could go on and on, but it's based on more than simply being point-based.
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Arrowflight is skill based, and pretty gritty.
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    Which is a nonsensical supposition, likely based on having no experience with them. Skill or point-based games are no more or less realistic or gritty simply by dint of being point-based.

    GURPS can be gritty or not, depending on how many points characters are built on and what optional rules you're using. The old World of Darkness games were most certainly not gritty at all, nor were they particularly realistic, never mind stuff like Adventure! or Abberant. Spirit of the Century is definitely neither gritty, nor realistic, and it's origin system FATE again depends entirely on how you tune it.

    I could go on and on, but it's based on more than simply being point-based.
    While most skill-based systems are not realistic, please show me a realistic level-based system.

    And on a slight offtopic, I don't think that gritty means realistic. In my book, if heroic is "above" realistic, then gritty is "below" realistic.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Ironically, GURPS usually has even less believable builds than D&D has. Why? Min/Maxing gone asymptoic.

    No, seriously.

    A 100 point build with a Dwarf using a Military Pick and Heavy Shield can be doing 3d IMPALING. Granted, he is completely illiterate, has absolutely no job skills, in fact his ONLY skill is Ax/Mace and Shield, he can't count to ten on his own fingers, and in general can't do anything but swing his pick at someone very hard.

    And gear > points. With enough DR in a Tech 4 campaign, you can pretty much ignore everything. Once you get DR around 10, you're only worried if they start throwing more than 2d6, which usually isn't too common since according to the book, at 100 points, most critters you're facing should be around 25 points.

    Once you get over 150 points, Magic >>>> anything else. By that time, you can have an average skill of 18 in magic, with several 21's thrown in with the right build (half elf with maxed out Magery and Int of 17 pays one point for a spell at skill 18 and 8 for a M/H at 21). This means he's now tossing out spells at no time and little to no cost. He can chunk 2d6 around for free and still take a full action after doing so. If he grabs Deathtouch at 21, he can do 3d6 and IGNORE ARMOR for 1 fatigue point and no casting time. Considering he'll have Recover Strength at like 18, he can recover that in a minute of resting. And again, because of min/maxing, this mage, while literate, has to either use magic or have his fighter buddy carry his stuff since he can hardly go with just his staff and clothing without being encumbered, and he has absolutely NO skills other than his magic.

    Once the casters start enchanting, though... that's when you need to keep them on a time crunch or they break the game. That's when they start enchanting everyone's weapon up for free. Slow and Sure. Sure, it takes six months or so, but then you've got a pick that doesn't need a turn to be readied, effectively giving them twice as many attacks as they used to have.
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Others not mentioned:

    Alternity by TSR (just played it last night)

    Mutants & Masterminds by Green Ronin

    Any of West End Games' D6 System games, including the pre-WotC Star Wars as mentioned

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    BESM is a character point system as well... but it isn't very gritty
    However, it's based on tri-stat. (Which as I remember is a still a free download.) And tri-stat had the option for the shock-value system. With shock value anything that takes 1/10th of your hp- has a chance to put you down for a number of rounds (based on a Soul Check). This in my thinking the most realistic combat I've played for a few reasons.

    1. Most people miss most of the time. This is due to the two roll system where you must make your attack and they must fail their defense.

    2. One good hit typically puts you down for a few rounds, and bleading (continueing to lose hit points) but no where close to dead.

    3. Several small hits take forever to kill you.

    4. Without medical attention any good hit will kill you, eventually.

    So, in the end combat is about not being hit instead of DnDs being tough enough to take it. It's really fun to be all strategic.

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    Also, you can run an large number of encounters per day sense you either get hurt or you don't. And only need healing after a bad fight.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    The only problem is that only you are allowed to be that strategic and never the opponents.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jannex View Post
    You can actively attempt to evade someone's blow, rather than just add a number to your AC.
    DnD chooses to simplify things by making defence passive. I think Unearthed Arcana has defence rolls as a variant.

    I once played a d20 modern session where we had d20 defence (with a defence bonus equal to defence -10) rolls against a set attack class (ie the attack bonus +10), just as an experiment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jannex View Post
    You can't shoot someone twelve times in the face and have them stay standing (unless they've got some powerful supernatural protection).
    Well, DnD handles this by not having a 'face' to shoot at. You can suffer an injury from a high callibre gun 12 times in DnD but in neither White Wolf nor DnD are you expected to walk around with 12 holes in your heart without some kind of supernatural anatomy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu View Post
    While most skill-based systems are not realistic, please show me a realistic level-based system.

    And on a slight offtopic, I don't think that gritty means realistic. In my book, if heroic is "above" realistic, then gritty is "below" realistic.
    Being 'Gritty' is about treating things realistically. Something can be gritty without being realistic as long as in consitantly maintains some form of internal realism.

    Grittiness is about presenting a believable world where everything within that world is subject to realistic pressures. In a gritty world attention is payed to stuff that isn't fantastical and the fantastical is designed to fit in with the non-fantastical.

    You can have a gritty high magic setting. For example a world ruled by mages caperble of single handedly destroying armies who live secluded lives in crumbling fortresses while the common folk live in poor villages and have to worry about Orcs ruining the harvest.

    Realism isn't important, its about whether details can be presented in a way that does a good enough job of replacing realism.
    Last edited by Closet_Skeleton; 2007-07-01 at 11:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Exalted is a skill-based RPG. It's clearly all kinds of 'gritty'.

    (It's not really, btw. It's very heroic in nature, though the lethality-by-damage level is a bit higher than it is in D&D... except for mortal campaigns)

    I agree with this fellow:

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    Its not so much the skill/point based systems that make things more gritty, but more the damage system. In D&D damage is only really relevant if it is coming at you faster then you can heal it, or if you are low of healing resources. In addition, damage doesn't even mean anything until you get knocked down to 0 or below hp (barring things like power words). You can get shot a hundred times, but as long as your still standing you take no penalties.

    You can have a class/level based system like D&D and still have things be gritty so long as the damage system that is in place makes it so damage is always relevant. For example, in True20, which is very similar to D&D in most respects except the damage system, even if you are a high level, a low level thug with a knife can kill you in one or two hits, its extreamly unlikely, but it can happen.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Stormbringer 5th edition is gritty, lethal and dark. It's also point-based and has a nice combat system. Only demonic weapons and armour can be over-powered (if the GM doesn't care much about the demonic needs). All in all, I like it very much .
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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Most of the ones I can think of off the top of my head have already been mentioned except for Savage Worlds.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Mechwarrior 3rd Ed. (Battletech RPG) is pretty hardcore when it comes to damage and survival rates if you get hit...mostly because in the Battletech universe, Medical science has taken a backburner to Weapons Tech, which means that their Med Tech isn't an awful lot better than what we have today (in RL). If you get shot, it takes months to heal properly and until that time, you're taking penalties for the wound.

    As far as the ruleset goes, it's one of the more detailed and realistic systems I've seen...there is little to no abstraction (like AC or HP) and it lists modifiers for a great many circumstantial situations (from called shots to varying light levels in combat and from fatigue levels to straight difficulty in other tasks).

    Many people might find it too detailed, but as far as I'm concerned it's one of the best RP systems I've encountered, simply because it models reality so well (as far as you can in a Sci-Fi setting), yet maintains the potential for that fantastic element that lets you perform the heroic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychoticbarber View Post
    I'm a Weirdo who loves a really open-ended point-based system called the Hero system. It's extremely complicated and difficult to run well, but if done well it's a very, very rewarding system.
    To emphasize more on Hero, I want to add some more about this. Hero has a very different mindset where it comes to character creation compared to more popular RPGs (D&D and WoD). Rather than having things like "you get 8 skill points at level 3" or "pay 8 XP to get Potence 3 which does this," Hero goes "here's a bunch of points, here's how you make abilities, have fun." In many ways, it's a programming language for RPGs as even SFX (the Hero term for fluff) is independent of mechanical effect (you can have a fireball and a iceball be the same mechanical and only differ in fluff).

    Making a campaign for Hero is harder than other games since the degree of freedom is so large and you really have no set setting to keep people in line. You're expected to work on the campaign and what is and isn't allowed. The rules are balanced and heroic level rules work for grittiness (especially if you set the weapon to defense ratio for game for lethality).

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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkysBrain View Post
    The only problem is that only you are allowed to be that strategic and never the opponents.
    Thats not true. I've been pretty strategic a number of times agianst my players. Once a couple are down they start retreating real quick.

    Unless I make a really hard encounter point wise, It usually takes real stupidity to die-die. But it frigtening enough to have two or three guys in the hospital a couple days when the plot is moving.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    Spirit of the Century is definitely neither gritty, nor realistic, and it's origin system FATE again depends entirely on how you tune it.
    Yeah, my group if modding Spirit of the Century to add a bit of grit to it (making combat more lethal and characters less powerful) but Spirit of the Century is definately more cinematic than D&D and doesn't try to be realistic. If you never played a game that has mechanics specifically put in to cater to cinematic over the top coolness then you've got to take a look at it, its all kinds of cool.

    SRD here:
    http://www.crackmonkey.org/~nick/loy...te3/fate3.html
    Last edited by Bosh; 2007-07-01 at 10:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Skill/Point based RPGs

    I am a huge fan of the Hero System. it is honestly the most balanced easiest to run system I've ever played in, and I've played a lot of different games.

    The games flexibility lends to yuo being able to do anything with it. The combat system is also simple and easy to understand. Building characters is a bit complicated though because there are no pre-generated classes. You build each character from scratch.

    But at the same time, you as a game master can at your leisure design base classes and restrict the players to those classes. I have not found a better game or even one it's equal in terms of the power of the basic game system.

    The only thing hero System games lack is a game world. Even that though is easy to impliment. You can play any setting through hero system. You want to play Forgotten Realms, no problem you can do that with heroe system. You wanna play Cyberpunk, Marvel Superhweroes, a Magic The gathering theme, X-Rated world of Vivid Entertainment the RPG, all of the above in an big amalgum, it's all easy to do in hero system.

    I have found the game to be very good for storytelling GM's. If you want to ween your players off of the combat grid oriented action of D&D hero system is a good way to go.

    The down side to Hero System is that you have to understand basic math and be able to read and udnerstand the instruction manual. It's also a daunting book for players who are used to the coockie cutter ready made aproach of D&D and it's clones. You can't just pick up Hero System and run with it, The GM has to prepare it first. to be honest your players don't really need to see the rulebook.

    Just print out the mechanics for combat and skills. For character creation have them describe the type of hero they want, then go away for a bit and bring them back a simplified character sheet with thier abilities all mapped out for them.
    Last edited by Damionte; 2007-07-01 at 10:53 PM.
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