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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Always been a fan of Riddle of Steel. Mind you it's view of tactics are possibly different than what you want. The game has two levels of tactics, those on the individual fighting level and those on the entire encounter level. Which is true for every RPG, I suppose, but RoS definitely focuses more on the encounter tactics than the individual.

    Now there are individual tactics, certainly, most of the time you'll be attacking. But there is no simple "I attack" you have to choose what to aim for, how many dice to use in the attack and how many to hold back for your defense. It's very fun.

    But encounters are truly won or lost on the encounter level tactic level. If you enter a fight without a plan one or all of your players will probably die. Actually death is so frequent in this game that it has different rules on how to create every subsequent character in a campaign based on the deeds your previous character performed. In any case, entire encounters can be basically won or lost before a single dice has been thrown depending on if the players were clever enough to set an ambush, or if they missed all the GMs hints and stumbled into a combat they were not prepared for.

    While I love it, I'm certain others will find that too trying.

    There is also the problem with magic. If you want a high fantasy fireball hurling game, this probably isn't the one for you. The creator of the game admitted to not playing with the magic system he created. Which should tell you something.

    I've been told subsequent games trying to be the spiritual successor have fixed this problem. But I do not have experience with them so I cannot verify.
    One of which is Song of Steel.

    And I'm a bit interested in it.

    But like every other preview on DriveThru RPG, it doesn't give even a hint at how the system works.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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  2. - Top - End - #32
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    The only system I am currently playing is Honor + Intrigue.

    It is classless, and ever player can attempt to do almost any action in the game. However it is set in “swashbuckling” 3 Musketeers, Errol Flynn in Captain Blood version of 17th-18th century Europe. So there are no high fantasy wizard or cleric types included in the rules.

    You have 4 main characteristics that provide the basis for your character’s core social/physical abilities.
    Then your character’s have careers, which give you a bonus to actions that are reasonably connected to that career (the GM has a lot of leeway in interpreting this). When you have additional careers you can either improve an existing career (get better at the skills you have) or add a new career (get a new set of actions that you can add a bonus to).

    The role playing aspect of the game runs very smoothly and quickly and, very importantly, feels right.

    Combat is very tactical. It is based on a mix of Hollywood fencing and real sword fighting techniques. You can set up action-riposte, feint and action, bluff and intimidate to gain advantage, swing from a chandelier to reposition yourself. All characters can do all actions, but based on your training and abilities you’ll be better at some things and worse at others. However your opponents will also have strengths and weaknesses. A “mash button A’ approach to tactics is may work well against some opponents but will be disastrous against others.
    If you set up the fight from the beginning of three musketeers where D’Artagnan has to fight the 3 musketeers you will have very different fight against Porthos (strength) Athos (flair) and Aramis (technique). In D&D you’d just have 3 successive fights against high level fighters with very little tactical difference.
    What I do recommend is to make a deck of duel action cards for each player and 3 or 4 for the DM. It makes choosing combat actions a lot faster. Players can put their own modifiers on their cards for speed of decision making

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    If you set up the fight from the beginning of three musketeers where D’Artagnan has to fight the 3 musketeers you will have very different fight against Porthos (strength) Athos (flair) and Aramis (technique). In D&D you’d just have 3 successive fights against high level fighters with very little tactical difference.
    I'd like a combat system that differentiates between different styles and abilities in that way.

    It bugs me that a lot of systems seem deliberately designed to eliminate any difference in feel between different combatants, different weapons, etc... and those that don't seem instead to crank the dial to 11+ and make the tactical part of melee into the "entire point" of the game so that fights take hours to resolve.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    I'd like a combat system that differentiates between different styles and abilities in that way.

    It bugs me that a lot of systems seem deliberately designed to eliminate any difference in feel between different combatants, different weapons, etc... and those that don't seem instead to crank the dial to 11+ and make the tactical part of melee into the "entire point" of the game so that fights take hours to resolve.
    I have found great making a deck of card actions speeds up H+I to make it playable. If you try to do it by leafing through the rule book it can get very slow. The game leaves a lot of the environment in the theater of the mind’s eye, but it lends itself to a cinematic fighting style where the object/terrain feature you need to do a dramatic action is (usually) close at hand

    I have also home-brewed it to Edo-era Japan and the system works very well for that too. For the most part it only required a re-naming of skills and since my players were Japanese they were able to provide the cultural role playing elements themselves.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    I suggest Kill Sector, which ticks every box listed in the OP and doesn't get mentioned nearly as much as it should considering how common these threads are. The only niggle is it might be too combat-oriented for some people, it's borderline Wargame in fact, but it is generic and you can still role play with it if you really want to.

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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    What do you think about hybird class/point-buy systems? They're a personal favorite of mine. You get most of the advantages of classes (learning curve/minimal trap options etc.) while gaining a lot of point-buy's customization (though obviously not as much).

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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    What do you think about hybird class/point-buy systems? They're a personal favorite of mine. You get most of the advantages of classes (learning curve/minimal trap options etc.) while gaining a lot of point-buy's customization (though obviously not as much).
    So...something like Shadowrun?

    It's not a terrible idea, I guess my concern is that often with concepts like those, the best archetypes are already spelled out for you, and anything else just isn't very feasible. Sometimes, it ends up basically being along the lines of:
    "Play this classless system, but if you don't play a class, you can't play!" Unless the table agrees to play at a lower power level so that the GM can just nerf things to compensate.

    Reminds me of trading card games, in a way. It's often more fun to play with low-power options than it is to play with high-powered ones, assuming that the chance of succeeding/having fun is even across both scenarios.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-06-11 at 01:36 PM.
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    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas I’ve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. You’re a gem of the community here.
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    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    So...something like Shadowrun?

    It's not a terrible idea, I guess my concern is that often with concepts like those, the best archetypes are already spelled out for you, and anything else just isn't very feasible. Sometimes, it ends up basically being along the lines of:
    "Play this classless system, but if you don't play a class, you can't play!" Unless the table agrees to play at a lower power level so that the GM can just nerf things to compensate.
    Heh. While I like Shadowrun, I tend to agree here.

    The Archetypes (classes) really did tend to cover the best options for specific "roles".

    Sure, you could be a Street Mage so as to not get locked into one of The Academy companies.

    But, it usually wasn't worth it, since Academic Mages had the easiest access to Initiate Levels.

    The Combat Mage was the most popular pick for spellslingers.

    Sure, if you were willing to sit down for a while, you could "build" a Street Samurai with most of the skills of The Face.

    Riggers and Drone Operators were ok.
    Keeping track of vehicle and Drone Damage could get tedious.

    And before "Technomages", sitting down and figuring out the best options for the "Combat Decker" took hours. (Personally, I found the "remote Decker" to be utterly boring)

    Now, I have only briefly read Cyberpunk, so don't really know how this compairs.
    Looked rather similar, with maybe a few "crossover" abilities and skills.
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    Quote Originally Posted by karellink View Post
    2019-05-19 2:04 pm
    as a great dragon you must have the correct wisdom for these kind of shenanigans.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    So...something like Shadowrun?

    It's not a terrible idea, I guess my concern is that often with concepts like those, the best archetypes are already spelled out for you, and anything else just isn't very feasible. Sometimes, it ends up basically being along the lines of:
    "Play this classless system, but if you don't play a class, you can't play!" Unless the table agrees to play at a lower power level so that the GM can just nerf things to compensate.

    Reminds me of trading card games, in a way. It's often more fun to play with low-power options than it is to play with high-powered ones, assuming that the chance of succeeding/having fun is even across both scenarios.
    Actually - Shadowrun is just a straight-up point-buy system. Though - you are illustrating a major flaw in the idea that point-buy systems are far more customizable than class systems.

    In pure point-buy systems (like CCGs) if you know what you're doing, there are a pretty limited number of really viable builds if you want to be competent. I actually think that customizable class games often have more really viable builds because of how they can keep various abilities separate. So (for a simplistic example) each class could get an ability or two which would be OP in a point-buy system, but you can't get all of them because they're unique to each class.

    Actually - as much as I'm not a huge fan of Shadowrun's mechanics (mostly spotlighting for things like decking where everyone else is twiddling their thumbs) it actually does a better job than most point-buy systems of having more viable builds due to how they keep magic & cybernetic upgrades separated.

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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharonsHelper View Post
    Actually - Shadowrun is just a straight-up point-buy system. Though - you are illustrating a major flaw in the idea that point-buy systems are far more customizable than class systems.

    In pure point-buy systems (like CCGs) if you know what you're doing, there are a pretty limited number of really viable builds if you want to be competent. I actually think that customizable class games often have more really viable builds because of how they can keep various abilities separate. So (for a simplistic example) each class could get an ability or two which would be OP in a point-buy system, but you can't get all of them because they're unique to each class.
    HERO is pure point buy.

    Your claims are not true of the two editions of that system that I have used (4th and 5th).
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    I'm currently sufficiently enthralled with "Blade of The Iron Throne" (it's a spiritual successor to the riddle of steel), that I'm looking to get a game going. There's a priority based chargen, loosely allowing you to prioritize attributes, world skills, martial proficiencies, etc. with no given class. The PCs are all in the "Hollywood human" range so that while Conan or Styrio the Waterdancer will be far better melee combatants than Garret the Thief, pretty much anyone can passably handle one mook and no one will have a good day if they take on ten at once.

    The combat system is a shining light as far as I'm concerned...different schools, different weapons, different moves, lots of player involvement in making the right decision during combat. What's really amazing is that base mechanics are pretty simple. A few arbitrary examples:

    -Using a German longsword or Italian fencing style generally makes ripostes easier (cheaper dice costs for things like counters and rotas) to use, while Shield & X schools tend to be more adept at binds and bulling in. Weapons like greatswords and dane-axes tend to be ungainly and harder to use (unless you choke up or half-sword, giving up range and hitting power), while a light arming dagger or rapier will find it nearly impossible to actually parry a committed attack from a sledgehammer.

    -It is entirely possible to have a fight where a guy with a gladius starts at a serious mechanical disadvantage (attacks cost more dice) to a guy with a pike because he is on the outside, being jabbed at from 12 feet away; sword guy beats the pike aside as a deliberate move, closes in, and now the situation is reversed.

    -A defender could very well catch an attack on his blade, then wind around it and pommel the attacker in the face. At which point it might turn into a dagger and grappling match.

    -And of course, four feet of steel through your stomach is pretty much the end. No HP... just Shock, Pain, and Blood Loss. (And some instantly fatal events like an arrow through the eye.)


    Sorry, went a bit off topic there. The real point is that being good in a fight is about knowing how to use a few very basic tools and a basic guide to your character's talent...but there is no "class" you have to optimize or follow, no pre-determined path of skill that must keep up with other classes of skill, just the tools to do it with. And since they are all reasonably combat viable, it really opens up the whole character making thing...

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    I'm currently sufficiently enthralled with "Blade of The Iron Throne" (it's a spiritual successor to the riddle of steel), that I'm looking to get a game going. There's a priority based chargen, loosely allowing you to prioritize attributes, world skills, martial proficiencies, etc. with no given class. The PCs are all in the "Hollywood human" range so that while Conan or Styrio the Waterdancer will be far better melee combatants than Garret the Thief, pretty much anyone can passably handle one mook and no one will have a good day if they take on ten at once.

    The combat system is a shining light as far as I'm concerned...different schools, different weapons, different moves, lots of player involvement in making the right decision during combat. What's really amazing is that base mechanics are pretty simple. A few arbitrary examples:

    -Using a German longsword or Italian fencing style generally makes ripostes easier (cheaper dice costs for things like counters and rotas) to use, while Shield & X schools tend to be more adept at binds and bulling in. Weapons like greatswords and dane-axes tend to be ungainly and harder to use (unless you choke up or half-sword, giving up range and hitting power), while a light arming dagger or rapier will find it nearly impossible to actually parry a committed attack from a sledgehammer.

    -It is entirely possible to have a fight where a guy with a gladius starts at a serious mechanical disadvantage (attacks cost more dice) to a guy with a pike because he is on the outside, being jabbed at from 12 feet away; sword guy beats the pike aside as a deliberate move, closes in, and now the situation is reversed.

    -A defender could very well catch an attack on his blade, then wind around it and pommel the attacker in the face. At which point it might turn into a dagger and grappling match.

    -And of course, four feet of steel through your stomach is pretty much the end. No HP... just Shock, Pain, and Blood Loss. (And some instantly fatal events like an arrow through the eye.)


    Sorry, went a bit off topic there. The real point is that being good in a fight is about knowing how to use a few very basic tools and a basic guide to your character's talent...but there is no "class" you have to optimize or follow, no pre-determined path of skill that must keep up with other classes of skill, just the tools to do it with. And since they are all reasonably combat viable, it really opens up the whole character making thing...
    I've looked at that and at Song of Swords, for the same reason.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Favorite Classless TTRPGS?

    Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd Edition. Go with 3rd if you can - point buy - needs a single d20 per player

    HERO 5th Edition (most recent and in print) - point buy - marginally more complicated math than M&M - can use buckets of dice

    FATE - very narrativist - runs on action movie logic - characters are competent people doing exciting things - uses a 4d6 with an interesting calculation process

    GURPS - point buy - 3d6 resolution on a bell curve, can get very, very technical and attempts to model the way things work

    WEG d6 - uses handfuls of d6s for rolls and stat - sort of a point buy system

    Roll for Shoes - uses a d6 - no classes - you slowly build a long list of activities - sort of a joke system

    RISUS - joke system - rules are 4 pages long - uses d6s - write down four things about your character - roll dice if you think they apply to the situation

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