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Author Topic: System recommendations  (Read 1178 times)

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Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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System recommendations
« on: February 16, 2009, 07:07:12 PM »
I have an idea starting to come together for a group game, sort of a Hellboy-ish vibe to it, and am looking for a system that might be a good fit for playing it out.

Anyone got any suggestions?

I have d20 Modern, with the Urban Arcana book, but the d20 can sometimes be a bit .. meh .. so I'm looking around for other options.

I'm thinking the Stargate one might work, but I've not tried it before. Ditto Delta Green.

Anyone got anything they think worth giving an eyeball?

Offline Jeramiahh

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 12:27:43 AM »
While I'm not familiar with it, myself, I've heard good things about Mutants and Masterminds, which would probably be good for replicating a Hallboy-esque superhero environment.

Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 02:43:26 AM »
Supers is taking it probably a bit too powerful. I'm looking for a more modern(ish) rule set, which can incorporate the weirder aspects.

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 02:49:44 AM »
Despite it's many detractors, GURPS is a very flexible system with a realistic damage system (a spear does a minimum of a third of a persons health, and as much as 2/3rds....)  and the ability to be adapted to any system.  It has a magic system very reminiscent of the stuff used in Hellboy as well.

Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 02:58:49 AM »
I don't mind GURPS. I play in a home brewed fantasy GURPS campaign. Never seen it done for modern though.

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 03:40:44 AM »
Pick a genre or movie or t.v. show, and they probably have a GURPS book for it. 

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 04:53:46 AM »
You know I'd support GURPS 4th edition, right ;D?
If not that, you might try a BRP variant, adapting the spells for powers ;). That would be my choices anyway.

Offline Lithos

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 05:12:08 AM »
Pick a genre or movie or t.v. show, and they probably have a GURPS book for it. 

This is my pet peeve with GURPS.. there is no end to the supplements, which is both good and annoying at the same time :P

Love the flexibility though, and in case of some games, the adaptation to GURPS is better than the original one.

Offline Transgirlenstein

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2009, 06:24:30 AM »
Savage Worlds.  I think I have played/created a bunch of different things in it pretty easily.  My favorite was the intelligent golem I played in a fantasy game.  His name was Phyl..short for Phylactery since it was what the wizard called him upon creating him (phylactery being a devce you put ones soul into for immortality for all non d&d-ers out there).

Offline Jagerin

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2009, 08:26:04 AM »
I don't do system games, but everyone else in my house does. They all say to go with GURPS.

Offline Amberghylles

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2009, 10:11:53 AM »
For the power level your looking at, I'd suggest GURPS as well out of the systems I know.  It is a bit gritty and deadly, but I think that suits Hellboy, people are squishy after all. 


Offline Jagerin

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2009, 11:43:05 AM »
They also said Nightbane and Hero.

Note: My roommate wants it known that he is friends with the writers of palladium and says that they all like big guns and big boobs.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 11:44:23 AM by Michi No Sora »

Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2009, 05:09:52 PM »
I still haven't entirely decided on the power level, but here's the basics of what is coming together in my head.

I was watching a documentary on the discovery channel, about the warren of tunnels the Nazi's were carving out in 43/44, and one bit in particular caught my attention.

Project Reise: 200,000 cubic meters of tunnels cut into the Sowie Mountains, over an area of nearly 200 square kilometers. There was a line in the commentary that there were still thought to be a lot of hidden tunnels, and that a lot of the prisoners assigned to cut the tunnels, and their guards could not be accounted for at the end of the war.

Now, logic would tell us that this was most likely down to records being destroyed.

Part of the purpose of these tunnels was to give Nazi scientists a secure enviroment to work on Hitler's 'wonder weapons', and the interest in the upper echelons of the Nazi party for the occult are well documented. So lets say that it wasn't just the destruction of records that meant all those people just disappeared.

They went .. somewhere else.

The scientists there, becoming more desperate as the war turned against Germany, began to take insane chances, with science, with the occult, and with a hideous blend of the two. Their experiments punched a hole into somewhere else.

Now, from here I still haven't fleshed things out. I'm tempted to tie it to this thread

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=391379

but I have a few other ideas kicking about as well.

Haven't decided if the players should be military or not.

What do you reckon?


Online Oniya

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2009, 07:59:50 AM »
As a plotline, that sounds very interesting.  I'd be curious to see how both guards and prisoners reacted to what happened to them, as well as how the guard/prisoner dynamic changed under that sort of stress.

Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2009, 08:43:16 AM »
Well, the guards / prisoners is really backstory. The game would play out with what the PCs find, some 70 or so years on.

Online Oniya

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2009, 08:56:26 AM »
Ah - I see.  No less interesting, but somewhat less reason for military to be involved, unless there are rumors of weapons.

Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2009, 09:06:41 AM »
Did you have a look at the link I put in there? That would explain the military influence. If not, I'll repost it here

Quote
Influences: old school Gygaxian D&D, Stargate, hell from the Hellraiser movies, Alice in Wonderland (and the most escellent JAGS Wonderland), The Atrocity Archives, The Cube, Aliens, The Bourne films, Species.

In 1963- post test ban- a nuclear detonation under the Nevada desert knocked a hole in reality.


The bomb was something new- and still classified- but what it did was stab through the fragile skein of normal spacetime the whole visible universe occupies, and opened a hole into something stranger.

The Fed put a door and a lock onto the hole- ninety tons of steel and titanium strong enough to bounce nukes. They kept it secret too. The place the hole opened into was just to weird for people to know about or deal with. It's variously called The Basement, Downstairs, and for those who hide behind terminology, the "Subterrestial Operational Theater".

In the late 70's, one of the young computer boffins working on the project called it "Gygaxland".

By the 90's, everyone was just calling it "The Dungeon" despite the term being officially verboten.

The name fits though. Under reality, in realms so strange they defy scientific models to explain, someone or some thing built tunnels, chambers, traps, lairs... but also filled it with wonders and treasures- including objects and devices which could quite simply, do the impossible.

Project: LONG STAIR was born.

Efforts to map the Dungeon proved difficult (and extraordinarily dangerous) for the Marine and special forces survey teams sent down. The place seemed to change, slowly but inexorably, and entirely unpredictably. Maps go stale, get rancid.

The dangers from the cruel and arbitrary traps (and the constant minefield stress they engender) is bad, but the inhabitants of the dungeon are worse. There's no other word but monsters. Alright, there IS another word- "Xenofauna"- but nobody uses that except in reports.

Most don't live long when brought Upstairs- weakening and dying in minutes, days, weeks. Some of the more impossible creatures just evaporate when they cross the threshold. Others are more insidious in their efforts to escape the Dungeon. Some of the survivors of early delves came up changed, infected.

Compromised agents were first studied (for "studied" read "vivisected"), but some proved somewhat stable psychologically, and demonstrated an intuitive understanding for the Dungeon and its ways. The NATIVE SONS program sought to use these hybrids as trackers and guides in the hostile new frontier, and teams accompanied by them showed dramatically higher success and lower mortality rates. The hybrids are stuck between upstairs and downstairs though- if they spend too much time in either world, they'll start to degenerate or sicken, go mad, or transform into something worse. They need to delve to survive.

The Americans poured money and men into the Dungeon, extracting from it miracles. Impossible devices. Unique wonders. After JFK's assassination, ever US president wears a talisman which renders him immune to gunfire. Reagan's near-assassination was the result of its removal at the behest of Jerry Falwell who declared it to be ungodly. Reaganís tendency to let slip information about LONG STAR was a constant aggravation for the projectís controllers, but the president loved the project and pushed his allies in Congress to fund its cover programs massively through is two terms. His fear of what the Russians might do if they had access to the Dungeon drove him.

And with good reason.

LONG STAIR wasn't the only place the Dungeon impinged on normal reality- the Soviets punched a similar hole in 1984 under Degelen Mountain.

Then, through the 80ís and 90ís, following close on the heels of nuclear weapons proliferation, new portals to the Dungeon were opened in China, France, and the UK. Following on their heels, Israel (though, never officially confirmed), India, Pakistan, and most recently North Korea (though, the North Korean portal is unstable, small, and dangerous to pass through).

The secret proliferation of subterestial technology (dungeon devices, monster tech, or Ďmagic itemsí) has flowed out through the military industrial complexes and intelligence communities of the nations controlling Dungeon access- scrying bowls guide missile strikes, rings of invisibility hide black-ops wetworkers, and in a top secret lab adjoining Los Alamos, a team is working to unlock the secrets of a gnarled staff of ancient wood which in the hands of a panicked soldier, incinerated hundreds of attacking sunterrestials.

The collapse of the Soviet state saw the huge stockpiles of dungeon artifacts broken up, looted, stolen, sold off. Now keeping a lid on the stuff is getting harder and harder, and more is leaking out all the time.

Perhaps worse, every breach into the Dungeon has been followed by an increase in so-called fortean phenomena. Nothing as overt as monsters in the street, but probable hauntings, psychic events, missing time, UFO sightings, and even some semi-credible criptozoology. The most common are the voices- weird, semi-audiuble hallucinations which almost makes sense. Those who hear them are usually labeled schizophrenic, but they donít respond to medication. And every year, the voices get a little louder, and a little more intelligible. Those who recognize them as a dungeon-linked phenomena are extremely worried.

The world is getting stranger.

And soÖ thatís what I have.

Espionage, D&D style magic items dropped into an otherwise normal world, specop dungeon crawls, half-breed Pcís, and the secret proliferation of impossible artifacts.

Thoughts?

Now, the thread there runs to over 1100 posts, and there's a lot of very cool ideas in it. I haven't entirely decided how much to adopt from it, but think of it as perhaps a Stargate parallel as well. You've a portal to somewhere, or somewheres .. the last thing you want is the general public finding out about it.

In the Long Stairs thread there are actually a variety of portal entrances, in different parts of the world, and with the weird Basement geometry, distances down there, especially the deeper you go, don't always correspond to the ones topside.

You have hybridised US troops, what appear to be 40k style Space Marine styled UK special forces, anime robot Japanese ones, the Brazilians teamed up with the Drow, a renegade mind flayer with the Indians, and I can't remember who the Chinese were allied with, on top of zombies, orks, and all kinds of other weirdness. Dropping in a lost Nazi colony would be relatively easy  :D

Now, as I said, I haven't decided how much of that thread I want to incorporate, but there are a LOT of possibilities. Stargate meets D&D meets Hellboy.

Offline Jeramiahh

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2009, 09:24:24 AM »
*grin* Oooh... I've had that link saved for a long time, always meant to do something with it, though I've yet to find the right group to play something like that. Good luck; it looks fantastic.

Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2009, 09:29:57 AM »
Yeah, my pen and paper group don't really have the time or inclination for it, so it would likely be online I'd be thinking off.

Online Myrleena

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2009, 10:25:28 AM »
I personally recommend Hero System 5th Edition (revised).  I have a friend who loved GURPS for a long time, but he switched to the Hero System because it allows for far more customization.  Said something about GURPS giving you a bunch of set powers, and Hero giving you rules to build the powers.  Besides, with what I'm getting of the game idea, you could probably use just the rules from the Hero Sidekick, (the equivalent of GURPS Lite).  And the PDF of that runs about $7.00 on their website.

Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2009, 10:32:01 AM »
I'm not familiar with the Hero system, but I'll have a browse around and see what I can learn about it.

Online Myrleena

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2009, 10:39:14 AM »
One of it's big things is that literally everything they put out is built using the core rulebook.  It doesn't have a specific genre (though it was originally Champions) but I've built everything from an intelligent starship character to a fantasy wizard using the core rulebook.  It's just an absolutely HUGE book.  When I ordered it at my local game shop, they thought it was a college textbook that had gotten stuck into the order.  It's 592 pages of excellent material, and almost all of it is all the options you can use.

Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: System recommendations
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2009, 10:44:08 AM »
Sounds pretty substantianal. I'll have to check it out.

Online Myrleena

Re: System recommendations
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2009, 10:50:51 AM »
If you want it, their forums are at http://www.herogames.com/forums/.  And if I remember right, the lead designer gets onto their chat tonight to answer questions, at 6 or 7 MST.