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Author Topic: RP Game System  (Read 1222 times)

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Offline SleuthTopic starter

RP Game System
« on: February 17, 2011, 03:49:44 AM »
I did some light searching on this but didn't find anything specific so I figured I'd ask you all. It probably wouldn't be difficult to come up with something that works but I'd rather just find something.

Is there a good system or method for RP games that is less cumbersome than something like DnD? I'm looking for a system that can calculate mainly attacks and diplomacy but without a lot of baggage that can get in the way of larger systems. Something lightweight, I suppose you could think of it.

I'll try and expand on what I mean if that doesn't make any sense.

Offline Lord Drake

Re: RP Game System
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011, 03:57:27 AM »
There are easier systems than D&D... all in all it sums it up on what you want to represent and how you want to represent it. The easiest system I know is the one based on the D100 Call of Cthulhu for example.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: RP Game System
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2011, 08:57:02 AM »
There are any number of systems out there, of varying levels of complexity. You might want to define your own needs a bit more before we can go suggesting systems.

Offline SleuthTopic starter

Re: RP Game System
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 01:23:38 PM »
I'm not looking for the perfect system nor do I know precisely what I'm looking for. I've only played a couple systems previously so I can't really go comparing them to give you what I'm looking for.

I would like a system which leaves most of the control up to the GM but has a defined direction for combat and diplomacy situations. I suppose something that would lend itself more to a role-play than it would a game.

Thanks for your help and sorry if that doesn't aide you further, I'm not sure what else to add. I'll look into CoC.

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Re: RP Game System
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2011, 01:39:53 PM »
I would like a system which leaves most of the control up to the GM but has a defined direction for combat and diplomacy situations. I suppose something that would lend itself more to a role-play than it would a game.

Based on this, you might want to look into an 'Amber'-style system.  Players have a certain number of points that they 'bid' to gain levels of various abilities (these could be customized to fit your scenario).  At the end of bidding, the players are ranked according to how much they 'paid' for each ability.  I.E., the person who bid the most in Fast-Talking would be the best Fast-Talker in the party, and could - if they chose - convince anyone in the party to take their side.  The person who bid the next highest wouldn't be able to use 'Fast-Talk' to convince the rank 1 Fast-Talker (but could possibly use another tactic) but could Fast-Talk the rest of the party, and so on. 

That's a quick-and-dirty explanation, but should give you some idea of whether you want to do further research into it.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: RP Game System
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 02:07:48 PM »
I'm not looking for the perfect system nor do I know precisely what I'm looking for. I've only played a couple systems previously so I can't really go comparing them to give you what I'm looking for.

I would like a system which leaves most of the control up to the GM but has a defined direction for combat and diplomacy situations. I suppose something that would lend itself more to a role-play than it would a game.

Thanks for your help and sorry if that doesn't aide you further, I'm not sure what else to add. I'll look into CoC.

I think maybe I should have clarified things further myself. What sort of game do you want to run? Fantasy, sci fi, modern? Are the players to run just themselves, corporations, countries, entire races?

Most games have the GM in control, though I know one or two that give the players more control over a scene. I'm trying to get an idea of what kind of game you want to play.

Offline Ebb

Re: RP Game System
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2011, 10:09:28 PM »
I think a very good, extremely lightweight system is the one used in the Over the Edge game, which came out way back in 1992. The game as sold, was mostly setting material, which you can ignore safely if you're not playing in that universe. The entirety of the mechanical part can be given in about three paragraphs, as seen here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_the_Edge_%28game%29

There's a very clear one-page handout of all the rules you need here:

http://www.atlas-games.com/pdf_storage/OTERuleBriefs.pdf
(also look at other links on http://www.atlas-games.com for other support materials, such as a character sheet).

Honestly I think that there's a tendency to overuse relatively heavy systems like D&D for forum games that really don't need that level of complexity. The bare bones of what you need, most times, are:

1) Some way to tell what individual PCs are good and bad at, and to compare them to each other when necessary.
2) Some way to determine if character actions succeed or fail.
3) Not much else.

And as HairyHeretic mentioned, there are literally hundreds of systems out there. If this one doesn't fit the bill, there are many others to choose from. Here's a page that lists over 500 of them, all available for free.

http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/freerpgs/


Offline SleuthTopic starter

Re: RP Game System
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2011, 10:14:24 PM »
I think maybe I should have clarified things further myself. What sort of game do you want to run? Fantasy, sci fi, modern? Are the players to run just themselves, corporations, countries, entire races?

Most games have the GM in control, though I know one or two that give the players more control over a scene. I'm trying to get an idea of what kind of game you want to play.
Oh, alright- Would be a standard fantasy setting with players being single characters. Magic could be incorporated but it's not a necessity.

Based on this, you might want to look into an 'Amber'-style system.  Players have a certain number of points that they 'bid' to gain levels of various abilities (these could be customized to fit your scenario).  At the end of bidding, the players are ranked according to how much they 'paid' for each ability.  I.E., the person who bid the most in Fast-Talking would be the best Fast-Talker in the party, and could - if they chose - convince anyone in the party to take their side.  The person who bid the next highest wouldn't be able to use 'Fast-Talk' to convince the rank 1 Fast-Talker (but could possibly use another tactic) but could Fast-Talk the rest of the party, and so on. 

That's a quick-and-dirty explanation, but should give you some idea of whether you want to do further research into it.
That sounds like an interesting game type but I'm not looking for a game type which caters to a large group so much.

I think a very good, extremely lightweight system is the one used in the Over the Edge game, which came out way back in 1992. The game as sold, was mostly setting material, which you can ignore safely if you're not playing in that universe. The entirety of the mechanical part can be given in about three paragraphs, as seen here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_the_Edge_%28game%29

There's a very clear one-page handout of all the rules you need here:

http://www.atlas-games.com/pdf_storage/OTERuleBriefs.pdf
(also look at other links on http://www.atlas-games.com for other support materials, such as a character sheet).

Honestly I think that there's a tendency to overuse relatively heavy systems like D&D for forum games that really don't need that level of complexity. The bare bones of what you need, most times, are:

1) Some way to tell what individual PCs are good and bad at, and to compare them to each other when necessary.
2) Some way to determine if character actions succeed or fail.
3) Not much else.

And as HairyHeretic mentioned, there are literally hundreds of systems out there. If this one doesn't fit the bill, there are many others to choose from. Here's a page that lists over 500 of them, all available for free.

http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/freerpgs/


This looks a lot like what I was looking for, I'll have to go over this a bit more but it looks perfect from what I've read yet. Very lightweight.

That's exactly why I was looking for something like this, heavy systems are great fun and all but for a forum like this I think something simple, like you said, would work best.

I knew there were so many that's why I wanted to ask rather than getting myself head deep into countless pages of mechanics. Thanks you all for the help.

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Re: RP Game System
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2011, 10:21:32 PM »
That sounds like an interesting game type but I'm not looking for a game type which caters to a large group so much.

Actually, I've played Amber with as few as four players plus GM.  In fact, I think every Amber campaign I've been in was a fairly small group.

Regardless, it's your 'campaign', and so the rule system should ultimately be something you're comfortable with.

Offline SleuthTopic starter

Re: RP Game System
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2011, 10:26:20 PM »
Actually, I've played Amber with as few as four players plus GM.  In fact, I think every Amber campaign I've been in was a fairly small group.

Regardless, it's your 'campaign', and so the rule system should ultimately be something you're comfortable with.
It sounds like an great game type for coordinated groups of any size but I was looking for something that could function well in solo interactions and player-to-player ones as well. I haven't developed a story or anything yet for a campaign but I don't think it's what I'm looking for.

OTE seems like a very basic system which could tend to that idea I have in mind.

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Re: RP Game System
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2011, 10:56:31 PM »
Ah yes.  One on one, it wouldn't be very functional. :-)

Offline Haibane

Re: RP Game System
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2011, 03:25:15 PM »
Sleuth, you could drop a member on here by the name of Urbanzorro a PM. He has devised an extremely simple system that is run entirely by the GM once the character creation stage is done by the players. The nicest thing about this system is from the players perspective it appears to be entirely freeform and the system is seamless and invisible, the GM doing everything in response to the players freeform written posts.

Offline Vekseid

Re: RP Game System
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2011, 04:18:35 PM »
One of my favorite systems in terms of simplicity is Big Eyes Small Mouth, though it is 1) Anime focused and 2) Doesn't have a well developed diplomacy subsystem.

Offline Silverfyre

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Re: RP Game System
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2011, 06:33:22 PM »
Might I recommend the Cortex system?

http://www.margaretweis.com/mwp-online-store/cortex

It is a pretty light weight system and is focused more on character development and role playing than anything else.  It does have a decent combat system too but it is a bit clunky at times.  However, I honestly think that is the only flaw in the system.

Another good one is the Trued20 system, as well as the "Mouse Guard" RP system.  Very story focused.