Help me help my players.
February 27, 2011 11:47 PM Subscribe
I've played every version of D&D and am wondering, is there an RPG that doesn't take 3 hrs to make a character, where combat can be resolved in less than an hour and doesn't require a dozen books?
I'm flexible on the genre, but fantasy or scifi is what I'm most interested in, something that can be used over the longterm, not just for a few games (RISUS and it's pals appeal but doesn't seem durable enough), with enough flexibility for me to mash things together but without me having to design my own homebrew from 2 or 3 systems. I've done that.
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posted by fiercekitten to sports, hobbies, & recreation (33 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Specifically, what I'm looking for is a system that can have players playing in an hour or two, uses 2-3 books, combat is usually resolved in a few turns, turns don't take hours to accomplish and is fun to play. I don't want people arguing over rules because someone forgot something 6 turns ago. It can be either fantasy or scifi (or both), with psychics or not. If it's scifi, something without aliens would be best, with space travel and computers. If it's fantasy, something more adventure and swordfighting rather than dungeoncrawl.
I recently joined an RPG group that plays 4th Edition D&D and found that the character generation was WAY too complex and combat isn't any easier than 3rd Ed. The reduction in the number of skills was a good idea, but the addition of "combat powers" or whatever they call it didn't help anything.
I've played Shadowrun and thought the rules easy enough, but I didn't care much for the min/max mechanic of character generation in the system. I'm OK with the fantasy-scifi combo.
I've read GURPs but never played it, mainly because I could never find anyone to play it. I've heard it also is very heavy on the min/max. It seems like a less complex version of RIFTS/Palladium, both of which I found way too rules heavy and mathy ("crunchy" is the term I've heard used"). It shouldn't take advanced mathematics to find out if you've killed something.
I've tried Ars Magica and found that it's not quite fantasy enough for me, although the setting is very interesting. However, like the LOTR RPG, combat is mindnumbingly slow, worst than 2nd Ed AD&D.
I've liked some of the d20 3rd party resources but I haven't found one that's fantastic enough for me, although I loved the flexibility and found that combat was pretty quick. Character generation could be a bear, mainly because you're sort of stuck making character types from whatever sourcebook you were using. So while the Farscape and Anime RPG sourcebooks are interesting to use as material, getting farther than 8th level was hard and coming up with a more detailed setting it can be sort of hard going. That's probably more an aspect of the 3rd party publisher world than anything.
White Wolf's World of Darkness was one of the most interesting campaigns I've played and the system was interesting to run and play. But the whole "dark, serious, gothy" tone got to be overwhelming. The fact that it was designed to be used as a LARP didn't help, but it also didn't have the flexibility to go off the range in tone or design.
Other games I've played/tried to play:
Talislanta (no elves, confusing rules in early editions)
Cthulhu (a long time ago, plus it's horror which isn't my thing)
Cyberpunk 2020 (hard to integrate with magic, implement space travel)
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (cool setting, career system stifling, uber-crunchy)
Ghostbusters RPG (fun, but I was 14)
and many more...
I'm willing to try them any of them again, but usually I didn't like something about character generation or game mechanics. Maybe the rules were confusing because of poor editing, maybe I thought there were just too many rules for something simple, maybe there weren't any rules for what I wanted to do.
Please help, my fellow dorks.