Author Topic: Systems for Play  (Read 1931 times)

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Dead_Weasel

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Systems for Play
« on: May 30, 2008, 06:15:18 AM »
I am not entirely certain that what I want to say belongs here, but maybe we can figure that out as we go along.

I have played Dungeons & Dragons for longer than I have been an adult, so when a friend convinced me to try World of Darkness, I was dubious but willing. It turns out that I liked the game, and hated the rule systems; what I did like about the systems, however, was that it used only one kind of die, the d10. The problem for me was that successes (i.e. roll an 8/9/10 to succeed, harder tasks require more successes) felt arbitrary. Also significant: I liked that it allowed for opposed rolls (i.e. you roll to attack me and I roll to dodge your attack), which were new to me in an RPG.

D&D could easily operate off a success system - but then there would have to be a success range for each die, which would be silly. Instead it uses modifiers (base attack, skill bonuses, armor class, etcetera).

Digging through one of my 'old RPG' drawers, I found a little gem: Michael T. Desing's Army Ants. I suppose that someone else must know about this game, since I own the second edition - and that means there must have been some demand for the first. Anyway, what surprised me was that in my new state of mind (RPGs don't need lots of dice! They just suck without them!) I realized something that I thought was fantastic: AA does not use successes, but it does use one kind of dice (vastly superior to WoD's d10 dependence: d6's! You can buy them in blocks!). Even better, it used opposed rolls to determine the success or failure of an attack (or skill check, or whatever). I am not about to claim it as the perfect RPG (not by a long shot!) but it was still an enjoyable concept and an enjoyable system, happily merged.

To get to my point: I was wondering if anyone else had any similar experiences or similarly 'simple' RPGs to share. I do not want to exclude 'board game' RPGs, but I am mostly curious about persistent pencil & paper games that are, for whatever reason, easy to learn or play. I ask my question in this way because the 'fluff' of a game is usually the easiest part to work with, whereas the system is the part that needs to be checked, learned, memorized, relearned and rechecked.

Josh

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Re: Systems for Play
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008, 09:58:50 AM »
White Wolf ripped off everything in their game that is decent. 
Shadowrun is where they got the dice pool from, but shadowrun uses d6s.

Burning wheel, one of the best games ever made, also uses d6s in a similar way.

Mutants and masterminds and true20 go in a slightly different way.  They use only d20s.   
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Dead_Weasel

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Re: Systems for Play
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2008, 06:59:56 PM »
White Wolf ripped off everything in their game that is decent. 
Shadowrun is where they got the dice pool from, but shadowrun uses d6s.

Burning wheel, one of the best games ever made, also uses d6s in a similar way.

Mutants and masterminds and true20 go in a slightly different way.  They use only d20s.   
Interesting! I have never dealt with the Shadowrun RPG, and was completely unaware of this. While I am not exactly a purist, cyberpunk elves just never did it for me.

I have yet to see Burning Wheel in the flesh, but it gets mentioned more and more often hereabouts; I will have to investigate.

Tazendra

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Re: Systems for Play
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2008, 07:02:43 PM »
A lot of stuff from games is inspired or influenced by other gaming systems. My favorite example is Earthdawn and D&D.

Earthdawn started out as a game that took took many of the things in D&D that existed, but didn't make much sense and actually provided reasons for them to exist. For example, the inhabitants of the world were forced to hide out for over a century during a magical Scourge that nearly destroyed the world by building large underground magical bomb shelters called kaers. Now those abandoned kaers are all over the place often filled with monsters and legends.

Another gaming convention was that the magic of the world shaped the characters, justifying the class basedcharacter system. Once you started a character class, the class itself shaped you, pushing you along a path. You could multi-class, but it was difficult.

It was as if someone took a look at D&D, and tried to come up with fluff that made some of the sillier crunch made sense. In that regard it suceeded, as Earthdawn has some of the best fluff of any fantasy setting I ever played in.

The ironic part is that when D&D 4E was being developed, they took a lot of the crunch of Earthdawn, and used it to develop the 4E setting and rules.



AngelBlade

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Re: Systems for Play
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2008, 07:05:43 PM »
Like the OP, I have played both Dnd and WoD games for a long time. DnD seems to be more popular with my group, i'm thinking more because of the mechanics. And yes, I am not a big fan of the WoD mechanics. But then Exalted came out and I was in love... with the setting. Finally a great setting that reflected my undying interest in Wuxia movies!!! Hero; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Promise... and a million more. : D  But I hated the mechanics. So what did I do? What any RPG nerd/geed/dork (pick yer poison) would do, make my own rules!!!

So I came up with a hybrid of d20 and Storyteller. It uses the exalted character sheet, stats and skills, but only one d20 for hitting/damage. The thing i like best about my homebrew system is that i incorporated weapon speed into it. so daggers strike more often, but do less damage. Greataxes take forever to swing, but when you hit you're gonna chop people in half...

: D

PM me if anyone is interested in more info.

AngelBlade

raith0

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Re: Systems for Play
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2010, 07:45:26 PM »
i am also working my own system using 3d10 system for a fast paced and brutal combat system and something akin to the d20 system for skills and non combat oppossed checks

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