Your Perfect System or Your Grail of Gaming Goodness

Discussion in 'Design and Development' started by xanther, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. xanther

    xanther Member

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    This is certainly not about what is the "best system," but what you personally find to be the perfect system for you.

    It's also not to dis on anyone's favorite system, but if you think another would be better based on what they desire, by all means mention it and more importantly why it would be better.

    So, have you found it? If so, what is it that makes it perfect for you? That is, how does it do what you want in a game?

    Found one that's close but no cigar? What is it that's missing, what do you want it to do better or different? Or is it great but you want more?

    Haven't found one? What are you looking for? What game situations do you want it to handle, and how?

    As this is a design sub-forum, a focus on mechanics and their application would be good. Less relevant is setting details or aids, but certainly rules that bring to life a setting you desire to play in would be relevant.

    Feel free to share the travels in your quest, unless they be too perilous.
     
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  2. Edgewise

    Edgewise Member

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    An interesting spin on a classic topic. I have two ideas of what a perfect system would be: one that reliably induces fun through the mechanics, or one that allows you to express through mechanics whatever you want to express at maximum velocity. With that in mind...

    My vote for most fun-inducing game would be Dungeon Crawl Classics. You could never call a gonzo funhouse like DCC "perfect," but it's hard to imagine, for me, an RPG with mechanics that create more emergent fun. Unless players just ignore Luck and spellburn and nobody rolls a 20, some crazy shit is going to go down.

    My pick for most fun-permitting game would be Over The Edge. That one might actually be pretty close to perfect at letting you just freaking play without any narrative trappings. It accommodates almost any kind of character concept or ruling, and resolution moves extremely quickly while maintaining verisimilitude.
     
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  3. Raleel

    Raleel Well-Known Member

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    To me, I like options. I like my characters to have options at every turn. I am the guy who plays the batman wizard. I like to utilize my off turn actions - I played a warlord in 4e, and a bravura at that. in 13th age, I'm looking at an occultist or a monk because there are options. I'm the guy who takes a ranged weapon, a thrown weapon, and a couple of melee weapons. I'm the guy who almost certainly has something that is not sucky against undead or werewolves. If I don't have options, it's a flaw. I will figure a way to eliminate that flaw and preserve options. It doesn't have to be the best, but there have to be many. It's hard to overstate my desire for this. In Cortex plus I took the character who not only had a bullshit hyper flexible Sorcery power, but also had an SFX for pulling things FROM the doom pool, and also put things INTO the doom pool. probably not coincidentally, I GM a lot.

    So, right now, I like Mythras because of special effects and sorcery. Special effects I like because of the options above - my fighter are not restricted to a particular small set of things that are limited to X/encounter or X/day. I can do a lot, it can be varied. My first mythras character had spear and shield and hand axe and javelin because covers the reaches, has thrown, has a backup melee, can block missiles. I have multiple avenues to challenge a character with Mythras. it's general rule appears to be "don't fight them along their strong axis, attack on a different axis". They hit hard? don't use armor, deny actions. They have a lot of actions? Don't try to counter all of them, remove a limb. and so on and so on. Mythras sorcery I like because of hyperflexibility as well. Combine, multi targets, and so on.

    Mythras is very close to perfect. I think Cortex Plus is easier to build games on - I can make a whole system for whatever genre with cortex plus in like 10 minutes, while Mythras might require quite a chunk more. Depending on my mood, Cortex might win.

    Other systems that probably represent this same desire that are on my shelf - Mage the Ascension (including Mage20) (10-15 books), GURPS (probably 10 books), and Champions/Hero (maybe 2, I forget).

    I have A LOT of rpgs owned. I have 464 things on DTRPG, most of which are RPGs. i have some others squirreled away in other locations (The Strange, for instance). But ultimately, I like flexibility.
     
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  4. xanther

    xanther Member

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    To answer my own question, here is my wish list:

    1. Verisimilitude –outcomes overall feel right for the genre, combat feels fast

    2. Quick Mechanics –one toss of the dice does it all, low book keeping

    3. Flexible Mechanics –you can try anything and the mechanics support it, you have choices and they matter

    4. Resilient Mechanics –not easily “broken” and extensive conditionals and limits not required to keep from breaking, mechanics don’t need setting assumptions that lessen verisimilitude to work well

    5. Dynamic Range –that is you have many levels / ways to mechanically distinguish between creatures

    6. Resilient Scale –things from the size of a cat to a light vehicle can all be involved in the same combat in a meaningful way, that doesn’t destroy verisimilitude

    7. Inclusive Scale -everyone matters but some more than others –the idea is a high level character is tough, near invincible but also a dozen peasants can be dangerous to them, that is, a first level character is not meaningless in combat along side a 10th level character...or you’ll want infantry with that tank

    8. Quick Design –you can gin up the statistics for a monster, NPC, vehicle etc. in 10 minutes or less, and complete the most complicated “build” in half an hour

    9. Epic Campaign Play –supports playing characters for a 100 sessions, and high levels are not pie in the sky or unplayable

    10. Resilient Character Design with High Flexibility and Many Options and Quick –you can pretty much have any character you want within broad and reasonable bounds (i.e. no god-mode characters), character improvement has many options, resilient in that choices not forced but one-trick-ponies are not rewarded and well-rounded characters are rewarded, no false options (i.e., many paths but few are optimal), quick character creation possible if you don’t dither over the many flavors available

    11. Epic Battles in an Hour –you can have 4 dozen orcs, a small dragon, 6 giant eagles, 6 PCs, 12 men-at-arms, 2 dogs, and a familiar, they all can meaningfully contribute and you can resolve this thing in under an hour on a man to man scale with no problem, if you have enough dice, but no "mook" rules

    12. Fluid Chases and Aerial Combat –the flow of play does not take away from the feel, these types of combats when we see them in the movies are fast and fluid, the mechanics should not destroy that verisimilitude...so no rules sub-system, no need for rulers or protractors.

    Need to turn to work now...so describing the system(s) that does this (mostly) for me will have to wait
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  5. PolarBlues

    PolarBlues New Member

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    WEG Star Wars D6 was the first system to really speak to me. One can quibble about the details, but I found myself in tune this it's priorities with it's simple, cinematic, don't sweat the small stuff approach.

    Fudge was the next big revelation. The combination of Fudge dice and the English-language value scale along with the ease of customisation if offered made it a real winner. I am a big fan of ICONS which traces its DNA back to Fudge.

    But if ask for perfection, from a wholly subjective point of view, it's my own custom version of Fudge as implemented in Cyberblues City. It has the great advantage of somehow including all the things I find interesting and gloss the stuff I don't care about. Crazy coincidence, right? I'm currently putting the finishing touch on a new edition of the game. I barely had to touch the rules, it's mostly about new artwork (I do my own illustrations and I think I've made real progress in the passed three years) and off-the-wall setting to go with it. Like I said, this is wholly subjective of course.

    Special mention for Barbarians of Lemuria. I'm not really that big of a fantasy buff, but the design is a masterclass in efficiency, pack a lot of flavour in a very condensed set of rules.
     
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  6. TristramEvans

    TristramEvans Goosebuster Moderator

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    OK, so before I answer, a few caveats:

    1) I don't believe in a "one size fits all system," I think different systems provide different play experiences and that the best option is always to pick the game based on the type of campaign (or one shot) one wants to play.
    2) there are lots of systems I love, and would love to play all of them, all the time. I would be perfectly happy playing WEG D6 one night, Mythras the next, WFRP the following night, and so on and so on, from Ars Magica to Pendragon to Paranoia to Dallas to Tribe 8.
    3) What's "perfect" for me is maybe 25% based on the system, and at least 75% based on my preferred playstyle and how the system supports that.

    So, in an answer thats probably not going to come as a surprise, I have found my Perfect System, and its MSH (aka FASERIP). Or, rather, its a homebrew adaption of FASERIP that I've developed from houserules over the last twenty years gaming using the system, that I refer to as Phaserip, because I like wordplay. I'll start by talking about FASERIP in general, and then about the few but significant changes I made to "perfect" the system.

    So why is it perfect?
    1) it takes less than 5 minutes to explain the system completely to new players
    2) it has the best character generation system I've ever encountered in a game that allows at one time complete freedom and still complete ability of the GM to make sure characters fit the game as conceived. I'm referring of course to Character Modelling. The basic premise is simple: the player explains the character they want to make, the GM assigns stats, and if necessary, a short period of negotiation happens so the player is happy that it expresses what they conceive of, and it works for the "power level" of the game the GM wants to run. And again, this process takes around 5 minutes, so the time between a person having never heard of the system before to being ready with a character to start the game is about ten minutes at most.
    3) This method of chargen works so well because everything in the game is defined in real-world terms, so there isn't any abstract notion such as "what does Strength 17 actually mean?" Every rating in the game not only has a descriptor, but is based on a consecutive and easily understandable scale of one to ten. This applies to everything in the game from Intellect (1 is a earthworm, 10 is an omniscient god) to the potency of a flame (1 is a lit match, 10 is the sun). Copious descriptions and examples, means that a player who has an Agility of 8 (Amazing) knows exactly what they are capable of achieving, whats difficult for them and whats easy, and how that compares to other characters they encounter.
    5) Accordingly as a GM, it takes me a few seconds to less than a minute to stat out any NPC on the fly. Likewise any vehicle, piece of equipment, weaponry, superpower, etc.
    6) In general, during play, the system simply gets out of the way. Its there to provide support or context when I need it, but otherwise doesnt interfere with the flow of the game, immersion, or improvisation. The resolution provides the means to get a simple pass/fail or the option of differing degrees of success/failure with a single roll.
    7) speaking of, that roll is d100 or a percentile die roll. I've always been a fan of both ten-sided dice and percentile-based systems. I find it very aesthetically pleasing, and like the 1-10 scale, its something that comes naturally to everyone. In modern society, scales of one to ten, and percentages, are both almost daily applications naturally derived from our base 10 numbering system. You can say to anyone, you has a 33% chance of this, or a 73% chance of that, and they instantly understand their odds. Moreover, FASERIP avoids the finite limitations of many straight percentile systems by use of the resolution chart, that allows quick comparisons between attrribute vs attribute, or attribute vs difficulty.
    8) Combat is fast and furious. Very rarely will any combat, no matter how many opponents involved, take more than 10 -15 minutes game time to resolve. No entire sessions for one combat. Yet, there is still a large strategic element, the system encourages and supports creativity and unique solutions, and the variety of results play out just like a cinematic battle.
    9) No classes or levels. These were the first elements in RPGs that ever gave me that personal annoyance that I would now associate with the phrase "Because Game."
    10) The Karma point mechanic. This is the brilliant underpinning of the system that I consider the ultimate emulative genre-mechanic, as it supports completely the genre the game was originally intended to evince (Bronze-Age superheroes), without pigeon-holing the game to that genre nor enforcing tropes that restrict player choice or creativity. But to really understand this is to realize that FASERIP is in actuality a resource management-based system, with some rolls thrown in to introduce randomness. In this way, by utilizing of the Karma points alone, the system can be used to create a game of over-the-top heroics on a cosmic scale (think Gurenn Lagann, Golden Age Superman, or Godzilla films), standard superheroics (Spidey, X-men, Gatchaman), pulp action (BPRD, The Shadow, Constantine), or even gritty street-level games. Put simply, characters are more effective as heroes, the more heroic they act. Selfish loners who kill their enemies end up with a very hardboiled gameplay experience.

    Addendum - a few other small touches I like - the system has an abstract approach to finances/resources that works effectively to model everything from Peter Parker struggling to make rent to Bruce Wayne on a spending spree, without unbalancing the game. There's wonderfully evocative sub-systems for creating gadgets and other inventing and uses of super-science. Additionally there's a nifty system for designing, building, and later on making improvements on a Headquarters; anything from the Justice League Satellite to Dr. Strange's Occult Conservatory.

    So, here are the changes/houserules I adopted for Phaserip to "perfect" the system:

    1) The original skill system was very hodge-podge and acted more as an accent to the system. Unlike the streamlined universal mechanic of the Attribute system, each skill provided a different bonus, and overall reminded me more of the early AD&D Proficiency system or the WFRP 1E's skill system. I streamlined this into a small list of comprehensive skill groups (Academics, Aesthetics, Athletics, Charm, Chicanery, Circus, Farm boy/girl, Medic, Military, Occult, Science!, Skulduggery, Sleuth, Survival, Tech, Vehicles, and Weaponry), with the option for Specialization as needed. Moreover, Martial Arts in the original system was divided into Martial Arts A, B, C...etc, depending on the type or approach (whether a soft style, aggressive, etc). I instead divided Martial Arts based on the 5 Traditional Eastern Elements: Earth, fire, Metal, Water, and Wood.

    Beyond simply streamlining the Skill list, however, I made it so all Skills have the same effect: they boost the result of a roll by one "phase." For those unfamiliar with FASERIP's universal chart, any roll will result in one of four potential colour results: white (failure), green (minor success), blue (solid success), or red (critical success) (I've upped this on my Phaserip Chart -The ARG! or Action Resolution Graph - to 5 results, adding a critical failure). When using a Skill, the applicable Attribute is rolled as usual, but the Colour (Phase) of the result is shifted up by one.

    This same system can then optionally be applied to weaknesses (reducing the Phase result by one).

    2) In the original system, Karma points were optionally used for advancement as well as in-game resolution. For some players this tended to engender hoarding points, which goes against the, um, "point." I divorced the two concepts, and made points for advancement a separate pool called Continuity. Taking a notion from Dungeonworld that I immediately thought was a stroke of genius in a system I otherwise was pretty "meh" about, Continuity points are earned from failing. This not only models characters learning more from their failures than successes, yet also creates a natural "learning curve", as more effective characters overall improve much more slowly (and encourages players to branch out and attempt new things to improve overall).

    3) In FASERIP, characters have a pool of points called "Health" that is the sum of the points values of their physical attributes. I renamed this Stamina, and created a second pool of points based on the sum of the character's mental attributes called Psyche (Psyche was in the original system one of the mental attributes, which I replaced with Charisma). So when characters take physical stress, they lose Stamina, and when they take mental stress, they lose Psyche. Health in the original system, like HP, was the extent of the injury system, but in Phaserip, loosing Stamina simply wears a character down, while actual injuries result in the temporary (or potentially permanent) reduction of the actual Attributes.

    5) The original magic system (even expanded in the Magic supplement) was very much just a variation on the system for superpowers. I wanted there to be a distinct difference in flavour between traditional superpowers, psionics, and magic. So while powers work much the same as they did, psionics is tied to a character's Psyche, and I added a completely new magic system that is based around the use of tarot cards.
     
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  7. Tommy Brownell

    Tommy Brownell Well-Known Member

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    For superheroes, it's Marvel SAGA. The Edge and Trump mechanics are brilliant, giving experienced and tactically brilliant characters like Captain America that X Factor they need to really go over the top of their foes.The exploding action totals from the Trump mechanic means very little is actually impossible, merely (at times) improbable, capture that four color feel perfectly.

    I love D&D 5e more than I have any D&D-like system to date. It's a robust engine that is not carefully balanced, so it doesn't break easily, but its DNA is close enough to all the non-4e versions that it is ridiculously simple to port stuff over from other games. The flat math is a revelation, and I really wanna rip the math out of the Star Wars Saga Edition game, replace it with the 5e math, and run it.

    For everything else it's Savage Worlds. I have applied small tweaks to the game for different settings and, after running it in multiple settings and genres, I firmly believe it is entirely easy to tweak it to feel differently to capture a variety of genres. Like 5e, it doesn't have a steep power curve (less steep than even 5e has) so challenges stick around longer and characters of different power levels are easier to mesh together.
     
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  8. Voros

    Voros Well-Known Member

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    As others have said there's not one system that works for me across the board as I believe the system should be crafted to fit the intended style of play or setting of the game.

    Having said that, the systems I really admire and I think work really well are Pendragon, Ghostbusters and Cthulhu Dark.
     
  9. xanther

    xanther Member

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    Superheroes is the one genre where I have limited experience and always looking for something. The only thing in a superhero game I would insist is a "must" is super-villains get an xp bonus for monologueing; and a super bonus if they can get the superhero to admit "they are to so different." I only played Champions so interested in how it compares to your favorite. I always thought if I did a superhero game it would be based off Heroclix, as I have a slew of those.

    Now for me, the genres of fantasy, post-apocalyptic, and far future are my preference...I'm all about campaigns for RPGs, I can't overcome the urge to board game instead if they are a one-shot or few session focused games.
     
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  10. xanther

    xanther Member

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    Well my own quest started decades ago, I’d say really about 1979, played OD&D with the Monster Manual (I think) first in 1977 (my first DM was less than transparent), got into Traveller in 1978 as well, then the floodgates opened trying many others; sadly had this prejudice against The Fantasy Trip simply because it wasn’t like D&D (no classes) although the 1 session I played in was very good....oh if only I had had a more open RPG mind as a lad. I also wish I had come across Dragon Warriors back then, as it would probably been my system once I fixed the magic.

    All as a way to say I started modify AD&D in earnest in ’79, morphed it into hybrid of D&D concepts with classes getting % skills and some other concepts (Armor as damage reduction, skill as defense); which eventually morphed into a 2D10 (add together) a reverse skill/class hybrid system (skills define class) that played remarkably like AD&D. That is I could take an AD&D module, do a simple mapping, really just based on % chance to hit AC 7, and modules would play like I remembered (power balance wise). Well that 2D10 system we played to death for about 11 years. The primary shortcoming is it lacked easy degree of success mechanic; I did use a critical hit/failure type approach if you got doubles, but still basically a binary you succeed or fail system.

    The ease with which mechanics allow the game to play the way I like is incredibly important to me as I want verisimilitude to emerge from play, never imposed by a “this needs to be the outcome” mechanic, or even dice fudging. And, I'm with Tristam in that "because game" is a poor answer to me, that should be used sparingly if at all.

    Then I tried Atomic Highway. I’ll admit up front that I did not like dice pools, but gave this one a try because I love the harder PA genre and I loved the author’s writing style, approach (true old school in my opinion (gear tables, we don’t need no stinkin’ gear tables)), and most of all what he did with vehicles; pure genius. So I tried it and came to realize his approach, with modification, was my perfect system. So here is how I rate Atomic Highway on my desirable dozen, on a scale of 1 to 10, with rules as written.
    1. Verisimilitude: 8
    2. Quick Mechanics: 8
    3. Flexible Mechanics: 8 (would be higher but the skills needed work)
    4. Resilient Mechanics: 8
    5. Dynamic Range: 5
    6. Resilient Scale: 7 (I’d never give any other game I've played higher than a 5)
    7. Inclusive Scale: 6 (but hard to say as there isn’t a lot of spread in character effectiveness)
    8. Quick Design: 10 (rivaled only by OD&D and TFT) On times to design I include start (sit at the computer) to finish (printed out), the stats for something may instantly spring to mind and require no thought, but there is still the time it takes to type or write it down. So for me even an “instant” design is going to take 5 minutes to open file, save, type numbers into 5-10 fields, and always, give a thought to what has gone before to decide if it fits where I think it does.
    9. Epic Campaign Play: 3 (but not sure was designed for it)
    10. Resilient Character Design with High Flexibility and Many Options and Quick: 7 (would be higher but the skills needed work)
    11. Epic Battles in an Hour: 6 (low-ish because of defense rolls, if I understand the rules)
    12. Fluid Chases and Aerial Combat: 9 (the fun and detail of Car Wars with much greater speed and ease of use) Atomic Highway was the first and only game I’ve found where the chases look (if you use some counters/miniatures) and feel like a Mad Max car chase/battle.
    13. Overall non-weighted Score: 7
     
  11. xanther

    xanther Member

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    In the interest of giving some comparison on how I think on these things, here are my ratings for AD&D 1e (pre-1984, so no UA) (again as the system for me) best as can understand or ever saw played, with the exception...initiative never used segments and all that, or weapon vs armor class, excluding from consideration grappling rules. The inclusion of these things would not raise the Verisimilitude score and would greatly lower the Quick Mechanics and Flexible Mechanics scores (frankly that is why we stopped using them after a few tries).
    My experience with AD&D ranges up to play at 16th level.
    1. Verisimilitude: 5 (being generous, as could not stat a single character from fantasy literature I read in any way that was possible for a PC to achieve, also so many situations were unrealistic if follow mechanics as provided, besides the ever present Rule 0; but when you're the first to market you get a pass on verisimilitude)
    2. Quick Mechanics: 7
    3. Flexible Mechanics: 4 (even lower under certain DMs)
    4. Resilient Mechanics: 8 (to give credit where credit is due, one of it's shining achievements, not surprised given the authors' war game backgrounds)
    5. Dynamic Range: 7
    6. Resilient Scale: 3 (not necessarily a bad thing as not a big part of the game, but you get away from man-to-man scale it falls apart)
    7. Inclusive Scale: 6 (a 1st level is more baggage than help, or a keep the mooks busy PC, when along with PCs 8th level or higher)
    8. Quick Design: 8
    9. Epic Campaign Play: 9 (I mean how can I say otherwise, got characters to level 16 and it did have cool looking build a castle rules we never used)
    10. Resilient Character Design with High Flexibility and Many Options and Quick: 3 (yes the class based design was quick, but limited in what it could represent and idiosyncratic in what it did, basically very low flexibility and options, this was generally OK with me as it had classes liked to play)
    11. Fluid Chases and Aerial Combat: 1 (it would be zero except the DMG had aerial combat rules, which were horrible and a clear add-on)
    12. Overall non-weighted Score: 5 (I'd give most house-rule games I played in more than once a 6)
     
  12. TristramEvans

    TristramEvans Goosebuster Moderator

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    Hm, could you explain those terms and ratings a bit more in -depth? Like, what qualifies as a "Resilient Mechanic"? And whats the "Inclusive Scale" measure? etc
     
  13. xanther

    xanther Member

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    Here's what I mean by them, these are purely made-up by me terms.

    Resilient Mechanics –not easily “broken” and extensive conditionals and limits not required to keep from breaking, mechanics don’t need setting assumptions that lessen verisimilitude to work well.

    Inclusive Scale -everyone matters but some more than others –the idea is a high level character is tough, near invincible but also a dozen peasants can be dangerous to them, that is, a first level character is not meaningless in combat along side a 10th level character...or you’ll want infantry with that tank

    On importance, in practice the people I play with are reasonable and like verisimilitude as much as I so if a rule seems broken (i,.e., unintended consequences and the game can be dominated by this broken rule) we just ignore or fix it. So Resilient Mechanics is generally not so important to me, but a really nice have.

    Inclusive Scale is a perennial problem (again for what I'm looking for) with every RPG I've played, unless you add in something like fate, story, luck points, or other PC protection type rules. To me, I fixed a lot by moving away from a success fail based on a target number.
     
  14. Voros

    Voros Well-Known Member

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    To me B/X or BEMCI are my favourite versions of D&D with 5e close behind because I find it easy to mod.

    For superhero games, I only ever played MSH and can’t see the need to use anything besides FASERIP, although I may be interested in a slightly less crunchy system (not that I consider MSH too crunchy). I’ve heard the praise of DC Heroes and intend to check it out. Many of the other ‘trad’ superhero systems seem crunch heavy, which I think goes against the spirit of a superhero game. I did pick up and read Champions back in the day but couldn’t get into all the crunch.
     
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  15. Edgewise

    Edgewise Member

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    I don't think anyone sane would list this as a favorite, but I had a lot of fun with Villains and Vigilantes back in the day. Its a really crazy ass system with ridiculously complex character generation, totally random powers and this crazy attack/defense matrix that compared every offensive power against every defensive one. Batshit.

    But we had fun and it has one virtue over most super hero RPGs, and that's the scaling. If only because the rules had no accommodation for Omega level supers. It was silly as hell but definitely doesn't deserve mention here. :tongue:

    Actually, I just remembered it had a pretty damn good initiative system. You rolled 1dSomething and add a modifier based on speed, and that's the first segment you act. You get another action every 15 segments, so fast heroes could get several actions each round before anyone else does a thing. A good way to scale initiative for a superhero game.

    I also played Champions back in the day. Or rather, I made a lot of characters. Maximum flexibility in character design but I remember each round having something like ten segments, like Car Wars. Pretty cumbersome fights IIRC.

    That sounds like a great idea for a tongue-in-cheek super hero supplement. Perhaps Flex Mentallo: The Game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 11:48 AM
  16. TristramEvans

    TristramEvans Goosebuster Moderator

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    Heh, yep, FASERIP has that.
     
  17. Trippy

    Trippy Member

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    'Perfect' systems are pretty difficult to achieve because whatever you might think is perfect is almost always different to what other people around your gaming table might want. It's a collaboration. I remember trying out Ars Magica in the 90s which I thought was wonderful, but the group as a whole were disinterested in it. Mage worked, interestingly, but I think it just had more modern 'comic book' appeal or something.

    Nowadays, I honestly am perfectly happy to play many games 'out of the box', as is - without tweaking or fiddling with the systems at all, including D&D and Traveller which is the core of my gaming these days. That wasn't the case 20 years ago. There are less inherent flaws and awkward bits that need ironing out in modern games generally.

    So anyway, my favourite system? Probably something simple like Prince Valiant (as dice pools rather than coins) or Over The Edge, bolting on some slightly more structured-but-freeform magic systems, and applied to World of Darkness settings. To be honest, it's how gameplay would tend to emerge naturally when I played the WoD back in the 90s and 00s. I never stuck to the rules as written back then.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018 at 5:46 AM
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  18. Raleel

    Raleel Well-Known Member

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    Cortex Plus lets villains monologue and build the doom pool, whcih is in the same space.
     
  19. Mankcam

    Mankcam Active Member

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    Not sure if I have a perfect system, but these days if I want crunch then I run a game from the BRP system.
    If I want to a more narrative game with less number-crunching, then I'll run HeroQuest or FATE
    None are Holy Grails, but they do come close for me
    Lots of other systems to try out, but time constraints often lead me to one of these.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018 at 7:11 AM
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  20. dragoner

    dragoner Well-Known Member

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    No grails, and now I have a tendency to pick one rule book and stick with it for the sake of simplicity. For the last few years it is Mongoose Traveller 1e, hats off to Gareth, it's not perfect, except workable. I'm revving up to run a M-Space campaign next, and I will have Mythras to pluck things from, in the same way Mongoose 1e had a ton of different setting stuff to mine from like Strontium Dog, Judge Dredd, 2300AD, and Hammer's Slammers.

    If I were to create a system I really liked, it would be chargen from BRP/Mythras/CoC/M-Space, I like the way the skills work, d100 has way better granularity than 2d6, I like the M-Space/Mythras combat system too. Spacecraft I like Mongoose Traveller 1e, it's basically an update of Classic's Starter Traveller system, I know it, and it works; the one thing would like to add are the Extended Conflicts from M-Space for "sub hunt" and chase type scenarios to add more thrill to battle and operations. I like the star system generation with the Heaven and Earth program, which is a mix of Traveller and GURPS Space/First In, nice filling out of a star system, then use AstroSynthesis to map it all. I do throw these things in every once in a while, though the sticking with one book aspect is likely to remain high.
     
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