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I need a good fantasy rpg

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Anonymous
April 22, 2005 10:56:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

I've been playing D&D for a long time now, but I'm not happy with the
way the game handles certain things (I don't like levels, I don't like
how strength modifies melee attack rolls instead of dexterity, I don't
like how armour makes a character harder to hit rather than reduce the
damage a character takes from each hit, I don't like prestige classes,
I don't like how characters have to be confined by classes, etc). So,
now I'm looking at what other fantasy rpg systems are available. I've
checked out Hero System and Harnmaster but neither of those systems
seemed very good (WAY to complex. I'm not too fond of systems where
you need a calculator to create a character, work out out an attack,
or just have a character walk down the street). Right now I'm leaning
towards GURPS as it seems to have the best rules without being
unnecessarily complex, but I'd like to know what other fantasy rpg
systems there are out there.

Michael

More about : good fantasy rpg

Anonymous
April 23, 2005 3:05:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

>Right now I'm leaning
> towards GURPS as it seems to have the best rules without being
> unnecessarily complex, but I'd like to know what other fantasy rpg
> systems there are out there.
>

If you want simple rules then IMO, you can't beat Fudge (Very simple to
play but not so simple to GM) . If that is too free form for you then take
a look at Savage Worlds. You can get Fudge free on the web or go out to
http://www.drivethroughrpg.com/catalog/index.php and buy a PDF copy of
Savage Worlds.

There is also a free test drive version of Savage Worlds here
http://www.peginc.com/Games/Savage%20Worlds/Downloads/S...

Mitch
Anonymous
April 24, 2005 10:15:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

All right, I found a couple that might suit you, but they'll both need
some work to flesh them out better.

First is Chivalry and Sorcery Essence. It's not quite like the full
blown print version, but it's simple enough, and armor reduces damage
taken.

www.britgamedesigns.co.uk/download/cnsfast.pdf

I know, I know, it has classes, but it also has skills that you can use
to make other classes if you want. Only four pages, so you'll have to
expand it a bit.


The other one is Dark Dungeons. It's a bit longer, but you'll still
have to do some work to flesh it out better. Definitely has an old
school, medieval feel to it.

www.darkdungeon.ws/DD2LITE.pdf

Best of all, both are available for free.


Ralph Glatt
Related resources
Anonymous
April 24, 2005 5:02:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

In message <f83817d2.0504221756.1a36233d@posting.google.com>,
Shadowdragon <mtbedwards@rogers.com> writes
>Right now I'm leaning towards GURPS as it seems to have the best rules
>without being unnecessarily complex, but I'd like to know what other
>fantasy rpg systems there are out there.

GURPS is very good: I'm starting a new GURPS Fantasy game myself this
week.

Other systems you might like to try:

RUNEQUEST (long out of print now sort of available again from Chaosium
as BASIC ROLEPLAYING). A skill based percentile system. No classes.

D6 Fantasy. Dunno nothing about it but it is available.

WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLEPLAYING. Perhaps too dnd like.

BIG EYES SMALL MOUTH. Very adaptable. Quite light rules wise.


--
Michael Cule
Anonymous
April 24, 2005 5:40:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Michael Cule <mikec@room3b.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLEPLAYING. Perhaps too dnd like.

Normally I'd say the similarities were fairly minor, but
if characters classes are one of the sticking points then
yeah, WFRP probably isn't the way to go. Shame, though,
since it's such a cool game.

Pete
Anonymous
April 24, 2005 5:46:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Shadowdragon <mtbedwards@rogers.com> wrote:

>checked out Hero System and Harnmaster but neither of those systems
>seemed very good (WAY to complex. I'm not too fond of systems where
>you need a calculator to create a character, work out out an attack,
>or just have a character walk down the street). Right now I'm leaning
>towards GURPS as it seems to have the best rules without being
>unnecessarily complex, but I'd like to know what other fantasy rpg
>systems there are out there.

GURPS is a great game, but it can get pretty complex if you
let it. If you only took a quick glance at Hero, I'd urge
you to take another look. Character creation can be pretty
complicated, especially for superheroes or fantasy characters
with spells, but once you get down to actually playing I've
never known it to be any worse than GURPS. And the one
advantage Hero has over GURPS, in my opinion, is that
you can simulate damned near any magical system or ability
using the basic rules given. With GURPS, if you don't
like the magic systems from the book, you'll have to
completely create your own.

On the other hand, there are a fair number of pretty
cool magic systems given in the various GURPS books,
what with the fantasy magic and the ritual magic and
psionics and superpowers and whatnot.

It's a judgement call, obviously. If I were doing something
like a "standard" fantasy game, whatever the hell that is,
I'd probably use GURPS. If I were trying to model a setting
with a unique magic system I'd go to Hero.

Pete
Anonymous
April 25, 2005 4:43:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

In article <wZBRTmAHr4aCFwFv@room3b.demon.co.uk>,
Michael Cule <mikec@room3b.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>In message <f83817d2.0504221756.1a36233d@posting.google.com>,
>Shadowdragon <mtbedwards@rogers.com> writes
>>Right now I'm leaning towards GURPS as it seems to have the best rules
>>without being unnecessarily complex, but I'd like to know what other
>>fantasy rpg systems there are out there.
>
>GURPS is very good: I'm starting a new GURPS Fantasy game myself this
>week.
>
>Other systems you might like to try:
>
>RUNEQUEST (long out of print now sort of available again from Chaosium
>as BASIC ROLEPLAYING). A skill based percentile system. No classes.
>
>D6 Fantasy. Dunno nothing about it but it is available.
>
>WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLEPLAYING. Perhaps too dnd like.
>
>BIG EYES SMALL MOUTH. Very adaptable. Quite light rules wise.

Hm. I like HÂRNMASTER quite a lot for a number of points, even though I
still use GURPS as my system. Actually I use the damage and healing rules
of Hârnmaster (after I realized they are less complex to handle than it
looks). What I like about Hârnmaster, too, is a very nice gameworld (which I
do not use ;) , but I use a number of Hârnmaster-tables for random character
generation and inspiration for random encounters (some of my storylines
developed out of this).

My magic system is a very strange mix of GURPS and SAGA. (Does
anyone even know this? The ideas are a great inspiration.) I like the way
GURPS handles character generation (point based, non-random, no classes, no
levels) and experience (just continue to use the same points). Some
inspiration for magic and religion come from GURPS Voodoo, as do the rules
for ghosts and similar thing (my momentary game world is mostly late stone age, which means primitive agricultural, with an animistic take to religion and the aforementioned magic).

So what would I propose to use as a system? I would propose you look at
some of them, take one for basic rules and mix in what you like. None has a
monopoly on common sense. (Only you have. Or so. :-)

cu

AW
--
<ThePhonk> *tueteKlammernUeberVariableAuskipp* Dereferenzier Dich, Du
+Miststueck!
Anonymous
April 25, 2005 7:11:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

You should also take a look at the excellent epic fantasy roleplaying game
HeroQuest, which can be found at
http://www.glorantha.com

--
- Abort, Retry, Fthagn? -
Anonymous
April 25, 2005 8:18:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:
> Michael Cule <mikec@room3b.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLEPLAYING. Perhaps too dnd like.
>
> Normally I'd say the similarities were fairly minor, but
> if characters classes are one of the sticking points then
> yeah, WFRP probably isn't the way to go. Shame, though,
> since it's such a cool game.

I haven't seen WFRP2 yet, but in the first edition, there are so
many careers that there's usually something to your liking.
The only thing that's missing is an Adventurer career, as most
of the other careers assume that it's an actual job.

The career system is far from perfect, but it has character and
I've never considered it to be very D&D like. In WFRP2 it's
rumoured to be a bit more balanced.


mcv.
Anonymous
April 25, 2005 8:18:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

> I haven't seen WFRP2 yet, but in the first edition, there are so
> many careers that there's usually something to your liking.
> The only thing that's missing is an Adventurer career, as most
> of the other careers assume that it's an actual job.

I always explain to the players that they are all "Adventurer's" and that
the "Career" that they are working on is really a _teacher_. So a player
who is on the Mercenary Captain career is really and Adventurer who is being
trained by a Mercenary Captain during his down time.

Mitch
Anonymous
April 25, 2005 8:24:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

julian814@hotmail.com wrote:
>
> The other one is Dark Dungeons. It's a bit longer, but you'll still
> have to do some work to flesh it out better. Definitely has an old
> school, medieval feel to it.
>
> www.darkdungeon.ws/DD2LITE.pdf

I've played this one on a couple of Dutch conventions, where a group
of GMs organised a very big, multi-group DD adventure. Lots of fun,
extremely easy to play. Skills are very big, especially magic-related
ones. For example, I played a wizard with the skill Forcefields (at
some skill level), which meant that I could put all sorts of forcefields
everywhere. Presumably with spells, but the actual spells themselves
weren't detailed. Other wizards had "fire" or something like that.
Requires a lot of GM fudging, but it's fun and fast, and gets right
down to the storytelling.


mcv.
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 12:53:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

You could take a look at the pre-D20 version of Sovereign Stone. Very
simple and flexible rules, but not so simple that they don't offer
support for playing. Basically, all stats and skills have ratings from
d4 to d12, and when you do something, you roll one die for a stat and
another for a skill and add them. The sum determines the result. The
magic system based on this is _very_ cool. The setting is pretty
standard fare, designed by Larry Elmore.

There were two printings of this game, a softcover and a hardcover. You
should go with the hardcover, since the softcover contains numerous
errors due to a too-hasty release. Both are out of print, buy shouldn't
be too hard to find (they may even be marked way down.

Another option is the Buffy The Vampire Slayer game. It is made for a
modern urban fantasy setting, but it should be quite easy to adapt to a
standard fantasy setting. Very simple, with the option of playing a
character of mythic proportions or an ordinary guy who is very lucky.
There is a lot of support for this game.

- Klaus
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 2:44:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:
> Shadowdragon <mtbedwards@rogers.com> wrote:
>
>>checked out Hero System and Harnmaster but neither of those systems
>>seemed very good (WAY to complex. I'm not too fond of systems where
>>you need a calculator to create a character, work out out an attack,
>>or just have a character walk down the street). Right now I'm leaning
>>towards GURPS as it seems to have the best rules without being
>>unnecessarily complex, but I'd like to know what other fantasy rpg
>>systems there are out there.
>
> GURPS is a great game, but it can get pretty complex if you
> let it. If you only took a quick glance at Hero, I'd urge
> you to take another look. Character creation can be pretty
> complicated, especially for superheroes or fantasy characters
> with spells, but once you get down to actually playing I've
> never known it to be any worse than GURPS. And the one
> advantage Hero has over GURPS, in my opinion, is that
> you can simulate damned near any magical system or ability
> using the basic rules given.

Does that work well? CORPS also has a "design your own paranormal power"
system, but if you try to use it, you get the irrestistible urge to
chew your own head off. The rest of CORPS is great, though.

> With GURPS, if you don't
> like the magic systems from the book, you'll have to
> completely create your own.

> On the other hand, there are a fair number of pretty
> cool magic systems given in the various GURPS books,
> what with the fantasy magic and the ritual magic and
> psionics and superpowers and whatnot.

The ritual magic system from GURPS Spirits and GURPS Voodoo is
really cool. Powerful, scary and dangerous, great atmosphere,
flexible, and still reasonably balanced. Not so suitable for
standard fantasy with fireball throwing wizards, but great if
you want something darker and more sinister.

> It's a judgement call, obviously. If I were doing something
> like a "standard" fantasy game, whatever the hell that is,
> I'd probably use GURPS.

For fantasy I recommend GURPS 4th edition over 3rd edition, because
ST and HT are more useful in 3rd edition. A strong barbarian won't
be as easily outclassed by nimble fencers as in 3rd edition.


mcv.
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 3:36:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

mcv <mcvmcv@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:

>> advantage Hero has over GURPS, in my opinion, is that
>> you can simulate damned near any magical system or ability
>> using the basic rules given.

>Does that work well? CORPS also has a "design your own paranormal power"
>system, but if you try to use it, you get the irrestistible urge to
>chew your own head off. The rest of CORPS is great, though.

I think Hero works great for coming up with unique powers,
but other people just don't like the system at all. Put
it this way - if you like Hero for superhero games, which
it's more or less intended for, then I think you'll like
it for designing unique magical powers and spells. If you
don't have any experience with Hero, it's hard to say if
you'll like it. Basically, you have a lot of fairly generic
powers that you can modify to get exactly what you want.
You can take the Energy Blast power, for example, and
turn it into a flamethrower, an ice blast, a photon
lance, any damned thing you want, really, by
applying a number of advantages and disadvantages and
deciding on special effects. Some people don't like
things that generic and malleable, but I love it.

It definitely works well when modeling odd magical
systems, too. I don't know if anyone here is familiar
with the Ethshar series by Lawrence Watt-Evans, but
there are three or four major, very different magic
systems in that setting, and I was able to model
them all pretty well using Hero. There were some
problems and some things that have to be ruled on
by DM fiat, but Hero was much more useful than
GURPS or any other game I can think of would have
been.

Pete
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 3:45:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

On 25 Apr 2005 22:44:21 GMT, mcv <mcvmcv@xs4all.nl> wrote:


>> GURPS is a great game, but it can get pretty complex if you
>> let it. If you only took a quick glance at Hero, I'd urge
>> you to take another look. Character creation can be pretty
>> complicated, especially for superheroes or fantasy characters
>> with spells, but once you get down to actually playing I've
>> never known it to be any worse than GURPS. And the one
>> advantage Hero has over GURPS, in my opinion, is that
>> you can simulate damned near any magical system or ability
>> using the basic rules given.
>
>Does that work well?

Not in my experience. For one thing, Hero has granularity issues at
low power levels.
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 4:46:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

On 25 Apr 2005 23:36:04 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:

>mcv <mcvmcv@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>>Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:
>
>>> advantage Hero has over GURPS, in my opinion, is that
>>> you can simulate damned near any magical system or ability
>>> using the basic rules given.
>
>>Does that work well? CORPS also has a "design your own paranormal power"
>>system, but if you try to use it, you get the irrestistible urge to
>>chew your own head off. The rest of CORPS is great, though.
>
>I think Hero works great for coming up with unique powers,
>but other people just don't like the system at all. Put
>it this way - if you like Hero for superhero games, which
>it's more or less intended for, then I think you'll like
>it for designing unique magical powers and spells.

I do like it for superhero games. But not for fantasy spells because
they are just too damn expensive without resort to multipowers and
variable power pools, which place a ceiling on the power of magical
effects that I'd rather not have.
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 4:48:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

"Klaus Æ. Mogensen" <klaudiusNOSPAM@get2net.dk> typed:

>You could take a look at the pre-D20 version of Sovereign Stone. Very
>simple and flexible rules, but not so simple that they don't offer
>support for playing. Basically, all stats and skills have ratings from
>d4 to d12, and when you do something, you roll one die for a stat and
>another for a skill and add them. The sum determines the result. The
>magic system based on this is _very_ cool. The setting is pretty
>standard fare, designed by Larry Elmore.
>
>There were two printings of this game, a softcover and a hardcover. You
>should go with the hardcover, since the softcover contains numerous
>errors due to a too-hasty release. Both are out of print, buy shouldn't
>be too hard to find (they may even be marked way down.

There's a pdf of the quickstart rules for this as well. Not sure if
it's still available.

Avoid the 1st edition softcover. The reviews of it were brutal.

--
Jim or Sarah Davies, but probably Jim

D&D and Star Fleet Battles stuff on http://www.aaargh.org
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 5:00:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 00:46:37 +0000, David Johnston wrote:

> On 25 Apr 2005 23:36:04 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:
>
>>I think Hero works great for coming up with unique powers,
>>but other people just don't like the system at all. Put
>>it this way - if you like Hero for superhero games, which
>>it's more or less intended for, then I think you'll like
>>it for designing unique magical powers and spells.
>
> I do like it for superhero games. But not for fantasy spells because
> they are just too damn expensive without resort to multipowers and
> variable power pools, which place a ceiling on the power of magical
> effects that I'd rather not have.

So use a magic system that doesn't require spells to be purchased
directly. Such as a spell skill system, where you buy the Power skill for
each class of spell and have to make a <foo> spell school roll at -1/10
Active to cast a spell.

Fantasy Hero spends a fair chunk of space on magic and magic systems,
including several example systems.

--
Phoenix
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 12:23:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

David Johnston <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote:
> On 25 Apr 2005 23:36:04 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:
>>mcv <mcvmcv@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>>>Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:
>>
>>>> advantage Hero has over GURPS, in my opinion, is that
>>>> you can simulate damned near any magical system or ability
>>>> using the basic rules given.
>>
>>>Does that work well? CORPS also has a "design your own paranormal power"
>>>system, but if you try to use it, you get the irrestistible urge to
>>>chew your own head off. The rest of CORPS is great, though.
>>
>>I think Hero works great for coming up with unique powers,
>>but other people just don't like the system at all. Put
>>it this way - if you like Hero for superhero games, which
>>it's more or less intended for, then I think you'll like
>>it for designing unique magical powers and spells.
>
> I do like it for superhero games. But not for fantasy spells because
> they are just too damn expensive without resort to multipowers and
> variable power pools, which place a ceiling on the power of magical
> effects that I'd rather not have.

CORPS has the same problem. It works when you want a single power to
do everything, but it doesn't work well for spells.


mcv.
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 2:14:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Travis Casey <efindel@earthlink.net> writes:

> If you love crunchy combat with lots of options, The Burning Wheel has that
> in spades:
>
> http://www.key20direct.com/catalog/product_info.php?man...
>
> ... and that's just a few that hadn't been mentioned so far. Like I said,
> there are *lots* of fantasy RPGs.

I can reservedly recommend Burning Wheel. I've been playing RPGs
for over 20 years, so I've seen enough that I can get a decent
read off a game from simply reading it -- Burning Wheel seems to
do all the right things after thoroughly reading it.

However, my "reservedly" comes from these two points:

* I have not actually played it yet, so I can't recommend it from
a playtest point of view: it /reads/ like it should work
nicely, but I can't be absolutely certain of it

* The "scripting" mechanic it uses for detailed conflict is
nearly unique, so it's hard to know from just a read how well
or not-well it will work

This is the right time to try the game out as it's Revised
Edition has just been released (well, pre-ordered books have been
shipped, and the official launch is on May 5th, but Key20Direct
is selling it at the moment, so presumably you'd get yours in a
week or two).

Do *not* cheap out and find a used copy of the original edition;
the revised edition has enough added that it's worth the cover
price.

I heartily recommend getting the "Monster Burner" book as well as
the core rule books; it provides lots of insight into why the
rules are the way they are, and also gives you much more support
in populating your fantasy world with creatures of all sorts.


I can also recommend "The Riddle of Steel", which I *have*
playtested. The combat system is crunchy (very crunchy) but it
plays reasonably well. The skill system is a bit odd, but also
plays well. The magic system is grotesquely powerful, but
interesting. For an in-depth review of it, read Ron Edwards
review at the Forge: it's quite insightful. I quite liked TRoS;
when I ran it, I junked its world background, and used the world
from Lace and Steel, and this worked very nicely indeed.

We had a lot of fun with our playtest adventure, and some combat
moments were very fun indeed -- the main villain was completely
incapacitated by one of the heroes tripping him as he ran down a
flight of steps in a castle. The fall sufficiently mangled his
knee that he was easily subdued after that.

There is very little in the main rulebook to support wider,
campaign style play, however; I would heartily recommend getting
both the supplements, as they are both excellent. 'Of Beasts and
Men' fills out the "creature creator" need excellently, and "The
Flower of Battle" is really "The Riddle of Steel Companion", and
has oodles of very useful stuff in it.

We haven't played TRoS after our initial playtest, but not
because we didn't like it -- we just had other games we also
wanted to try out.


One of the GMs in our group is currently running a fantasy game
with Ron Edward's Sorcerer. It provides a tightly focussed kind
of game, but it's been largely fun. The mechanics are lean and
interesting. However, I strongly doubt it would serve games with
a wide genre appeal (there are certain kinds of characters and
stories that the game just doesn't serve because of its built-in
focus on the "sorcerer dilemma").

--
Viktor Haag : Senior Technical Writer : Research In Motion
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 2:36:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

mtbedwards@rogers.com (Shadowdragon) writes:

> I've been playing D&D for a long time now, but I'm not happy with the
> way the game handles certain things (I don't like levels, I don't like
> how strength modifies melee attack rolls instead of dexterity, I don't
> like how armour makes a character harder to hit rather than reduce the
> damage a character takes from each hit, I don't like prestige classes,
> I don't like how characters have to be confined by classes, etc). So,
> now I'm looking at what other fantasy rpg systems are available. I've
> checked out Hero System and Harnmaster but neither of those systems
> seemed very good (WAY to complex. I'm not too fond of systems where
> you need a calculator to create a character, work out out an attack,
> or just have a character walk down the street). Right now I'm leaning
> towards GURPS as it seems to have the best rules without being
> unnecessarily complex, but I'd like to know what other fantasy rpg
> systems there are out there.

I second Klaus' suggestion of pre-d20 Sovereign Stone as a simple and
fun system. Another possibility is Talislanta (4th edition, not the
recently released d20 version). You can get a playable sample of the
rules and part of the setting at (http://www.talislanta.com/download.htm).

You could also use West End Games' d6 system (basically, the system
they used in their Star Wars game). It may require some adaptation to
fit to a Fantasy setting, though. See
(http://www.westendgames.com/html/plyd6.html).

Torben
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 2:43:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

rgorman@telusplanet.net (David Johnston) writes:

> On 25 Apr 2005 22:44:21 GMT, mcv <mcvmcv@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>>> And the one advantage Hero has over GURPS, in my opinion, is
>>> that you can simulate damned near any magical system or
>>> ability using the basic rules given.
>>
>>Does that work well?
>
> Not in my experience. For one thing, Hero has granularity
> issues at low power levels.

The granularity issues are there, but they are manageable by
making the system more complex than the "basic game". There a
boat load of "optional systems" which help address the
granularity issues, but they're lots of extra work to implement
as well.

With HERO, you're well advised to begin playing in its "natural
state": comic book heroes. Once you have a "native speaker"
feeling for the system, using it for other heroic (but lower
power) kinds of things becomes much easier.

However, it's natural state is not "grim and gritty realism". But
I find that most people who express a wish for this, don't really
want it -- they're looking for other kinds of things in the
backgrounds they play in, and the story-bits they want can be
provided by clever and familiar use of the system

HERO, for those who have taken the time to become familiar with
it, is a very strong and robust system. This is more important
with HERO than with most systems, I think -- it's such a flexible
organ that it's just as important as GM to learn what kinds of
things you shouldn't allow your players to do, as the kinds of
things you should encourage.


Greg Porter's designs tend to provide more of a "natural state"
at the grim and gritty level. Both CORPS and EABA are well
designed, robust systems. However, be prepared for a /lot/ of
legwork to use them -- Greg is no Steve Long when it comes to
output, but then who is, really. Both games are great foundations
on which to build, but you're going to be doing a lot of the
building on your own. A "beta test" version of the CORPS Bestiary
has been kicking around for years, but still hasn't been
published. EABA still has no equivalent, and it's "Stuff" book
(the rules for creating, well, stuff (like vehicles, creatures,
buildings, etc)) seems destined for the same process (years and
years of testing, and slow writing and tweaking, with
questionable chance of actually seeing the light of day at the
end of the tunnel). The good news is that Greg is a decent
fellow, and if you participate in the community and are polite
about it, you can likely get access to material that has not yet
been published (especially if you are of a mind to help him and
others build it).


GURPS' chief point of recommendation in my opinion is the amount
of support material available. From a playtest point of view, in
my opinion it's the weakest of the the four systems mentioned
here. With a little elbow grease, most GURPS material is
trivially translatable to CORPS and/or EABA, and if you don't
mind the elbow grease, I'd recommend this as the way to go if you
really want that natural "street level" feel to your adventures.



--
Viktor Haag : Senior Technical Writer : Research In Motion
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 4:00:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

mcv wrote:
> David Johnston <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote:
>> On 25 Apr 2005 23:36:04 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:

>>>I think Hero works great for coming up with unique powers,
>>>but other people just don't like the system at all. Put
>>>it this way - if you like Hero for superhero games, which
>>>it's more or less intended for, then I think you'll like
>>>it for designing unique magical powers and spells.
>>
>> I do like it for superhero games. But not for fantasy spells because
>> they are just too damn expensive without resort to multipowers and
>> variable power pools, which place a ceiling on the power of magical
>> effects that I'd rather not have.
>
> CORPS has the same problem. It works when you want a single power to
> do everything, but it doesn't work well for spells.

Hero can work very well for spells; see the current edition of Fantasy Hero
and the Fantasy Hero Grimoire (which gives well over a hundred spells;
around a thousand, if you count each variant form as a separate spell).
There's also an FH Grimoire II, with yet more pre-made spells.

I understand the just-released Valdorian Age supplement introduces another
magic system, also built from Hero powers, and some other rules tweaks for
doing sword-and-sorcery-style fantasy. You might want to take a look at
the recent reviews of it on rpg.net.

But to get back to the original question about fantasy RPGs... there are
literally a couple hundred of them. If you want to restrict yourself to
just those in print, that brings it down to probably a few dozen.

If you like GURPS, but find it on the complex side, you might want to try
its predecessor, The Fantasy Trip. It's long out of print, but PDFs of all
the core books are at:

http://www.deiker.net/tft

Anvilwerks' Donjon is a fantasy RPG very different from anything you've
probably played before. In some ways, it's best suited for humorous
fantasy, but people have played it straight:

http://www.anvilwerks.com/donjon/

Anvilwerks also has The Shadow of Yesterday, which I haven't played yet, but
I've heard good things about. It's available for free in HTML, or for pay
as a book:

http://www.anvilwerks.com/tsoy/

If you love crunchy combat with lots of options, The Burning Wheel has that
in spades:

http://www.key20direct.com/catalog/product_info.php?man...

.... and that's just a few that hadn't been mentioned so far. Like I said,
there are *lots* of fantasy RPGs.

--
ZZzz |\ _,,,---,,_ Travis S. Casey <efindel@earthlink.net>
/,`.-'`' -. ;-;;,_ No one agrees with me. Not even me.
|,4- ) )-,_..;\ ( `'-'
'---''(_/--' `-'\_)
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 7:00:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Travis Casey <efindel@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> Anvilwerks' Donjon is a fantasy RPG very different from anything you've
> probably played before. In some ways, it's best suited for humorous
> fantasy, but people have played it straight:

This is not related to the Donjon comic by Sfar and Trondheim, is it?
I once saw a reference to a game called Donjon Krawl that sounded like
it was, but I'm not sure.


mcv.
Anonymous
April 26, 2005 9:43:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Mitch Williams wrote:
> > I haven't seen WFRP2 yet, but in the first edition, there are so
> > many careers that there's usually something to your liking.
> > The only thing that's missing is an Adventurer career, as most
> > of the other careers assume that it's an actual job.
>
> I always explain to the players that they are all "Adventurer's" and
that
> the "Career" that they are working on is really a _teacher_. So a
player
> who is on the Mercenary Captain career is really and Adventurer who
is being
> trained by a Mercenary Captain during his down time.
>
> Mitch


The characters in my campaigns are almost never adventurers. They are
people who wind up in situations where an adventure is possible,
desirable or necessarry. The players get into the spirit of NOT
planning for a life of adventure, NOT spending all their money on magic
weapons and/or armor or spell gadgets, actually expecting real life to
resume. Only a small subset train incessantly for dangers that they
logically should never expect to face again.

They assume that once a danger is passed or an obstacle surmounted that
they can party or go shopping, stop hanging out together or look for a
job. Eventually some of them learn better but most of them don't
because it often turns out to be true.

They rarely form a "party" and generally treat the other
player-characters pretty much like any other people until they have
formed some relationships among themselves. Even then, they are often
tied by bonds of loyalty and affection with NPCs, exceeding their bonds
with the other PCs.

Everyone to his own taste.

Will in New Haven

--

After a lifelong study of the Buddha's words, I have to regretfully
admit that the Four Noble Truths are probably not
Faster Horses,
Older Whiskey,
Younger Women,
More Money
Anonymous
April 27, 2005 3:40:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

mcv wrote:
> Travis Casey <efindel@earthlink.net> wrote:

>> Anvilwerks' Donjon is a fantasy RPG very different from anything you've
>> probably played before. In some ways, it's best suited for humorous
>> fantasy, but people have played it straight:
>
> This is not related to the Donjon comic by Sfar and Trondheim, is it?
> I once saw a reference to a game called Donjon Krawl that sounded like
> it was, but I'm not sure.

Nope, it's not. No idea about "Donjon Krawl".

--
ZZzz |\ _,,,---,,_ Travis S. Casey <efindel@earthlink.net>
/,`.-'`' -. ;-;;,_ No one agrees with me. Not even me.
|,4- ) )-,_..;\ ( `'-'
'---''(_/--' `-'\_)
Anonymous
April 27, 2005 6:51:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

BRP (Basic Role-Playing):
http://basicrps.com/indexen.html

Those are the core rules, it's very simple, and purely skill-based.

If you want more options, you can buy the Stormbringer RPG, which uses
the same system. Follow the links on that page to the Chaosium site.

There have been many different BRP fantasy games over the years
(Runequest, Elfquest, Hawkmoon...) but they're no longer in print so
you'll have to look on ebay if you want to try them.

The current Stormbringer RPG (5th edition) is a good place to start
though. There's a review of the game here:
http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/reviews/rev_4877.html
Anonymous
April 27, 2005 8:55:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

On 25 Apr 2005 23:36:04 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:
>It definitely works well when modeling odd magical
>systems, too. I don't know if anyone here is familiar
>with the Ethshar series by Lawrence Watt-Evans, but
>there are three or four major, very different magic
>systems in that setting, and I was able to model
>them all pretty well using Hero. There were some
>problems and some things that have to be ruled on
>by DM fiat, but Hero was much more useful than
>GURPS or any other game I can think of would have
>been.

Any chance of posting any of that work anywhere? I love those books and
have always thought they'd be great in Hero. (Are you following _The
Spriggan Mirror_?)



--
chuk
Anonymous
April 27, 2005 9:35:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Chuk Goodin <cgoodin@sfu.ca> wrote:
>On 25 Apr 2005 23:36:04 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:
>>It definitely works well when modeling odd magical
>>systems, too. I don't know if anyone here is familiar
>>with the Ethshar series by Lawrence Watt-Evans, but
>>there are three or four major, very different magic
>>systems in that setting, and I was able to model
>>them all pretty well using Hero. There were some
>>problems and some things that have to be ruled on
>>by DM fiat, but Hero was much more useful than
>>GURPS or any other game I can think of would have
>>been.

>Any chance of posting any of that work anywhere? I love those books and
>have always thought they'd be great in Hero.

I'm afraid none of it is in electronic form, and I'm not even sure
where my notes are. I remember that I had the easiest time with
Witchcraft, because all of the energy comes from inside the
Witch, which works very well with the Hero Endurance rules.
The various specific powers and rules/limitations mentioned in
all the books were easy to translate, as well.

Wizardry was tough. The actual effects of the various spells
and abilities weren't too hard. A lot of them were very basic
powers with weird special effects - the spell that summons
a demon to open a jar comes to mind. Telekinesis with a
weird special effect and "Only to open jars" as a limitation.
Cheap enough for any wizard to take, if they wanted, but
pretty much worthless. A lot of the other wizard spells
were a lot more expensive, though. I could bring the cost
down a fair bit with the focus (their special dagger and
other ingredients), requires a skill roll and side effects
(to be determined by the GM). Some of the spells had other
specific limitations, like time-consuming rituals or
expensive ingredients. Even with all that, though, some
of the powers ended up more expensive than I was really
comfortable with. Some I left expensive, some I modified
to make them cheaper but also maybe less powerful than
they were in the books.

Simulating the spell levels from the books was pretty
easy, but I had to kludge the rules a bit to do it.
I can't remember exactly what I did, but I think it
was just deciding which level of Wizardry skill
represented each level or circle or whatever they're
called in the books, and not allowing a Wizard to
progress in their skill until they had either X
spells of their current level or X amount of points
invested in spells of that level - whether that
translated into lots of cheap spells or a few
expensive, powerful ones, I figured it was a decent
approximation of the wizard's understanding of
that level of power.

Warlocks were tough, but also easy. Simulating their
powers was very simple - a Variable Power Pool that
had the special effect of "Telekinetic Tricks" and
was more or less limited to the specific effects
we'd seen warlocks do in the books. They're very
powerful and even versatile but also limited in
a lot of ways, and it didn't seem like they had
a lot of tricks up their sleeve. It was just that
the tricks they did know were extremely useful.
Stopping someone's heart inside their chest, for
example.

Their big disadvantage, of course, was the Calling.
The more they use their power, the more they feel
drawn to the mythical Source which is somewhere in
the middle of nowhere. Once they get too far gone,
they're physically drawn to the Source, floating
through the air, and are never seen again. I
simulated this with a Warlock skill and side
effects, with each failed roll adding one to
their "Calling level." I never did decide
at what point they disappeared, and overall I
think Warlocks make better NPCs than PCs.

What else? I didn't do a lot with Sorcery, because
it's not explained at all well in the books. It
was easy to model all the specific sorcerous
talismans we did see in action, though, and
even create a few of my own that I felt matched
the feel from the books.

Somewhere I've got some emails I got from Lawrence
Watt-Evans on the workings of the magic. It wasn't
any game terms or rules, of course, but it was
fascinating stuff. He's a really cool guy. He
posts a lot on the science fiction newsgroups.

>(Are you following _The Spriggan Mirror_?)

I am, and am enjoying it immensely. I'm going to
donate some money as soon as I have some to spare.

Pete
Anonymous
April 27, 2005 10:13:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

On 27 Apr 2005 17:35:36 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:

>Chuk Goodin <cgoodin@sfu.ca> wrote:
>>On 25 Apr 2005 23:36:04 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:
>>>It definitely works well when modeling odd magical
>>>systems, too. I don't know if anyone here is familiar
>>>with the Ethshar series by Lawrence Watt-Evans, but
>>>there are three or four major, very different magic
>>>systems in that setting, and I was able to model
>>>them all pretty well using Hero. There were some
>>>problems and some things that have to be ruled on
>>>by DM fiat, but Hero was much more useful than
>>>GURPS or any other game I can think of would have
>>>been.
>
>>Any chance of posting any of that work anywhere? I love those books and
>>have always thought they'd be great in Hero.
>
>I'm afraid none of it is in electronic form, and I'm not even sure
>where my notes are. I remember that I had the easiest time with
>Witchcraft, because all of the energy comes from inside the
>Witch, which works very well with the Hero Endurance rules.
>The various specific powers and rules/limitations mentioned in
>all the books were easy to translate, as well.
>
>Wizardry was tough. The actual effects of the various spells
>and abilities weren't too hard. A lot of them were very basic
>powers with weird special effects - the spell that summons
>a demon to open a jar comes to mind. Telekinesis with a
>weird special effect and "Only to open jars" as a limitation.
>Cheap enough for any wizard to take, if they wanted, but
>pretty much worthless.

Which is the problem I find with using Hero. You could make the
spells free, but that doesn't really help with distinguishing between
your regular telekinesis spell and your "telekinesis only to open
jars" spell.
Anonymous
April 27, 2005 11:04:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

David Johnston <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote:
>On 27 Apr 2005 17:35:36 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:

>>Wizardry was tough. The actual effects of the various spells
>>and abilities weren't too hard. A lot of them were very basic
>>powers with weird special effects - the spell that summons
>>a demon to open a jar comes to mind. Telekinesis with a
>>weird special effect and "Only to open jars" as a limitation.
>>Cheap enough for any wizard to take, if they wanted, but
>>pretty much worthless.

>Which is the problem I find with using Hero. You could make the
>spells free, but that doesn't really help with distinguishing between
>your regular telekinesis spell and your "telekinesis only to open
>jars" spell.

Well, no. What helps to distinguish it is the effect it has
in-game. If a character uses a "regular telekinesis spell"
to open a jar, I as the GM might tell them they're focusing
their mental energy to pick up and manipulate the jar,
and might tell them about the glowing nimbus that connects
them to the jar which they can control with their mind, and
might tell them that it feels like they're using an invisible
third arm to open the jar. If they use the demon spell I
might tell them that they send their energy out into the
Void and all of a sudden a large demon appears, rips the
jar from their hands and opens it. The exact same effect
appears completely different to the characters because
of the way the powers were constructed.

Look at more traditional fantasy games like Dungeons &
Dragons. A wizard might use a fireball spell or a lightning
bolt spell to kill their enemies. What exactly is the
difference, other than the special effect and the
rules for how the spells affect opponents? Just because
D&D lists them separately doesn't mean they're not
just variations on the same basic theme. You can build
either spell easily using Hero's Energy Blast power as
a. Fireball would have the Area Effect modifier and
would have fire damage as its special effect. Lightning
Bolt would have the Area Effect - Line modifier and
electricity damage as its special effect.

Hero requires the players and GMs to put more work into
coming up with spells and powers. Sometimes it's only
a very little more work - there are books with powers
and spells all figured out, the same way they are in
D&D and many other games. Sometimes it's a lot more
work - if you're trying to model a really complex
power it can be tricky. But the versatility Hero
offers means that if you do want to add something
completely new to the system you can do so by
using the basic building blocks that define how all
the other abilities work. If you want to add something
completely new to D&D, you're pretty much on your
own. You'd have to come up with the details of the
spell and the range and the damage and the effect,
same as in Hero, but in D&D and many other fantasy
games you'd just have to guess as to how the new
spell or ability would fit in with those that already
exist. In Hero you'd know for sure, because you've
got access to the inner workings of the system.

Pete
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 12:27:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

On 27 Apr 2005 19:04:29 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:

>David Johnston <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote:
>>On 27 Apr 2005 17:35:36 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:
>
>>>Wizardry was tough. The actual effects of the various spells
>>>and abilities weren't too hard. A lot of them were very basic
>>>powers with weird special effects - the spell that summons
>>>a demon to open a jar comes to mind. Telekinesis with a
>>>weird special effect and "Only to open jars" as a limitation.
>>>Cheap enough for any wizard to take, if they wanted, but
>>>pretty much worthless.
>
>>Which is the problem I find with using Hero. You could make the
>>spells free, but that doesn't really help with distinguishing between
>>your regular telekinesis spell and your "telekinesis only to open
>>jars" spell.
>
>Well, no. What helps to distinguish it is the effect it has
>in-game. If a character uses a "regular telekinesis spell"
>to open a jar, I as the GM might tell them they're focusing
>their mental energy to pick up and manipulate the jar,
>and might tell them about the glowing nimbus that connects
>them to the jar which they can control with their mind, and
>might tell them that it feels like they're using an invisible
>third arm to open the jar. If they use the demon spell I
>might tell them that they send their energy out into the
>Void and all of a sudden a large demon appears, rips the
>jar from their hands and opens it. The exact same effect
>appears completely different to the characters because
>of the way the powers were constructed.

Actually a very different effect appears almost completely the same to
the player because of the way the powers were constructed. It may
seem different to the character because of the way the power is
_described_, but when the player is making his character design
choices, pissing away his points on jokes when he has another power
that will do the exact same thing is a choice that few will make.
Even a single point is worth more in Hero than the same point would be
worth in a game like GURPS. Contrariwise if you make the spells free
and control things by, say, limiting the upper active points that
spell can can have, then the jar opening spell won't work because it
is actually amazingly powerful in its highly restricted sphere.

>
>Look at more traditional fantasy games like Dungeons &
>Dragons. A wizard might use a fireball spell or a lightning
>bolt spell to kill their enemies. What exactly is the
>difference, other than the special effect and the
>rules for how the spells affect opponents?

The difference, of course, is the cost to get two blasts instead of
just one.
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 1:29:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

David Johnston <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote:

I snipped a lot of stuff I wrote because I didn't understand
what you were getting at.

>Actually a very different effect appears almost completely the same to
>the player because of the way the powers were constructed. It may
>seem different to the character because of the way the power is
>_described_, but when the player is making his character design
>choices, pissing away his points on jokes when he has another power
>that will do the exact same thing is a choice that few will make.

Absolutely true. I didn't realize that's what you meant. This
problem is not unique to Hero or other points-based games,
though. Just about every RPG of any genre is going to have
abilities, spells, powers, weapons, etc. that most players
simply never use because they're not useful enough. If a
player can get a spell that does A, B and C, they're not
likely to choose a spell that only does B unless they
have a very good reason, or as you say unless it's free.

>Even a single point is worth more in Hero than the same point would be
>worth in a game like GURPS. Contrariwise if you make the spells free
>and control things by, say, limiting the upper active points that
>spell can can have, then the jar opening spell won't work because it
>is actually amazingly powerful in its highly restricted sphere.

In Hero the best way to achieve that would be a Variable
Power Pool, which allows you to do just about anything you
want as long as you don't use too much power at once. I
can't tell from this post if you're already aware of the
VPP rules, but I assume some people reading aren't. They're
very useful, and very powerful and can be very unbalancing
if abused.

>>Look at more traditional fantasy games like Dungeons &
>>Dragons. A wizard might use a fireball spell or a lightning
>>bolt spell to kill their enemies. What exactly is the
>>difference, other than the special effect and the
>>rules for how the spells affect opponents?

>The difference, of course, is the cost to get two blasts instead of
>just one.

Yeah. And that almost always comes down to the GM, in
my experience. In some games the players have all sorts
of resources and opportunity to get better spells/equipment/
whatever. In others the players are lucky if their
characters can afford a broken club to defend themselves
with. The exact same rules can achieve ridiculously
varying results.

Pete
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 7:31:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

On 27 Apr 2005 21:29:11 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:

>David Johnston <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote:
>
>I snipped a lot of stuff I wrote because I didn't understand
>what you were getting at.
>
>>Actually a very different effect appears almost completely the same to
>>the player because of the way the powers were constructed. It may
>>seem different to the character because of the way the power is
>>_described_, but when the player is making his character design
>>choices, pissing away his points on jokes when he has another power
>>that will do the exact same thing is a choice that few will make.
>
>Absolutely true. I didn't realize that's what you meant. This
>problem is not unique to Hero or other points-based games,
>though. Just about every RPG of any genre is going to have
>abilities, spells, powers, weapons, etc. that most players
>simply never use because they're not useful enough.

Not exactly the same thing. Let me give you an example:

Suppose I want to create a magician who I'll call "Sword Saint".
He's really good with a sword and wants to beef up the damage of sharp
weapons. Make him in Hero and you probably give him a Aid to HKA.
Make him in GURPS Magic, and because of the way the prerequisite chain
works, he'll have something like Seek Earth, Purify Air, Ignite Fire,
Seek Water, Find Weakness, Weaken, Restore, Rejoin, Repair, and
finally Sharpen. There are other prereq paths, I just prefer that
one. Now, his player wouldn't get those other spells in Hero. He'd
just get his super power and leave it at that. But that doesn't mean
the other spells aren't useful and wouldn't be used if he had them.
Seek Earth can be used to find gold or or the steel in an enemy's
armour, Purify Air keeps you from suffocating, Ignite Fire can start a
campfire or set someone's clothes on fire, Find Weakness can be used
to find the right place to break through a wall, Weaken can be used
on your opponent's shield, Repair can fix your broken sword. Most of
them aren't useless spells by any means. If you have them, you can
find a lot of uses for them. But you probably won't get them if you
have to sacrifice combat effectiveness to get them the way you pretty
much have to in Hero unless you are going the VPP route. But, the VPP
route is _too_ generous in terms of flexibility. You end up just
automatically having the right power for every eventuality and all
wizards end up the same, save for their maximum power and maybe their
special effects.
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 11:11:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Peter Meilinger wrote:
> David Johnston <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote:
>
> >Not exactly the same thing. Let me give you an example:
>
> >Suppose I want to create a magician who I'll call "Sword Saint".
> >He's really good with a sword and wants to beef up the damage of
sharp
> >weapons. Make him in Hero and you probably give him a Aid to HKA.
>
> The Hero geek in me can think of other ways to model it, but
> none of them particularly matters.
>
> >Make him in GURPS Magic, and because of the way the prerequisite
chain
> >works, he'll have something like Seek Earth, Purify Air, Ignite
Fire,
> >Seek Water, Find Weakness, Weaken, Restore, Rejoin, Repair, and
> >finally Sharpen. There are other prereq paths, I just prefer that
> >one. Now, his player wouldn't get those other spells in Hero. He'd
> >just get his super power and leave it at that. But that doesn't
mean
> >the other spells aren't useful and wouldn't be used if he had them.

> >Seek Earth can be used to find gold or or the steel in an enemy's
> >armour, Purify Air keeps you from suffocating, Ignite Fire can start
a
> >campfire or set someone's clothes on fire, Find Weakness can be used
> >to find the right place to break through a wall, Weaken can be used
> >on your opponent's shield, Repair can fix your broken sword. Most
of
> >them aren't useless spells by any means. If you have them, you can
> >find a lot of uses for them. But you probably won't get them if you
> >have to sacrifice combat effectiveness to get them the way you
pretty
> >much have to in Hero unless you are going the VPP route.
>
> Fair enough. But what happens when you get a player who
> says, "My character doesn't know all those spells. It
> doesn't fit my concept." Now, that might be a power gamer
> trying to get a point break, or it might be a roleplayer
> trying to set up his character the way he wants. In any
> game with defined prereqs for every spell, roleplayers
> are going to be annoyed.

I haven't seen that at all in the games I run. Prereqs for every spell
are set out and the players seem to enjoy planning their careers and
working out how to use their Research to get from point A to point B.
Sometimes one of them suggests an alternate route to the same spell.
More often someone suggests an entirely different way to get the same
spell impact but with a different underlying mechanism. If it flies, we
do it.

I have always had very intense roleplayers in my campaigns and prereqs
for spells have never been a problem.

>The GM can give a waiver, sure,
> and there are several other ways I can think of to get
> just a sharpen effect in GURPS (knacks come to mind)
> but all in all it's a more restraining system. That's
> not always a bad thing, as you pointed out. But it's
> not always a good thing, either.
>
> >But, the VPP
> >route is _too_ generous in terms of flexibility. You end up just
> >automatically having the right power for every eventuality and all
> >wizards end up the same, save for their maximum power and maybe
their
> >special effects.
>
> If you let everyone have an unlimited VPP, sure, but there's a
> reason that's not recommended. It's specifically warned against
> in the rules, actually. It's a very good way of modeling some
> effects, but not others. You can use limited VPPs or other
> powers to model those other effects.
>
> For me, that's what makes Hero better than GURPS in some
> ways. If I wanted to, I could model GURPS' magic system
> in Hero. I'd have to make up some rules, but nothing
> all that difficult. I'd just model all the spells using
> Hero powers and copy and paste the GURPS prereqs system.
> It would take some time, but I could do it.
>
> I can't use the base rules of GURPS to model everything
> Hero can do. I'd have to make up a LOT more details.
> And that's not the end of the world, but it does strike
> me as ironic in a game that's called generic and universal.
>
> Personally, I think GURPS does a fair number of things
> better than Hero. If I wanted to run a game that
> incorporated those things I'd use GURPS. But if I wanted
> to run a game where versatility and the ability to model
> a wide variety of nonstandard abilities and characters
> was important, I'd go to Hero every time.
>
> Pete

I see a great deal to recommend in both games but I don't use either
one.

Will in New Haven
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 1:26:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

gargoyle <gargoyle@no.spam> writes:

> BRP (Basic Role-Playing):
> http://basicrps.com/indexen.html
>
> Those are the core rules, it's very simple, and purely skill-based.
>
> If you want more options, you can buy the Stormbringer RPG,
> which uses the same system. Follow the links on that page to
> the Chaosium site.
>
> There have been many different BRP fantasy games over the years
> (Runequest, Elfquest, Hawkmoon...) but they're no longer in
> print so you'll have to look on ebay if you want to try them.

Chaosium is once again selling a full set of BRP rules, under the
"Basic Roleplayihng" name. These are monographs which are,
essentially, reprints of 3rdEd/AH RuneQuest with all mention of
Glorantha filed off (not that there was all that much mention of
Glorantha in them in the first place).

You can find this at Chaosium's website here:

<http://catalog.chaosium.com/default.php?cPath=37&gt;

However, given the prices, I'd say you're better off just looking
on Ebay to pick up a copy of "Deluxe Edition RuneQuest" (either
box, or softcover). You can likely secure a copy for less money
there than the monographs will cost. (Mind you, I don't know what
changes, if any, Chaosium has made to the BRP mechanics in the
monographs.)

I understood that Chaosium was planning to actually publish the
BRP rules in a new book, but I don't know in what format
(i.e. one book, many books) or when they will appear.

> The current Stormbringer RPG (5th edition) is a good place to start
> though. There's a review of the game here:
> http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/reviews/rev_4877.html

The current edition of Stormbringer does indeed provide a decent
set of "grim, dark fantasy roleplaying rules". I don't think they
substantially better than the RQ/BRP incarnation, just slightly
different.

Either set of rules would provide an excellent basis for
roleplaying.

BRP's big problem is that the rules tend to break down, in some
cases severely, at higher power levels. A smart play group can
get around this feature quite nicely (I know several groups that
have been campaigning with BRP rules for years), but don't expect
them scale up in power levels as D&D derivatives do.


--
Viktor Haag : Senior Technical Writer : Research In Motion
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 4:52:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

David Johnston <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote:

>Not exactly the same thing. Let me give you an example:

>Suppose I want to create a magician who I'll call "Sword Saint".
>He's really good with a sword and wants to beef up the damage of sharp
>weapons. Make him in Hero and you probably give him a Aid to HKA.

The Hero geek in me can think of other ways to model it, but
none of them particularly matters.

>Make him in GURPS Magic, and because of the way the prerequisite chain
>works, he'll have something like Seek Earth, Purify Air, Ignite Fire,
>Seek Water, Find Weakness, Weaken, Restore, Rejoin, Repair, and
>finally Sharpen. There are other prereq paths, I just prefer that
>one. Now, his player wouldn't get those other spells in Hero. He'd
>just get his super power and leave it at that. But that doesn't mean
>the other spells aren't useful and wouldn't be used if he had them.
>Seek Earth can be used to find gold or or the steel in an enemy's
>armour, Purify Air keeps you from suffocating, Ignite Fire can start a
>campfire or set someone's clothes on fire, Find Weakness can be used
>to find the right place to break through a wall, Weaken can be used
>on your opponent's shield, Repair can fix your broken sword. Most of
>them aren't useless spells by any means. If you have them, you can
>find a lot of uses for them. But you probably won't get them if you
>have to sacrifice combat effectiveness to get them the way you pretty
>much have to in Hero unless you are going the VPP route.

Fair enough. But what happens when you get a player who
says, "My character doesn't know all those spells. It
doesn't fit my concept." Now, that might be a power gamer
trying to get a point break, or it might be a roleplayer
trying to set up his character the way he wants. In any
game with defined prereqs for every spell, roleplayers
are going to be annoyed. The GM can give a waiver, sure,
and there are several other ways I can think of to get
just a sharpen effect in GURPS (knacks come to mind)
but all in all it's a more restraining system. That's
not always a bad thing, as you pointed out. But it's
not always a good thing, either.

>But, the VPP
>route is _too_ generous in terms of flexibility. You end up just
>automatically having the right power for every eventuality and all
>wizards end up the same, save for their maximum power and maybe their
>special effects.

If you let everyone have an unlimited VPP, sure, but there's a
reason that's not recommended. It's specifically warned against
in the rules, actually. It's a very good way of modeling some
effects, but not others. You can use limited VPPs or other
powers to model those other effects.

For me, that's what makes Hero better than GURPS in some
ways. If I wanted to, I could model GURPS' magic system
in Hero. I'd have to make up some rules, but nothing
all that difficult. I'd just model all the spells using
Hero powers and copy and paste the GURPS prereqs system.
It would take some time, but I could do it.

I can't use the base rules of GURPS to model everything
Hero can do. I'd have to make up a LOT more details.
And that's not the end of the world, but it does strike
me as ironic in a game that's called generic and universal.

Personally, I think GURPS does a fair number of things
better than Hero. If I wanted to run a game that
incorporated those things I'd use GURPS. But if I wanted
to run a game where versatility and the ability to model
a wide variety of nonstandard abilities and characters
was important, I'd go to Hero every time.

Pete
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 11:17:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

> I can't use the base rules of GURPS to model everything
> Hero can do. I'd have to make up a LOT more details.
> And that's not the end of the world, but it does strike
> me as ironic in a game that's called generic and universal.

I haven't followed this thread too closely, but this makes me wonder what
edition GURPS you are basing the comments on. ISTM that the 4th ed. rules
have taken huge strides in this department.
Anonymous
April 28, 2005 11:43:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

The Wrathchild <wrathchild@hippiespammersdieinhell.dk> wrote:
>> I can't use the base rules of GURPS to model everything
>> Hero can do. I'd have to make up a LOT more details.
>> And that's not the end of the world, but it does strike
>> me as ironic in a game that's called generic and universal.

>I haven't followed this thread too closely, but this makes me wonder what
>edition GURPS you are basing the comments on. ISTM that the 4th ed. rules
>have taken huge strides in this department.

Have they? I haven't taken a close look at them, I'm afraid.
I haven't played GURPS in several years now, and I can't
afford to buy as many rulebooks as I'd like just to read.
It's good to know they've made it easier to do your own
stuff, but I think they'd have to change the basic nature
of the game to make it as generic as Hero.

Pete
Anonymous
April 29, 2005 12:13:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

On 28 Apr 2005 12:52:17 GMT, Peter Meilinger <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote:

>David Johnston <rgorman@telusplanet.net> wrote:
>
>>Not exactly the same thing. Let me give you an example:
>
>>Suppose I want to create a magician who I'll call "Sword Saint".
>>He's really good with a sword and wants to beef up the damage of sharp
>>weapons. Make him in Hero and you probably give him a Aid to HKA.
>
>The Hero geek in me can think of other ways to model it, but
>none of them particularly matters.
>
>>Make him in GURPS Magic, and because of the way the prerequisite chain
>>works, he'll have something like Seek Earth, Purify Air, Ignite Fire,
>>Seek Water, Find Weakness, Weaken, Restore, Rejoin, Repair, and
>>finally Sharpen. There are other prereq paths, I just prefer that
>>one. Now, his player wouldn't get those other spells in Hero. He'd
>>just get his super power and leave it at that. But that doesn't mean
>>the other spells aren't useful and wouldn't be used if he had them.
>>Seek Earth can be used to find gold or or the steel in an enemy's
>>armour, Purify Air keeps you from suffocating, Ignite Fire can start a
>>campfire or set someone's clothes on fire, Find Weakness can be used
>>to find the right place to break through a wall, Weaken can be used
>>on your opponent's shield, Repair can fix your broken sword. Most of
>>them aren't useless spells by any means. If you have them, you can
>>find a lot of uses for them. But you probably won't get them if you
>>have to sacrifice combat effectiveness to get them the way you pretty
>>much have to in Hero unless you are going the VPP route.
>
>Fair enough. But what happens when you get a player who
>says, "My character doesn't know all those spells. It
>doesn't fit my concept."

Then I ask why he's making up a magician when his concept is a
superhero.

Now, that might be a power gamer
>trying to get a point break, or it might be a roleplayer
>trying to set up his character the way he wants. In any
>game with defined prereqs for every spell, roleplayers
>are going to be annoyed.

Not in my experience. The roleplayers I knew developed
a concept that actually fit into the game world somehow
even if only by saying "My character is superfreaky because
he's a dwarf with Gigantism."

The GM can give a waiver, sure,
>and there are several other ways I can think of to get
>just a sharpen effect in GURPS (knacks come to mind)
>but all in all it's a more restraining system. That's
>not always a bad thing, as you pointed out. But it's
>not always a good thing, either.

>
>>But, the VPP
>>route is _too_ generous in terms of flexibility. You end up just
>>automatically having the right power for every eventuality and all
>>wizards end up the same, save for their maximum power and maybe their
>>special effects.
>
>If you let everyone have an unlimited VPP, sure, but there's a
>reason that's not recommended. It's specifically warned against
>in the rules, actually. It's a very good way of modeling some
>effects, but not others. You can use limited VPPs or other
>powers to model those other effects.
>
>For me, that's what makes Hero better than GURPS in some
>ways. If I wanted to, I could model GURPS' magic system
>in Hero.

Since I've tried to do that, let me tell you right now, that's not so
easy as you might think. The expression "horrific boondoggle" comes
to mind. It can be done, but frankly I'd rather not put that much
work into designing basic mechanics instead of just using them
out of the box

>
>I can't use the base rules of GURPS to model everything
>Hero can do.

You can now, if you fee so inclined.
Anonymous
May 2, 2005 10:03:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

"Shadowdragon" wrote:
> I'm not too fond of systems where
> you need a calculator to create a character, work out out an attack,
> or just have a character walk down the street).

and:

> Right now I'm leaning
> towards GURPS

Something about these two statemants does not compute. GURPS has one of the
most complex character generation systems I've ever used, and combat was
excrutiatingly slow due to all the fancy options available to character.
(Though if you're just playing a fantasy game then maybe you can ignore all
the horrible things like martial arts manoeuvres and combination attacks.)


My recommendation, based on the criteria you gave, would be to find a copy
of Runequest on eBay.


--
David Meadows
"When my father wore this costume, he was the world's
greatest hero." -- James, Heroes #24
Heroes: the comic book www.heroes.force9.co.uk/scripts
Anonymous
May 3, 2005 1:55:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

"David Meadows" <david@no.spam.here.uk> wrote in
news:42765e3d$0$83091$ed2619ec@ptn-nntp-reader01.plus.net:

> My recommendation, based on the criteria you gave, would be to
> find a copy of Runequest on eBay.
>

Or Tunnels & Trolls. Can't think of too many games that have less
complex rules and yet have lots of enjoyment to them.

--
Marc
Anonymous
May 3, 2005 5:21:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

On 22 Apr 2005 18:56:00 -0700, mtbedwards@rogers.com (Shadowdragon)
wrote:

>I've been playing D&D for a long time now, but I'm not happy with the
>way the game handles certain things (I don't like levels, I don't like
>how strength modifies melee attack rolls instead of dexterity, I don't
>like how armour makes a character harder to hit rather than reduce the
>damage a character takes from each hit, I don't like prestige classes,
>I don't like how characters have to be confined by classes, etc).

Stay away from Rolemaster - it retains many of these features, though
I think it applies them more sensibly in some cases. Similarly, stay
away from Palladium Fantasy, which retains almost all those features
and applies them spectacularly badly.

Oddly enough, I like both games. :) 

>So,
>now I'm looking at what other fantasy rpg systems are available. I've
>checked out Hero System and Harnmaster but neither of those systems
>seemed very good (WAY to complex.

The current (3rd) edition of Harnmaster isn't that complex; older
editions were more so.

I wrapped up a Harnmaster campaign a few months back. It was pretty
successful, but if I had to do it again I'd pick a different system
for Harn.

Hero IS complex, but much of that complexity is beathen through in
character creation. It's not too bad in play, but combat resolution
can be slow depnding on character power level.

>I'm not too fond of systems where
>you need a calculator to create a character, work out out an attack,
>or just have a character walk down the street). Right now I'm leaning
>towards GURPS as it seems to have the best rules without being
>unnecessarily complex, but I'd like to know what other fantasy rpg
>systems there are out there.

The nice thing about GURPS is that it's very modular. You can get by
with just GURPS Lite and the magic book for a fantasy game very
easily, and end up with quite a simple system. Or you can tack on
loads of bells and whistles until you have an unplayable monster of
complexity.

Personally, I have problems with some of GURPS' quirks, like the four
stats and the imbalance between them (something that the 4th edition
partially fixes,) and the very mechanistic style of character creation
and definition, in which every little aspect of your character and his
or her personality is hemmed in and restricted by rules.

It's a pretty solid game - I just dislike its approach and don't have
anything that I'd want to use it for. I'd never consider running
fantasy with it (or Hero, for that matter.)

My current recommended fantasy system in Burning Wheel Revised - which
oddly enough supports a lot of the things I was trying to do in my
Harnmaster game, and which woud be a fantastic fit in the Harn
setting.
Anonymous
May 3, 2005 5:25:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 12:00:06 GMT, Travis Casey <efindel@earthlink.net>
wrote:

>Hero can work very well for spells; see the current edition of Fantasy Hero
>and the Fantasy Hero Grimoire (which gives well over a hundred spells;
>around a thousand, if you count each variant form as a separate spell).
>There's also an FH Grimoire II, with yet more pre-made spells.

Yeah, but you have to do a lot of weaseling with the Hero rules to get
a lot of fairly common spell effects. That makes me disinclined to
use Hero for a straight fantasy game, even though I like a lot of
things about the system.

>If you love crunchy combat with lots of options, The Burning Wheel has that
>in spades:
>
>http://www.key20direct.com/catalog/product_info.php?man...
>
>... and that's just a few that hadn't been mentioned so far. Like I said,
>there are *lots* of fantasy RPGs.

Yes, yes, yes. Wonderful game, in many respects *besides* the combat
system.
Anonymous
May 4, 2005 10:32:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Shadowdragon wrote:
> I've been playing D&D for a long time now, but I'm not happy with the
> way the game handles certain things (I don't like levels, I don't like
> how strength modifies melee attack rolls instead of dexterity, I don't
> like how armour makes a character harder to hit rather than reduce the
> damage a character takes from each hit, I don't like prestige classes,
> I don't like how characters have to be confined by classes, etc). So,
> now I'm looking at what other fantasy rpg systems are available. I've
> checked out Hero System and Harnmaster but neither of those systems
> seemed very good (WAY to complex. I'm not too fond of systems where
> you need a calculator to create a character, work out out an attack,
> or just have a character walk down the street). Right now I'm leaning
> towards GURPS as it seems to have the best rules without being
> unnecessarily complex, but I'd like to know what other fantasy rpg
> systems there are out there.

> Michael


I'm kind of surprised that "Ars Magica" hasn't been mentioned yet.
The 5th edition recently came out to pretty good reviews, and the
few 5e supplements seem to be really nice work. See:
http://www.atlas-games.com/arm5/

You can get the 4th edition of the game as a free PDF; see:
http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=774
And the 1-off & 3-game arc "jumpstart" products:
"Promises, Promises"
http://www.atlas-games.com/arsmagica/pdf_storage/promis...
And "Nigrasaxa"
http://www.atlas-games.com/arsmagica/pdf_storage/nigras...

Note that, as I type this, Atlas' website is having odd errors,
so the jumpstart product aren't available & I can't guarantee I'm
typing active URLs...

--

Steve Saunders
to de-spam me, de-capitalize me
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 6:27:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

In article <f83817d2.0504221756.1a36233d@posting.google.com>,
mtbedwards@rogers.com (Shadowdragon) wrote:

> I've been playing D&D for a long time now, but I'm not happy with the
> way the game handles certain things (I don't like levels, I don't like
> how strength modifies melee attack rolls instead of dexterity, I don't
> like how armour makes a character harder to hit rather than reduce the
> damage a character takes from each hit, I don't like prestige classes,
> I don't like how characters have to be confined by classes, etc).

It's not quite clear what you are looking for, as opposed to what you
are not looking for.

If you are after "DnD but not DnD", Earthdawn might suit you since the
only DnD hangover it retains from your list of don't-likes is a kind of
class/level system. The class system only applies to magical "talents",
though, and in theory any character can take any non-magical skill they
like. Similary your "level" affects nothing besides your access to the
sexier magical talents. Earthdawn has its own annoying flaws to my
mind, but it's very DnD-like and it does have most of the qualities you
are looking for.

Kevin Lowe,
Tasmania.
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 3:09:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Shadowdragon wrote:

> I've been playing D&D for a long time now, but I'm not happy with the
> way the game handles certain things (I don't like levels, I don't like
> how strength modifies melee attack rolls instead of dexterity, I don't
> like how armour makes a character harder to hit rather than reduce the
> damage a character takes from each hit, I don't like prestige classes,
> I don't like how characters have to be confined by classes, etc). So,
> now I'm looking at what other fantasy rpg systems are available. I've
> checked out Hero System and Harnmaster but neither of those systems
> seemed very good (WAY to complex. I'm not too fond of systems where
> you need a calculator to create a character, work out out an attack,
> or just have a character walk down the street). Right now I'm leaning
> towards GURPS as it seems to have the best rules without being
> unnecessarily complex, but I'd like to know what other fantasy rpg
> systems there are out there.
>
> Michael

On the GURPS side of things, if you are coming from D&D, you might find Caverns
and Creatures interesting. It is a free supplement created for GURPS (3rd
edition) that attempts to create a D&D like structure for creating GURPS
characters. Might be a good stepping stone. It's at
<http://tailkinker.contrabandent.com/gurps.htm&gt;

Andy
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 3:00:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Kevin Lowe <me@private.net> wrote:
>
> If you are after "DnD but not DnD", Earthdawn might suit you since the
> only DnD hangover it retains from your list of don't-likes is a kind of
> class/level system. The class system only applies to magical "talents",
> though, and in theory any character can take any non-magical skill they
> like. Similary your "level" affects nothing besides your access to the
> sexier magical talents. Earthdawn has its own annoying flaws to my
> mind, but it's very DnD-like and it does have most of the qualities you
> are looking for.

Some people have called Earthdawn "AD&D done right". It's kind of a
skill-based system disguised as a level based system, and there's a
good in-game justifications for the classes, or "disciplines", and
there are several different fighter disciplines, each taking a
completely different approach to combat, as each discipline represents
a different view of the world. For example, a Warrior lives in a world
of objectives and obstacles, he's a very pragmatic fighter. Swordmasters
are all about the fight itself, the beauty and style of it.
Straying from your view of the world can mean you lose the abilities
of your discipline.

This may sound a bit restrictive, but it works very well in the
setting, and can inspire a lot of roleplay. The system doesn't port
well to other settings, however. Play in the Earthdawn world with all
its intrinsic magic, or use a different system.

The most annoying aspect is that the way your discipline determines
which talents you can choose can sometimes be a bit restrictive. For
example, my warrior would like to learn Riposte, but can't, and the
Swordmaster in our group thinks Acrobatic Strike would go well with
a Swordmaster, but the rules disagree. Many talents can still be
learned as skill, however (but skills are often less powerful than
talents, and take longer to learn), and humans, being more versatile
than other races, can learn any talent (although that ability has
its own limitations). And it's also possible to learn a second
discipline, but be careful that the world views of those disciplines
are compatible. I discovered by experience that Warrior and Swordmaster
don't mix very well.

Oh, and no game gets you so much enjoyment out of your extensive
dice collection as Earthdawn. A very important advantage.


mcv.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 4:03:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

Marc L. <master.cougar@gmail.com> wrote:
> "David Meadows" <david@no.spam.here.uk> wrote in
> news:42765e3d$0$83091$ed2619ec@ptn-nntp-reader01.plus.net:
>
>> My recommendation, based on the criteria you gave, would be to
>> find a copy of Runequest on eBay.
>
> Or Tunnels & Trolls. Can't think of too many games that have less
> complex rules and yet have lots of enjoyment to them.

Fudge.


mcv.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 5:48:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.misc (More info?)

mcv wrote:
> Marc L. <master.cougar@gmail.com> wrote:
> > "David Meadows" <david@no.spam.here.uk> wrote in
> > news:42765e3d$0$83091$ed2619ec@ptn-nntp-reader01.plus.net:
> >
> >> My recommendation, based on the criteria you gave, would be to
> >> find a copy of Runequest on eBay.
> >
> > Or Tunnels & Trolls. Can't think of too many games that have
less
> > complex rules and yet have lots of enjoyment to them.
>
> Fudge.

I like Fudge, myself, but setup is such a PITA. How many attributes do
you use? Broad or narrow skills? Plus there's a whole book just on
different magic systems to use. Then there's the question of what rules
do you use to advance the characters' skills.


Ralph Glatt
!