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Author Topic: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG  (Read 1056 times)

Darrin Kelley

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Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« on: November 11, 2020, 08:03:35 am »
I'm on a quest for a new general-purpose fantasy RPG. One capable of handling all styles of fantasy campaigns. Which yes, includes psionics or mind magic.

The following are a list of systems disqualified from the process. I have used them and come away not feeling well about the experience. I'm looking for a fresh take. And they are just not it.

Runequest (any iteration)
Rolemaster
D&D (Or anything D20 based)
Palladium
Hero System
GURPS
Cortex+ (Cortex+ can just fuck all the way off.)

Please also restrict your suggestions to games currently available and in print. Old favorites don't help me if I can't get my hands on a physical copy.

I need new frontiers to explore. And possibly a new system to fall in love with.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2020, 09:07:49 am by Darrin Kelley »
 

HappyDaze

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 08:16:47 am »
Genesys (particularly with the Realms of Terrinoth setting book to flesh out fantasy world mechanics).
Torg Eternity (add the rules expansions from the Aysle books for a stronger fantasy feel).
Mutants & Materminds 2e or 3e (it's distantly d20 based, but it's not much at all D&D, especially by 3e).

Chris24601

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2020, 10:41:40 am »
Would a nearly done system in playtest for which I will provide free pdfs of the rules in trade for any feedback count as “in print”?

It’s set up as a “big damn heroes” kitchen sink because it’s easier to remove elements you don’t want than to add ones you do. The result being you can run the standard fantasy races up through building your own beastmen or mutants to unicorns, giants, fairies and dragons as PCs (or just say “human only” if that’s the campaign you want).

It’s also designed to be able to run a no magic setting just by dropping a couple of classes and backgrounds with non-casters having plenty of options to customize and distinguish themselves from each other.

There’s a whole section of optional rules to run it as zero-to-hero, randomly assigned attributes, species and backgrounds, use skill points, different approaches to leveling, adjusting the dice rolled, theatre-of-the-mind rules, etc.

It also has full from the ground up creation rules for custom monsters, traps, vehicles and structures so you can tailor your setting details as you wish (its also got a couple hundred pre-built monsters, lots of traps, etc... it’s not a toolkit system, it’s just got toolkits built in because there’s no way a ruleset can cover everything).

The only absent area of the ruleset currently is the GM advice section... the bulk of which is aimed at first time GMs and includes a “Region creation guide” that includes a bunch of tables to choose or roll for to build up a plausible campaign region (not a whole world... for that just keep adding regions).

Since that’s something experienced GMs don’t particularly need rules for the system is ready to play with only fairly minor tweaks coming in at this stage as unexpected interactions are uncovered.

The setting can also handle science-fantasy pretty well out of the box. The Mystic class can easily be psychics (there’s even a sidebar about it), golems become droids, beastmen and mutants become aliens, projectors can double as blasters, and the vehicle creation rules include flying machines, submersibles and even walking tanks with articulated arms.

If that sounds like something that would interest you, PM me. The only cost is any feedback you wish to give (and I appreciate negative feedback almost more than positive... I can’t fix what’s broken if I’m not aware it’s broken).

oggsmash

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2020, 10:59:16 am »
Genesys (particularly with the Realms of Terrinoth setting book to flesh out fantasy world mechanics).
Torg Eternity (add the rules expansions from the Aysle books for a stronger fantasy feel).
Mutants & Materminds 2e or 3e (it's distantly d20 based, but it's not much at all D&D, especially by 3e).
  How does Genesys play?  It seems fairly slick, and I like both the core book and terrinoth (I have both) but have not run that one by the game group.  I just always grind my teeth a bit at having to break out the special dice.

oggsmash

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2020, 11:00:02 am »
I'm on a quest for a new general-purpose fantasy RPG. One capable of handling all styles of fantasy campaigns. Which yes, includes psionics or mind magic.

The following are a list of systems disqualified from the process. I have used them and come away not feeling well about the experience. I'm looking for a fresh take. And they are just not it.

Runequest (any iteration)
Rolemaster
D&D (Or anything D20 based)
Palladium
Hero System
GURPS
Cortex+ (Cortex+ can just fuck all the way off.)

Please also restrict your suggestions to games currently available and in print. Old favorites don't help me if I can't get my hands on a physical copy.

I need new frontiers to explore. And possibly a new system to fall in love with.
  Savage Worlds.  I was surprised at how well it did fantasy.

HappyDaze

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2020, 12:37:51 pm »
Genesys (particularly with the Realms of Terrinoth setting book to flesh out fantasy world mechanics).
Torg Eternity (add the rules expansions from the Aysle books for a stronger fantasy feel).
Mutants & Materminds 2e or 3e (it's distantly d20 based, but it's not much at all D&D, especially by 3e).
  How does Genesys play?  It seems fairly slick, and I like both the core book and terrinoth (I have both) but have not run that one by the game group.  I just always grind my teeth a bit at having to break out the special dice.
I've only played a few short sessions of Genesys (one-shot for Terrinoth and one-shot for Shadow of the Beanstalk/Android) but lots of FFG's Star Wars, which has a very similar system.

The special dice are fine once you play with them. The narrative elements I've seen in the Genesys games are a bit toned down from the ones in Star Wars.

For fantasy, the Terrinoth rules are fair, and a lot of the features also show up in D6 Fantasy. With mundane activities, you do get a bit of "everyone can do everything" but those that dedicate both skill ranks and applicable talents to an area will really shine. Terrinoth rules only let you develop a magic skill if it's a career skill and you cannot use such skills untrained. This means that magicians are fairly special. Magic is also somewhat free form as you can do a wide variety of effects (with certain types of effects being limited by your particular source of magic), and the difficulty of the effect scaling up as you add more features to it, rather than having spell lists of locked-in pre-constructed effects like in many other games. The magic rules also really play on implements, with some (like a staff or wand) being really good for focusing offensive spells, and others being better for healing or divination or whatever.

oggsmash

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2020, 04:03:21 pm »
Genesys (particularly with the Realms of Terrinoth setting book to flesh out fantasy world mechanics).
Torg Eternity (add the rules expansions from the Aysle books for a stronger fantasy feel).
Mutants & Materminds 2e or 3e (it's distantly d20 based, but it's not much at all D&D, especially by 3e).
  How does Genesys play?  It seems fairly slick, and I like both the core book and terrinoth (I have both) but have not run that one by the game group.  I just always grind my teeth a bit at having to break out the special dice.
I've only played a few short sessions of Genesys (one-shot for Terrinoth and one-shot for Shadow of the Beanstalk/Android) but lots of FFG's Star Wars, which has a very similar system.

The special dice are fine once you play with them. The narrative elements I've seen in the Genesys games are a bit toned down from the ones in Star Wars.

For fantasy, the Terrinoth rules are fair, and a lot of the features also show up in D6 Fantasy. With mundane activities, you do get a bit of "everyone can do everything" but those that dedicate both skill ranks and applicable talents to an area will really shine. Terrinoth rules only let you develop a magic skill if it's a career skill and you cannot use such skills untrained. This means that magicians are fairly special. Magic is also somewhat free form as you can do a wide variety of effects (with certain types of effects being limited by your particular source of magic), and the difficulty of the effect scaling up as you add more features to it, rather than having spell lists of locked-in pre-constructed effects like in many other games. The magic rules also really play on implements, with some (like a staff or wand) being really good for focusing offensive spells, and others being better for healing or divination or whatever.

Yeah I got that in reading it, regarding the magic, and it was one of the reasons I picked it up in the game store.   I saw the similarities with D6 too, and that is the other thing that pushed me to grab them, but I have never got the group to play D6 either.  I just got the box set years and years ago when I saw it in the store with dust on it. I like how D6 seems to run as well, I just think it and Genesys might be game systems I would rather play in than run as a GM, if that makes sense.

David Johansen

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2020, 05:23:41 pm »
Tunnels and Trolls perhaps, it's latest incarnation is quite nice.  It's not really any lighter than D&D though it is more rulings over rules in its approach.

Arduin, is Arduin Eternal available in print now?  I'd have to look.  Gonzo percentile D&D spin off,

Chivalry and Sorcery just had a new edition which has caught some flak for being a bit too woke but third edition was good and fourth built on that.  Fifth should be really solid and crunchy.

My Arcane Confabulation rules are available for free on my website.  I'm not quite sure what "full featured" means to you but when I get around to finishing the companion volume it will cover a lot of crazy stuff from realm management, to mass combat, to playing gods and creating the world.
Fantasy Adventure Comic, games, and more http:/www.uncouthsavage.com!

HappyDaze

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2020, 05:32:51 pm »
Genesys (particularly with the Realms of Terrinoth setting book to flesh out fantasy world mechanics).
Torg Eternity (add the rules expansions from the Aysle books for a stronger fantasy feel).
Mutants & Materminds 2e or 3e (it's distantly d20 based, but it's not much at all D&D, especially by 3e).
  How does Genesys play?  It seems fairly slick, and I like both the core book and terrinoth (I have both) but have not run that one by the game group.  I just always grind my teeth a bit at having to break out the special dice.
I've only played a few short sessions of Genesys (one-shot for Terrinoth and one-shot for Shadow of the Beanstalk/Android) but lots of FFG's Star Wars, which has a very similar system.

The special dice are fine once you play with them. The narrative elements I've seen in the Genesys games are a bit toned down from the ones in Star Wars.

For fantasy, the Terrinoth rules are fair, and a lot of the features also show up in D6 Fantasy. With mundane activities, you do get a bit of "everyone can do everything" but those that dedicate both skill ranks and applicable talents to an area will really shine. Terrinoth rules only let you develop a magic skill if it's a career skill and you cannot use such skills untrained. This means that magicians are fairly special. Magic is also somewhat free form as you can do a wide variety of effects (with certain types of effects being limited by your particular source of magic), and the difficulty of the effect scaling up as you add more features to it, rather than having spell lists of locked-in pre-constructed effects like in many other games. The magic rules also really play on implements, with some (like a staff or wand) being really good for focusing offensive spells, and others being better for healing or divination or whatever.

Yeah I got that in reading it, regarding the magic, and it was one of the reasons I picked it up in the game store.   I saw the similarities with D6 too, and that is the other thing that pushed me to grab them, but I have never got the group to play D6 either.  I just got the box set years and years ago when I saw it in the store with dust on it. I like how D6 seems to run as well, I just think it and Genesys might be game systems I would rather play in than run as a GM, if that makes sense.
I can understand it. For me, it tends to run the other way towards highly crunchy systems: I have a friend that will run Rolemaster and another that will run GURPS. I'll play in either, but would never run those systems.

I will note that Genesys, despite the special dice, tends to be less wildly random in damage outcomes than D6 because the Genesys "meat" stats (typically Soak and Wounds) are not random. In D6 Fantasy, when you roll Physique against Damage, you can go from perfectly fine to totally dead in one hit a little too often for my tastes.

Spinachcat

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2020, 06:36:16 pm »
Here's my favorite non-D20 free RPG
http://www.stargazergames.eu/games/warrior-rogue-mage/

IMO, Warrior, Rogue & Mage strikes the perfect balance for when you want a rules light + fast chargen + lots of chargen options + easy point buy + lots of optional rules to tweak the complexity of the game.

And it's got a crazy amount of free supplements too.

No idea why the author doesn't compile the game into one book and sell it on Amazon & DriveThruRPG.



Spinachcat

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2020, 06:42:54 pm »
Another vote for D6.

There's been a quiet D6 resurgence. If you're looking for a "system to fall in love with" that can do almost anything, the D6 system is good stuff.

I've never had a problem getting players into a D6 game. It's roll a handful of dice and count them, easy customized characters, and its good for Big Damn Hero low death genres.

My D6 Rifts campaign worked great. If I were to run it again, I'd consider replacing counting pips vs. TN for a successes vs. TN just to speed the game. It's easy enough to get D6s with 3 sides with a pip and 3 blanks.


Marchand

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2020, 08:09:18 pm »
Do you like Traveller? If so, you might be interested in Swords of Cepheus, which is a fantasy version.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/304840/The-Sword-of-Cepheus

Depending how you feel about the 2d20 system, there is Modiphius's Conan. The storygamey Momentum/Doom mechanic isn't universally popular.

There's a ton of rules light options. Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2nd ed has a huge amount of support (with a gameworld elaborated in dozens of 1980s solo page-flip gamebooks, although you can easily use it in your own setting). The rules are simple and robust enough that you can use it for whatever you want.

Recently-released Warlock! (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/312204/Warlock?src=newest) covers similar ground.
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Darrin Kelley

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2020, 08:16:28 pm »
I loathe Traveller. The one game I have that uses that system I want to get rid of.

I'm also going to restate this. I only want physical versions of the games recommended. If there is no physical version of a system, it does exactly no good for me.

Physical. As in print. As in a book I can hold in my hand. Nothing else is acceptable or wanted.
 

lordmalachdrim

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2020, 08:36:07 pm »
I loathe Traveller. The one game I have that uses that system I want to get rid of.

I'm also going to restate this. I only want physical versions of the games recommended. If there is no physical version of a system, it does exactly no good for me.

Physical. As in print. As in a book I can hold in my hand. Nothing else is acceptable or wanted.

Both items the prior guy mentions are available as PoD from Drivethrough so you can get a physical copy.

Darrin Kelley

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Re: Searching for a new full featured fantasy genre RPG
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2020, 08:51:34 pm »
Both items the prior guy mentions are available as PoD from Drivethrough so you can get a physical copy.

I have a problem with ebooks. My brain doesn't react to them in the same way as physical copies. I do not retain the contents of ebooks after reading them. This happens with both gamebooks and novels.

I have a couple of the Iron Kingdoms novels on my phone for reading when I am on long trips. But for the life of me? I can't tell you the contents of those books in any way. Even though I have read through them multiple times each. The contents simply don't stick for me.

But print books, I retain. I can tell the major plot points of the story to others years after reading them.