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TTRPG Recommendation for a Friend

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Tubesock Army:
The Fantasy Trip is definitely more tactical. It's not very numbers heavy, and the point-buy chargen gives you a fair amount of customization options, though not as detailed or codified as D&D. There are also plenty of random adventure generation tools, or solos you can run your friend through.


--- Quote from: KindaMeh on June 30, 2022, 05:31:22 PM ---Generally I bring up possibly relevant games, only to shoot them down as perfect exemplars myself later in the conversation when I really think about fit. Are there any games you can think of that might fit his qualifications? Or should we more or less give up and maybe just play some more standard board and video games rather than TTRPG games with the time we spend discussing? (Or, yanno, just try to settle for a system that doesn't meet all prereqs. Potentially one suggested by this board.)

--- End quote ---

I find that most commercial systems have roughly as much randomness as D&D. GURPS has a bell curve, but it also has critical hits - so there's greater effect on the edges. Among mainstream systems, the Cinematic Unisystem (Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG et al) comes to mind. There's also BTRC's CORPS system and diceless games, but those aren't as mainstream.

There's also Powered-by-the-Apocalypse games, which tend to be less tactical, but they tend to have more moderate results from rolls - and they're typically heavy on narrative and role-play which he is into. My favorites are Monster of the Week and Masks: The New Generation.

I agree that most of the games Free League put out would be a good option.  The mechanics are pretty robust but simple in play.  There is a decent amount of GM freedom for granting bonuses or penalties for good/bad tactics.

I'll also second the Powered by the Apocalypse suggestion and add the Forged in the Dark line of games.  Both are much more narrative in focus and when dice are rolled it can seem to follow a more logical path then some other games.  I don't know if I'd call them less tactical.  Yeah, you won't be measuring squares or adding up tons of little micro-details for numerical benefits, but bad decisions will lead to bad chances with bad outcomes.

Mark Caliber:
I hesitate to recommend GURPS by

The math and crunch factor may be too 'heavy' for your current game wants, but GURPS Fourth Edition is a VERY well designed and a thoroughly tested system.  (GURPS IIIrd Edition was put through about a decade of playtesting with player feedback that went into the 4th Edition).

And GURPS has been around long before libtards were misspelling the word "awake."

And for those who want a system that's "still supported" and "on the market" GURPS has endured that test as well.  GURPS has been routinely been listed as one of the top 10 games of all time.

If you want to start lite, SJ Games has a GURPS lite version that they sell for free.

I can't find the quote, but someone else mentioned Savage Worlds.  While it's not my favorite system, it's pretty simple.  Do check that system out as well.  (I happen to hate Savage World because of its simplicity, but it may be in your Goldilocks zone).

I concur that anything with a D20 system is to be avoided.

So you can check out the mechanics with a 32 page document at the very very low cost of nothing.

I agree gurps might scratch your sweet spot.

But for something cheaper I suggest you try battlelords of the 23rd century. Honestly it checks all your boxes and in some ways better that gurps.

Foremost, you want a game where builds and tactics matter? In very few games do they matter like they do in battlelords. You can, and should, spend hours building a character in this game. It can take a while just to pick out the right suit of armor and helmet for a character. (Not being armored is not viable) Noobie hint:take a TDA helmet, it's reasonably priced and protective, and gives you a 15% targeter bonus to shooting. You can't beat the threshold 5 Bear armor.

Once you have armor, you get to look for options to install into it. One should be a gyro stabilizer in your dominant arm, it gives you a 10% bonus to shooting as it makes your weapon count as braced.

Then you pick weapons, and there are a good number in your basic set.

Then you pick gear. There's lots if this. Sensors, comms,  armor coatings, medical gear, weird stuff,  there's a huge list too.

Honestly the squishy bit inside the armor is the last thing you should build. Pick the gear and weapons you want to have, then build a character to use them. Hint. Pick a human, they seem kinda meh but they have by far the highest skill points in the game and skill points matter.

Tactics, you said?  Yeah, they matter. At least one player per team must have a weapon capable of threatening heavy (threshold 7+) armor, even if he has to spend most of his money buying it. A medic is good too, even tho everyone should have a healing injection called a BRI. A guy with good sensors and comms can be good too.

A grenade launcher loaded with smoke rounds is a good idea too.

The basic system uses d100 rolls based on half the base attribute, 5% per skill level, ranged combat uses the weapons accuracy at the target range, plus bonuses for equipment like targeters and stabilizers, aiming, fire mode, etc.

The basic rules ARE simple, honestly. You have your base chance, half your stat plus 5% per skill level. After that it's just simple math, addition and subtraction based on modifiers.  I will not deny there can be a fucking fuckton of mods, tho, but it's all just addition and subtraction.

No luck points, no 'woke' (honestly can't we have one fucking game thread without that shit?) I can honestly say gamer to gamer it checks all your boxes.

Review here with a subtle dig at woke.

The full mammoth pdf is 25, you can get an intro or a sample version for free. Have a look at it.


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