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a typical hero
2010-03-25, 09:57 AM
Hello,

as we all know, ol' D&D got its problems. Be it unbalanced classes, fakked up skill systems or wrong CR just to name few.

But which system out there really does it better?

In particular I'm looking for something like...

- Balanced classes out of the box
Every class can contribute to different obstacles (social, combat, trap...) without overshadowing everyone else in the group on a regular basis.

- Useful skill-system
2 skills per level - be - gone! Do what you think your character can do well. No restriction on which skills you can be effective at(cross class skills) and more skill points or some equal mechanic.

- Useful rules for fantasy adventures, as high or as low magic as I want
No need to ban "tier 1" in this system, no need to give out magical items just to keep up with higher CR monsters.

- Interesting and easy to learn mechanics
Tome of Battle and Magic of Incarnum come to mind. I really like those mechanics and they are spicing my games up. I want a mechanic who keeps me interested in the game over a long time.

- As setting specific or generic as I want
Good support from the company who made this game for their own setting. Preferable many flavour-books with background informations. But I also want to use the rules with homebrew settings without having to rename just about everything because its so setting specific.

- Consistent rules
Spellcaster should rule the world (a world full of shadow-spawns that is) in your generic D&D. They can do everything. I want a believable rule-set.

- Every choice I take is equally useful
No more "why should I take toughness, when I can take improved toughness?"

- "You don't have that feat? No then you can't do that!"
I want to be able to throw sand into the eyes of my enemy with mechanical consequences whithout being at my game masters mercy or have to make up rules for this situation on the fly.

- Active and friendly community
Self explaining :)

There are several other things that are just not done well in D&D but I think you all know what I'm after.

Is a game-system like this out there? Am I demanding too much?

Sorry for the wall of text in no logical order :smallwink:

Ernir
2010-03-25, 10:02 AM
Have you tried D&D 4E? I'm not very familiar with the system, but it sounds to me as if the problems you are describing with "D&D" are 3.5 problems, some of which I've heard have been... fixed.

DeltaEmil
2010-03-25, 10:05 AM
Well, one starter is D&D 4th edition, which alleviates some of the points you criticise.

One question about consistent rules. Do you mean that if the rules make wizards the most powerful class, they should setting-wise also be the most powerful people? Or do you rather mean that spell-casters should always be the most powerful people period.

Yora
2010-03-25, 10:07 AM
The problems with 3rd Edition are mostly "in the nature of the thing", I'd say. It's extremely customizeable and can be adapted to very different playing styles, but that inadvertedly causes huge imbalances between classes, spells, and feats that have been created isolated from each other.

Eldariel
2010-03-25, 10:19 AM
It's quite impossible to make the choices even while still maintaining a modicum of options and variety. Though getting rid of most of the core feats goes a long way in 3.X.

But yeah, perfect balance can't be found, though better balance exists in homebrew, and many other systems.

Sir Homeslice
2010-03-25, 10:20 AM
Fantasy Craft.

dsmiles
2010-03-25, 10:23 AM
Rolemaster!!!

tyckspoon
2010-03-25, 10:26 AM
One question about consistent rules. Do you mean that if the rules make wizards the most powerful class, they should setting-wise also be the most powerful people?

This is my understanding- it looks like he wants a game where the default setting matches the rules. Eberron is the closest major setting in D&D, IMO, with low-level magic used all over the place.. as compared to Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms, where crafts are still made by hand instead of in factories where workers run Fabricate-engines long into the nights illuminated by Continual Flames (which they can afford to do instead of farming because there are Druids/Rangers/Plant-domain Clerics who use Plant Growth and mundane expertise to increase crop yields so many more non-farmers can be supported.)

Aron Times
2010-03-25, 10:38 AM
D&D 4e is the best match for what you want. It's easy to learn, but hard to master.

Click on the link in my signature to download free 4e stuff from Wizards.

Tiki Snakes
2010-03-25, 10:38 AM
This is my understanding- it looks like he wants a game where the default setting matches the rules. Eberron is the closest major setting in D&D, IMO, with low-level magic used all over the place.. as compared to Greyhawk or the Forgotten Realms, where crafts are still made by hand instead of in factories where workers run Fabricate-engines long into the nights illuminated by Continual Flames (which they can afford to do instead of farming because there are Druids/Rangers/Plant-domain Clerics who use Plant Growth and mundane expertise to increase crop yields so many more non-farmers can be supported.)

He also wanted classes balanced out of the box, though.

I'd say that from the sounds of it, it's certainly worth his while checking out the 4e test-drive (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/TryDnD.aspx)

The main sticking point is the needing feats (/powers) issue. By RAW, you don't, but in practice, you don't so long as the DM is aware of that fact and passingly familiar with page 42 of the dmg (Which gives simple guidelines on encouraging and adjudicating inventive gameplay). Basically, YMMV depending on DM, (but then, what doesn't?)

Cross-class skills still exist, but can be easily aquired. Either take a background making them a class skill, or take a multiclass feat to get the skill of choice + usefull doodad or power.

As for the tier thing, and high to low fantasy, well. In most senses, that's not a problem. You could have a campaign without any magic at all, because each 'power source' has it's own mix of roles covered, so you can play a plenty competant party and all be entirely mundane, yet still cover all you need to. Likewise, there is a system for removing the dependance on items, (inherant bonuses) that could strip the need for treasure entirely from your game.

Melee CAN have nice things though, so if you wanted a gritty low magic game, you shouldn't really expect to level up indefinately, because they become just as competant as anything else. An all martial party is just as likely to succeed against an Ancient Red Dragon as a mixed party. By the kind of level that is a good idea to even try, they'll be well on their way to some pretty epic stuff, even without magic of any kind.


[edit] Never tried Gurps, but I'm guessing it will be suggested eventually. I've heard it leans ever so slightly towards realism-concerns, so probably makes for slightly more gritty play at any level of fantasy?

I wouldn't really reccommend WHFRP or Runequest, good as they are, because they are defintaly best suited to gritty stuff above all else. You can still be plenty heroic in either, but there's a good chance of being horrendously maimed.

JeminiZero
2010-03-25, 10:38 AM
Let me throw up a suggestion: Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Edition.

While originally meant to simulate comic book superheroes, it can be adapted easily enough to other settings. There are no predetermind classes. It uses a point based character creation system so you can buy up as much melee/magic/skills/saves as you want, so long as you stay within budget.

a typical hero
2010-03-25, 10:46 AM
I'll adress it by the topic:

@ 4.Edition
No, I haven't give it a try, yet.
Though I heard the classes are more balanced, I hesitate because I also heard they really messed up multiclassing. So are you stuck with your base class? For example, are gishes possible / worthwhile?

Edit: Until now, most of you recommend 4.Edition. I think I'll definitely give the test modul a chance.

@ Rolemaster & Fantasy Craft
Why would you recommend those to me? What are their strengths?
Why did I never heard of them before? :smallwink:

@ Consistent Rules
Ye, just that. If magic can do everything (fabricate, weather control, persistent light..), I want a reasonable explanation why the world isnt centered around that. Why haven't shadows / wights taken control over the planet yet?

I know it can all be explained (there is no high-level magician in this world) or houseruled (shadows can't create permanent spawns) but thats just not what I want from
my perfect roleplaying game

Swordgleam
2010-03-25, 10:47 AM
D&D 4e is good. Iron Heroes also fixes a lot of those problems, but it's low-magic; I don't know if that's what you want.

Totally Guy
2010-03-25, 10:52 AM
I like multiclassing in 4E even if others have criticised it. And that's without me even knowing the hybrid rules.

My Bard-Sorcerer was pretty fun. I stuck with the martial bard moves and wielded a magic staff for the sorcerer ones. Then I upgraded to scale armour. Gishy goodness.

a typical hero
2010-03-25, 10:55 AM
I heard of Iron Kingdoms as the setting of the skirmish / table top game before.

Just measured by the look of the figures I'm very interested, but could you give me some more info why it adresses some problems better than 3.5?

I'm not against 4ed per se. As I said, I haven't give it a try, yet :)
If it really fits all my needs so good as you guys suggest, it may be my next main system.

Tiki Snakes
2010-03-25, 10:56 AM
I'll adress it by the topic:

@ 4.Edition
No, I haven't give it a try, yet.
Though I heard the classes are more balanced, I hesitate because I also heard they really messed up multiclassing. So are you stuck with your base class? For example, are gishes possible / worthwhile?

Edit: Until now, most of you recommend 4.Edition. I think I'll definitely give the test modul a chance.


If you only have the phb1, then you only really have a few options. Multiclassing usually gives you training in a skill (flat +5 to it, sometimes opens up extra uses, such as reducing falling damage via acrobatics) and something else. Sometimes it's a small bonus once an encounter, often it's a 1/encounter power from the class. You also count as a member of that class, which opens up paragon path and epic destiny options, as well as feats which require it. You can slowly skip out powers for the multiclass by taking further feats, but unless you've got a specific build going, it's not too likely you'll take many power-swap feats.
By this point, there are lots of multiclass feats available (usually several per class, giving you options as to what exactly you are receiving) but it's very much the equivalent of taking a splash of a second class.

Unless you are a bard, you're only really going to be taking 1 multiclass this way.

HOWEVER, as of PHB3, there is the Hybrid system. This allows you to graft two classes together equally, (in whatever risky combination you fancy trying). You get less of the class features of either half, but you do get the basics of each. You can then take a feat to give you another chunk of class feature from either one, (essentially picking what part of the mix is the important bit, but this does give you a lot of flexibility).
You count as both classes, and can still take at least one multiclass in a third class.

Gishes are hearily embraced. The Swordmage is essentially a single class designed to that archetype, and the Wizard | Swordmage hybrid is one of the better mixes apparently. Likewise, Rogues and Sorcerers, given their shared love of daggers, have a fun time.

Essentially, if not hybrid, then your base class defines you very strongly, but you can splash a little. If you want more of a complete mix, you start from the standpoint of Hybrid, but build more carefully.
And Bards have no limit on the number of multiclass feats they can take, so they can essentially be everything, and still a valid build.

Swordgleam
2010-03-25, 10:59 AM
Iron Kingdoms is a setting. Iron Heroes is a totally unrelated 3.5 variant. People mix them up all the time, but they are very different.

Iron Heroes has balanced classes (at least compared to 3.5), a ton of useful feats, and no cross-class skills. However, it has "skill groups" so that an Berserker only has to spend one point to raise each of jump/climb/swim, but someone without the skill group has to spend one point on each. However, you usually have a choice of skill groups, so even that is more flexible than class skills.

The mechanics are a lot of fun. It's "you, not your gear," so all the cool stuff you can do is from your class features, feats and traits. There's also a token system, which can get tricky but isn't that hard to learn.

I don't think there is an official setting for it, but it is a low-magic game. So that's one setting limitation.

Knaight
2010-03-25, 11:39 AM
Ignore the numerous requests to use 4e. It has the same "needs a feat" mentality. There is one system that works beautifully for all this, but you need to be willing to lose classes. Ars Magica, which is also free. (http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=AG0204)

Blackfang108
2010-03-25, 11:40 AM
I'll adress it by the topic:

@ 4.Edition
No, I haven't give it a try, yet.
Though I heard the classes are more balanced, I hesitate because I also heard they really messed up multiclassing. So are you stuck with your base class? For example, are gishes possible / worthwhile?

Edit: Until now, most of you recommend 4.Edition. I think I'll definitely give the test modul a chance.

Swordmage. Straight out of the box Gish. Also: Balanced Paladin, Bard, Sorceror, Cleric, Runepriest, Druid, and some others can be built to have both magical ranged powers and Melee powers (still semi-magical in some cases).

Also the *shudder* hybrid rules give much more "customization" to your characters. (I hate the concept of hybrids, when the initial MC rules are more than adequate for any concept, but I will acknowledge their existence. even if they are IMHO, completely unnecessary and needlessly complicated. and rather restricting for certain things as well.)

Caphi
2010-03-25, 11:50 AM
Re: D&D4:

It has the balance, but it will probably let him down deeply on the skill system.

krossbow
2010-03-25, 11:51 AM
Iron heroes is good (as has been said), but thats REALLY low magic; as in the arcanist is wonky as hell, and magic items send the system spinning.

Totally Guy
2010-03-25, 12:06 PM
It has the balance, but it will probably let him down deeply on the skill system.

I'll say. Disappointing like a Roy/Miko crack pairing.:smallwink:

Ormagoden
2010-03-25, 12:12 PM
Amber diceless RPG

Accersitus
2010-03-25, 12:23 PM
In my group, we usually alternate between playing D&D and
our own home brewed version of the white wolf old World of Darkness(WoD) D10 system. (And from what I can tell, the Exalted system is very similar, but we haven't tried that)



- Balanced classes out of the box
Every class can contribute to different obstacles (social, combat, trap...) without overshadowing everyone else in the group on a regular basis.


The system is point based, so you can put your points wherever you want within certain limits. This puts the balancing issue in the hands of the players and Storyteller. Players should try to make sure concepts are not too overlapping, while the storyteller should make sure the players get to use the abilities they have.



- Useful skill-system
2 skills per level - be - gone! Do what you think your character can do well. No restriction on which skills you can be effective at(cross class skills) and more skill points or some equal mechanic.


As mentioned the system is entirely point based, so if you want a charismatic roguish character, he can still be a master swordsman able to fend off any adversary.



- Useful rules for fantasy adventures, as high or as low magic as I want
No need to ban "tier 1" in this system, no need to give out magical items just to keep up with higher CR monsters.

The base system in itself is very flexible, but supernatural powers like magic and similar are dealt with in different books (and some have a few setting specific limitations that may or may not work well with your own settings), some home brewing might be needed too include this in your games.



- Interesting and easy to learn mechanics
Tome of Battle and Magic of Incarnum come to mind. I really like those mechanics and they are spicing my games up. I want a mechanic who keeps me interested in the game over a long time.

The basic part of the system is quite simple, you have 1-5 dots in each of the nine attributes (strength, dexterity, stamina, charisma, manipulation, appearance, perception, intelligence, and wits), and you have 0-5 dots in your abilities (melee, dodge, intimidation, stealth, medicine, and a lot more), and for every action, you roll a number of D10 equal to the sum of your dots in the attribute that best fits the action + the amount of dots in the ability that best fits the action. The goal is to roll equal or over the difficulty of the action (usually between 4 and 10 in old WoD) on as many of the D10 as possible, and achieve a number of successes set my the storyteller/the rules/an opposed roll(that may use other attributes and abilities).
While the basic premise is simple, and leaves a lot of room for interesting actions, the storyteller then has to set difficulties/give bonuses for innovative PC actions that might not be covered specifically in the rules.



- As setting specific or generic as I want
Good support from the company who made this game for their own setting. Preferable many flavour-books with background informations. But I also want to use the rules with homebrew settings without having to rename just about everything because its so setting specific.

There are a lot of books covering old World of darkness (and all the supernatural creatures residing there), and the basic rules work for pretty much everything, but magic and supernaturals might need a bit of home brewing for homebrew settings (although the different supernaturals in WoD have a lot of different abilities that could be used)




- Consistent rules
Spellcaster should rule the world (a world full of shadow-spawns that is) in your generic D&D. They can do everything. I want a believable rule-set.

In the WoD setting, the supernaturals pretty much rule the world already (although they do so from the shadows and without the knowledge of mortals)



- Every choice I take is equally useful
No more "why should I take toughness, when I can take improved toughness?"

The way we play with this system, there is mostly a lot less combat than the general D&D game, and it's up to the players to think of way to use their abilities to solve their problems (and partially the storyteller who has to give the characters the opportunity to use their strengths).



- "You don't have that feat? No then you can't do that!"
I want to be able to throw sand into the eyes of my enemy with mechanical consequences without being at my game masters mercy or have to make up rules for this situation on the fly.

While there are rules for different combat maneuvers, it is still up to the storyteller to give the inventive action a mechanical benefit (for example if you throw sand in the eyes of your opponent, his difficulty for any action that he needs his sight for is increased by 2 for a few combat rounds)



- Active and friendly community
Self explaining :)

I have not been enough on the relevant communities to comment on this.




Is a game-system like this out there? Am I demanding too much?

The problem with all abstractions like RPG systems is that you have to balance complexity versus flexibility. This is why my group switches between D&D and D10 to over all get what we feel is a nice balance.

Jayabalard
2010-03-25, 12:29 PM
So, suggesting GURPS


- Balanced classes out of the box
Every class can contribute to different obstacles (social, combat, trap...) without overshadowing everyone else in the group on a regular basis.
No classes, it's a point based system. Your gm might set up templates to help people create the various archetypes that you want, but they're not required. You'll be more effective if you specialize a bit rather than trying to be good at everything.

That said, GURPS does require a fair bit of GM Adjudication, also due to the fact that it's a generic system. You can't rely on running a game "strictly by RAW" ... not that I think that's a very realistic assumption even in a game like D&D, but that's neither here nor there.


- Useful skill-system
2 skills per level - be - gone! Do what you think your character can do well. No restriction on which skills you can be effective at(cross class skills) and more skill points or some equal mechanic.Again, it's point based, so it has a very fleshed out skill system, and you're only limited by your character points (and your IQ for starting skills) as to how many skills you have and how good you are at them.

Restrictions on skills:
-Spells are skills, but you can't generally take them unless you have at least the basic magery advantage.
-Tech Level: you can only take some skills at specific tech levels based on your campaign and your background.


- Useful rules for fantasy adventures, as high or as low magic as I want
No need to ban "tier 1" in this system, no need to give out magical items just to keep up with higher CR monsters.You can do anything from historical fantasy to pretty highly cinematic fantasy, depending on which rules you use. Really high powered fantasy might need to use the super heroes rules rather than the fantasy rules.


- Interesting and easy to learn mechanics
Tome of Battle and Magic of Incarnum come to mind. I really like those mechanics and they are spicing my games up. I want a mechanic who keeps me interested in the game over a long time.I'm not sure about interesting... I've heard people go both ways on that. You've got a lot of possible actions (if you use advanced combat rules) but the core mechanic is very very simple: 3d6 under a target number.


- As setting specific or generic as I want
Good support from the company who made this game for their own setting. Preferable many flavour-books with background informations. But I also want to use the rules with homebrew settings without having to rename just about everything because its so setting specific.It's a generic system, so it's good at generic. There's GURPS Banestorm and GURPS Discworld for specific settings.


- Consistent rules
Spellcaster should rule the world (a world full of shadow-spawns that is) in your generic D&D. They can do everything. I want a believable rule-set.Personally, I think that Banestorm does a good job at this: the level of magic does factor into the socio-political situation.


- Every choice I take is equally useful
No more "why should I take toughness, when I can take improved toughness?"It's point based, so in theory this is true... in practice though, some abilities are a bit more useful than others. The point values are influenced by rarity and realism rather than just strictly by usefulness.


- "You don't have that feat? No then you can't do that!"
I want to be able to throw sand into the eyes of my enemy with mechanical consequences whithout being at my game masters mercy or have to make up rules for this situation on the fly.Never the case, since you can try most skills untrained.


- Active and friendly community
Self explaining :)
SJ Games forums (http://forums.sjgames.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13)

make your own call whether that meets "active and friendly.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-25, 12:30 PM
I nominate GURPS! Lets see your points:


- Balanced classes out of the box
Every class can contribute to different obstacles (social, combat, trap...) without overshadowing everyone else in the group on a regular basis.
There are no classes, it's a point-based system, so everybody is working from the same base. All of the standard fantasy archetypes are quite equal in power.


- Useful skill-system
2 skills per level - be - gone! Do what you think your character can do well. No restriction on which skills you can be effective at(cross class skills) and more skill points or some equal mechanic.
GURPS has an amazing skill mechanic. Everything you so is based off your skills. Stealth, Broadsword, Climbing, Tracking, Disguise, Forgery, Fast-Talk, Filch, Acting, Hiking, Flight, Innate Attack, Mental Shield, Fireball (That's right, spells have skills and can fail). It's 3d6, which may be troubling to someone who has only used d20 before, but it produces much more streamlined and realistic results.


- Useful rules for fantasy adventures, as high or as low magic as I want
No need to ban "tier 1" in this system, no need to give out magical items just to keep up with higher CR monsters.
GURPS is completely generic, and can fit ANY setting you want, from gritty no magic campaigns to SPANC (Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirls)


- Interesting and easy to learn mechanics
Tome of Battle and Magic of Incarnum come to mind. I really like those mechanics and they are spicing my games up. I want a mechanic who keeps me interested in the game over a long time.
GURPS is not the easiest system to learn - it's quite complex, but the rules are very good and make a lot of sense. Each edition didn't completely change mechanics like D&D has, so the rules have had their various kinks and quirks sorted out for the most part.


- As setting specific or generic as I want
Good support from the company who made this game for their own setting. Preferable many flavour-books with background informations. But I also want to use the rules with homebrew settings without having to rename just about everything because its so setting specific.
Since 99% of the crunch in GURPS in contained in the two core rulebooks, almost all of the sourcebooks are about setting and flavor. That being said, the setting presented in Campaigns (second of two core rulesbooks) is Infinite worlds, and is a modern day multi-verse, so probably not what you wanted.


- Consistent rules
Spellcaster should rule the world (a world full of shadow-spawns that is) in your generic D&D. They can do everything. I want a believable rule-set.

It certainly has them, and again, spellcasting is very balanced. Casters take time to cast powerful spells (less time if you have more skill or are casting an easy spell), FP (Fatigue points, everybody has them, they are how tired you are), and need to roll against the spell's skill. (although if you are even remotely competent, the roll is pretty easy)


- Every choice I take is equally useful
No more "why should I take toughness, when I can take improved toughness?"
IMO, pretty much all advantages are mostly equal compared to their cost. There are some things though, like skill being harder to learn based on how hard they actually are vs. usefulness to an average game. (Guns are easy, nuclear science is hard)


- "You don't have that feat? No then you can't do that!"
I want to be able to throw sand into the eyes of my enemy with mechanical consequences whithout being at my game masters mercy or have to make up rules for this situation on the fly.
There are no feats, everything is your skills, and that would be a classic example of a dirty trick (it actually is the example given in the rulebook). Most things the feats let you do are Techniques, which default to your given weapon skill. (Whirlwind attack is skill -5, feint defaults to base skill, and picking a lock with no light is -4). Techniques can also be increased individually like skills, representing you specifically training to attack with two weapons or jump kick.


- Active and friendly community
Self explaining :)

Not as big as D&D for sure, but I think quite friendly :smallsmile:

EDIT: OMG EPIC NINJA THERE!!!

PinkysBrain
2010-03-25, 12:32 PM
I'd argue that from a 3e perspective that 4e doesn't do high magic until epic.

As for GURPS, if the balance is in the hand of the player and the storyteller then the system is as balanced as D&D ... that kind of balancing you can do in any system. If I tried to fit a mid level wizard into GURPS the number of points would be truly hideously large, so whether it can support high magic depends on your concept of high magic.

That's really what sets AD&D and 3E apart for me ... most systems can do Gandalf just fine, Pug not so much.

Kurald Galain
2010-03-25, 12:40 PM
Hello,
The short answer: you're asking too much. Particularly the request for an active community narrows it down to four or five systems, tops.

Not to be a 4E-bashed, but 4E fails most of his points except for the first (balance). So I would recommend Whitewolf Storyteller, and/or GURPS. Or, grab any rules-light system which indeed lets you do whatever you want, and doesn't have the problem that some feats just are no good.

Swordgleam
2010-03-25, 12:47 PM
Re: D&D4:

It has the balance, but it will probably let him down deeply on the skill system.

That's very true. On the other hand, fixing that is a lot easier than fixing the more complex issues in another system. (I'm not trying to start a 4e argument, I'm just trying to offer a suggestion for getting all the things he wants to happen in 4e, since I do believe it's the closest.)

Just start with class trained skills * 5 skill points and put them into any skills you like. A "skill training" feat gives you 5 more points. Every even level, you get more points equal to class trained skills + skill training feats taken.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-25, 12:50 PM
I'd argue that from a 3e perspective that 4e doesn't do high magic until epic.

As for GURPS, if the balance is in the hand of the player and the storyteller then the system is as balanced as D&D ... that kind of balancing you can do in any system. If I tried to fit a mid level wizard into GURPS the number of points would be truly hideously large, so whether it can support high magic depends on your concept of high magic.

That's really what sets AD&D and 3E apart for me ... most systems can do Gandalf just fine, Pug not so much.

That's because a mid level D&D wizard is hideously powerful, so it should cost lots of points.

Satyr
2010-03-25, 12:51 PM
Yet another vote for Gurps. But that's actually not a chalenge. Gurps does everything D&D does, and usually better. Gurps does a lot of things which are impossible to play in D&D, and it does it well.

Gurps: Dungeon Fantasy is a small series of PDFs which basically emulates the feeling of D&D, only with intelligent and well-designed rules.

Long answer:


- Balanced classes out of the box
Every class can contribute to different obstacles (social, combat, trap...) without overshadowing everyone else in the group on a regular basis.

Gurps has no classes. You essentially build every character as an inidividual case. Usually, the game offers a few lenses - basically example character, or classes - which can be used completely or partially to create a character.
The whole game is very well balanced, but the balance is not between specific builds, but between characters. Certainly, there is always the possibility of bad character design, but usually, two characters with same amount of character points are about equal.




- Useful skill-system
2 skills per level - be - gone! Do what you think your character can do well. No restriction on which skills you can be effective at(cross class skills) and more skill points or some equal mechanic.

Gurps is a point-buy system. Most things are treated like skills, and the number of skills you take is totally up to you.


- Useful rules for fantasy adventures, as high or as low magic as I want
No need to ban "tier 1" in this system, no need to give out magical items just to keep up with higher CR monsters.

Gurps can take any form of game you want, from world-shattering epics to small-scale border skirmishes, from no magic at all to really high magic, any technological level from stone age to really weird science fiction, and anything between or any combination. By the way, I don't think that D&D is actually a high fantasy game at all... it is D&D fantasy, which well might be a genre on its own.


- Interesting and easy to learn mechanics
Tome of Battle and Magic of Incarnum come to mind. I really like those mechanics and they are spicing my games up. I want a mechanic who keeps me interested in the game over a long time.

I am not that convinced that mechanics can be per se interesting, as I see them mostly as a mean to an end, but the gurps rules are very simple, very streamlined and thus very intuitive to use.


- As setting specific or generic as I want
Good support from the company who made this game for their own setting. Preferable many flavour-books with background informations. But I also want to use the rules with homebrew settings without having to rename just about everything because its so setting specific.

Admittedly, there is only one Gurps Fantasy Setting, Banestorm, and it is not too much supported. On the other hand, you can easily seize any setting you want, replace the existing rules with Gurps and have a significant improvement of the mechanical aspect, so it is not that much of a problem. Gurps can easily emulate most existing rule systems, and usually will do a better job than the originally intended system.


- Consistent rules
Spellcaster should rule the world (a world full of shadow-spawns that is) in your generic D&D. They can do everything. I want a believable rule-set.

As I already said, the rules are streamlined and very intuitive. Once you have understood the basics, the rest is pretty much self-evident. Even better, the rules were made with the real world as an orientation, which makes forehead-slapping rule stupidities a lot rarer than in other systems.


- Every choice I take is equally useful
No more "why should I take toughness, when I can take improved toughness?"

That's pretty much the core philosophy in Gurps, within a common sense frame work. Yes, you can become an origami master, and it might make you popular and offers you some great plot hooks, but no matter how good your origami arts are, they won't help much against fire-breathing dragons who want to eat you.


- "You don't have that feat? No then you can't do that!"
I want to be able to throw sand into the eyes of my enemy with mechanical consequences whithout being at my game masters mercy or have to make up rules for this situation on the fly.

In Gurps, special maneuvers are usually based on a core skill, and pretty much anything you can do has a default chance. This chance is often not very high, but most of the time good enough to get through low stress situations. This also applies to magic if you use the Ritual Magic system.


- Active and friendly community
Self explaining :)

Okay, there is no english speaking community about one specific game which is as large or as diverse as the D20 community, but the Gurpsoids are okay, as far as I can tell from my perspective on the other side of the Atlantic.

Jayabalard
2010-03-25, 01:06 PM
As for GURPS, if the balance is in the hand of the player and the storyteller then the system is as balanced as D&D ... that kind of balancing you can do in any system. If I tried to fit a mid level wizard into GURPS the number of points would be truly hideously large, so whether it can support high magic depends on your concept of high magic.What's "hideously large"

IMO, if you want very high magic, and you want your non-wizards to keep up with the wizards, you probably want to use a subset of rules for supers. Yes, that's going to make for some high character point values but ... really, is that a surprise?

Taelas
2010-03-25, 01:24 PM
I don't even play GURPS and I'd throw in a vote for it as well.

Kyeudo
2010-03-25, 01:53 PM
No one's suggested Exalted yet? :smallconfused:



- Balanced classes out of the box
Every class can contribute to different obstacles (social, combat, trap...) without overshadowing everyone else in the group on a regular basis.


Exalted uses a more free-form system of character building, so you build up from a base set of stats for a given Exalt type and go from there. As long as everyone is playing the same type of Exalt, they all can contribute equally in their individual specialties, even if the specialties are just different combat Abilities.

Cross-Exalt circles are a little harder to balance out, due to tricks one type might have that another lacks, but in general Exalts waste all competition equally so no one feels left out.



- Useful skill-system
2 skills per level - be - gone! Do what you think your character can do well. No restriction on which skills you can be effective at(cross class skills) and more skill points or some equal mechanic.


Exalted does have Caste/Aspect/Auspicious Abilities and Favored Abilities, which get discounts on being improved, but if you want to master Melee and its not favored/Caste/whatever, the additional cost is only 1 or 2 XP per dot or additional Charm.



- Useful rules for fantasy adventures, as high or as low magic as I want
No need to ban "tier 1" in this system, no need to give out magical items just to keep up with higher CR monsters.


Exalted doesn't exactly have a "CR" for opponents. It doesn't need one. Your circle can go toe to toe with some of the setting's toughest opponents right out of the box and expect to have a chance of winning. For the really tough stuff, you can be capable of victory after about 15 sessions of work if necessary.

Of course, prudence is still a required character trait for long term survival. You can only take one centuries-old Exalt at a time, not an entire circle or sworn brotherhood.



- Interesting and easy to learn mechanics
Tome of Battle and Magic of Incarnum come to mind. I really like those mechanics and they are spicing my games up. I want a mechanic who keeps me interested in the game over a long time.


Charms are Exalted's main mechanic. Quick to learn, infinite variety of expression, from making a lightsaber out of your own personal brand of awesome, to dodging attacks by becoming the wind itself, to making two people fall in love immediately, to making everyone betray someone in any way possible, to making people out of nothing, to built-in electrical shock generators, to karate-chopping someone into perfect health. If you can imagine it, there's probably someone capable of doing it.



- As setting specific or generic as I want
Good support from the company who made this game for their own setting. Preferable many flavour-books with background informations. But I also want to use the rules with homebrew settings without having to rename just about everything because its so setting specific.


Exalted's main failing is that it is very tied to its setting. To transport the Exalted to a different setting would require you to explain why the Exalted were created all over again.

However, Creation is A) HUGE! and B) contains any sort of setting you want.

Blistering Desert? got it.
Frozen North? got it.
Steaming Jungle? got it.
Endless Ocean? got it.
Hell? got it.
Underworld? got it.
Heaven? got it.
Cybertron? got it.



- Consistent rules
Spellcaster should rule the world (a world full of shadow-spawns that is) in your generic D&D. They can do everything. I want a believable rule-set.


Exalted are mechanically superior to an army of ordinary mortals. Logically, the Exalted rule the setting. Anywhere not ruled by Exalted usually have very low Exalted populations or are puppet states for an Exalt that wants to rule from the shadows.



- Every choice I take is equally useful
No more "why should I take toughness, when I can take improved toughness?"


Now, this one's hard to fill for any setting, but Exalted does as decent a job as most settings. Most Charms are roughly as potent as a Charm in another Ability that require the same level of development to reach, Most Artifacts are as useful as another artifact of the same rating, etc.



- "You don't have that feat? No then you can't do that!"
I want to be able to throw sand into the eyes of my enemy with mechanical consequences whithout being at my game masters mercy or have to make up rules for this situation on the fly.


Exalted solves the problem with Stunts. If you do it cool, you actually are more likely to suceed on whatever unlikely manuver you come up with, whether its flinging sand in someone's eyes or running up the arm of a Royal Warstrider to land a ringing blow on the helm with your Grand Goremaul.



- Active and friendly community
Self explaining :)


Depends on where you go, of course, but I've found the community quite friendly and active. My favorite community is the Exalted Compendium Redux forums, which you can reach from here (http://keychain.patternspider.net/).

Elana
2010-03-25, 03:27 PM
Okay, here the weird vote.

Original Dungeons and Dragons.

(If you go to the so called Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, the only thing you get is dumbed down rules, a complete destruction of the wrestling rules and an inflation in magic power that nicely demonstrates that both Gygax and Arneson always played magic users)

If you can get a hold of the rules cyclopedia you get a 300 page rulebook, that contains about twice as much actual information than the typical 900 pages in core books of later editions.

(Okay, fine you have to live with quirks like elves being a class, but in exchange you get the mystic, who is something like a playable version of the monk)

Mauther
2010-03-25, 04:50 PM
- Balanced classes out of the box

- Useful skill-system

- Useful rules for fantasy adventures, as high or as low magic as I want

- Interesting and easy to learn mechanics

- As setting specific or generic as I want

- Consistent rules

- Every choice I take is equally useful

- "You don't have that feat? No then you can't do that!"

- Active and friendly community


You probably are asking too much, but I'd go along with the others at giving +1 to GURPS, it really can be as adaptable as you want it to be. If your willing to step away from high fantasy, ShadowRun also meets most of these requirements. Gets rid of the classes, the only real dichotomy is whether your magically active or not and if you are what type of magic (hermetic, shaman, physical adept). Otherwise all of your abilities come from your base abilities, your skill set and your equipment (guns, cars/drones, armor, cyber and bioware). The setting has places that are firmly nailed down (Seattle, Denver, London) but their are plenty of grey (Texas, New York, Montreal) and blank slate (Amazonia, Russia, Japan) for you to play with. The rules are consistent, flexible, and utilitarian. One warning, magic is powerful but doesn't rule. A Shark shaman's hellblast is tough, but how does it stack up against a chromed out troll streetsam or a decker's combat drone. Additionally, there are no levels, and experience allows you to improve the character but you deck with 300 experience points still has to worry about taking a slug to the face from a halloweener's Ares Predator heavy pistol. The Shadowrun community isn't the largest, but they are rabid and always willing to be vocal. Oh, and the dragons rule. Forget your D&D Great Wyrm Red Dragon. True power comes when he runs a multinational megacorp, has a talkshow and amusement park and gets the US Constitution ammended so he can run for president.

Satyr
2010-03-25, 05:17 PM
You probably are asking too much

Why?

Gurps fulfill the OP's requirements easily, and when Gurps does it, Hero Systems does it as well (albeit with more math and a smaller community) and there is a fair Chance that you can do it with Mutants and Masterminds or All Flesh Must Be Eaten / Unisystem as well.
Hell, even Savage Worlds could be a viable option (even though I would have certain qualms to call it a good game), or the various Burning Wheel varieties (okay, this might require a higher degree of homebrewing), or the often neglected Fuzion games.

And this does not even start to touch the very adaptable rule-light systems like Fudge.

If you ask me, the list of criteria is much closer to the absolute minimum of requirements for any game than to the "this is impossible" ceiling of what a good game could - or probably should - be able to do.

AintThatASeamus
2010-03-25, 05:52 PM
I'm surprised that Savage Worlds has only been mentioned once (and then not really as a recommendation) but that would definitely been my suggestion. I've played in a few Savage Worlds campaigns now, including a generic fantasy one, and I have only good things to say about this system, both in general and in how it relates to the OP's request.

It isn't a class-based system. It's another point-buy, albeit a very simple one. But I have yet to see balance between characters be an issue. It allows even very focuses characters to still be competent at things outside their areas of expertise.

It works better for low-magic systems than high, but it's a versatile enough system that if you wanted to run high magic you could without much trouble. The core book doesn't offer any setting fluff, but they do publish at least 2 fantasy settings (Sundered Skies and Evernight). And savageheroes.com has a lot of user-created conversions for existing systems or fictional settings, and is just one example of a thriving community that plays the game.

The mechanics are simple and easy to learn, but still fun to use. The feat equivalents in the game don't bar people from certain maneuvers so much as just make the characters who have those edges better at them. And the system keeps spellcasters in check with limits on spell duration, and so largely avoids the logical need for magitek factories and wizard kings.

Also the core rules (fluff-free as the book is) are so cheap (around $10) that even if you don't like it, checking it out isn't a huge investment.

PinkysBrain
2010-03-25, 05:58 PM
Has anyone ever tried to create a dungeon crawl same game test for other systems than D&D?

Gaiwecoor
2010-03-25, 06:05 PM
Let me throw up a suggestion: Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Edition.

While originally meant to simulate comic book superheroes, it can be adapted easily enough to other settings. There are no predetermind classes. It uses a point based character creation system so you can buy up as much melee/magic/skills/saves as you want, so long as you stay within budget.

Seconded. It's a great system. The supplemental book Warriors and Warlocks actually does a fair job of porting it to a fantasy setting, as well. It has pretty much everything requested, except for "balanced classes," which isn't really a big deal, since there are no classes.

Raum
2010-03-25, 06:29 PM
But which system out there really does it better?Most systems which stay in print for more than a short while do something better. You simply need to look for a system which fits your gaming preferences.


In particular I'm looking for something like...

- Balanced classes out of the box Every non-class based system at least has the potential for balance. Over the Edge, RISUS, Wushu, GURPS, Savage Worlds, and FATE all come to mind.


- Useful skill-systemDepends what you mean by 'useful' but, if you simply mean "no restrictions" and "faster / meaningful advancement" I'll point out the following: GURPS, Savage Worlds, Shadowrun, WFRP, Rolemaster, Unisystem, and probably a lot more.


- Useful rules for fantasy adventures, as high or as low magic as I wantProbably all of the systems I've named above. Though a few systems might require some work for high magic (Savage Worlds and WFRP). In addition, Ars Magica, most versions of D&D, and Shadowrun fit.


- Interesting and easy to learn mechanicsHmm, this tends to be very subjective. Worse, each system tends to stand out in its area of strength. So I'll simply suggest looking at reviews of systems which otherwise interest you to see if the mechanics look interesting.


- As setting specific or generic as I wantAll of the above with the possible exceptions of WFRP, Shadowrun and Ars Magica. Most of the others are already multi-setting or setting neutral.


Good support from the company who made this game for their own setting. Preferable many flavour-books with background informations. But I also want to use the rules with homebrew settings without having to rename just about everything because its so setting specific.GURPS, Savage Worlds, Unisystem, and D&D all have good to great support from publishers.


- Consistent rulesCheck out Over the Edge, RISUS, Wushu, GURPS, Savage Worlds, Shadowrun, and FATE.


- Every choice I take is equally usefulThis will often depend on how you game. In other words, whether or not taking the 'Attractive' quality is as useful as increasing toughness will depend on how you use social skills and the ratio of social to combat play. That said, look at Over the Edge, RISUS, Savage Worlds, and FATE for some fairly well balanced systems.


- "You don't have that feat? No then you can't do that!"Savage Worlds...the Tricks rules are great for this. Additionally, Over the Edge, RISUS, and FATE may work for you.


- Active and friendly communitySavage Worlds, D&D, and Shadowrun generally qualify. Others may, but I tend to frequent the three listed.


Is a game-system like this out there? Am I demanding too much?There are lots of good systems out there. The 'active fan base' and 'active publisher support' may be your most limiting factors. SJ Games (GURPS) tends to publish mostly pdf these days...and Munchkin. :) Great White Games (Savage Worlds) is actively publishing (print and pdf) and has several licensees who also publish. Eden Studios (Unisystem) seems to be slowing down, not sure of their current status. Whomever is currently publishing Shadowrun (it's been sold a couple times) seems to be in difficulty again. FATE is picking up, it's a fairly open system with several small publishers. The Dresden Files RPG will also be FATE (and out this summer!) so it may well get a boost.

Could probably go on....there's a lot out there. I went through about a dozen different systems a few years ago before settling on one I enjoy GMing. Pick a few that interest you and try 'em! :smallsmile:

Raltar
2010-03-25, 06:35 PM
I recommend Star Wars: Saga edition. Best RPG system I've played ever. Also, after playing a session of Scion a few weeks ago, I kinda like that as well(so, as an extension, I liked Exalted from a mechanics point of view, but I can't stand the fluff associated with Exalted). I also enjoy Shadowrun 4th edition.

Swordgleam
2010-03-25, 06:49 PM
If we're going to non-class-based systems (which I didn't think the OP was looking for), I'll throw in a vote for d6.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-25, 07:03 PM
The Dresden Files RPG will also be FATE (and out this summer!) so it may well get a boost.

The Dresden Files RPG will be using FATE rules? Well I've got to learn it then, don't I!

Dairun Cates
2010-03-25, 07:26 PM
Here's the short and ugly of it.

I don't recommend modding systems to fit campaigns they weren't built, and I don't entirely recommend general systems. There's good ones out there, but even those systems aren't as universal as they claim to be (there is a limit to what GURPS can simulate WELL, and BESM/Tri-stat is worthless if you're not trying to do something anime, video game, or cartoon inspired).

That being said, I recommend you find a system that already does what you want to do. You're not going to get a community the size of D&D and White Wolf unless you're using one of their systems, but if a system does what you want it to, you don't need as much content.

This can be two-fold. If it already fits, you don't need as many supplements, and smaller systems are generally cheaper. For the cost of a brand new copy of 4e Player's handbook, DMG, and a monster manual, you can probably buy 3 lesser known systems.

So, in short...
If you want pirates, there's 7th Sea.
If you want superheroes, there's Mutants and Masterminds.
If you want the west, there's Deadlands.
If you want action movie cheesy action, there's Feng Shui.
If you want cartoon/video game/anime inspired silliness, there's BESM (and quite a few others).
If you want a varied but somewhat realistic setting, there's GURPS.
If your players want to be complete jerks and pass off their glaringly huge flaws as heroic and then not have to answer to any of the consequences of their action without dropping a giant god snake on them, there's Exalted.

And the list goes on. Hell, there's even a Street Fighter tabletop game that's really excellent if the idea of playing street fighter characters appeals to you.

Of course, if you just HAVE to have a general recommendation, I am required by love of the great RPG ever made and being a sanctioned member of its order to recommend Risus: The Anything RPG.

The rules are simple, consistent, nigh unbreakable without everyone enjoying themselves, and fits in only a 10 page manual (there is a 10 dollar expansion that is essentially a manual on GM'ing, game design, and theory. Excellent and worth the price). All that and it only uses a handful of D6's. Covers just about anything you want to do. Combat is wicked fast and amazingly fun.

It's free. So, you can't exactly lose here.

It's at: http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/risus.htm

There. Promotion done.

EDIT: Oh, and there's a beta test for Pirates vs. Ninjas (the system in my signature) coming up (once I get done with straightening out some problems on a project at my university). That's also free, and it's a fairly unique system. So, there's that too.

vrellum
2010-03-25, 08:19 PM
I'd vote for GURPS or Hero. The reasons have already been stated.

Knaight
2010-03-25, 08:42 PM
If we are looking at generics now, I would have to throw my support in for GURPS, but also note Fudge. Fudge is Fate's predecessor, and as far as I'm concerned superior, and it does everything well. There is some set up work on a per campaign basis, but if you are decent at it you make up the difference in prep time in about 2 sessions. The community is small, but active, and very helpful.

Still, Ars Magica is closer to the classes concept, and it has plenty of good reasons wizards don't own the world, plus a beautiful magic system. It sounds ideal as a direct D&D replacement, but it is limited in what it does.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-25, 08:58 PM
There's good ones out there, but even those systems aren't as universal as they claim to be (there is a limit to what GURPS can simulate WELL, and BESM/Tri-stat is worthless if you're not trying to do something anime, video game, or cartoon inspired).


Ridiculous. Take whatever you think cannot be well simulated to the GURPS conversion thread, and I (and possibly Saytr, but I understand he is bit behind on all of the requests) shall disabuse you of that notion.

Raum
2010-03-25, 09:17 PM
Ridiculous. Take whatever you think cannot be well simulated to the GURPS conversion thread, and I (and possibly Saytr, but I understand he is bit behind on all of the requests) shall disabuse you of that notion.Meh. No system works equally well for everything and everyone. Not even Sauron's One Ring. :smallwink:

Agi Hammerthief
2010-03-25, 09:28 PM
:smallconfused:
no mention of D&D3.75 (aka Pathfinder) yet

am I missing something?
they've spend some time tweaking, and playtesting the 3.5 mechanics to smooth out the kinks without going all the way of 4.0ing

Tiki Snakes
2010-03-25, 09:36 PM
:smallconfused:
no mention of D&D3.75 (aka Pathfinder) yet

am I missing something?
they've spend some time tweaking, and playtesting the 3.5 mechanics to smooth out the kinks without going all the way of 4.0ing

I think the implication of the original thread was that he was looking to different systems to what he had been using, (presumably 3.5). The entire concept behind pathfinder was, I thought, that it wasn't a significant change, but rather a tweaked 'directors cut' style 3rd ed system.

Not really the first system that comes to mind concerning the OP. :smallsmile:

Silly Wizard
2010-03-25, 09:44 PM
Pathfinder?

The classes are a bit more balanced than in 3.5, but not anywhere near how 4e does it. Skill system is WAAAY better than 4e (imo) by doing away with cross-class skills (instead it gives a +3 bonus to class skills with ranks in it). Changing from high-magic to low-magic would be easier in Pathfinder than 4e in my opinion, but not really pulled off well in either. 4e seems to put a lot of emphasis on magic items

Swordgleam
2010-03-25, 10:10 PM
BESM/Tri-stat is worthless if you're not trying to do something anime, video game, or cartoon inspired).

Wow. I'll have to phone back in time and let the several excellent, dark, dramatic tri-stat campaigns I've participated in know that they're doing it wrong. I had no idea. I always assumed that BESM was an anime game and tri-stat was a universal system that could run a campaign of any theme.

Seriously, you don't need to leaven your good advice with baseless insults at systems you obviously haven't played very much. That never leads to useful discussion. :smalltongue:

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-25, 10:33 PM
Pathfinder?

The classes are a bit more balanced than in 3.5, but not anywhere near how 4e does it. Skill system is WAAAY better than 4e (imo) by doing away with cross-class skills (instead it gives a +3 bonus to class skills with ranks in it). Changing from high-magic to low-magic would be easier in Pathfinder than 4e in my opinion, but not really pulled off well in either. 4e seems to put a lot of emphasis on magic items

Because although pathfinder made a bunch of nice changes (yay nice paladin!), they completely ignored the biggest problems facing 3.5, and most of the stuff the OP asked for. Our resident homebrew 3.75's have done a better job, and can be obtained for free.

Swordgleam
2010-03-25, 10:41 PM
Pathfinder?

The classes are a bit more balanced than in 3.5, but not anywhere near how 4e does it. Skill system is WAAAY better than 4e (imo) by doing away with cross-class skills (instead it gives a +3 bonus to class skills with ranks in it). Changing from high-magic to low-magic would be easier in Pathfinder than 4e in my opinion, but not really pulled off well in either. 4e seems to put a lot of emphasis on magic items

There's rules in the DMG2 for running low-magic 4e with no magic items. I'd been doing a similar thing with houserules for over a year when it came out. Works just fine, if you don't mind players making puppy eyes at you whenever they see the new items in a new book.

randomhero00
2010-03-25, 11:00 PM
D&D 4e is the most balanced system I've played. No where near the most entertaining though (fav: WoD and Exalted.)

Pathfinder isn't balanced at all. Better than 3.5 but still in the same league.

Dairun Cates
2010-03-25, 11:01 PM
Wow. I'll have to phone back in time and let the several excellent, dark, dramatic tri-stat campaigns I've participated in know that they're doing it wrong. I had no idea. I always assumed that BESM was an anime game and tri-stat was a universal system that could run a campaign of any theme.

Seriously, you don't need to leaven your good advice with baseless insults at systems you obviously haven't played very much. That never leads to useful discussion. :smalltongue:

Actually, I've played both. The truth of the matter though is that they're almost the same thing. Tri-stat really is just a watered down BESM though. It's essentially BESM missing a few abilities and with a few slight difference in how skills are handled. It was designed for that, but Tri-stat really always did feel a bit incomplete. I can see using it though for the simple case that's it's a lot simpler of a system than GURPS. You could use either depending on the complexity of game you want.

In my opinion (and that's the key word) though, both systems really do just work best for the silly over-the-top anime/cartoony/video gamey stuff. For most other things, there's just a better system for the setting in my opinion. Perhaps worthless is a harsh word, but I find it preferable to use a different system for it. I will give tri-stat one thing though, which is it does handle generic settings well without becoming too overloaded with options and rules, but that's also its downfall in the fact that there has to be a lot of impromptu GM rulings. It's a trade off.

The point is that BESM, Tri-stat, and GURPS are good systems, but they do have their flavor and their flow. They're not as generic as they claim to be. There is a definite ideal group for them, and that's not always easy to define. The system that truly try to be as generic as possible though, fall flat on their face, in my honest opinion. They spread themselves too thin and just don't put enough meat on the bones. So, from a designer, GM, and player stand point, I really do prefer specialized systems for that purpose. You get a lot of meat (content and flavor text) without as much fat (extra rules). You should make sure it's a meat you want to eat, so to speak, but all in all, it'll be better for it.

And for the record, I've either played, GM'ed, or read the manuals cover to cover of each of the systems I've mentioned (I study general game design, and tabletop manuals are excellent reference). So, personal preferences and over-exaggerations aside, I still stand by my point, which is that I think you should play a system that suits what you want and not search for a "fix it all" system. I can mod D&D for superheroes, but why do that when Mutants and Masterminds exists?

Slight Edit: And I'm actually a bit shocked you called me on that. Most people call me on my unpopular opinion of Exalted (I get the draw, but I personally can't get past some of the major short-comings of the system).

Swordgleam
2010-03-25, 11:21 PM
So, from a designer, GM, and player stand point, I really do prefer specialized systems for that purpose. You get a lot of meat (content and flavor text) without as much fat (extra rules). You should make sure it's a meat you want to eat, so to speak, but all in all, it'll be better for it.


I tend to agree myself. I don't understand why there's so many generic systems - in an ideal world, wouldn't you just need one? I run tri-stat when there's nothing I like that supports what I want to do, or when I don't desire to do a lot of math. I can make a tri-stat character of any power level in 15 minutes without using the book, which is not exactly possible with d20.



Slight Edit: And I'm actually a bit shocked you called me on that. Most people call me on my unpopular opinion of Exalted (I get the draw, but I personally can't get past some of the major short-comings of the system).

I was just so shocked that someone else had actually heard of it that I had to respond. :smalltongue: There wasn't a huge community to start with, and then GoO went under.

Thajocoth
2010-03-25, 11:27 PM
I'll adress it by the topic:

@ 4.Edition
No, I haven't give it a try, yet.
Though I heard the classes are more balanced, I hesitate because I also heard they really messed up multiclassing. So are you stuck with your base class? For example, are gishes possible / worthwhile?

Edit: Until now, most of you recommend 4.Edition. I think I'll definitely give the test modul a chance.


Multiclassing in 4e is a feat. Unless you're a Bard, you can only multiclass once. Your options for multiclassing are mostly things that are stronger than a normal feat, but you can only do it once. Multiclassing also gives you access in the future to feats specific to the class you multiclassed into.

But a lot of it is covered by class designs... If you want, say, a Wizard/Fighter, you pick Swordmage. Their sword is their arcane implement and they're good at combining melee attacks with arcane forces.

You multiclass to get a small feature of another class, and perhaps some small access to a few powers from that class (which would require you to spend more feats on it), as well as counting as a member of that class for the purpose of prerequisites (for feats or Paragon Paths or what-have-you). Multiclassing is usually a useful thing to do for most 4e characters, but is limited enough not to take over once you do it.

Then there are the Hybrids... These are a different story altogether. Instead of multiclassing, you take half of one class, half of the other, and never be quite as good at either class as someone completely of that class. Hybrids are generally not balanced, tending to be weaker than the classes by themselves. A Hybrid may multiclass to a 3rd class if they so choose.

-----

That said, you did mention three things that 4e is not considered great at.

One is the ability to do whatever you roleplay that you do. You CAN, but you'll have so many class powers and whatnot that people tend not to. There's a chart in the DMG to handle what the DCs of such roles should be, with values by level for "easy", "medium" & "hard". I have this chart printed special on my DM screen. It has NEVER EVER come up.

The second is that not all feats are created equal. There's what some people call a "feat tax", with this one feat that says, basically, "you get +1 to hit." Some classes just have certain feats that are absolutely optimal for that class too and likely to be taken first. But... You get feats at levels 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28 & 30. An extra one at 1 if you're human. With this many feats, taking a few "pretty much necessary" feats isn't too bad.

The third is that you can't take cross-class skills. Well, you kinda can. You get a list of X skills that your class lets you take Y skills of. If you're a Human or Eladrin, you get a bonus skill. (Human - Bonus skill from your class; Eladrin, bonus any skill). Then when you multiclass you get a new skill from that class, and you can simply spend a feat to train in a skill. All skills are either trained or not (trained = +5 to the skill). You don't have to manage points into them... If you really want to be even better at a skill you're trained in, you can spend a feat to focus in that skill. (Skill focus = +3 in that skill.) You cannot be trained or focused in the same skill twice.

(I personally play D&D 4e.)

Golden-Esque
2010-03-26, 12:06 AM
Ultimately, the system you design to meet your purposes is going to be the one that does it better then D&D :).

Kyeudo
2010-03-26, 12:17 AM
If your players want to be complete jerks and pass off their glaringly huge flaws as heroic and then not have to answer to any of the consequences of their action without dropping a giant god snake on them, there's Exalted.


Apparently you need to find some better players.

Tiki Snakes
2010-03-26, 12:34 AM
Apparently you need to find some better players.

No, that does sound like exalted to me actually.
In a good way, mind.

Satyr
2010-03-26, 01:08 AM
BESM/Tri-stat is worthless if you're not trying to do something anime, video game, or cartoon inspired.

Well, did you know that the first - and probably best - take of a conversion of an A Song Of Ice And Fire RPG used the Tri-Stat rules? That doesn't look that much like anime or cartoonish to me.


Meh. No system works equally well for everything and everyone.
That's very likely, but one should probably keep the possibilities of what a system can do and personal preferences apart. Yes, I can probably emulate almost every system with Gurps. I can usually replace most systems with Gurps and improve the game significantly.
But that doesn't work well for people who don't like the system for one reason or the other.

Hida Reju
2010-03-26, 02:40 AM
Well someone already mentioned Fantasy Craft so I will expand on it.

Pros

1. D20 based with heavy skill and class modifications
2. Every class has a 1-20 Progression with abilities gained every lvl.
3. Magic is still powerful but scaled down to be reasonable but have more endurance.
4. Uses a variant Wounds/Vitality system that combos with the new way they handle Critical hits.
5. Combat is very detailed and has just as many options for melee as it does casters.
6. Race is handled with a background option and feats to expand on Racial abilities.
7. Magic objects can lvl up with you allowing you to have a magic sword from near the beginning of the game to the end of the game.

Cons
1. Rules heavy, Take 3.5 and put a lot of rule changes to it then add an exponent.
2. Combat can be very slow when taking large encounters into account.
3. New system for creating minions/Masterminds takes some getting used to.
4. Renown system causes people who like to horde everything they have collected since day one to bleed explosive blood, go feral, and slaughter everyone in nerd rage.
5. New books are just starting to come out and the company has too many different projects going on that take years to finish.

The biggest one to go into more detail on is the Renown system. I personally like it you gain renown kinda like EXP as time goes on. Your renown determins how many "Boons" your character can own at a time.

Boons can be favors from High ups, Magic objects, Land, or about anything with game plot bending power.

The part where some gamers get feral is that if you have too many boons you have to give the extra ones up. It is explained as favors getting forgotten, contacts dying or going unavailable, land getting sold, ect.

Part of this is to avoid super power creep and nova blasting with a bunch of high lvl favors all at one time from years of adventuring or having 100 magic objects to keep track of. The other point is to get people to use these things up, why horde a wand when you can use it.

Like I said its my favorite system but it is rule crunchy to the max.

Togo
2010-03-26, 02:50 AM
There's a problem with the original question though..

What is 'it'?

Everyone has their own idea of what makes a perfect game. AD&D's various editions have been popular because they cater to a great many different styles, but if you like a particular style, then there may well be a better game for that out there.

4th ed Ad&D has reversed this trend, taken a particular style of AD&D game, and done it very well. (It's not a style I like, so I've mostly given up playing it.)

Savage worlds works well.

Kurald Galain
2010-03-26, 03:58 AM
Ultimately, the system you design to meet your purposes is going to be the one that does it better then D&D :).
As soon as you get an active web community for it :smalltongue:



That said, you did mention three things that 4e is not considered great at.

One is the ability to do whatever you roleplay that you do. You CAN, but you'll have so many class powers and whatnot that people tend not to.
Also, whenever a character does something that isn't a power or skill, it is ultimately up to the DM what happens - and most DMs reflexively rule that the results are less effective than using a standard power would have been.


You get feats at levels 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28 & 30. An extra one at 1 if you're human. With this many feats, taking a few "pretty much necessary" feats isn't too bad.
Well, except at heroic tier. If you start your game from level one, then for several classes there is an obvious optimal feat until you're level 8 or so. Feat taxes do (obviously) reduce the difference between various characters of the same class.



The third is that you can't take cross-class skills. Well, you kinda can.
Actually you can, quite easily. If your DM uses backgrounds, then most backgrounds consist of adding one or two skills to your class list. Otherwise, when you take a multiclass feat (which, as Thajocoth mentions, are among the best feats in the game) you get a free skill, too.

a typical hero
2010-03-26, 04:13 AM
Thank you all so far for your numerous contributions.

I'll definitely look into some of them in the near future.


Thank you, playground. :smallsmile:

Raum
2010-03-26, 07:54 AM
Yes, I can probably emulate almost every system with Gurps. I can usually replace most systems with Gurps and improve the game significantly.As I remember the beginning of the thread, you failed to recreated Exalted characters and then blew it off as a flaw of Exalted. Shrug, I'm no Exalted fan either but it does point out there are things GURPS won't do well. I suspect it would have similar issues with some of the lighter system's broad stats. But I don't really care.

Game systems tend to have a large affect on style of play. WFRP will almost always be gritty and have lots of failures. Savage Worlds will almost always have a heroic feel where PCs are bigger than life and succeed at most things. D20 will almost always be a strategic game of attrition. You can build similar characters in all three but the game play will still be very different.

Find a system which support a style you like and have fun! A religious crusade against everything else would simply be Quixotic. :smallwink:

Satyr
2010-03-26, 08:25 AM
As I remember the beginning of the thread, you failed to recreated Exalted characters and then blew it off as a flaw of Exalted.

No, I got a list of powers and rebuit them very exactly. I made a few mentions about how iteresting it is to build - or play invincible characters, but the listed powers were recreated.

I personaly think that inincible characters are boring as hell, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't work with Gurps - it just don't get much more interesting, since the problem is the invincibilitiy, and not the mechanical implementation.

But yes, Exalted belongs to the cases where a Gurps convrsion is not a better choice than the original system.

Broccoli21
2010-03-26, 12:18 PM
I just started using GURPS in a campaign and its really great because:

-A ridiculous ammount of choices for the character and for the GM
-Adaptable to any setting (Im doing a gritty high technology with a dash of supernatural power campaign on post apocalyptic Mars (think Dictionary of Mu)).
-Very realistic (people are not as stupidly powerful as in D&D but are not as weaksauce as in world of darkness), with the ability to scale power up or down.
-Magic can be custom made to your system (I use only ritual magic)

Try it out. With a little work (but less than most sytems), you can adapt it to anything, but the power level thing is really up to you. If you want grittier, then WoD might be better.:smallbiggrin:

Thajocoth
2010-03-26, 01:00 PM
Actually you can, quite easily. If your DM uses backgrounds, then most backgrounds consist of adding one or two skills to your class list.I was originally going to mention this, but thought what I said was thick enough as it stood, but yeah. Most backgrounds say something like "Add X to your class skill list, and get a +2 or 3 bonus to X".

Tyrrell
2010-03-29, 08:56 PM
Ignore the numerous requests to use 4e. It has the same "needs a feat" mentality. There is one system that works beautifully for all this, but you need to be willing to lose classes. Ars Magica, which is also free. (http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=AG0204)

But you'd be well served to get the non-free fifth edition rather than the free fourth edition. The improvements in the "new" edition are substantial. (Fifth edition is a bit over five years old and has a more complete line of supplements than all previous editions combined).

Endarire
2010-03-29, 09:02 PM
There's an inherent balance problem between casters and non-casters. Casters alter reality. Non-casters hit things.

Tyrrell
2010-03-29, 09:11 PM
Oops I just had another look at the original post and Ars Magica clearly falls a bit short of some of the criteria.

H
- Balanced classes out of the box
Every class can contribute to different obstacles (social, combat, trap...) without overshadowing everyone else in the group on a regular basis.
No classes at all and really magi do tend to overshadow a fair amount.


- Useful skill-system
2 skills per level - be - gone! Do what you think your character can do well. No restriction on which skills you can be effective at(cross class skills) and more skill points or some equal mechanic.OK there


- Useful rules for fantasy adventures, as high or as low magic as I want No need to ban "tier 1" in this system, no need to give out magical items just to keep up with higher CR monsters. This Ars Magica does fairly well, but there are some abusable parts to the system


- Interesting and easy to learn mechanics
Tome of Battle and Magic of Incarnum come to mind. I really like those mechanics and they are spicing my games up. I want a mechanic who keeps me interested in the game over a long time.Interesting , yes in my opinion more interesting than any other game I've seen. easy to learn, no ... heavens no.


- As setting specific or generic as I want
Good support from the company who made this game for their own setting. Preferable many flavour-books with background informations. But I also want to use the rules with homebrew settings without having to rename just about everything because its so setting specific.Lots of people move Ars to different settings but there is absolutely no support for it and a fair amount of the system is reliant upon the four realm cosmology of the published setting so if you want to move it to someplace where supernatural forces don't fall into magic/faerie/divine/infernal thematic groups you'll need to do some retooling.


- Consistent rules
Spellcaster should rule the world (a world full of shadow-spawns that is) in your generic D&D. They can do everything. I want a believable rule-set.
In the setting spellcasters more or less do rule the world in that they have all of the power and very little of the responsibility. So it has consistency in the regard that you mention, just not in the way that you'd think.


- Every choice I take is equally useful
No more "why should I take toughness, when I can take improved toughness?" That is a hard bar to meet. The example is extreme but saying that all choices are equally good can't be said even of very tightly constructed systems like Hero and D&D 4. Still Ars Magica is remarkably good at not giving the characters inferior or superior options.


- "You don't have that feat? No then you can't do that!"
I want to be able to throw sand into the eyes of my enemy with mechanical consequences without being at my game masters mercy or have to make up rules for this situation on the fly. For combat situations Ars is a GM mercy sort of game it has some choices but it sure doesn't have dirt throwing rules.


- Active and friendly community
Self explaining :)

It's good there.


But all in all Ars Magica does not look to be what you're after. Please disregard my previous enthusiastic endorsement.

Vaecae
2010-03-31, 04:26 PM
If you really want a system that does all that you might look into some of the point break down books. I came across one know as BESM (Big Eyes Small Mouth) that has broken down the vast majority of every know class ability and even generic ones that can be used to build new classes into a point value system. It is 3.5 comp, and has revamped the standard Dnd classes in the main book, along with adding several new ones to play with.

I warn you though it's not ment to be taken too seriously, it's design is supposed to let players take any character they've seen in Anime/movie/comics/ect... and put them together in one way or another. It's been most useful to me when trying to craft new classes/races/monsters/feats because it has value for everything. I've played with it regularly for a while and it seems to have everything valued fairly.

As in all games there are ways to make it very broken and wrong by abusing some of the features, but there are also ways to make really cool balanced characters. It also has the option to introduce several different methods of play so that it doesn't have to conform to or go against any given setting. It can be as rigid or as flexable as your DM wants to let it be. At one point you could get the cut and dry version online for free, don't I know if that's still around, but the company did have a cheap gamers guide that was all the meat with no fluff that I got for just ten bucks years ago at the local shop.

In the end though if you really want something that's all about what you find fair fun and has all the features you could ever want, I'd suggest roll your own. That way you can use the dice combos you like. All the classes are put together in a likeable way, by your design perspective, and it gives your players a whole new challenge of learning what flys and what doesn't.

NMBLNG
2010-03-31, 04:50 PM
I've never played GURPS, but from what I know if it, it meets the general requirements of the OP. Most classless systems allow players to make whatever kind of character they want.

I'd also vote for 4e. One of the things that, in my opinion, separate it from 3.5 is that 4e tries to take a hands-off approach to anything non-combat. The skills are very broad, so becoming a 'thief' or 'explorer' needs only 2 or 3 skills. It's also very trivial to ignore class-skill restrictions.

As for non-combat magic (ie, rituals), a little bit of hand-waving in the monetary cost of casting helps a lot. And feel free to let players try to develop new ones.

Basically, 4e is not going to give you anything to help you do things out of combat. But it doesn't really try to stop you, either.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-31, 09:16 PM
If you really want a system that does all that you might look into some of the point break down books. I came across one know as BESM (Big Eyes Small Mouth) that has broken down the vast majority of every know class ability and even generic ones that can be used to build new classes into a point value system. It is 3.5 comp, and has revamped the standard Dnd classes in the main book, along with adding several new ones to play with.

I warn you though it's not ment to be taken too seriously, it's design is supposed to let players take any character they've seen in Anime/movie/comics/ect... and put them together in one way or another. It's been most useful to me when trying to craft new classes/races/monsters/feats because it has value for everything. I've played with it regularly for a while and it seems to have everything valued fairly.

As in all games there are ways to make it very broken and wrong by abusing some of the features, but there are also ways to make really cool balanced characters. It also has the option to introduce several different methods of play so that it doesn't have to conform to or go against any given setting. It can be as rigid or as flexable as your DM wants to let it be. At one point you could get the cut and dry version online for free, don't I know if that's still around, but the company did have a cheap gamers guide that was all the meat with no fluff that I got for just ten bucks years ago at the local shop.

In the end though if you really want something that's all about what you find fair fun and has all the features you could ever want, I'd suggest roll your own. That way you can use the dice combos you like. All the classes are put together in a likeable way, by your design perspective, and it gives your players a whole new challenge of learning what flys and what doesn't.

Eh... BESM is certainly flexible enough to do D&D style campaigns, but it is definitely not 3.5 compatible in the slightest. And GURPS is still more flexible. :smallcool:

Tacit
2010-03-31, 09:22 PM
Ars Magica had a great magic system, but was otherwise sort of bland. 4e does fit a good portion of your criteria, but it IS essentially a large board game. If you don't mind taking a specialized system and turning it into general fantasy, Dust's Final Fantasy (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137268) system fits most of your criteria as well, but it's still riddled with errors both grammatical and technical. Mutants and Masterminds has the possibility of being what you want, while simultaneously being the DEFINITION of a system that lacks any sort of balance whatsoever.

Godskook
2010-03-31, 09:34 PM
Ok, I keep seeing this title and it keeps irking me. After a certain point, there stops being a 'better' or 'worse' game system, and they start going 'red' or 'green' or 'blue'. You might like one, and I might like another, but most of the popular systems out there can't be shoehorned into a linear progression from 'best' to 'worst'. The only way to get a 'better' system than 3.5 is to look at one of its children systems that it has spawned, such as Pathfinder, the Tome series, or d20r. Even 4e is so far removed from 3.5 that they really are different systems.

Tinydwarfman
2010-03-31, 09:56 PM
Ok, I keep seeing this title and it keeps irking me. After a certain point, there stops being a 'better' or 'worse' game system, and they start going 'red' or 'green' or 'blue'. You might like one, and I might like another, but most of the popular systems out there can't be shoehorned into a linear progression from 'best' to 'worst'. The only way to get a 'better' system than 3.5 is to look at one of its children systems that it has spawned, such as Pathfinder, the Tome series, or d20r. Even 4e is so far removed from 3.5 that they really are different systems.

Please read the OP. He was asking what system fit his criteria better than d&d. Not the 'best' system. Different systems are better at different things.

bosssmiley
2010-04-01, 08:30 AM
Hello,

as we all know, ol' D&D got its problems. Be it unbalanced classes, fakked up skill systems or wrong CR just to name few.

But which system out there really does it better?

In particular I'm looking for something like...

- Balanced classes out of the box
Every class can contribute to different obstacles (social, combat, trap...) without overshadowing everyone else in the group on a regular basis.

- Useful skill-system
2 skills per level - be - gone! Do what you think your character can do well. No restriction on which skills you can be effective at(cross class skills) and more skill points or some equal mechanic.

- Useful rules for fantasy adventures, as high or as low magic as I want
No need to ban "tier 1" in this system, no need to give out magical items just to keep up with higher CR monsters.

- Interesting and easy to learn mechanics
Tome of Battle and Magic of Incarnum come to mind. I really like those mechanics and they are spicing my games up. I want a mechanic who keeps me interested in the game over a long time.

- As setting specific or generic as I want
Good support from the company who made this game for their own setting. Preferable many flavour-books with background informations. But I also want to use the rules with homebrew settings without having to rename just about everything because its so setting specific.

- Consistent rules
Spellcaster should rule the world (a world full of shadow-spawns that is) in your generic D&D. They can do everything. I want a believable rule-set.

- Every choice I take is equally useful
No more "why should I take toughness, when I can take improved toughness?"

- "You don't have that feat? No then you can't do that!"
I want to be able to throw sand into the eyes of my enemy with mechanical consequences whithout being at my game masters mercy or have to make up rules for this situation on the fly.

- Active and friendly community
Self explaining :)

There are several other things that are just not done well in D&D but I think you all know what I'm after.

Is a game-system like this out there? Am I demanding too much?

Sorry for the wall of text in no logical order :smallwink:

RISUS or aWoD (http://tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=49857).

Oslecamo
2010-04-01, 08:39 AM
And GURPS is still more flexible. :smallcool:

Actualy, D&D has a better balance/flexibility ratio than GURPS. The best GURPs character will always be mouthfoaming diseased psycopaths with horrible hygiene habits and several mental problems thanks to the GURPS flaws mechanics. D&D on the other hand has ways of making you stronger for being charismatic and healthy out of the box. So while a D&D optimal party can be composed of smart guy, charismatic guy and brutish guy, your optimal GURPS party is composed of three abominations unless the GM does some heavy custom work. :smallamused:

Gnaeus
2010-04-01, 08:50 AM
That isn't really true. A GURPS character CAN be a psychopathic mouth foamer as you describe. But he could just as easily reach his maximum points by being a nice guy with a Code of Honor and a dependent wife or child that he loves. Or by having a criminal record and some old mafia enemies who are out to get him. Or about a thousand other things. Just because you can play a psychopath, doesn't mean that every (or even many) optimized characters will.

Oslecamo
2010-04-01, 08:54 AM
That isn't really true. A GURPs character CAN be a psychopathic mouth foamer as you describe. But he could just as easily reach his maximum points by being a nice guy with a Code of Honor and a dependent wife or child that he loves. Or by having a criminal record and some old mafia enemies who are out to get him. Or about a thousand other things. Just because you can play a psychopath, doesn't mean that every (or even many) optimized characters will.

Except that code of honor and dependant family members and/or enemies after your head will actualy hinder you, since you need to take measures against them when you're an adventurer, while who cares if you smell bad, are annoying and have rare diseases when you're in a dungeon crawl?:smallbiggrin:

The Rose Dragon
2010-04-01, 08:56 AM
Except that code of honor and dependant family members and/or enemies after your head will actualy hinder you, since you need to take measures against them when you're an adventurer, while who cares if you smell bad, are annoying and have rare diseases when you're in a dungeon crawl?:smallbiggrin:

Rule of Flaws: Flaws are only flaws if they function as flaws. If they don't function as flaws, they are not flaws.

So, if you smell bad, are annoying and have rare diseases in a game that is intended as a dungeon crawl with no social elements (which incidentally bars a code of honor and dependents, since they are also social elements), you don't get points for it.

((NOTE: I don't play GURPS. This is more of a defense of flaws in point-buy systems than GURPS itself.))

Gnaeus
2010-04-01, 09:00 AM
Except that code of honor and dependant family members and/or enemies after your head will actualy hinder you, since you need to take measures against them when you're an adventurer, while who cares if you smell bad, are annoying and have rare diseases when you're in a dungeon crawl?:smallbiggrin:

Maybe you could find DMs that sometimes take your character OUT of the dungeon. You know that you can run entire campaigns without ever entering a dungeon. Dungeoncrawling in GURPS isn't likely to go well anyway. The combat system is pretty lethal.

How are you going to sell your dungeoncrawling loot when every time you enter a town the party self-destructs and gets imprisoned by guards?

Oslecamo
2010-04-01, 09:09 AM
Maybe you could find DMs that sometimes take your character OUT of the dungeon. You know that you can run entire campaigns without ever entering a dungeon. Dungeoncrawling in GURPS isn't likely to go well anyway. The combat system is pretty lethal.

The original topic was about doing D&D's job better than D&D. And dungeon and dragon's main focus is about going into the wilderness, killing stuff and then looting them. Not exactly social stuff. For wich there are other systems better at it than GURPS.



How are you going to sell your dungeoncrawling loot when every time you enter a town the party self-destructs and gets imprisoned by guards?
Ask yourself why the town guards are stronger than the dragon and kobold army you just destroyed?:smalltongue:

Gnaeus
2010-04-01, 09:23 AM
The original topic was about doing D&D's job better than D&D. And dungeon and dragon's main focus is about going into the wilderness, killing stuff and then looting them. Not exactly social stuff. For wich there are other systems better at it than GURPS.

Funny, I thought that D&D was about roleplaying and having heroic adventures. It looks to me like the D&D rules have a lot more skills that focus on social situations than ones which are only usable in a dungeon. A great many published adventures take place in towns, for at least part of the action. If all your group does is loot dungeons, thats fine, but don't limit D&D or other games to the weaknesses of your campaign.


Ask yourself why the town guards are stronger than the dragon and kobold army you just destroyed?:smalltongue:

GURPS is a grittier system than D&D over about 3rd level. By which I mean, if you take a crossbow bolt in the eye, you are going to fall down and twitch before dying. In any game where combat is lethal, intelligent players try to figure out ways to avoid possible death. Making a foaming bloodcrazed psycho is fine if that is what you want to play, but it is hardly a recipe for "winning" GURPS.

Draz74
2010-04-01, 12:50 PM
There's an inherent balance problem between casters and non-casters. Casters alter reality. Non-casters hit things.

Go play an E6 game where the allowed classes are Crusader, Warblade, Swordsage, and Truenamer, and then tell me that again. :smallamused:

"Altering reality" doesn't have to be game-breaking in any way.


Ok, I keep seeing this title and it keeps irking me. After a certain point, there stops being a 'better' or 'worse' game system, and they start going 'red' or 'green' or 'blue' 'chocolate' or 'vanilla' or 'strawberry'. You might like one, and I might like another, but most of the popular systems out there can't be shoehorned into a linear progression from 'best' to 'worst'.

Fixed that for you. :smallwink:

And chocolate is better than strawberry! All other opinions are invalid!

sombrastewart
2010-04-01, 04:35 PM
Seconded. It's a great system. The supplemental book Warriors and Warlocks actually does a fair job of porting it to a fantasy setting, as well. It has pretty much everything requested, except for "balanced classes," which isn't really a big deal, since there are no classes.

Another vote here. M&M is far and away my favorite tabletop system, and even where it has flaws, they are readily admitted and the GM is warned to disallow them.