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View Full Version : Looking for a universal RPG system that is nice and simple.



Iron Angel
2015-11-28, 10:47 AM
Looking at GURPS makes my head spin. While its nowhere near the level of mathy and wordy and all around cluster****y that Shadowrun is, its still a lot of +1 this and -1 that, all in a pile with specific rules. I both liked and dislike 5e D&D. I really liked that the superfluous hundred and seventy five +1s you get are all gone, every single one, and that such trivial and swarmy bonuses are replaced with fewer, larger, more meaningful ones. I DID NOT like how simplistic characters were, with them being able to do almost anything without having any real weaknesses.

So I'm looking for a system with simple, adaptable, and varied rules, with interesting and meaningful character creation. Gurps comes close but the "math upon rules" as someone else put it is a little taxing.

Fri
2015-11-28, 11:32 AM
I only use 2 universal rpg system nowadays.

FATE if I want something more freeform and narrative (in the line of if I want each characters can do more varying things with their small amount of skills or powers)

Mutants and Mastermind if I want something more specific (in the line of if I want each character's powers or skills are more defined).

From your opening post, FATE might be too simple for your need, so you might want to try Mutants and Masterminds. Despite the name, I believe it's a good system that can be used for any setting or genre. And Mutants and Mastermind 2e have various additional books for your need anyway (like Warriors and Warlocks if you need more specific dndish fantasy genre, and Mecha and Manga which actually got rules for standard Anime-based games, Mecha-based games, and Pet-based games ala pokemon, digimon, or devil summoners). But the core book is actually enough for any need in my opinion.

Mark Hall
2015-11-28, 12:01 PM
I'm a big fan of Savage Worlds for this sort of thing. Most of the game boils down to "Roll a die. If it's a 4 or better, it's good. If it's a higher multiple of 4, it's really good", but there are a lot of options in the game to deal with complexity, while making good, clear characters with definite strengths and weaknesses.

Fri
2015-11-28, 12:09 PM
Savage world might be a nice in between, since after thinking about it, I think MnM is too complex for your need.

Iron Angel
2015-11-28, 12:15 PM
Thanks much for the replies guys! I'll take a look at Savage Worlds since it seems to be what you both agree on.

Knaight
2015-11-29, 06:42 AM
I'd recommend looking into savage worlds as well, with the caveat that I personally dislike it. With that said, the system I do the bulk of my gaming with is Fudge, and it's a generic. It's a fairly traditional game, made by someone who was a GURPS writer but decided GURPS was needlessly crunchy. The downside is that there tends to be some setup required. The basic rules are free though, so it's worth checking out.

Fri
2015-11-29, 04:53 PM
Yes, I like FATE as well (which is customized Fudge) but it might be too simple for OP. From his post, I think he'd want something a bit more crunchy. Not saying that FATE or Fudge don't have enough rules, it's just I think the rule type are different than what the OP want.

Anonymouswizard
2015-11-29, 05:23 PM
I've never understood the idea that GURPS is particularly maths-heavy or complicated. It is very front-loaded, with involved character creation and the GM having to decide all the optional rules, but it's a very simple core system.

Actually answering your question, If you like more pulpy/action games then Savage Worlds is a good choice. Fate is also very good if you like narrative gaming, but if you aren't used to it characters might feel rather samey, but understanding the system means two characters with similar skill lists can feel rather different by using stunts and aspects (the game also recommends character have a rank in more than half of the skills).

I've never played Fudge, but I'm interested in it. How does Fate differ from it.

Knaight
2015-11-29, 07:30 PM
I've never understood the idea that GURPS is particularly maths-heavy or complicated. It is very front-loaded, with involved character creation and the GM having to decide all the optional rules, but it's a very simple core system.

Actually answering your question, If you like more pulpy/action games then Savage Worlds is a good choice. Fate is also very good if you like narrative gaming, but if you aren't used to it characters might feel rather samey, but understanding the system means two characters with similar skill lists can feel rather different by using stunts and aspects (the game also recommends character have a rank in more than half of the skills).

I've never played Fudge, but I'm interested in it. How does Fate differ from it.

On GURPS: Consider the damage tables, the extremely narrow skill list, the wonders of GURPS Vehicles, etc. The absolute core dice mechanic is simple, but there's a lot added on top of that.

On Fudge: While Fate is nominally Fudge based, they are two very different systems by now. Fudge has a different ladder, 0 centered with fewer levels, it uses a more traditional Gift/Flaw system in lieu of Aspects, it's perfectly willing to use modifiers, it has some actual crunch baked into how it handles things of different sizes, optional combat mechanics, it generally employs attributes to some extent where Fate doesn't, etc. It's also even further to the tool kit side than GURPS is, and takes a bit of GMing skill.