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Milo v3
2018-02-28, 06:18 PM
I'm hoping to run a campaign where the players are vSport athletes in the future, where they competitively play a virtual reality game similar to Overwatch. The plan is to handle the "real-world" parts of the campaign through freeform, but I am trying to find different options for what system could potentially handle the gameplay of the vSport.

Some people have suggested FATE but that seems to have the issue of videogame characters not really having personality issues which can be drawn upon to get Fate Points, also unsure whether it'd have enough mechanical depth to cover so many characters and have them all play differently mechanically.

Mark Hall
2018-02-28, 06:57 PM
While the game characters might not, the game players certainly do... they'll be overly cautious, or too competitive, or what have you.

mabriss lethe
2018-02-28, 06:59 PM
RemiNES might be a fun system to use for the vsports sessions. (It's built to model old school nintendo games, but it's a simple system that could be fleshed out a decent degree for a more immersive game.)

Grod_The_Giant
2018-02-28, 07:21 PM
If you want a reasonably crunchy generic system that can handle a wide variety of character types, I'd point you at Mutants and Masterminds. It's not that good at dealing with a bunch of varieties of, oh, "guy with sword," but if you want a stretchy guy, a telepath-with-an-alien-arm, an earthbender, a flying saucer, and a Machamp in the same party*, nothing is better. If you're thinking about Fate, perhaps look at the Dresden Files version? That's got a fair bit of reasonably-crunchy attention to magic/monster powers, which could be used to build a lot of things.

But I guess a better question is perhaps "what feel are you looking for in the vsport sections?"




*This way my last group!

Knaight
2018-02-28, 07:22 PM
It looks like you want a system which easily accommodates a lot of characters (making rapid character generation a good thing), which favors mechanical differentiation of said characters, and that Fate is at least being seriously considered. It also looks like you probably want a fairly detailed subsystem at the center of the game, given that it's the eSport analog that's getting the mechanical attention.

With how eSports tend to work I also think that a primary stat-skill system is probably not as good a fit as a primary powers-talents system, particularly with Overwatch as inspiration instead of Counterstrike.

This suggests something on the HERO/GURPS/Mutants and Masterminds*/Savage Worlds side of the universal spectrum. If you're seriously considering Fate and at all comfortable with freeform HERO is probably a bit excessive with rules weight. GURPS is pretty comparable to D&D 5e in rules complexity, M&M and Savage Worlds both a bit lighter. Savage Worlds in particular is a pretty good fit, although I don't personally like it as a system.

*Technically a superhero system, but it's broadly applicable and this is right up its alley.

Milo v3
2018-02-28, 09:14 PM
While the game characters might not, the game players certainly do... they'll be overly cautious, or too competitive, or what have you.
Except that has nothing to do with the characters the athletes are playing.


RemiNES might be a fun system to use for the vsports sessions. (It's built to model old school nintendo games, but it's a simple system that could be fleshed out a decent degree for a more immersive game.)
I was under the impression that RemiNES was a pretty rules-lite system. How much fleshing out would be required to handle making sure 30 different characters all provide different experiences?


If you want a reasonably crunchy generic system that can handle a wide variety of character types, I'd point you at Mutants and Masterminds. It's not that good at dealing with a bunch of varieties of, oh, "guy with sword," but if you want a stretchy guy, a telepath-with-an-alien-arm, an earthbender, a flying saucer, and a Machamp in the same party*, nothing is better.
Yeah I've already gotten a few requests for heroes like "Swarm of ravens", "Bug Summoner", "Time Manipulating Healer", "Gravity Mainpulating Robots", "Big Guy in Rock Armour with Jackhammer's built into the Arms". Though I'm not sure how I'd make Mutants and Masterminds lethal enough without making support characters useless, because when I played it previously the fights seemed to take a long time.

Might have to lower the turn-time to 3 seconds rather than 6 as well just because only one attack or ability per 6 seconds would be abit weird for a game like Overwatch. But changing the turn time doesn't seem like it would mess up with much considering the speed + time = distance thing.


If you're thinking about Fate, perhaps look at the Dresden Files version? That's got a fair bit of reasonably-crunchy attention to magic/monster powers, which could be used to build a lot of things.
To be clear, I wasn't "thinking about Fate", I've just had it suggested to me previously. But I can give Dresden Files a look.


But I guess a better question is perhaps "what feel are you looking for in the vsport sections?"
30ish Heroes to choose from, teams of 4 to 6 (depending on how many players I can reliably round up), fighting an NPC team of equal size and roster options. Some focused on Damage, others battlefield manipulation, some Tanks, some Support Heroes. Every character should have enough mechanical depth to feel different to the others and provide different utilities to the group when it comes to defeating enemies in combat or capturing an objective.

People dying and respawning within a few turns will be a thing, but that will probably be handled via houserules assuming I can find a system that have short but highly lethal fights which doesn't leave support heroes useless.


It looks like you want a system which easily accommodates a lot of characters (making rapid character generation a good thing), which favors mechanical differentiation of said characters, and that Fate is at least being seriously considered. It also looks like you probably want a fairly detailed subsystem at the center of the game, given that it's the eSport analog that's getting the mechanical attention.

With how eSports tend to work I also think that a primary stat-skill system is probably not as good a fit as a primary powers-talents system, particularly with Overwatch as inspiration instead of Counterstrike.

This suggests something on the HERO/GURPS/Mutants and Masterminds*/Savage Worlds side of the universal spectrum. If you're seriously considering Fate and at all comfortable with freeform HERO is probably a bit excessive with rules weight. GURPS is pretty comparable to D&D 5e in rules complexity, M&M and Savage Worlds both a bit lighter. Savage Worlds in particular is a pretty good fit, although I don't personally like it as a system.

*Technically a superhero system, but it's broadly applicable and this is right up its alley.
I can give HERO/Mutants and Masterminds/Savage Worlds a look. GURPS would probably require me to purchase more books than I'd desire so I'm hesitant. I actually have no idea what HERO's mechanics are like, so I shall go google things.

lightningcat
2018-02-28, 09:34 PM
I would say playing GURPS is about as rules heavy as D&D 5e, but character creation is closer to 3.5 level, but you actually only need 2 books to play it. The rest of the books are mostly for ideas, imho. But it sounds like Savage Worlds might be your best choice. Bennies could literally be something that they can collect or earn inside the game, kill streak rewards or something like that.
The nice part of having it as an eSport, is if everything fails to work, you can "patch" the game and switch systems to get something closer to what you are wanting. That trick might only work once, but it is available.

Milo v3
2018-02-28, 09:38 PM
Looking at Savage Worlds right now, it seems like the powers are super specific compared to the other systems mentioned in this thread so far. I feel like I'm missing something. There only seems to even be one way to heal, which would make the support category insanely boring.

Grod_The_Giant
2018-02-28, 10:24 PM
If you want to make M&M more lethal-feeling, you could maybe try allowing offensive abilities at a higher pl than defenses? Changing the turn-time shouldn't matter too much, though I don't think it'll really be worth worrying about-- everyone's pretty used to one attack routine/turn.

Milo v3
2018-02-28, 10:27 PM
If you want to make M&M more lethal-feeling, you could maybe try allowing offensive abilities at a higher pl than defenses?
Could work.


Changing the turn-time shouldn't matter too much, though I don't think it'll really be worth worrying about-- everyone's pretty used to one attack routine/turn.
The one attack/turn would still be a thing, it's more 1 attack per 6 seconds, and the fact that it makes it harder to handle cooldowns the longer turns are "in-setting".

Algeh
2018-03-01, 12:04 AM
I'd go for GURPS, but it's my "native" system so it's what I tend to go for unless whatever I'm trying to do is a really terrible fit. (It was the first system I learned how to play back in middle school many years ago, so on some level it's "how RPGs are supposed to work" in my head.)

It'd be a particularly good fit if I'm understanding you right that there'd be a "stable" of 30-ish vSports "characters" that would be the only characters that would need to be created and everyone would just pick one each time their "real" character wanted to play the in-game game. In my experience, GURPS takes a long time to create characters in but is fairly fast to play unless you're using the advanced combat rules (note: I played a lot of 3rd edition GURPS and barely touched 4th due to having less spare time after 4th came out). You and your group could spend a few sessions sitting around and creating all kinds of cool things that struck your fancy using the character creation system, then choose which ones "made the cut" as characters in the game-game after you have a stack of ideas. You could even outsource some of that character creation to online forums (I'd be happy to take a stab at it if you came up with a point value, some ideas on kinds of things you were looking for, and which supplements were allowed, and I suspect you'd get even more takers on a more GURPS-friendly forum).

1337 b4k4
2018-03-01, 12:30 AM
You might check out the World Wide Wrestling RPG (https://ndpdesign.com/wwwrpg/). It's a PBtA game, so not particularly generic, but what strikes me as useful to you is that it's specifically designed around the idea of playing these characters that are people in the real world, and different characters in the ring. Re-skin the wrestling parts to be vSport specific things and you should have a workable system. Even if you can't use it directly, it might be sufficiently inspiring for you to build on the Apocalypse engine for your own game.

Anxe
2018-03-01, 02:27 AM
Blades in the Dark might not be a bad fit. The skills are pretty general, but easily applicable to a lot of different situations. Competitiveness is already built in. There's an easy path to explain cheating in the VR and how to handle non-VR actions between competitive bouts. There'd need to be some modification, but it seems like a good fit as I see it.

kyoryu
2018-03-01, 11:43 AM
What do you want to do with the in-game parts? Basically a tactical engine?

ImNotTrevor
2018-03-01, 02:41 PM
What do you want to do with the in-game parts? Basically a tactical engine?

This is what I was wondering.

Below is how I'd approach it, skip if not interested.

For something like FATE Accelerated I can't help but imagine that this would be a breeze, but that's because my perception is obviously different.

Namely, switching characters doesn't negate what styles of play you are good at. So a Forceful-based guy would be good with straightforward attacker types. All of them. The player of the game matters moreso than the character does. For instance back when I played League of Legends I was a Support main. I could play pretty much all supports equally well. I could do Jungle fairly well if needed, and I struggled elsewhere. (I started getting OK at toplane before I stopped playing.)

Characters would be a matter of aspects and fictional positioning. Obviously attacking a sniper with a melee ranged character will be harder than attacking a short-range assassin.

Heals would be advantages, or support mains could have stunts for that.


But that's all a thinking game. It sounds like, correct me if I'm wrong, you basically want to make a bunch of characters that your players switch between in the virtual combat, meaning you want it not to be about the fight between Team PC and Team NPC, not really, but more about the actual combat between the game characters being simulated.

Which no, Fate won't do that kind of nitty-gritty detail well. It will prioritize the PC as Player over PC as FPS Character.

So I guess run it as two systems? One for when they walk around as people and another for when they are fighting. Don't bother with a system that does both if the player stuff is made minor or irrelevant once combat starts. So basically:
Find a system for sci-fi combat that you like. Use it for fights and that's it. Maybe Stars Without Number? It's combat is lethal and they have psychic powers that heal and can be a baseline to make some additional healing stuff. (Guns that deal damage as healing instead of damage would be an easy swap.)

For the rest... whatever makes sense to you.

mikeejimbo
2018-03-01, 03:26 PM
I'd go for GURPS, but it's my "native" system so it's what I tend to go for unless whatever I'm trying to do is a really terrible fit. (It was the first system I learned how to play back in middle school many years ago, so on some level it's "how RPGs are supposed to work" in my head.)

It'd be a particularly good fit if I'm understanding you right that there'd be a "stable" of 30-ish vSports "characters" that would be the only characters that would need to be created and everyone would just pick one each time their "real" character wanted to play the in-game game. In my experience, GURPS takes a long time to create characters in but is fairly fast to play unless you're using the advanced combat rules (note: I played a lot of 3rd edition GURPS and barely touched 4th due to having less spare time after 4th came out). You and your group could spend a few sessions sitting around and creating all kinds of cool things that struck your fancy using the character creation system, then choose which ones "made the cut" as characters in the game-game after you have a stack of ideas. You could even outsource some of that character creation to online forums (I'd be happy to take a stab at it if you came up with a point value, some ideas on kinds of things you were looking for, and which supplements were allowed, and I suspect you'd get even more takers on a more GURPS-friendly forum).

I think GURPS would be really fun for this, and you'd only need the Basic Set and probably Powers. That is three books though.

The level of granularity you use for the combat could be easily explained by the programming. For a tactical game you'd likely want to go a bit more into the tactical combat, but could ignore knockdown, knockback and stunning except for characters that specifically have those abilities.

Milo v3
2018-03-01, 05:20 PM
You might check out the World Wide Wrestling RPG (https://ndpdesign.com/wwwrpg/). It's a PBtA game, so not particularly generic, but what strikes me as useful to you is that it's specifically designed around the idea of playing these characters that are people in the real world, and different characters in the ring. Re-skin the wrestling parts to be vSport specific things and you should have a workable system. Even if you can't use it directly, it might be sufficiently inspiring for you to build on the Apocalypse engine for your own game.
Only 10 different character types is definitely no where near enough, and I don't really see the audience having any effect on the gameplay. As for making my own Apocalypse Engine, that sounds like a tonne of work, especially making 30ish playbooks.


Blades in the Dark might not be a bad fit. The skills are pretty general, but easily applicable to a lot of different situations. Competitiveness is already built in. There's an easy path to explain cheating in the VR and how to handle non-VR actions between competitive bouts. There'd need to be some modification, but it seems like a good fit as I see it.
I can't really tell what sort of game this is from the product page.


What do you want to do with the in-game parts? Basically a tactical engine?

"30ish Heroes to choose from, teams of 4 to 6 (depending on how many players I can reliably round up), fighting an NPC team of equal size and roster options. Some focused on Damage, others battlefield manipulation, some Tanks, some Support Heroes. Every character should have enough mechanical depth to feel different to the others and provide different utilities to the group when it comes to defeating enemies in combat or capturing an objective.

People dying and respawning within a few turns will be a thing, but that will probably be handled via houserules assuming I can find a system that have short but highly lethal fights which doesn't leave support heroes useless. "


This is what I was wondering.

Below is how I'd approach it, skip if not interested.

For something like FATE Accelerated I can't help but imagine that this would be a breeze, but that's because my perception is obviously different.

Namely, switching characters doesn't negate what styles of play you are good at. So a Forceful-based guy would be good with straightforward attacker types. All of them. The player of the game matters moreso than the character does. For instance back when I played League of Legends I was a Support main. I could play pretty much all supports equally well. I could do Jungle fairly well if needed, and I struggled elsewhere. (I started getting OK at toplane before I stopped playing.)

Characters would be a matter of aspects and fictional positioning. Obviously attacking a sniper with a melee ranged character will be harder than attacking a short-range assassin.

Heals would be advantages, or support mains could have stunts for that.


But that's all a thinking game. It sounds like, correct me if I'm wrong, you basically want to make a bunch of characters that your players switch between in the virtual combat, meaning you want it not to be about the fight between Team PC and Team NPC, not really, but more about the actual combat between the game characters being simulated.

Which no, Fate won't do that kind of nitty-gritty detail well. It will prioritize the PC as Player over PC as FPS Character.

So I guess run it as two systems? One for when they walk around as people and another for when they are fighting. Don't bother with a system that does both if the player stuff is made minor or irrelevant once combat starts. So basically:
Find a system for sci-fi combat that you like. Use it for fights and that's it. Maybe Stars Without Number? It's combat is lethal and they have psychic powers that heal and can be a baseline to make some additional healing stuff. (Guns that deal damage as healing instead of damage would be an easy swap.)

For the rest... whatever makes sense to you.
The "Real World" stuff wont just be minor when playing the game, I have no plans for the "real world" sections to have any mechanics since it'll basically just be talking. Also, that method of Fate would remove any real point in the multiple characters and give no real opportunity for much strategy.

Stars Without Number can't really represent many different character types.


I think GURPS would be really fun for this, and you'd only need the Basic Set and probably Powers. That is three books though.

The level of granularity you use for the combat could be easily explained by the programming. For a tactical game you'd likely want to go a bit more into the tactical combat, but could ignore knockdown, knockback and stunning except for characters that specifically have those abilities.
Wait, I thought basic set was only one book? Also, how would you represent cooldowns in GURPS?

Grod_The_Giant
2018-03-01, 08:20 PM
"30ish Heroes to choose from, teams of 4 to 6 (depending on how many players I can reliably round up), fighting an NPC team of equal size and roster options. Some focused on Damage, others battlefield manipulation, some Tanks, some Support Heroes. Every character should have enough mechanical depth to feel different to the others and provide different utilities to the group when it comes to defeating enemies in combat or capturing an objective.

People dying and respawning within a few turns will be a thing, but that will probably be handled via houserules assuming I can find a system that have short but highly lethal fights which doesn't leave support heroes useless. "
Could you work something using 4e D&D? It's been accused of being video-game-y often enough; why not turn it into an actual video game? Lots of crunchy depth, clearly-defined character roles, highly tactical gameplay, all that good stuff. Looks like they published 27 classes, not counting subclasses-- those could be your roster of heroes, with power and path choices representing different player builds. Encounter powers could easily be turned into, oh, five-round cooldown powers.

Milo v3
2018-03-01, 09:11 PM
Could you work something using 4e D&D? It's been accused of being video-game-y often enough; why not turn it into an actual video game? Lots of crunchy depth, clearly-defined character roles, highly tactical gameplay, all that good stuff. Looks like they published 27 classes, not counting subclasses-- those could be your roster of heroes, with power and path choices representing different player builds. Encounter powers could easily be turned into, oh, five-round cooldown powers.

That does restrict the character concepts possible (No swarm of raven characters for example), but it's definitely worth a look. I do worry about whether characters would have too many abilities though.

Wait, in 4e, NPCs aren't built like PCs anymore are they?

Edit: Looks like the too many abilities thing wont be an issue because of higher level abilities replacing lower-level ones, but I'm not entirely sure how NPCs would end up being handled in this.

Grod_The_Giant
2018-03-01, 10:34 PM
I'm not super familiar with 4e anymore, but I see no reason why you couldn't build NPCs like PCs-- you need the same basic stats, PCs just get more specials and a lot more nova potential-- which, I guess, would help increase lethality. You do lose a lot of weird character builds, though.

Anxe
2018-03-01, 11:11 PM
4E
4e NPCs are built like PCs, but have fewer abilities. Where PCs get 2 or 3 dailies, NPCs get 1. There's also nothing really stopping you from giving the NPCs powers from whatever class you feel like as long as it creates the feel you wanted in the character. You can create an NPC in the same way that you would for a PC, but its usually not worth the extra time.

You should also factor in races for character concepts. Like the swarm of ravens thing you mentioned. The Shardmind race can turn itself into a cloud of psionic crystals and reform in a different location. Not all that different from a character turning into a swarm of ravens and reforming somewhere else.

Blades in the Dark
Blades in the Dark matches your description pretty well. There's 10 character classes which feel different. You can mix and match between the classes easily to create more combinations that might get what you're looking for. There's an SRD of sorts available here: https://bladesinthedark.com/basics

Mechanically, Blades in the Dark has you rolling as many dice as you have points in a skill, up to 4. If you roll at 4 or 5 on any of the dice you get a partial success. A 6 is a complete success. Two 6s is a critical success. The effect of those successes is dictated by the situation and who you're up against (competing with). You're able to improve your situation by declaring a risk that your character is taking, by having the team help you out, OR by having a flashback to how you'd planned for the situation you're in. Flashbacks are a great mechanic in the game to show how a pro prepares for everything!

Blades in the Dark has a default setting of an apocalyptic fantasy world where you're a team of criminals working to complete jobs. You'd have to adapt the jobs to be VR matches or something. There are good mechanics for what your characters do between jobs or matches. There's also mechanics for what other groups are doing (your rival teams, villains, VR sport organizations).

Example: Your character is in a bad spot during a VR match. There's a difficult task he has to complete. You use a flashback to show that your character practiced for this particular challenge and can do it in his sleep. Unfortunately, prepping for the challenge gave your character CTS. Now he has an injury he has to overcome for the rest of the match. After the match is over your character goes to physical therapy. While there your character runs into a rival team member who is going to the same therapist. And so on.

ImNotTrevor
2018-03-02, 12:06 AM
The "Real World" stuff wont just be minor when playing the game, I have no plans for the "real world" sections to have any mechanics since it'll basically just be talking. Also, that method of Fate would remove any real point in the multiple characters and give no real opportunity for much strategy.

Stars Without Number can't really represent many different character types.


SWN is much more flexible than the 3 class apparent structure makes it look. (I would know, I've built some weird stuff in it.)

But let's reframe the request for accuracy by removing extraneous detail:
The fact that these VG characters are played by humans is utterly irrelevant. The skills and preferences of the players are a null factor for one reason or another.
What IS wanted is Overwatch: The Board Game with some talking around it. That's a harder nut to crack.

I'd say go with M&M modified for higher lethality. You really only want the combat portion of whatever system, so at this point you may as well pick any combat system you happen to like and could refluff without breaking your back over it.

Theoboldi
2018-03-02, 01:37 AM
You may want to check out Legend. (http://www.ruleofcool.com) It's aclass-based system where each class is built from 3 or 4 different ability tracks, all of which can be mixed up as desired to create new combinations. It has a huge focus on tactical combat with clearly defined class abilities and game terms, making it feel quite gamey.

NPCs and PCs are also built with the same rules. It is technically an unfinished product, but its only really missing a monster manual. The actual game is very playable and free.

Rhedyn
2018-03-02, 01:24 PM
I'm hoping to run a campaign where the players are vSport athletes in the future, where they competitively play a virtual reality game similar to Overwatch. The plan is to handle the "real-world" parts of the campaign through freeform, but I am trying to find different options for what system could potentially handle the gameplay of the vSport.

Some people have suggested FATE but that seems to have the issue of videogame characters not really having personality issues which can be drawn upon to get Fate Points, also unsure whether it'd have enough mechanical depth to cover so many characters and have them all play differently mechanically.
The Savage Worlds setting of Interface Zero has virtual reality avatar rules along with ways to upgrade the avatar and rules for how player abilities interact with it.


Powers are generic, trappings make them specific. Normal "magic" has some tools while super powers companion adds a lot more (but buffing is unsupported in comic books so it is unsupported in super powers).

Aside from that, you have a mid-crunch, comprehensive system that covers everything from Cavemen to Starship combat with the core rule companions.

Nifft
2018-03-03, 11:06 AM
You could handle both the "real-world" and the "in-the-game" aspects with GURPS, and distinguish them by using a different set of source-books for each of them.

Mental & social skills would carry over between "worlds", and characters who are inspiring in "reality" would also be able to inspire their team-mates via in-game talk or whatever.

...

Hmm, thinking in those terms makes it sound a bit like the PC is "sleeving" into a new 'morph a la Eclipse Phase.

Not sure if that system would work well for your purposes, but it's an interesting system which was fun to play.

Knaight
2018-03-03, 02:48 PM
If you're still on board with the idea of basically freeform except for when in a somewhat detailed combat, Anima Prime might just fit this. It's made to emulate shonen battle manga/anime, and that transfers over weirdly well to videogames, it's a deeply powers based system that can easily accommodate 30 characters, and the actual combat system appears pretty interesting for people who like their extended and frequent combats.

It's also free.

Absol197
2018-03-04, 02:39 AM
There's also Genesys, the new system from Fantasy Flight using the same baseline as their Star Wars system. The title is literally putting the words "Generic System" together, and it's intent is to be a stock system that can be used in any setting you want.

Character creation is fast, the variety of talents lets you customize characters really well, and the narrative dice system lets you do some crazy things.

From what you've said, my guess is that it might be a bit outside the box for you, but I wanted to mention it, because I think it does pretty much exactly what you're looking for.

Elana
2018-03-04, 03:34 AM
I would go for Mutants and Masterminds.
If you want to increase the "deadliness" here are two easy modifications

For Afflictions drop the first effect. so
1 success becomes 2nd effect,
2 successes becomes 3rd effect for a few minutes/rounds whatever
3 successes make it "permanent"

For damage you drop the second effect. So it turns to
1 success, penalty on toughness saves
2 successes Staggered
3 successes Incapacitated
4 Successes "Dead"

Of course permanent and death effects are not quite as permanent when it is stuff happening inside a virtual reality

And of course if someone uses limited degree on affliction it turns back from 2nd and 3rd to 1st and 2nd degree..no free points here :)


Should you also want to scale down things to be less 4 color style I recommend changing the Rank Table to only double every 2 levels(the mid way points would be 40% higher than the value below)
And double the damage of guns.
As a bonus that would actually make a strength of 7 about the actual human maximum, so it is no longer the one stat breaking that rule