View Full Version : New systems?

2007-12-11, 10:23 PM
My gaming group is starting to get sick of the D20 system. D&D is getting a bit old. We want to know where we could find a good system to try out. the cheaper to obtain the better.

2007-12-11, 10:40 PM
If you like the fantasy setting and everything, I hear Burning Wheel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Wheel) is rather good. Humans, elves, orcs, etc...but with Burning Wheel mechanics.

I hear there's even a subsystem used for solving verbal arguments that is quite dynamic, including something like 7 verbal maneuvers with parries/counters/strikes and things of that kind.

2007-12-11, 10:56 PM
I thoroughly enjoyed the single session of HERO System that I played, though I hear the books for it are pretty expensive.

Back over the week of Thanksgiving I got a few games for free in a giveaway on another site (Runequest and Rolemaster, I think, plus some others), but I haven't gotten to play them yet.

Also, I'm sure if you look around, there are some non-d20 games out there online for free. You'd have to look pretty hard, and they might not be good systems, but free is a pretty good motivator for me.

purple gelatinous cube o' Doom
2007-12-11, 10:58 PM
The three that come to mind are:

Any White Wolf setting
Call of Cthulhu (The good version, not the lame D20 one). This may be hard to find.
Any Decipher Press setting (the main two being LOTR and Star Trek)

2007-12-12, 12:11 AM
While these systems are d20, published under the OGL, I have found both Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Ed. and the Conan RPG 2nd ed. to be refreshingly different than standard D&D. Both have much better combat systems and more balanced characters, as well as interesting settings. (another advantage to M&M at least is that Green Ronin sells the books in PDF on their website, so you can knock 10-15$ off the price tag by buying them that way).
While I normally don't recommend Palladium products, if modern horror/conspiracy is your bag try out Beyond the Supernatural, 1st edition (the 2nd edition sucks). You can probably find a used copy pretty cheap, and its a decently put together game, with an excellent character generation system (albeit a bit "low-powered" compared to the standard Palladium line). You can also mix-and-match stuff from Ninjas and Superspies into it fairly easily, which is another great game that's heavily inspired by 70's and 80's action films.

2007-12-12, 12:14 AM
I really like Mutants&Masterminds 2e, and have recently (within a week) been introduced to GURPS, which I am enjoying trying out.

M&M is more rules lite. GURPS is more realistic.

Lord Tataraus
2007-12-12, 12:23 AM
If you don't mind comedic games, Pokéthulhu (http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/pokethulhu.htm) and Risus (http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/risus.htm) are good ones, though Risus can be used for serious games though I'll warn you it is extremely rules light. Both of those are free.

While I personally have not played it there is Spirit of the Century (http://www.crackmonkey.org/~nick/loyhargil/fate3/fate3.html), it seems like a really good game and the SRD is all free and everything you need to play.

And if you have the time to browser through it, the Encyclopedia of RPGs (http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/encyclopedia/fulllist.html). Sometimes its great to go to a random spot and google a few of them.

2007-12-12, 12:25 AM
Give Fate/Spirit of the Century (http://faterpg.com/) a try. Fate 2.0 is a free download with all of the rules, and Fate 3.0/SotC SRD is online. it's a major step away from d20 systems.

2007-12-12, 12:28 AM
For Tolkienesque fantasy, I'll second Burning Wheel - it's really nifty. Very rules heavy, though - it's not an easy read.

Spirit of the Century is also a great choice, and will support a great pulp game.

If you want a narrative style of game, give Dogs in the Vineyard a try. A completely different mechanic, no hit points, no skills, no feats, it's all attributes, and conflict resolution is completely unlike anything you've played before. And it makes for kick-butt stories.

If you're looking for more straightforward fantasy, give Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay a try. Rollicking deadly fun there - with insanity points!

2007-12-12, 12:41 AM
I thoroughly enjoyed the single session of HERO System that I played, though I hear the books for it are pretty expensive.

The corebook stops bullets. Literally.

2007-12-12, 03:40 AM
What, more or less, are you looking for?

Specific setting or generic?
Specific type or universal?
Realism or Cinematic?

2007-12-12, 05:33 AM
Earthdawn for heroic, epic fantasy. Fading Suns for a kitchen sink sci-fi/fantasy world where you can play adventures of any kind. Exalted for heroic, epic fantasy with anime style.

All these systems are great, but unfortunately, while you can play all of them with just the core rulebook, for the best experience you should buy some additional books, too.

2007-12-12, 06:25 AM
yeah, Fate (www.faterpg.com) is quite different from D20 but it is good. And free.

I have already mentioned it elsewhere, but another one free is JAGS (www.jagsrpg.org) even if you don't like the system the settings are worth reading IMHO

if you want more and have the patience to browse throught it, a "little" list of free RPG on the net


also two very good previously commercial games made legally downloadable for free

witchcraft http://www.edenstudios.net/witchcraft/

Ars Magica 4th edition (just google "ars magica pdf" and you should find it, right now I can't do it)

2007-12-12, 06:51 AM

Mechwarrior 3rd ed is a great system if your going for something modern to future, and your willing to tweak the world flavor a bit. Even better if you like the setting.

You could give BESM a try, as long as you stay away from the d20 variant. Be prepared for more off the wall, and less serious style play, as it doesn't lend it'self to the realistic flavor of gameplay as much.

And of course, there's Amber, if you don't mind the whole Diceless part.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-12-12, 07:00 AM
Let us not forget GURPS or Shadowrun. One is probably the ultimate (If rules heavy) RPG, and has awesome settings, and the other one is a really fun futuristic game. If you'd like to try the second, make sure you check 3rd ed. It's usually considered better to the current 4th.

2007-12-12, 08:10 AM
You could give BESM a try, as long as you stay away from the d20 variant. Be prepared for more off the wall, and less serious style play, as it doesn't lend it'self to the realistic flavor of gameplay as much.

The tri-stat system (BESM lite, so to speak) is free, too

Titanium Dragon
2007-12-12, 06:20 PM
My reccommendations:

GURPS (the Generic Universal Role-Playing System); it can handle most any kind of campaign. That said, the realism level for it is much higher than for, say, D&D; not sure if you find that desirable or not. The downside is making characters takes a while (read: Many hours).

Alternity - An old system published by TSR in the late 1990s; if you can find a copy, it is probably cheap. It is quite good, but it is ill-suited to fantasy games; it is more of a modern/post-modern game. It is fun, and has a "cinematic realism" feel to it (making it pretty much the most realistic RPG I've played). It also is pretty easy to learn and pick up quickly.

2007-12-12, 08:31 PM
FATE/SoTC are great systems that can be made to support a variety of genres.

Paranoia XP is great if you're looking for something different. It's a Sci-Fi comedy game where players are in the service of an insane computer.

Unkown Armies is my favorite occult game, but also is good for gritty, modern campaigns.

2007-12-12, 08:57 PM
Shadowrun is a little weird (elves with guns!) but a good system. I also really like The Shadow of Yesterday (http://zork.net/~nick/loyhargil/tsoy2/book1--rulebook.html). It's not very popular, but I like it because it's a simple, straightforward, and very customizable system. Imagine it like D&D that lets you invent your own feats and class features every time you make a character.

Thane of Fife
2007-12-12, 08:57 PM
Here's (http://www.homebrew.net/games/) a site with a bunch of free homebrew systems.

While I haven't tried any of them, ICAR looks like a very intriguing sci-fi system.