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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Here's a link to a page with a reader: http://2d6game.blogspot.com/

    Or if you prefer to download it directly: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/84698957/2d6

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    edit: new links
    Last edited by lothofkalroth; 2011-07-13 at 10:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    One little nitpicky thing I see: The entry on Power under Talents just cuts off, so you might want to fix that.

    Other than that, I think this is a pretty good representation of streamlined RPG. It has a lot of versatility but is concise enough to offer a fun roleplaying environment. I like it.

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Thanks! I realized I accidentally posted an older, unfinished version of the system in my haste to publish, so I changed the above links to take you to the clean version.

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Nice, very streamlined, no nonsense stuff. I like a lot of the ideas.

    How much playtesting have you done?

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Seconded on playtesting, which I'd be willing to do.

    I'd like a little longer in that section on GMing, as the rules, restrictions, and recommendations (while thankfully present, well done there!) aren't quite enough to explain much.
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    smile Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Technically, the newest revision of the rules hasn't been playtested at all, though a very similar version has been playtested extensively. The problem, for a long time, is that when you're dealing with 2d6, the probabilities for rolls are skewed towards a 7, which makes bonuses somewhat trickier to balance. The bonuses I was using were a bit too high, and the skills were originally bought at a 1:1 ratio, which made it way too easy to break a skill.

    However, I'll be playtesting these rules as much as possible. I have a Pleistocene era hunter/gatherer game that I'm about to run, as well as a fantasy prison break, and my friend has been running an ongoing colonial-era vampire hunt for a year now that uses the old version of these rules.

    I'd like to eventually make a site for this system so that people can submit user generated content (baddies, items, characters, plot arcs, even whole game worlds) to keep the content fresh. Since publishing isn't really a lucrative industry, even for on of the big guys like Paizo, Green Ronin, or the dread-publishers WotC, I'm intending on giving it away for free and then selling a bit of adspace to pay for the upkeep of the site.

    Also, there will be another PDF specifically for GMs, as well as one with content for a fantasy setting.

    Thanks everybody for taking an interest, and if you like, any playtesters can have their names added to the credits in the final version!

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    It's an OK-looking game, especially for beer & pretzels. I'll go from the top:
    • Chargen: All your sections for "find X on page Y" have brackets for the page numbers, and no actual numbers there. I assume that's from early drafts. I'd also say that items are very defining for a character, and they deserve their own name in all caps. (STATS, SKILLS, TALENTS, and ITEMS).
    • Stats: The first thing I noticed was that agility and dexterity are on a list (which seems redundant), though the justification of "gross action" and "fine action" sort of makes sense. There doesn't appear to be a stat for stuff like the immune system and resistance to death effects (which was covered by Fortitude, and thusly Constitution, in D&D). I'm not sure if you're rolling that into brawn. If you are, then Brawn is definitely the go-to defensive stat. Also, the names "Brawn", "Brains", and "Attention" are weird names. Brawn and Attention are just unconventional, but Brains bothers me. Ghosts don't have organs for mental processing, but smart ones with have high "Brains" scores. The more regular names are Strength/Body, Intelligence/Logic, and Perception/Intuition.

      The last of my problems here is the negative modifiers. I hate negative modifiers--they've psychological baggage, and from my gaming experience I can guess that positive modifiers end up with characters feeling less like they've been cheated. I recommend starting all stats at 1 (or 0 if you have to, but that's still annoying) and putting the point-buy max at 3.
    • Skills: This section bothers me a lot. I mean, this is the section that determines the ENTIRETY of your offensive and defensive abilities, the "meat and potatoes" of your game... and you've only got 18 skills, about four of which looks like they could be used offensively without special DM favor, and little to no description for them. How does appraise work? What do you get for Intimidating someone (do you inflict a wound)? What does "computers" mean? Why isn't there a pickpocketing skills? What are the schools of magic (are they D&D schools, or elements, or nature/arcane/demon/healing, or ToB-style)? Can't mechanics be a kind of Knowledge skill? How do you decide what stat you use for your performances? Isn't Speech a type of performance?

      Then there's the fact that nothing is set for DCs, which bothers me, but I suppose is all right for a quick game.
    • Talents: These are interesting, but I can see everybody taking Extra Wound, and few people ever taking Credentials, Polyglot, or Improvisation. The problem here is that some of the talents give numeric bonuses, and some provide situational and/or non-numeric bonuses. Those shouldn't be combined.
    • Character Growth: Cinematics deserve their own page and big heading. That's a major part of the game. Also, instead of having "lol I steal the GM controls", I recommend giving them something like most dicepool systems' Edge stat. In SR, if you have an Edge of 5, then 5 times per campaign, you can add 5 dice to your dicepool for any roll. This isn't a dicepool game, but the concept is similar. You could also spend a point of Edge to overcome certain effects like mind control or illusions, and you can also use it as part of last-ditch attempt to save your hide when you're about to die.

      The way you have this written, a talent is worth about 1/10 of a cinematic (makes sense) or two skill points (no way). Skills look way cheaper than talents, especially as advancement gets higher and skills are harder to advance as you go higher. I'd give a new talent per 4 skills points or such, and maybe include increases to stats somewhere in that chart (since you can only increase your stats once with the relevant talent).
    • Race: Min/maxing, here we come! All right, just looking at the outline, I understand why there are bonuses/penalties to stats, as well as the racial powers and detriments. That's totally cool. But I can't, for the life of me, imagine why on earth a player would need to know the diet or reproduction of their race... especially since this is a Rules Lite game, you want to cut the fat where you can, and this is totally useless.

      Now looking at the races themselves. Oh god wat. Humans have the awesome Will to Live power, which is totally awesome and useful, and elves don't need to sleep which is cool but weird for the rest of the party, and then dwarves get a bonus when dealing with cut stone which TOTALLY SUCKS. Then there's the fact that gnomes, orcs, goblins, and ghouls all have sensory-related abilities, which are totally situational. Then halflings are given stats for being small, but gnomes and goblins aren't, which means they must be the size of a dwarf at least (wat). Overall the bonuses and detriments for each given race are totally unbalanced. Chances are everyone will want to go for half-human and take that wonderful "extra chance not to die because the game screwed you over and you actually only have 3-4 HP" ability. Other problems I find are in the information which tells me that gnomes eat insects and only insects (wat) and are awake at night (wat), and that goblins reproduce with themselves like bacteria (o_0).
    • Combat: Combat is intuitive. Beat your opponent on an opposed roll and you get what you want done. However, the "things" you want done are never properly defined. What happens when the defender is tripped--what are the penalties for being prone (Is it the same as being unconscious)? How far is "a short distance"? What are those magic-tea-party options at the disposal of magic users, and which ones are balanced?

      In the middle of the wounds section, we get told about Flaws with "you could be reduced to 2 wounds by the 'Weak' Flaw." and then I'm pretty sure the idea never comes up again. I understand the Brawn save, but its existance pretty much ensures that any race subtracting brawn will be subject to the same hate as races with a penalty to Constitution in D&D. Brawn is what keeps you going and, when you stop going, it's also what keeps you alive.

      Actions make sense. It's kind of funny how you get 2 "free" actions, even though they're supposed to be "free". Hell with it. During the half-round action, "prone" is mentioned... and it isn't mentioned anywhere else. In addition, you can't attack and move in the same turn in this game. Attacking is a full round action, so you spend your entire turn making an attack. And that makes RANGED AND MAGIC KING LOLOLOL. Seriously, something needs to be done about that. In addition, the stat for making a melee attack is never really discussed. At the beginning, Brawn and Dexterity were both given as options, but the scenarios in which either could be used were completely ignored.

      Grappling is all right, but I've always been bothered at how nimbleness stats never get to be added to grapples. That seems way more important in things like Judo or close Aikido grapples. So I recommend you let people add Dexterity to this, since it needs some more love. The rules fail to state what range you need to be in to grapple, and whether defending in a grapple uses someone's turn. Also, pinning isn't covered here, and neither is picking people up... and those are going to happen far more in RPGs than suffocation.

      The critical success/failure mechanic is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. First off, I believe you meant to use 12, not 11, for the auto-success mechanic. Secondly, this means that on EVERYTHING (from building a time machine to removing the effects of gravity by waving phallic symbols in the air) will succeed about 1 out of every 36 times. That's dumb. What's even worse is the "roll critical success, WIN COMBAT LOLOLOL", because that's going to totally screw PCs over. In just one session, the dice will drop over 36 times in rolls against the players, and the players will drop dice more than 36 times in their own rolls. So the chances are very freaking high that the PCs will totally lose in combat multiple times, simply because one guy rolled snake eyes when he was trying to attack that rat with 1 wound box and no skill points. This is a bad idea.
    • Items: Kay, items and special items. So players pick their most important shtick, get a special item for that and try to play magical tea party to get the best special ability they can, then reinforce any of their other desires with other items, and trash the rest. Woo. There's absolutely no handle or guideline on what a "special use" is.
    • Game Mastering: Guidelines for difficulties is nice, but this section doesn't include how to make environments or what good balance points are for monsters (the focus of RPGs like this), both of which are INCREDIBLY important. The examples for difficulty classes bothers me (Ex: is cutting rope REALLY that hard? I'd put it at a difficulty of "Pedestrian", DC 2-4, along with driving a car in average conditions and putting on a band-aid properly. "Not getting drunk", "holding a wall up", and "knowing a well-kept secret" are missing information to make them sensible).

    Those are my two coppers. This system needs more flesh, and also needs to make more sense. I recommend looking at Frank Trollman's Alternate World of Darkness book, for a nice set of sensible skills (though he also has special abilities in his game, which offsets the fact that "Combat" is one skill all of its own. Your word is the final word, though). I recommend writing some use-based abilities, because this game looks like tactics would be boring as all hell.

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    no offense but other than streamlined text, this system is so far really no less complex than say, GURPS. There's less content, and less text, sure. but the rules chassis so far is only marginally less complex than D&D itself, which is not saying much.

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    smile Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    First, to address YouLostMe:

    Thank you. You're one of the first people to read entirely through and honestly critique this so far. Many of the things you said are true. As far as errors like the brackets, this is just due to haste on my part, and will be cleaned up in future drafts. I have realized, however, that upon rereading the PDF, I have left a number of things out. Not necessarily additional rules, though there are a few I'd like to put in, but description and detail that explain certain things.

    The flaws are going to be published in a later edition, so I probably shouldn't have included that little snippet about them.

    You're right about nimbleness needing representation in a grapple, though i did say you could use an unarmed combat roll like brawling or martial arts in place of a straight Brawn check. Perhaps if you don't have any combat skills you could use either Brawn or Agility. Also, I definitely do need to make some rules for lifting and pinning.

    Also, thank you for bringing to my attention the part about not being able to move and attack. This is major flaw I didn't notice, and it will be rectified in later editions

    As far as criticals go, I did mean to say 11, because I like the idea that it's easier to succeed than to fail - though i should probably change the wording. The way we've actually been using this so far isn't quite as extreme as I made it sound in the text.

    Some of the things you mentioned, like cinematics and distance to grapple, are things that are decided by the GM. 2d6 is meant to be heavily GM-dependent for rulings in specific situations.

    As for fortitude, it continues to be one of the major bugs in the system. I haven't found an elegant way to make saves against things like poison and disease yet. I'd like to avoid adding a constitution score if I can, because it really serves little other purpose with the way I have the rules structured at the moment, but I may have to eventually.

    Again, thanks for the honest criticism, and if you like I'd be glad to put your name in the credits if I ever actually publish this thing : )

    Now, to elliott20:

    While I can't attest to the simplicity or complexity of GURPS, having never actually run a game in it, I would have to argue that 2d6 is vastly more streamlined than DnD.

    There are no classes, no feat(Talent) prerequisite trees, no elaborate spellcasting systems, no ability damage, no attacks of opportunity, the XP system is much simpler, as is the health system, there are no restrictions on class skills, no language restrictions, no pre-specified prices for gear, no armor class, and no alignment system.

    It may still have more rules than it needs, but it's still in the Alpha stages, and there will be more shaving down of unnecessary rules (as well as adding much-needed ones) before it sees the light of any kind of mass market.

    But as I said to YouLostMe, thanks for your interest and your input. I appreciate your willingness to be honest. : )

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    It obviously comes from a d20 System chassis, but it is a bit more simplified and has that typical vagueness to it (a requirement for rules-lite systems). I wouldn't run a campaign with this, but if me and my group are out for dinner and suddenly in the mood for a quick game, I could see maybe using this, though it would have to fight Risus, probably.

    One thing really bugs me...

    You roll 2d6, which generates a number between 2 and 12 (inclusive), with numbers becoming less likely as they approach the ends.

    Why is 11 the critical success number?!

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Quote Originally Posted by lothofkalroth View Post

    While I can't attest to the simplicity or complexity of GURPS, having never actually run a game in it, I would have to argue that 2d6 is vastly more streamlined than DnD.

    There are no classes, no feat(Talent) prerequisite trees, no elaborate spellcasting systems, no ability damage, no attacks of opportunity, the XP system is much simpler, as is the health system, there are no restrictions on class skills, no language restrictions, no pre-specified prices for gear, no armor class, and no alignment system.

    It may still have more rules than it needs, but it's still in the Alpha stages, and there will be more shaving down of unnecessary rules (as well as adding much-needed ones) before it sees the light of any kind of mass market.

    But as I said to YouLostMe, thanks for your interest and your input. I appreciate your willingness to be honest. : )
    That's true, as it is, it probably would be easier to use than D&D, but you're still in the alpha stages, as you say, and I still see that you don't have any content that is ready to use for players and GMs. This to me means that you will probably be expanding the rules by an easy 50-70%, easily. Scope creep in these projects are incredibly easy, and you're going to find something that you'll need a rule for, and you'll amend stuff to do it. That's why I felt that the chassis right now is easier, but mostly because you just have less stuff, and that I can also easily see this thing getting really complex really quick.

    If in the next few stages of development you can actually stick to subtractive design, you should be okay.

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    smile Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    It obviously comes from a d20 System chassis, but it is a bit more simplified and has that typical vagueness to it (a requirement for rules-lite systems). I wouldn't run a campaign with this, but if me and my group are out for dinner and suddenly in the mood for a quick game, I could see maybe using this, though it would have to fight Risus, probably.

    One thing really bugs me...

    You roll 2d6, which generates a number between 2 and 12 (inclusive), with numbers becoming less likely as they approach the ends.

    Why is 11 the critical success number?!
    As stated to YouLostMe, I like the Tolkien-esque idea of the anticatastrophe - that it's easier to succeed than to fail.

    edit: also, as far as the final goal rules-wise, I'd like 2d6 to be a happy medium somewhere in between Risus and Savage Worlds.
    Last edited by lothofkalroth; 2011-07-15 at 01:32 PM. Reason: more info

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Quote Originally Posted by lothofkalroth
    Some of the things you mentioned, like cinematics and distance to grapple, are things that are decided by the GM. 2d6 is meant to be heavily GM-dependent for rulings in specific situations.
    My recommendation was to replace cinematics with a totally different function. That kind of change is a big houserule instead of a handwave.

    Also, even if it bothers me a lot that holes in the system are resolved with "Let the GM do it!", I'll support that. I recommend reminding players of this statement every once in a while (once at the beginning of combat: "The GM reserves the right to fill in all the details of combat from here on out". Once at the beginning of items, "The GM has final say on every item, and might have extra rules wored out for you." etcetera)

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    smile Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Quote Originally Posted by YouLostMe View Post
    My recommendation was to replace cinematics with a totally different function. That kind of change is a big houserule instead of a handwave.

    Also, even if it bothers me a lot that holes in the system are resolved with "Let the GM do it!", I'll support that. I recommend reminding players of this statement every once in a while (once at the beginning of combat: "The GM reserves the right to fill in all the details of combat from here on out". Once at the beginning of items, "The GM has final say on every item, and might have extra rules wored out for you." etcetera)
    Yeah, many of the rules are GM dependent for two main reasons:

    1. I think that it helps foster a better player-GM relationship, which helps to enrich the gaming experience in general and bring groups closer together as well as help some socially awkward gamers develop better communication skills.

    2. The most important factor, in my opinion, between video games and pen-and-paper RPGs is the GM. The human brain is such an amazing processor of information. Its adaptability and creativity can't be matched by a computer, which is part of what initially drew me into RPGs a number of years ago. I was tired of playing video games where there were doors painted onto walls that led nowhere or items that had a single function and then were useless. RPGs, and 2d6 especially, rely on the engine of the human mind to keep them going. : )

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Why is 11 the critical success number?!
    Because the probablities arent all equal. Short explanation: the closer to 7 you are the more likely you roll it. 7 has a 1/6 chance, 12 has a 1/36 chance, 2 has a 1/36, and 11 has a 1/18 chance, the idea is that as the creater said that sucsess is more likely than failure.
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    To calculate the odds of getting any specific number in 2d6 you must figure out how many numbers are eligible to make a specific combination. for eleven, the only ones are 5 or 6, and rolling a 5 or 6 is a 1/3 chance. Rolling the specific one needed (ie, 5 for six and 6 for five) is a 1/6 chance, and 1/3x1/6=1/18, which is the probability of getting an 11. So while 1 out of 36 screws you over 34 out of 36 DONT and 2 of those are epic sucsesses

    Though you probably should word it so people dont think it is a typo. Some time i think you should start a play-by-post on the forum. Also, the sorcery and wizardry skills need to be elaborated on, and, for the sake of simplicity i think it might be easier to not have schools and just have sorcery and wizardry.
    Last edited by Howler Dagger; 2011-07-15 at 04:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Quote Originally Posted by lothofkalroth View Post
    Yeah, many of the rules are GM dependent for two main reasons:

    1. I think that it helps foster a better player-GM relationship, which helps to enrich the gaming experience in general and bring groups closer together as well as help some socially awkward gamers develop better communication skills.

    2. The most important factor, in my opinion, between video games and pen-and-paper RPGs is the GM. The human brain is such an amazing processor of information. Its adaptability and creativity can't be matched by a computer, which is part of what initially drew me into RPGs a number of years ago. I was tired of playing video games where there were doors painted onto walls that led nowhere or items that had a single function and then were useless. RPGs, and 2d6 especially, rely on the engine of the human mind to keep them going. : )
    It also encourages dickish GMs to be more dickish, and "rocks fall you all die" can come from a variety of stupid angles. Additionally, GMs who don't know what they're doing can easily break a game into a thousand pieces without trying.

    This has its benefits and its detriments.

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    You roll 2d6, which generates a number between 2 and 12 (inclusive), with numbers becoming less likely as they approach the ends.
    Quote Originally Posted by SheepInDisguise View Post
    Because the probablities arent all equal. Short explanation: the closer to 7 you are the more likely you roll it. 7 has a 1/6 chance, 12 has a 1/36 chance, 2 has a 1/36, and 11 has a 1/18 chance, the idea is that as the creater said that sucsess is more likely than failure.
    Mathematical Explanation:
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    To calculate the odds of getting any specific number in 2d6 you must figure out how many numbers are eligible to make a specific combination. for eleven, the only ones are 5 or 6, and rolling a 5 or 6 is a 1/3 chance. Rolling the specific one needed (ie, 5 for six and 6 for five) is a 1/6 chance, and 1/3x1/6=1/18, which is the probability of getting an 11. So while 1 out of 36 screws you over 34 out of 36 DONT and 2 of those are epic sucsesses
    Yes, I was aware of the mathematical nature behind the probability bell curve. It was just that it was highly unconventional to have a critical success be something that isn't on the high end, especially when critical failure is. It struck me as odd that in a linear game where higher numbers are better, the highest number is not the best. It's somewhat counter-intuitive to the system's basic design.

    Honestly, I first thought it was a typo. I understand the reason behind making success easier than failure, but it's still... a quirk. I understand it but I feel like there's a better way somewhere, some mechanic that achieves the same thing while not being counter-intuitive to the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by YouLostMe View Post
    It also encourages dickish GMs to be more dickish, and "rocks fall you all die" can come from a variety of stupid angles. Additionally, GMs who don't know what they're doing can easily break a game into a thousand pieces without trying.
    Yeah, this is one of the major problems of rules-lite systems: the fewer rules there are, the more the GM is needed to adjudicate things. There really isn't any way around this that I've seen, besides making combat and skill checks so abstract that one mechanic can cover everything, but nothing well.

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    smile Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Quote Originally Posted by SheepInDisguise View Post
    Also, the sorcery and wizardry skills need to be elaborated on, and, for the sake of simplicity i think it might be easier to not have schools and just have sorcery and wizardry.
    I agree, and in future versions I will be elaborating on each skill individually, but I actually tried simplifying it into just sorcery or wizardry and it ends up being kind of broken. It makes it so that anyone who has sorcery can try a spell from any discipline. I also tried making each school a Talent, but that became equally wonked-up. I find the best way is to make them separate skills the same way different fighting styles are separate skills.

    Also, schools aren't necessarily the traditional DnD schools. You could have Hedge magic or shamanism or pact magic. The only reason for a delineation between wizardry and sorcery is that Wiz is modified by Brains and Sorc is modified by Will.

    Tired of looking up detailed rules?
    Looking for a simple universal system that doesn't sacrifice creativity?
    Always wanted vaguely art-deco character sheets?

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    Default Re: Homebrew System Aimed at Streamlining the RPG Process! Tell me what you think!

    Quote Originally Posted by YouLostMe View Post
    This has its benefits and its detriments.
    It certainly does, and you were right on the other thread about everyone catering to someone. I may have a genre-neutral RPG system, but it only works if the people playing it are relatively willing to work together. You're right about the dickish GM thing, though I'd imagine that a dickish GM will soon be ousted.

    I've been fortunate enough to have very good regular GMs, albeit ones who are fond of rules-lawyering. Oddly though, 've found that when you lay out the rules in the beginning as "There are few rules" that people who are normally rules-lawyers are perfectly content to fluff and improvise a lot of the game. : )

    Tired of looking up detailed rules?
    Looking for a simple universal system that doesn't sacrifice creativity?
    Always wanted vaguely art-deco character sheets?

    [Try 2d6]

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