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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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[ERROR] No.41215188 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

Hey fa/tg/uys, what are your favorite systems to play in, when it comes to tabletop PNP?
what does it do well, what does it do poorly? is it easy to get into and learn?

I'm asking because, of course, i need a system to run with, and i'm fucking tired of pathfinder.
pic unrelated.

>> No.41215245

I've mostly been using Lamentations of the Flame Princess, lately.

It's old-school style, so it's minimalistic in terms of how much the rules cover. There's no monster manual because it's pretty adamant about not throwing pre-genned creatures at the players, and it's only got four classes; Fighter, Cleric, Magic-User and Specialist.

If your group can roleplay and act things out rather than relying on rolling dice to solve problems, it's great. Plenty of fun, encourages a dark, grimy atmosphere. If they're used to combat and rules-heavy systems, it wouldn't be my first pick.

>> No.41215285

The only experience we got is pathfinder, and a bit of Stars Without Numbers. Sounds nice though, i'll check it out.
is it easy to make monsters/npcs?

>> No.41215344

Yeah, it is. Don't expect to be throwing monsters at your players left and right - the occasional random encounter is fine, and animals out in the wilderness are almost expected, but real /monsters/ should be special. You should know about them before you see them, witness the effects they have on the local ecosystem, use them to intimidate the players without directly confronting them.

There's free rules on the website, have a read through if you want. It's easy to get a level 1 character set up ( and start at level 1, don't skip ahead on the first game ) and get a grip of how the game works. The encumbrance system is wonderful to run as it's not too cumbersome to work out for the players and forces them to make hard decisions on what to bring. I use it mostly for dungeon-crawl heavy settings, and I also don't use extra fantasy races - humans only. It's got a unique flavour, but I rather like it.

>> No.41215418

Oh man, that sounds pretty nice, i love when monsters are actual monsters and not just loot/exp-bags, think it'd fit pretty well.
How beginner-DM friendly would you say it is? haven't DM'd more than one session so far, and that was pathfinder. which did not go well.

It's a bit more of a "stop and think" kind of system to play in, right? or at least from the sound of it.

>> No.41215862

Yeah, monsters can really be terrifying, especially if you aren't afraid to kill your characters. They should actually be afraid of whatever monstrosities lie in wait, and you can really play up the wtf factor by keeping it grotesque and horrific. Remember, you don't always have to aim on killing the characters - brutal maimings and serious injury can be just as terrible. Honestly, the group's reaction to their fighter losing his leg from the knee down was a few notches above how devastated they were at losing their magic-user earlier in the game.

As for how beginner-friendly it is, I'd say it requires a good amount of planning, but it's a lot easier to learn and run. That is, the system isn't too difficult to pick up, but it might take a bit more prep work to get things to go smoothly at first. It's one of those games where you really need to make sure you have the treasure, XP and monsters planned up ahead of time - trying to pick those up on the fly are a bit tough, because magic items are BIG FUCKING DEALS in this game, your players shouldn't be levelling up every session, and boring monsters make for a boring game.

But other than those three features, I'd say it's a lot easier to run than Pathfinder. There's nowhere near as many rules, and your players will be new as well - you'll all be learning, so their expectations will be adjusted accordingly.

>> No.41217109


It's mechanics aren't just logical and easy to understand, they also make an excellent job at portraying what you usually expect from fantasy, sci-fi, detective dramas, etc (people accuse GURPS of being generalist, but that's not actually true. The base mechanics are geared at emulating the stuff you read about in books and watch on the telly and it does an excellent job at this).

Furthermore the system has a ton of depth that unfortunately isn't obvious before you actually invest some time into mastering it (the Basic Set makes a horrible job of explaining WHY it's mechanics are good).

For instance there's the rule that you are allowed no defense against attacks at your back. At first, you might jerk your knee and think "this is horrible!", because defense (that is, rolling to defend) is the way to stay alive in a fight, so to automatically lose that ability seem surprisingly harsh. But if you play with that rule in practice, you'll soon realize that taking someone's back is surprisingly hard unless he gives it to you. Then you realize that the easiest way of taking someone's back is by having them run past you, at which point you realize that this is actually a tanking mechanism! Giving your back to an enemy is extremely punishing, which means that you can't just run past a heavily armored warrior, because that would be a death sentence!

Furthermore the system tends to be very balanced if the players don't go out of their way to cheese some innate attack-building mechanic. Sure you can make a gimped accountant character too, but the system is usually very transparent about what your character will be good and bad at.

>> No.41217153

sounds good, but i've heard that gurps is a pain in the fucking ass to get into, and to make characters in.

...along with intense amounts of math, which is a prime reason as to why i'm looking for something new.

>> No.41217158

I really want to play a sword and sorcery type game, riddle of steel - the burning wheel - blade of the iron throne... That sort of stuff, but never got the chance. Most of my playgroup is more interested in warhammer fantasy, high fantasy, or sci fi games.

>> No.41217254


A big problem is that the system is sometimes very bad at explaining the purpose of mechanics (for instance Deceptive Attack, which is a huge part of smoothing out combat, barely gets any mention in Basic Set)

The amount of math depends on what sort of characters you want. The more complex your concept, the more math you might have to do.

Something like a Fighty McFighter doesn't though. There's also premade templates you can use (I recommend the Dungeon Fantasy series for that). Overall I find that making a character or monster in GURPS is less time consuming than most systems because the mechanics are so transparent and unison, so I don't have to search through catalogues and change method for every step of character generation (as GM, fudging NPC:s is a breeze as well)

But GURPS lite is like 40 pages or something? It contains the essentials you need to play the game. Give it a read and form your own opinion.

>> No.41217296

well, if i know my friends right, the group would look something like:
Healbuss in a can
and tank/spank.
how math-y would these things be, you think?

and in combat, is the flow of combat smooth or is it like in pathfinder, where you get hitched on rules every four seconds?

>> No.41217351


If you want that, you can pick up GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1. It got templates for typical "dnd" archetypes including all those you mention. This would be a minimum of math and you could play mostly using GURPS lite which is 40 pages or so (it's free to download on the Steve Jackson website). The only exception is that the casters will need at least basic set for their spells (but GURPS Magic is recommended) and I think the templates also contains some advantages that aren't in Lite, so you need Basic Set to explain those advantages. But for basic system mechanics Lite would be enough.

The casters would take the most work since they need to pick spells (and you can't really freely pick spells in the vanilla magic system, you need to go through prerequisite paths). The rest is easy.

>> No.41217398

huh, alright. sounds... kind of easy, i suppose. it's modular, which could be good and bad, but i'll check it out. thanks.

>> No.41217421


Oh right, as for the "how math:y" question, they aren't very math:y, if we assume they won't use templates.

They are all mostly human concepts, so they just need to pick attribute and tally up the point cost of those, then they want to pick advantages and disadvantages (basically a catalog browsing session) and tally up the point cost of those, then they need to pick skills and tally up the point cost of those. It's just addition and subtraction really.

The hardest thing is maybe picking the skills, since that's lots of low point costs that needs to be kept tracked on. And like I mention spells use a prerequisite path that might be a pain to keep track off.

Something more involved would be designing an innate attack (say, fire breath) for the rogue. Then you'd have to start adding modifiers to the innate attack advantage, which would mean multiplication as well, not to mention you'd have to add multiple modifiers on one advantage to get the advantage *you* want.

>> No.41217449

ah, alright. my friends tend to like keeping it kind of 'vanilla', so i don't think i'll have to custom design much.

>> No.41217531


Well, if you do end up running a session of adventuring and combat, remember that most NPC:s drops after they take a major wound or are reduced to 0 health.

Also encourage your players to gang up on targets and to use the "Feint" option to reduce their enemies' defenses.

>> No.41220237

Legend of the Five Rings, Giant Guardian Generation, Apocalypse World hacks. There are a few others I could name, but I haven't actually played them.

Lo5R: Beautifully simple system that combines fluff with mechanics in a really nice package. Combat is lethal and is often best avoided, but when shit goes down, you know shit is going down. The only downside is that it's also a very slow paced game.

Giant Guardian Generation/Battle Century G: It's a system about piloting giant robots and it does giant robots well. It doesn't have too many rules, and the rules that it does have are fairly robust. It can also be re-skinned easily. The only downside is that it often feels like a Magic the Gathering game where you trump powers with other powers, and some of the mechanics are perhaps not optimal.

Apocalypse World: Fluid, fast, intuitive. It's my go-to when GMing simply because I can focus on the players and making the game fun for them. That said, the roll mechanic is limited in terms of outcomes, and it's a sort of game that requires a good group.

>> No.41220287

I fucking love Dogs in the Vineyard, but it's completely different from D&D / GURPS / etc. It also requires a firm GM hand at character creation, because a minmaxing munchkin can game the system.

If you want a game that has a lot of narrativist leanings, but still has a lot of possibilities for random outcomes, I highly recommend it. The basic system is essentially "I raise, you see, you raise, I see" until someone runs out of dice and either gives up or loses the conflict.

>> No.41220377

>Hey fa/tg/uys, what are your favorite systems to play in, when it comes to tabletop PNP?

The one I wrote, Ops and Tactics.

>What it does great

Simulate combat, provide players with a fuckload of combative options for modernish games, and generally do well on things like magic, psionics, and guns.

And oh boy does it do guns.

Also has enough variant rules to quell pretty much any complaint with the standard system(3d6 over 1d20 being the most popular variant rule)

>What it does poorly

No fluff, very little GM Hand-holding. Very little room for modification of the core rules without breaking something(This was by design).

It also has parallels to D20 but isn't D20 so you can't just coast off of your knowledge of D20.

Still under development?

>Is it easy to get ino and learn?

If you can read. If you can't read, or are a conscious objector to reading, then no, it is not easy.


>> No.41221474

You cheeky cunt. Gimme some more info about it, i dunno what exactly, but i'd liek to hear more.

>> No.41222417


It's spelt "conscientious" objector


Re-read the post. All the way to the end, this time.

>> No.41222715

I have KNOWN about it for some time, I'd just like to hear more of your perspective on the system.

>> No.41225329

>But GURPS lite is like 40 pages or something?
Bruh, I think it's like 20, tops.

>> No.41226355

My favorite is Shadowrun. Cyberpunk is a theme I love, and the lore in Shadowrun makes it a ton of fun. Also, customization.

So, what does it do well:
Customization. Plenty of options for characters. Although there aren't classes, there are archetypes/roles that people tend to line their characters up with to create a well functioning party.
Lore. I enjoy the backstories. Basically it's alt history/future. Corps won independence, and magic came back.
Motivations and weaknesses. Negative qualities are amazing. They're these things you get that gives you more points for your character to spend to be more powerful in exchange for downsides. These are often great jump off points for really deciding what your character is like.
Ease of Play. Once you get down the fact it's just attribute+skill+mods, rolling is as quick as letting dice fall and counting.
Combat. All those options make using them a lot of fun. Of course, combat is usually plan b or c, and there are a ton of options for avoiding combat all together, but I'm a fan of fighting.

What it does poorly:
Party balance. Although I would put this on the players, some might view it as a system defect. Since there aren't classes, you decide what your character does. The more optimized you make your character, typically, the better the results. Those new to the system typically find a lot of pitfalls that put them at huge disadvantages in certain situations. (Combat characters that don't get initiative boosters, for instance.)
Ease of Access. Since the staple of the system is that you basically have a bunch of options, that means you've got to do a proportionate amount of reading for those options.
Generalists. Since the system has you rolling d6s and counting hits, more dice greatly improves your odds. This means that generalists are hard to come by, since Shadowrun is a team game. By picking specializations and using the right character for the particular problem at hand, success shoots way up.

>> No.41226455

A team of generalists lacks that edge, with everyone having (hopefully) reasonable pools instead of specifically excellent pools. That said, everyone should have at least two specialties.

Points that could go either way:
The Matrix. Hacking is important in the game, but can be a little convoluted. The way it is set up changes from edition to edition, as do the rules. More streamlined the higher the edition number, but the fluff parts can get people rustled.
Fantasy races in cyberpunk. Personally, I really like it. Gives another angle for people to talk about things. In addition, it helps for giving you that extra bit of edge for an archetype or lets you buck against stereotypes.
Recent history. Since it's a "living world" with each edition 5 years in the future from the previous, that means they sometimes give in universe reasons for mechanics changing. This... doesn't always go well. Some of it is great, some of it is awful.

So, that's a really quick summary. Let me know if there's something you want me to go over in particular. Oh, I love the slang, too. So much fun.

>> No.41228570 [SPOILER] 


>> No.41229051

I like D&D 4e. It is easy to homebrew for, is very balanced, has great tactical combat and hits a good ratio of simplicity to complexity when it comes to the non-combat skill check system, allowing for interesting conflict that isn't centered around combat.

>> No.41229836

Seconding LotFP. It feels realistic and is pretty easy to pick up.
Plus its free, which is always nice, and has some great pre-made adventures (Hint: Play The God that Crawls if you want your players to never trust you again)

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