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RPG» Forums » General Discussion » General Role-Playing

Subject: Rules-lite but crunchy RPG suggestions? rss

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Kerry Harrison
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Anybody have an suggestions for a rules-lite, but crunchy roleplaying game? Preferably something that will handle an SF genre like space opera or post-apoc.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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I guess I don't understand your terminology, because "rules-light" and "crunchy" are mutually exclusive the way I use them.
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Chad Bowser
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What Steffan said.
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Kerry Harrison
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sos1 wrote:
I guess I don't understand your terminology, because "rules-light" and "crunchy" are mutually exclusive the way I use them.


I'm not sure if what I want is mutually exclusive or not.

What I'm looking for is a system that's easy for new players to learn, doesn't take much time on the GM's part to put something together, but that offers a bit of 'Old School' crunch on the character creation side.
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Jay Peters
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BASH! Ultimate Edition is designed for superheroes but can easily handle sci-fi. The base mechanic is 2d6 x Stat, with dice exploding on doubles. The character creation is way crunchier than it seems at first glance and there is a BASH Sci-Fi book that adds some good pieces to the whole.

All in all it's a cinematic, simple system that works very well in play and has a layer of crunch that keeps everything from being either handwaved or identical.
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Chad Bowser
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OK. That makes sense.

Basic RolePlaying, which has a free quickstart on Chaosium.com provides a simple roll-under mechanic while maintaining that old school feel, because it is old school. It is very modular, meaning you can streamline the system or add tons and tons of crunch, and it can handle most genres. The quickstart includes some sci-fi and pa mini-scenarios.

Maschine Zeit is interesting. It is both sci-fi and pa. The setting is a little wonky, but it has interesting parts. The system seems intriguing, but the PDF does a poor job of explaining those rules.
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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sirkerry wrote:
What I'm looking for is a system that's easy for new players to learn, doesn't take much time on the GM's part to put something together, but that offers a bit of 'Old School' crunch on the character creation side.

Ah. Then I recommend GURPS played with the bare minimum of rules during the game. You can have very detailed character creation, and if you simply ignore all the fancy-shmancy detailed in-game rules, it runs very smoothly.

Your only problem will be trying to keep everyone from wanting to include just one more little feature ... that way lies madness. Keep it as simple as possible, and it's a sweet, smooth-running system. And yet it has *lots* of crunch in character creation.

Edit: and you can try it for free: look up GURPS Lite (4th Edition) at the SJG website. In fact, that's the level I recommend you run it at!
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William Hostman
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It has design sequences for vehicles and weapons, and has a couple sci-fi settings already (The Colonies, Fires of Heaven), and likely more coming.

It's roll Xd6 keep 3, where X is Stat+skill. Point based CGen, with attributes and skills in 2 separate pools (eliminating the GURPS tendency for IQ16 wizards with 1 point in each spell-skill...), and ads/disads adding from/to either pool.

GURPS Light
If you flat out forbid any other GURPS books, it's pretty well done... you might consider the Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game; it's a GURPS Light driven self-contained SFRPG. GURPS Prime Directive likewise is a standalone GURPS light implementation.

But, as SOS points out, it's likely players will want to import this or that from other GURPS books.

CORPS (1st & 2nd Editions)
CORPS is a dice-reduced, 1d10 only, system. The separate Vehicle Design System (1.0) adds a very good vehicle design system (comparable in scope and detail to GURPS Vehicles, but about half the size). Guns!, Guns!, Guns! (3rd edition) (aka 3g3) is the design system. While it has no published sci-fi settings, there are net adaptations for Traveller and a few other SF settings... and both VDS and 3g3 go up to pretty good tech levels.
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I think that Fate 3.0, particularly in something like Spirit of the Century, hits that light, yet crunchy feeling.
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Wind Lane
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To add to the Gurps Lite touting, I really like the look of the Hellboy based version.

The book isn't laid out very well, but it's pretty cool stuff. It's superb (again, except for the layout) if you know the comic.
 
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Pete Repeat
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brumcg wrote:
I think that Fate 3.0, particularly in something like Spirit of the Century, hits that light, yet crunchy feeling.


I concur. Character gen is a breeze, it has easy rules and is great fun to play. While Diaspora at it's core is simpler in it's ground-up construction of 'stunts', it is a little more dense to read with all it's extra's. If the GM is familiar with the rules set though, players don't need to touch the book.

I also like various PDQ games for rules light stuff. Again, a rules set where the GM can explain everything the players need to know in a few minutes and the players don't need to read the rules. S7S offers a little more crunch than standard rules, and I have really enjoyed T&J, QMR and JoSS too.

Pete
 
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For space opera, Lightspeed is the gold standard. It meets your crunchy-light requirements well.

For post apocalypse, it's a tad crunchier in characer creation than Lightspeed, but Mutant Future is lighter in actual play (as combat, overland travel, and mutations are about the whole of what the rules concern themselves with). It's definately retro-old school, but try to block out the art from your mind.
 
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My advice, try The Burning Wheel Fantasy Roleplaying System (Revised), but only use the basic and contested challenges. The characters will be crunchy but you don't have all the weight of Fight! or Duel of Wits. Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game would also be equally good - perhaps better because other elements are streamlined.
 
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