What rules light fantasy system would you recommend for 'winging it'?





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  1. #1

    What rules light fantasy system would you recommend for 'winging it'?

    By that, I mean no prep required. None at all. So, assume that the GM and a few players have decided to just start something, and see where it leads.

    It'll need to play fast and forgiving, hence 'rules light'. The more ground that can be covered in, say, 4-6 hours, the better. Within reason, of course - no, I'm not interested in rules-free. But yeah, the story's the thing. What happens, not how that is translated back and forward to or from game mechanics, should take centre stage.

    It'll also need to be pretty damn near complete, or close enough that I - the GM in this scenario - don't have to build the things I need, as I need them, or even modify stuff much (if at all.) That kind of thing's fine for games for which prep is assumed, and I'm cool with it in those cases, but this should be different.

    Plenty of flexibility/freedom in character creation would be a definite plus. Nearly a necessity, in fact. So probably either classless or many classes. Er, or something.

    Doesn't have to be d20-based, but I'm not opposed to the idea.

    Any ideas?

 

  • #2
    As this is a D20 centric board I'll lead with Castles and Crusades- quick and lite, familiar enough that everyone will jump in and run with ease.
    But.... if it was me I'd go HeroQuest the RPG not the old boardgame. Simple, and elegant and open to anything with little or no effort.

  • #3
    Why, Original D&D of course! Character creation should take about 15 minutes tops. The rules are available in pdf from paizo.

    If I read you correctly, you're also looking for a ready-to-run adventure. B3- Palace of the Silver Princess fits that perfectly, in that, there's zero prep time for it. You can open it and start playing. It's also available for free download at the WoTC site.

    You could be ready to run an adventure within 30 minutes or less after your downloads are complete. You already know how to roll d20s to hit!

    If you really don't want to do a D&D game, then there's always The Fantasy Trip and Runequest 2nd Ed. They're both skills-based and classless (but with plenty of class! ), so you can build characters to order. They're both very rules light.
    Last edited by The Red Priest; Tuesday, 6th May, 2008 at 04:21 PM.

  • #4
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    Ignore jaerdaph
    vs. Elves, based on Phil Reed's vs. Monsters game:

    http://miscellaneousdebris.sitesled....es/vselves.pdf

    You'll need a deck of playing cards instead of dice, though.
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  • #5
    Don't settle for second place get the original, AD&D 1e or OD&D. I am not pimping these fine two products because I play them now (Because I don't) but they were excellent game systems that even a child could wing.

  • #6
    You might take a look at Savage Worlds. Its got decent (as far as completeness goes) Test Drive rules, and the Explorers Edition rulebook is only $9.99 if you wanted to go all out. Then, download the free Wizards and Warriors PDF (fantasy character creation) and Against the Orcs PDF (adventure), and you've got your self a rules light, Fast Fun Furious system, plus a free adventure, and virtually no prep.

    Links:
    Test Drive rules
    Wizards and Warriors
    Against the Orcs

  • #7
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    Ignore jdrakeh
    SLUG by Steffan O'Sullivan is the 'winging it' game. The basic roll is Xd versus the Average result of rolling Xd. Really, it's brilliant. For example, if you're rolling 3d6, the average result is roughly 9 to 13. So I would declare that any result of 9 to 13 is an average success. Anything less than that is a failure, and anything more is a better than average success. See? Brilliant!
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    Ignore jdrakeh
    Quote Originally Posted by jaerdaph
    vs. Elves, based on Phil Reed's vs. Monsters game:

    http://miscellaneousdebris.sitesled....es/vselves.pdf

    You'll need a deck of playing cards instead of dice, though.
    Thanks for the recommendation!
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  • #9
    I have two suggestions.

    The first is to run a game as a "free" kriegsspiel -- which just means that you adjudicate by rolling a die after announcing, or at least deciding, what the roll means. You can still carry over all the setting assumptions of D&D, but you make your own judgment calls as to what is likely to happen, what a spectacular success would look like, and what a spectacular failure would look like.

    My second recommendation is to run what I call Basic d20. Everyone picks a class -- it can be anything, really -- and anything they try to do is at +1 per level if it's something that class is good at (e.g. to-hit for a Fighter), +1 per 2 levels if it's something that class is decent at (e.g. surviving in the wilderness for a Fighter), or +0 if it's something that class doesn't do (e.g. decipher script for a Fighter). Everything is a d20 roll (or two) against a target number (like AC or DCs) -- to-hit, to-hurt, to-charm, etc.

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    Ignore bento
    I'd suggest FUDGE, also my Mr. Sullivan.

    You just need a rough guideline of the player's and opponent's traits and you use three d6 for resolution. Traits can be anything that describes a character - an attribute, skill, inherited gift, etc. Traits can also be placed on a scale ranging from Terrible to Superb.

    The 1995 version of the rules are free online.
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