Any crunchy RPG's out there anymore?

Voadam

Legend
Hackmaster is a fairly crunchy D&D like game as well. There is a free basic set which advertises:
• A combat system geared for quick, hard-hitting, dynamic action.
• 11 Ready-to-Play characters
• Knock-back rules that eliminate static “conga line of death” battles
• Penetration damage, damage reduction from armor and shields and revamped ranged combat rules, including shield 'cover'
• A combination of slot and spell point system that allows for 'straight up' mage play but at the same time allows your mage to change spells on the fly or increase a spell’s range, duration and other effects
• 70+ spells (including Skipping Betty Fireballs and Heat Seeking Fist of Thunder)
• Classic fantasy races (dwarf, elf, halfling, human) and classes (fighter, thief, mage, and cleric) for your campaign
• Five clerical classes to choose from!
• An all-new thief statistic: Luck Points!
• Quirks and flaws that transform your PC into a real character
• Building Point rules that let you customize a character to your own style (there are no ‘cookie cutter characters' here!)
• Quick-Start rules for even faster character creation
• Skills, Talents and Proficiencies (including all weapons and armor) and specialization open to every character class... for a price
• Honor tightly integrated into play and with more flexible usage
 

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No argument that it's crunchier than MG...

But for me, part of crunchiness is "how many subsystems am I picking from, and how often is it a contested decision" - my one session of TB hit was "Which subsystem is almost always self-evident, and when not, an A or B" vs the 3+ options in BW that are almost always available. And, given that it's "pick A, B, or C" as opposed to "pick A or B" in TB... more "does B or C add enough to be worth the time?" is crunchier.

In burning wheel, one is presented with 2-3 systems that could apply to any conflict... Single opposed roll, or one of the extended conflict mechanics, and which skill or skills are appropriate. At almost any non-combat roll, which skill is suitable is usually a list, not a single evident one, in BW. If using the extended options, physical combat has 4 options in BW: Simple opposed, Bloody Vs, Range & Cover, Fight! This is a decision point that, in Torchbearer, is between opposed roll and conflict. Social conflicts can be simple opposed or duel of wits (DoW), or (based upon BW Jyhad), an extended test with a number of required successes over time, but without using DoW... while in TB, it's opposed test or a move to the same conflict system as physical, just with different skills in use.

The actual number of decisions is similar; the range of choices to pick from is more robust in BW.
I don't disagree with you that going from discrete conflict subsystems to a unified conflict system is a decrease in "heaviness" and overhead.

However, I think you're short-shrifting the impacts on play of (a) managing TB's Inventory subsystem, (b) the attendant decision-points related to managing and dealing with Gear Twists (particularly precious items like Rations, Waterskin, Lightsources), (c) Condition Clock, (d) Light Clock, (e) managing precious Hirelings (particularly in high-stakes and danger-snowballing situations with Twists in a delve), and (f) the positive feedback loops and integration with all other decision-points (the orthodox ones to these games like tapping/managing Nature and the TB specific ones like when to try to give up on or push forward in a delve and when to sacrifice gear for treasure etc).

Though structured roughly the same, the game is significantly more complex than MG and while it doesn't have certain systemic complexities of BW, it also has subsystems and attendant layers of decision-points that BW does not have.
 



aramis erak

Legend
That sounds decidedly unfun. I only tolerate the restrictiveness of classes and levels if the gameplay is relatively simple and fast.
On a casual skim, ACKS looks no more complex than BXCMI D&D, perhaps even less.
It definitely stays with the D&D/Pathfinder subgenre.

It has some interesting additions, such as fighters getting a damage bonus which rises with level.
Where it goes deep is in the rulership elements.
It does seem to focus on BX levels, has multis as separate singular classes (like how BX does Elves, and how the GAZ line expands elves and dwarves).
 

aramis erak

Legend
Runequest has more realistic combat and skills. Hit locations, no levels, fairly reasonable magic systems (spirit, rune and sorcery). We switched about 30 years ago and never looked back.
No, its combat isn't realistic. WAY too many self-inflicted-injuries and removed limbs... Its surrealistic mutilation in combat is, however, pretty thematic to the late Mr. Stafford's literary inspirations... and to Mr Tourney & Mr. Perrin's, as well... (RQ is the game Perrin & Tourney wrote for Stafford.)
 

Ixal

Adventurer
Shadowrun is still in print, right?
Yes, but they butchered the latest edition to remove crunch.

Sadly dumbing down for bigger mass market appeal works and makes economic sense. A lot of people are not willing to think much in their free time. Some are even proud to be bad at math which is more and more seen as elitist.
So publishers adapt to that and make their games more and more simple.
 

MGibster

Legend
Sadly dumbing down for bigger mass market appeal works and makes economic sense. A lot of people are not willing to think much in their free time. Some are even proud to be bad at math which is more and more seen as elitist.
So publishers adapt to that and make their games more and more simple.
I bought 5th edition, read through the rules, and thought to myself, "There's no way I want to run this game," before putting it on my shelf to collect dust. It's perfectly okay if you liked the rules, I found them unnecessarily complicated and not worth my effort to use.
 

No, its combat isn't realistic. WAY too many self-inflicted-injuries and removed limbs... Its surrealistic mutilation in combat is, however, pretty thematic to the late Mr. Stafford's literary inspirations... and to Mr Tourney & Mr. Perrin's, as well... (RQ is the game Perrin & Tourney wrote for Stafford.)

Apparently you disagree with Steve on the matter. The fumble tables though they might have overstated the severity, were based on his and other SCA participants in the process's observation of what actually happened in SCA combat. Which while not strictly "realistic" was probably not far off from the kinds of things that would happen in actual situations (they weren't also super far off from things I observed happen in various combat sports I participated in over time (the disintegrating fencing foil was pretty memorable).
 

I bought 5th edition, read through the rules, and thought to myself, "There's no way I want to run this game," before putting it on my shelf to collect dust. It's perfectly okay if you liked the rules, I found them unnecessarily complicated and not worth my effort to use.

Its to be noted that they aren't notably more crunchy than the prior editions, however. There's always been a subset of SR fans that wanted a less crunchy system, but its not clear from the history of the offshot that is Shadowrun Anarchy that that subset is actually that significant.
 

John Dallman

Adventurer
Character design is easier in GURPS because the player, especially a new player, can simply pick things from a list. Hell, most gamers of my acquaintance, me included, think that that's fun. Character design in HERO is harder as it requires an understanding of an algorithm that looks pretty damn impenetrable to a new player.
Both systems benefit from some experience of how to fit things together. I started running a GURPS WWII campaign last year, with fairly freeform character generation. Some of my players know the system better than me, but I found it worthwhile spending time with each of the others to improve the character designs. This was a couple of hours for each player, but since I expect the campaign to run at least 50-100 sessions, it was time well spent.
While I am a GURPS fan-boy through and through, I don't like it for supers. If Champions was the only supers game out there, I would use it for supers and anything requiring ultra-tech/vehicles and GURPS for everything else. I consider GURPS and Hero both to be medium complexity and both pretty front-loaded.
Definitely agreed. In particular, the GURPS skill mechanics play much more smoothly for me, which really matters in high-tech low-combat settings.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
My aversion to math is not that an RPG has ever thrown a math problem at me that I couldn't easily solve at the game table, it's that:

A) Time spent on math is not time spent on anything in the game that I take enjoyment out of. Whether or not there is a calculator on my phone, at the point where somebody gets a calculator out we are no longer playing a game, we are doing accounting. To me the optimal level of math for a game is the amount where I look at two basic numbers and just know the answer as someone reasonably good at math, and anything beyond that is a tax on my time that needs justifying. It might be justified, but it also might just be a sign of system bloat.

B) There is usually going to be someone at the table for whom math is at least kind of stressful. Yes, they probably can actually handle whatever math the game is throwing at them, but that does not mean they can actually enjoy an experience that involves doing it on the spot while the table waits for them.

Give me a table of people who genuinely like crunch and a game that actually makes it worthwhile and I'll gladly delve into the crunch. But if crunch really is in decline in the hobby I would consider that a positive move towards inclusiveness and possibly a sign of tighter game design.
Undersigned. I'm good at math, but mostly it's dull. A little bit goes a long way.
 

Also, I have to note that, if anything, non-powered heroic scale characters in Hero are simpler to put together than their equivalent in GURPS.
 

aramis erak

Legend
Apparently you disagree with Steve on the matter. The fumble tables though they might have overstated the severity, were based on his and other SCA participants in the process's observation of what actually happened in SCA combat. Which while not strictly "realistic" was probably not far off from the kinds of things that would happen in actual situations (they weren't also super far off from things I observed happen in various combat sports I participated in over time (the disintegrating fencing foil was pretty memorable).
I've fought SCA Heavy for a couple years and SCA Rapier for over a cumulative decade, and been a participating member of the SCA for decades, spending a lot of time at the field's edge (Herald and Marshal) when not fighting. Steve and Ray's fumble rules are WAY beyond the pale. People very rarely hit themselves. Not even newbs. Drop the fumble rules, and it's more realistic than D&D; with them, it's far less realistic than D&D.

Now, I have had Sir Kylson hit me instead of his target when I was serving as his shieldman. He was using a double-edge Glaive.
I've also encountered a lot of double kills in SCA heavy... but those aren't fumbles. Sir Phelan and I double killed 8 times in a row on a bearpit (He'd just taught me the Radnor Wrap)...
I've seen a number of athletic cups get damaged audibly, followed rapidly by the wearer exiting the field.

it's worth noting, however, that SCA combat in the early 70's was less efficient, had lower safety and training standards, and a lot less historicity.

I also knew a couple SCAers who knew Steve and Ray... the mutual acquaintances also felt the fumbles fun but unrealistic. And that ascribes the probable reason for them: [b\They're fun, not realistic.[/b]
the fumble rate in RQ is (5-(skill/20))%... which, for a typical dedicated fighter is 2%. The RQ2 rules (the earliest I've access to) specify 12 sec. So 50*12 =600 sec per fumble per person. That's 10 minutes.
30% lose future actions
20% strap failures . that's hourly - WAY too frequent. one to two orders of magnitude
5% fall down. Yup
8% twist ankle - I've seen this once - I slipped in the snow. (Yes, fencing in 12" of fresh powder.)
9% vision losses - doesn't happen in the SCA. mostly because of safety gear.
2% distracted
8% weapon dropped - 1 per 2 hours? under valued
4% Weapon damaged 1 per 4 hours? way too often
6% Hit friend
6% hit self - only had this happen twice; MoD/GMoF Nytshaed drove my dagger back into me on my failed parry. Never seen it happen on attacks.

Lose future rounds actions? A 12 second delay? You're hit before that.
Weapon damage? normally not seen on the field in SCA Heavy; normally, it's felt, and the weapon replaced. But this is rattan, not metal, and 1 per 40 hours to 1 per 80 hours. So... SCA Rapier? I've seen it rarely, never had it happen to me. SCA Cut and Thrust? 1 about every 100 hours. Usually on a parry, not an attack..

It's just WAY too often. And the lose next action is pretty much not happening in the SCA; The timing of the rounds is wrong.

It's also worth noting: Typical SCA 1-on-1 fights of the era did run 1/2 to 5 minutes for a duel... 5 min is 300 sec, or 25 rounds... with (from films) 1-2 min typical outside finals... but there are lulls... No game gets fights truly right.
 

I've fought SCA Heavy for a couple years and SCA Rapier for over a cumulative decade, and been a participating member of the SCA for decades, spending a lot of time at the field's edge (Herald and Marshal) when not fighting. Steve and Ray's fumble rules are WAY beyond the pale. People very rarely hit themselves. Not even newbs. Drop the fumble rules, and it's more realistic than D&D; with them, it's far less realistic than D&D.

I'm going to just have to say they don't seem that far off of combat sports I participated in when I was younger either; I don't believe there's any way to show which set of experiences is more representative.

I also knew a couple SCAers who knew Steve and Ray... the mutual acquaintances also felt the fumbles fun but unrealistic. And that ascribes the probable reason for them: [b\They're fun, not realistic.[/b]

I will again note I had this specific conversation with Steve at one point, and his opinion was the same as the one I presented earlier; that the severety of some fumbles might have been excessive, but he did not consider the frequency or variety particularly wrong. Take that as you will.
 

dragoner

solisrpg.com
I agree that less mathy systems are going to be more inclusive. But I disagree that they're a sign of tighter game design. I think that level of mathiness and tightness are separate things.
Yes, also, rules can't fix bad players, they will still find a way to sabotage the game, no matter how tight the rules.
 

Emirikol

Adventurer
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th edition has "Advantage" mechanic added in by someone "higher up."

If you love bewildering amounts of tracking the Advantage and large charts of criticals wfrp4e is for you!

Our group went back to 3e WFRP (which is REALLY saying something about crunchiness!).
 

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