Best RPGs for Three Players?

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I second Index Card RPG

Others that I think work well for beer & pretzles small-group play:

Paranoia
InSPECTREs
 

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Jahydin

Adventurer
You could go with D&D and do a west marches style sandbox. Short adventures that allow party composition to change between sessions based on availability.
This is actually how I play with just my wife and I. C&C, Hyperboria, and OSE mostly. Since the rules are so simple, it's not an issue for her to run 4-5 characters at a time in a manner similar to the old Baulder's Gate PC RPGs.

As for games suited for lower player counts, off the top of my head:
Most of the Free League games: Alien, The One Ring, Forbidden Lands...
Age of Sigmar: Soulbound
Genesis system: Star Wars, Legend of the Five Rings
Savage Worlds (thanks to "Extras")

Most seem to have Foundry support too.
 
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aramis erak

Legend
AD&D (1E/2E) can easily cover the 4 needed niches with demi-humans. Truth is, most of the time, the 4 are needed by conventions of adventure design, but those can be avoided by a cautious GM. Experienced players will notice.

BECMI/Cyclopedia plus the gaz rules for General Skills and dwarf priests can also mean a 2 PC party has all 4 roles covered. Elf MU+F, Dw Pr is FI+Cl, and general skills can let them get thief abilities... up to 4 each... for a very constrained story set. But that works well in many published adventures, so I' figured it worth mentioning. Plus, as with AD&D, GMs can simply avoid challenges for missing roles.

D&D 5E has robust non-magical healing options, so it's easily handled.

Any D6 system game. They're trope templates, not roles rules, and characters are broadly competent at easier tasks...

Talisman Adventures. While it appears to have the niches of D&D, it doesn't actually have them mechanically. Spellcasters aren't glass cannons, and due to NPC activation mechanics, it's not a huge issue to be outnumbered if one's got good defensive skills (melee, athletics). And even spellcasters aren't pushovers in melee.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I’d suggest picking your group’s favorite toolbox or superher RPG system. That would allow for a lot of character customization, both in ChaGen and as the game progresses. That translates into minimizing the risk of an actual or perceived weakness in party composition.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
1) A game that doesn't require specific party roles to function properly. [D&D and adjacent games require a lot of work if you're missing certain character classes.]
2) Something built for episodic, beer-and-pretzels play. [I'll lose them on deep mysteries.]
3) Works well on VTT (especially Foundry)
1 and 2 are entirely up to the GM. 3...well it's hard to put beer and pretzels on a VTT.
 

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