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Discworld - Best system?

HellHound

ENnies winner and NOT Scrappy Doo
Well, now that I'm done ranting about it, allow me to rave.

The two GURPS discworld books are quite QUITE funny and well written (although the vehicle mechanics in Also were a little bit much). In fact, I think it is the only time I laughed to the point of crying while reading an RPG or RPG supplement. But don't be fooled - this is indeed a supplement and not a full RPG.

Fantastic supplement.
 

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NewLifeForm

First Post
PJ-Mason said:
Yeah, i think maybe the people who make non-system specific sourcebooks or rp aids have the right idea. Give me a great rpg oriented Hellboy sourcebook and allow me to pick my own system. Or maybe with a real simple system to indicate character strengths for easy modeling to everyone's favorite system/ like a 1-10 rating for character abillities in the sourcebook. That would probably be easy to relate to your own system.
That is an excellent idea and one I've often though about doing myself. Just pages and pages of cool ideas and great art with no real rules. Too cool :p

NewLifeForm
 

Macbeth

First Post
I'd also recommend True20. the one problem I can see is having high level characters be too highly skilled. But this will be a problem in many systems: once your characters grow much, they may be a little too competent for Discworld.

The things True20 has going for it, in my opinion:

-Fairly lethal damage, since Toughness Saves don't really grow.

-Skilled Spells: A lot of spells are kind of like skills: you have ranks, they're easier to cast and you get better effects the higher rank you are. You rank = your adept level, in most cases. This, to me, gives a really good feel for the good ol' UU wizards. unlike standard d20, where you pick up a new level of spells, here your existing spells allow you to do more things, or do them better.

-Convicition allows for conveint literary twists: sure, you may not have a lot of skills (which is probably good for a disc character: very good at a few useless things), but if the plot demans it you can spend conviction to pick up what you need.

-Fatigue Spells: I seem to recall at least a few references to magic being very tiring, so this fits well.

Basically, it's a nice, simple system that gives you a imple rules framework That I think is great for Discworld. It's a PDF worth getting anyway, but for Discworl it's a great fit.
 

MoogleEmpMog

First Post
Mustrum_Ridcully said:
Hmm. Maybe two? The Patrician and Granny Weatherwax? :)
I'd argue that Cohen the Barbarian and his fellows are competent for what they do, as is Vimes.

That makes a grand total of three living competent folk. :)
 


Macbeth

First Post
Mustrum_Ridcully said:
Though Vimes and Cohen (and his fellows) are a bit ... shortsighted from time to time...
But Vimes in particular always gets the job done, outsmarts the bad guy, and suaully does it with some flair and heroics. Shortsighted? Maybe, but I'd just as soon say stubborn.
 

drothgery

First Post
Mustrum_Ridcully said:
Hmm. Maybe two? The Patrician and Granny Weatherwax? :)
I'd actually say there are quire a few, just not in the Rincewind books...

I mean, Carrot, Angua, Lady Ramkin, and even Cheri know what they're doing most of the time in the Watch books. Susan and Death in the Death books have to remember to make mistakes if they want to pass as human. And while the other witches make more mistakes than Granny, Nanny, Margrat, and Agnes are pretty competent most of the time.
 

NewLifeForm

First Post
The "shortsightedness" of some of the characters comes more from their personalities than from their lack of ability IMO. One is how the character is played/written and the other concerns their stats and game mechanics.

I had a smart-ass, shirt-chasing half-elf in one of my campaigns who always got the party into trouble. He wasn't dumb (Int:16), nor was he incompetent. He also got them out of a number of messes. He was just, well, quite the character (pun intended).

True20 is sounding better and better. Is there somewhere I can get a more indepth idea of what the rules contain? For example, are there classes and levels or is it more akin to Mutants & Masterminds?

NewLifeForm
 

PJ-Mason

First Post
Jürgen Hubert said:
From what I've heard, Hellboy is much better in that regard.

"The Discworld RPG powered by GURPS" was originally "GURPS Discworld" (though it still had GURPS Lite), and it works much better as a supplement than an RPG in its own right.

We'll see how the "Girl Genius RPG" (also "powered by GURPS") will do in that regard...
It does say that you can create your characters for the BPRD, so it would need to be somewhat complete. For Hellboy, that is.
 

PJ-Mason

First Post
HellHound said:
Well, now that I'm done ranting about it, allow me to rave.

The two GURPS discworld books are quite QUITE funny and well written (although the vehicle mechanics in Also were a little bit much). In fact, I think it is the only time I laughed to the point of crying while reading an RPG or RPG supplement. But don't be fooled - this is indeed a supplement and not a full RPG.

Fantastic supplement.
I've always heard that Gurps sourcebooks are great for background and such. I had a friend who had a bunch of Gurps books and, outside of Gurps supers (eek!), they looked pretty good.
 

Macbeth

First Post
There are 3 classes: Warrior, Adept, and Expert. Warrior does combat (Full BAB, Combat-related feats), Adept has magic (access to magic is done through feats that only Adpets can take), and Expert has skills (more skills known, rogue and bard type feats).

Damage is a lot like Mutants and Mastermins (you make a save against it) but your only bonus to the save is you CON, you armor, and maybe a bonus from a feat or supernatural ability. So high level characters won't have saves that much higher then low level.

All magic is gained through feats. Once you have a spell, it has a rank equal to your Adept level + 3 (like a skill). This rank is used like a skill bonus in some cases and as a DC in others (or just as an indication of what can be done for a few). Each adept chooses a key ability for all their spells. (For Discworld, I'd say wizards have to use INT or CHA, and Witches must use WIS or CHA, but this would be a house rule.)

Any other questions? I'm finding I understand the system better the more I explain it (It's easy to understand no matter what, but now I feel like I know what I can expect my players to ask).
 

NewLifeForm

First Post
Fascinating...

Wow, thanks Macbeth, that's very helpful. And while I've got you here... :D

How does money work? Do you buy things with gold (or AM Dollars in this case) or do you have a wealth stat? Is their anyway to differentiate wizards from clerics? Are their any stats for creatures and monsters or do I need to do that myself?

Thanks again, and to everyone for their opinions and for helping out,
NewLifeForm
 

Macbeth

First Post
Wealth is done with a Wealth Score like d20 Modern. Want to buy something? Roll your wealth against a DC set by the item. Depending on the cost relative to your Wealth, your wealth may go down afetrwards.

The PDF includes stats for:
Bat
Bear
Boar
Cat
Dog
Ghost
Goblin (1st Level Warrior)
Harpy
Hawk
Horse
Ogre
Orc (1st Level Warrior)
Rat
Rat, Dire
Shark
Skeleton
Snake, Constrictor
Snake, Viper
Vampire
Wolf
Zombie

I don't think it would be too hard to come up with standard Discworld beasties based on this bunch. Trolls could be based on Ogres. The Nac Mac Feegle might have something in common with goblins...but smaller... and meaner...

For wizards and clerics... Well, my first thought, given that Discworld clerics have never really displayed much magical apptitude, would be to have Clerics be experts. After all, only the UU wizards seem to really use magic (in the civilized areas). Clerics could really be any class, they just have the role in society of being Clerics. Depending on your view (or the players view) of what the cleric does, I might suggest these feats:

Fascinate, Inspire, Suggest, Mass Suggest, Well Informed: For the public orrator. If you want a cleric that really leads (or perhaps manipulates) people, this would be a good start. Especially the clerics of Om seen in Small Gods.

Begginers Luck, Lucky, Jack of All Trades, Second Chance, Slow Fall, Wild Talent, Talented: If your cleric is the chosen of the Gods, someone that the Lady smiles on. Basically, the lucky SOB.

Eidectic Memory, Talented, Skill Training, Master Plan: For the well trained priest. Could be combined with the orator. For anybody trained by the preisthood.

Favored Opponent, Smite Foe, Spirited Charge, Rage, Great Toughness: For the crusader, D&D style cleric (or Paladin).

You could mix all of these to some degree. Wealth would probably also be good for anyt of them.


If you really want them to have spells, you could have them all take Wild Talent, or they could take levels in Adept with a restricted list of available spells.

Anything else? I'm starting to like this idea, I may have to do a homebrew conversion of my own (and post it here, of course).
 

NewLifeForm

First Post
Macbeth said:
Anything else? I'm starting to like this idea, I may have to do a homebrew conversion of my own (and post it here, of course).
Mmm but of course!

Looks like I'm going True20! I'll keep you all posted as to how it goes.

NewLifeForm
"Ook"
 

Tonguez

Hero
Damn!!!

I've not looked at True20 (or BlueRose) since the nearest FLGS is 3 hours away but after reading Macbeth's info above its starting to sound like the perfect system - for everything! (I'm starting to dribble just thinking about it -eeew)

so what are the flaws?

Macbeth said:
There are 3 classes: Warrior, Adept, and Expert. Warrior does combat (Full BAB, Combat-related feats), Adept has magic (access to magic is done through feats that only Adpets can take), and Expert has skills (more skills known, rogue and bard type feats).

Damage is a lot like Mutants and Mastermins (you make a save against it) but your only bonus to the save is you CON, you armor, and maybe a bonus from a feat or supernatural ability. So high level characters won't have saves that much higher then low level.

All magic is gained through feats. Once you have a spell, it has a rank equal to your Adept level + 3 (like a skill). This rank is used like a skill bonus in some cases and as a DC in others (or just as an indication of what can be done for a few). Each adept chooses a key ability for all their spells. (For Discworld, I'd say wizards have to use INT or CHA, and Witches must use WIS or CHA, but this would be a house rule.)

Any other questions? I'm finding I understand the system better the more I explain it (It's easy to understand no matter what, but now I feel like I know what I can expect my players to ask).
 

MoogleEmpMog

First Post
Tonguez said:
I've not looked at True20 (or BlueRose) since the nearest FLGS is 3 hours away but after reading Macbeth's info above its starting to sound like the perfect system - for everything! (I'm starting to dribble just thinking about it -eeew)

so what are the flaws?
From what I can see, True20 has, at most, three flaws:

1. It's not SilCore.
2. It's not officially point-buy, but it practically is, so no sweat.
3. It doesn't have a huge amount of pregenerated content, such as monsters. No worries here, either, though, because it's almost completely compatible with d20. It's not that hard to give monsters a damage save, after all.
 

arscott

First Post
HellHound said:
Standa alone game... grumble grumble...

I used to be a fan of SJGames. However, I had long ago given up GURPS and had sold all the core rules for GURPS 1st edition, and hadn't bought any of the new GURPS material, because GURPS really wasn't my cup of tea.

I bought GURPS Discworld through the SJGames website for my wife as a present, excited because it claimed to be a stand-alone game. My wife and I were very interested in running an Unseen University mini-campaign with another friend.

And of course, GURPS Discworld / GURPS lite doesn't include the GURPS rules for magic.

Yep - fantasy setting - with magic, wizards, spells, etc... but no rules for magic.

One geek-rific anniversary gift down the tubes, I asked SJGames for a refund, or at least for an excerpt from a book that does describe how magic works in GURPS. I got a 'friendly' response that I would have to (a) buy the core GURPS book to get the rules and no they won't send me the excerpt and (b) suck it up, they don't give refunds and the book -is- a stand-alone RPG since no one actually needs the magic rules to play the game.

I ended up indeed buying two core books of GURPS rules, but never ran the game because of the bad taste left in my mouth from the horrible customer service. To this day, I only buy non-RPG products from SJGames because of this, and get REALLY rilled up whenever I see a release that claims to be "powered by GURPS".

(BTW, the purchases from Warehouse 23 weren't completely wasted, I also picked up two boxes of boosters for one of my fave OOP CCGs, XXXenophile).

Given how often the magicians in Discworld actually cast spells, this seems oddly appropriate.
 

Jürgen Hubert

First Post
Tonguez said:
I've not looked at True20 (or BlueRose) since the nearest FLGS is 3 hours away but after reading Macbeth's info above its starting to sound like the perfect system - for everything! (I'm starting to dribble just thinking about it -eeew)

so what are the flaws?
The skill system is a bit weird - you are either untrained at a skill, or you are a master of it (i.e., you have a skill rank of your level + 3). This can be weird for high-level characters, since if they acquire a new skill, they instantly go from incompetence to surpassing everyone else.

I'm also not a fan of abstract wealth systems (in this case, it is pretty much identical to that in d20 Modern), but the standard money system from D&D can be adapted without any hassles...

Apart from that, it is indeed very good.
 

Macbeth

First Post
Jürgen Hubert said:
The skill system is a bit weird - you are either untrained at a skill, or you are a master of it (i.e., you have a skill rank of your level + 3). This can be weird for high-level characters, since if they acquire a new skill, they instantly go from incompetence to surpassing everyone else.

I'm also not a fan of abstract wealth systems (in this case, it is pretty much identical to that in d20 Modern), but the standard money system from D&D can be adapted without any hassles...

Apart from that, it is indeed very good.
I agree that the skills are more then a bit strange, since you either have them all the way or not at all. ON the other hand, you can spend conviction to pick up a skill for a scene, so that helps cover up the problem to some degree.

There's also a thread around here somewhere describing some alternate ideas for skills, rangin from just adding skill points back in (something I'm not fond of) to making two tiers of skills: known and trained. Basically, double the amount of skills each class has. You can 'spend' one skill to make it known (rank level + 3 / 2) and spend another to make it 'trained' (rank level +3).

But yeah, I'd say the 'all-or-nothing' skills would probably be my biggest problem, especially for a Discoworld game. But I believe there is a feat that allows you to pick up a new skill, so that helps some.

Beyond the skills, I can't think of too many problems. Then again, this product really targets me to large degree (I was a big fan of Mutants and Mastermind and the Psychic's Handbook, two books that show a lot of early ideas that made it into True20).

I'll have to think more about it, but my biggest flaw would have to be skills, followed by a lack of material (monsters and such). I think the print edition will include more everything, which should help.
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
RISUS is perfect for Discworld. RISUS is rules lite (6 pages). It is cliche-based (and all discworld characters are cliches*). It is designed for "lite" as in less-than-serious gaming and I dread to imagine someone playing a dramatic, serious game set on Discworld. It is illustrated with stick figures. Did I mention it's only 6 pages long?

* Okay, some, nay most, discworld characters are actually cliches turned on their heads. But that's okay because that head-turning-on is itself a cliche. So Rincewind becomes "Bumbling, Spell-less Wizard (4), Runs Away, Faster in the Actual Face of Danger (4), Not so snazy dresser (2)." Carrot is "Never Was and Never Will Be King, But He Comports Himself Well (3), Painfully Honest Cop (5), Slowly Learning How Not to Say Stuff (2)." Etc. Maybe I do more of these if I get bored....
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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