Generic "Overlay" System

Reynard

Legend
What is the best system for different genre "overlays" for otherwise consistent player characters, in your opinion. For example, if the PCs were regular people who could go to Westworld and Dragonworld and Superworld where the park would grant them genre appropriate abilities on top of whatever they bring to the table themselves.

I know almost any generic system can do it, but they wouldn't necessarily be equal in ease of use or depth of options.

Assume pretty typical TTRPG activities like fighting, exploring, solving mysteries and stuff.
 

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innerdude

Legend
Pretty much any system where you can de-couple the ability that's needed from the mechanical rationale for the appearance of the ability. This would be most readily done in skill-based systems. Level / class systems would struggle a great deal more, but could probably be done with work.

I know you're already well plugged in to Savage Worlds, so I'm assuming you grasp this intuitively (you literally just give the characters whatever skills and edges are appropriate to the new environment).

GURPS would be the same way --- you literally just drop new skills at a pre-set value on the character sheet, fully disregarding what the assumed cost of actually getting those skills would be. Same with BRP/Runequest.

Fate would also probably be relatively simple (reconstruct a skill tree, apply whatever new aspects are required).

PBTA would probably require doing a full set of playbooks for each environ. Or possibly doing a streamlined character sheet restructure using the new playbooks + abilities.

The hardest ones would probably be the ones that are somewhat a hybrid class/talent tree + skill structure. I have no idea how I'd even begin to do this using Genesys. WOIN would probably suffer similarly, since you now have to recalculate traits + skills to get the right dice pool.

Really the point of any set of character abilities / character development is that you are enabling new assumptions about how the player can interact with the fiction through their character. How much of that needs to be hard coded to PC build, and how much of it can be just done through narrative/background/genre tropes will vary depending on tastes.
 

Reynard

Legend
Pretty much any system where you can de-couple the ability that's needed from the mechanical rationale for the appearance of the ability. This would be most readily done in skill-based systems. Level / class systems would struggle a great deal more, but could probably be done with work.

I know you're already well plugged in to Savage Worlds, so I'm assuming you grasp this intuitively (you literally just give the characters whatever skills and edges are appropriate to the new environment).

GURPS would be the same way --- you literally just drop new skills at a pre-set value on the character sheet, fully disregarding what the assumed cost of actually getting those skills would be. Same with BRP/Runequest.

Fate would also probably be relatively simple (reconstruct a skill tree, apply whatever new aspects are required).

PBTA would probably require doing a full set of playbooks for each environ. Or possibly doing a streamlined character sheet restructure using the new playbooks + abilities.

The hardest ones would probably be the ones that are somewhat a hybrid class/talent tree + skill structure. I have no idea how I'd even begin to do this using Genesys. WOIN would probably suffer similarly, since you now have to recalculate traits + skills to get the right dice pool.

Really the point of any set of character abilities / character development is that you are enabling new assumptions about how the player can interact with the fiction through their character. How much of that needs to be hard coded to PC build, and how much of it can be just done through narrative/background/genre tropes will vary depending on tastes.
Savage Worlds is my usual go to for these sorts of things, and I used to run a lot of Hero back in the day. I just wanted to see what other systems folks might suggest. Fate -- especially Fate Accelerated-- has potential but I have had trouble getting some players at cons to grok the system.
 


Reynard

Legend
Dream Park RPG was released by R.Talorian way back, it is based on the novel series by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes.

You could bolt it over any existing RPG for the characters to go LARPing in a virtual adventure world. You would earn XP in the Dream Park to upgrade the character you dropped into all sorts of different scenarios which covered all sorts of genres.
I somehow owned this game many years ago despite never having read the books, and it has since inexplicably disappeared from my collection.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I've used GURPS, Hero, CORPS, d6, Masterbook, and EABA... playtested EABA 1E...
Of those, none do what is asked well.
GURPS is built very much for low to mid fantasy and 12th to 19th C tech. Sure, it can (and does) handle outside that, but that sweet spot is the only range I felt was natural to it.
Hero is bettter about adapting to setting, but one has to do a lot of packages for consistency.
CORPS has a great skill system, but it's intentionally vague, and you tailor the skill list for the setting. Hell, it's got three in the book.
EABA is solid... but little known... and has the same kind of issues as GURPS. Open Point Build doesn't really

d6 system, in any of its genre book versions (Space, Space Opera, Fantasy, Adventure) or the system builder version from earlier ("D6 System Rulebook"), has a quick and easy character gen... PC's 18d of attributes, max 5d to any of the 6. Then, knowign that all skills default to the linked attribute, raise skills, 7D, max+2d to each. Templates, with the attributes spent, can be built to really focus the game onto the key archetypes.
 




Aldarc

Legend
What is the best system for different genre "overlays" for otherwise consistent player characters, in your opinion. For example, if the PCs were regular people who could go to Westworld and Dragonworld and Superworld where the park would grant them genre appropriate abilities on top of whatever they bring to the table themselves.

I know almost any generic system can do it, but they wouldn't necessarily be equal in ease of use or depth of options.

Assume pretty typical TTRPG activities like fighting, exploring, solving mysteries and stuff.
You could potentially use the Cypher System for this. Have the base character be the Descriptor, then have the Types and Foci represent the overlays that change between them.

I will need to double-check, but Green Ronin's Threefold setting for Modern AGE could work for your wants as well.
 


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