If it's "crunch" that you want, where do you want it and why?

MattW

Explorer
I like "crunch" in gear, vehicles and weapons. I find it helpful in visualising what they "do" - which helps me describe them to the players. It also helps in consistency and avoiding plot holes. Players tend to get upset when things are changed in mid-game (or, at least, they notice when the changes are not to their benefit)

I don't like "crunch" in character creation. My ideal system would have a one-page character sheet and it would take less than 30 minutes to go from concept to fully-statted PC.
 

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Combat, and by association, equipment and skills. I want a system where the player's choices is the key component to victory, not the ability to remember your PC's twenty-four feats, talents, and racial benefit.
 

Crunch is a crutch. People want crunch to over-complicate doing the same thing over again. Let’s add more rules about it so walking into a roomful of orcs gambling at a table is more interesting this time.

In the 80’s stereos started adding more and more equalizer bars so you could noodle up the sound of the Eagles the 100th time you played Hotel California on your crappy speakers. Stop listening to Eagles for ffs.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
In my TTRPG that is in its 3rd major test revision, we are currently focusing on the goal of making the character sheet the home of most of what you need to play your character. Right now, you need that, and maybe a general conflict scene sheet for the group that has the conflict round spelled out, list of conditions, etc.

We want people to open the books when making characters, NPCs, thier home or other special resources, etc, not during play.

To facilitate that, while still having a good “make your OC” experience, there are a ton of skills, even more traits to choose from, and some other bits, that you get during character creation.

In short; I want creation to be crunchy, and gameplay streamlined.
 

Crunch is a crutch. People want crunch to over-complicate doing the same thing over again. Let’s add more rules about it so walking into a roomful of orcs gambling at a table is more interesting this time.
So everyone should settle for 'roll to hit, roll for damage, next round'?

Crunch, properly done, adds depth and roleplay. Back in the 70s and early 80s, I admit, I cleared many a dungeon crawl. But that gets so very, very dull.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
In my TTRPG that is in its 3rd major test revision, we are currently focusing on the goal of making the character sheet the home of most of what you need to play your character. Right now, you need that, and maybe a general conflict scene sheet for the group that has the conflict round spelled out, list of conditions, etc.

We want people to open the books when making characters, NPCs, thier home or other special resources, etc, not during play.

To facilitate that, while still having a good “make your OC” experience, there are a ton of skills, even more traits to choose from, and some other bits, that you get during character creation.

In short; I want creation to be crunchy, and gameplay streamlined.
This right here. I love Traveller because chargen is real fun process, and despite being random, doesnt kick out useless characters (unless you are trying on purpose.) Chargen takes an entire night (for a full party) but afterwards, gameplay is a breeze. All the heavy lifting is done up front. Its a good example to follow.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
There can be two places I want it, and in both cases for the same reason: to have mechanical heft that isn't purely dependent on the GM to make my decisions matter. The two place I find I want it are in character definition (which often translates into generation, because I'm not a fan of loose and subjective creation) and in combat choices.

Others can matter in specific genres and campaigns, but those two tend to matter to me across the board.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
This right here. I love Traveller because chargen is real fun process, and despite being random, doesnt kick out useless characters (unless you are trying on purpose.) Chargen takes an entire night (for a full party) but afterwards, gameplay is a breeze. All the heavy lifting is done up front. Its a good example to follow.

I dunno, man, I saw some pretty worthless Trav characters back in the day; forced retirement was a thing, and if it happened early enough you could end up having no skills above +0 that were meaningful to the game at hand.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This right here. I love Traveller because chargen is real fun process, and despite being random, doesnt kick out useless characters (unless you are trying on purpose.) Chargen takes an entire night (for a full party) but afterwards, gameplay is a breeze. All the heavy lifting is done up front. Its a good example to follow.
Yeah and my game, Quest For Chevar, isn’t much more complex in chargen than making a level 3 D&D 5e character. It could be done in 5 minutes, if I wrote out quick start builds for each archetype, ncluding an origin and what skills to train outside of your archetype skills, but that isn’t all that fun, to me.
Instead, you choose an ancestry, upbringing, and occupation, and then an Archetype, which comes with a few automatic traits and skills and a few you pick from a short list, and then fill in a few more skills and traits without any filter. Your attribute points are pretty simple, and your skill ranks are very easy to tabulate.

The CharGen document goes step by step and uses the same language the game will use in play where possible. Eg, when explaining how skill ranks work, it refers to skills as Skill (Specialty), eg Acrobatics (Parkour), and then explains that when you make an Acrobatics (Parkour) check, you add your skill and specialty ranks to determine the number of dice in your dice pool. This is probably the single most complex aspect of the entire system.

In play, you have the whole skill list on the front page of your sheet, and up top you have the success ladder spelled out for easy reference, next to the Trauma tracker.

From there, you just decide what you wanna do, make checks as needed, and use the success ladder to guide what happens as a result. The results of each level of success are similar to pbta style games, and we are working on a conflict sheet that can sit on a GM screen facing out or be at hand at the table, that covers what is most likely to need referencing during play, but so far even new players tend only to need those rules referenced in the first couple sessions, at most.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I dunno, man, I saw some pretty worthless Trav characters back in the day; forced retirement was a thing, and if it happened early enough you could end up having no skills above +0 that were meaningful to the game at hand.
Sure, not bullet proof, but the recent Mongoose 2E makes it pretty solid.
 

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