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Simple, colorful mechanics to run a game for non-gamers?

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I played in a Honey Heist game reskinned to be D&D like instead of bears and heists and it went great. All the game's rules on one page, two stats with skill resolution using a d6 for those two stats. Character creation was a random d6 for class and characterization, the characterizations were straight from HH (rookie, washed up, incompetent, etc.) the classes were fantasy D&D like, so mage, cleric, knight, etc. I think the two stats were adventuring and cunning with most magic types falling under cunning.

HH has a mechanic for the stats to shift by one each up and down after a failure and the game to end if the stats ever get to 1 or 6, I would just cap at 2/5 and not sweat the end condition.

Combat was no hp, just roll to succeed or not. So a slick knight who failed a combat roll looked cool but did not defeat their opponent.

It gave some quick characterization hooks and a quick resolution die mechanic and allowed a lot of free form stuff on the fly for thematic powers and magic without resource management tracking. Half the magic backfired in different fun ways made up on the spot.


Guide of Modos
I've run simple systems before, but how simple do you think I could go and still have it be fun and meaningful? Three ability scores, d20s for attacks and skills, d6s for damage?
@Clint_L is right about one hour being a tight window.

I'd try to fit in one bit of role-playing, one bit of exploring, one fight, and one puzzle. It would be neat if I could have at least a rudimentary sort of character creation where they got maybe 3 choices, and could pick from four options for each, ideally with cool illustrations.
That sounds like at least 3 hours to me, even for some prior role-players.

This is all very tentative now. Does anyone know a really easy system to use? Should I use something geared for kids like No Thank You, Evil? Or should I write one?
You want something stripped-down that conveys the idea of rolling dice for outcomes, like this:

The module is thirteen rules that boil down to:
Roll a d20 and add your bonus. If you beat the GM's d20+bonus, something good happens.

Crossing my fingers that you don't have to spend too much time explaining role-playing!


I would recommend running the game you feel most passionate/knowledgeable/connected to. If that is D&D it is hard, but with a set of first level PCs to choose from and 5 minutes of town and 5 minutes of roleplay to get into things you could still have some sort of trap/puzzle and an encounter to rescue the McGuffin. Leave a hint at the end in case people wanted to play more. Who knows.

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