Still Searching for "That" System

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
well a few things fix most of your list for for OSR. Start everyone at 10 hpts + con mod. , make all spells effects and damage character level so that if a fighter has a level as sorcerer at 12 level the spell is still worth casting. Get a few 3rd party GM tool books for encounter building and random encounters and your almost there.

Yeah I was going to suggest Shadowdark (of course) with some of the optional rules to make it less lethal.

But that still doesn't solve the shortage of "buttons to press" on the character sheet.
 

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nevin

Hero
Yeah I was going to suggest Shadowdark (of course) with some of the optional rules to make it less lethal.

But that still doesn't solve the shortage of "buttons to press" on the character sheet.
I don't know of a a system that has lots of buttons that isn't complicated with lots of reading. Though going old school magic items, divine gifts etc can become buttons on the character sheet.
 



Jaeger

That someone better
The problem I have with OSR games is that there aren't really any guidelines that say "this is a 1st level or 2nd level encounter."

If the OSR game holds true to the B/X AD&D conceit of 1 HD = 1d8; Then It's implied in the monster stat blocks.

All NPC and Monster HD are d8's. A Sword wielded by a PC does 1d8 damage. That's your basic encounter math: The old chainmail conceit of 1HD = 1"Hit".

How many 1d8 Sword hits can the monster take before it goes down? You then bounce that off of How much damage can the monster do to the PC's before than happens. And you have a ballpark idea if the "encounter" will be too much for the PC's or not.

You even have morale rules that might cause a fight to end even before all the baddies are killed...


...
Plus, I think part of it is the shock of seeing a character like "you start with 1-2 spells, +0 to hit, and 8 Hit Points." These players would balk at being so underpowered, compared to 5e (which is their only metric).

It is easy enough to house rule max HP +Con at first level on top of the -10 HP before death rule as well.

Instead of 1-2 spells; start them out with 3-4.

You can even give them the average HD +1 HP per level that 5e does, or even max HP per level as they level up.

And if you want to add PC options; there are good 3pp that have 'feats' for B/X style OSR games.

The B/X based OSR games are very moddable to taste.


I'm not sure. The ones I've tried (OSE, S&W) are still very challenging to balance, because "balance" seems antithetical to the concept of OSR games.
Having grown up with TSR-era AD&D, I don't know how any of my PCs survived to mid-levels. Did we all play differently then?

It's not that "Balance" is antithetical; it's that PC's are expected to run or avoid encounters if they get in over their head.

One thing I don't like about the "encounter guidelines" Wotc has implemented since 3e is that they have basically trained the player base to feel that they not only can, but should win every fight if they just stick with it.
 

Hand of Evil

Hero
Epic
I don't think there is one single game or a game we can provide that will satisfy your needs, you are going to have to go with best fit and house rules.

Mine is Zweihander with the world the The Witcher video game.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I don't think anyone likes TPKs. I might hate them more than the players, in honesty.
Funny, but my players sometimes willingly take on adventures where the risk of TPK is high...

Hell, my sunday group is playing Alien, in cinematic mode, not to try to survive, but to see how they all die. Sometimes, in the right circumstances, TPKs are emotionally and intellectually satisfying.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I don't really agree with your posit that it is intended to be played "hardball". But even if I did, that doesn't imply that the rules are not light.

Fate is pretty lightweight, in that the rules have only a few moving parts, and there are very few "sub-systems", or special cases within them.
Go read Spirit of the Century, Dresden Files, Diaspora, Elysium Flare, or Starblazer Adventures,...
 

nevin

Hero
It's not that "Balance" is antithetical; it's that PC's are expected to run or avoid encounters if they get in over their head.

One thing I don't like about the "encounter guidelines" Wotc has implemented since 3e is that they have basically trained the player base to feel that they not only can, but should win every fight if they just stick with it.
that's marketing. "Winning is fun.. " and Data cant get enough DM's then ask players what they dont like. answer "(Dm too hard, mean, realistic, nihilistic etc" ..It was inevitable at least one version would end up that way.
 

I agree. I think one of the advantages that Savage Worlds has over a system like 5e is that the system is a bit more intuitive in terms of what you might do, and what that might mean. For example, in 5e ganging up on enemies (or having them gang up on you) has little effect unless characters start using the ‘Help’ action. In contrast, in Savage Worlds superior numbers naturally give a bonus - it intuitively makes sense.

So, while players may have more options in combat in Savage Worlds those options are intuitive and they are very rarely ‘gated‘ behind a specific ability that the character needs to have.

As a GM that rarely means I have to tell a player that they can’t attempt something they want to try. Their chances may be low, but they can try pretty much anything that a person could try in ‘real life’ (or a pulp action version of real life!).

Eh, I think it's a push. Both systems have their quirks.

Savage Worlds has issues with high Toughness, which can cause issues with scaling. You can find yourself in a situation where it feels like you're attacking each other with Nerf bats and Nerf guns, until someone manages to Ace a couple damage rolls.

It's also got the whole issue that initiative remains kind of stupidly unchanged. It was great in Deadlands where you're evoking poker, craps, and blackjack all the time because of the old west setting. But it's not "fast & furious." And the problem is that you can't easily get rid of it because there are effects that trigger based on the face value or suit of the card you get.

There's also the Math Bug, where it's easier to get a raise on a d6 than it is on a d8.
 

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