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What rpgs of any genre resemble 4e D&D but with theatre of the mind combat?

Doug McCrae

Adventurer
I'm interested in rpgs that offer balanced PCs, and combat that has lots of decision points but without the necessity of the battlegrid or use of minis. They can be any genre, they don't need to be fantasy.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I would take a look at Unity. It's a tactical/narrative game that is a clear spiritual successor to 4e with some really flavorful classes, thematic powers, and races. It uses range bands to resolve distances and all the powers key off of it.
 

darjr

I crit!
The GammaWorld 4e boxed games are essentially a tweaked version of 4e. And they are awesome!
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I consider Unity a lot closer in spirit to 4e. 13th Age pretty much abandoned meaningful tactical play in the transition over to theater of the mind.
 

Manbearcat

Adventurer
Strike (!) without the tactical combat module. It can do high fantasy and swashbuckling space opera (which is what I use it for) extremely well. If you like 4e, Mouse Guard, PBtA, Cortex+, check it out.
 

Aldarc

Explorer
I would take a look at Unity. It's a tactical/narrative game that is a clear spiritual successor to 4e with some really flavorful classes, thematic powers, and races. It uses range bands to resolve distances and all the powers key off of it.
I have heard of this game, but now I am intrigued. Please tell me more.
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
Monsterpunk is a game that draws heavily on Strike! mechanics-wise, and the Shin Megami Tensei series of video games for setting. In short, the players are generally human-monster hybrids in a world conquered by monsters, though the option exists to play a pure human who instead relies on magic or technology.

It's still under development, but I believe you can download the beta version from the Kickstarter page for free.


If you're looking for something more traditional, there's The King of Dungeons which just came out recently. The mechanics draw upon 13th Age, while the setting is one of professional adventurers.


Lastly, a really interesting game is The Dawnline. It has the least direct correlation to 4e IMO, but you can definitely see the similarity in design philosophy. Combat looks to be quite tactical and is based around infliction and removal of conditions.

The setting is one of nomadic tribes. The sun is perpetually rising, and those who are embraced by the light are never seen again. On the other side, in the darkness, dwell monstrosities. The tribes must continually travel in the band of twilight.

The characters are vampires, of which there are a number of quite diverse bloodlines, who are the defenders of the tribe. However, the vampires rely on the tribe not only for blood, but also to preserve what little vestiges of humanity they still possess.

One of the interesting aspects of this system is that there is a town building and management system. Players need to maintain the morale, resources, and travel distance of the tribe or it will fall apart. The building aspects have numerous options which can empower the characters or aid in management of the tribe.
 

DMMike

Game Masticator
I'm interested in rpgs that offer balanced PCs, and combat that has lots of decision points but without the necessity of the battlegrid or use of minis. They can be any genre, they don't need to be fantasy.
I know a game you should try. It's called...

Nevermind. I'm not comparing it to 4e. Just...can't.

Why not 5th edition D&D? It's the love child of 3 and 4, and seemed to me like it was intentionally removed from grid usage.
 

aramis erak

Explorer
Highly tactical, but mapless....

Burning Wheel. RAW, no less.

Sentinel Comics also runs nicely in this mode.

If one grasps the mechanics, any of Better Games' games - but most especially Crimson Cutlass and Barony.

FFG's NDS games: WFRP3, FFG Star Wars (EotE, AoR, F&D), and L5R5... but these have both handling time and lack of antimunchkining issues.
 

Aldarc

Explorer
Why not 5th edition D&D? It's the love child of 3 and 4, and seemed to me like it was intentionally removed from grid usage.
It doesn't really have a lot of decision points though (comparatively), and if 5e resembled 4e, then I suspect from your response that you would not be recommending it.
 

Arilyn

Explorer
I know a game you should try. It's called...

Nevermind. I'm not comparing it to 4e. Just...can't.

Why not 5th edition D&D? It's the love child of 3 and 4, and seemed to me like it was intentionally removed from grid usage.
Kind of. Still lists spell effects as cones, spheres, etc., with measurements in feet. Really, all WOTC did was simplify the game a little, and declare it gridless, without actually adding components to support the play style.
 

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