Monday, 16 June 2014

Somewhat Light vs very Heavy RP rules Guidelines

Somewhat Light vs very Heavy RP rules Guidelines

I saw someone post a slider on reddit which looked like this:

I thought I should put a few of the games I can run on this slider and see what each could be considered as and what had happened on those game I've ran, now I should mention that none of them ended all the way to the left, but one ended up all the way to the right, so I'll start with the ones with the heaviest rules and work my way down.

The heaviest rulesystem goes to Shadowrun, and the games I've ran have been bogged down a lot to the point that I ran out of energy to run it because too much time was spent looking at the rules and players had to be told every single initiative pass what they could do, and then get angry because they do the same every pass and not be allowed to ignore recoil penalties. I will try to run it once more but this time around I have another person helping me with the rules so the pressure is not all on me this time.

Next up is Iron Kingdoms, the system is really heavy because its almost identical to the wargame Warmachine and Horde, however, it is a very simple dice system and easy to learn, there is just lots of features, talents and abilities that must be remembered in order to figure out the modifiers for the diceroll.

Warhammer 40k is the next ones on the list, this covers all the games in this setting, might as well throw warhammer fantasy 1st and 2nd edition in here too. I see that I might consider it easier than iron kingdoms because I know the system very well and would considered myself biased. Anyway, the dice system is a 1d100 and you need to roll under your stat which is clearly seen on the character sheet, then +/- modifiers. It is still considered to be on the heavy side of the slider.

Yggdrasil is the last system on the heavy side and the main reason it's system is difficult is because players and NPCs have different names for stats, NPCs merges a few and/or rename them so you would have to learn 2 different systems and merge them togeather, players must remember one and GM must remember the other but ofc the players needs help with their side if they have yet to play that game before. It also takes a few ideas from shadowrun which makes it more difficult.

Shadows of Esteren is the first game on the light side, the main difference between this and the previous ones is the movement, instead of meters moved, its just assumed that they can reach a certain point in their round or not depending on the ground and what the GM say. other than that it is similar to a few other games. However, it is a horror game where combat is less important and very very deadly, the best way to play the game is to avoid combat or fight your way out of it, you can focus on combat in this game if you really want to but if everyone in the group does that, it kinda ruins the point of the game.

the system with the lightest rulesystem I have is Star Wars: Edge of the empire. Because of narrative dice, each combat encounter is more like a roleplaying event, and turns can be swapped on the fly with other party members (the fastest player can go last if he wants to trade place with the slowest), there is digital character sheets easily accessible that shows the skill roll for players and the GM can easily just add difficulty, missfortune and... umm... red dice.. .somethingsomething..., and the player rolls the dicepool and look at the result to see what happened.

Character creation for each game is different so this was just a generic overview, iron kingdoms would maybe... MAYBE, end up as the easiest one while shadowrun will keep the highest one... or maybe Anima: Beyond fantasy will take that one?

Overall, it looks like I tend to stay away from rule light systems but my most successful games are Edge of the empire, the lightest one i have, and warhammer 40k, the second heaviest one i got... what to make of that?... i dont know, just felt like trying to sort things out and adding contents and the thoughts to the blog.

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