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    Looking For A "Lite" Fantasy RPG

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    Paeter
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    Looking For A "Lite" Fantasy RPG

    Post  Paeter on May 4th 2011, 1:24 pm

    (Copied from my blog)

    Now that I've started to go back and read through my back issues of Knights Of The Dinner Table, I am predictably getting the itch again for some old school, paper and pencil role-playing.

    I spent some time yesterday looking online at various RPG systems. I'm still diggin' on HeroClix, so I don't feel a need to revisit the DC Heroes RPG, which I've run in gaming groups for years. Instead, I've got a craving for dark, visceral fantasy. Sword and sorcery and all the goodies that come with it.

    The problem is that the king of fantasy RPGs, Dungeons and Dragons, is way overburdened with rules that slow things down and require WAAY to much prep time for my busy life. I've got a rules system I like for fantasy role-playing, called "Eldritch". I bought it at GenCon Indy 2008, and although I've only run two games with it, I like the system a lot. The problem with Eldritch is that is doesn't have the support materials I'd really like to have in terms of monster manuals (it has one, but with less than 20 monsters) and adventure modules.

    So my options from here seem to be:

    1. Learn how to convert material from D&D 4th Edition to Eldritch, which will cost lots of time and money.

    2. Find rules for D&D 4th Edition "Lite". (Yes, even the rules for 4th edition are too cumbersome for my time budgeting and too detailed for my small brain.)

    3. Find a completely different fantasy RPG system with rules that keep combat fast and simple and that is supported by a monster manual and plenty of pre-generated adventures to use.

    Too bad I don't have a 4th option, or I could use 1d4 to decide my fate. Anybody have any thoughts on what route I should go or recommendations of games or resources to help me?



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    Paeter
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    Re: Looking For A "Lite" Fantasy RPG

    Post  Paeter on May 4th 2011, 1:24 pm

    (Second post from blog)

    In my search for a fast-paced "lite" version of fantasy role-playing, I came across two options that are both appealing.

    The first is OSRIC, which stands for "Old School Reference and Index Compilation". The open Gaming License makes it possible for this rule set to exist and be published as a new product, even though it's essentially a re-print of the original edition rules of Dungeons and Dragons.

    OSRIC is available as a free pdf download, or for purchase in a few different print versions. (color, bw, hardcover, softcover) The appeal for this system is that it doesn't have a lot of the clunky rules that were added to D&D in the second and third editions, and there are a TON of support materials (monsters, modules, campaign settings etc.) to go along with these rules, many of which are free online. The downside is that the art is a bit crappy (surprising what a difference this makes!) and the rules STILL have more detail than I want to use.

    The second option is "Swords And Wizardry", another D&D clone also available as a free pdf download. These rules clone D&D BEFORE it became "Advanced Dungeons And Dragons". So they are really stripped down and fast-paced, just like I like to play. The art is also better, although I'm having trouble finding this one in a printed version, which I'd like to have if I'm going to actually play this game. (Printing it on my computer would be WAAY too expensive.)

    At this point I'm considering buying a softcover B&W version of OSRIC and using the free PDF of Swords and Wizardry to notate which rules are essential and which could be optional for the kind of game I want to run. But I'm going to give it some more thought and see if a better option doesn't present itself, first.


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    Re: Looking For A "Lite" Fantasy RPG

    Post  Guest on May 4th 2011, 10:31 pm

    I've come across a different rules clone, here is a rough approximation of it's lineage (you might get a kick out of this). Strictly anecdotal, of course.

    Do you remember the red Basic D&D rulebook? TSR released 4-5 subsequent boxed sets that provided rules for moving characters through higher levels.

    In the 1990's, the D&D Rules Cyclopedia was released, something that it is hard to imagine modern RPG publishing companies doing these days...it collects all the rules from all those boxed sets into one efficient, dead useful book. Best thing ever for fans of the Basic game.

    Dark Dungeons is a clone of The Rules Cyclopedia.

    The internet is good. Cool

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    Re: Looking For A "Lite" Fantasy RPG

    Post  mindspike on May 4th 2011, 10:43 pm

    Savage Worlds! bounce Savage Worlds! bounce
    Fast! Furious! Fun!
    Core rulebook is $10, and the Fantasy and Super Power Companions are $20 each.
    There are tons of additional materials and adventures ready to go.
    Best place for more info is the Pinnacle web site.
    http://www.peginc.com/
    Deadlands! Necessary Evil! Slipstream! Solomon Kane! Rippers!
    If you're craving strictly fantasy, check out Evernight!
    Plus, there is an active Savage Worlds forum through Pinnacle, and a metric ton of fan-created adventures readily accessible online.

    Whatever you do, shy away from D&D 4th Ed. If you want the traditional D&D roleplaying using books in print, lay your hands on Pathfinder from Paizo. The SRD is a great place to get the rules for free if you want to see what it looks like.
    http://d20pfsrd.com
    Pathfinder is the successor to D&D 3.5, and they did it right. If you're willing to shop the secondary market, I'd recommend picking up the 3.5 books before investing in 4th Ed.
    Then again, you did say you didn't want to deal with that level of rule crunch.

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    Re: Looking For A "Lite" Fantasy RPG

    Post  Guest on May 4th 2011, 11:22 pm

    Did somebody say "Solomon Kane?" Shocked

    mindspike

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    Re: Looking For A "Lite" Fantasy RPG

    Post  mindspike on May 5th 2011, 7:02 am

    If you are a fan of Solomon Kane in particular, or Robert Howard's work in general, Pinnacle released the licensed Solomon Kane RPG as a complete rulebook and setting using the Savage Worlds system - the only setting book that also reprinted the complete ruleset.

    Your character is a "Wanderer", someone who has encountered the dour Puritan at some point in his life and come away a changed man. Kane is now at the end of his career, but there is still a need for justice and vengeance in the world. The main book is a hefty $50 and a heftier 350 pages, but beautifully rendered and worth every penny not only for its complete and versatile rules but the summary notes on Howard's stories, a full bestiary, and a wealth of information on the Dark Continent, one of Kane's most evocative locations for adventure. Like the rest of the Savage Worlds settings, it also includes a complete "season" of adventures and plenty of "One-Sheet" adventures to fill in the gaps. There are two supplements for the game: Traveler's Tales, fully fleshed-out adventures; and Savage Foes, with villains and monsters.

    The Savage Worlds system is based on a "Fast, Furious, Fun" model that emphasizes pulp-style tactical combat that relies on "trappings" and descriptors for flavor and variety rather than endlessly detailed rules in the style of GURPS or Pathfinder (d20).

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    Re: Looking For A "Lite" Fantasy RPG

    Post  Guest on May 5th 2011, 5:01 pm

    mindspike wrote:If you are a fan of Solomon Kane in particular, or Robert Howard's work in general, Pinnacle released the licensed Solomon Kane RPG as a complete rulebook and setting using the Savage Worlds system - the only setting book that also reprinted the complete ruleset.

    Your character is a "Wanderer", someone who has encountered the dour Puritan at some point in his life and come away a changed man. Kane is now at the end of his career, but there is still a need for justice and vengeance in the world. The main book is a hefty $50 and a heftier 350 pages, but beautifully rendered and worth every penny not only for its complete and versatile rules but the summary notes on Howard's stories, a full bestiary, and a wealth of information on the Dark Continent, one of Kane's most evocative locations for adventure. Like the rest of the Savage Worlds settings, it also includes a complete "season" of adventures and plenty of "One-Sheet" adventures to fill in the gaps. There are two supplements for the game: Traveler's Tales, fully fleshed-out adventures; and Savage Foes, with villains and monsters.

    The Savage Worlds system is based on a "Fast, Furious, Fun" model that emphasizes pulp-style tactical combat that relies on "trappings" and descriptors for flavor and variety rather than endlessly detailed rules in the style of GURPS or Pathfinder (d20).

    Robert E. Howard in general, oh yes. Kane, Kull, Bran Mak Morn, El Borak, and of course The Cimmerian himself, who demanded my attention and would not let me escape.

    I've seen the Solomon Kane RPG and looked through it on a couple of occasions, and I knew about the Savage Worlds system, I just couldn't comment on it, up or down. I'm glad to hear that it can effectively support the nature of those 1930's pulp fiction stories, fast and furious.

    GURPS, yeah, that's one way to kill a passion for gaming.

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    Re: Looking For A "Lite" Fantasy RPG

    Post  Paeter on May 5th 2011, 10:16 pm

    Cool! Thanks, guys!


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