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Author Topic: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD  (Read 14209 times)

Uber Ritter

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Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« on: 20 Mar 2008, 07:12 »

My personal faves:
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay-gritty, lethal, and good for running both call of Cthulu creepiness and fairly realistic medieval life stuff (now we're going to play a Jane Austen novel set in a fantasified 16th century Holy Roman Empire.  you get married, horay!).  Great fan support in the form of Warpstone Magazine, the Liber Fanantica and a bunch of other online stuff.  Really simple rules, and the career system, which beats levels any day of the week in my book.

Fading Suns-I've never played it (sadly), but I really, really like the setting.  Compared to other space fantasy settings (-cough- Warhammer 40K -cough-) all sectors of society are far more sympathetic and humane while simultaneously having a worldview much different from our own.  Particularly well done is the church.  Two of the main sourcebooks, Lords of the Known and Priests of the Celestial Sun, are probably the best setting books I've ever read for any game.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #1 on: 20 Mar 2008, 08:08 »

Legend of the Five Rings. Tournament-driven main story & a fairly wide range of possibilities. (within the asian/samurai setting)
One of the former lead story writers even wrote up a 26 part fic set in the year 2000. (current storyline is around 1150)

 I may even play the rpg one day. :roll:
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #2 on: 20 Mar 2008, 12:10 »

GUURRRPPPPSSSSS!

Seriously, GURPS (Generic Universal RolePlaying System) is amazing.  I have played a Call of Cthulu setting game and a tweaked Delta Green game with it thus far, and it has satisfied every need as well as been extraordinarily entertaining.  I plan to play in two more upcoming games; one a 1970s street criminal make-$100k-and-don't-get-caught campy action movie type game, and a Star Wars-set smuggler game. Regular swords-and-sorcery type stuff is easy with it too.  I seriously cannot get enough of the system.

Shadowrun looks kinda fun too, I might play that sometime.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #3 on: 20 Mar 2008, 12:25 »

I ran Fading Suns for about a year and a half. Love the setting. I have some problems with the actual game mechanics, but with some tweaking it's pretty good.

I also have much love for L5R. Though the tournament results = major changes in meta-plot drives me a bit nuts sometimes.

Right now I'm in/running an Ars Magica game, which is pretty awesome. Especially if you're a nerd (and I play with a bunch of nerds). When one of the major game mechanics you have learn is how to successfully do lab-research, you know it's a game for nerds.

My favorite game ever is probably Mage: the Ascension (old world of darkness). I did a world-ending game a few years ago, so I don't play anymore. Actually anything World of Darkness these days makes me think "didn't I already destroy this world?"

Other games I really enjoy: Deliria is awesome if you like rules-light character-driven stuff (I really recommend it for advanced groups mostly). I recently bought Unhallowed Metropolis, which seems pretty awesome if you're looking for a Gothic, post-apocalyptic, steam-punk horror game.
« Last Edit: 20 Mar 2008, 12:27 by benji »
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #4 on: 20 Mar 2008, 13:00 »

I occasionally play an expanded version of SPECIAL for Fallout PnP. I'm also laboring on a simplified version of SPECIAL called, uh, SIMPLE, which was originally concieved by BIS Fallout 3 designer JE Sawyer but was left unfinished.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #5 on: 20 Mar 2008, 17:07 »

Warhammer Fantasy or GURPS for me.

Unhallowed Metropolis will probably take that place assuming I ever get to play. I mean, how the fuck can you argue with a "Post Zombie Apocalypse Neo-Victorian Steampunk" Campaign Setting.
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Uber Ritter

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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #6 on: 20 Mar 2008, 21:10 »

Gurps is one of those things that I know that I should get into, since I'd probably like it, but so far I just make jokes about a Bunnies'n'Burrows Surivival Horror WWII game at the campus game club.  Damn zombie nazi weasels trying to exterminate all lagomorphs.

Mage looked about the best out of the Old World of Darkness titles--but hey, I actually like most of the books that don't have to do with vampires (man I dislike vampires as protagonists--waste of perfectly good villains).  I liked the idea of trying to achieve enlightenment and perhaps reach out to your fellow man and awaken them from their dreams; it strikes me as somewhat more upbeat, potentially, than sipping blood waiting for the world to end or desperately committing acts of ecoterrorism to keep the world from ending despite the fact that you're really just waiting, any day, for the world to end despite your efforts.
« Last Edit: 20 Mar 2008, 21:14 by Uber Ritter »
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #7 on: 21 Mar 2008, 11:22 »

Damn zombie nazi weasels trying to exterminate all lagomorphs.
I am so tempted to quote that in my signature.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #8 on: 21 Mar 2008, 12:07 »

Unhallowed Metropolis will probably take that place assuming I ever get to play. I mean, how the fuck can you argue with a "Post Zombie Apocalypse Neo-Victorian Steampunk" Campaign Setting.

If you try, the zombies eat you.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #9 on: 21 Mar 2008, 19:45 »

The only game I play at the moment is Burning Wheel, which is awesome. Otherwise I have a bit of a White Wolf fetish... Exalted is the shit.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #10 on: 21 Mar 2008, 21:26 »

Currently I'm a player in an Exalted campaign at school (while I'm Gming two Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay campaigns, one at school, one at home) and it has been pretty damned fun.  I like the gameworld, though sometimes what White Wolf does with it makes me scratch my head.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #11 on: 22 Mar 2008, 04:41 »

Ah yes. It's fucked up, for sure. I enjoy that.  :mrgreen:
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thatryanguy

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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #12 on: 28 Mar 2008, 17:03 »

Legend of 5 rings I tried once, never got too into it.

One's I've enjoyed the most are Vamp:Masquerade, and Shadowrun. Shadowrun tops it though, just for the sheer customization you can put into your chars.

Unfortunately, making a character that really specializes in a certain area is the best way to ensure that your GM will never allow you to use it.

If you have the guy who always GM's for my friends, anyways _
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #13 on: 28 Mar 2008, 23:31 »

I used to play Shadowrun quite a bit and always had a hell of a time. In a good way.

I started RPGing with WEG Star Wars and my friends and I played that til we wore the rulebook out. We've been doing a lot of D&D lately, just cause it's easy, but right now we're in the middle of a Star Wars campaign, which I'm loving to death.

There were a few other books we picked up along the way (I've been playing for almost 11 years now), but nothing really fit with our group except WEGSW, d20 D&D/Star Wars and Shadowrun. I guess we're pretty mainstream gamers, but most of us are just in it for fun and not for the in-depth role-playing.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #14 on: 29 Mar 2008, 11:41 »

I am probably going to be running a Star Wars d6 campaign over the summer.  I am looking forward to it.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #15 on: 29 Mar 2008, 14:07 »

I've always been fond of very early editions of D&D. I don't think that counts when you say "aren't D&D" because 1st ed is so very different from 3.5
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #16 on: 29 Mar 2008, 23:58 »

The newest Star Wars RPG run off a modified verison of D20 modern is pretty darn good. I recommend it to any D20 or Star Wars fans.

And I am about to play in a Deadlands campaign, and from what I've been reading in the source book so far, it may turn out to be the best RPG ever.  The system itself is uber cool, and the setting is really nice as well.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #17 on: 30 Mar 2008, 09:03 »

Man, there are so many.
In Nomine can be pretty cool.
GURPS I have had lots of fun with in the past.
But then there's stuff like Call of Cthulhu.
Mage: The Awakening is so much damn fun. All of the old World of Darkness games that aren't Vampire, Werewolf, or Wraith really get me. I love playing Hunter: The Reckoning, and Changeling: The Dreaming is one of the craziest games you can play. Then there's Exalted, which is like playing DnD if it were World of Darkness and Final Fantasy.
Then there's stuff like Shadowrun, which is really a lot of kitschy fun. Deadlands has a pretty great setting too. Now, recently, I've played a bit of the new World of Darkness game Scion, which is very Neil Gaiman/American Gods-esque. It's a lot of fun. Let's see...
Even though I love a lot of these games dearly, especially the World of Darkness ones because of the immense flexibility the GM is given and the immense roleplaying opportunities, DnD will always be my 'old stomping ground'.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #18 on: 30 Mar 2008, 11:23 »

Other than what's been mentioned already, Hackmaster. Take the best elements of 1e and 2e AD&D, a semi-point-based character-generation system, and add a good dose of humor into the writing, and you wind up with Hackmaster 4th edition.

One of my favorite things about it is that the publisher "hacks" a lot of the old classic modules, expanding on them and changing them significantly enough that they are still fun to play through for those who've already played the originals.

Also, most of the wieid monsters, spells, etc that appear in Knights of the Dinner Table make an appearance in Hackmaster.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #19 on: 03 Apr 2008, 03:05 »

I knew a few people that came into a coffee shop I used to work at who had composed their own, quite elaborate, pen and paper RPG that is a bit more post-apocalyptic/cyberpunk that is also extremely impressive. It caught my attention due to the time and passion you could see in their work. I hadn't met too many people who put so much into composing their own pen and paper game, so it may be my favorite since it is an amateur work that still had a lot of high quality content.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #20 on: 10 Apr 2008, 08:33 »

Call of Cthulu, of course
Paranoia - 2nd Edition preferably, whoever did 3rd Edition seemed to have forgotten it's meant to be absurd comedy.

I loved GM'ing these as I also loved torturing players and these gave me a legitimate excuse :evil:

EDIT spling
« Last Edit: 10 Apr 2008, 08:41 by Eternal_Newbie »
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #21 on: 10 Apr 2008, 16:54 »

Call of Cthulu, of course
Paranoia - 2nd Edition preferably, whoever did 3rd Edition seemed to have forgotten it's meant to be absurd comedy.

I loved GM'ing these as I also loved torturing players and these gave me a legitimate excuse :evil:

EDIT spling

I got to ask, a bit off topic here, where can I find good material to do a Call of Cthulu game? As a DnD player, hypertext srd20(rsd, dsr, can't remember) is a great site for the most basic info, does Call of Cthulu have a similar site? Or do I need to find some place to buy some manuals from?

Back on topic: Vampires the Masquerade mechanics can, supposedly, be used for other types of games, but I have never heard or seen an example of such, so it could be bs. Honestly, d20 has been the way to go as far as I can tell, Mutants and Masterminds is a good system, but easier if you have experience in DnD.
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Eternal_Newbie

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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #22 on: 10 Apr 2008, 17:51 »

I got to ask, a bit off topic here, where can I find good material to do a Call of Cthulu game? As a DnD player, hypertext srd20(rsd, dsr, can't remember) is a great site for the most basic info, does Call of Cthulu have a similar site? Or do I need to find some place to buy some manuals from?

Back on topic: Vampires the Masquerade mechanics can, supposedly, be used for other types of games, but I have never heard or seen an example of such, so it could be bs. Honestly, d20 has been the way to go as far as I can tell, Mutants and Masterminds is a good system, but easier if you have experience in DnD.

I don't know of any good resources offhand as I havent played for a couple of years would say
a) IMHO, the best CoC adventures have a strong pyschological element. You want the player characters to be frightened of their shadows before they see an eldrich creature or even meet a cultist. In fact, who needs cultists or eldrich creatures?
b) read a lot of your favourite horror writes to get inspiration. Read some Cthulu Mythos books as well to get an idea of flavour. Many writers have written in the Cthulu mythos, many others show strong influence, such as Steven King's better works like "The Shining". Remember again you want a strong pschological element.
d) Read your local newspaper or its website, look at the stranger stories or even some of the more boring ones and think "What if there is a cult trying to bring back a blasphemous horror behind that?" Even stories on the national news. For example, stories in my local newspaper are about an illegal gypsy encampment on the edge of town, why they should build a 3rd road out of a local town, yet more half-baked plans for roads and bridges across a local estuary,  and about repairs to a seawall. A story in the national news is about a bizarre and sad case where a child seems to have been kidnapped by family members, possibly with the knowledge of the mother. All of these could be are possible story hooks.
« Last Edit: 10 Apr 2008, 17:55 by Eternal_Newbie »
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #23 on: 10 Apr 2008, 19:28 »

Interesting, but not exactly what I meant, I mean like sources on mechanics for running a game, is there a website that has the mechanics basis for it?

As for cultist and creatures, I would include them, not that the players would ever see them or know of them for an assload of time, but in my own head and when I write things down, I have to work out their reactions to events and how they alter their plans to such events, mostly to keep track of it all, and also if I need to think of a way to drop a hint, however subtle, so they don't get lost.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #24 on: 11 Apr 2008, 07:58 »

Interesting, but not exactly what I meant, I mean like sources on mechanics for running a game, is there a website that has the mechanics basis for it?

Well, Chaosium is the home of the official Call of Cthulhu RPG. Otherwise, you could use D20 Modern (free) or GURPS (with or without GURPS Horror) as the basis of a home grown campaign/system . There were CoC supplements for D20 and GURPS, but they are out of print.  There are tons of CoC fan sites, and RPG sites like RPG.net might also have ideas.

Of course you would have to make up your own insanity rules, if you wanted to, or just roleplay it, which might be a better idea, anyway. Either way could be quite fun.

Edit: spelng
« Last Edit: 11 Apr 2008, 08:09 by Eternal_Newbie »
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #25 on: 11 Apr 2008, 08:09 »

Back on topic: Vampires the Masquerade mechanics can, supposedly, be used for other types of games, but I have never heard or seen an example of such, so it could be bs. Honestly, d20 has been the way to go as far as I can tell, Mutants and Masterminds is a good system, but easier if you have experience in DnD.

I've used White Wolf's Story Telling system (what Vampire used) to run some other kinds of games to moderate success. It's fairly adaptable. I honestly think GURPS makes a better universal system then d20, but I don't really like d20 much for anything. Generally, I actually prefer different systems for different games. A well written system enhances the game by supporting the feel of the setting.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #26 on: 13 Apr 2008, 20:13 »

See, I don't get it, why do people have such issues with the d20 system. It's a great starting system for people getting into pen and paper gaming, it's what I was introduced too (right before 3rd, but didn't actually play till 3rd) and I have loved it since, sans a few rule changes that...annoyed me in 3.5(druids need a god but get no domain spells, load of cockshit). All the material out there means I don't have to make from scratch my classes, and there is a groundwork mechanics for multiple time periods, with works out awesomely, and those monster manuals have saved my ass on a bad day gming when my players were trying to pull a fast one on me (taught them not to fuck with me right quick too :wink:) I want to see if I can use the Vampire system for a Call of Cthuhulu game, since that seems like it was made for a modern horror style (so long as I can work around the more solely vampiric elements) and is a bit more simplistic than DnD.

To slightly change the topic, who is looking forward to 4th addition. I haven't really been keeping up, but it seems the more hardcore d20 people want to burn Wizards to the ground, but more casual people are...happy, oddly enough :?. Perhaps somebody can explain this divide?
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #27 on: 13 Apr 2008, 20:37 »

Fourth edition actually has its own thread here, somewhere, and I think (partly?) inspired this one.

The divisions about 4e are actually a lot more complex than "Hardcore hate, casual love".  I've heard a lot of love from hardcore gamers who are very, very glad that the mage class has finally been nerfed.  Of course, that also inspired a lot of hatred from people who adore being minor godlings at higher levels.  Simulationists despise the elimination of 1-2-1-2 for diagonal movement because it's not realistic.  There are a lot of people who simply can't stand the dragonborn (I've never understood that one.  Maybe it's the boobs?).  Then you get the niche hatred; there are players who always only ever play a bard or a druid or a gnome (take one or mix and match) and are filled with frothy rage that they're not going to be in PH1. 

Then other people turn up and proclaim love for 4e.  Usually for the exact same reason that someone hates it. 

Frankly, one of the things I hate about 3.x is that it seems so tailored to munchkins, with the multiplicity of feats and skills, and its treatment of multiclassing.  4e seems like it's really toning that down, and I love that.
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Re: Favorite Pen and Paper RPGs that Aren't DnD
« Reply #28 on: 13 Apr 2008, 20:59 »

http://forums.questionablecontent.net/index.php/topic,19020.0.html

That's the 4th ed thread. Necro it if you like, it's still technically viable since the playtest and all came out, plus rumor mongering and nerd rage is always fun.

I've actually been playing in a World of Darkness: Mortals game with the newest edition for the last few weeks and I'm loving it so far.
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