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Subject: Generic Role Playing System Suggestions rss

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Taylor Liss
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Re: Christian RPGs
I hear the GURPS system is pretty versatile. You may want to look into that.
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Re: Christian RPGs
I've been doing research on this very thing lately (the generic, not the Christian aspect).

Take a look at these:

Wordplay: http://wordplay.ukrpgblogs.net/about/

The Window: http://www.mimgames.com/window/

These are more story driven than mechanics driven.
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sean johnson
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Re: Christian RPGs
A few years ago some one made a D20 open source book set in Old Testament times. I think it was published by Green Ronin.

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Dave Wilson
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Re: Christian RPGs
Take a look at Primetime Adventures . You create your own TV series. The topic is up to you.
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kSwingrÜber
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Re: Christian RPGs
BigBur wrote:
2. Does not involve sorcery/witchcraft in any way, unless it's lighthearted or facetious.

Hmmmm... since I don't believe in any such things as witchcraft/sorcery/demons/fairies/etc, I see ALL "magic" as facetious (as in not serious)... LOL
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Diz Hooper
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Re: Christian RPGs
With GURPS you could actually roleplay disciples spreading the word in the first century. With GURPS it doesn't necessarily have to be combat based. It's a very open system that you can use to design any sort of adventure you want. Of course, since it's a build-your-own type of system, it'll be a bit of extra work for the DM.
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Joel Carlson
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Re: Christian RPGs
You could easily convert Rifts and/or Heroes Unlimited to be suitable for this.

Heroes is a super hero RPG, while Rifts is a bit sci-fi ish.

 
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kSwingrÜber
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Re: Christian RPGs

Thinking about your question a little more seriously, but not having a wide experience with RPGs, I'd second the above suggestion of looking into GURPS. It is very flexible, and you can use or ignore pretty much any part of the system that you like. At least it might give you the nuts-and-bolts mechanics of and RPG system, on which you can hang your storyline...

I suspect used GURPS books can be found pretty inexpensively these days. Get yourself a tattered copy of the basic rule set, and see what you think... it'll be good food for thought, if nothing else.

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Re: Christian RPGs
Toon the Roleplaying Game. You play Looney Toons/Merry Melodies sorts of cartoons characters. Out of print though.

Burrows & Bunnies. Think "Watership Down" or "The Secret of NIMH." Also out of print.

And of course there's always Star Wars the Roleplaying Game. You can go with either the more recent D20 Star Wars game from Wizards of the Coast, or you could buy the (far superior in my honest opinion) much older Star Wars RPG from West End Games although it's now out of print and would need to be acquired on Amazon.com or Ebay.

You could also look into most superhero RPGs.

Edit: I seem to have misinterpreted the original aim of your thread. Sorry.
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Scott Pizio
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You may want to look at Fudge as well. Which also has the advantage of being free.
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Re: Christian RPGs
I am a very strong christian and work with the youth at my church as well. So I understand your concerns. I haven't role played in years I just keep it to video games and board games just because of the time involved and getting a consistant group together for an ongoing game would just be to hard. Now as for suggestions it really depends on what type of game you want to play I need more information. But for starters the biblical game that was mentioned is called Testament and is a D20 game it was part of Green Ronins Mythic Vistas line along with Eternal Rome and The Trojan War. For westerns you have Boot Hill or Aces and Eights. I like giant robots so you could do Mechwarrior or Heavy Gear these have both role playing and tactical combat. There is Star Wars but that has the force which is kind of like magic and that might keep you away but I think the movies have become so popular that most christians don't have a problem with it. Depending on the ages of the youth Steve Jackson games has a game called Toon which is as you may have guessed is about cartoons. Then there tie in type stuff Like Serenity or Battlestar Galactica from Margret Weis productions using the core system or Stargate and Farscape both D20. Spycraft or Ninjas and Superspies for spy stuff. Mechamorphasis is a Transformers knock-off that I think is cool. This is just off the top of my head if you give me some specifcs I could narrow it down. Most of this stuff is older so you should be able to get it used from amazon or ebay. Good luck and God Bless. GG
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Mike Welker
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Another excellent system is One Roll Engine... see it at the free page for Nemesis (google "nemesis project" and you should be able to get to it).

As mentioned FUDGE is nifty, but the FATE version is better, IMO. Google the "FATE SRD" for the free system reference document.

There are a few other free generic games out there, hunt for PDQ and another one, which has a lot of fans, called RISUS.
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Scott Pizio
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kswingruber wrote:

Thinking about your question a little more seriously, but not having a wide experience with RPGs, I'd second the above suggestion of looking into GURPS. It is very flexible, and you can use or ignore pretty much any part of the system that you like. At least it might give you the nuts-and-bolts mechanics of and RPG system, on which you can hang your storyline...

I suspect used GURPS books can be found pretty inexpensively these days. Get yourself a tattered copy of the basic rule set, and see what you think... it'll be good food for thought, if nothing else.



Especially if you go for 3rd edition, fourth is current. GURPS also has a lot of source books for different time periods.
 
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Wow that is a first I took so long writing my reply the topic changed. Scratch that whole last comment from me. You could take a look at Savage Worlds Explorers Edition only 10 bucks or Basic Role Playing from Chaosium my personal farvorite system from when i used to play. GG
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I'll echo the suggestion that if you want a generic roleplaying system, GURPS, the Generic Universal RolePlaying System, is probably the way to go.

I've also heard some good things about FUDGE as a storytelling/roleplaying framework, but I have no experience with it, so I can't really comment on it either way.
 
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Scott Pizio
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You could also look at D20 Modern as a system of play. It is by Wizards of the Coast so you can get any ancient bits like weapons armor etc from D&D.
 
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David
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Well a couple that came to mind are:

Labyrinth Lord
and
Castles & Crusades

Good luck!
 
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Kent Reuber
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Re: Christian RPGs
Here's a link to a page listing free RPG's. You may want to dig through these and see if any of them look interesting:

http://www.homebrew.net/games/

I personally like the FUDGE system, created by BGG fellow Steffan O'Sullivan (http://boardgamegeek.com/user/sos1/)

Fudge is easy to pick up because it uses normal words (e.g., "Great", "Good", "Mediocre") for stats and skills which makes it pretty approachable.

One game that you might consider is the "Deryni" RPG, which is based on Fudge. The book is set in Kathryn Kurtz's series of novels. One of the strengths of the books is that religion is lifted straight from Earth, so there is Christianity, etc. There isn't much magic per se--the Deryni have powers which are more akin to psionics (truth telling, mind reading, etc.) than magic. One of the issues is the Church's attitude towards the Deryni, which turns into a witch hunt during some periods. However, it's one of the few fantasy novels that treats Christianity and religion with some degree of respect and reverence.
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Daniel Smith
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You might want to check out Dogs in the Vineyard, a vaguely religious indie rpg that focuses more on internal player conflict/morality than on combat. It has a unique system for resolving conflict that give the game a completely different feeling than most of the other suggestions so far. There are also extensive alternate settings for the game if an alternate history old west isn't your thing.
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OK - lots of people have mentioned GURPS. I've been playing it since Noah was a midshipman. There is a free "Lite" version on the Steve Jackson Games website. Check that out and see if it floats your boat.

I also like the free version of HARPS from I.C.E. but it it high fantasy - not generic. But with some tweeking....
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John Bobek
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The judge's guidelines in The Games of War (pages 11-14) gives an easy way to role play nearly anything.There are 39 rules sets in the book besides the general framework. Combine, mix, and match, and suit your tastes as needed.
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Bruce Miller
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HERO system is much like GURPS but better. I've been using the system for over a decade.
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Brent Johnson
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cypar7 wrote:
HERO system is much like GURPS but better. I've been using the system for over a decade.

Seconded. I've only played the HERO system (long ago), but I've read the GURPS rules and nothing there would have inclined me to switch. The HERO system can get pretty complicated (although a lot of that complexity is optional) but the mechanics are pretty well thought out.

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J. Green
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Since I didn't read your original thread I'm going to just have to make a stab in the dark at this but anyway here goes.

The definition of an RPG has really expanded over the last decade or so. Dungeons and Dragons or GURPS were really the big two choices for a long time, but that has changed a lot. And I'm not talking about theme, I'm talking about the underlying game mechanics.

There are RPGs that are filled with lots of numbers, in which the primary thing is to interact with the game world in order to improve your character's statistics and abilities, possessions and experiences. D&D and GURPS are pretty stat-driven, and they require lots of different kinds of polyhedral dice, looking at tables to get results for rolls, etc. These are very much about leveling your character like in a video game such as World of Warcraft, and the quests or stories are generated to provide those opportunities.

Then, there are RPGs that don't use any dice at all, or use very few dice, maybe just a deck of cards or some other randomizer, or some sort of resource that can be "spent" by the players in order to affect what happens in the game world. These are called "diceless" systems or "dice-light" systems. The reason for this is that these games are not really about leveling your character, even though that may happen but at a slower pace; they're more about generating drama, telling stories without letting mechanics get in the way. Unlike games where the story is clipping along at a good pace and then WHAM, you get bogged down in a battle that takes 3 hours of real time to resolve before the story picks back up, diceless RPGs keep the mechanics to a minimum to let the adventure continue.

Some really interesting Diceless RPGs I have played or own include the Amber Diceless RPG, the Universalis system, and the Mythic Role Playing system which includes a "Game Master Emulator" that allows you to consult an interesting chart to resolve what happens, and it will work with ANY role playing game in any setting. Mythic might actually be good for you since you can totally shape the story you want to tell and base the outcome of conflicts on logic.

My point is, ask yourself whether you want to get a system that you will have to teach a bunch of rules before the kids get to actually play with it, or whether you basically just want to tell stories together with them. If the latter, I'd encourage you to Google search "Diceless RPGs" and check out some of the many diverse game systems out there.

I also think you would have a lot better time convincing skeptical parents that you are not engaging their kids in unhealthy pursuits by dropping the "Role Playing Game" terminology altogether. Don't even call it an RPG. Call it a "Dramatic Storytelling Game" or DSG, that is designed to simulate adventures in order to give the kids an opportunity to try out their faith in unusual situations to help them grow their understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

I won't go on a rant about misunderstanding the role of fantasy and imagination in relation to faith, but honestly, nobody seems to question C.S. Lewis writing books about witches and magical creatures, or J.R.R. Tolkien, whose works directly inspired Dungeons and Dragons, since they were both writing as Christians and included themes that parallel Christian stories. The point is that magical fantasy settings make it easy to typecast characters so you know who the good guys and who the bad guys are. Unlike the real world, where real monsters and witches can hide in your local schools, churches, and city halls doing their nasty work until they get caught by the police, Fantasy settings get all that out in the open.

The problem I have with fantasy games is the ones where the Players play characters who are not really heroes, in other words, the real problem with D&D is not that it includes sorcery or magic as part of the game world, but that the players have the choice of "alignment" and their goals are completely open ended. In other words, just like the video games in the "Grand Theft Auto" series, the game becomes a sandbox in which they are allowed to play with no consequences and no responsibilities. If you just accept a game system hook line and sinker without guiding the choices Players can make in character creation, any game system will be just as bad as D&D whether it includes magic or not, because open-ended RPGs are really about POWER. They are power plays and players, especially teenagers, can get addicted to power trips, without the proper guidance.

That's why if you are going to play RPGs with teenagers, pick whatever system you want, but observe a few simple rules:

First, Player characters are HEROES. Define hero for them based on the Biblical understanding of a hero. That means that they are not perfect, or all-powerful, but they have a tendency to be self-sacrificing and their motivation is for the good of others above themselves. The "Heroes of Faith" in Hebrews were a motley lot who became heroes because they acted contrary to self-interest and accepted the path God set out for them, regardless of personal cost or consequences.

Second, Game Sessions have GOALS. Give them a mission. Take money and leveling out of the equation. Make it cooperative. They all go in, and they all come out, or they all lose. Make it "THEM" against the Big Bad, or against the Unseen Force, or against Nature, or against The Others, or against Time, or some other easily identifiable antagonist. Force a conflict that requires tough, interesting choices.

Third, Game Sessions have a Beginning, Middle and End. Make missions short, able to be completed in one evening, so kids that show up to visit and may have to skip a session don't miss out. Make each session a one-shot episode like a TV series, rather than a chunk of an Epic Campaign. There can be Epic Goals, and maybe your individual sessions score points toward those goals, but they should be goals everyone can get behind, so you don't have the kids working against each other in secret. Personal goals should be personal, i.e., overcoming a personal conflict that does not interfere with the goals of the group. This keeps everyone moving forward together. Diceless systems will help with this, since they are designed to move quickly through the story without getting bogged down in rules.


Finally, I would encourage you to check out the new Mouseguard role playing game system. It all comes in a gorgeous book, and in it, Players are extraordinary Mice dealing with dangers in the real world. It's much more medieval than fantasy. Instead of facing magical creatures, they're up against Cats, Dogs and People. But you do have some of the familiar medieval RPG trappings like swords, skills, and attributes. Plus there's great art. And there's a graphic novel slowly coming out along with it. And a very good character creation system that really gives Players a chance to explore character creation beyond figuring out how to level up; stories are more about the adventure than the outcome.

Hope these suggestions help; feel free to email me if you like. I'll give you my email address if you send a private note here on BGG.

Best,
bookgnome

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GURPS is very generic and customizable, though character creation can be a little time consuming.

White Wolf prefers you tell stories of that nature and its system is fairly simple. That being said, it's really geared solidly toward the horror genre.

If diceless is your thing, you may want to check out Amber. Also... have you ever considered just sitting people down, telling them to write down a few notes about their character (abilities, skills, history, etc) and simply telling an interactive story? Let them say what they do and you arbitrarily decide what happens based on their stats and what you want to happen. Who needs dice?

That being said, I recommend you find a system that works for you and tell your stories with it, regardless of the type of stories it suggests you tell. After all, most RPG systems are a combination of rules and setting. The stories are up to you. In my experience, (almost) any system can be run to tell the kinds of stories you want to tell.

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