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Which Fantasy System to Get?


MartianSpider

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TL;DR - Which of these systems should I buy: Classic Fantasy, RQ6, Magic World, the basic BRP book, or something else?

Typed a long post about this but for some reason I errored. The short of it is that I haven't played a PnP RPG in years and have some friends who want me to run something.

I want to run a fantasy game with classic fantasy races, lots of spells, etc., but see there are a few options out there.

I only have experience (with this system) with ElfQuest many years ago, so I have no preference except to say that I really liked the hit locations of that game but don't necessarily HAVE to have it.

Love the D100 system in general.

Besides which system to start with, the other question that has come to mind as I've done my research is: are all the books compatible? In other words, if I get RQ6 and want more spells, can I just buy Magic World and integrate it into my campaign?

Anyway, your comments are welcome!

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This is how I look at it:

Pick RQ6 for hit locations and gritty, tactical combat, a game with an 'ancients' feel, or if you want to explore Glorantha or Monster Island or historico-mythical supplements later.

Pick Magic World for more streamlined combat, deadly and with major wounds but not hit locations, a demonic S&S feel.

Pick OpenQuest2 if you like lighter rules or if your players will be turned off by crunch.

Pick BRP if you like to tinker and make the system your own, regardless of crunch level, or if any of the many already-published settings appeals to you, or want a versatile, generic system. BRP can be either the most or the least crunchy, depending on the options you pick, and being a tool-box it is all about options.

They are all 85-90% compatible. Magic World and BRP might be 100% compatible with each other. There's probably no 'wrong' choice as they're all good.

Buying products from other BRP systems and using them with your own Franken-D100 system is a long standing tradition in this community.

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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Thanks Baragei & Thalaba!

So far it sounds like I really can't go wrong with any of the books. As for crunch, I think my players are going to want that, so the crunchier the better, within reason.

I notice the core BRP game is less expensive than, say, RQ6. That being said, I also see that there is a creatures supplement for BRP. Does that mean it is light on the creatures and I need to buy the other supplement right away?

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RuneQuest6 should be crunchy enough to satisfy most of your players, I think.

BRP(The Gold Book) can be as crunchy as you like, although I'd recommend the medium setting - the same level of complexity you'll find in MagicWorld and old Stormbringer.

Basic Creatures is ..not as nice as it could be. It's basicly the unillustrated bestiary of RQ3 slapped into monograph form.

RQ6 has a massive bestiary, combine it with Monster Island and you'll have more ways of terrorizing your players than you would think possible.

MagicWorld comes ready to play with a bestiary.

The coreBRP-book has some monsters in it. Enough to get you started, but you'll probably want to get some setting books to fill it out.

Edited by Baragei
letters in correct order...
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My only thing about RQ6 - is it more like Ancient Greece, or just generic fantasy? Definitely looking for the beasties to be classic fantasy since I'll be writing my own story.

It's generic, but the tone and feel throughout the book evokes that classical feel, as the example characters and setting used to illustrate the rules are more or less fantasy-ancient Greece.

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For a lighter version of RQ6, I cant recommend Legend enough. I was kind of surprised it has yet to be mentioned. Plus priced at just $1.00 for the PDF its kind of hard to beat.

If you want to check it out it can be found over at RPGNOW at the following link...

http://www.rpgnow.com/product/97239/Legend

They have monster books for it as well priced at 12.00 each. The Legend system is designed by the RQ6 crew and uses much of the same rules.

On a side note, I wrote a supplement for BRP called Classic Fantasy that has classic races and over a hundred and fifty classic spells such as magic missile, fire ball, prismatic spray, etc. that may also fit what your looking for.

This can be found at Chaosium's website at the following link...

http://catalog.chaosium.com/product_info.php?products_id=5045

Classic Fantasy is not a standalone book and does require BRP.

Finally, I'm working on a Legend version of Classic Fantasy that will be standalone and include even more classic spells and hundreds of monsters as well. This wont be out until later next year however.

Rod

Join my Mythras/RuneQuest 6: Classic Fantasy Yahoo Group at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RQCF/info

"D100 - Exactly 5 times better than D20"

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Mankcam - Why so? I've seen your posts around - very intelligent. I'm curious to know why you say that.

Firstly, its a hard call for me to decide on which BRP related system to use. I tend to like most variations of the BRP D100 system, and have been using it since the mid 80s. I go through stages GMing other systems (in particular, I love FATE Core at present, hats off to Fred Hicks), but considering how intuitive the BRP system is I always tend to come back to it, and consider it my 'home' system.

All of the BRP family of games are quite good, and more or less compatible with each other, so it gets down to a matter of flavour and personal taste.

You are after a BRP/D100 system that focuses on Fantasy, so this obviously excludes Call of Cthulhu and the BRP BGB. You could use the later of course, but it is a bunch of generic rules designed as a toolkit for GMs to use over a broad range of genres. It can be used for Fantasy, of course, but it certainly is not specialised in any way.

OpenQuest is not a bad option from D101 Games, but its a bit indie for some. Renaissance is also a good BRP variant, although hardly for stock fantasy fare, given its early gun powder era focus. BRP Classic Fantasy is a great monograph is you want to have a very D&D flavour to your games. Its not to my taste in its entirety, although I have used it for many good optional rules contained within it. However you do need the BRP BGB for it, so it is not a single volume purchase.

I think your query basically comes down to LEGEND/RuneQuest vs MagicWorld.

Both have classic fantasy races, lots of spells, genre specific character creation, equipment tailored for the fantasy setting etc, you will not be lacking for great fantasy resources with any of these books. So any of them will suit your needs.

However in my personal opinion, I prefer the Hit Location system for my fantasy games as opposed to the Major Wound table. This would be the main reason I would choose RuneQuest over Magic World. Having this as well as the excellent combat manuevers of RuneQuest really emulates the feel of hand-to-hand combat quite well. It adds a bit of 'crunch' to the system, but from I gleaned from your posts this would be a good thing. Combat is slightly quicker in Magic World, but I prefer combat to be centre stage for my fantasy games, rather than resolved quickly. It really adds to the fun, from my point of view.

I would suggest that you buy the LEGEND pdf from Mongoose, available for a dollar or so on DrivethruRPG, and check it out. If you think its the kind of thing your troupe would like, then I'ld suggest you upgrade to the RuneQuest sixth edition rulebook as it is a more progressed version of the LEGEND rules, developed by the same authors. As far as resources go, you could use any supplements for RQ6, LEGEND, or even MRQ2 as they would be quite compatible. Having said that, you could use almost any BRP supplement with minor tweaking and it will be compatible.

RuneQuest certainly has an ancient world flavour to it, but it can quite easily fit a dark ages setting or standard high fantasy setting as well. I think the current edition of the RQ rules is pretty much what you are after, and it's certainly worth the price. I believe you won't be disappointed.

Edited by Mankcam
grammar

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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I have to agree with Mankam on this one. RQ6 already have a very stable rule set with everything you need collected into one book and it suits very well for regular fantasy.

Although I do love to tinker with the BGB to create the game I like. And supported by Magic World you would have a strong foundation to build a fantasy game on.

Classic Fantasy+BGB is also very nice and have it myself but it just wasn't my flavor. But even if you don't use Classic Fantasy it does contain plenty of stuff you can use for a custom BGB game.

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So many options. It does sound like BRP+Classic Fantasy would suit me perfectly, though. Just one major question - people keep saying everything is "lighter" than R6. What does that mean, exactly?

As far as Legend goes, it is a much smaller book. Therefore it doesn't pack in everything that RQ6 does. It is however a complete rule-set as is, and if you pickup the first monster book it will have everything you need to run a game for only about $13.00. If you like what you find in Legend, then RQ6 is the next obvious step, at least until I finish Legend: Classic Fantasy. :P

Rod

Join my Mythras/RuneQuest 6: Classic Fantasy Yahoo Group at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RQCF/info

"D100 - Exactly 5 times better than D20"

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Thanks Baragei & Thalaba!

So far it sounds like I really can't go wrong with any of the books. As for crunch, I think my players are going to want that, so the crunchier the better, within reason.

Quite right. In my opinion, if you want a fantasy focused product with quite a bit of crunch and options (5 magical traditions, lots of spells, many tactical options in combat, guidelines to build guild/brotherhoods/cults, a complete bestiary) in a single book, the best choice is RuneQuest 6. Classic Fantasy, Magic World and Legend are all good but they do not tick all the boxes like RQ does.

If cash is really tight, Legend (which is basically RQ5) at only 1$ is a good choice even if it is not as polished as RQ and doesn't contain nearly as much meat. If you add the bestiary to the mix, Legend Core/Monster PDFs will cost 13$. If you can spare the extra 12$, I'd rather go directly to RQ6 for 25$ and skip Legend all together.

In any case, you are in a very difficult position because if you make the wrong decision and do not pick the best game for you (whichever it is), you will be stuck with a great game instead.. I know, it suck being a BRP fan these days ;)

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RQ6 has some great tools for world-building, too, if that's your bag.

Stepping away from rules for a moment, it might interest you that it doesn't come with a setting or a campaign included. Of the books you asked about, I think only Magic World has a (lightly described) setting included. RQ6 does have 3 free published scenarios, though (two in the GM pack and the third was published by itself as a preview to the Book of Quests). The Book of Quests is a book of adventures structured into a loose campaign in a loosely described setting. There's also one detailed published setting - Monster Island - which is ideal for sandboxing.

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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