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What D100 system to play?

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Eclipse Phase really is NOT  "BRP" (not all d% mechanics are!) but it looks similar-enough "because d100" that people keep comparing it to (and/or mistaking it for) one of the BRP family.  I think BRP may have been part of the inspiration for the mechanics, for the game designers... but it's different-enough that the "interfaces easily with (other) BRP games and subsystems" truism falls flat.

In tone & flavor, it's very much more reminiscent of Shadowrun:  complex point-build / point-buy character generation, lots and lots of gearporn options, etc; "like" Shadowrun ... only moreso!  Still, if you like SR and want some of that flavor in your sci-fi, EP might be a good way to get it...

Plus -- the PDFs for EP are pay-what-you-want (including "free") and distributed under some version of OGL/CC, so you can hack it and redistribute it legally.  It's a shockingly-good product to be "free" that way...  But if all you want is a look-see, to see if you want it before you buy it... HEY, you're golden!  https://robboyle.wordpress.com/eclipse-phase-pdfs/

 

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On 3/11/2017 at 0:50 AM, Simlasa said:

There's also the old Future World part of the World of Wonder box.

Yeah, but the problem with most of the WoW boxed set is that while it is enough to start playing, it really needs more to sustain a campaign. Future world more so than the others. Every time I started a game with a WoW book I ended up moving the characters over to a more developed  RPG (RQ, Stormbringer, Superworld boxed set).

On 3/11/2017 at 0:50 AM, Simlasa said:

 

...and Worlds Beyond, if you can find a copy.

 

What is that? 

 

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I quite like the "sparseness" of Future*World. For example, I only hit my stride with Traveller once I learned to let go and love the sparseness. Reading a lot of science fiction and refereeing by the seat of one's pants can be very liberating. :)

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1 hour ago, Vile said:

Reading a lot of science fiction and refereeing by the seat of one's pants can be very liberating. :)

That's exactly how I prefer to run my campaigns - hence my unbridled love of MW. I build a setting, throw things occasionally at my PC's, but otherwise let them play in it.

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2 hours ago, Vile said:

Reading a lot of science any genre of fiction and refereeing by the seat of one's pants can be very liberating. :)

Fixed it for ya!  :D

 

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5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah, but the problem with most of the WoW boxed set is that while it is enough to start playing, it really needs more to sustain a campaign. Future world more so than the others. Every time I started a game with a WoW book I ended up moving the characters over to a more developed  RPG (RQ, Stormbringer, Superworld boxed set).

I guess I see that as freeing things up for me to do what I want with it... rather than having a bunch of setting stuff I feel I need to adhere to.
Like others have mentioned, I really liked Classic Traveller, for similar reasons. There was really no setting at all, outside of the equipment list and some implications in character generation. I never used the later OTU setting stuff.

Words Beyond is another not-Chaosium BRP derived scifi game. Early-mid 90s I'm guessing (without bothering to go look it up). I think it was originally intended for Chaosium but the author ended up self-publishing (?). Chaosium sold copies of it for while.
It's kind of Traveller-esque... drawing on similar influences. Just one rulebook, but has a setting, aliens, ships. Nothing too wild or weird, but seems quite playable.

Edited by Simlasa
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On 3/12/2017 at 3:16 PM, Simlasa said:

I guess I see that as freeing things up for me to do what I want with it...

So then why not dump WoW and just build from the ground up using the 16 page BRP book?

On 3/12/2017 at 3:16 PM, Simlasa said:

 

rather than having a bunch of setting stuff I feel I need to adhere to.
Like others have mentioned, I really liked Classic Traveller, for similar reasons. There was really no setting at all, outside of the equipment list and some implications in character generation. I never used the later OTU setting stuff.

With WoW It was that, IMO, you needed more that what was provided to sustain a campaign. I'm not talking about setting stuff, but gear, rules and such. For instance future world had nothing to cover spacecraft  of anysort, heavy weapons, and was pretty sparse with vehicles and equipment. I don't think it even had any sort of vacc suit. Whereas Classic Traveller covered all the bases as far as a SCi-Fi campaign went. 

Any of the WoW ""Worlds" could be fleshed out by an experienced GM, who could add anything he needed or wanted. But in practice it was a lot easier to simply port over what you wanted from other Chasoium RPGs, or even just use those other RPGs sans setting. It wasn't that big of a difference between Magic World and Stombringer, for instance. So a GM could port over other items, armor, weapons and such, and use the relative pricing of items to work of a reasonable price in MW I did just that for a player who wanted a weapon that wasn't listed.  Likewise things like lance charges, skill training and practice all ended up getting ported over for players who were used to being able to do those sorts of things.

On 3/12/2017 at 3:16 PM, Simlasa said:

Words Beyond is another not-Chaosium BRP derived scifi game. Early-mid 90s I'm guessing (without bothering to go look it up). I think it was originally intended for Chaosium but the author ended up self-publishing (?). Chaosium sold copies of it for while.
It's kind of Traveller-esque... drawing on similar influences. Just one rulebook, but has a setting, aliens, ships. Nothing too wild or weird, but seems quite playable.

Interesting. I don't believe I was ever aware of this. I'll have to do a little web surfing.

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

So then why not dump WoW and just build from the ground up using the 16 page BRP book?

I wasn't claiming Future World was the best thing since sliced bread... or that it's something I'm currently using. I was just tossing it in as one BRP approach to scifi.
For me it had a 'cheap and charming' appeal... minimalist... that I could hang some really wild ideas on. As I recall most travel between worlds was done with 'gates'... an idea which I liked and that's still a feature of my homebrew setting. It might have been a way to get out of providing spaceship rules... but that never occurred to me till now.

 

Edited by Simlasa

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8 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

So then why not dump WoW and just build from the ground up using the 16 page BRP book?

With WoW It was that, IMO, you needed more that what was provided to sustain a campaign. I'm not talking about setting stuff, but gear, rules and such. For instance future world had nothing to cover spacecraft  of anysort, heavy weapons, and was pretty sparse with vehicles and equipment. I don't think it even had any sort of vacc suit. Whereas Classic Traveller covered all the bases as far as a SCi-Fi campaign went. 

The Traveller setting was pretty much devoid of rules for energy weapons like blasters that didn't require you to tag along a tornister for powering the thing, rather than some consumeable high density energy source. The computer rules... you almost could have hired good mathematicians as crew and outfitted them with slide rules for about the same cubage. And if you didn't want to run a ground forces military game, half the abilities you got in Traveller were utterly useless.

What's really needed is a tool to adjust tech rules to the setting. I know that that is a tall order, on par with demanding a tool to adjust the magic rules to the setting.

The D100 family of games has a lot of examples of vastly different speculative technologies tied into the system, whether Niven's Ringworld, Other Suns' matter conversion as energy source, and a lot more recent examples. Like @Atgxtg said, cross-pollination between these is easy. Balancing them is not, though.

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GURPS Ultra-Tech is all you need on that front, maybe with a bit of GURPS Space thrown in. Although planet generation is really just like any other world-building exercise, so maybe not even that. Part of it comes down to whether you like home-brew or published settings, I just prefer the former so I'm happy with Future*World as-is. As far as spaceships go - after decades of Traveller my experience (YTMWV) has been that players just use ships as mobile bases so 90% of the related rules are never used. It's pretty crazy risking your PCs life in space combat. And, hey - Peter F. Hamilton based a whole series of books on Future*World, gates and all, so it's got to be good! ;)

Oh, yeah, if you want BRP conversions for Striker! weapons: 

 

Edited by Vile
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7 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Traveller setting was pretty much devoid of rules for energy weapons like blasters that didn't require you to tag along a tornister for powering the thing, rather than some consumeable high density energy source.

Yeah, some of the decisions and assumptions made ended up being kind of odd for a generic SciFi game. One of which was that enerfy weapons weren't that great and that slug throwers were still the sidearms of choice. 

 

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

The computer rules... you almost could have hired good mathematicians as crew and outfitted them with slide rules for about the same cubage.

Yeah, probably a case of underestimating PC potential and development. Not that surprising considering that back when Traveller was written any computer with any real power was a mainframe, and it wasn't even as powerful a a typical smart[hone of today.  

 

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

And if you didn't want to run a ground forces military game, half the abilities you got in Traveller were utterly useless.

That depended on if you were using the advanced chargen. The basic characters form the first three books had more useful skills, but not as many.

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

What's really needed is a tool to adjust tech rules to the setting. I know that that is a tall order, on par with demanding a tool to adjust the magic rules to the setting.

I agree. I have been kinda of working on something along those lines off and o. IMO it's not all that difficult to come up with a tool to adjust the tech rules to the setting. There are a few systems that have supplements that allow them to do so. Stuff! for EABA is one of my favs as far as that goes. I find that the difficult is is coming up with such a tool that fits in with the stats and data that already exists for an existing RPG, such as BRP. Often design dechasions chosen by an author can cause difficulties- and it's often the "throw away" decisions that can cause the most problems.

 

For example, it would be very easy, from a game design standpoint to work out vehicle stuff such as acceleration based on the thrust to mass ratio. Now this in turn would be very easy using the SIZ table (i.e. Thrust to Mass ratio is STR-SIZ.). Now STR-SIZ is pretty simple, right. In the old Superworld RPG, we could do just that. Nice and simple. But, because the designers of RQ3  (actually the same ones as for Superworld) chose to have the SIZ table progress at a different rate at the very high end (over SIZ 88) in RQ3, and since every SIZ table in every BRP related game stems from that table, we can't do that anymore. But' it not like we every really use SIZ scores that high in any sort of meaningful way other than Hit points and DB, anyway. But it does shut down that approach. A pity since a lot of tech stuff, like range, damage, power, speed, etc. could be very nice to manipulate and work with if they could be put on some sort of universal scale. 

 

7 hours ago, Joerg said:

The D100 family of games has a lot of examples of vastly different speculative technologies tied into the system, whether Niven's Ringworld, Other Suns' matter conversion as energy source, and a lot more recent examples. Like @Atgxtg said, cross-pollination between these is easy. Balancing them is not, though.

And sometimes it's not so much a case of balancing them, but dealing with how the will impact on each other. 

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40 minutes ago, Vile said:

 And, hey - Peter F. Hamilton based a whole series of books on Future*World, gates and all, so it's got to be good!

This is news to me. Are they a good read? 

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14 hours ago, Simlasa said:

I wasn't claiming Future World was the best thing since sliced bread... or that it's something I'm currently using. I was just tossing it in as one BRP approach to scifi.
For me it had a 'cheap and charming' appeal... minimalist... that I could hang some really wild ideas on.

Im not claiming that you did. I'm just saying that I think a GM really needed a bit more to be able to run a campaign with it. WoW was fine for a one shot or a short series of adventures, but, IMO, needed more to sustain a campaign.

 

14 hours ago, Simlasa said:

As I recall most travel between worlds was done with 'gates'... an idea which I liked and that's still a feature of my homebrew setting. It might have been a way to get out of providing spaceship rules... but that never occurred to me till now.

Yup. they used gates. A clever GM could have pulled out the stats for modern day equipment from Superworld  World and come up with a decent SG-1 type campaign. A really clever Gm could have adapted the Superpower rules into item creation rules to handle tech. 

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On 12/03/2017 at 7:16 PM, Simlasa said:

Words Beyond

Wow! Thanks for that, I'd never come across it before:

tumblr_n1nu6lM8eY1qamz6ro1_500.jpg

I thought you might be thinking of Other Suns?

othersunsbox.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

I thought you might be thinking of Other Suns?

othersunsbox.jpg

 

I've never actually seen a copy of Other Suns. It tends to sell for a bit more than I'm willing to spend.
It's also got a reputation for being overly complex and something of a 'furry' game... though I think 'anthropomorphics', ala Albedo, might be more accurate.

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1 hour ago, Simlasa said:

I've never actually seen a copy of Other Suns.

I had to throw mine away! it got damp and was starting to develop mold. I PDFd it though:

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 18.30.15.pngScreen Shot 2017-03-14 at 18.33.40.png

As you see it's quite familiar. Length and Build are added characteristics, TSC & TPR sort of replace POW. It's pretty much pure BRP in many respects. We ignored the intelligent races and basically played it as straight scifi. We moved on to it from Future World as tha.t was a little too basic, and then Ring World appeared and that was a great background but too complicated (root skills, etc). So we played Others suns rules in the Ringworld background. Worked well. This is why we ignored the Intelligent species provided:

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 18.37.24.png

 

Edited by David Scott
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On 12/03/2017 at 1:12 AM, g33k said:

Eclipse Phase really is NOT  "BRP" (not all d% mechanics are!) but it looks similar-enough "because d100" that people keep comparing it to (and/or mistaking it for) one of the BRP family.  I think BRP may have been part of the inspiration for the mechanics, for the game designers... but it's different-enough that the "interfaces easily with (other) BRP games and subsystems" truism falls flat.

We welded the Other Suns rules on to it to make it BRP, and remove the excessive complexity.

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My SF BRP games were always a blending of Other Suns and Worlds of Wonder with borrowings from other non-BRP games (Loved Space Opera's ships for example). I didn't find Worlds Beyond until sometime in the last ten years, and never had a chance to buy RingWorld as it was expensive in the UK and then very hard to find.

Always felt it was a shame Other Suns got overly associated with "Furry Fandom". In addition to being a decent BRP variant, I really liked the setting, such as it was.

Niall Shapiro was active on the RQ Rules mailing list a decade or so back and IIRC still owns Other Suns (one of the few creatives to avoid losing their RPG IP  to the black hole that is FGU). Alas the last time OS came up on these boards someone who knew him indicated he was largely out of the RPG hobby these days. Its a shame as it probably means Other Suns will remain unavailable in any form legally except via eBay.

Cheers,

Nick

 

 

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34 minutes ago, David Scott said:

... We ignored the intelligent races and basically played it as straight ...

Sorry, man!  Didn't realize you were stuck in such an uncomfortable position... doing dev-work for Baboons and Newtlings and Lutrai and Ducks -- DUCKS!!! -- and sundry Awakened Beasts &c ...  <shakes head sadly>  Must be rough on ya, man!   Wotta trooper!

 

 

:mellow:

;)

:)

:D  

Edited by g33k
these emoji's "read better vertically (at least on my device)

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7 minutes ago, NickMiddleton said:

Niall Shapiro was active on the RQ Rules mailing list a decade or so back and IIRC still owns Other Suns (one of the few creatives to avoid losing their RPG IP  to the black hole that is FGU). Alas the last time OS came up on these boards someone who knew him indicated he was largely out of the RPG hobby these days. Its a shame as it probably means Other Suns will remain unavailable in any form legally except via eBay.

Or maybe he'd be willing to sell or license it again, if approached by the right company with the right offer ... ?   B)

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Echoing what others have said, from what I've seen of Other Suns it is a quite good D100 Science Fiction rule set. It would be nice to see it come back into print in the same way that Villains and Vigilantes, another FGU game, came back into print recently.

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53 minutes ago, g33k said:

Sorry, man!  Didn't realize you were stuck in such an uncomfortable position... doing dev-work for Baboons and Newtlings and Lutrai and Ducks -- DUCKS!!! -- and sundry Awakened Beasts &c ...  <shakes head sadly>  Must be rough on ya, man!   Wotta trooper!

Cool fantasy yes, furry Scifi - no (compartmentalisation is the only way I can remain sane)

Jokes aside, when it comes to scifi, i'm of the hard variety. Aliens in funny suits don't really do anything for me, unless its a spoof game.

But your point is taken :-)  

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It's not so much the anthropomorphic nature of the aliens in that drawing that puts me off... Classic Traveller and, as pointed out, Runequest have their share of critter-people. It's the cuteness. Like... Vargr, Aslan, Dragonewts, Baboons, they're not cute... even Ducks aren't THAT cute.

Still, it shouldn't be much bother to just re-skin them into the usual collection of insect-men and sentient thistle pods.

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3 hours ago, David Scott said:

We welded the Other Suns rules on to it to make it BRP, and remove the excessive complexity.

I like some of its ideas, but hate the needless complexity. How did you pare it?

SDLeary

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1 hour ago, Simlasa said:

It's not so much the anthropomorphic nature of the aliens in that drawing that puts me off... Classic Traveller and, as pointed out, Runequest have their share of critter-people. It's the cuteness. Like... Vargr, Aslan, Dragonewts, Baboons, they're not cute... even Ducks aren't THAT cute.

Still, it shouldn't be much bother to just re-skin them into the usual collection of insect-men and sentient thistle pods.

I always thought all the majority of the anthropomorphic species in Other Suns could mined for games in the noir/cyberpunk Moreau universe by S. Andrew Swann (See The Moreau Omnibus:  https://www.amazon.com/Moreau-Omnibus-Daw-Book-Collectors/dp/0756401518/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1489529543&sr=1-1&keywords=moreau+omnibus )  Indeed taking those and the cyberpunk rules that were being batted around about a month ago and you're good to go for some near future material for scenarios far more gritty than furry.

 

Edited by Mysterioso

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