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Looking for the right system for my game

Looking for the right system for my game

I asked this in the quick questions thread, but it was starting to get a little long, and with no end in sight, so I'm moving the discussion here to a new thread. Here are the relevant bits:

Originally Posted by Greyfeld
If I want to run a game using the FATE system, would I be better off running FATE 2.0, or SOTC?
Originally Posted by Greyfeld
I'm looking for something that has a very flexible and description-based magic system.
Originally Posted by Greyfeld
All I really need is for the players to be able to come up with spell effects on the fly, roll against a DC that I decide as the GM, and have the effects take shape as described by the players. Essentially, I'm looking for a system where I can have all magic decided with a simple skill check, while allowing a lot of wiggle room for the players to decide the exact effects.

I'm trying to step away from rigid magic systems that have preset "spell" selections that you have to choose from, for this specific game.
Originally Posted by Greyfeld
I decided that Dresden [RPG] comes with a lot of fluff and baggage that I don't want to have to forcefully pry out of the game before I start it. That said, Dresden and FATE are both offshoots of FUDGE, so I assumed that one of the FATE versions might fit my needs without the fluff associated with a pre-created universe. Hence my question.

Can you give me an example of what sort of fluff DFRPG has that you don't want in your game?

If you're only interested in the magic system, your characters would need Conviction and Discipline scores, stress tracks, consequences, and fate points. If you wanted you could add focus items and enchanted items.

If you wanted to move your game into a sword and sorcery age, ditch drive and guns and replace them with ride and archery. Done.

In my experience, the Laws from Dresden can be ditched without too much in the way of balance repurcussions. The way they're represented mechanically doesn't really hinder creative players all that much, particularly against the really scary opponents who aren't likely to actually be protected by them.

I'm mostly concerned with players coming in and wanting to play a game from the Dresdenverse, then losing interest when they find out that the game is only using the mechanical part of the system, and ditching all the fluff.

I'd also like to make sure I'm using a system that has a wide range of players who are interested in playing it. I know Dresden has a small following here, but I thought branching over to FATE might increase my chances of pulling in interested players.

Given your concerns I would recommend using FATE 2.0 of the two systems. SotC may not be currently as popular as Dresden but it comes with its own baggage. I say that as a SotC fan.

Have you looked at The Window? It is pretty popular here as well, is not tied to any genre, is pretty heavily used among the freeformers (giving you another pool of players to pull from), and it allows for a lot of narrative freedom. I like FATE a lot but The Window is a much simpler system. The rules of FATE tend to drive the narrative, while The Window stays out of the way until you need it, which seems from your discription to be more of what you are looking for.

I did read the rules for The Window, hearing that it was very rules-lite, but I didn't really like the die progression. I also had a problem with the loose rules framework regarding combat and health degeneration.

At one time, I considered using Savage Worlds, but the "trappings" rules for magic still felt a little restrictive for what I have in mind.

Then again... using a trappings system would give me the opportunity to add a secondary "spontaneous magic" system behind it, allowing the players to cast spells that are outside of their normal training, and letting me wreak havoc on them if they fail their skill checks.

Still haven't decided yet. I know I'm being a little vague with my descriptions, but I'm trying to keep out some of the specifics since I don't know who will end up applying to the game when I finally get an advert up.

I don't think you've specified a theme for your game yet, but if it is fantasy, consider Barbarians of Lemuria. It's free, character generation takes minutes, and there isn't a lot of structure surrounding spells, except that there's a lot of room for fluff.


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