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People who generally stick to one (crunchy) system - why do YOU do it?

StanTheMan

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Or, maybe, how do you feel? Basically, I'm at a point now in life where I'd like to commit to a system, REALLY learn it well. It also seems that I'm skewing to heavier/crunchier systems; even my GROUP (bless their hearts) finds the lack of detail or direction in lighter and more narratavist systems annoying (and we've tried a lot: different flavors of Fate, DitV, BitD, and HQ2, to name a few).

Well, I want to ask the GMs out there, the one who both also tack to heavier systems and sticking to them: why? What is it about it that gets you revving? Basically, I'm you'll all help me get over my, what's the word, nervousness (?), about committing. I was one of those GMs that would flit from system to system, never feeling satisfied. Recently, GURPS has "clicked" for me hard, and it seems most of my groups wants to at least play along to my idea (to wit, to use this system for the next 12 months, and hopefully beyond; turns out they're tired of switching too). Folks?
 

Angel of the Dawn

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Well, GURPS seems to be your fit, and if your group likes it too, then that should probably be the game that you use. Especially if you and they are suffering from system fatigue.

And I get that. I'm having to make a conscious decision to not collect a bunch of new games and have to learn a bunch of new systems. And part of my nature is fighting that, because there are a lot of really good games out there with systems carefully crafted to deliver the play experience they describe, and I still love learning new games at new things. Plus, there are certain creators out there that I really want to support with my money. But as I get older and my neuroplasticity decreases, as well as time and gaming opportunities, my ability and motivation to learn new games decreases. :) So I totally understand the motivation to find a game and stick with it.

If you are looking for a good game on the crunchy side, I would humbly submit Mythras. It has a good bit of crunch, but it is well-designed and there are tools out there (supplements, games, and a helpful community) to help one convert it from fantasy to any genre that you like.
 

John Desmarais

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I Hero System a LOT as a GM - not quite exclusively, but pretty close. I do this because I’m lazy and don’t want to learn multiple systems well enough to get the flexibility out of them that get with Hero. It’s universal, point-based, build system means that it can support just about any genre or game type I’d want to run.
 

StanTheMan

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If you are looking for a good game on the crunchy side, I would humbly submit Mythras. It has a good bit of crunch, but it is well-designed and there are tools out there (supplements, games, and a helpful community) to help one convert it from fantasy to any genre that you like.
I have it! In fact, I have Mythic Rome, M-Space and After the Vampire Wars as well. ALMOST beat out GURPS, but when I talked to the group about converting our current game from Genesys to another system, they voted down Mythras because we haven't played it, and GURPS they sort of know. Which i DIDN'T FIGHT, SINCE i like GURPS.
 

StanTheMan

Registered User
Validated User
I Hero System a LOT as a GM - not quite exclusively, but pretty close. I do this because I’m lazy and don’t want to learn multiple systems well enough to get the flexibility out of them that get with Hero. It’s universal, point-based, build system means that it can support just about any genre or game type I’d want to run.
I hear ya. HERO is another one I looked at, and one day (if I can gather the cash for the two main books; I like dead tree versions of things) I might invest in HERO after this year experiment. But in any case, yeah, I mean to stick to something, much for the reasons you name!
 

Freelancing Roleplayer

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As a GM & player I like crunchy systems, but I don't think I ever settled down on one. My GM uses a modified Storyteller system (based off exalted 2e as we play exalted mostly), and it's pretty crunchy but easy to balance and modify. Also rolling a buttload of dice is just amazing fun. Much more satisfying than rolling a nat 20 in d&d or 95%+ in rolemaster (which I adore as a system BTW).
 

Spartan

Tarpit Gamer
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Well, I don’t stick to systems but I always come back to them for a variety of reasons, so I’ll chime in from that perspective.

One I keep coming back to is Rolemaster. It’s by no means a universal system, but it qualifies as crunchy, is a perennial favourite of mine, and I know it well. I like it because the level of detail makes every character unique, and the tables are quite fun in play if everyone has their own copies. There’s an itch that only Rolemaster can scratch... there’s really nothing quite like it. It also works well when stripped down... you can ignore the percentage-based AP system, the XP system (which I’ve never used) and a bunch of other things without breaking it. Chargen is certainly involved, but the effort has always been worth it.

The nice thing about crunchy systems is that generally speaking, they never leave you high and dry. They tend to be comprehensive, making judgement calls less necessary. I’m comfortable with light systems and judgement calls as well, as I’m a loosey-goosey GM most of the time, even with Rolemaster.

Like any system selection, the question is “does it do the things I need?” Sometimes crunchy isn’t the answer. However, with a reasonably crunchy universal system, chances are you’ve got your bases covered.
 

LuciusAlexander

PalindromedaryRider
Validated User
I've been a Hero System fan for decades.

It is a generic universal system that can do whatever you need it to do. And it's great for tinkering, and I'm a born tinkerer.

If you ask "Can I do this in Hero?" whatever "this" is the answer is almost always either "Yes" or "Yes, if only you had the build points for it."

Lucius Alexander

The palindromedary is a frequent sight on the Hero Games forums
 

csyphrett

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I have played in a lot of systems but I only GM Heroes Unlimited. I can build anything I want in it, use index cards for villains, and it only has one moving part after character creation which is the combat system
CES
 

dbm

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Validated User
Chalk me up as another who doesn’t quite have the capacity to soak up new systems on a regular basis now that I am approaching the half-century. And my group mostly feel similar.

Our group like the ‘game’ part of RPG as much as the ‘role playing’ part, and all come from a wargaming background so having a game with enough mechanical doo-dads to play with is important for our fun. We mostly play fantasy (and so D&D is a regular at our table) but also like to vary things up. I’m one of our rotating GMs and keen to be able to play a diverse range of campaign ideas. GURPS is my tool-kit game of choice. It isn’t perfect, and periodically I will check out new, flexible systems but I keep coming back to the big-G. The advantage of a crunchy system is toys to play with, the advantage of a tool-kit game is being able to use those toys with a wide range of campaign ideas.

If I had found HERO before GURPS I am sure it would also have been an excellent ruleset to work with. One of the benefits of both these systems is that they come with a huge library of implementation guidance, whilst at the core being contained in a couple of books and at their heart being summarised by ‘roll 3d6 under your modified skill’. So: easy for people to pick up and they can learn the nuances of what skills and modifiers there are as they go.

The down-side is the potential need to build a whole lot of stuff for a new game, however there are now a broad range of guidance tools and pre-fab things that can take away a lot of the grunt work, there. Additionally, as GURPS is pretty robust you can (with some experience) start of wing a lot of the little stuff and only need to invest in the ‘spot light’ NPCs etc.

So, my experience is that sticking with one crunchy system allows you to absorb the crunch to the point that is a smoothly oiled machine in play, and having a crunchy tool kit system means you can get the maximum breadth of games out of that investment.
 
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