The Guy That Wrote This (uhlrik) wrote in roleplayers,
The Guy That Wrote This

Systems Hunt

Okay, I'm working on designing a setting for a game that I'll probably* eventually run.

I was going to modify/house-rule Scion to allow for where I want to go for this game, but after researching the game system, perusing the forums etc, I'm having serious second thoughts and thought I'd come to this community for advice. Scion is thematically right, but I'm increasingly feeling that it's systemically wrong. I don't expect that any system out there will fully satisfy everything I want from the get-go, but I enjoy tweaking systems anyhow so that's hardly a huge deal. I'd like to to be as close as possible from the start, however.

I'm not going to go into full details, but here is some of the most pertinent stuff that would impact what system I'll settle on:

  1. It is a fantasy setting, on about a renaissance technological level (knights, matchlocks, early muskets, pike squares, merchant princes and that sort of thing)
  2. Legendary heroes - I'm talking Gilgamesh, Heracles, etc. I want PCs to be beings capable of super-human acts of prowess and courage. This is non-negotiable, so games focused heavily on street-level and reality-based characters are out. This is why I started out with Scion.
  3. I want resolution systems to be comparatively quick. I'll be running this online, and I want something that runs smoothly, cleanly and quickly without a huge number of dice rolls or charts. I'm going for a dramatic, dynamic genre and want to be able to model that.
  4. I'm not afraid of some granularity as long as resolution's not cumbersome. I do like having clearly defined characters and character creation rules.
  5. I'd like a system that is designed such that social or mental-based characters aren't left out systemically. Politics, persuasion and intrigue will be important, not just breaking heads.
  6. Not level-based. Sorry, D20.
  7. I prefer point-buy or at least character build systems rather than random generation.
  8. I despise GURPS, so please don't suggest it.
  9. Dynamic magic. Now, this one's totally optional. If the system doesn't allow for freeform magical power or similar improvisational effects (very few do anyhow), then I'll have to build one on. I don't mind doing that, and even if it does have one I'll modify it to fit my conceptual basis anyhow. However, I'd prefer a system where attaching one won't derail the whole thing, or where there's something at least close. I'll also fuss with a cousin to Scion's fate rules too, but that's for a different discussion.
  10. I don't care about what lists of races or whatever exist in the system, so whether or not the system has an interesting one is of no importance whatsoever, neither a help nor a hindrance. They'll be jettisoned entirely anyhow.
Now, as much as I adore Capes, that game's out. I want there to be a clearly defined GM this time out, and I don't want players to be able to retcon the whole plot on a whim and a few dice rolls (*pulls off the mask* "See, it was Old Man Perkins all along!"). I love those things, but they won't work for what I'm trying to do here.

As you can see, my needs are quite specific, and I'll almost certainly have to heavily house-rule any and every system that I encounter to fit. Any suggestions on where to start or what systems would be a fair fit?

*I'm constantly designing settings and either using them or not, though most at least see some use. As I've said elsewhere, if at any point I wasn't designing/modifying/tinkering with settings/ characters/ game systems etc, I just might drop dead.