Jump to content

The Quest for Rules

BJ Back From the Beyond

Recommended Posts

I've been wanting to do another RPG campaign for a while now, but the thing that's been holding me back is the lack of a rules set that I'd be willing to use. As far as I can tell, we've all given up working on the old AIMhack rules (Lilith in particular has gone off and started using a commercial rules set. Not that I'm complaining; I've enjoyed playing with Savage Worlds immensely), so I've started looking for something else. After looking around at some of the free rules sets out there, I haven't had much luck. If anyone has any recommendations for a rules set I could use, I'd love to hear them. Here's some things I'm looking for:


It must be FREE. I'm cheap. And broke. And I don't like asking my players to pay for something just to be in my game. In other words, commercial systems are right out. Some systems have free core rules and supplemental rules that you can buy. For the most part, I would be okay with this.


It should be universal. I don't want a system that is tied to heavily to any particular setting or genre. I'm looking for something that will be just at home in a modern-day zombie romp as it would be in a medieval swords and sorcery campaign.


It should be classless. This is more of an issue of personal taste than anything. I've never been much of a fan of class based systems, much preferring skill based ones. Besides, class based systems tend to revolve heavily around medieval fantasy settings.


It shouldn't be too complex. Rules complexity slows down online play much more than it does live play, and a bogged down game is not a fun one.


It shouldn't be too simple. This is my personal taste again. I don't want the game to be overly simplistic. I'm looking for something in my own little Goldilocks zone somewhere between simple and complicated. AIMhack felt about right. I could take something slightly more or less complex than that and be happy.


Being built for online play would be a bonus, but isn't necessary.


The only thing I've found so far that really comes close to what I'm looking for is Simplex, but I'd really need to rework a lot of that before I'd use it. If I can't find a system that suits my needs and tastes, I'll probably just try my hand at developing my own (and given how that has turned out in the past on these forums, I'm not very confident about doing that).


So, recommendations, thoughts, concerns, questions. I welcome all of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Take a look at Fate Core and Fate Accelerated Edition (the slightly rules-lighter version). Both are pay-what-you-want, including free. They're generic, drama-driven, classless, and between the two I think one might hit the sweet spot for complexity for you.


—Alorael, who actually isn't a huge Fate fan himself. But it has its devoted followers, it meets your requirements, and it's at the very least worth a look. Plus it runs on a kind of story-driven gaming that's worth a little familiarity even if you ultimately go for something else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm actually curious to know what seems slow and difficult to implement. And, for that matter, what implementing means here.


—Alorael, who has no particular issues one way or the other, except to note that a new system actually does require implementation in that it must be designed and, ideally, tested. AIMhack is already past that, and if no one's working on new versions that doesn't mean the latest ones were less than serviceable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Ooookay, getting back to this took longer than expected. Let's see if I can clear some things up.

If you like aimhack, why not just fork off a variant and go from there? Its simple enough that you can learn it quite quickly, and unless you go with a big name they'll need to learn a system anyway, right?

I'd prefer to go with something someone else has made, for a couple of reasons. It will probably be better balanced than anything I could come up with, and it would be better tested. I'm not sure I'm really up to the task of even making an AIMhack variant (every time I try to make something like that, it just seems to wither and die :( ) That's not to say I'm not willing to try. It's looking more and more like a variant is exactly what I'll end up with.

I'm actually curious to know what seems slow and difficult to implement. And, for that matter, what implementing means here.

What I mean is that some of the things that require back-and-forth discussion between the GM and player look like they would take much longer in online play than they would in person. I can't remember what they're called (Compels? Was that one?) and I really don't feel like looking right now. And sorry if some things I say are confusing. It happens more often than you might think.


Anyway, on the subject of the current AIMhack variants, I can honestly say that I've played with most if not all of them (Classic AIMhack, Zombiehack, Creepinghack, and Quadhack; note that Nibiru never left development). Each of them has features that I like. Each of them has features that I don't like. Every other person who has played with them can probably say the same, but for me the bottom line is this: given the option between using one of the per-established variants and making my own, I'd rather make my own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...