Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How Simple Do You Like It?

It's no secret how much I love C&C, and by extension D&D. But I've found myself wondering if I can find an even simpler system.

I'm trying to find the right balance of simplicty for my current lifestyle. I think I can handle C&C, but sometimes I find myself craving specific things. Such as using a game that only needs d6's instead of all the other polyhedrons. Or a game that only has two or three ability scores. Or a game that has a limited number of skills and spells for players to choose from, meaning that I as GM would have less character options to contend with/memorize.

Or some combination of all of the above.

Again, I love my C&C and all that it offers me and my group. But as absurd as it sounds, sometimes I want a game that's even simpler! And not simpler in a "I'll just play Basic D&D instead of something based off of Advanced D&D" way. Part of what I've been feeling is a need to get away from D&D-based games, and all the associated mechanics.

Some of this might be motivated by gamer ADD, but like I said, it's also because my life seems to get getting busier all the time, as my job seeks to give me more and more responsibility and the kids are getting older.

I'm also looking for an RPG I can run in between sessions of my C&C game, on those nights when things just don't align and my regular campaign doesn't come together.

I know what you're saying: "Uh, Drance, you've only been back to playing table-top RPGs for about a year. You wanted to get back into some sort of D&D action specifically. And now you want to play a game that ISN'T some variation of D&D? You've got issues, man."

Tell me something I don't know.

I've also been fondly remembering my Amber Diceless RPG days of late. And I've been considering pulling out my copy of Barbarians of Lemuria again. Now, Amber may be diceless but that doesn't mean it's exactly simple. It takes a lot of consideration and connection between GM and players, and can get pretty intense with respect to descriptive detail and depth of interaction.

Anyway, the questions are:

1. Can you recommend a simple system that isn't one of the following: Any variation of Microlite, Dungeonslayers, Old School Hack, or Wizard Rogue Mage?

2. Does anyone have any experience with Advanced Fighting Fantasy or Dragon Warriors, and if so, are they fairly light? I'm assuming Dragon Warriors is not really that light (I have the Mongoose book, but haven't read it), but I could be wrong. Oh, and I have to admit that I've been getting very curious about British Old School games.

Another caveat: I'm also pretty familiar with Savage Worlds at this point, so you can skip suggesting that as well, if any of you think of suggesting that!

Sorry for the rambling. It's been one of those days. I know I'm not articulating things the way I want them to come out. I'm not completely happy with this post but I'm going to hit the publish button anyway! Throwing caution to the wind and all that bosh. Looking forward to hearing from you all.


  1. Maybe QUERP? (Quick and Easy Role Playing). I've never played but have read through it. It's something I'd probably try if I ever moved away from D&D.


  2. Replies
    1. Dr. Rotwang: It's got electrolytes!

  3. Have you considered the Steve Jackson classic "The Fantasy Trip?" I think it has a lot of what you are looking for, plus a group called Dark City Games has done a TFT light version called "Legends of the Ancient World."


    And if not that, well ... I wrote something called "A+ Fantasy" which is meant to be pretty simple.

    1. TFT was one of the two things that immediately came to mind. The other is T&T.

  4. Over at the OSR Conservation site, I uploaded the two simple RPGs that I wrote, Retro Phaze and Lights!-Dice!-Action!

    Retro Phaze is very much a D&D pastiche, but with only four stats, only d6s, and a bunch of other simplifications (which seems to partly fit what you've described, and has thus prompted me to suggest it).

    LDA, meanwhile, is pretty much what you get when you cross Risus with the "poly dice are the stats" idea from Savage Worlds. It's about as dirt-simple as an RPG can possibly get.

    1. http://ocp.no-ip.org/

      (forgot the link) :|

  5. Ah, and I forgot another one. Scott Malthouse (from the Trollish Delver Blog) just published his Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying (USR) system, available for free from Lulu:


  6. Thanks, guys! These are all games that I had not heard of previously! Much appreciated! Time to do some reading...

  7. I had been meaning to comment on this post for awhile. Have you seen Shadow, Sword, & Spell by Rogue Games? It uses the 12 degree system; the same system that Colonial Gothic now uses. Twelve degrees only uses 2d6. Rogue is known for good, simple, cheap games if Savage Worlds isn't your thing.

    Check it out: http://www.rogue-games.net/SSS/

  8. Please check out my variation of the Fantasy Trip: