This was posted in another community by a good friend. His favorite pet system is One Roll Engine, but he is about to create a personal hack that will allow low-medium fantasy play in the universe of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. So he asked the group for suggestions on alternative systems.
Food for thought. If you were in his shoes, what systems would you reach for, and why?
TLDR: This is *not an ‘emergency help a GM’ situation. Late last night we settled the conversation agreeing on Fate system as the base, and maybe a few modifications for taste. He will develop his Wheel of Time hack over the next 6 weeks most likely, so no rush.
Some alternatives that were mentioned were: Cipher System, Year Zero Engine, Fellowship (PbtA), Freebooters on the Frontier 2e, and Dungeon Crawl Classics.
(Also, last night I mentioned Yokai Hunters, like, 4 times, which means I’ve been thinking about it too much and should run it, myself, instead of trying to constantly push it at other GMs.)
EXCERPT of his original post:
Okay @GMs, I’ve reached a
roadblockdowned bridge on the way to my white whale: I’ve been trying to port the objectively terrible D&D 3e Wheel of Time RPG into One-Roll Engine, but realized after building characters with my players that while it’s definitely better, it’s probably still not a good fit. Stepping back and thinking about why, I need a system that supports these features better: 1) failure is interesting, and/or sheer grit can pull you through (the characters in the novels often have a “take what you want and pay for it” attitude, so paying costs in future drama, pain, or exhaustion is a good tradeoff for success now). systems with Bennies like FATE came to mind immediately here. 2) not “gritty” as in lethal though. this is Robert Jordan, not George R. R. Martin. I do like the idea of multiple stress tracks for physical, mental, madness, etc. 3) magic should be interesting but not granular (see above, fuck spell slots). there’s basically three steps to it, if you’re not familiar with the books: a) raw power usage, like a club or binding of Air, or a Fireball; b) specific and complicated weaves that you have to either learn from someone else or invent yourself, like teleportation or healing; c) flexibility to talk to GM into something in between. This part is a bit like the Spheres of Mage, I guess? 4) non-casters have to be able to keep up, though. my party will probably have two casters and three non-casters, if they keep the concepts they’ve been rolling with so far. (ORE actually went too far the other direction here - the point-buy system for dice pools meant the casters got shortchanged in the long run)(edited)
one of the players also mentioned Cortex Prime, which I need to look into this weekend.
K is also going to try to build some PbtA playbooks that would support this particular party. I’m suspicious of the utility of that system, but it definitely encompasses fail-forward, party balance/niche protection, loose magic rules.
Thanks in advance!