I’d like to run a non-5e Fantasy campaign in the near future. My issue is that my typical online pool of players isn’t going to be readily available.
Knowing what I’m up against, because I’m not going to be running the “most popular rpg in the world”, I’d like some input.
A poll would be simpler to do, but there are so many options, I’d just like some open feedback, for starters- then maybe I’ll post a poll later.
Thanks and everyone have a great day!
I like to play Bettenchi! I’ll admit that I’m biased of course, seeing as to how I made Bettenchi, but it’s a really easy to use system and very flexible. It’s also free (and currently running an open beta testing phase)!
More established systems that aren’t D&D but would allow for fantasy play, I’d say maybe consider Fate or maybe Savage Worlds.
The only traditional fantasy game I’ve played recently is Modiphus’ Conan. It’s low fantasy and a bit gritty (because, y’know, Conan), and quite a bit removed from D&D IMO. I’ve also played the urban fantasy game Liminal, which is a fun little rules-light game.
As far as systems that interest me, I’ve been drifting away from traditional fantasy for some time. I wouldn’t mind checking out Chaosium’s reboot of RuneQuest, though. As far as an urban fantasy game is concerned, I’m intrigued by Changeling: The Lost and would love to give it a shot.
Two of my personal favorites are Iron kingdoms and the age system, both are d6 systems that are fairly easy to get the hang of.
Iron kingdoms by privateer press is a simple 2d6 system that has near identical rules for combat as their skirmish game Warmachine/Hordes. Being a miniature wargame its easy to get figs if your a mini player though the rpg characters are easily double the strength of the wargame characters so if you use content from the wargame be sure to build them with the rpg rules.
The age system published by Green Ronin is a modular 3d6 system that is easy to learn as well without any pre existing fluff content. The core book is the ruleset without any setting content so you can create your own campaign without having to sift fluff to get to the rules. I’ve run this at several conventions and the only issue I’ve had with introducing it to new players is the layout of leveling up explanation. the bits about leveling up are split into to separate segments in the book and can cause some confusion for new players.
OpenD6 is free . It uses the original West End Game Star Wars mechanics, minus the force. All of the pdfs are available in the link.
Were I to start a ‘typical’ fantasy campaign, I’d look hard at Fate for its flexibility and ease-of-use. While Dresden Files is urban fantasy, it’s a good example of adapting the Fate engine - I’m sure there are good Euro-medieval-fantasy settings using Fate, but it’s not something I’ve looked into. Another example is Tianxia, which applies Fate to a Chinese high-martial-arts setting.
Another one I’d consider is Savage Worlds, a reliable enough engine with plenty of support and pretty easy to get into.
Not sure I’d join in your game, so much depends on schedule, but I’ll keep an eye on it.
I would second the mentions of Modephius’ excellent Conan (as player), and Savage Worlds (as GM). SW specialises in campaigns where both magic and might (or tech) play a part.
If you wanted a specific evocative setting, you could have a look at the fantasy oriental game Legend of the Five Rings. How many fighters get to acquire skills in Japanese flower arranging?
I don’t know if any edition of 19th century fantasy Victoriana is still in print, and I’ve not tried it, but it looks intriguing. Oh it is here. Victoriana 3rd Edition - Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd. | Victoriana | DriveThruRPG.com
Haven’t played Modiphius’ Conan, but I did dabble in their John Carter RPG, which uses the same basic mechanics. It worked well for that, though I only ran a couple of sessions; if my regular group had more interest, I might have dug into the system more. No idea how they do magic or anything.
I currently like Savage Worlds, particularly for its versatile race options and flexible power system. Warhammer Fantasy (the 100% versions) are another favorite of mine.
I’d like to play Legend (or Mythras). I haven’t touched Runequest-inspired games in a long time.
I’m a BIG Fate fan, but wrangling players was super-hard, so I moved on to other games. Also a big fan of Savage Worlds!
Haven’t tried Conan 2d20 yet- although I was part of the KS and have all the pdf’s, I think!
I’m familiar with Iron Kingdoms and Age. Recently, I was working on a Talislanta homebrew, using Age.
We’re finishing up a WE Star Wars 4-5 shot this week! Love it!
Yeah, Zep! I’m very surprised to see Fate mentioned. That’s fantastic!
All are solid suggestions! Thanks!
LOVE Sword & Planet games!
Awesome, I had to cancel my WEG Star Wars game after a year. A bunch of players kept missing sessions leaving the rest of the group hanging which wasn’t fair to them or I. I created new rules to ensure that future players of my games understand that they’re making a commitment to play and need to be at every session unless something life changing happens.
OMG! Legend was my jam years, ago! I’d love to play that again!
I have always enjoyed the fantasy versions of Warhammer and GURPS. I would suggest my new fantasy system (Saga of 5 Ages) but it isnt published yet…
Not The End can play fantasy like none other I’ve tried. We’re currently doing a fantasy+steampunk campaign with it, and it’s a blast. The system did not get in the way of the characters being themselves.
Now, I’d like to try Blades in the Dark.