STAR TREK 2d20
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  1. #1

    The Riddle of Steel, Ars Magica, or Burning Wheel?

    I'm considering running a game, and wanted to find out if anyone had any interest in any of the three game systems listed above.

    Of the three, I weigh towards The Riddle of Steel the most because it gives equal credit to spellcasters and warriors, and is what might be termed a blood opera, in that it focuses on the needs, drives, and passions of the characters, but can be very bloody. The only problem is that it has a bit of a steep learning curve.

    I don't know Burning Wheel well yet, but I'm learning it, and I've been told that if I like TROS, I'd like BW as well... but as before, I'm still learning it.

    As for Ars Magica? Its a great game, but its a bit hyperfocused, which can be good or bad.

    If there is no interest in any of these, I will probably end up running some kind of D20 game, but if so, I'll be combining elements of the Black Company Campaign book, Iron Heroes, Arcana Evolved, Midnight, Conan d20, Iron Kingdoms, etc etc into something different. Basically, I like elements of several of these books, but I felt each one was lacking, so I'm kinda hybridizing them.

    But only if I can't get a game in one of the above systems going

  2. #2
    I take it by the deafening silence that there isn't any interest, eh?

    Guess I'll have to do some kinda d20 stuff then... sigh.... heh

  3. #3

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    Which version of Ars Magica? Ars Magica "is like the greatest game I've never played." I think we've started three campaigns that never made it past chargen or initial setup. I built a complicated set of perl scripts to run a coven for an online campaign once. That one didn't make it either 8).

    By the by, I was incredibly happy with the Black Company book, despite some flaws and a few glaring omissions (and the balance issues). I want to say that I think it stands pretty well "on its own", but the gods might smite me for such blatant misrepresentations . I ran a Black Company game, and the list of rules mods I put in, literally took an entire website to describe :/, and didn't looks so much like D&D in the end.

    I also quite liked the style of the IK books, although I've never actually gotten to play it. Conversely, Midnight didn't look that interesting to me (reminded me of a Ravenloft rip-off), but it had nice art. Arcana Evolved had some interesting ideas, but nothing I felt compelled to use. Curious what you found mineable in those. Not really familiar with the other two books.
    --Shin

  4. #4
    Yeah. The Riddle of Steel is truly awesome, once you get past the admittedly steep learning curve (well, only combat is steep, but, well, there ya go).

    Ars Magica is also great, but also a mixed bag. I think the most recent edition actually is not the best. I think 3rd and 4th are both better, for different reasons.

    The thing is, IH has the best combat rules as far as I can determine (In other words, makes playing fighter types the most interesting), Black Company has the best magic rules, Iron Kingdom has nice steampunk rules that I might adopt (or might not), Midnight is just cool as a kind of really dark game (otherwise nothing I'd really mine out of that, except maybe the Defender and Outlander character classes), Arcana Evolved is just my favorite alternative to straight D&D, and Conan has an alternative defense and armor system that I might adopt instead of the IH version.

    Anyway. It will mean some considerable work. I might just try and make a sales pitch for TROS (or Burning Wheel once I finish reading it, if it looks easier, hehe!)

  5. #5

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    Well, depending on when you were thinking of running your game (and which game you actually chose to run), I'd be interested in playing. I have I believe the 3rd and 4th edition Ars Magica rules (never bought 5th edition)--I wonder what campaign structure you would use? I wouldn't mind learning TROS (I glanced at it once in a gameshop and thought it looked interesting). D20 is not my favorite ruleset, but depending on the campaign idea, I could be enticed 8). D20 seems to be quite the popular system in FG in general, which would make acquiring players much simpler. Not so sure about the Burning Wheel, if it's the game I think it is. That's the web-based RPG? The one whose rules only exist on their site?

    BTW, the Conan defense rules, don't they just use ac bonuses by level for all their light armored classes?
    --Shin

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Belizan
    Not so sure about the Burning Wheel, if it's the game I think it is. That's the web-based RPG? The one whose rules only exist on their site?

    BTW, the Conan defense rules, don't they just use ac bonuses by level for all their light armored classes?
    Burning Wheel: no, its a published RPG. Its had some rave reviews, though I'm still learning it myself.

    And Conan and Iron Heroes both use a Defense system where your AC is determined not by armor, but by a defense score. IH has a single score, much like BAB, while Conan has two scores, one representing parrying and one representing dodging. Both systems, it scales with level much like BAB. Armor grants DR.

  7. #7
    Oh, and the reasons I like TROS more than anything:

    1) It has a combat system where you dont just swing and hit/miss, but you announce what part of the body you are swinging at, whether its a swing or a thrust, and a variety of other factors. It makes you actually think about your actions, rather than just "I swing! I swing! I swing!"

    This has the negative effect of increasing the learning curve, but once you have, it makes combat more interesting, I must say. Combat is also capable of being quite deadly.

    2) The game has a component that makes the game very character-driven. Essentially, there are these attributes known as Spiritual Attributes. You get to define these attributes to whatever you want, within certain strictures, to reflect whats most important to your character. So, for example, you might take "Hatred of the Baron," or "Driven to find wife's murderer." Whenever you are in a scene that triggers these SAs, you get to add that score to your dice pool for resolving actions.

    Also, SAs are the component for raising your character's capabilities, so you are also rewarded for following your character's important drives.

    3) Combat is fabulously interesting, but magic is also quite powerful. Sorcerers arent one-spell wonders, but powerful, magic-ladedn wizards. The original system was a tad wonky, however, and they are working on a new system for those who didnt like the original. I've got a playtest pack of it myself now, but the original is still pretty darned good.

  8. #8

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    Hrmm, interesting. The Combat system sounds a bit reminiscent of Runequest. Anyway, if you get a game together at a time I can manage, I'd be interested in trying it out 8).
    --Shin

  9. #9
    Hm. Ok, I'm going to start working on a character sheet for the TROS game, and try to recruit some people.

  10. #10

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    Sounds good, let me know how things progress 8).
    --Shin

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