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Caravanfan's avatar

What is your favorite TTRPG system?

Asked by Caravanfan (13587points) 2 weeks ago

I’ve played D&D (all the editions), d20 Modern GURPS, Call of Cthluhu, Runequest, Arduin, and probably a couple of others I’m not remembering. They all balance realism vs playability. I’m most familiar with D&D 3.5, 5e and d20 modern.

I DM a few games, some 5e and one D20 Modern. As a DM I like 5e as it’s simpler. As a player I like 3.5 and D20 modern.

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12 Answers

SnipSnip's avatar

Is that English?

Caravanfan's avatar

@SnipSnip D&D was originally American, not English, but it is now international. And I did see a couple of TTRPG gaming stores in Cardiff, so it’s not just English but others in Britain play.

Dutchess_III's avatar

D&D is the DEBIL! That’s all I know on the subject.

smudges's avatar

@Caravanfan I think @SnipSnip was referring to all of the terms. I was going to make a similar comment. :}

Caravanfan's avatar

@smudges I know what @SnipSnip was referring to. I was deliberately literal as a joke as it amused me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Other than Candyland, I never played TTRPGs. I know this does not count as TT but it is RPG so… Wolfenstein 3D from the very early 90s.

When I first saw it I thought “All that processing power is going to waste making a game! It should be doing something more important.”
At the time I was working on an engine controller that had about the same power but was doing something far more “worthwhile.”
Then I tried it and got hooked.

smudges's avatar

@Caravanfan What can I say…I missed your humor and took it literally. Now that I see it, it is funny!

gorillapaws's avatar

I appreciate the simplicity of D&D 5e. I appreciate how compounding bonuses simply give “advantage” and compounding penalties give “disadvantage” so you’re not trying to calculate a +1 for this and a +4 for that, but the guy is in dim light, so that’s a -2…. that kind of math may be more realistic, but tallying up situational bonuses and penalties all of the time is exhausting, kills the pacing and sucks the air out of the room. Along those lines, I appreciate how they’ve simplified armor and weapons. You can use your imagination to turn a longsword into a katana but the proficiencies and stats are the same, it’s just “flavor.” As I recall in earlier D&D systems you had to burn proficiency slots or something to pursue “exotic” weapons just to have access to some of that stuff, which conveyed no other benefit. In other words, your character would be objectively worse off for going down that road than the same character would have been with different choices. Or you could be proficient with a very specific pole arm like a bill, but apparently entirely useless with a halberd.

I think I like the simplicity of spell slots instead of mana bars and calculating that, but I also think it has resulted in casters becoming overpowered, especially at the higher levels.

The death system is interesting, and that feeds into the healing system as well, that seems built around managing damage and bringing folks back from being knocked out. I like the decisions there—maybe a little too silly at times though.

The downside is that 5e seems to always drift towards silliness. I think it’s because they were trying to “video gameify” the various powers and classes for balance reasons. I also think it could have done a better job with physical tactics like flanking, diagonal movement, bonuses for proximity to teammates in melee, and non-magical combat in general. There are optional rules that help with these things though.

In my group, I’ve been asked to consider running a campaign (which I’ve never done). I’m going to go with 5e for sure, though I’m going to set it in a world where magic is considered evil (many centuries after a cataclysmic mishap with magic) and will get you burned at the stake. I’m hoping that will help bolster physical classes and encourage thoughtful tactics, while still allowing for magic. Feats like metamagic: subtle casting and illusions will become a lot more valuable, and “guidance spam” should be mostly eliminated from social interactions in towns.

The pathfinder system seems interesting. I might look into it one day.

Caravanfan's avatar

@gorillapaws Thanks for the good answer. I’m kind of conflicted. I like 5e for its simplicity, but some of the rules drive me just crazy. Let’s say you’re a high level character with 100 hit points and you take 99 hit points of damage. After a long rest you’re completely healed up.

3.5 and d20 modern (which is based on a 3.5 archetecture) to me is the most malleable as there are so many source materials available for it and you can do so many different types of games. The disadvantage is that the feat stacking can get out of control at high levels and the spell lists can be massive. I remember studying once for my 14th level druid looking at all the spell options and I thought, “OK, this sucks”. Also, one of my characters in a d20 modern game is a gunslinger. So I have to take point blank shot, far shot, precise shot, two weapon proficiency, advanced two weapon proficiency, etc. etc. Each take up a feat slot. And then, I have to keep track of all of them.

So for DMing I’ve defaulted to 5e as it’s simpler to run, and certainly simpler to run on

You mentioned Pathfinder. Pathfinder is based upon D&D 3.5. I’ve not played it but I’ve seen it and it’s really similar. Very malleable and lots of options out there.

Today I played Planescape for the first time and that was a blast.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^ I don’t know this guy.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I learned a lot from this Q. Now I am actually curious!

gorillapaws's avatar

@Caravanfan “Let’s say you’re a high level character with 100 hit points and you take 99 hit points of damage. After a long rest you’re completely healed up.”

As a physician, that’s got to feel particularly absurd. Or if you get 7 hours of a long rest instead of 8 then you’re only healed for a short rest’s worth of HP.

IMO that kind of thing doesn’t bother me as much simply because it’s not really a simulation. We don’t generally need to RP bathroom brakes or every meal eaten even though we know they’re happening, and spending our time dealing with mundane things (though realistic) slows down play. Keeping things moving and fun > realism (generally), which is why I prefer 5e.

Just to expand on my previous answer, a lot of the maneuvers that a Battle Master fighter get, should be baked into the combat rules. Things like tripping, disarming etc. should be things that all classes. That might mean removing the Battle Master, but I’m ok with it.

Also, I think it would be cool if you could make called shots on specific extremities or body parts with bonuses to the enemy’s AC depending on the target. A player losing a limb might bring about more serious consequences to taking severe damage. Maybe a healer of the appropriate level and expertise in medicine can reattach a limb with enough time and a high enough spell.

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