So last post I mentioned that I was having a bit of GM Analysis Paralysis (GMAP). Basically, I was pretty much at a stand still for what to run and what to do with Pathfinder. We took the night off from rpgs, played Order of the Stick instead, and drank quite a few beers (well, we normally do that but this time we had a few more than normal). We also had a chance to chat for a bit about gaming and what we might do moving forward. Everyone was quite understanding at my relative ennui with our game and with Pathfinder. I talked about various systems that I’d like to try out and see if they might fit both me as a GM and them as players. These included: Castles & Crusades, Myth & Magic, AD&D (or OSRIC)…sense a pattern yet…and Savage Worlds.
We also talked a bit about what I felt would be the best fit for me as a GM. The following day, I posted a list of the things that I identified as what I was looking for. These included:
- I want a system with a relatively easy, unified mechanic for resolving things when the dice need to come out.
- I want a system that is easy to tweak and add house rules as we see fit (e.g., tweaking any sort of “Vancian” or cast and forget magic system).
- I want a system that doesn’t require a high degree of “rules mastery” on either your part or mine in order to be played effectively.
- I want a system with a simple character sheet and where the focus of the game is on what is happening at the table rather than what is written on the character sheet.
- I want a system where monster stat blocks aren’t one or two pages long and still require that you have memorized or look up abilities that are only listed by their name.
- I want a system where a core design philosophy and style is not on what a character can’t do but on letting characters try pretty much anything.
- I want a system that is very easy for me to improvise and run on the fly without a lot, if any, prep ahead of time.
- I want a system where it is easy to use material, specifically adventure material, from various editions of D&D since I’ve got a bunch.
- I want a system that doesn’t place a heavy emphasis on detailed, tactical combat but recognizes that combat is just a tool to support the exploration, roleplaying, and other such elements of playing in a campaign.
- I want a system where neither the players nor GM need to be looking up rules or other things in a rulebook on a regular basis.
Not too much to ask for, right?
Well, as I thought (and thought and thought and thought) about it during the day, I realized that I already had a game that I felt met all this for me and, perhaps with a slight amount of tweaking, would work for my players. Wait for it…wait for it…