My avatar is problematic.
A comedy RPG with MST3K undertones? You got my interest.
What does he mean easier encounter building and combat? With encounter building does he mean more pre-built monsters or monster's that are easy and fast to build? Does he mean pre-built encounters? For easier combat does he want fewer options or does the want the existing options to all be similar enough to each other they are easy to remember and account for? He may just want to run a pre-built adventure.
I'm legally and morally obligated to mention GURPS and its sliding scale of complexity. GURPS Lite is free if he wants to check it out, and there's this list of blog posts he can read through to get a taste of what it's like.
GURPS encounter design can range between "instant" (using an existing stat sheet), fast (build it using a template), quick (modifying a template / selecting only basic attributes, a single wildcard skill+core skills, and core traits/advantages/disadvantages), average (going through basic character creation), lengthy (standard basic character creation plus a couple fancy things like modifiers and a slew of techniques), and "wft dude you spent 8 hours working on a single character" (you pull from multiple source books, build your character around the fancy things, stat even the most minor powers and abilities in excruciating detail, and bask in the arithmetic).
Combat as well has a similar sliding scale. Even a lot of the stuff in GURPS Lite is optional, like a DX roll to avoid falling if you miss with a kick, or modifiers for bad footing (unless someone put points into Perfect Balance, then it wouldn't be fair to ignore those rules). You could also safely ignore All-Out maneuvers during combat if the characters are high-skill enough. And much of the stuff that you do choose to include is factored in during character creation, you just include an asterisk next to the skill number with "includes -2 from holding a large shield", "includes -1 from encumbrance", and so on. All combat is handled through "modify skill then roll under" so the lion's share of the (optional) complexity in combat comes from how many different techniques and situational modifiers you're using.
GURPS also works if you literally just guess what the modifier is. "As you approach the ninja on the rickety roof you grip your sword in your un-injured off-hand, glaring through the smoke at the black-clad figure blending into the moonless sky. The ninja can't entirely depend on darkness tonight, your gift of night vision will make sure of that". You could look it up and see the off hand penalty is -4, the penalty from smoke and darkness together is -7 reduced to -5 due to two levels of night vision, there's a -2 penalty for bad footing when attacking and -1 when defending... or you could just say "-8 to hit, -2 to dodge" and call it a day. The "real" modifier is -11 to hit and -1 to defend, but if -8/-2 feels right then the actually-real modifier is -8/-2.
There's also FUDGE/Fate which also has a sliding scale of complexity. I don't have much experience with it, but I've heard it's very good and tends to err on the side of faster-play.
That's because learning a whole new system, particularly an older one from the era before playtesting and streamlining, is a hassle most people aren't willing to go through anymore. Doubly so if you're playing with people online, since a lot of games fall apart within two or three sessions.Gurps is a fun game. Kind of disappointing how reticent most groups are to play any of the smaller settings like CoC, Paranoia, Shadowrun, Rifts, etc. Seems like most groups just want to do Pathfinder or 5e, which are still fun but make it nearly impossible to find ones who aren’t afraid to do one shots or weirder settings. I wish I could find a stream or something of someone actually attempting to play the mess that was HoL.
My usual GM has run a couple single-player games. His method is to allow the player character to have a NPC follower or two they can give orders to (and who can refuse orders, of course). That way there can be a more variety in the encounters.Almost time for session 2 of my first campaign as a GM tonight. I'm kind of using my current player (who is normally the GM of my games) as a play tester. I have the skeleton outline of the plot and locations but I'm fleshing them out as I go. If it works out well I want to polish it up and DM for more people in the future with this or other premade modules.
Running a game for one player is interesting. They have a lot less help since there are no other party members, and I'm figuring out a good balance of enemies so I don't go too easy or too hard.
That's exactly what I'm doing tbh. In an earlier session I had an encounter with the player, two friendly npcs, and a variety of mooks to introduce him to the setting and gauge how combat went. The npcs parted ways afterwards. I do have a couple optional NPCs that can be long-term companions if he comes across them, including a blink doggo, kobold cleric, a hired mercenary, and even a rival that he can either fight or team up with. But they show up a little later on when things (hopefully) get tougher. I'll probably limit him to one companion and maybe a pet at a time. And since I'm kinda writing some of it as I go I can be flexible with it.My usual GM has run a couple single-player games. His method is to allow the player character to have a NPC follower or two they can give orders to (and who can refuse orders, of course). That way there can be a more variety in the encounters.
I think you'll get a kick out of this old game then: It Came From the Late Late Late ShowA comedy RPG with MST3K undertones? You got my interest.
Player ranting ahoy.
One thing I really hate about tabletop gaming is not the games themselves, but people disrespecting others' time. I'm in several online games (one weekly and one biweekly) and I have this one friend in both. She spreads herself thin with work, classes, and a time consuming sport. I get it, shit's busy. But she makes our weekly game late every time. Her boyfriend is also in our games. Those two play at our GM's house because her internet is shit. But they end up shitting around and we always start at least an hour late. And since they are in the same room together they constantly distract themselves and derail the game for the rest of us and I have to gently try to put things back on track. With our biweekly game (different GM), her aforementioned sport has made us cancel our last two games because she was busy with it. And when she can't play, her boyfriend can't either because they go everywhere together so we're down too many players for that GM to run it. And she wants us to do MORE games. And here I am sitting, over an hour later than I had planned to start my game but the GM is nowhere online yet. He's picking up bad habits from her.
Like, I probably sound overly bitter. It's just annoying.
My rule of thumb is to have 3, at least for DnD. You got three? You can run it. Less? That's what a Whitewolf game can do, since they're good for small groups.That GM has a rule that if over 1/3 of players can't make it, then no game. We have 5 players in it, so...yeah.
If I played with multiple players, I'd go with that too, unless maybe we were in the middle of a battle and/or dungeon where everyone is involved. Even then many friends I play with are okay with being played by a gm for a session if they're the only one who can't make it. Otherwise I'd put them in a "bucket" for that session.My rule of thumb is to have 3, at least for DnD. You got three? You can run it. Less? That's what a Whitewolf game can do, since they're good for small groups.
I’ve been looking into Savage Worlds myself for a system I want to run. Its ludicrously short an easy, with most of the stuff in the core rulebook being optional rules. The only thing is that its made for more cinematic gameplay, so if you’re more into realism, look elsewhere.Anyone have any interesting recommendations for systems that aren't DnD/Pathfinder/GURPS? Preferably for modern day settings (that aren't WoD). I've been thinking of doing a one-shot or a short campaign to test out new systems since I shelled out for a new VTT and have all these cool tools at my disposal now. I've run Kamigakari before, which I recommend to any tabletop weebs and the ruleset is free since the tranny that set up the kickstarter to publish the official English book ran off with the money. Other systems I've glanced over were Defiant and Witchcraft but the latter has some really hideous typesetting which turns me off even if the system seems neat. Took a look at Yellow King as well but combat system is so different that it might take everyone (including me) time to adjust to it.