Crunchy "Open" RPG System

JochenL

CL Byte Sprite
Staff member
CL Add-on Dev
#1
I like GURPS and I like Fate.
Sometimes Fate is missing the crunch I love, sometimes GURPS is too detailed in parts.
I like a modular and versatile system, scaling up and down, and yielding comparable characters across genres.
Sadly, GURPS is a closed system, so I can't build a streamlined version on top of it for my publishing needs.
And for Fate the effort might not justify the result (there are already complex versions out there).

So, does anyone of you know an open, crunchy system which is:
  • Skill-based (with scalable attributes as a baseline)
  • Class-less
  • Level-less
  • Modular (to build abilities for different genres by using a defined framework)
  • Working around a 3d6, 2d10, or 1d20 mechanic (I like the range around 10)
  • Combat-detailed (I like the options of GURPS in general)
I know systems which are either open, but not class-/level-less/modular (e.g. d20), or which are like that, but not open (e.g. GURPS, Hero, Unisystem)...
Less detailed than Hero, more detailed then Fate, please.

EDIT: Open like OGL or CC (https://creativecommons.org/).
 
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ELF

Generator Sage
Staff member
CL Add-on Dev
#2
We are planning to switch our Cthulhu campaign to use the Cypher system, and it looks very promising and seems to support our style of play better than the official Chaosium rules - but it's probably not crunchy enough for your purposes. But if you are looking for something closer to Fate than GURPS, it might be worth a quick look.

I feel a bit silly suggesting this, as I have not first hand experience on the system, but Savage Worlds has a reputation for being a quick system with generic rules, and it does sound something that a GURPS aficionado might like. But a word of warning: a new edition is currently being kickstarted. And do take this with a mountain of salt, as my impression is based on just hearsay.
 

JochenL

CL Byte Sprite
Staff member
CL Add-on Dev
#3
Thanks!

I know Numenera and Strange. Indeed Cypher is not the way here. It has "classes" and lacks a modular building framework. It is nevertheless a nice system!

Yes, Savage Worlds is a nice system and it is close to what I imagine. Cortex even more so (as it adds where SW lacks). Both are closed, though.

Thanks for the KS link, I am now a proud backer! :)
 

ELF

Generator Sage
Staff member
CL Add-on Dev
#4
OK, I misinterpreted your openness requirement. Savage Worlds is open in the sense that third-party material can be published for it. Perhaps you meant the availability of something like SRD?
 

ELF

Generator Sage
Staff member
CL Add-on Dev
#6
I guess this question can now be officially filed in the 'difficult' category... Perhaps True20 would suffice?

There certainly are plenty of open options, but most of them are pretty obscure and few seem to tick even close to all of the requirement boxes.
 

JohnnFour

Game Master
Staff member
CL Add-on Dev
Demonplague Author
#7
Does it need to be multi-genre?

I think Castles & Crusades is OGL.

The Black Hack V1 RPG is too. It's basic OSR but easily extensible and he community has made several add-ons. i'm not sure about the upcoming V2.
 

Wolf

New member
CL Add-on Dev
#10
I'm not sure if that fits your needs but Blades in the Dark is available under the CC-BY license which bascially allows you to use and modify it as you see fit but you have to give proper credit when publishing your version. To describe it mechanically in one sentence:

Blades in the Dark is a crunchy but narrative-driven roleplaying game, inspired by Apocalypse World while standing on it's own.

To go over your list of requirements:
- Skill-based (yes, but it's not based on attributes, rather attributes are based on skills)
- Class-less (it has playbooks, but you can mix and match them as you want)
- Level-less (yesish, there is still XP but skills and playbook moves advance independently from each other)
- Modular (it's easy enough to define your own custom abilities, so I think yes)
- Working around 3d6 ... (it uses a d6 dice pool system, so not quite but I like it)
- Combat-detailed (it's similar to Apocalypse World so probably not quite what you're thinking of here)

It ships with it's own setting but there are a lot of hacks out there for it. I really, really like it.
 
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JochenL

CL Byte Sprite
Staff member
CL Add-on Dev
#11
I am just starting out with Blades in the Dark (or better: Scum and Villainy), but I like what I am seeing so far!
 
#12
Forthright

Fitting all your given constraints, that's the best that I can think of.

Either way, that version's free.

Disregard; I misconstrued what you meant by "open", and you want even more complexity than FATE.
 
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