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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Name Me Some Good Games For "Pick Up and Play" Roleplaying

The last few months for my gaming group have been hit or miss - at times, of the 8 in the group, only 3 or 4 can make a session. Not an easy way to move on with a campaign of DCC that usually has 6 or 7 players / PCs when we game.

And yeah, that is a sign of the summer months, but I'd like to be prepared in any case.

This means the sessions we wind up short either become yap sessions (not bad in and of itself) or get canceled outright.

So, looking for ideas of RPGs that can be run with little set up, short rules, easy to throw and adventure together, doesn't rely on niche protection and can handle small parties.

Throw your ideas and me and lets see what sticks ;)

26 comments:

  1. Cthulhu? The characters probably won't live (or stay sane) past 1 adventure anyway, so it's good for one-shots.

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  2. Mythic.
    Flashing Blades.
    Wyrd is Bond (though there might be a touch of learning curve since it's a narrative style game).
    (O)D&D, no supplements.
    Lords of Creation.
    EABAnywhere (or maybe even EABA, for that matter; there's also EABA Lite, as I recall, which would be a middle ground).
    Pocket Universe.
    Car Wars (the pedestrian rules and the skills in the Car Wars Compendium could be used to run a simple RPG if you ignore the map and counters, or even with them, if that's the way you roll; maybe quadruple the scale so that 1/4" Car Wars square equals 1" square at the RPG table, or leave it as-is, whatever).
    TWERPS.

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    Replies
    1. A couple more that I forgot to include:

      Risus.
      Over the Edge.
      Villains & Vigilantes. (Have you noticed the Jeff Dee thing going on here? This is the third game of his I've mentioned. Even I think that's a bit weird.)
      Marvel Super Heroes (the TSR one, just ignore the Ultimate Powers Book, maybe let players make up their powers instead of rolling).

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  3. Poker, but bet miniatures instead of money.

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  4. Old School Hack is always a good choice. Can read through the rules pretty quickly, and there are even fun pre-gens made up for Con play.

    http://www.oldschoolhack.net/

    Pregens: http://www.oldschoolhack.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/OSH_GC2012pregens.pdf

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  5. Beyond The Wall is a good game to just dive into playing. The group character generation process is entertainment in and of itself, and it's nice to see a non-Vancian spell system in a game rooted in the B/X tradition.

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  6. ICONS - random chargen, simple rules, inexpensive adventures if you want them

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  7. Moldvat Dungeons and Dragons would be perfect. And there are tons of classic adventures that only require that you read them.

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    Replies
    1. Many of the published B-series adventures are very tough for small Basic D&D groups if run as written, though.

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  8. Barbarians of Lemuria - Especially if characters avoid being sorcerers you can create characters in ten minutes and be up and running in fifteen.

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  9. FU rpg -- any genre, easy to memorize rules in 5 min, quick chargen, get going...boom!

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  10. Over the Edge / WaRP hands down.

    Risus if you're feeling either Zen or "meta" or meta-zen.

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  11. 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars.

    Very light setup fot gm, roll couple of dice for random planet and aliens, think of a mission and go. Character's have two stats: Fighting ability and Non-Fighting ability :-)

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  12. My Life with Master.

    Doesn't need many players, game set up is made by all, character generation is really quick. It's a lot of fun.

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  13. AD&D? :D
    If you start PCs at 3rd level they're robust enough for small-party adventuring, but it also handles large parties fine. A megadungeon or any other setting where the PCs get to choose the risk level also works well with variable group size, although "1d6 orcs per PC" is ok too.

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  14. Dungeon World (perfect for the pick-up game)

    Savage Worlds (free One-sheets are a blast)

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  15. 1st edition top secret or marvel super heros

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  16. +1 for Searchers Of Uknown and 3:16

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  17. Ghostbusters! Or, in the absence of that, Mini Six.

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  18. Call of Cthulhu is my go-to one shot system.

    Though the next time I do an off-the-cuff game it's going to be Mutant Futures.

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  19. Though I've not played it, I'm thinking QUERP or Searchers of the Unknown would be my first choice for pick-up-and-play, unless everyone at the table is already familiar with something else (though that would make the question kind of moot).

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  20. Microlite20? Basic rules are essentially 5 pages. 3 stats and away you go.

    http://donjon.bin.sh/m20/Microlite20.pdf

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  21. WEG Star Wars. Archetypes are ready to go. You get to make silly noises and did I mention silly noises.

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  22. B/X D&D, though maybe you think it doesn't fall with in "does not have niche protection"?

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