Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

HP:MoR is a novel-length fanfiction by Eliezer Yudkowsky, exploring the concept of a rational Harry Potter.

The world is a profoundly rationalist world, and has elements of scientific experiment, rationality, and surrealism. Optimally, a system would have some sort of scientific research mechanic as well as a mechanic that allowed for players to plot and compete against each other in large-group combats. Is there such a system?

If not, what systems can be combined to create a playable, simulatable, world?

share|improve this question

As this is a game-recommendation question, please adhere to the FAQ, the rules for subjective questions as outlined in Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and our rules for game recommendations. All responses must cite actual experience or reference others' experiences!

One flexible simulationist approach to magic was West End's Torg. This game had the distinction that the magic rules were internal to the game world; past characters had researched them (and research was ongoing) so the mages were aware of the magic rules. Researching new spells had clear mechanics, and getting good spells needed either a lot of skill or a lot of time invested, or both.

Also, Torg was a cross-genre-warfare system intended to integrate magic into the modern world. (Along with dinosaurs, horrors and cyberpunk, but you could just not use those rules.)

Torg's system encourages a cinematic approach with larger-than-life stunts - in some ways it's a moral precursor to Feng Shui.

What Torg doesn't have is a good research mechanic for anything other than new spells, and its large-group combat mechanics are simplistic. (We merged it with a wargame once for a campaign-end battle, however, to good effect.)

Torg books are a little hard to find these days; it's been out of print for a while. Key Torg books for the magic design system are the main book and the sourcebook for Aysle (Torg's magical realm). The spellbook, Pixaud's Practical Grimoire, is not crucial but has a lot of examples.

share|improve this answer
Also: Not relevant to the question, but where I said "...good spells needed either a lot of skill or a lot of time invested," it was also possible to add "or a desperate willingness to take risks". Last campaign I ran, the party mage nearly blew his head off researching a spell to summon a ton of metal plate from nowhere in less than five minutes. In fairness, there was a big hole in the side of their passenger ship at the time... – Tynam Feb 23 '11 at 14:01

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.