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11

I've been using Shaun Hately's venerable The Guide to Herbs for RPGs, first publicly published in 1997 and now in its fifth edition. Since it can be freely redistributed, it can be found in several places, including in HTML as The Illustrated Guide to Herbs for RPGs, 5th Edition, as well as in its original PDF format hosted on Google Drive. The virtue of ...


7

The Riddle of Steel See this answer for more details on the combat system, but here are your points: Heroic play: TRoS characters will never be able to ignore a blow or a missile - no matter how they advance. Every wound is potentially lethal. TRoS is intended to make players consider every fight carefully. No hit points: TRoS uses numbers - but they're ...


6

Numenera In your situation - 2 players, looking for a light system that offers class flexibility - I am currently running a game of Numenera. The setting is a billion years in the future - so it seems like science fiction, but there are many people who regard the strangeness permeating the world as magic instead. It is trivial to describe your world as ...


6

I think there's a few games that mechanically support the kind of play you're looking for, though I don't think anything really gives good advice to capture the DBZ feel specifically. Marvel Super Heroes RPG (from the 80s) The old school Marvel Super Heroes RPG scaled quite a bit. The hard part is that the top ranks begin to condense quite a bit of range. ...


6

This scenario reminds me of the Aces and eights action system + shot clock that I played some years ago at gencon. It provides incredibly detailed movement timing resolution rules that would be the core of any basketball game, as well as a really really good way of figuring out exactly where a shot/thrown weapon lands. Guarding falls out naturally from the ...


6

Trail of Cthulhu is an RPG using the GUMSHOE system based off the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It's similar to Call of Cthulhu, but emphasizes investigation and planning from the players. GUMSHOE is a system designed for more investigative play, making the game based on clues rather than discrete encounters. It can be catered to a lot of different playstyles, ...


5

Fate Core / Dresden Files I can recommend from experience the Dresden Files RPG as a modern fantasy investigative game. You have hit the three points that the game is intended to cover in your question title: Modern Fantasy - The Dresden Files is a modern fantasy series of novels Investigative - Harry Dresden is a wizard and a private detective I have ...


4

My recommended system for a Harry Potter game would be Savage Worlds. The Harry Potter setting There are numerous existing settings that successfully mix magic and technology e.g. Agents of Oblivion, and stats for a large number of standard magical creatures existing in published and free supplements such as The Savage Worlds Beastiary. There are also ...


4

I think Anima, Beyond Fantasy can be a good set of rules for a Dragon Ball setting, provided most of them play with Tao or Technician. Most definitely not the story or the setting, since it doesn´t go the way DBZ goes. That said, Anima works on levels status very similar to Rolemaster, it is mechanically possible for all characters to create a set of ...


3

Traveller: This game has "heroic-style" play. It doesn't take a great deal to kill a character, and experienced characters aren't significantly tougher. That said, with a bit of luck, experienced characters with be wealthier which they could translate into better equipment that increases their survivability. Health is not represented by ...


2

GURPS The advanced combat in GURPS is a 1-second resolution tactical boardgame. Let's see how it covers your points: tactical movement on a map. An absolute requirement; theater of the mind prohibited. GURPS combat runs on a hex map. This offers better resolution than squares of facing, which is hugely important for this particular sport, including ...


2

Your girlfriend's birthday has almost certainly passed, but this seems to fit your requirements so well, I'll answer for future Googlers. Monte Cook games recently released Weird Discoveries: Ten Instant Adventures for Numenera. They are self-contained short adventures, specifically set up for minimal prep and pressure on the GM, and have pregenerated ...


2

Fate Core is a definite candidate If you're looking more at telling the story of people trapped in this world, rather than a combat simulator, Fate Core is worth looking at. Let's look at your criteria. PC's should fail often. This is clearly a matter of how you set up your opposition - if you give easy opposition, your PCs will succeed most of the time. ...


1

Based on personal experience GMing sporting contest in it, I offer Cyberpunk 2020 for consideration. I GM'ed a campaign featuring a "corporate" no-holds-barred Olympics and thus simulated varied aspects of multiple sports competitions/combat. Not specifically basketball, but running, javelin, boxing, soccer (a similar field-invasion team sport to ...


1

I'd suggest Mutants and Masterminds (3e). It's power level system can handle a wide variety of character power levels, and at higher levels the characters can certainly be world shattering. Every power is discrete, but customisable. As an added bonus, a strength boosting power with the activation flaw can simulate going super-saiyan. Character creation is ...


1

If high bookkeeping isn't a problem (I understand it's not a feature here), I'd recommend Phoenix Command (with at least the Wounding advanced rule, obviously). Contrary to popular opinion, it's fun. PCs are definitely more skilled/trained than a 'normal' human (though you could easily 'fix' that, I think doing so is a bad idea and does not play to the ...


1

The Delta Green supplements for Call of Cthluhu 6th edition are an excellent choice for mundane investigators tackling a world beyond their scope. If you're looking for a campaign in which your players will go mad after long exposure to these fantastical elements, Delta Green will be right for you. Playable on Roll20 Combat isn't tactical in this system, ...


1

Blood and Tears, Simplified. I have tried this yesterday, using a modified version of John Wick's Blood & Tears system. The modifications, and the reasons thereof, are given below. It works with a steam punk aesthetic. Apart from changes made in order to simplify the system, satisfying this point needed a considerate amount of thought. By ...


1

FU: Freeform / Universal RPG This week I have had very good results using FU: Freeform / Universal RPG with my English-language students - the same type I described in the original question, but now some of them have had some rpg experience from my lessons. Of the games I have tried with English students (Dungeon Squad as in my other answer, and NWoD A ...



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