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18

Try Dungeon World. It's an adaptation of the Apocalypse World system, and is simple and rules-light. You can create characters quickly by checking off a few boxes. Dungeon World really provides the setting & narrative essence of classic fantasy adventure gaming, without all of the complex rules systems. I've played it multiple times by sitting down ...


17

Fate Accelerated Edition (System Reference Document; free pdf downloads; purchase links) provides a very rules-light system that places all PCs on even footing and adapts easily to any setting. Unlike most toolkit-style games I have played, it’s easy to import stuff on the fly without doing a ton of system conversion work in advance. That’s because most game ...


12

Dungeon World I can honestly say I've never seen a game recommendation question that's screamed the name of my favourite fantasy RPG so loudly. I've played Dungeon World with two players (my Significant Other and a friend with myself as GM) and unlike its parent game, Apocalypse World, I found it coped quite smoothly. The introduction even bills it as a ...


8

If you want all the trappings of D&D with the lightest rules possible, then I recommend Dungeons & Dragons, 5th edition. I have played every version of D&D since the late 1970s, and the new edition reverses three major trends that have created most of the problems you mention in your question. Simpler choices The last several versions of ...


8

What Happens When You Assume My suggestion is based on 2 assumptions: Though you list movies as influences, I assume you want your game to resemble a TV drama like The Americans or House of Cards because of the serial nature of most RPGs. It seems unlikely to me that you would invest this heavily in a single-evening game. You want to incorporate your ...


7

I've played a couple ultra-realistic shooters of this sort. Sim games in this vein used to be a lot more common than they are now. Games I've used to do this (all handle weapons and tasers and knives and all that): Top Secret/S.I. + the Commando supplement. OK, so I'm old. But it was a great set of small unit tactics rules, hit locations, etc. Mechanic is ...


6

A system which meets the listed criteria is the 4th Edition of The Morrow Project. To use this for a SWAT-focused game does not require changing any of the system, or dropping much of the setting. The Morrow Project itself is centered around small unit, military actions as described in the question, but in a post nuclear world. It pays loving attention ...


5

I suggest.. DSA ("Das Schwarze Auge"), 3rd Edition It was my first RPG system, is originally in German and has been around in many versions since 25 years or more probably. Part I Suitable for just two players (+ game master) We have played many campaigns and adventures this way, and it works very well. If you play prefabricated adventures you might ...


3

My answer comes in two halves. The first half is that I'd absolutely recommend Ars Magica for the setting. The time of Mythic Europe in the 1220's is precisely European Medieval Fantasy. And some of the sourcebooks are excellent references on the life and times of all sorts of different classes of people. The frame of "Mythic" europe provides all sorts of ...


2

Wilderness of Mirrors has some pretty excellent planning/things go wrong mechanics that work well, though you'd be modifying it a bit to be more operational than heist. Spione has some pretty interesting set up with Cold War Spy games. It's more aimed at the issues of internal distrust and division within an intelligence agency, but works great for that. ...


1

Get a 1e AD&D PHB, MM, and DMG off eBay. I generally run the game with a single double-sided sheet of combat tables for quick usage and everything else is my notes for the scenario; I don't consult the DMG or MM during play as everything I need can be jotted down in a very compact fashion. A non-spellcaster PC requires one side of paper to track, ...


1

I would recommend Legends of the Ancient World by Dark City Games. It offers a very short (8-page PDF, including magic system) set of rules which play very well, offer interesting tactical combat, and definitely lack the heaps of classes and arcane abilities of some other games. They are a spinoff of the old out-of-print game series The Fantasy Trip. My ...



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