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12

I'm in the weird state of being one of the few English speakers who runs/plays Japanese RPGs. I even translated and published some, too ("Tenra Bansho Zero", "Ryuutama", "Maid"). Plus I've got buddies in a few RPG/game companies over here in Japan. So what you're looking for is unequivocally one of these few games that meet your requirements: 1) Sword ...


12

I think you should give Fate (and especially Fate Accelerated) another look. There isn't really anything in there that would hamper a sandbox campaign; if anything, Fate's loose, "Declare a Story Detail"/"Create an Advantage" narrative devices are really well-suited for an open-ended game, and the Fate Fractal/Bronze Rule makes for a great world management ...


8

GURPS You are describing GURPS. Gear All the gear you want (and much, much more) is available in either the basic set or various supplements like High Tech, Ultra Tech, or Biotech. Rules GURPS can provide a highly tactical combat system. You can play on a hex grid or without a map, whatever you prefer. But many combat options and situations are covered ...


7

Ars Magica I've run large ars magica games before, and it seems like it fits your requirements nicely. First and foremost, the world of Mythic Europe, drawing comprehensively on philosophy, history, and myth, is a deep, rich setting with hooks for additional research. (A surprising number of books in my library are both older than I am and purchased as ...


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 ...


7

Time to break out the pot still... There is a very simple home brew solution to this, actually. A few years back, White Wolf bribed/convinced/invited Monte Cook to write a D20 version of the World of Darkness. The product, unoriginally, was called "Monte Cook's World of Darkness". Why you should care about this, though, is in the history of the World of ...


7

I would suggest GURPS, the Generic Universal Role-Playing System by Steve Jackson Games. Like Aftermath, it is classless, uses attribute scores and skill levels and point-based character generation. It also has a detailed tactical combat system, which if you use a map and read all of the advanced and the more realistic optional rules, is quite ...


6

Fate Accelerated Edition is a great system for playing transhumans and superheroes at the power levels you typically see in action movies like The Dark Knight or The Avengers. You define powers through aspects, stunts, and approaches: a narrative descriptor, a mechanical benefit, and your style of action (e.g., Forceful or Careful). I’ve used the system ...


6

You might take a look at Mutant City Blues. This is one game which is entirely built around choosing powers around their descriptive effect, and having related powers follow. Powers are selected from the "Quade diagram", showing connections between related powers. Character creation strongly encourages you, having selected an initial power, to pick others ...


6

GURPS This is a perfect application for GURPS. You want: A magic system similar to Ars Magica A more robust combat system GURPS delivers on both fronts. Flexible Magic GURPS has had options for flexible, improvisational magical systems since 2nd edition. I don't have my books with me at the moment, so I can't tell you if the Ars-like system is in the ...


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

A Western Marches style campaign would help you deal with the varying numbers. The idea is that you base out of a "safe" base such as a town or castle. The members for each session go out on a mission from that keep, complete the mission and return all inside one session. This means that if people change between sessions that's fine, the other people are ...


3

Obviously CoC is not very combat oriented system so I did a lot of modifying it and making my own rules to account for encumbrance fatigue non-lethal damage (for example when armour absorbs damage, it still translates to fatigue) body-part specific damage different effects of work equipment (i.e. helmets remove peripheral vision...) ...


3

I'm not sure there's a game that fits the bill. I ran two lengthy Aftermath! campaigns in the 80s and since then the only game I've encountered that's matched it for complexity of action resolution is Twilight: 2013. Combat is actually more complex in T:2013 than in Aftermath!, but it's also even more tailored to the post-apocalypse setting than Aftermath! ...


2

Savage Worlds will do the trick. It is trad but rules light, like Maid or Paranoia - not storygame rules, but flexible resolution rules that easily get out of the way to facilitate narrative play. It has a single unified mechanic - you almost never need to do math, stats are measured in different dice, like you might have a d8 Agility, and you just roll vs ...


2

This looks like a job for Dungeon World. It has you covered: Flexible, Narrative Friendly Rules - Dungeon World runs on the "Apocalypse Engine" wherein everything is explicitly DESIGNED to feed into the narrative, and the rules are intentionally broad to allow for flexibility. Minimal bookkeeping and number-crunching - Absolutely. Everything works on ...


1

Hillfolk It sounds to me like you are looking for Hillfolk - or rather, the DramaSystem found in the book of the same name. Let me give you the quick rundown: Robin D. Laws spent a long time studying stories and presented a new system for describing story interactions in his book, Hamlet's Hit Points He then created a game based on that research, one that ...


1

New gods of mankind has a fairly easy system for conflict resolution and also character creation. Even if one is not really into playing gods the basic idea behind the character reation system could be easily adapted. By itself it has a bronze age background story with stats for quite a diversity of species and monsters and also a few maps. There are rules ...


1

I recommend FATE 2.0. It's a great system that meets all of the criterion you required and, better yet, is free. At the time of posting, you can find it here, on the publisher's site. It isn't specifically a medieval fantasy RPG but, as you will see if you read the short, 90 page complete rulebook, that's because the system is designed to work in any ...



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