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Mutants & Masterminds Suggesting this for a few reasons, which I'll sum up below. Mutants&Masterminds is a very open game focused on modern day superheroes fighting supervillains. I've some experience running the game in both its traditional superhero style and a homebrew fantasy mode. It's one of my favorite games to run both with highly creative ...


1

Fantasy Hero The Fantasy Hero role-playing game leverages all of the bookkeeping power of the Hero System for fantasy settings. The build system is full of math and examples One of the key features of the system is that you use a point-based, effect-building system for everything: characters, spells, magical artifacts, weapons, armor, equipment, ...


5

Here's another non-English one for you: Queeste. It's a 1970s Dutch RPG not influenced by D&D because they were developed around the same time. The session I DMed is probably the only time it's been played in English — or in this millennium, for that matter. Some highlights: A developed magic system: The magic system in this game is based on the ...


1

Eon is a Swedish RPG (AFAIK only available in Swedish) which places a great emphasis on detailed simulation within its gritty fantasy world of Mundana. I believe it has everything you want. A developed magic system: Eon's magic system is highly advanced, and very detailed. Casting is a multi step process that simulates how magic works within the game ...


7

Rolemaster 2nd Edition was so chock-full of optional rules and tables for virtually everything that it earned the nickname "Rulemaster" (or "Tablemaster"). I don't know about later editions, but 2nd Ed. consisted of Character & Campaign Law, Arms Law, Spell Law, RM Companion I - VII, Arms User Companion, Spell User Companion, Alchemical Companion and ...


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There is an old issue of Dragon Magazine with a review of a system that meets some of your criteria very well. I can't remember the name, but what's more crunchy than having to track down a hideously complex game before you can play it? A developed magic system: I don't remember Resources and gear bookkeeping: I think you're in luck. I more-or-less ...


12

I'm going to suggest Eoris Essence (website) as, the most complicated system I've ever run across. (Also the most beautifully illustrated.) Character Sheet I know you didn't explicitly ask about the character sheet, but since it's how I first noticed the system, I think it's a good place to start. This is one side of one of the three types of ...


3

Chivalry & Sorcery meets your criteria, except perhaps the "lots of dice" one. In particular, there are a large number of different magic classes, each with differing flavor. Lots of stats, combat detail and bookkeeping involved, especially if you get into running a castle. If you like keeping track of numbers, this is one of the games that caters to ...


7

If you don't mind the game being available only in Polish (or if you have someone to translate for you on the fly), I think I have something perfect for you. Kryształy Czasu (eng. Crystals of Time) A developed magic system Two casts can use magic. Different casting rules for each. In each cast, few professions with further differences in rules. Over 600 ...


12

While it's not a fantasy game in the typical RPG use of the word (though it is in the literary sense), I think Shadowrun 4th edition is an extremely good fit for all of your explicit criteria and you may want to look into that system as a result. A developed magic system Shadowrun has very broad and flexible spells. It's also the only system I've seen ...


34

Ars Magica Ars Magica may not have everything you asked for, but it has bookkeeping requirements for areas you probably never imagined. It doesn't go into the inventory-control detail of Torchbearer, but the nature of the game adds bookkeeping on: your age your history of anti-aging potion use your inventory not just of spell components, but of raw ...


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Torchbearer. It is a fantasy adventuring RPG that was explicitly created in the spirit of original D&D, with new, modern and very crunchy rules. The system is based on Burning Wheel, and it adds lots of complexity and detail. From the creator's words: This is a hard game, not a simple one. There are many moving parts and it’s not possible to ...


23

The system that comes into mind for me when reading your criteria is GURPS. One of the good things about GURPS is that it's exactly as complicated as you want it to be. Any bit of bookkeeping that you would want to do is likely supported in some book somewhere. For your specific criteria: A developed magic system There are multiple books fleshing out ...


3

The out-of-print Twilight: 2013 handles modern combat remarkably well, with an excellent focus on the psychological aspects of it. There is even an underappreciated mechanic of push vs hold every turn: If both sides push, combat continues. If only one side pushes, they gain surprise/advantage. If both sides hold, then combat hits a lull. The pace then ...


0

The nice thing about D&D 5th edition is that you can readily use material for older editions by replacing the stats with their 5th edition version. The best I currently know of are the One on One adventure series put out by Expeditious Retreat Press. You can buy them in PDF from RPGNow. There is a compendium of the first eleven products.


0

You could try Storium. It has quite a nice system optimized for online collaborative storytelling, and an active community with games in multiple genres.


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One great narrative rpg online is called "Genesis". One of the best I've ever played. Go to: genesismud.org/play or genesismud.org This is a great fun game to play, and it never really ends...


4

RuneQuest as written. Skill resolution is a simple "roll D100 equal or less than skill". There's multiple kinds of magic (specifics are likely to vary depending on exactly what version of RQ you end up using), with varying degrees of complication. Multiple possible player races (including ducks, would you believe). I don't recall encounters to be hard to ...


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GURPS and Savage Worlds are both good choices, but if your only objection to using Dresden files was the high power of magic, then I would recommend Fate Core, which is the latest iteration of the Fate system Dresden Files was based on (but not skewed towards the magic-heavy nature of the setting). Easy to balance, no significant "tiers" of career paths. ...


14

I believe that Savage Worlds meets your requirements Easy to balance, no significant "tiers" of career paths Savage Worlds is classless, and allows you a great deal of flexibility in the way you build your character. Although there are Professional Edges, these are very specialist, and do not lead to the types of career paths you get in some other systems. ...


5

Advanced Fighting Fantasy by Graham Bottley may be what you're looking for. AFF is a British roleplaying game based on the Fighting Fantasy game books written by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson (= the English author and game designer named Steve Jackson, not the American game designer Steve Jackson). AFF is a skill-based system. There are no levels or ...


10

GURPS is a very versatile skill-based system, completely classless (though recent editions have introduced templates that can be handled much like classes) and level-less; progression is by GM award of single-digit quantities of character points (typically 1 to 4 per session or adventure). Making magic less common is easy in GURPS; increase the point costs ...


-1

Go with BESM. BESM seems simple at first, then it seems too complicated because it's a generic system and pretty much everything can be customized. But once you decide what to use and what not to, it becomes a simple, fast game. I ran so many different settings with this system after I got comfortable with it that it was hard to stop playing it when D&D ...


1

If the goal is primarily role-playing, you don't necessarily need a formal system. A few basic rules and some notes may be all you need for the game. I once played such a campaign, where there were no formal levels or classes, but just a simple set of basic skills. Combat was resolved with a single die roll, and chance outcomes were determined primarily by ...


-1

My usual gaming system is D&D. When thinking of steampunk, the Ebberon setting comes to mind. However, min maxing can occur (It is still D&D after all.) Another system I've played is "All Flesh Must Be Eaten." It's primarily designed as a zombie survival game but is extremely flexible. It focuses far more on the role playing aspect than on combat ...


1

Cortex Plus If you're eliminating Fate, I would take a serious look at Cortex Plus, as seen in the Cortex Plus Hacker's Guide. It's a modern game, powering a number of licensed properties, including Marvel, Smallville, and Firefly. Taking your points, I think it satisfies most of them. Let's look at each: role-playing is more important than combat ...


5

I'd strongly suggest looking at Risus. Created by S. John Ross, it's mainly aimed at light-hearted to genuinely silly play, and can handle any setting you can conceive of. It doesn't use exploding dice, allows for limited (non-fatal) failure, doesn't require any sort of grid/map, pretty much eliminated optimizing, and uses a limited number (1 to 6 ...


1

Short answer: Take a look at the Witchwar Legacy. If you don't like it, you're out of luck. Long answer: So, one if the bigger issues you're going to be facing after completing the Witch Queen's Revenge is that your party is going to be really close to 17th level, if not going on 18th. At 17th level you are going to be running some very high level play, ...


-2

This may sound silly at first, but I feel like Fate core could just do the whole thing with the right aspects and custom skills within an hour or more/less. One of the great things about Fate is that character creation is a session in itself where the players and the GM discuss what they want the game to be about and develop things organically. With that in ...


13

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


-1

GURPS Supers? Not sure what they're currently doing, but a lot of things were descriptor-based, back in the day: Body of Stone, Density Powers, etc.


0

Something fast and loose is Tunnels and Trolls. There is a buncha dice-rolling, but not nearly the number crunching of a proper ARS Magica campaign. You'd have to hack a bit at the classes, but pirate can be a fighter with props and some window dressing. Suggestion for your bankers / record-keepers: use monopoly money. And use a different type of money ...


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 ...


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 ...


13

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 ...



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