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    Post Closed as "primarily opinion-based" by okeefe, SevenSidedDie, Wibbs, Tridus, Chuck Dee
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Which systems can be considered balanced? How to predict a fair fight?

I am just wondering which pen and paper systems could be considered rather "balanced" and which are not. The game and rules I know best is The Dark Eye - unfortunately I would consider it quite unbalanced:

  • Creating characters with a wide variety of skills will always be weaker then a character specialized in fighting only. This makes it hard to design a campaign: if two characters are at level 5 it does not mean they are equally strong.
  • It is almost impossible to guess your chances when rolling dice, you need a lot experience or tools. This is bad because players cannot estimate reliably if they can trust their skills in critical situations. And GMs must worry about creating enemies which make up for a challenging fight.

This is why creating challenging fights seems problematic to me. If the enemies are strong I fear they become too strong and rather create weak ones. So my question is: Which systems support GMs in creating fair fights easily.

These are other systems I already own, and I want to test them in near future, but "so many games, so little time ..." ;)

  • I am quite impressed by the One Die System (1d6) because its rules are simple and you can calculate your chances easily. At the moment it is my favorite in terms of balance and simplicity, but I still have to try it out. Also it is a system only - so GMs need to create their own world or make a conversion of an existing system.
  • Currently I read the new Iron Kingdom RPG (2d6) core rules. It has a great setting and I read somewhere the rules are similar to the table top variants. I hoped that due to this it would be a more "balanced" system. I love the possibilities in character creation, however you can create characters which rather focus on socializing than fighting - this might cause a lack of tactical possibilities and I am yet too inexperienced to tell if it is a problem estimating the fairness of a fight.
  • Brand new Splittermond ('splinter moon', in German only). Will update if I know more to its "fairness prediction".

How do you manage to create challenging but fair fights? Which other systems do you know and how do you classify them in terms of "creating a fair fight"?