Two friends of mine and me meet from time to time to play a few (board) games and we want to smoothly enter the RPG area. I know there are some questions asking for simple systems, but as they do not focus on the just-two-player part, I think it is fine to open a new question.
In more detail: We are looking for a system which is …
- suitable for just two players (+ game master). This is obviously the most important point.
- set up in a fantasy world. This includes magic, different races/mystic creatures and a in general a medieval like setting.
- easy to learn. It would be perfect to be able to explain the rules and play one mission/chapter/whatever on a (longer) evening, but it would also be okay if each player needed to read the rulebook for a few(!) hours at home.
- easy to start. I know that the two players will love to generate their own characters, but this should be an easy and fast (and fun!) task: Choose race, values (such as strength or intelligence) skills, spell, amour/equipment etc. and a short background story and you are ready to play. (The easiest way to do this might be a simple "spend X points on these things" system)
- If this is important: I assume the players will go for a "I can kill anyone"-warrior (or troll or whatever) and a "I heal you from time to time" mage (which has also some very cool spells available).
- available for free as a PDF. This just makes it easier to start. (In a perfect world the rulebook would also be available as a German version.)
- playable just which pen and paper and some D6 dice (or no dice at all?). We just do not own any D20.
- offers ready-to-play scenarios. I would be the game master and am probably not experienced enough to create a great story myself and would probably rail-road my players most of the time.
- not a "roll-playing" game. We love board games, but we want to try out something else after all. A short role playing sequence ("I go north" - "You are attacked") followed by an hour of dice rolling does not sound so fun to me. Of course I am exaggerating here, but I guess you know what I mean. In general the game should not feel as a board game without a board, but focus on role playing. I am fine with randomness and dice rolling in general though.
- I believe a system solely based on role playing might be somewhat hard to play for inexperienced role players.
Obviously our needs lead to some problems. We would still be like the game if it lacked …
- realism. I understand that part of the huge rulebooks make the system more realistic.
- coverage of all possible combinations. It is fine to say "Well, you got this and that, just roll an additional dice" or sth.
- complex systems. Magic for example should just work somehow and that‘s it. I doubt there is room for many "ways" of magic (except maybe light/dark)
- detailed areas/background story. I assume an easy way to do that the PC do not know that much of their world as well ("We have lived in this small town for our whole life, no one ever dared to go through that dark forest there. Well, at least those who dared never returned", so neither the PCs nor the players need to know much about the world.)
- "replayability" for a thousand of evenings. A simple advancing mechanism would be nice (so we are able to play a campaing for a few evenings), but I doubt we will spend more than ten days a year on such a game, there is just no need for complex levelling stuff.
Thanks a lot in advance for your recommendations, Keba
PS: I am not interested in answers which suggest to find and join a larger and/or more experienced group. However if you assume our needs just cannot be met, feel free to explain why.