I'm starting a tabletop game with my group and I'm not sure which system to use. I am looking for a system that:

  1. Allows for personalized character creations and flexibility- like the Fate system and it's "aspects"
  2. Has a simple and streamlined combat system, I want the focus to be on the roleplaying aspect of the campaign, not the fighting
  3. My group are already doing Fate, DnD 5E, Delta Green and World of Darkness campaigns so I would prefer not to use those systems
  4. Allows for original world design, as the setting is my own creation

I want them to feel like they are really engaging in a story, not just adding numbers and rolling dice. I want lots of opportunities for improvisation and customization. There will be magic in the setting so any system that has a mechanic for magic or something like it would also be preferred.

  1. I like that they get to make up their own traits, not just pick and choose from a pre-determined list, and I would like something similar.

  2. The setting is in an alternate universe, still Earth but instead of governments most all countries are united under a series of guilds that run just about everything- church, science, medicine, law enforcement, technology, etc. There is also a fantasy element to it, there are certain people who can do magic-type abilities- abilities I'd like to let my players choose and then guide them in making sure that they are balanced with the capabilities of their "non-magic" companions.

  3. I do love Fate, I don't think it's caught up in dice-rolling or numbers at all, and if they weren't already in a Fate campaign I should be tempted to use it. But I'd like to give them something new, so they don't feel bored with the system. And DnD just has a lot of numbers and calculations and can get very restrictive especially with skills. And maybe that's just my experience, but because that's my experience I'm not sure how to run it any differently. Alternatively I am a fan of Delta Green's system of percentiles, it's easy and fast and doesn't take up too much time or really take you out of the setting at all. And WoD is nice, but I haven't played it much so I can't really comment. I just don't want to use these systems because they are already in campaigns using these systems and I want to give them something new.

  4. I would like something that isn't based in the standard DnD style "leveling up" system, but something that allows them to level up certain pieces or better certain elements of their character, little bits at a time, and on a fairly consistent basis. I would also like something that isn't necessarily forgiving, I'd like a system that isn't afraid to stack the odds against the player, or at least not baby them with plenty or re-rolls or last minute bonuses, I want something that will make them feel the reality of the situation. A system that uses normal dice, but limits itself to 1-3 different sided dice would be preferable. Something that is easy to learn would also be nice. A system that can handle a fairly large group well is a must-have, as the party could be anywhere from 7-9 people, I need something that will be able to engage all of the players. A system with minimal rule books, ad books that can be bought in PDF format would be best. Something that rewards creative thinking and alternative solutions, or that rewards good role playing. My group can also get kind of stand-offish so, to go along with that brutal reality bit, something that might force them to keep working together and helping/encouraging each other.

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    \$\begingroup\$ By point 1, do you mean a system where you create your own thing from nothing, rather than picking from preset options? \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 13 '15 at 5:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ A little information on the setting would be helpful - setting informs system after all. \$\endgroup\$ – Tritium21 Jul 13 '15 at 5:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to detail why the systems listed make them feel as though they're just adding numbers and rolling dice, since that's not the general consensus for e.g. FATE and it's certainly far from universal even for D&D. \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 Jul 13 '15 at 5:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are quite a lot of systems that are light, have free-form character creation, and allow for any setting (these three things very often go together in fact). Apart from the things that are common to lightweight game systems, what else do you want from a suggested system? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 13 '15 at 6:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do not answer in comments, especially on a closed question. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Jul 13 '15 at 12:05