I'm a brand-new GM (and new RPG player in general), and I'm having a lot of trouble finding a system that fits the kind of gameplay I want for my setting.

The setting is going to be based on The Borrowers or Arrietty, a world where inches-tall people live secretly among normal folk, foraging tiny man-made objects to help them get through life. An average session might have the characters figuring out novel ways to traverse the obstacles of their house, hiding from the big people or their pets, gathering items and figuring out clever new ways to use them, interacting with the various societies of sentient animals that live around the house, or maybe battling an insect or two (though probably not too often).

My quandary is that I want the system to be simple and flexible enough that it will accommodate this kind of gameplay and the pace won't get bogged down, but rules-based enough that the players feel like their actions mean something and have weight. I've looked up a lot of systems like Fate, Savage Worlds, WaRP and Basic Role Playing, but I find it really hard to discern how they actually tend to feel in play and which, if any, might best fit my criteria.

As an added complication, I have a rough, early-stage idea for a character progression system I'd like to hack in that I hope will keep the emphasis on finding items and using them in interesting ways: instead of a players' intrinsic stats going up over time, their skill with individual items increases. So for each item a player has, they also have a skill level in that individual item that's affected by things like natural aptitude, how much they've used it, how much they've used other items like it, etc. There'd be bonuses or penalties at the DM's discretion if they're using the item for a task it seems to be well- or ill-suited for.

So, to sum up, are there any systems you would suggest that are governed by simple, broad rules that are easy to expand upon and don't try to shoehorn the players into a traditional model of gameplay and character progression?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Due to the way our site is designed for concrete problems and solutions, this question is not yet answerable in our Q&A format. We traditionally ask users looking for recommendations to edit in a lot of tight requirements to narrow the question (specific instructions here), but we've realised that process somewhat defeats the purpose. You're free to do so, but you may also simply wish to try a discussion forum to get speedy, free-flowing recommendations; or both. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 22 '15 at 3:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Our regulars are reminded that answers in comments will be deleted.) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23 '15 at 1:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @okeefe Yes. Comments are still not the place for answers, even second-rate ones. Answer-containing comments defeat the close-improve-reopen process, and get deleted. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 23 '15 at 2:37

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