Urban Fantasy System Poll



  • A few friends and I were talking about if a non-WoD urban fantasy/horror game could work. Thought I'd post about it here too.


  • Pitcrew

    I know other was not an option but I would also toss out for consideration Unknown Armies



  • It could definitely work. Anita Blake games have worked. I love urban fantasy. I'm not familiar with all those systems though.



  • If you were meaning to limit the choices to those, okay.

    If not, you've missed many systems that either already do urban fantasy or could easily do so: FATE, GUMSHOE, ShadowRun, Ubiquity, BRP, M&M, POwered by the Apocalypse(Urban Shadows, others), D20 Modern+ and many many decent games that could be adapted to fantasy or modern or both.

    Unless you also want the world and all the supernaturals and their powers and relationships defined as well.



  • I limited it to those for a reason. Most of those you mentioned I just personally do not like for one reason or another. That said the Powered By Apocalypse could be an option, I had not thought about that one. And I've never heard of Unknown Armies. I'll have to check it out.


  • Politics

    While I do enjoy CofD and think it has a lot of potential for more generic urban fantasy, if it's not CofD, I like the Cinematic Unisystem (though I did do my own rework at one point to handle some problems it has).



  • First: OH my god, yes, please. I totally get the love for WoD/CoD stuff, but I can't get into it, really. It is as much its own genre as D&D and there are some stories that just don't work in the * of Darkness as a genre.

    Second: Cinematic Unisystem gets my vote for the following reasons:

    1. It's fast and simple to resolve. Attribute+skill+/-modifier vs a target number of 9, with exceptional successes for higher numbers.

    2. Hero/fate points.

    3. Templates. I can't stress enough how much I think templates are a godsend for MU players. It's 2017, we should have the option between completely 'from scratch' and 'pick a template and customize it'. The difference is between spending minutes or hours making a character. I'm old and tottering towards the sweet embrace of death. I hate wasting my precious time on making characters.


  • Pitcrew

    The whole reason I play WoD/CoD games is because I wanna play generic urban fantasy and its not there.

    That being said, I don't care what system you use as long as it's generally easy to learn. I don't have the time or intricacies to pour over a new system if it's going to be exceptionally fiddly.

    More important than the system, I think you should really, really, really try for an original themed game. If you're going with a well-known property, you'll find that people coming into the game will have their own preconceived notions on how things should and shouldn't work and may well ignore your theme files. You'll also be hemmed in by the canon that the property has established in their own products, which will have elements that do not work in a MU environment.


  • Politics

    @Collective said in Urban Fantasy System Poll:

    First: OH my god, yes, please. I totally get the love for WoD/CoD stuff, but I can't get into it, really. It is as much its own genre as D&D and there are some stories that just don't work in the * of Darkness as a genre.

    Second: Cinematic Unisystem gets my vote for the following reasons:

    1. It's fast and simple to resolve. Attribute+skill+/-modifier vs a target number of 9, with exceptional successes for higher numbers.

    Uh? There isn't a target number for dice rolls in the Cinematic Unisystem. It just adds the result of all the dice rolled and gives you 'success levels' based on it.

    EDIT: I just remembered it's a fail if you don't "add up" to 9, so my bad, I see what you meant. Sorry, I just misinterpreted. (Though I stress that this system only works that way for non-contested rolls. In combat against other PCs, it's the higher Sucess Level that wins, since Dodge is rolled. Against NPCs, it works with a Combat Score. And at this point I'm just trying to be precise. Sorry!)

    1. Hero/fate points.

    Drama Points.

    1. Templates. I can't stress enough how much I think templates are a godsend for MU players. It's 2017, we should have the option between completely 'from scratch' and 'pick a template and customize it'. The difference is between spending minutes or hours making a character. I'm old and tottering towards the sweet embrace of death. I hate wasting my precious time on making characters.

    They don't have templates, either. They have packagesº, which are pretty broken, to be honest. If they were templates (X amount of points are pre-spent on Y and Z to represent the template) that would be great, yes, I totally agree. But the packages system gives bonuses based on pre-made Qualities that include bonuses and drawbacks (which can then ignore limitations of max amount of qualities) and is broken because they are inherently unbalanced as fuck, giving vague and ambiguous drawbacks on the one hand and heinously broken bonuses on the other, often unevenly. This works fine for tabletop because the Storyteller is responsible for making sure everyone's useful and contributing, but it's heinous for a MU (especially for staff, who ahve to then deal with the constant fucking bitching, believe me, I have run MUs using this system before).

    ºUnless, by "template" you mean "Investigator", "Hero", "White Hat", etc., in which case, I think "template" is the wrong word because really the only change is the amount of points you get to spend, not any pre-spent ones.

    All that said, there are a ton of easy ways to rectify this shit and the Cinematic Unisystem holds a special place in my heart because it's the one that was used in the very first MU I played, now almost eleven years ago--I think.



  • @Coin

    Fair enough on the first point.

    For the rest, semantics.


  • Politics

    @Collective said in Urban Fantasy System Poll:

    @Coin

    Fair enough on the first point.

    For the rest, semantics.

    Hah. I would expect semantics for the first two and fair enough for the third, since it was the most salient. :P



  • @Coin

    I do what see what you mean about the packages, but they are fair less broken than the Dex attribute. That's something you'd have to house rule to make less wildly overpowered.



  • And the complete failure to deal with multiple opponents.


  • Politics

    @Collective said in Urban Fantasy System Poll:

    @Coin

    I do what see what you mean about the packages, but they are fair less broken than the Dex attribute. That's something you'd have to house rule to make less wildly overpowered.

    Absolutely, but you didn't mention it before, so. Also, the problematic DEX attribute does nothing but further exacerbate the packages problem, since DEX is often part of what absolutely breaks everything the moment it's introduced to packages.



  • Just found out that there's a new edition of Bloodshadows.

    http://www.rpgnow.com/product/193506/Bloodshadows-FantasyNoir-RPG-Third-Edition

    Bloodshadows was the fantasy/horror/noir setting for West End Games' Masterbook system, created from the Torg system. Looks like they're not using the cards, but the basic game system was fast and simple to learn, and the Bloodshadows lore itself was fantastic.


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