Game System Buffet

The thread about a game involving yetis and discussion of which game system to use got me thinking.... It would be interesting to take an adventure and run it in a handful of different systems. It would give people who haven't been exposed to non-d20 stuff a whirlwind tour of different game mechanics, while keeping the story fixed, allowing them to compare apples to apples.

I mean, you can't take play a session of "My Life with Master" and on of "The Keep on the Borderlands" and use that to compare MLwM and D&D. But if you took a story about yetis and something sinister going on in a Himalayan monastery (please tell me that there's going to be a sinister monastery:)) and then you played that out in "Spirit of the Century", Brennen's "Twenty Sides of Fate", and D&D 3.5, you might really get to see the difference in the game mechanics. Maybe even Savage Worlds/Rippers, though I suspect that's more like D&D than not. (Let my stoning at the hands of Savage Worlds fans commence! :( I don't have anything against Savage Worlds--I own the Explorer's Edition and Rippers, and I think it looks like an interesting game--I just suspect it's more like D&D than it is like a story game.)

I had Primetime Adventures, and Universalis in that list at first, but I suspect the level of narrative control that the players have would make it less of a true comparison. Still, it would still be really interesting to see how the inputs, "yetis" and "sinister monastery", crank out very different results when put through different game systems.


  • Excellent idea. There are a number of open game systems out there, including FATE (Spirit of the Century), The Shadow of Yesterday, PDQ, etc, that are great introductions to indie/narrative roleplaying. I think it's important to keep it to free and easy to learn systems.
  • It's at least partially selfish--my experience with games other than D&D is really thin, but I'm very interested in spending more time in story games. I'd learn a lot from seeing the same adventure rendered in different systems. And I have friends and players that I think would be more easily pulled in if they saw story games in the context of a theme that was familiar/approachable for someone with a D&D background.
  • And I kind of have this new-found love for the indie community and these guys that are out there doing innovative things in the RPG space, things to which I've been totally oblivious until recently.
  • Twenty Sides of Fate is going to be a good gateway system for traditional gamers. I started hacking systems by incorporating narrative elements into traditional games, now I'm trying to rework traditional elements into narrative games. Anyone who plays TSoF will have a pretty easy time easing into more narrative games.
  • And where can we see this????
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