RPG beginner gm advice

I think I've said it before but we should totally do a Yaktribe rpg stream. Call it a tribemeet then poor @Punktaku can finally attend? It sounds like you guys have the experience for it.

Plus maybe @Malo Would set up the technical stuff and any donations could go to the website.
 
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Indeed feel what the group likes best.

I was GM for the Rogue Trader RPG and while everything went great, deviating from the story while still working towards the end goal. Combat was fine. But within five minutes I discovered that they started losing interest in the ship to ship combat with all the rules. And as such I switched to a more narrative approach for to ship combat. Still making them do dice rolls but more guided.
 
Ahhh…. Rolemaster calls those “open ended” rolls. It works for high and low rolls (so you can really get majorly screwed instead of just fumbling).

@Biggle_Bear that would be a cool idea, but I imagine scheduling across time zones for half the globe would be a nightmare.
 
@Biggle_Bear that would be a cool idea, but I imagine scheduling across time zones for half the globe would be a nightmare.
Meh, not that hard. Although the tribe has infiltrated most the countries of the world, mostly we are in Britain and north America. Running a game at 18:00 in Britain means that New York gets it at 13:00 and San Francisco at 10:00.
 
TL:DR Well, we have many games in the hobby, forcing one to fit everything isn't really needed, I'd say.

SW is based on wargame, which was based on rpg and it's all well if it's your poison.

But we probably shouldn't have this discussion in here.

OP: Try something, there's also Free, very simple RPGs like Lasers and Feelings if you want to just check if the rpg is your thing. Learning game system can be quite big project, and teaching it to others another.

@Punktaku did LOT Role master in the 90's and early 00's.
 
@Girl nation most of my time with the ICE system was late 80s into the late 90’s. Barely crossed into the new millennium. My last games ended when my second child was an infant. Rolemaster up to certain bits in Companion IV and nothing after that. Space Master too. A bit of a dalliance with Cyberspace, but R. Taslorian Games’ Cyberpunk 2020 was much better.
 
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I still haven't completed my own homebrew system to add the detailed modular design elements I wanted. But I still like my core mechanic. You have attribute dice, double the value of the attribute. 1=cointoss, 2-D4, 3=D6, 4=D8, 5=D10. 6=D12.. 7 and above you do a D12 and add 1 for every number over 6. Base attributes come from starting race / caste, and gender and then you can raise a few as well as buy skills.

To resolve a challenge you roll the two most relevant attribute dice, add them together, and then if you have a skill specialty that applies you add that as well. You can us the same attribute die twice if that's the only thing that makes sense. This goes against a passive target number or defense statistic set by the scenario or the GM. The more you beat the target number by, the better you do, such as inflicting physical or social damage. There's no classes, it's all based on attributes and skills. Very flexible, but not nearly as much structure as most commercial RPGs. The goal is realism, adaptability, and speed of play instead of a manual of hundreds of higly specific and complicated feats, spells. and fiddly mechanics. It's designed to go along with the kind of pivoting / improv player-reactive GM style I detailed in my long post above.

If both dice are ones, it is a botch. Rolling the maximum amount on both dice gives you a bonus such as a re-roll token or adding your skill value to the roll a second time. It kind of helps weaker characters still have a shot at getting something done especially if they are skilled. Stronger characters using high attributes for rolls will roll higher on average and get more benefit from re-roll tokens, so they will get them less often. Another option is you can also burn fatigue for special moves or to add to a roll, or to soak damage. Fatigue can only be regained through rest and eating.

I can expand on this if anyone is interested. Also open to feedback, requests, and suggestions. I will be using this system in a for-profit work at some point in case that matters.
 
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I still haven't completed my own homebrew system to add the detailed modular design elements I wanted. But I still like my core mechanic. You have attribute dice, double the value of the attribute. 1=cointoss, 2-D4, 3=D6, 4=D8, 5=D10. 6=D12.. 7 and above you do a D12 and add 1 for every number over 6. Base attributes come from starting race / caste, and gender and then you can raise a few as well as buy skills.

To resolve a challenge you roll the two most relevant attribute dice, add them together, and then if you have a skill specialty that applies you add that as well. You can us the same attribute die twice if that's the only thing that makes sense. This goes against a passive target number or defense statistic set by the scenario or the GM. The more you beat the target number by, the better you do, such as inflicting physical or social damage. There's no classes, it's all based on attributes and skills. Very flexible, but not nearly as much structure as most commercial RPGs. The goal is realism, adaptability, and speed of play instead of a manual of hundreds of higly specific and complicated feats, spells. and fiddly mechanics. It's designed to go along with the kind of pivoting / improv player-reactive GM style I detailed in my long post above.

If both dice are ones, it is a botch. Rolling the maximum amount on both dice gives you a bonus such as a re-roll token or adding your skill value to the roll a second time. It kind of helps weaker characters still have a shot at getting something done especially if they are skilled. Stronger characters using high attributes for rolls will roll higher on average and get more benefit from re-roll tokens, so they will get them less often. Another option is you can also burn fatigue for special moves or to add to a roll, or to soak damage. Fatigue can only be regained through rest and eating.

I can expand on this if anyone is interested. Also open to feedback, requests, and suggestions. I will be using this system in a for-profit work at some point in case that matters.
Tell us a little more about the game in general, please. Is there a setting or a goal for the PCs?
 
I still haven't completed my own homebrew system to add the detailed modular design elements I wanted. But I still like my core mechanic. You have attribute dice, double the value of the attribute. 1=cointoss, 2-D4, 3=D6, 4=D8, 5=D10. 6=D12.. 7 and above you do a D12 and add 1 for every number over 6. Base attributes come from starting race / caste, and gender and then you can raise a few as well as buy skills.

To resolve a challenge you roll the two most relevant attribute dice, add them together, and then if you have a skill specialty that applies you add that as well. You can us the same attribute die twice if that's the only thing that makes sense. This goes against a passive target number or defense statistic set by the scenario or the GM. The more you beat the target number by, the better you do, such as inflicting physical or social damage. There's no classes, it's all based on attributes and skills. Very flexible, but not nearly as much structure as most commercial RPGs. The goal is realism, adaptability, and speed of play instead of a manual of hundreds of higly specific and complicated feats, spells. and fiddly mechanics. It's designed to go along with the kind of pivoting / improv player-reactive GM style I detailed in my long post above.

If both dice are ones, it is a botch. Rolling the maximum amount on both dice gives you a bonus such as a re-roll token or adding your skill value to the roll a second time. It kind of helps weaker characters still have a shot at getting something done especially if they are skilled. Stronger characters using high attributes for rolls will roll higher on average and get more benefit from re-roll tokens, so they will get them less often. Another option is you can also burn fatigue for special moves or to add to a roll, or to soak damage. Fatigue can only be regained through rest and eating.

I can expand on this if anyone is interested. Also open to feedback, requests, and suggestions. I will be using this system in a for-profit work at some point in case that matters.
I would highly advise looking at Savage Worlds before you go into for-profit work with this system; your system sounds almost exactly like Savage Worlds (basically die types for stats and skills, no classes, rolling double ones is a botch roll etc). Obviously you haven't gone into further detail, but what you have said instantly made me think of it.
 
Galactic Spy Agency

The rules for this game are based on the game Apocalypse World, but the setting is heavily changed. The basic mechanism of the game is that players declare their actions and these will often activate a “move". Then roll 2 six sided dice, add them together and add the player character’s relevant characteristic. If the result is ten or more then you have achieved the most good, 7 to 9 means that there will be good mixed with bad and less than that is all bad.

Many games have a player referred to with a title like Storyteller or Games Master that controls everything outside of the other players' characters. The Apocalypse World game mechanisms move away from giving so much influence to this player so gives the position the title of Master of Ceremonies. This game however strikes a middle ground of calling them the Game Host. And the other players are the Guest Players.
This game is set in a future where mankind has developed space travel a long time ago and has met a wide number of alien races. Some are allies to mankind and others are enemies.

Due to terrorism and the fear of terrorism, almost everyone has a personal force field. (To be honest, this is to remove most violence out of the setting but helps to create tension from the beginning).

The players’ characters will be agents of mankind’s government, who operate secretly to influence the big issues of the setting.
 
Beginning the game

To begin the players need to establish which alien race is mankind’s greatest enemy. As a group decide what they look like and pick a culture from the following culture list. They are then placed on the faction map on the top row in the third column to indicate that they are very significant to mankind’s affairs and that they are opposed to mankind’s interest.

Culture list

  • War like (impulse: to conquer)
  • Hive mind (impulse: assimilate)
  • Technologically advanced (impulse: to be worshipped)
  • Mindless beasts (impulse: to destroy)
  • Haughty (impulse: to change others)
  • Selfish (impulse: to own and control)
Now the players pick their characters, called playbooks, from the list below. Each playbook can only be taken once, so no two players can be the same character type. The playbook will then guide you how to personalize the character. If you wish for your character to be non-human then ask the HOST to go through the Create a New Race move.
 
The Consultant, I’ll tell you more about yourself than you even know (a master of reading body language).



The Operator, coordinator extraordinaire (guide a team of agents).



The Hacker, all data goes somewhere and I go everywhere (the digital sorcerer).



The VIP, from the thrill of the stage to the thrill of the action (an agent who uses their celebrity status as a cover).



The Undercover Asset, to beat a monster you must become one yourself (immersed in the darkness of society to bring it down from within).



The Rookie, just watch my back and I’ll show you (the enthusiastic newcomer with a lot to learn).



The Assassin, if you know what this one does then you know too much (able to take life if the inevitable becomes necessary)
 
Basic Moves

TAKE A RISK

When you do something risky, or try to endure dangerous circumstances, roll+cool.

On a 10+, you do it.

On a 7–9, you flinch, hesitate, or stall: the HOST can offer you a worse outcome, a hard bargain, or an ugly choice.

On a 6 or less, be prepared for the worst.

INTIMIDATE SOMEONE

When you go aggro on someone, roll+hard.

On a 10+, they have to choose:

• Accept the consequences.

• Cave and do what you want.

On a 7–9, they can choose 1 of the above, or 1 of the following:

• Get out of your way.

• Barricade themselves securely in.

• Give you something they think you want, or tell you what you want to hear.

• Back off calmly, hands where you can see.

On a 6 or less, be prepared for the worst.

MANIPULATE SOMEONE

When you try to manipulate, bluff, fast-talk, or lie to someone, tell them what you want them to do, give them a reason, and roll+hot. For NPCs:

on a 10+, they’ll go along with you, unless or until some fact or action betrays the reason you gave them.

On a 7–9, they’ll go along with you, but they need some concrete assurance, corroboration, or evidence first.

For PCs: on a 10+, both.

On a 7–9,

choose 1:

• If they go along with you, they mark experience.

• If they refuse, erase one of their stat highlights for the remainder of the session.

What they do then is up to them.

On a 6 or less, for either NPCs or PCs, be prepared for the worst.

HELP OR INTERFERE WITH SOMEONE

When you help or interfere with someone who’s making a roll, roll+Hx. On a 10+,

they take +2 (help) or -2 (interfere) to their roll.

On a 7–9, they take +1 (help) or -1 (interfere) to their roll.

On a 6 or less, be prepared for the worst.

OBSERVE YOUR SURROUNDINGS

When you read a charged situation, roll+sharp. On a hit, you can ask the MC questions. Whenever you act on one of the MC’s answers, add 1 to your roll.

On a 10+, ask 3 of the following questions.

On a 7–9, only ask 1.

• Where’s my best escape route / way in / way past?

• Which enemy is most vulnerable to me?

• Which enemy is the biggest threat?

• What should I be on the lookout for?

• What’s my enemy’s true position?

• Who’s in control here?

On a miss, ask 1 anyway, but be prepared for the worst.

READ A PERSON

When you read a person in a charged interaction, roll+sharp.

On a 10+, ask upto 3 of the following questions any time during your conversation.

On a 7–9, only ask 1.

• Is your character telling the truth?

• What’s your character really feeling?

• What does your character intend to do?

• What does your character wish I’d do?

• How could I get your character to —?

On a 6 or less, ask 1 anyway, but be prepared for the worst.

REACH OUT TO YOUR CONTACTS

When you seek aid or knowledge from your extended network of contacts, roll+connected.

On a 10+, it comes willingly.

On a 7-9, it comes but with strings attached.

On a 6 or less, what you seek moves further from you.

SEIZE BY FORCE

To seize something by force, roll+hard. On a 10+, choose 2 results from the list below.

On a 7–9, choose 1.

• You take it quietly.

• You take definite and undeniable control of it.

• You impress, dismay, or frighten your enemy.

On a 6 or less, you are caught vulnerable.

CREATE A NEW RACE

Whenever a new NPC is introduced, the HOST may call for a new alien race to be created. The HOST will describe their appearance, or they may wish to defer the decision to a player. One of the players must roll without modifiers.

On a 10+, the player chooses the answers to 3 of the questions below.

On a 7-9, they answer 2.

  • What is the race's culture (choose from the culture list)?
  • Is the race neutral, allied or opposed to Mankind?
  • Whom else are they most strongly allied with?
  • How involved are they in Mankind’s affairs?