I need to decide which game system I will use. I spent some time poking around, looking at different systems to see which ones might fit my needs.
- FATE Core: I have very little experience with this system. I have played a few sessions of Spirit of the Century, and while I found it to be enjoyable, I did not find it to be all that deep. I am not sure that you could make a long-running campaign really work with FATE. It feels pretty superficial. That said, it does facilitate focusing on things other than combat, so I don’t want to dismiss it out of hand. It is also possible that many of my concerns about SotC are addressed in the FATE Core implementation of the rules. I need to look through the book again.
- Savage Worlds: This system is the mirror image of FATE Core in many ways. I have a lot of experience with Savage Worlds. Like FATE it is a simple system, but unlike FATE it does focus on combat. I have run games with Savage Worlds that were light on combat, but the system is pretty light on details when it comes to non-combat activities.
- GUMSHOE: I have no experience with this system. In fact, I just read through the Trail of Cthulhu rules a few weeks ago. This system is focused heavily on investigation, and eliminates one of the biggest pitfalls of mystery games, not finding the clues. I am a little concerned that the system may not have a great level of detail for actions outside of investigation, so I need to look into the “Pulp” rules in ToC more. GUMSHOE, like FATE, has the advantage of being an open system, so I can post about it on my blog without fear. This is a strong contender.
- GURPS: I love GURPS. I don’t even have to ask if GURPS will support this style of play it will, and I can tailor the system to level of detail I want. I can even tailor it for different levels of detail in different areas of play by removing certain skills. GURPS has three problems. It is not an open system, it does not have the cool innovation that GUMSHOE has when it comes to investigations, and people are scared of it.
- d20 System: As I mentioned in a previous post, this is not a strong contender. It’s only real advantages are that it is open and people are familiar with it.
- Open d6: This shares the strength with GURPS that it is very easy for me to tailor the skills in any given area. It is also an open system and very easy to teach. The downside is that it does not have the investigative aspect that GUMSHOE has.